10 Best Shopify Tools for Time-Savvy Small Manufacturers in 2019
With the explosion of e-commerce came a massive influx of online tools at the disposal of the small manufacturer.
Back in the day it would have been an ordeal trying to sort something out as basic as a new business card.
Now you can do it in the literal click of a few buttons. Madness, we know.
Thankfully, this sweeping online eruption brought loads of Shopify tools with it too.
They can help you boost your store, get it up and running or even just make your business operations that little bit smoother.
You can run your online store without them of course, but with them on your side you can really step up your business game.
Don’t underestimate what impact a brand-new logo, easy pay stub printing and SKU generation can have for you.
Which is why we have trawled through the Shopify tools on offer to cherry pick the contraptions that do the most for you with the least required input.
So, with that said, let’s dive right into it...
1. Shopify SKU Generator
SKUs are codes which uniquely identify each of your products. It’s a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to making sure your inventory is managed properly.
By making your codes consistent and clear, it means that anyone in your business (and even customers) can tell exactly which product they’re dealing with on a glance. Your stock rooms will be flowing much easier when every product can be identified on sight.
This Shopify SKU generator made by Katana is simple but effective. It lets you enter in your variants and product name, and in return gives you an SKU you can start using straight away!
2. Google Analytics
Yeah, you can’t really skip over Google Analytics.
Analytics gives you the tools with which to understand where your store’s online visitors are spending most of their time. This means that you can focus on boosting the products you’re doing well with and shaving off the bits that are falling by the wayside.
Once it’s set up you can dive straight into working on your marketing strategy and making sure that you’re making the most of your online traffic. You’ve spent all this energy getting people there in the first place, so why not make it count?
Set up goals to see how you’re doing, and the program will let you know every time you hit them. Could be anything from clicking on a product page or signing up to your newsletter.
Cool thing is that you can turn Google analytics on for your store directly from your preferences section. No apps needed whatsoever.
There’s good reason that the best Shopify stores make full use of Google analytics to stay ahead of the competition.
And as long as your store does not go over five million impressions a month then it’s going to be free to use too.
3. Hatchful Logo Maker
A professional looking logo can make all the difference in making a strong first impression that keeps visitors on your website. If the logo doesn’t match the quality of your products, then people can be put off quickly.
Here are some examples of bad logos from the biggest names we know…the point should become clear pretty quickly.
But anyway how do we solve this?
Well, hiring a graphic designer can be an expensive affair, and unless you got the know how yourself then there aren’t too many places to turn.
Thankfully though Shopify has come up with its own logo maker, which is free and super easy to use - Hatchful.
You simply enter the name of your business, slogan and then choose where you would be using the logo.
The maker then comes up with a whole selection of logos for you right on the dot.
Even if you don’t find one that suits you to the tee, you can still use them as templates or ideas to step up your branding game.
4. Image Resizer
Playing around with images and graphics can be a real time-consuming pain in the whatsit if you don’t have the suitable software and skills.
Image resizer is there to simplify the process of adjusting your image sizes to three easy to understand sizes and resolutions:
-Compact (1024 px x 1024 px)
-Medium (2048 px x 2048 px)
-Large (4472 px x 4472 px)
They’re ideal for using with your Shopify store, social media or even your monthly newsletter.
Only limitation is that you can only process up to 6 images at a time, so if you have large batches of images to go through it could take a while.
5. Burst Photos
Where you get your images from might not be the first thing that comes to mind when setting up your online store, but it’ll push its way to the front at some point.
Taking quality product photos is of course important, but it doesn’t make your store any more attractive to just stick with the bare minimums.
Burst has a great selection of royalty-free images which you can use anyhow you please. Use them for each of your different collections if you sell clothes, or to spruce up the design of your bare-boned online store.
Absolute must-bookmark of the free Shopify tools at your disposal.
6. Slogan Maker
Getting creative with your slogans can be a really fun and revealing exercise. Trying to find a witty way to write out the essence of your businesses attraction in one sentence really gets you thinking about the direction of your brand.
But there is also such a thing as writer’s block. Or the dreaded wall as some prefer to call it.
You know you’re there when slogan ideas for your backpack making company start ending up as cheesy puns like:
Bag Yourself Bags of Deals ;)
Aaaand that’s where Shopify’s Slogan Maker comes in to save the day.
Just type in a word that you would like the slogan to contain and the generator will come up with up to a thousand ideas for you. Even if the perfect one is not there, there’ll be plenty of ideas for you to work from.
Try out a few different words too, it’s not always the first one that works!
PRO TIP: Use the slogan maker when you’re kitting to get customers buzzing about your new product bundles!
7. Kit Marketing Automation
Unless you have a dedicated marketer it’s always going to be useful to have a Shopify tool to help you reach your target customers. Especially when you’re so busy manufacturing quality products.
Kit is designed by the guys at Shopify for their own sellers – which means you!
It takes a lot of the tediousness of social media marketing away by writing, building and even posting the ads for you. In the same way it can also help with your email marketing by sending out custom built emails to make sure old customers stay involved and new customers come back for more.
Plus you get insights on how your marketing efforts are going, alongside tips as to new directions you could be going in.
There’s good reason that it’s one of the most popular Shopify apps out there.
The really cool thing is that you communicate with Kit via the messaging platform of your choice: Messenger, SMS or Shopify Ping.
Which means that your marketing becomes both simpler to do and way more accessible on the go too.
8. Business Card Maker
You might think that it’s a bit weird for a Shopify store owner to need business cards. Well, even if you only sell online the power of face to face marketing cannot be underestimated.
Shopify themselves encourage sellers to consider in-person selling to increase brand awareness, customer experience and up-selling potential.
That personal touch can be especially powerful these days that personalisation in products is fast becoming the crucial X factor.
This gem of free Shopify tools helps you fast create a unique business card which you can print to your heart's desire. And it’s conveniently named Shopify’s Business Card Maker.
You can put in as much info as you want and there’s space for a logo too.
Something for customers to remember you by.
Just like the logo maker, this is going to save you more money on graphic designers. It seems like those poor guys are going to have trouble finding work soon.
Learn more about personalization and the future for makers in our Trends and Predictions for Small Manufacturers post.
9. Pay Stub Generator
It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be making your products and doing all the business operations at the same time.
If you are then you might want to consider getting some helping hands and looking for signs of burn out.
But when you do get that help, you’re going to need to give pay stubs to your new team. Whether they get paid daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually this Pay Stub Generator Shopify tool will help you make pay stubs on the fly.
Enter company, employee, income and deductions information and you’re good to go.
Only thing is that it gets sent to your email, rather than being available to download on the spot.
But considering it saves on unnecessary and complicated software to help you do this - totally worth it.
10. Shopify Themes
“Hey, wait a minute, themes aren’t a Shopify tool” I hear you say.
Well technically they’re not, but really they are. Every Shopify theme you choose for your online store is going to bring about a bunch of different options to enhance your business.
It’s important to choose the correct theme, because it will provide you with the tools to boost your sales and drum up your brand.
Some of the themes, like Canopy for example, come with the option to create quick buy options and a homepage gallery. Perfect for the maker with plenty of products on offer, maybe not so much for the single high-value luxury producer.
Check out our guide on the Best Shopify Themes for Makers for an in-depth look at what’s on offer, and which theme is right for you.
The Most Important Shopify Tool of All
All these awesome gadgets at your disposal, and most of them are free Shopify tools too.
What a privilege for us all, eh?
Well, it’s certainly a starting point and you should try to make use of all the tools available to you. Especially considering the competitive nature of the small manufacturing world.
Every little change you make can have drastic knock on effects.
Which is why you should also consider the most important tool of all – Katana Shopify Inventory Management Software.
An all-in-one system for managing your inventory, purchasing, manufacturing and sales in total harmony.
Katana is designed with the maker’s needs in focus, so you won’t be paying for lots of overlapping and confusing tools to stay in control of your small manufacturing business.
That means a direct spotlight on things like:
Fully functional Shopify Order Management System
Integrating with useful software like Quickbooks
Finished products and raw materials inventory management
Moving on from tedious inventory Excel sheets
Having your entire order fulfillment cycle in one place
Visual color coded dashboard for quick decision making
You can check out how Katana works in the video below.
So, all in all, make sure to get the most out of the Shopify tools at your disposal.
Especially the ones that we’ve pointed to here. They’ve all been chosen for ease of use and for having the most impact on your manufacturing business with the least amount of input required.
And who doesn’t love themselves a quick fix?