With over 51% of US consumers preferring to shop online, it’s safe to say that the eCommerce industry has never been more prevalent – and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
With increasing competition in the space, it’s become more crucial than ever to optimize each facet of your eCommerce business to ensure maximum performance. However, with thousands of tools in the market that will help you do exactly that, the most challenging part can be narrowing your selection down to the ones that will work best for you.
Luckily for you, we’ve hunted down the 12 best tools that will help you reach new heights of success in 2020 – all without breaking the bank.
Manage emails for smaller eCommerce stores with Mailchimp
It’s no secret that sending emails is one of the most important parts of building and maintaining relationships with past, prospective and current customers. And when it comes to eCommerce, emails can be a powerful tool to promote relevant offers to potential customers, showcase new products to existing customers and send enticing reminders to those who might have abandoned their shopping carts in your store.
More than anything, eCommerce email marketing requires the right actions to be taken at the right time. As email marketing agency CodeCrew puts it, segmenting your email list is the best thing you can do for the success of your campaigns. Sending emails based on a user’s actions on your website can help you target them with the exact messaging that will make them convert.
Though this sounds like a time-consuming workflow to set up, MailChimp is one of the best and most popular tools for you to easily manage a complex email list with defined segments. It features the ability to send emails to hundreds or thousands of recipients and has a well-designed interface that is easy-to-use for any level of capability,
Moreover, the tool allows you to take advantage of email automation to save you precious time. You’ll also be privy to the valuable insights that MailChimp analytics provide such as click through and open rates. There’s a reason so many people trust them with all the stages of the email marketing process – right from creation and design to automation and promotion.
Manage emails for larger eCommerce stores with Klaviyo
Klaviyo is the perfect email partner for larger, more data-centric stores that are looking to deliver ultra-targeted email campaigns. It integrates with a host of useful apps like Facebook and Shopify, and allows you to create bespoke segments to help you make smarter decisions.
The tool includes advanced analytics features that are well suited to a larger store that’s looking to take its sales to the next level. This includes A/B testing functionality, as well as predictive analytics powered by data science that helps you understand your customers and their behaviours better than ever.
The best part? Klaviyo helps you provide the perfect omni-channel experience for your customers by allowing you to manage SMS and social campaigns through it’s versatile dashboard, so you can offer a seamless experience across devices.
For a fast and easy-to-maintain eCommerce website: Paperform for eCommerce
Alternatively, if you run a store that requires products, services, inventory and details to be updated on a regular basis, WordPress can be a little more time-consuming. Paperform’s eCommerce website builder is the perfect tool for those running small to medium-sized stores that require regular updates. The tool allows anyone – across all skill levels – to easily set up a branded storefront in minutes.
Accepting payments online is also a breeze with Paperform, as it allows you to collect one-off or recurring payments in multiple currencies safely and securely through integrations such as with PayPal Business, Stripe and Braintree.
What’s more, Paperform has built in analytics allowing you to collect insights from your respondents and you can easily integrate your own analytics tools.
Oh, and if you like the sound of WordPress and Mailchimp, Paperform has integrations with both of them.
Create content that converts with the Blog Creator by Matcha
60% of customers state that blog posts are valuable in the early stages of the buying process. Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective lead generation tools for eCommerce. So if you’re not currently investing in a solid content strategy – or if you simply lack the resources to do so – Matcha is the perfect tool to get you started.
The tool’s benefits are twofold. On one hand, Matcha analyzes the success of your existing blog content, and allows you to create content optimized for more sales and subscriber generation with its tools for featuring suggested products within your blogs and content gating. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time to write your own blog posts, Matcha boasts an impressive content library that houses thousands of professionally-written licensed articles that you can buy and publish on your own blog.
Use SEMrush for search engine marketing and competitor analysis
Did you know that SEO has the highest ROI of any other marketing channel for eCommerce? Keep this in mind when crafting your webpages, as when done correctly, SEO can help you access recurring, high-converting traffic for free.
Crucial activities for driving organic traffic – like keyword research, competitor analysis and link building – are all made a thousand times easier when using SEMrush. Not only is it a powerful tool for competitor and SEO research, but it’s also a great choice if you’re looking to analyse your PPC and Social Media campaigns.
You can start by analyzing the standing of your own website by typing in your URL in the search bar, and then use the powerful insights to improve your performance, target high-value keywords for your niche and understand the kinds of backlinks you need to perform better than your competitors’. Score!
Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Always be one step ahead by taking Google’s mobile-friendly test? It’s a tool that helps you prepare your site for Google’s algorithmic updates that give priority ranking to mobile-friendly websites.
It’s no secret that mobile shopping is on the rise. Since everybody has at least one smartphone, most of them are using it to search for information, communicate, and, what else? Buy products. That’s why Google has been making a shift towards prioritizing websites that are mobile-friendly and responsive. Taking this free test is a great way to make sure that your website matches up to this criteria.
Not only does the test help you determine how well your website pages perform on mobile devices, it also comes up with custom suggestions to make them even better.
Boost sales with KISSmetrics
KISSmetrics allows you to track your visitors in order to gain insight into how your audience interacts with your website and engages with your marketing campaigns. The tool helps you optimize various facets of your online presence, including your checkout funnel, subscription workflows, conversions and repeat purchases.
With KISSmetrics, you can measure your transaction history and online sales by monitoring user data analysis with built-in eCommerce tracking. The tool allows you to discover the characteristics of your most active spenders, so you can specifically market to them. It also integrates with a variety of eCommerce platforms like Paperform and WordPress, so your store data can automatically be collected and fed into KISSmetrics.
Bring leads back to your store with AdRoll
If you’re in the eCommerce space, it’s likely that you’re running paid Ads of some sort. While Facebook Ads Manager is a powerful tool on it’s own, the best use of your marketing dollars is to invest in a Facebook retargeting campaign.
Retargeting campaigns allow you to reach people who previously visited your website but did not purchase anything via targeted Facebook Ads. This is a cost-effective way to reach people who you already know are interested in your product or service.
AdRoll is a powerful retargeting tool that makes this process as simple as possible. The tool also has a powerful cross-device reach, which means that you can reach potential customers across the myriad of devices that they’re using, including smartphones and tablets.
Improve your load speed with GTmetrix
Website speed is one of the most crucial factors that contribute to a store’s success in eCommerce. If your visitors are delayed while trying to reach your product pages, what happens next? Well… they’ll suddenly lose their patience and try to search for the same product somewhere else. Don’t believe us? It’s been proven that a 1-second delay in page load speed can decrease conversion rates by 70%.
GTmetrix is a website speed analysis tool used to identify the key elements on your webpage that are slowing down your load speed. Once you’ve spotted them, you can start working on optimize these in order to improve your speed performance and create the best possible customer experience on your site.
For dropshipping enthusiasts: Doba
Doba is a digital marketplace that helps small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses scale up their operations through dropshipping. If you aren’t familiar with the term, dropshipping means that businesses don’t keep products in stock, rather they market the products on their website and a third-party supplier ships the order to your customers.
The advantage of Doba is that as an eCommerce business owner, you won’t have to hold inventory or handle the nitty-gritty details of shipping. Doba allows you to search for millions of products, upload them to your site and sell them to customers at retail price. On your end, you simply pay Doba the wholesale price and they’ll take care of shipping the products to your customers.
This allows you to allocate more time and resources to more important things – like selling!
Understand the behavior of your visitors with HotJar
Are your CTAs in the right spot? What links get the fewest and most clicks across your essential product pages? Do shoppers stop scrolling through pages at similar spots?
Luckily, the heat mapping tool, called HotJar, will be perfect for answering all these questions. It allows you to easily discover how visitors navigate your store through scroll, click, share, move, and download heatmaps.
HotJar is the perfect tool for those that would like to investigate conversion funnels further by making it easy to see where your site visitors lose their interest.
Read Practical eCommerce
Reading blogs that regularly report on business, the eCommerce industry and new developments in B2C marketing is one of the best ways to keep ahead of the curve in such a competitive industry. Learning from the experts who are at the forefront of change is crucial for growing your business with innovative strategies.
Practical eCommerce is commonly regarded as the Wall Street Journal of eCommerce. Stuffed with practical marketing tips, conversion science insights, shopping cart abandonment research, social media strategy tips and more, it’s a well-rounded resource that features writing from some of the most successful thought-leaders in the space.
About the Author
Tegan Tedd is a Digital Marketer at Paperform. She undertakes SEO strategies to drive demand and growth and has a passion for content writing for Paperform’s blog as well as guest blogs.