E-commerce growth increased by unprecedented amounts during the pandemic as most of the retail outlets and shopping malls shut down. The trend follows even after that and is expected to continue even beyond. A study says that e-commerce sales worldwide in 2021 accounted for 4.9 trillion USD. This is expected to rise to 7.4 trillion USD by 2025 (Source: Statista).
With online shopping becoming widely practiced today, many businesses are making their products and services for sale online. However, running an e-commerce business successfully is quite difficult in a world where there are over 2 to 3 million e-stores. To beat the competition, establish yourself, facilitate viral marketing, make sales, gain loyal customers, and generate a steady flow of income, you need to employ the best ecommerce tools.
This blog discusses eight must-have e-commerce tools to help you stay ahead of your competitors.
When you choose to run an e-commerce business, the most elementary need is an e-commerce platform. It is the backbone of online stores. It has features that allow you to build and run an online storefront. There are a variety of storefront platforms available over the net. Some of these are-
Each of these platforms has a different set of tools and services to aid in e-store management. So, before you pick a platform for your e-commerce business, ensure that it offers the services and themes you need to effectively execute your e-commerce strategies and achieve your goals.
Integrating a variety of payment methods into your e-commerce platform can facilitate collecting money from customers for the products they purchase. There are several third-party payment providers used commonly by e-stores. These include-
There are also more options when it comes to digital payment systems. We suggest that you offer as many payment options as possible so that customers can choose what they prefer. This way, you can increase your conversion rates.
Email is one of the most common and effective marketing channels employed by e-commerce businesses. Email marketing helps you spread brand awareness, nurture leads through different marketing funnel stages, promote products, and update prospects and customers.
There are a variety of full-fledged tools to help in customer segmentation, personalizing emails, automating email marketing, tracking and following up abandoned carts, getting analytical reports on the performance of your campaigns, and more. Here are some of the most popular email marketing platforms-
Another necessity for running e-commerce businesses is shipping services. Nowadays, many reliable third-party shipping service providers offer affordable logistics. You just need to integrate your e-store’s shipping with one of them. Some of the popular options in this regard are-
While making your pick consider factors like seamless integration with your e-commerce platform, free/low-cost and fast shipping, label printing, return support, threshold-based shipment discounts, multiple sales channel support, intuitive software interface, multiple shipping options, and tracking support.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is crucial for e-commerce businesses more than any other business. This is because every transaction is made online and a customer instantly gets online to voice opinions, concerns, experiences, and complaints. Integrating CRM software into your e-store can ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. You can get them to even actively participate in your brand ambassador program.
A CRM tool helps deliver the best customer experience and build relationships as it keeps track of and condenses customer data 24×7. It helps you in gaining better comprehension of supply and demand, ensuring smooth site navigation, rendering better customer service, smoothing out the checkout process, lowering costs, reducing the risk of loss, and more.
Some of the popular CRM software used by e-stores are-
The tracking and evaluation of all of your e-commerce business’s data is vital for gaining valuable insights into business growth. You need to know details about how customers discovered your existence, how you acquired them, who your customers are, how they converted, what behaviors they exhibit online, what factors play major roles in retaining them, and what you can do to promote customer advocacy.
There are a variety of tracking and analytics tools available over the net to help you track different metrics like average conversion rate, bounce rate, cart abandonment rate, revenue per visitor, sessions with checkout, sessions with transactions, average order value, ROI across different marketing channels, etc. Based on these, you can optimize your marketing to generate better returns on investment.
Here is a list of the popular tracking and analytics tools-
Customers are your business’s fundamental assets. Investing in serving them excellently can be one of your best business growth strategies. Using an e-commerce customer service tool can help you find ways to support customers, build customer loyalty, and delight them. This in turn can help generate repeat sales and get customers to become your brand advocates.
These tools can act as your one-stop customer support destination that keeps track of all customer communications, employs a customer support ticket system, and manages your customer service staff. Some software may have the functionality to initiate a chat with a shopper to identify and help resolve any confusion he/she is facing in navigating your site.
Some of the reputed e-commerce customer service tools are-
Price comparison engines are software which, when a shopper types a search query for product information, collects and displays the many similar products available from all participating retailers and the pricing and offers on each of those in a single results page. So, your shoppers will be able to compare costs, shipping options, services, and offers/discounts from multiple retailers effortlessly to find the best overall value product.
Such software helps e-commerce businesses make an informed pricing strategy. You won’t be pricing goods at your store too high to ward off customers nor too low to make no profit. Some of the best price comparison engines available today are-
There are also other tools such as reputation management software, social media management software, re-targeting, and re-engagement tools, price match tools, linking tools, sales tax compliance tools, pricing intelligence tools, and much more available. You can also make use of these to help you beat the competition and smoothly run a successful e-commerce business.
We have discussed eight of the must-have e-commerce tools for effectively running your site. Under each type of software, we’ve suggested several options to choose from. Make wise choices so that the tool meets all your needs and preferences. This way, you’ll be able to prove an outstanding shopping experience to your customers and thereby strengthen their brand affinity.