Starting a new business can be daunting. The ecommerce space is doubly so, with wafer thin margins and competition chewing through any profits you might hope to make.
In this hyper-competitive environment, every bit of help goes a long way in giving your business an extra edge. When this help comes in the form of tools that make individual aspects of your business more efficient, it makes sense to welcome them with both hands.
So, as we enter all bells ringing into 2016, let’s examine a few such tools that work behind the scenes to help you market and sell your goods digitally while running a successful online business.
Need #1: Building Traffic to Your Site
How would you like it if you get traffic referrals from other sites for specific products that you want to promote? Perfect, right? That’s exactly what DandyLoop helps you do. This cross-referral engine allows stores to receive referral traffic from other ecommerce stores that operate in non-competing domains but cater to the same customer type.
That means, if you sell video game consoles targeted at teenage boys, you could potentially get referral traffic from sports websites, clothing retailers or any other online store that targets the same demographic. In return, your site will send over customers who did not buy anything from you to other sites where they can be more valuable to some other retailer – an arrangement that is win-win to the core!
Need #2: Lead Generation
Getting traffic to your ecommerce site is great, but is the traffic that you get worth pursuing? Should you be spending precious resources trying to convert your site visitors?
Snitcher gives you a clear answer to those questions. With Snitcher, you can identify which company each visitor came from and what actions they performed on your site. The tool helps you weed out the unimportant traffic from the real meat and build segments of users based on their profile and behavioral data. These leads can then be fed into your CRM system to nurture them further into paying customers.
Need #3: Growing Conversions
Every website, whether ecommerce or not needs to work on maximizing their conversion rates. Every visitor that leaves your site without downloading an asset, signing up for a newsletter, or even buying something stands for wasted marketing dollars. Marketizator is a tool that helps you get the most bang for your marketing bucks.
With this tool you can not only carry out A/B tests to zero in on the best layout options for your landing pages, you can also personalize your site content with triggered messages based on the user’s behavior on the site. The tool allows for precision communication with audience segmentation another key feature that ensures that there is no spillage in your message and marketing spends.
Need #4: Product Assortment & Order Processing
One of the strongest suits that any ecommerce site can have is a wide variety of products on offer or product assortment. The problem with a massive product line is that all of those items take up endless warehousing space and need agreements with hundreds of different suppliers.
OrderStream fixes that problem by offering a single platform where you can connect with thousands of suppliers for any product you want to sell in your store. The problem of stocking these products is taken care of via the option of drop ship offered by OrderStream’s suppliers. The cherry on the cake? OrderStream also has an excellent order management system that helps you generate shipping lists, manage inventory, track orders in transit and update delivery information to your customers on a near real-time basis.
Need #5: Reliable Payment Processing
Tool: Gravity Payments
Setting your site up with a great payment processor is important for two reasons. First, your users’ financial data needs to be 100% secure. A strong payment processing infrastructure makes sure that there are no leaks in the system and your users are not met with nasty surprises, thanks to your site. Secondly, the fee you pay to your payment processor should be reasonable enough so that it doesn’t eat into your margins (which, for most ecommerce sites are wafer-thin to begin with).
Gravity Payments holds good on both measures. Not only is it highly rated from a security perspective, its merchant fees are one of the lowest in the market. If you own a brick and mortar store, you can accept payments using Gravity’s POS systems or even accept payments via your mobile phone.
Need #6: Quick & Cheap Delivery
One of the biggest roadblocks to ecommerce conversions is poor shipping policies. This could mean high shipping costs, long shipping delays or even hidden costs for shipping that are sprung as a surprise on the user at the very end of the transaction. Therefore, offering shoppers a cheap, quick and reliable shipping alternative takes high priority in the world of ecommerce.
Enter Shippo. This simple shipping API allows online stores to connect directly with multiple shipping partners using a single platform. Owing to the bulk quantities that are processed via Shippo’s platforms, it offers ecommerce sellers shipping rates that are much lower than retail rates. Not only does it allow you to print your own shipping labels for each package, it also allows you to track them in real time.
Need #7: Staying Connected with Email Marketing
Ecommerce businesses have access to several great digital marketing and advertising channels when it comes to connecting with their customers at their disposal to connect with their customers. However, do customers want to let brands into their private corners in these spaces? What are their preferences when it comes to being sold to? Google and MessageSystems surveyed 500 people from the US to get a clearer picture:
A full quarter of those consumers who were receptive to communications about offers, deals and coupons from brands wanted to be contacted through email. In comparison, just 5% preferred to be notified through social media, second from the bottom only to highly intrusive and irritating push notifications.
GetResponse is an all-in-one email marketing solution for ecommerce businesses, with features that allow you to build a list of targeted subscribers, divide them into targeted segments based on their purchase behavior, create responsive email templates integrated with forms and landing pages, send messages triggered by specific actions or times, and test and run effective drip campaigns to convert shoppers and retain customers in general.
Over to You
So, that was my take on tools that make life a lot easier (not to say, more profitable!) for ecommerce businesses. Know of any other tools that have given you great results? Share them in the comments with us, we’d love to hear from you!