No matter how much you may want to, there is no way you can run an ecommerce store completely on your own. While you may have to start out that way in terms of team members, thankfully there are tons of tools available to use that will help you manage and run every aspect of your store. From graphics programs to marketing tools, analytics measurement, customer service, and social media management, there are endless options out there to help you out.
Once you realize there are so many choices out there, the problem then becomes determining which tools are best. To help you out, we came up with a list of the 40 best marketing tools that you need to be using.
Your brand needs good visuals in order to be successful. At this point, that should pretty much be a given. However, producing those visuals can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some tools that will help you out.
- Canva – Canva is a great design tool that will help you create stunning visuals for your website and social media pages. There are plenty of templates to choose from, or you can design something completely from scratch. What’s great about this tool is its easy-to-use system and helpful sizing guides for designing things like Facebook cover photos.
- Piktochart –
Image Credit(s): Piktochart
If you are looking to put together an infographic (heads up: people love infographics and are 3 times more likely to share and like them than other types of visual content) Piktochart is the way to go. Their wide variety of professional grade templates are easy to work with and incredibly customizable.
- StockSnap.io – Finding quality stock photography can be a huge hassle, especially when trying to navigate copyright laws and attribution requirements. While there are plenty of websites you can use where you pay for your images, if you are a new ecommerce brand you might not have the budget for that. StockSnap.io provides a huge database of high quality stock photos that are completely free, and attribution isn’t required. Hundreds of new photos are added every week, making this a great resource for finding quality images for blog posts and other visual content for your brand.
- PlaceIt –
Image Credit(s): PlaceIt
PlaceIt specializes in what we’re calling “customizable stock photography.” They provide stock images of iPhones, tables, laptops, banners, brochures, apparel, and more, and allow you to insert your own visual (such as your logo, app layout, or website). This is a great way to produce professional looking marketing material without having to hire a designer or learning how to Photoshop the images yourself.
- Awesome Screenshot – If you need to produce product demos, Awesome Screenshot will be a great tool for you. This program lets you take screenshots and edit them without ever leaving your browser. Add arrows, circle relevant items, and more to enhance your screenshots with ease.
- Photoshop – Finally, Photoshop is always a great tool for creating or editing images. While there are plenty of technical features you might not know how to use, there are also tons of basic editing tools that will help you enhance your photos. Additionally, there are tons of tutorials online on how to use Photoshop and all its elements, making it a great program to invest in.
You might have the best product and best website, but if no one knows about it, there’s no point. Properly marketing your brand to your target audience, and then additionally following up and retargeting the right people, segmenting your emails, posting your blogs, determining keywords- it can get overwhelming. That’s where these tools will come into play and help you out.
- Aimtell –
Image Credit(s): Aimtell
Web push notifications are quickly becoming one of the best ways to interact with your customers. We’ve already discussed the benefits of web push notifications (which you can read here) but we couldn’t compile a list of marketing tools without mentioning them. With Aimtell, you can send push notifications for just about anything, including shipping notifications, discount offers, cart abandonment, or based on certain target demographics. The options are endless, and the results are impressive. If you would like to start using web push notifications, you can get started in just 5 minutes.
- WordPress – Blogging is still a great way to interact with your customers, expand your audience, boost SEO, and more. And when it comes to blogging, WordPress is the gold standard. With plenty of free options to use, you can get a blog up and running quickly and at no cost. With tons of plugins, you can make your blog (or website) as detailed as you want.
- MailChimp – If WordPress is the standard for blogging, MailChimp is the standard for emailing. Email remains an effective method of marketing (when done properly), and MailChimp is a great tool for creating, sending, and analyzing your email campaigns.
- Reply –
Image Credit(s): Reply
“Cold emailing” is hardly an effective way to increase your sales, as people today are very wary of automated messages. However, with a tool like Reply, you can personalize your messages and set up a schedule for when to send them. Emailing can take you hours each day, so a tool like this can help to handle this for you, while still keeping things personal so that your customers remain happy.
- Google Adwords – Google remains a great place to turn to for marketing your ecommerce store, as people still use the search engine all the time to discover new products and brands. With Google Adwords you can set up campaigns based on your target demographics and keywords, and being a pay-per-click (PPC) set up, you will only pay for actual results.
- Optimizely – Optimizely is all about A/B testing, and is a great resource when creating your website. Set up A/B testing with ease and determine what setup will provide you the greatest conversion rate. We like that this tool allows you to run A/B tests for your website and your mobile app, all in one place.
- Customer.io – Customer.io is another automated messaging platform that will save you tons of time when it comes to contacting customers. Set up automated messages based on a variety of situations, create segmented lists, track your success, and more.
- OptiMonk – Use this tool if you want to target your customers right before they leave your website. Instead of running the risk of a user visiting your site and never returning, create an onsite retargeted message before they leave.
While social media is clearly part of marketing, it has become such an important and large aspect of marketing (especially for ecommerce brands) that we broke it out into its own section of helpful tools. Properly leveraging the power of social media is one of the best ways to help scale your business, but it can easily take up a lot of your time if you’re doing everything on your own.
- Hootsuite – There are tons of social media platforms out there and managing them all can be incredibly time consuming. Hootsuite is a great program that gathers all of your social platforms into one place. Post updates, monitor your feeds, schedule posts, and more. Hootsuite currently works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube.
- Facebook Ads –
Image Credit(s): Facebook
Of course, what list of social media tools would be complete without listing actual tools present through social media? First off are Facebook ads, which are incredibly useful for targeting and acquiring new customers based on various demographics and targeting features that you set up when creating your ads. Overall they are fairly cost effective as well, which is great for new ecommerce sites that don’t have a large marketing budget.
- Instagram Ads – If your ecommerce store specializes in very visual products (say a clothing line for example) Instagram ads will be an effective tool for you to use. The focus of the ads on this platform are the visuals (as is true for the rest of the content on Instagram), giving you a great opportunity to gain new customers through stunning visuals- either in the form of images or videos.
- Twitter Ads – Twitter is the last of the big three social networks that has its own native advertising program. Twitter is a great way to connect with your audience, and promoted tweets can help broaden your audience and gain more followers.
- ClickToTweet – This tool turns your content into a tweet in an instant. All users have to do is click to tweet and the content you selected will automatically be inserted into their Twitter status box. Use this for short quotes or words of wisdom that you think people will want to share. The tweet will also contain a link that you will be able to track over time.
- Hang w/ –
Image Credit(s): Hang w/
Video streaming is all the rage right now, and Hang w/ lets you live stream to your audience with ease. Stream from a mobile device, and when you go live your audience will be notified via push notification so you don’t have to worry about them missing out.
- AdEspresso – If you aren’t having success with your Facebook ads, you need to consider AdEspresso. This tool lets you A/B test thousands of Facebook ad variants, ensuring you will be able to increase your conversion rates.
- AuthentiPix – If you are wanting to integrate Instagram directly onto your website, AuthentiPix will help you do so. Not only can you share your images, but images from fans as well. This is a great way to connect with your audience and also display great content that you don’t even have to work to create (your customers do all the work!).
- Mention – If you are on social media (scratch that: we know you are) you need to be using Mention in order to monitor what people are saying about your brand. With millions of active users on multiple social media platforms, there is no way you can go through yourself and see what everyone is saying about you. Mention will do all the work for you, and allows you to respond, favorite, like, and retweet all within the program.
- Buzzsumo – Our final social media tool we are mentioning is Buzzsumo. This is a great tool for coming up with ideas for new content for your blog. Use this tool to determine what content is popular at the moment, as well as who is interacting with similar content. With this information you can find a new potential audience, and use the content as inspiration for new articles you can create.
You’re going to make mistakes with your business, and that’s okay. That is one of the many reasons analytics tools are out there. These tracking tools will show you exactly what is working for your business, and what isn’t. Learn from your mistakes, keep doing what is working well, and you’ll be well on your way.
- Google Analytics – We’ve said it before, Google is incredibly popular. You know you want to focus your attention on ranking highly on their search results, and with Google Analytics you can also measure other things such as how many people are visiting your website, bounce rates, and more.
- Social Media analytics – All of the popular social media platforms have their own individual analytics tools, and you would be a fool to not use them. These tools are tailored to the individual platforms and can help you understand how your audience is interacting with your content in the social media sphere.
- SEORanks – This is a fairly new tool with a simple interface that can give you quick information on your website (or anyone else’s, such as a competitors) with regards to their PageRank, or how well they rank based on a given keyword.
- Moz – Moz is a great analytics tool for comparing your website with competitors’ sites with regards to keyword ranking. You can also monitor other SEO related topics like mobile ranking and link opportunities. A feature we love is that you can have Moz crawl your site to determine if there are any SEO problems present that might be damaging your ranking capabilities.
- KISSmetrics –
Image Credit(s): KISSmetrics
KISSmetrics is all about measuring your traffic and determining where your audience is coming from. With this information you are well equipped to target this audience in order to further expand and grow your business as a whole.
There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into running a business, and while all of that is important, it can be very time consuming. Unfortunately, running a business isn’t solely comprised of creating a fantastic product and telling people about it. That alone would be difficult enough, but you also have to deal with accounting and finances, legal issues, taxes, shipping, and more. These tools should help make your life a little bit easier when it comes to these issues.
- Streak – Their website states that their mission is to “run your entire business from your inbox.” With their software system, you are able to do just that. This program integrates with Gmail, making for an easy transition when getting started. Instead of having multiple programs to help run your CRM, you can instead do it all right from your email.
- inDinero –
Image Credit(s): inDinero
Messing up your accounting and financing information is definitely not a mistake you want to be making, no matter how small your ecommerce business may be. Instead, it is worth paying for a tool, like inDinero, that will take care of that for you. With this tool, you have people (who know what they’re doing) taking care of your finances, transactions, and even your tax filings.
- Zirtual – If you feel like you are stretched too thin, consider using Zirtual to hire a virtual personal assistant to help with any tasks you need. By hiring someone to handle the tedious tasks you don’t want to take care of, you will have more time and energy to devote to the other aspects of your business that need attention.
- Wiser – A lot of focus on running an ecommerce business is on developing the right product, creating a solid marketing plan, finding the proper target audience, and having the perfect website. All of these are important, but something often overlooked is the pricing of your items. With Wiser, you can determine what your competitors are charging in order to help determine what your pricing should be.
- ShipStation – It is crucial that your items are successfully delivered to your customers, but handling that on your own is a lot to take on. ShipStation will take care of all of your shipping needs for your business, and is the #1 choice amongst online sellers.
- Signifyd –
Image Credit(s): Signifyd
No one wants to think about fraud protection, but you need to when it comes to your ecommerce business. With a tool like Signifyd, you don’t have to worry about paying a chargeback, and they offer a 100% fraud protection guarantee.
This final set of tools is all about what should always be your number 1 focus: your customers. Without customers, you don’t have a business. Keeping customers happy, and hopefully retaining them, is vital to the success of your business.
- Zendesk – Zendesk is the go-to tool for a complete customer service support system. Handle customer complaints over the phone, via email, or with live chat (more on that next). They also have their own analytics tools to help determine if the support you are providing your customers is working well or if you need to make some changes.
- Intercom – Intercom is hands down one of the best live chat tools out there. Live chat has become the best option for customer support in recent years and not only does Intercom make it extremely simple to add chat to your site, but they provide a great user experience for your visitors at the same time.
- ReferralCandy – People love rewards, so consider offering some type of referral rewards program. ReferralCandy makes it easy for you to set up a refer-a-friend system, and the company handles all of the work for you. Users receive a custom referral code that they share with their friends, and in return they get a reward of your choosing, such as a discount code.
- Sweet Tooth –
Image Credit(s): Sweet Tooth
If you wish to offer full-fledged a rewards program, consider using Sweet Tooth. With this tool you can set up your own rewards program quickly and easily. Customize the program however you like, and Sweet Tooth will do all the work to keep things maintained. Offer rewards based on purchases, social shares, referrals, and more.
- YotPo – Finally, don’t underestimate the power of customer reviews on your website. People don’t always trust brands and advertising, but instead are more likely to trust what other customers are saying. Use a tool like YotPo to set up a customer review service for your website. This tool makes it easy for customers to leave reviews for products they purchase, especially with their feature that allows you to automatically email a review request once a user makes a purchase.
There you have it. 40 must have digital marketing tools. What do you think? Are there any we missed or do you have any experience with one of them?