Must-have tools for scaling ecommerce. In ecommerce, sustainability and growth are impossible unless you’re willing to invest resources in tools that can help you scale your business.
When you first launched your business, you might have been able to keep all the plates spinning yourself but, if you want to scale, you need to get out of a fulfillment frame of mind and focus instead on optimisation and growth. That’s where tools come into play.
The problem is there are A LOT of tools out there. It’s not always easy to know where to start or what to focus on.
You need great products, and you need great management and customer service – but no matter how great your products or customer support are, you need someone whose focus is finding your customers and figuring out how to speak to them in a way that convinces them your products are the ones they’ve been looking for.
I look at it as less of a Jedi mind trick and more of a cobbler, delicately inspecting, tweaking, and improving your store’s language, pricing strategy, customer personas, and more.
1. Optimizely – To boost conversions and improve visitor experiences, you can use Optimizely to create, launch, and analyze A/B tests on your ecommerce website. With Optimizely, you can easily and quickly A/B test copy, colors, product placement on sales pages, and even entire pages.
And in case you think CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) is all hocus-pocus, take a look at how to increase conversions by over 40% in about a month using Optimizely.
2. Google AdWords – To increase brand and product exposure, you can use Google AdWords to create campaigns that drive more customers to your website. With Google AdWords, you can target specific audiences based on location or keywords, and you only pay for actual results.
What makes Google AdWords extra special is that you don’t have to create the demand – you simply need to satisfy it. Your audience is already looking for your products and keywords.
3. Photoshop – To boost interest in your products and drive more sales, you can use Photoshop to create professional-grade product images to insert throughout your website. With Photoshop, you can customize and edit photos and graphics to establish a sense of consistency and branding that will differentiate you from competitors. Professional photo editing can also help build trust and legitimacy for your ecommerce business.
4. Canva – To drive more engagement on your social media channels, you can use Canva to create compelling images and graphics that relate to your products or business. Canva is a good tool to use if you have little or no experience using a more robust tool like Photoshop.
5. Hootsuite – To build a stronger and more authentic brand presence for your ecommerce business on social media channels, you can use Hootsuite to schedule updates and interact with current and potential customers. With Hootsuite, you can watch what people are saying about your brand or products, schedule social media updates, and get access to powerful analytics and insights that can help you get more ROI from your efforts.
6. BuzzSumo – To develop compelling content that attracts new customers, you can use BuzzSumo to come up with the right blog post ideas. With BuzzSumo, you can search for a specific topic and see the most popular articles written about that topic. You can also get access to social media followers who have shared articles about similar topics in the past.
7. Campaign Monitor – To stay on top of your customer interactions, use Campaign Monitor to send personalized email campaigns to your customers. Using automation, you can trigger messages to be sent based on a subscriber’s location in the customer journey and increase conversion with relevant content. Use Campaign Monitor’s robust analytics to create targeted segments of your email list and send beautiful, templated emails that inspire action.
8. Syte – To give your customers the ability to interact with your inventory, use Syte and show them how your products work in their daily lives. Make your inventory searchable through a photo, or promote specific items through an image of someone using your product. Syte gives your customers the ability to click directly on your inventory to purchase and learn more.
9. Shakr – To create engaging video ads, use Shakr and start publishing high-quality video content to social media. With a stock image gallery and over 2000 video templates, Shakr gives you the ability to create professional-looking videos through their drag and drop builder. You can also perform multivariate tests to see which videos connect best with your audience.
10. MailChimp – Another email marketing service provider, you can use MailChimp to create and send regular email updates about your products to your list of subscribers and customers. For example, you could create email campaigns that offer special coupons to new customers, or you could use email to fill customers in on new products that they might be interested in.
11. WordPress – To connect with new audiences and potential customers, you can use WordPress to create and produce helpful blog posts about your products, industry, or specific pain points that relate to your target audience. If the tool you use to manage your online store doesn’t have a blog feature, WordPress is a good option to explore. It’s free, extremely easy to use, and very versatile.
12. Facebook Ads – To connect with new customers and drive them to your ecommerce site, use Facebook Ads to launch campaigns that target specific users or types of users. Facebook Ads is a great option for ecommerce businesses because the cost is relatively inexpensive compared to other options.
13. OptiMonk – To capture more potential customers before they leave your site, use OptiMonk to create exit-intent popups to display when a visitor makes an attempt to leave your site. You can use OptiMonk to essentially retarget visitors right on your site by tracking user behavior and offering targeted offers to people who might otherwise never return to your ecommerce store.
14. Criteo –To create more compelling ads for visitors, use Criteo to create and launch personalized retargeting ad campaigns. With Criteo, you can convert more shoppers by presenting them with dynamic ads that recommend the best offers and products from your catalog. The tool also allows you to optimise campaign performance by automatically selecting creative components that are likely to drive the most engagement.
15. Drift – To capture more qualified leads on who visits your site, use Drift and create conversational bots that interact with your website visitors. By setting predetermined questions and answers to commonly asked questions and tailoring these questions to different pages on your site, you can help potential new leads find the information they’re looking for quickly and boost conversation on lead generation pages. This tool also gives you the ability to connect with your support team directly for any interactions that require a more “human” touch.
16. Customer.io – To automate your email interactions, use Customer.io to create relevant email campaigns based on your customer’s behavior. You can trigger transactional email to keep your customers up to date with important information and use analytics and segmentation to send relevant newsletters based on detailed customer profiles. Customer.io also integrates with a number of different services through an API.
17. AdEspresso – To optimize your Facebook Ads, use AdEspresso to create simple A/B tests to determine which ads perform better for your audiences. With robust analytics you can easily see how well your campaigns are performing. This tool will also provide suggestions on how best to optimize your campaigns to perform better for certain metrics.
18. The Obvious Social Channels – To build a loyal army of brand advocates, engage regularly and authentically on the social media channels where your target customer spends most of their time. In other words, don’t be active on every social media site because you think it’s necessary — pick the social media sites that your customers and prospective customers use most. Don’t spend all your time posting special offers and photos of your products — take the time to create meaningful relationships with the people who find and follow you on social media.
19. SwiftERM – predictive personalisation software (PPS), for ecommerce marketing. PPS software has many imitators. Companies offering to “segment’ data is not personalisation, not PPS software whatsoever, as to segment by its very definition means lumping people together in segments of your database.
How would you feel if the sites you whop at addressed you as “those people”? PPS software is 100% automated predictive personalisation, meaning it watches each individual consumer on your site, and their perpetual interaction with in.
It monetises the data by ranking all the SKUs in order of being most likely for that person to buy next. It sends details of the selection to the consumer only periodically, so it doesn’t interfere with marketing and promotional email campaigns. It delivers the highest known ROI of all known martech products. This is a great starter solution for those who don’t have the time or money to run an email marketing campaign first. SwiftERM is a leading provider of PPS software.
You can’t grow your ecommerce store if you don’t know what’s working. Analytics is the backbone of growth. Create your hypothesis, test it, measure it – and if it worked, scale it. These are a handful of my favorite ecommerce analytics tools.
20. Google Analytics – To keep a pulse on how users are interacting with your pages and products, take the time to set up Google Analytics on your ecommerce website. With Google Analytics, you can track sessions, users, pageviews, conversion events, time on page, bounce rates, and more. You can also set up reports that can help you identify problems or opportunities in real-time.
21. Moz – Moz is another useful analytics tool for scaling an ecommerce business. With Moz, you can track keyword ranking for your site and for competitor sites, compare mobile vs. desktop rankings, find link opportunities elsewhere on the web, identify keyword opportunities, and crawl your site in order to find and fix any potentially-damaging SEO issues.
22. Kissmetrics – This is another tool that offers powerful data that can be used to identify opportunities and take your ecommerce business to the next level. With Kissmetrics, you can leverage data to determine where your best customers come from, who your best customers are, and how to convert more customers on your website. The tool allows you to view revenue metrics broken down by traffic source, Funnel Reports that give you insight into what’s keeping people from checking out, and visitor profiles.
23. Taplytics – To better understand how customers interact with your product, use Taplytics to experiment, test, and track your various subscriber actions. With their web and mobile testing tools, you can create A/B tests to gather more insights on how specific customers interact with your app. Backed by real-time analytics reporting, you can iterate faster and release features smoothly based on direct customer feedback.
24. Clearbit – Tracking sales interactions and lead generation is very important as you start to scale out your business. Clearbit’s Salesforce integration will automatically update any interactions with your leads based on a number of different sources. This tool will also help track leads through the entire sales funnel, helping you know exactly when to retarget or reach out and close the deal.
25. Metrilo – By combining an analytics platform, email marketing, and a CRM under one roof, Metrilo could be the one-stop shop you’re looking for. This tool is tailored specifically to ecommerce stores and provides users with conversion tracking, sales attribution, cart abandonment, and LTV insights on a real-time basis. You can also set specific goals to track successful purchases as well as retargeting campaigns for one-time customers who have not made a purchase in a certain amount of time.
26. Social Media Analytics – To drive more engagement and conversions from social media, track and evaluate analytics from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social site you use to interact with your target audience online. Measuring social analytics can help you understand which products and content your audience relates and responds to best. There are a lot of great aggregators of this data – but nothing beats the individual tools’ platforms for the best information.
Beyond everything else we talked about above, there are other tools that need to be addressed. These are the tools that make things really fun. Tools that help you with personalization, avoiding MAP policies, and custom search are the big guns of scaling and growing your ecommerce business.
27. BloomReach – This tool can help you personalize and optimize experiences for your website and mobile apps at scale. With BloomReach, you can use the suite of tools offered to improve organic SEO, build better search functionality into your site, and present products to your visitors that are personalized in real-time based on interests. Personalization is definitely taking things up a notch, but if you’ve already figured out the rest of the tools above – then personalization is probably your next big win.
28. PriceWaiter – This tool can help you boost conversions and automate sales campaigns and offers. With PriceWaiter, you can offer pricing match capabilities on your product pages that allow visitors to make offers on your products. You can also use the tool to create compelling call-to-action offers that appear whenever a visitor who hasn’t purchased attempts to exit your website. Finally, you can use PriceWaiter to send automated drip emails containing personalized, limited-time-only offers to potential customers.
29. SearchSpring – This is another powerful personalization tool that you can use to drive more sales and grow your ecommerce business. The platform delivers the most relevant products you offer to visitors who land on your product pages. It utilizes machine learning and predictive artificial intelligence to understand product data and aggregate user behavior to surface the most relevant products across the customer journey.
30. Aimtell – This tool makes it easy to re-engage website visitors with targeted mobile and desktop web push notifications. With this tool, you can send website visitors offers and reminders about your product, even when they don’t have their browser open. Installation is quick and easy and the tool integrates with WordPress and Shopify.
31. Segment – When all of your internal and external processes are working together, running a successful business gets easier. Using Segment, you can make sure that your analytics, email, helpdesk software, and more are all working seamlessly together. This tool gives you the power to connect different providers together and adjust integration settings directly while also having an open source API for developers.
32. Zapier – This platform gives you the option to connect a number of different apps together. Acting as the conduit for different services, you can use Zapier to automate your customer tracking with your payment processor or update a spreadsheet with new purchases. This is a powerful tool that helps you streamline different processes as your business grows