Research indicates that revenues from e-commerce will more than double their current rate and grow to $4.88 trillion by 2021. That means if you’re in the e-commerce industry, your business has a lot of potential to grow quickly. But to grow successfully, you need the right set of tools. As you close out 2018 and look ahead, make sure to invest in these 10 essential tools.
- The right WordPress Hosting: CanSpace Solutions
WordPress websites are the most popular types of websites for any business to set up, including e-commerce businesses. WordPress is intuitive, easy-to-use and widely accessible. Small websites, like personal blogs, can manage without WordPress hosting. However, a growing e-commerce business needs the right WordPress hosting company to manage your storage space so your website can run smoothly, without downtime, and keep your customers’ private information secure. CanSpace’s WordPress hosting ranges from $4.99/month to $22.99/month, and includes extra disk space, encryption and 24/7 support so your website can run smoothly at all times.
- A customized chatbot: Chatfuel
Chatbots are starting to become mainstream, so your e-commerce site risks falling behind the competition if you don’t build one. A chatbot can automate the process of shopping online by giving automatic responses to frequently asked questions, which can cut down drastically on wait times, and keep customers from bouncing from your page. It can also simplify the process of ordering online. The best part is, you don’t need a full-time developer to create one for you. Chatfuel is an easy-to-use tool that lets you build your own Chatbot in a matter of minutes that’s fully customized to your business and website. Prices start at $15/month.
- Automated social media marketing: Meet Edgar
Social media marketing has become a necessity in the world of e-commerce, but it can be time-consuming to create new posts every day to stream across all your social media channels. A social media marketing managing platform like Meet Edgar makes it easy to schedule posts weeks in advance on all your channels. Meet Edgar is unique among social media marketing managers in that it allows you to organize your posts by type (marketing, company news, etc.). You let Edgar know when you want your types of posts to send, and he’ll automatically schedule them for you. Pricing starts at $49/month.
- Email provider: Mailchimp
Your email list is your greatest asset as an e-commerce business, so you need to leverage that list to generate business and retain customers. Mailchimp is the most prolific email marketing tool, and for good reason. Its simple and intuitive interface makes it a breeze to set up, even if you’ve never run email marketing before. You can send personalized and branded emails to all your subscribers. It also has bonus features, like built-in analytics, a way to A/B test subject lines and drag-and-drop tools for easy email design. Try it for free, then upgrade starting at $10/month.
- Analytics: Metrilo
Google Analytics has its place, but an e-commerce website should have analytics specifically targeting e-commerce. Metrilo automatically collects data from your orders and provides you with actionable ways to improve your business, all in real time. It can let you know when you have customers who haven’t placed orders in a while, so you can actively engage with them, and it also has tools for email marketing and e-commerce CRM. Get a free 14-day trial, then upgrade starting at $119/month.
- A/B testing: CrazyEgg
The only way to improve your website is to know how people are using it so you can figure out what is and isn’t working. CrazyEgg is a tool that provides you with an easy platform to A/B test your website, giving you visual analytics and heat maps so you can see exactly where your site visitors click and how far they scroll on every page. You can try CrazyEgg free for one month, then pay as low as $29/month.
- Point of sale: Shopify POS
Perhaps one of the most important functions of any e-commerce website is the ability for customers to pay you directly from your website. Shopify POS provides a smooth transaction process for your customers and gives you additional insight into shoppers’ behaviors and patterns. It automatically creates a customer profile, and you can collect email addresses at the point of transaction. Use the email addresses and shopping history to send targeted emails. Try it out free for 14 days, then upgrade starting at $29/month.
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- Email signup: SumoMe
Getting people to sign up for emails can be a challenge. SumoMe helps e-commerce sites solve this challenge by prompting site visitors with a pop-up that requests their email when they are about to exit your website. You can customize the pop-up box to fully optimize it for your site audience. They offer a free 14-day trial that doesn’t require a credit card. If you like the tool, you can continue using the basic version for free or upgrade starting at $29/month.
- Ads: Facebook ads
Facebook ads is an essential tool to master so you can reach your target audience on Facebook. Set up a business Facebook page, then use Facebook ads to have your ads appear on your targeted audience’s news feed and beyond. They have built-in measurement tools to help you track progress and adjust based on the data you receive. With over 1.3 billion people using Facebook messenger, getting your business set up on Facebook ads is an essential strategy.
- Personalized email reach: Rebump
It’s easy for your inbox to become cluttered and unorganized, which can make it difficult to track who has opened your email and who needs a follow-up. Rebump is a free extension for Chrome and Firefox that works with Gmail and Google apps to automatically send customized follow-up emails (bumps) to recipients at set times until the recipient responds. The extension is free. Try the service free for 30 days, and then upgrade starting at $5/month.
Use these tools to leverage your e-commerce business and get 2019 started off right. Most of them offer free trials, which gives you time to see which ones work best for your business.
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