Let's face it: Retail has come a long way. In just the last decade, we've gone from clunky cash registers and being buried under a never-ending pile of paperwork to using a single gadget that allows retailers to sell anywhere.
With today's evolving retail technology, retailers can run their entire store with nothing more than a tablet or smartphone with just a touch, swipe, and tap of a few buttons. Using a mobile device, a robust point-of-sale software like Shopify POS, and a few retailer apps, merchants can process transactions in their storefront or on-the-go at pop-ups or markets, fairs, and festivals.
Finding the right point-of-sale system is the first step in your quest to sell anywhere. And a few key retailer apps can help extend the functions of your point-of-sale to fill in gaps and make running your retail store as seamless as possible.
But which retailer apps will help merchants the most with day-to-day tasks? As a retail entrepreneur, you don't have much time for trial and error. Never fear — we've spent time researching, analyzing, and handpicking a curated list of retailer apps for you to explore.
Note: Although most of these retailer apps are free to download, some are free to use and others require a paid subscription plan for use after their free trial period. We've indicated the cost of paid apps.
When it comes to running your business, your bottom line needs to be top of mind for your retail store to thrive. With the Xero app, accounting functions and financial reporting help you gain transparency into your revenue.
Merchants can perform a number of key financial functions right from your mobile device, including viewing all accounts, creating and sending invoices, automating order exports, and a great deal more.
Not only is it important to introduce your brand to new customers, but to also find ways to keep existing ones. That's where loyalty programs can help. According to data from Nielsen, 84% of consumers are more likely to choose retailers that offer a loyalty program.
Sold on the idea? Smile.io is a retailer app that offers merchants a comprehensive loyalty and referral program. Reward your customers with points, discounts, gift cards, or coupons for various activities like:
- Referring a friend
- Social shares and follows
- Birthday rewards
When you're setting up a display, hanging a picture frame, or installing shelves, it's difficult to eyeball whether it's straight or just a tiny bit crooked. And if you don't have a leveler on hand, ensuring perfectly straight lines feels pretty impossible.
Fortunately, the iHandy Level app makes it easy to use your smartphone's built-in sensor to give you a precise angle for edges, allowing you to get that next merchandising display to look just right.
One of the most important decisions you'll make about your storefront is your store layout. But it's often difficult for merchants to envision how you'll optimize your space. That's where magicplan can help.
Using augmented reality, merchants can create professional floor plans simply by taking pictures. Use magicplan to generate complete job estimates, view your space in 3D, plan DIY projects, or furnish your space.
The colors of the paint you choose to use in your store can make or break the whole look and feel of your offline experience. And matching paint colors can be a time-consuming process.
But with the ColorSnap app, you can find the perfect paint colors (and color pairings) for your space with photos. The app can help you find paint colors that match a color from a photo that inspires you. Simply tap anywhere on the photo and drag to find the desired Sherwin-Williams paint color from thousands of options.
Retailers can also use the app to find matching colors, find your desired colors in nearby stores, and use the Day and Night Lighting feature to your colors in different lighting.
Accepting payments and selling your products anywhere shouldn't be a hassle. Shopify POS seamlessly integrates with your online store so your products, orders, and customers are always in sync.
Merchants can also take advantage of robust reports and easy integration with all the necessary hardware to make running your store easier than ever.
With multiple part-time or full-time employees, creating work schedules can be a headache and a time suck for retailers. But the When I Work platform makes juggling staff and schedules far easier.
In When I Work, you can simply set up employee schedules and see where workers clock in from, thanks to the built-in GPS on their employee’s phones. So, it's easy to ensure they made it to the correct job site. If someone doesn’t show for their shift, rather than calling all your employees one by one from a lengthy list, you can send out an alert to all staff who have the right skill set profile. The first person available can confirm and clock in, alleviating headaches even from these inevitable unforeseen circumstances.
Your staff members can see their schedule, request time off, swap shifts with fellow co-workers (all parties need to agree), setup and receive alerts, and even clock in and out. Staff can also sync their work shifts into their favorite calendar app for easy reminders.
RetailNext displays traffic, dwell times, and other shopper behaviors to actual sales at the register. View heat maps of visitor traffic, measure traffic over time in your stores or areas of your stores, and connect visitors and sales to specific outside events.
For merchants with products that make great gifts, one of the ways to encourage gift-giving is with a registry. But creating your own gift registry or wish list solution from scratch can seem a bit daunting to stretched-thin merchants. Instead, try Gift Reggie.
Gift Reggie is a retailer app that allows your customers to create a custom registry of your products and then share it with friends and family.
Retailers of all shapes and sizes sometimes struggle with shipping issues. In addition to the typical logistics of getting products from one place to another, merchants also often field dozens of questions from customers on the status of their packages. That's where Arrive comes in.
Retailers don't need to bear the cost or work involved in creating a proprietary tracking system for packages. Arrive is an all-in-one retailer app that helps you create transparency into the shipping process — giving your customers peace of mind. Customers can track all their packages, regardless of who you ship with, in one app with a live map view and notifications.
One of the simplest ways to scale a successful retail business is to sell more products (of course, this is easier said than done). But one common approach to achieving higher product sales is through wholesale selling.
And one retailer app that can help you with bulk-selling is WholeSale Pricing. The app makes it simple to reward and incentivize your most profitable customers with wholesale discounts. Create multiple and flexible discount rates like custom discounts and members-only pricing.
Need to sign a document without wanting to print it first, then sign it, then scan it, and finally email it back? With the DocuSign app, merchants can prepare and send documents for signature, complete in-person signing, and get instant visibility into your document status directly from your smartphone or tablet.
That means it's easier for retailers to go paperless while still accessing a quick and secure way to sign contracts and send off vendor agreements for a signature.
Now that you understand some of the options out there, you can use these retailer apps to make running your store a great deal easier. However, in case we missed a few of your favorites, let us know your top picks in the comments below.
Visit the Shopify App Store for more apps
Shopify apps can unlock new functionalities which will optimize your site for a better customer experience AND more sales. While the apps above are some of the best free apps available in the Shopify App Store, there are email marketing, product upsell, time management apps, and plenty more to leverage for your retail business. It all comes down to finding the best app that suits your unique needs.
Visit the Shopify App Store to browse even more apps by use case, and feel free to share your favorites in the comments. Happy selling!