If you are already running your ecommerce business you must have realized by now that the whole operation isn’t as intuitive and simple as you first thought, and ecommerce tools can help you have a better control of how well is your business doing.
Apart from the daily operations, such as inventory management, pricing, finances, logistics, customer service, there is also the marketing part.
It includes monitoring the competition, testing different versions of your website to understand which one converts the most customers, generating relevant content to your target, working on your social media, populating your website with SEO focused product descriptions and on top of that you still have to keep an eye on your website’s analytics and conversion rates to understand your customer’s path.
But whether you are a large or a small ecommerce business, the internet is packed with different tools that will make some of your tasks a lot easier, and do half the job for you. However you need to understand what your real needs are, and which of these tools would better work for your businesses – and your skills.
In this article we will discuss the best ecommerce tools for small business.
Best Marketing Tools for Small Business
Doing marketing for an ecommerce business is such a broad task that most large companies would have differently skilled marketing professionals in order to cover all aspects of an online business marketing. But when you are a small ecommerce business, there are ways you can do your own marketing with the help of the following tools:
1. A/B Testing Tools
A/B testing is a method for comparing two different versions of a website, oftentimes used by the UX designer. Once you have users accessing different versions of your website’s design, you are able to measure the performance of each one and therefore understand which version converts the most.
As you have already spend time and money on trying to attract a large amount of traffic into your website, A/B testing is a simple tool that will help you make the most out of this traffic, and simple changes such as moving your headline or changing the color of the call-to-action button can highly increase your conversion rate. You can try Optimizely or Klaviyo for A/B testing your website.
2. Advertising Tools
Advertising your ecommerce business is the quickest way to drive traffic to your website. However you need to know your target audience and the advertising tools for your ecommerce business in order to create an effective ad.
An effective ad is the result of great exposure that leads to higher converting traffic. Which means that you have to make sure your website is converting the through traffic coming from your ads, otherwise you would only be spending money without a proper ROI (return on investment).
One way to target your audience with the most appropriate ad to each one of your website visitors is to use tools like Criteo. Criteo is a personalized retargeting company that works with Internet retailers to serve personalized online display advertisements to consumers who have previously visited your website. When you visit an e-commerce website and an not longer after that you begin to notice advertisements of that same website, and of specific products that you have browsed through, that is Criteo operating right away.
3. Engagement Tools
Consumers have the power of decision. They can shop anything they want, wherever it may be, and on whatever device they choose. Because of that, the ecommerce experience has changed dramatically.
There should come as no surprise that if you wish to engage your customers then you also need to grow your presence on social media and a strong social media presence leads to brand awareness, strong customer relationship management, target market expansion, valuable feedback and a boost in traffic. There are social media tools that help you automate bulk posting on several channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and also help you analyzing your social statistics, such as Hootsuite and Buffer.
Businesses need to make sure they are prepared for those modifications in consumer behavior, focusing on customer engagement to drive long-term success.
Engaging your customers also means periodically reminding them about your new products and content, which can be done by EDM’s (e-mail marketing). Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor and Wishpond are three easy-to-use ecommerce tools that help you uploading your targeted audience, intuitively creating your e-mail design and content and analyzing the clicks and open rate of your e-mail campaign.
4. Exit Pop-up
You have most likely visited many ecommerce websites that opens a pop-up window on your first 1-5 seconds in, probably asking to sign you up on their EDM lists. You also might have experienced pop-up windows when trying to close a few websites or browsers, possibly asking you not to leave so soon.
As needy as these pop-up windows may sound they are highly effective lead generators. The benefits you can get of creating an exit pop-up window are: getting a second opportunity to convert the exiting user, growing your mailing list, instantly recover abandoned shopping carts and the possibility to recommend other products.
If you wish to use a tool to create your ecommerce exit pop-up you can try Optimonk, Exit Bee and BounceX.
Best Customer Service Tools
Customer service excellence might be challenging on the web, more so than on brick-and-mortar stores, hence why there are many available tools to improve your customer’s experience, from live chat support to allowing product review on your website – even when they aren’t positive. We will explore three key customer service tool that will help you rising your customer’s experience on your ecommerce website.
5. Customer Chat
Hotlines and e-mail are no longer fulfilling your customer’s needs when they need to get in touch with your business. Nowadays customers expect to have their questions answered instantly, and therefore having a live chat support on your ecommerce website is no longer an extra feature, but rather a fundamental customer service tool.
A live chat support will allow your customers to multitask, provide chat logs for transparency and proof of contact may your customer need to contact you more than once regarding the same query, it makes your customer service available 24 hours a day, it is cost-free to your customer and it can help you converting more customers since you speak to them while they are inside your store.
And despite what you may think they can be really easy to install and have a quite intuitive interface. Try live chat support tools like Zopim, Lead Chat and Zendesk.
6. Loyalty Program
Typically a company spends more money on trying to retain customers than trying to acquire new ones, despite the many tools to drive traffic to your website we have just discussed.
However New customers don’t generate nearly the same revenue as repeat customers, and once you have already a customer hooked, it should be easier to keep that customer coming back if you have a loyalty program that will give him reasons to do so.
Specialists would say that a successful loyalty program would focus on long-term benefits rather than short-term ones, but the rewards you offer must be relevant and not too difficult to acquire. Try Antavo or Smile.io when implementing a loyalty program on your ecommerce website.
7. Review writing
Product reviewing is a great tool to help driving sales to your ecommerce website, simply because they help building customer trust as 70% of people consult product ratings or reviews before purchasing and when they can’t find reviews on the merchant’s website they might wonder what are you trying to hide.
They also improve your website’s credibility on other websites of external product review, which means that when a customer already decided on a product’s purchase they will look for the website with the best reviews to buy it from; product review is also a great tool for improving your search ranking and helping your website to stand out in search results; and it may even increase your conversion rate. You can try Yotpo to add a product review feature to your ecommerce website.
Best Personalization Tools
Ecommerce businesses should be focusing on bringing personalization together with outstanding customer experience, as it becomes increasingly difficult to secure customers against a backdrop of ever-increasing competition.
As a matter of fact if you do a simple search on the future of ecommerce you will find most websites discussing personalization in an effort to bring to the web what bricks-and-mortar stores can do best.
Below, we will explore two easy-to-use tools to improve your ecommerce website’s personalization.
8. Show the most relevant products to each customer
Being able to personalize your customers visit to your website means you can use it to create relevant and personalized experiences for every customer and visitor on your website. It can also help you curating your inventory better, once you are able to visualize which products are more interesting to your audience, thus it will at the same time help you saving money while growing your conversion rate. Searchspring and Unbxd are two personalization tools that help you showing the most relevant products to each customer.
9. Web push notification
Nowadays it is possible to re-engage your ecommerce website visitor even when you haven’t collect their e-mail address, and this is due to web push notifications. In order to receive the notifications from your website, your website needs to be open on the user’s browser, but he doesn’t need to be on your tab at the moment the message is sent, as it will still work if he’s browsing in some other tab. You can try Aimtell to add web push notifications to your ecommerce website.