5 Essential Tools to Get Your Ecommerce Business Up & Running
Continuing our theme of New Year, New Business we invited Niraj from Hiver to share the essential tools that he recommends any new ecommerce business should use in order to get up and running.
Say you have an new online ecommerce store that’s filled with goods and products carefully curated by you and are unique one-of-a-kind things offered at reasonable prices and yet, your business doesn’t seem to be doing very well.
What could be going wrong? Well there could be a number of reasons, but I often find that one major reason is not taking advantage of the technology that your competitors are. Obviously, a business that sends cart abandonment emails will recover more lost sales than a business that doesn’t, you see my point?
So here are some basic essential tools you should consider using when setting up your new business:
Ecommerce is, in a way, a battle for consumer dollars and Google Analytics (affectionately known as GA) is an important tool to have in your arsenal.
It provides you with the information and details about your visitors that can help you understand how to increase your conversions or find new customers.
In fact, GA is like a report card that shows you how you are doing with some telling metrics such as bounce rate, page views etc. Understanding what is going wrong and what is working can help you formulate a more successful business strategy.
The setup of the tool itself is very easy, but understanding it’s many features and metrics, and what each of them signify to your business can take some time. The charts, graphs, and number may seem thoroughly perplexing at first, but there are good number guides, tutorials and tools to help you with that.
Collaboration is an important aspect in running your business operations successfully. Achieving great collaboration is hard enough even when your whole team is sitting together, so think about the ecommerce companies that run on virtual teams!
Hiver is a tool that converts your email into a powerful collaboration tool. By giving many additional features to your inbox such as Shared Labels, Shared Notes, Email Reminders, Shared Mailbox and many more, Hiver makes communicating with your team, delegating tasks, monitoring tasks, managing email etc, a walk in the park.
This no nonsense minimalistic tool, eliminates turns email from bothersome to absolutely handy.
For example, when you have assign a task via email to a team member, you can create a label ‘Task: John’ and share the label with John. After John finishes working on the task, he can create another label, ‘Task: Done’. This way you can easily delegate and monitor a given email task.
Building a customer-centric business is the key to succeed.Happy customers come back and also generate good word-of-mouth for you. But keeping customers happy is no easy task.
Many ecommerce businesses, especially when starting out, won’t have enough budget to invest in a full-scale customer support team and tools, but if you don’t provide good enough customer support you are done before you start.
For businesses in this situation, Zendesk is an especially great option. It allows you to offer customer service through every possible channel, without costing you much. In fact their lowest plans start at $1 per month.
The tool has garnered many positive reviews on the internet and is especially known for it’s ease of use. Another excellent thing about this tool is that it collects complaints and issues on various platforms such as the chat tool, email, social media etc and compiles them all in one place.
Did you know that email marketing has 323% greater conversion rate than social media marketing?
Despite the talk about email’s demise and collapse, it has been becoming more and more powerful especially in the email marketing scene. In fact, many businesses start working on building an email list from day one and consider it as one of the most important assets and rightly so.
Now, personally I think MailChimp is the one and the only tool you will need for your email marketing. The tool allows you to send emails with product updates and newsletters to your subscriber list driving repeat business and conversions from them. For example, you can create an email campaign offering coupons or free trials for your new product update.
You can use this tool for sending abandoned cart emails too, as these emails can recover 29% of the lost sales. You can send bulk emails and track the orders you get from these email campaigns. The tool itself is intuitive and very easy to use.
5. Crazy Egg
Some of the most important insights for an ecommerce website include heat-maps and scroll maps. Crazy Egg is a tool that allows you to see where the visitors for your web pages click so that you can understand what engages your audience and what doesn’t.
This information is very important to be able to boost your conversion rate. Crazy Egg is pretty popular tool for heat mapping and is being used by companies such as Amazon and Dell.
This tool helps you see which pages on your website are getting the maximum amount of clicks and scroll maps allows you to see how far down readers are actually scrolling on each webpage.
By taking a screenshot of the specific URL, the tool collects all the clicks on the page and uses a data visualization tool to create these insightful maps for you. It is a pretty straightforward tool and is quite resourceful.
These tools work together to help you control those aspects of your business which seem to be uncontrollable at first glance, such as cart abandonment.
It is true that there are about a gazillion tools out there, some are amazing and other not-so much. Picking the right tools that support your business goals, your company working style etc. is extremely important.
Remember that not every tech tool will work for you. Having said that, the above list has tools that are popular choices and is, therefore, a great place to start.
Niraj is the founder of Hiver (hiverhq.com), an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool.