The eCommerce industry has been fast growing and if you have recently jumped on the bandwagon, you’ll probably already know how challenging it is to get customers. You’re able to use attractive offers to drive traffic to your website, but making them complete the purchase is a different ball game altogether.
The truth is, while people love online shopping and great deals, they know they can look for more options before committing to one.
According to Forbes, there are about 23,000 online stores that make at least $100K in revenue and the number is set to increase every year.
What does this say?
That you still have the chance to rev up the revenue from your online store. All you need to do is create the right eCommerce marketing and acquisition strategy, and execute it using the right set of tools.
Having worked in the eCommerce domain for a while now, we collated the toolkit that the biggies in the industry swear by for starting off. Here’s taking a look at the must-have 15 tools for every online store:
The first and foremost place to start when setting up your online store or optimizing it further for higher sales, is to dig deep into data. Google Analytics easily integrates with just about every eCommerce platforms. It helps you look into where your traffic is coming in from, which product pages they are visiting the most and where they are dropping off. You can get a lot of insightful data into your prospect and existing customer market by implementing the Enhanced eCommerce features.
The very next step that we usually recommend to online stores, is to pay heed to their SEO. while paid ads will definitely get you traffic and some sales, building your organic traffic will ensure a steady flow of customers. Google Keyword Planner helps you find keywords that people you’re targeting are using for searches. You can filter these keywords based on location and other demographics to further optimize your product pages.
If you don’t have a designer on-board yet, you’ll understand the struggle of creating compelling images. This is where Canva comes in. The design tool helps you create images for social media, emails, banners for sales, etc with ready-to-use templates and an extremely easy drag-and-drop functionality. What’s best is that it is free and some of its paid elements are available for only $1.
Email marketing is an important aspect for eCommerce businesses. The average order value driven via emails is much higher than that from any of the social platforms. Hence, implementing newsletters is a must. With MailChimp, you can easily create a signup form for your store and design emails that will encourage the reader to visit your store and make a purchase immediately. But then again, don’t forget to focus on crafting compelling email content!
With the rising market competition, it is important that you enhance a visitor’s as well as an existing customer’s experience with your brand. This helps you earn their loyalty and even leverage from word-of-mouth marketing. ZenDesk offers a customer support chat along with voice support and other applications that make interacting with your visitors in a timely manner, easy and efficient.
While tools like Google Analytics will bring you plethora of data on your target market, there are a few things that are best to get first-hand from your visitors. SurveyMonkey helps you easily create surveys to understand your prospects and customers better. You can then use the results of this survey to further enhance and optimize their experience on your store for higher sales.
7. Exit Bee
A typical online shopper often browses the store, adds a few items to his wishlist or the cart and then decides to abandon it all. This is because they think they can find a better deal than what they’re getting or can come back to it later. Exit Bee offers a bounce prevention technology that targets an exiting visitor with personalized popups that can help you create a sense of urgency or, offer an additional discount or a coupon to make the leaving visitor convert immediately. Retargeting before a visitor leaves is important because if he leaves, you have almost lost him!
For instance, the House of Blouse uses an Exit Bee campaign to reduce their cart abandonment rate and increase sales. They offer an additional discount to those who are leaving from their checkout process, making completing the purchase all the more appealing for the shopper.
The truth is, that your target audience is active on social media through the day. This gives you a gazillion opportunities to target them with special offers or new product range alerts. But once you get started on social media, you will realise that it is time consuming. Buffer helps you manage all your accounts via one dashboard, and enables you to schedule posts for the future. For instance, even we try to schedule for an entire week to free up the time we would otherwise spend on social media every day.
Here’s what the average order value from popular social networks looks like – you certainly don’t want to be losing out on so many sales!
Social media is all about having a two way conversation with your target market. The more you engage and interact with your audience, the more likely you are to get a sale! Because sometimes there could be people looking for a product and not sure how to search for it – jumping in at the right minute could help you drive them to your store! Mention helps you monitor what people are saying about your brand or talking about the niche you are in.
According to a post on New York Times, 65% of new sales for a business come from referrals. The simple fact being that people trust names that their friends or family members have recommended – even if it is going to cost them slightly more than what another business is offering. ReferralCandy helps you create referral marketing campaigns – it enables you to offer a custom referral link to customers which can be sent via any channel. You can then track the analytics on the invites and reward the customers who get you the most sales to keep them motivated.
Creating a marketing strategy that work effectively to the ‘t’ is a hard task at hand! This is where BuzzSumo comes in. The tool helps you search for the keywords you’re targeting and identify what’s trending under each of them in terms of social shares and backlinks. The data helps you create a content strategy for your eCommerce blog that will definitely bring in more sales.
The thing with social media is, that while a few from your target market will click through the image of a sale alert, there going to be those who choose to interact with product specific ads. You just never know! So running variations of ads to promote the same thing is a common practice eCommerce marketers follow. Although fairly new in the market, Adalyz is an analytics tool that helps you monitor the results of your social media campaigns via a unified dashboard. The tool helps you group together ads of the same campaign to monitor their results separately, helping you optimize them for higher conversions.
13. Facebook Ads
Why we specify Facebook Ads as a must-have tool for your store is because the platform runs one of the most robust retargeting advertisements. There are going to be visitors to your store that leave without converting but are still interested in your products. Using retargeting ads you can remind them of your offer on the social platform and encourage them to convert before the product out of stock! Facebook retargeting is known to improve the ROI on the marketing budgets you set aside.
Pro tip: You can run retargeting ads on other social channels like Instagram, etc as well to further boost your sales.
A lot of shoppers are used to getting assistance from the salespeople at stores. They want to be able to ask questions regarding the material, size and more before purchasing something. On an online store, you can’t physically do that. Olark helps you set up a live chat on your store that people can choose to message you on. It is quick implement, easy to use and you can even specify the hours you are online at for the customers!
When you implement various tools on your eCommerce store, it is important to ensure that they work in sync with one another to optimize your marketing and sales processes. Segment allows you to integrate hundreds of tools without heavy development work. But before you do decide to use this tool, make sure you take a look at their list of integrations to ensure they support your choices.
What other tools do you think an online store needs to grow at scale, keeping in mind that the experience of the shopper is only enhanced further?