Partner Content

7 Tools every e-commerce store needs

on


Online sales have become the bread and butter for even brick and mortar businesses, while ecommerce sites are preferred by new businesses due to their lower overheads. Regardless of your business structure, you can always take steps to improve your online sales. Here are 7 tools every e-commerce store needs. We’ll also explain why each of these tools is so invaluable.

Google analytics

The counter at the bottom of a blog is nearly useless information. Yes, you know how many people visit the website. What are their demographics? This tells you who is actually walking in the digital front door. Maybe your visitors aren’t the ones you were actually targeting; you may need to alter your presentation and marketing to better attract your ideal customer or find out how to appeal to those who are visiting the site. Which websites are they coming from? This information allows you to know which sites your best referrers are, including those you don’t know about. And Google Analytics gives you all of this information in somewhat pre-digested form.

It also tells you information about each subdomain. Which pages are generating the most traffic? Hint: it may not be your prime marketing content or homepage. You may need to put links on your most trafficked domains to lead visitors to where they’ll buy items or book an appointment with your service providers.

Furthermore, the site gives you some technical information about your visitors in aggregate. Which browsers are they using? What are their language settings? This could be a hint you need to make sure your website is compatible with less common devices like Blackberries or the Windows phone.

Note that if you’re concerned about privacy and control of your data, Piwik is a good alternative to Google Analytics. Piwik is free and contains a number of similar analytics. The benefit of this tool is that you have full control over your data. It can also be integrated with ecommerce platforms like PrestaShop and Magento.

Google webmaster tools

The Google Webmaster Tools are primarily used to index your site and look for issues like broken links. Another use of Google Webmaster Tools is checking your SEO. What are the most commonly searched keywords that lead people to your site? And how does that compare to how you planned the search engine optimization of each page? Google Webmaster tools lets you know which sites need to be tweaked to fit the key search terms you want to dominate with each page. The related Google keyword planner allows you to see the keywords you want to target versus the general demographics of who searches for those terms.

Hootsuite

Social media outreach is critical to online marketing today. Search engines consider it such a strong measure of the quality of content that it is one of the top factors in determining your page’s search engine results page ranking.

The challenge for business owners is managing social media. Hootsuite lets you manage all of your business’ social media accounts from one place. You can plan your next few blog posts and schedule when your social media profiles will automatically distribute the links to them.

A solid wordpress host

WordPress hosting is popular for blogs. What many don’t realize is that you can integrate ecommerce into your WordPress site. If you have a blog promoting your books, add in a WordPress ecommerce plugin that lets you sell your ebooks or distributes your subscription only newsletter to your customers. Or integrate ecommerce sales of swag to support your blog.

When it comes to WordPress hosting (the best of which have been rounded up by wpbeginner.com), increase sales conversions by having a fast site and equally fast processing of online orders.

A side benefit of using ecommerce plugins on a well-managed WordPress site is the fact that you don’t have to deal with affiliate accounts or worry about them pulling the deal because they don’t like your content. There’s a certain advantage selling something directly on your website instead of relying on Google ads, since Google can always have a say on ad revenue.

Note that WordPress is a safe and secure way to sell items online, and it is certainly simpler to implement than trying to build a secure checkout process linked to a payment processor on your own website. You may even want to set up ecommerce on your WordPress site instead of setting up a brand-new website specifically for ecommerce; you’ll keep the IT costs low, assuming your webhost can handle the demand and deliver pages crisp, clear and error free.

Surveymonkey

Surveymonkey is a free survey website (up to a certain number of responses) that you can connect with your website so that you get feedback from your customers as well as those who just came by for a look. You can ask them about what they like about the site, what turned them off from buying, what they liked about the checkout process and what you could improve. Instead of running A/B testing to see what works, you can ask your audience what works for them and what you should change. You can use these surveys, too, to ask them about brand engagement, awareness of upcoming products and general opinions of the company.

If you need something even more in depth, Hotjar lets you generate heat maps, conversion funnels and analyze forms.

Flickr creative commons

Creative commons refer to images that you can use for free, typically with attribution to the original creator. You want to use images that are in the public domain or creative commons on your website and blog posts, since this saves you money and eliminates the risk of being sued for intellectual property theft. Just make sure you follow the right rules for attribution. The benefit of Flickr over the general public domain is that you can find modern, appropriate, high resolution images versus the older, dated images that make up the majority of the public domain.

Optinmonster

OptinMonster is the perfect tool for automating testing of your website’s design and marketing content. For example, you can set up A/B split testing of web page designs through OptinMonster. You can try out page level targeting and multiple form types. The system does all of the data analysis for you. Its greatest benefit may be the exit-intent technology, where it generates a popup to engage the person when it thinks the person will leave. This improves your conversion rate while generating critical information to understand why people they aren’t buying.

All these tools will help you monitor and achieve your goals for your eCommerce site. Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are the fundamental tools for understanding who is visiting your website, the demographics of your audience and the SEO of your website relative to where you’re trying to be.

Hootsuite is great for social media management and is a great time saver. You can also use tools like Surveymonkey which is the perfect tool for small businesses trying to survey current visitors, or a tool like Optinmonster’s conversion software allows you to automate A/B testing of website designs and forms. Flickr Creative Commons is also a great resource if you need stock images, but do not want to pay every time for top photography.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

Recommended for you

What Do You Think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *