7 E-commerce Tools that Should Be a Part of Your Action Plan


E-commerce accounts for a small part of the overall retail industry. There is, however, no questioning the potentials of e-commerce in today’s market scenario. Global B2C e-commerce sales were around $1 trillion in 2012, says a report from eMarketer and the growth is increasing rapidly.

E-commerce along with technology and product innovation has transformed consumer behavior by providing virtually tailored experiences where brands redefine consumer relationships with social media. But like any other industry, competition is inevitable for e-commerce business. It is also essential, at least to provide greater benefit to consumers.

Digital competition is even more fierce than for a brick and mortar store. It mandates online retailers to be prompt. For example, an online store needs to alter prices and offer discounts faster than a physical store. It is also important to remember that everything in e-commerce is directed towards providing greater benefit to consumers.

To stand a chance in the e-commerce industry therefore, you need to integrate certain marketing e-commerce tools and tactics, smooth logistical operations and communication strategies.

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E-commerce Tools

1. Unbxd

Unbxd is a relatively new entry to the e-commerce marketer’s toolkit. Unbxd provides intelligent, ‘context-aware’ site search and personalized recommendations. Unbxd is a one-stop product discovery solution and gives marketers and merchandisers the tools to optimize their site search and product recommendations.

For e-commerce sites, site search is an incredibly important part of the customer experience. According to econsultancy, over 30 percent of site visitors will use site search and according to one study, visitors using site search converted at 4.63 percent compared to the site’s average of 2.77 percent — over 1.8 times more effective!

Here, Unbxd helps e-commerce sites by offering site search that understands visitor intent, is personalized, error-tolerant (due to spellcheck and advanced autocomplete) offers filters and can be merchandised based on business objectives.

Another area of product discovery that Unbxd solves is product recommendations. First made popular by Amazon, product recommendations are now a mainstay on large and small e-commerce websites alike, resulting in consistent conversion increases of 10 to 30 percent.

By offering personalized recommendations based on user behavior and other important signals, Unbxd helps e-commerce sites personalize the customer journey and increase conversions by 17 percent to 22 percent.

2. Google AdWords

Organic search is an effective method for traffic acquisition and sales promotion, but its conversion rates are not always high. Google AdWords is one tool that can help you promote your e-commerce site more efficiently and also boost sales. You can create and run ads using this tool in Google’s Search and advertising network.

Google Adwords displays your ads depending on their relevance to the keywords used by the searcher(s). Your ads therefore will be transmitted to searchers interested in your products/brand. Since this tools works on ‘Pay Per Click’ basis, it helps you to save on your advertising budget. Furthermore, it provides in-depth insight to help you measure advertising effectiveness to assess the attractiveness of your marketing message.

3. Optimizely

This is one of the best tools for A/B testing, which is used to measure the impact of changes of two variants in design. A/B testing helps you to test different layouts, colors, and copy on your e-commerce website to determine what converts best and leads to higher revenue.

Optimizely is used by some of the big brands including Fab and Sony. This tool offers a selection of packages to support different levels of engagement. For an online store with less than 2,000 monthly visitors, the basic package is a good start.

It works as your on-demand technical team and other advantages of Optimizely include instant testing capability, scheduled test, easy customization with visual point and click editor, and track engagement, clicks, conversions and more. Optimizely can be integrated with various popular analytics tools such as Google Analytics, SiteCatalyst, and KISSmetrics.

4. SearchSpring

This is a popular site navigation solution that helps online retailers to connect shoppers with relevant products and boost sales. Some of the largest eCommerce brands like Stanley Black & Decker have used SearchSpring for their advanced website search and category navigations.

Using SearchSpring you can collect better search data, optimize auto-complete, provide relevant search results, provide automatic search redirect and drive search conversions. It unleashes findability with advanced site navigation solutions to boost your E-commerce sales. You can gain insights like ‘Top Search Queries’ and ‘No Results Found’ using this platform.

5. Zendesk

Want to enhance your customer service without spending a fortune?

Zendesk is the tool you should look for. It helps you to provide better customer service without having a customer service team. This tool has a plethora of advanced features that allow you to create customer support tickets, resolve tickets, use templatized solutions, create self-help sections, and track your customer service performance.

It collects all of the questions/issues raised by customers through phone calls, social networks, email, chat or search and compiles them in one place. You can even have proactive conversations with your customers using Zendesk and send them surveys. Brands like Groupon and Gilt are using this software for their customer service solution.

6. Crazy Egg

Heat-map and scroll-map are important insights for e-commerce sites. Tools like Crazy Egg allow you to see which parts of your web pages your visitors click on so that you can gain a better understanding of how your visitors engage with your online store. Such insights play a significant role in improving your conversion rates.

Some of the biggest e-commerce brands like Amazon, eBay, Zappos and Dell are using Crazy Egg for heat mapping. Using this tool you can see which pages get the maximum amounts of clicks. Besides, the scrolling maps show how far down your visitors are scrolling.

7. Bounce Exchange

Bounce Exchange is based on “exit intent” technology. Online retailers often overlook the potential of this call to action, but exit intent can actually skyrocket your sales figures. Bounce Exchange shows the call to action when a visitor is about to leave your website with the intention of grabbing their attention with an exciting offer via a lightbox.

This tool tracks visitors’ cursor movements in real time. The goal is to capture a lead before visitors leave your site. It is a much better option than displaying those annoying popups to bug your visitors as soon as they enter. Among other big players in the e-commerce industry, PacSun is already leveraging this software to enhance the company’s conversion rates.

Conclusion

These are only a few e-commerce tools that should be a part of your plan and there are more. All of these tools have potentials to increase your sales in their own way.

However, remember that what works for one online store may not work for you. You need to therefore experiment with various e-commerce tools and find out what works best for your business. Don’t be afraid to test!

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

11 Comments ▼

Pratik Dholakiya


Pratik Dholakiya Pratik Dholakiya is the co-founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile app development company. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat's UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. During weekends, he runs TheContentMarketer, a content marketing newsletter.

11 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Really good tools you have here. I am using Adwords and Zendesk and they are great. I am excited to check out the others as you have included them in the list with some of the tools that I commonly use.

  2. Thanks for the post. I recently published a new ecommerce site. Will definitely check out Crazy Egg. I always use adwords and find I can get good results if my ads are well targeted.

  3. UNBXD is amazing and I’d highly recommend you check it out if your site carries a lot of items. The ability to merchandise is great and we love the reporting.

  4. You forgot to put in a reporting platform that gives you more information on what is happening on your site and in-depth information on your customers/products/transactions. These systems are paramount as they make sure you are running a profitable business.

  5. Great post. All the points you mentioned are important but instant 24/7 customer support are really important for ecommerce websites.

  6. Great list of tools. I think live chat is an important piece of the ecommerce puzzle. At CallUs.video, we believe the use of live video calls will be a big trend. If you think about it, giving the visitor an opportunity to start a video call with your customer service reps, would allow a level of interaction that text, email and phone simply cannot match. You will to see exactly what your customers are asking about and be able to direct them to an item or help in ways you previously could not, and all in real time!

  7. How about email marketing tools for ecommerce – you haven’t mentioned. IMHO, email marketing in ecommerce business – is the essential marketing channel.

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