Before we get started:
- Don't get obsessed with apps at the beginning. Most stores don't need apps to start making first sales.
- Follow the rule of limited trust. With every new app, you are entrusting your store and customers data to the new company. Every Shopify app has constant access to some parts of the store when it is installed.
- Consider if the functionality that you are missing requires an app. For example; an app that lets you switch currency - most of the paid themes have this functionality built-in, and if they don't - it may be more worthwhile to hire Shopify Expert to do this as a one-off thing.
- Don't depend on an app - Sometimes apps have downtimes, sometimes they go away for good. If it is possible, you should always have a second option
Apps made by Shopify are the most straightforward way to get started. They usually don't offer so many features as paid ones; however, the risk is lower (as apps are made by Shopify), they are easy to use, free, and widely supported by Shopify Support and most of the themes.
- Bundles - if you sell bundles - this would keep the inventory in sync between the SKUs.
- Smart Tags - will let you tag orders, products, and customers based on predefined rules.
- Yottie ‑ if you own a YouTube channel - this will let you add channel section to any part of the site.
- Smile - will let you set up a loyalty program with points, referral & VIP rewards.
- Searchanise - will let you add advanced product filtering on collection pages and improve store search functionality.
- Excelify - if you deal with large amounts of the products, Excelify will let you import/export products & more for easy editing in Microsoft Excel.
- Event Calendar App - if you host classes or any other events, this will let you set up a calendar.
- Apps that add an image - for example: "Trust badge" - it is <1 hour development time for Shopify Expert vs. granting access to your customers data for some random company.
Answer yourself a question if can you trust this company? Check from how long they are around.
Have a test store where you can try them out before installing on the live one.
Try contacting their support and check how reliable they are.
Free is never free - if the app is free (and it is not made by Shopify) - it should be a red flag, and you should always check the creator business model.