Ecommerce today is huge. With 25% of adults in the US regularly shopping online, this gives you an idea of how big this market is, and the opportunities it presents for e-commerce businesses.
However, with this demand, come supply. Any e-commerce business today has a great deal of competition, with estimates of anywhere between 12 and 24 million e-commerce businesses operating today.
This means that as an e-commerce business it is imperative to stay ahead of the competition. To do this, you’ll need to be using the latest and best e-commerce tools. Let’s take a look at the best e-commerce business tools.
CMS Tool: BigCommerce
As an e-commerce business, your content is a central part of your business model. As an online store, your virtual shop front is how customers interact with you, how they discover your products, and what will eventually convince them to buy your products (or not). In order to achieve all of this, you will need an effective e-commerce website platform or content management system (CMS) tool.
Your CMS tool will let you create your shop front, update content, and track performance. This is important not just when you are building your virtual store but as your business grows and progresses. As an e-commerce store, your website will not be static but will be constantly changing as you add new products, eliminate old ones, and so on.
BigCommerce is a great CMS system that is suitable for various e-commerce businesses of all sizes. One of the great advantages of this tool is that it is designed specifically for e-commerce businesses. Although many website builders have options for creating online stores these days, there is much to be said for using an e-commerce-specific tool.
Because BigCommerce is geared specifically towards e-commerce sites, it has a range of features and tools designed to help you drive sales. It is also highly customizable, allowing you to tailor your site to your niche and your audience.
Other great features of this tool are those geared to help you drive more conversions, such as one-touch buy features that encourage your visitors to buy products and reduce the chances of cart abandonment.
It is also a very user-friendly tool, allowing apps to be easily installed. You don’t need to have any coding knowledge to build or update your online store with BigCommerce, thanks to its easy to use drag and drop interface.
SEO Tool: Ahrefs
In 2020, SEO is one of the most powerful ways you can promote your business. This is true across just about any sector, but even more so for the e-commerce industry. 85% of online consumers do search online before making their online purchases.
This means that there is a huge online market of potential shoppers available for you to tap into. But to be able to do this, you need to come up in their search results. And to do that you need great SEO.
As SEO has become more and more important in recent years, it has also become more complicated. Google’s algorithm is changing and developing all the time, becoming more and more sophisticated. Equally, many businesses are investing more in SEO, making this area more competitive, and making it more difficult to rank for those with limited (or no) expertise in this area.
In this context, it is often best to hire an SEO specialist to refine your SEO strategy and rank your site. However, this is not within everyone’s budget. Furthermore, even if you hire an SEO consultant, you’ll need to do some level of SEO maintenance yourself. In both scenarios, you’ll need a great SEO tool to help you.
There is a range of SEO tools around, but one of the best all-round SEO solutions is Ahrefs. With this tool, you can conduct in-depth keyword research to know which words you should be using on your site to come up in your ideal customers’ searches.
You can also use Ahrefs to run competitor analysis, to learn what is working for your competitors and what is not working so well, meaning you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and you can learn from their mistakes. This handy tool also has a range of other functions like showing you the backlink profile of sites for link building purposes.
It must be acknowledged that Ahrefs does require an investment, with monthly subscriptions starting at $99 per month and going up from there. However, for this, you do get a quality tool and comprehensive support.
Shopping Cart Tool: Vendio
For any e-commerce business, your shopping cart is one of the most important parts of the buying process. This is where your visitor turns into a customer, and when you actually secure your sale. This is also one of the most precarious parts of the online sale process: data shows that a staggering 80% of customers abandon their shopping cart.
It is therefore essential that you have a well-functioning shopping cart tool that encourages as many customers to complete their purchase as possible. After all, if your potential customers get as far as the shopping cart but never check out, this is worth literally nothing to you.
There are many reasons why a customer may abandon their cart, and a number of these have nothing to do with the product or your system. However, research shows that one of the many reasons for shopping cart abandonment is the buyer’s lack of trust in the process. If they do not think payment will be secure, for example, they will not go through with their purchase.
One of the great advantages of Vendio is that it allows you to sell through well-known and well-trusted platforms such as eBay, Amazon, and Facebook, as well as on your own site. This is a great asset because shoppers know and trust these platforms and therefore feel comfortable entering their credit card details.
Vendio is also very user-friendly, making it easy to set up a professional-level shopping cart system that will process payments for you with zero coding knowledge. This tool works on a monthly fee-based system, which many businesses find easier to manage than platforms that take a percentage of the transaction.
CRO Tool: RJ Metrics
One of the most common, revenue-killing e-commerce mistakes is focusing too much on getting visitors to your store, and not enough on conversions. There are two key parts of the e-commerce picture: driving traffic to your store or listings, and converting that traffic into sales.
For the second part of this equation, you need to work on CRO, or customer rate optimization. CRO is all about optimizing the rate at which your visitors convert into customers. Or, in other words, the number of visitors that buy your products. Improve your conversion rate and you will boost your bottom line: simple.
The key to improving your conversion rates is in understanding your visitors’ behavior. Analyzing what your visitors do when they are on your site lets you work out why some are choosing to buy products, and why some are not, and the specific pages of fields that are impacting on this. You can look at the areas of your site where visitors spend the most time and linger the longest and the places where they click most often. All of this will help you to do more of what is working and eliminate the things that aren’t.
Kissmetrics is a tool that allows you to do just that, analyzing your site and reporting on important metrics. Kissmetrics is ideal for many e-commerce business owners because it presents analysis and reports in easy to understand ways, meaning even those with little experience in this area can interpret the data and get the insights they need.
One of these is the tool’s unique Path Report, that gives you an overview of the most frequent path that visitors take from first arriving on your site to their final conversion. This can show you the cracks in the process where visitors are leaving before conversion, and also may show you some opportunities you hadn’t thought of.
Kissmetrics also comes with a range of funnel-building tools helping you to create the perfect sales funnel to capture your website visitors and funnel them through to the final sale.
Design Tool: Packhelp
There are many elements of an e-commerce company that relate to design, from the design of your online store to the design of your packaging. All of these elements are important because they affect how your customers see your brand and can portray certain brand values.
Having all visual elements related to your brand portray a consistent brand image that represents what you want your brand to be, whether this is professional, innovative, personable, or something else, is essential.
Packhelp is a great tool to strengthen your design and branding when it comes to your packaging. The packages that your products are delivered in a very powerful way of conveying your brand to your customers.
If you think about it, the custom packaging of Amazon and other big brands is something that sets them apart from their customers. You can have this advantage too by using Packhelp to create your own custom packaging that speaks to your brand values.
Packhelp allows you to design custom product packaging easily through their app. With the app, you can choose from a range of packaging types and sizes, and then create your own custom design.
Ecommerce is a consumer-based industry and, as such, your customers should be key to everything you do. CRM (customer relationship management) tools are essential to keeping your customers happy: they allow you to track and manage customer queries and complaints, monitor customer feedback, track customer experience overall, and maximize customer retention.
There are a variety of ways you can build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business for your online store. These include email marketing, social media channels, blogs, and more. However, to be able to execute these tactics effectively, you’ll need a great CRM system to back them up. Your CRM system allows you to compile data about your customers, track interactions and more, allowing you to create effective content, send targeted emails, measure the success of your social media campaigns, and more.
One of the best CRM tools for e-commerce businesses is Zoho. This CRM tool is ideal for collecting customer data and using it to build stronger customer relationships. It has a range of features to support this, such as sales forecasting, mass emailing, reports, and more. It also uses AI-based software to run algorithms that will help you to grow your business.
Being cloud-based makes Zoho easy to access, and you can also use it through its iOS and Android apps. This is also one of the most affordable CRM solutions out there, with the standard plan starting at $15 a month, and coming with a comprehensive set of features.
Inventory Management Tool: Veeqo
Inventory management is another important aspect of running your e-commerce platform. Proper inventory management is essential to making sure deliveries run properly, systems function well, and that your bottom line is protected. It is also important to stop perishable products from expiring, or other expensive stock losses.
Veeqo is an inventory management tool designed specifically for e-commerce, set up to let you manage orders, ship products, and track your inventory. You can link Veeqo to your sales channels in order to synch your inventory, meaning that stock levels will be updated in real-time as soon as sales are made. This is great for making sure you don’t oversell products and disappoint your customers.
Even if you have multiple vendors, suppliers, and warehouses, you can use Veeqo to manage and keep an eye on inventory. It also allows you to create product bundles and bulk edit inventory, as well as view complete inventory history.
This is a comprehensive inventory tool that will save you a lot of time in the long run, though it should be noted that initial set up and training does take some time.