You might think that because the number of ecommerce stores opening continues to rise that it must be easy to do so. While it may be easy to open a store, actually being successful is an entirely different story.
It is true that more and more people are shopping online, giving you access to a larger pool of potential customers. In fact, by 2021, it is expected that 2.14 billion people will shop online. The numbers continue to steadily climb upwards.
Combine billions of online shoppers with millions of ecommerce websites and what do you get? A lot of opportunity and a lot of competition. If you don’t have a solid strategy in place to guide every aspect of your ecommerce business, you are likely headed for disaster.
Now for some good news. There are plenty of tools out there to help you! From your website itself, to your marketing, analytics, customer service, content marketing, and so much more, there are endless options available for ecommerce stores. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We have gathered our top 10 picks for the tools every ecommerce store needs.
If you are a new ecommerce site, or are in the planning stages for a site, use this as a checklist to make sure you are covering all of the main areas your website needs to be successful.
Let’s start with the foundation. In order to run your ecommerce store, you need a platform to support it. There are several ecommerce platforms out there, but our personal favorite is Shopify. They make it easy to get your site up and running and looking great.
There are a lot of great features that come with Shopify- making it a great option if you want an all-in-one solution for your ecommerce store. From analytics tracking, to page templates to build out your own website pages, secure payment options, a robust selection of apps for additional features, and a lot more, you’ve got access to everything you need in order to have your site up and running and ready to receive orders.
Easily track everything including site visitors, new orders, shipping stats, and more from their convenient dashboard that you can access on desktop and mobile. It’s a great solution for ecommerce stores of any size. Whether you’ve got one product, or hundreds, Shopify will work for you.
Price: Plans start at $29/month with a 14 day free trial
Once your website is up and running, you want to make sure you are tracking its performance. Oh, and remember what we said earlier about all the competition that’s out there? Yeah, you’ll want to track that too. SEMRush is the best tool for website auditing, SEO tracking, competition research, and a whole lot more.
With SEMRush, you can see both an overview of how your website is doing, as well as an in depth look at everything from traffic, to keywords, backlinks, site errors, and so much more. If you are focused on growing your organic presence on search engines, SEMRush can help with keyword research and keyword tracking- both for your site, as well as for competitors of yours. See how you stack up against your top competition, or see if there are some keywords you can take advantage of that your competitors don’t rank for.
In short, there is a lot you can do in SEMRush. And we mean a lot. It is absolutely worth it and one of (if not the) best overall marketing and SEO tool. Best of all, they’ve got a great support section of their website that includes help articles, video tutorials, and more. Start with their Getting Started section and move on from there.
Now it’s time to start thinking about your customers and how you can draw in new customers while making your existing customers happy. Referral marketing is the way to go. Not only does it reward new and existing customers, it helps you pull in higher quality leads since they are coming to your ecommerce site from a friend or family member recommendation.
Marketers list referral leads as the second highest in quality. They are valuable for your business, and you can start generating them using a tool like Talkable. Talkable helps you create your perfect referral marketing program. They will help you create, launch, and optimize your referral program so that it performs its best.
Without a tool like Talkable, referral marketing would be incredibly hard to manage. Instead, enlist the help of Talkable so that you can set up your program, sit back, and watch it work its magic! It is one of the best things you can do to satisfy your customers and continue to grow your ecommerce business. In fact, nearly 90% of American shoppers want an incentive for sharing a product. Give the people what they want!
Email marketing remains an effective way to keep in touch with customers. While it is not the mammoth marketing platform it used to be, it is still a must have tool for all ecommerce brands. MailChimp remains one of the most popular email marketing tools, and with good reason. You can create eye catching email campaigns with ease thanks to their templates and easy builder tools.
Utilize email marketing, especially when sending important information to a customer such as their order number, shipping information, or other account info. This allows a user to easily keep track of that information and is one of many ways to ensure you are providing all of your ecommerce customers a great user experience.
MailChimp also allows you to easily set up automated campaigns, which is great if you want to retarget abandoned carts, send a welcome series of messages, or wish to target users who view certain areas of your website. Best of all, MailChimp easily integrates with tons of tools, ensuring you will be able to use it with whatever setup you have (or will have).
Price: Free plan available with limited features, or paid plans starting at $9.99 per month
When a user leaves your website, there is always the chance they will never return. Using an exit ad is one great way to try and capture their info or get them to stay on your site longer right before they leave. Exit Bee can help you create eye-catching exit ads that will inspire a user to convert.
Exit Bee’s ads use the concept of behavioral psychology to actually serve up the ad that is most likely to interest a particular user. By analyzing the user’s behavior at your site, Exit Bee is able to provide the right ad to the right user at just the right moment, and the results are impressive- up to 30 times more clicks! Exit Bee does all the hard work for you, so don’t worry, you don’t need any coding experience to take full advantage of all of Exit Bee’s features.
Price: Free plan available, or paid plans starting at $39 per month
We already discussed how recommendations from friends and family can help influence a user to make a purchase, and the same goes for reviews or testimonials. Think about it- when is the last time you purchased any product online without looking at reviews? It’s become the standard for many ecommerce shoppers, meaning it is an absolute must that you have a tool that will help you collect, manage, and display product reviews at your site. PowerReviews will do just that.
Over 90% of users say that reviews influence their purchasing decisions. Reviews also help your ecommerce site look more trustworthy, which is incredibly important for today’s online consumers. PowerReviews helps you stay on top of all of your product reviews, and can even incorporate other user generated content to help you display things like user images of your products.
Your ecommerce site definitely needs to have a dedicated customer service section. Your customers are going to have questions, and they need to know how they can easily get answers. While you can handle customer support in numerous ways, we recommend using a tool like LiveChat to implement live chat at your website.
Why live chat? People love it! For over 40% of customers, it is the preferred way that customers like to interact with a business. It is convenient for a user- allowing them to quickly get an answer they need without having to make a phone call, or wait for a response via email or a social media platform. Once you start using it, you’ll find it’s convenient for you too!
LiveChat is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get up and running with live chat at your ecommerce site. It is one of the easier live chat software tools to get set up with, and it easily integrates with all other major tools so that you can access a user’s order info, send their info into your CRM, or even process their payment.
Of course, to have true success with your ecommerce store you are going to have to do some type of content marketing. CoSchedule is our pick for the best tool because it has 5 different tools that encompass all of your content marketing efforts- including your content and your social media efforts.
CoSchedule works so well because it pulls everything into one place. Once you get started with content marketing, you will quickly realize how many moving parts there are. From blogs, to various social media channels, to email campaigns, there is a lot to keep up with. CoSchedule helps you stay on track with deadlines, schedule posts, push out blog posts, and keep track with all of your visual brand assets- including images and videos.
While you could juggle everything on your own across a variety of platforms, we recommend staying organized and using a tool like CoSchedule. They will even help your social posts perform better thanks to their Best Time Scheduling feature which, as you can guess, posts your content at the best time in order to maximize exposure and engagement!
Price: Plans start at $150 per month with a 14 day free trial
Dedicated landing pages will help you grow your business. It’s just that simple. When done well, they will collect the information you need and help your audience convert. Whether that is to sign up for an email newsletter, subscribe to push notifications, or to make a purchase, a landing page remains one of the most effective ways to draw in leads and collect their information.
Instapage makes it easy to create beautiful, well-performing landing pages that work on both desktop and mobile devices. You don’t need the help of a developer in order to have a perfectly optimized page- Instapage makes sure your page is good to go. Easily integrate them into your existing website with no coding required! It really couldn’t be easier, and that is what we love about it.
Instapage has tons of features to ensure your landing page is performing the best it can- including A/B testing capabilities, heat mapping, keyword insertion, and a lot more. It also easily integrates with things like Google Analytics so that you can measure and track the performance of your landing pages.
Finally, the perfect option for retargeting your users once they do leave your website (it has to happen eventually!) is via web push notification. Web push allows you to instantly and directly engage your audience, and all they have to do to opt in is click or tap one button. It couldn’t be easier or more convenient.
With Aimtell, you have access to tons of features that will help you set up better converting web push notifications. Run A/B tests, segment your audience, set up automated campaigns, track conversions, insert large images, and a lot more.
Because you are an ecommerce store, you will need to get used to the fact that your users will abandon their carts. In fact, the average abandoned cart rate is around 70%. Abandoned carts will happen, but with web push, you can automatically retarget them in order to regain some of those purchases.
In addition to retargeting abandoned carts, you can set up a variety of other automated campaigns, including welcome campaigns, product page specific campaigns, or campaigns for users who haven’t visited your site in a certain amount of time. You’ve got tons of options when it comes to web push, and best of all, it’s incredibly easy to start using. If you do decide to host your ecommerce store on Shopify, you can download our app to get started in just a few minutes.
Price: Plans start at $29 per month with a 14 day free trial
These are the tools every ecommerce store needs. From the main platform your run your site on, to tools to help with analytics, content marketing, referral marketing, retargeting, customer service, and more, these will help you build a complete, prosperous ecommerce store that future customers will find and enjoy.
What do you look for in the ecommerce sites you shop at? Great customer service? A rewards program that has great perks? Engaging blog content? Let us know!
If you want to engage and retarget your ecommerce customers via web push notification, you can get started for free with Aimtell. If you need more information, you can always check out our Beginner’s Guide.