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What’s the Best Value for your Shopify Store?
The Shopify App Store is jam-packed with brilliant apps that many would consider more than necessary.
Loyalty & Rewards Apps are considered some of the most popular as CLTV and Retention tools. So today, two of the top ranking apps are going head to head in a price and feature comparison. In this showdown between giants, we will push their buttons to find what the best option is for your Shopify store.
What are Growave & Smile?
Smile and Growave are both marketing apps that integrate into your eCommerce store in a matter of minutes. They are built around creating incentive with discounts and points. They also organize your members and allow you to actively communicate with them. Both have branding features and an analytics section to monitor your programs performance:
- Smile: is more of a general rewards and loyalty app that operates on multiple platforms. They have a lot of similarities with Growave but are ultimately limited to only rewards and loyalty tiers on Pro Plans.
- Growave: is dedicated to Shopify and offers loyalty, rewards and another 4 apps to boot. Widely considered an all-in-one marketing solution. Loyalty rewards is a major feature of Growave but still only a part of the whole app.
Both Growave & Smile have strong reputations in the official Shopify app-store.
Pricing and Plans
Growave and Smile have pricing plans for companies of all different sizes. Its important to note, that some features become available only on select plans. So depending on your needs you may rule one or the other out.
Takes an unrestricted approach, meaning that they offer their full platform regardless of which plan you select. So if you happen to be a small business, even from the lowest “basic” package you will have the ability to use all of Growave’s apps and features. Although Growave doesn’t offer a forever free plan at the moment, their lowest package is more than affordable enough at $9 per month. They also offer a 30 free trial period on all plans and a generous annual discount, which can help you set yourself on the right track.
Growave use order quantity to segment their packages, which is a reasonable approach and more than affordable if you look at it as a percentage of your operating expenses. At this price you are also getting an additional 4 apps to compliment the loyalty & rewards.
Growave has in important feature that allows you to reward reviews and social login. These features help to promote your brands reputation my collecting reviews for points and also accelerate registration. Remember also that Growave has additional two widgets (Reviews and Wishlist) that can be installed into your store.
Smile.io is primarily a rewards program, that has some additional features like branding, tiers and emails. They offer a free plan that lasts you up to 200 orders which is great but this free plan only has a fraction of the features available on paid plans. This means that their free plan has very limited functionality, and to unlock all their features you will have to progressively pay more and more. If VIP tiers are important to you, it isn’t until you’re paying $599 per month that you actually have the ability to build tiers.
We think since you unlock more features as you upgrade, only larger business can afford the larger price tag for some important additions. If you happen to be on a budget you only receive a fraction of the features on their Pro Plan. We also found that their free plan has Smile branding and you would need to activate the starter package to remove them, which could be an issue for users. We also questioned if the addition of nudges, advanced analytics and point expiry are really worth the $150 monthly increase.
Considering how these features exist with Growave from $9, you may consider Smile a bit expensive. And if you are an enterprise level business, you should expect to pay $300 more for Smile with a lot less to offer.
Growave and Smile’s reward features are very similar; they appear similar, their performance is comparable. They both have analytics, branding, emails and a bundle of different rewards. I think the real difference is how Growave offers additional apps in a more comprehensive marketing platform.
With Growave you also receive a reviews widget, social login (email, twitter, facebook etc..), wishlist tab and instagram.
Widgets & Performance
Presentation is important in eCommerce. So how does each app look like for shoppers? Both apps have a widget that is both brandable and customizable. They are very similar in comparison, but some would say that Smile forces their branding on free plans. Growave has two additional widgets that can be installed; reviews and wishlist.
- Speed: Both apps are speed optimized so you shouldn’t have any issue with performance.
- Mobile: And if mobile traffic is a big portion of your strategy, you should know that both are mobile friendly aswell.
- SEO: We would say that Growave is the more SEO friendly, because of its ability to attract and display reviews.
- Customer Pages: While smile has the ability to build pages to include as part of your rewards program, Growave has pages that Smile doesnt like a Reviews Page.
- Enable Flash Sales, Referrals, Giftcards, Nudges, and Point Expiry
- Leverage Extra Ways to Earn, Redeem Points and Spending Rules
- Utilize Rewards to Promote Reviews, Social Login, Instagram and Wishlist
- Include On-Page Widgets for Reviews, Rewards and Wishlist
- Build Complete Landing Pages for Reviews, Loyalty Program, Referrals and Wishlist
- Stay in touch with Customizable Emails and Monitor Program Performance
While both apps have accumulated a long history of success in the Shopify app-store, you may have specific needs on the whole. Growave is a broader solution and is very similar in comparison to Smile. Having observed the two apps carefully; their functionality, admin panels, widgets, appearance and pricing. We recommend that Shopify merchants choose the more versatile, affordable, inclusive option. If you actively use social media, leverage reviews, or want to speed up the registration process; than consider Growave as a more affordable solution. If your interested in steps to optimize your loyalty program or seek inspiration considering reading up.
Frequently asked questions
Are Growave features restricted on lower plans?
All Growave plans have the same features and are segmented by order quantity. Some more advanced features like API access are only avilable on Enterprise plans. Besides that all businesses from small to large have identical equal access.
Does Growave have analytics?
Growave offers advanced analytics on all plans and gives you an accurate history of all interactions with your apps. Growave analytics is a great source into customer purchase habits.
Does Growave have a Demo Store?
Growave has a demo-store with real examples of how each app works and gives you some context to compare with. All the features you find in the demo-store can be implemented in your own store.
Does Growave offer free trails?
Promotions varry from time to time. Growave currently offers a 30-day free trail on all plans and an generous annual discount.
Does Growave have an API function?
Growave has an API feature for more demanding programs. Growave's API features starts on Enterprise level plans, we encourage you to reach out for more information.