Over the past decade, cash registers have gone from clunky machines spitting out piles of paper to a simple small gadget able to sell anywhere. With today’s evolving retail technology, retailers can run their entire store with nothing more than a tablet or smartphone.
Using a mobile device, a robust point-of-sale software like Shopify POS, and a few retail apps, merchants can process transactions in their storefront or on the go at pop-ups, markets, fairs, and festivals. In other words: You’re able to manage your retail business from anywhere, at any time.
But which retailer apps will help merchants the most with day-to-day tasks? This guide shares 19 of the best retail apps that will save you time and money, broken down into four subcategories. Most are free to download and use, while others require a paid subscription plan after a free trial period.
8 best apps for managing your retail store
1. Shopify POS
Accepting payments and selling your products offline and online shouldn't be a hassle. Shopify Point of Sale (POS) seamlessly integrates with your ecommerce store so your products, orders, and customers are always in sync—regardless of where you’re selling.
Merchants can also take advantage of robust reports and easy integration with all the necessary hardware to make running your store easier than ever.
Pricing: Free for self management, $24/month for teams.
Track employee working hours using EasyTeam’s POS system integration. It’s ideal for retail stores that need to manage the schedules of several team members.
The hardware comes with a mobile app for staff to tap in and out. You can also schedule their working hours, track their sales commission, and approve timesheets. All of that data gets imported into your payroll software.
Pricing: Free to install, $99/month for analytics, plus $200 one-time fee for hardware.
Do you know how many people visit your retail store each day? Uncover those insights with Dor. Its thermal-sensing camera attaches to the entrance door of your retail location and tracks how many people visit.
Dor also integrates with your Shopify POS equipment so you can compare foot traffic data with revenue. You can uncover insights like the time of day purchase-ready customers visit—even what weather causes an uplift in retail sales.
Pricing: Ranges from $9.99/month to $89.99/month, with free trial available.
One of the most important decisions you can expect to make about your storefront is store layout. But it’s often difficult for merchants to envision how to optimize their space. That’s where magicplan can help.
Using augmented reality, merchants can create professional floor plans by scanning the room with their smartphones or tablets and customizing with pictures. Use magicplan to generate job estimates, view your space in 3D, plan DIY projects, or furnish your space.
Pricing: App is free to download; e-signature plans range from $10/month for individual use to $40/month per user for teams.
With the DocuSign app, merchants can prepare and send documents for electronic signature—completing contracts, employment paperwork, and other forms—and get instant visibility into each document’s status directly from their smartphone or tablet.
That can make it 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.
Pricing: Varies based on products and market.
Klarna For Business’s marketing solutions bring store experiences online for virtual shopping. With Klarna, online shoppers can ask questions, see a 360-degree view, and check availability of a product—by communicating with store experts via live video and chat.
Pricing: Ranges from $19/month to $299/month. Free 30-day trial available.
Do you offer appointments to customers? Whether you’re doing Zoom consultations or arranging an in-store private shopping experience, the Sesami retail app can schedule them in—without double booking.
Sesami integrates with Google Calendar and Zoom, along with Shopify POS. And you can schedule appointments with customers wherever you are—both online and offline.
Pricing: $19/month. Free 14-day trial available.
If your product pricing depends on weight, then you may benefit from using Filljoy. This retail app offers the capability to integrate with a scale, so you can weigh an item, calculate its price, and charge a customer through Shopify POS.
Businesses that can leverage this tool include grocery stores, pet food retailers, and butcher shops, among other businesses.
5 best retail apps for discoverability
- Google Business Profile
- Google & YouTube app
- Facebook & Instagram channel
- SMSBump: SMS Marketing & Email
Pricing: Free, with Shop Pay.
The checkout page is arguably one of the most important pages on any retailer’s website. These days, consumers want fast and easy checkout processes. The Shop app delivers on that with Shop Pay. Shop Pay is a wallet that automatically fills in a customer’s saved email, payment, and shipping details so they can checkout at the click of a button.
An external study showed that Shop Pay successfully converts at checkout at an accelerated pace. Sites using Shop Pay have a 1.72 times higher checkout-to-order rate than those going through regular checkouts.
Shop’s mobile app also gives customers real-time order tracking and a list of popular products from the shops they follow. Retailers have the power to manage the entire post-purchase journey using push notifications to drive future sales.
Twenty-one percent of US consumers use the internet to find local businesses on a daily basis. For example, a search query may be “groceries near me.”
The mobile app for Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, helps you to reach those local shoppers and drive them to your brick-and-mortar store. With it, you can customize your business listing on the go, as well as:
- Personalize your listing (such as identify it as a women-owned or Black-owned business)
- Update your opening hours
- Post special offers and in-store flash sales
- Share customer and business photos
Pricing: Free to install, but you must fund your ad campaigns.
Search engines are the first stop for 30% of online shoppers when they’re looking for products. The Google & YouTube app allows you to pay to reach them with paid ads, so you’ll appear in the list of top results, even if your organic SEO strategy doesn’t get you there. You are also able to sell items from your Shopify store through YouTube, giving you another way to connect with shoppers.
With this app, you can list products for free (with a Google Merchant Center account) on Google Shopping. You can also run Google PPC campaigns and adjust budgets, without leaving your Shopify dashboard.
Pricing: Free to install, but you must fund your ad campaigns.
Capture the billions of consumers actively using social media with these retail apps. Facebook channel integrates with Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping, so your inventory is accurate and up to date across channels. Leverage the Instagram channel as a marketing opportunity to generate interest for new products and create custom product pages.
Both the Facebook and Instagram apps help retailers build an audience. That’s because you are open for business on two of the most popular social media platforms globally—and can manage those orders through your Shopify admin.
Pricing: Free to install; plans range from $19/month to $199/month.
There are several ways to communicate with existing and potential customers, including email, social media, and live chat. SMS marketing is a top performer when it comes to open rates, with 42% of business text messages being opened.
SMSBump is a highly rated app to send out those messages to your audience. The platform seamlessly integrates with your POS and includes features such as the capability for personalization of your ecommerce campaigns, customer segmentation, and SMS templates to support your conversion efforts.
3 best retail apps for inventory management
Pricing: Free to install and included in Shopify POS Pro subscriptions.
Stocky also shows your bestselling products in its app dashboard, alongside how many are left in stock. This tool can be helpful in spotting upcoming shortages, so your most popular products are always available for purchase.
Pricing: Free plan available; paid plans range from $9.99/month to $39.99/month.
Experiencing a stockout? Ordersify: Restocked Alerts is a Shopify app with features that include email customization as well as daily inventory reports. There are also low-stock and back-in-stock notifications, which can help you retain customers by keeping them informed. To receive automated alerts, customers enter their email addresses and get reminders via email or push notifications when inventory is replenished and the product is available for purchase.
Pricing: Free plan available; paid plans range from $24/month to $199/month.
Retailers who sell perishable goods need to keep a close eye on their stock. Food and drink items, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals may include ingredients that can affect the quality of the goods sold.
Freshly Batch Inventory helps you track product batch details and expiration dates of perishable goods. It also supports demand forecasting, and as items approach expiration, you can mark them for automatic discounts. You can use these insights to prioritize which products to sell first, fulfill orders using the first-expired, first-out (FEFO) method. Freshly Commerce also helps you track recalled products based on their batch number.
3 best retail apps for conversion and retention
Pricing: Free to install and use up to 200 monthly orders; paid plans range from $49 to $999/month, with additional charges above 7,500 monthly orders.
Not only is it important to introduce your brand to new customers, it’s also important to find ways to keep existing ones. That's where loyalty programs can help. According to one survey, loyalty programs drive 70% of US consumers to stick with a brand.
Smile is a retailer app that offers merchants the resources to create a comprehensive customer 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
Pricing: Free to install, plus seven-day free trial available; paid plans range from $29/month to $846/month.
ShoppingGives - Donation App is a mobile app that supports these causes. It helps with your social impact strategy by providing the necessary tools to ensure you’re in compliance when making nonprofit donations, managing those contributions, and enabling customers to choose from pre-set charities or pick a cause of their choice for their donations (with the brand donating a percentage, for example).
Pricing: Ranges from $9/month to $40/month. Free 30-day trial available.
For merchants with products that make great gifts, one way to encourage gift giving is with a registry. But creating your own gift registry or wish list solution from scratch can seem like daunting task. Instead, try Gift Reggie.
Gift Reggie is a retailer app that allows your customers to create a custom registry of your products and share it with their friends and family—introducing your brand to potential new customers.
Find the right apps for your retail store
Shopify apps can unlock new functionalities that optimize your site for a better customer experience and more sales.
While these apps are some of the best apps available (including those in the Shopify App Store), there are plenty more—including email marketing, product upsell, and time management apps. It comes down to finding the best apps that suit your unique needs. Visit the Shopify App Store to browse even more retail mobile apps by use.
Retail app FAQ
What is a retail app?
A retail app is a mobile software that allows customers to browse products and shop seamlessly from their mobile device.