2019 is here and it’s a chance to refresh your mindset and focus on the growth of your eCommerce platform.
The eCommerce space is an exciting place to be, especially when you consider how much room for growth there is.
In 2018, 11.9% of all retail was attributed to eCommerce, this number is expected to increase to 17.5% in 2019. Considering that retailers reported $3.53 trillion in sales in 2017, I think it's safe to say that eCommerce has a big future in our world.
This means there is definitely enough eCommerce pie for you to get a slice, but you’re going to have to work hard for it as the competition fierce.
The world of eCommerce is highly competitive. In most cases, there are loads of businesses selling what you’re selling or offering the same service as you are. Then of course, there are the eCommerce giants of the world like Amazon and eBay. These tech giants are changing the game entirely by making it possible for anyone to sell products, from anywhere, at anytime.
The key to growing a successful eCommerce business is working hard and working smart.
Luckily, there are some useful tools to help you market, run, and analyse your eCommerce platform as it grows. Some of them are free and others you’ll have to pay a subscription fee (usually you’re allowed a free trial to test the waters).
If you’re serious about getting ahead in 2019, you will need some of these tools to help you work smarter and harder. I've broken them into three categories: Market your eCommerce store, Run your eCommerce store, Track your eCommerce store.
#1 Google Shopping (Paid)
Also known as 'Google Product Listing Ads', this is an excellent way of getting your products to show up in search ads on the Google network. This gives people an instant idea of what you’re selling/marketing before they even get to your website.
#2 Fomo (Paid)
Credibility increases conversions. The easiest way to give your eStore instant credibility is through social proof. Fomo is an excellent tool to show new customers what other customers are doing or buying on your eStore.
#3 Kickofflabs (Paid)
Kickofflabs has two great products to grow your eCommerce store. You can leverage off your existing customers to bring in more leads with their customized contests where you reward people for sharing and entering. It also has the functionality to get users contact details while on your site. In return for inputting their details, you offer them a coupon or discount.
#4 Sumo (Paid)
With Sumo, you can create a pop up on your site to appear for users to fill in their contact details. The pop up can trigger after users take a certain action that you want them to ie after a page load. This is a great way to capture email addresses and build your customer list to market to at a later stage.
#5 Shogun - For Shopify and BigCommerce users (Paid)
If you want to be the best, you'll have to do lots of experimentation to get your there. Shogun is a drag and drop eCommerce page builder - you can create landing pages in minutes, and customise them for your specific campaigns or product categories. Making custom landing pages for each product category, or even for your hero products, will almost definately mean more conversions to sales.
#6 Mailchimp (Free)
Mailchimp is an email marketing tool. It allows you to design and send emails to specific audiences based on their order history to encourage future purchases. You can also group your customers together to make sure you send them relevant information and offers. A power email marketing tool is something every eCommerce store needs.
#7 Smile.io (Paid)
We all know that it's easier and more cost effective to keep an existing client than find new ones. Smile helps increase customer retention by rewarding repeat customers building brand loyalty. By building a loyal community you’re building an engaged customer base that can bring more sales to your eCommerce store in the future.
#7 Building a million dollar eCommerce store - A free 30 page growth guide (Free)
This eBook has covered everything from success stories, to future eCommerce trends, as well as tactics you can leverage to attract and retain a flood of customers. It's a great read to kick off 2019, and should give you some valuable tips to market and grow your eStore.
#9 Profit margin calculator - For Shopify users (Free)
Calculate the best possible selling prices for your products in order to increase profits and save you money.
#10 Unsplash (Free)
It’s always useful to have a few of stock image sites bookmarked, to keep your eCommerce store looking as visually appealing as possible. Unsplash is the best one i've found, and it's free 👌
#11 Easyship (Paid)
Shipping is always tricky when it comes to eCommerce stores. Now there is a way to connect your store and ship globally, with hundreds of solutions on this one shipping platform. One of the best ways to grow your eCommerce stores is to increase your marketshare, by shipping to more countries you'll be doing just that.
#12 Taxjar (Paid)
#13 Wiser (Paid)
You can have the best eCommerce store in town but if you’re pricing is wrong, you’re done for. Wiser is a valuable tool for tracking the competition. It gathers and analyzes data points to help you optimize your pricing structures.
#14 Image Resizer - For Shopify users (Free)
Whether you’re using images for an emailer, social media or your product catalogue, you need to make sure they’re the correctly sized Fast and easy image resizing will make your life easier.
#15 Canva (Free)
Save the graphic design fees and use Canva to create your own creative assets! Content is a great way to connect with your customers and get your eCommerce store noticed. If you improve the quality of your brands content, you're more likely to get it seen. Canva is a great tool to help you put together social media content, infographics and product shots for your eStores marketing channels.
#16 Google Analytics (Free)
This probably the most common and most useful tool you can have in your eCommerce arsenal. Being able to track traffic and conversions, and where they came from, means you can make better informed decisions on how to improve your eCommerce website.
#17 Ahrefs (Paid)
SEO is still, hands down, one of my favourite marketing channels - if you get SEO right you'll essentially have a free marketing channel that works to find you customers every day. Ahrefs helps you grow your search traffic by telling you exactly what you need to do to improve your SEO rankings, it also helps you see where your competition is ranking on Google and why.
#18 Hotjar (Free and Paid options)
Imagine watching a video of how your customers use your eCommerce store. Now you can! Using heatmaps and video, Hotjar allows you to track users actions on your website. This helps you uncover insights, and make the right changes to your eStore to increase conversions.
#19 Aerialscoop (Free)
Aerialscoop aggregates your most important eCommerce data, and delivers it to your inbox every day. Stay on top of your web traffic, social channels, advertising performance and more. Once you're subscribed you'll see that you don’t just get metrics for your own brand, you’ll also receive industry benchmarks to let you know exactly how you’re performing compared to your eCommerce competitors.
#20 BONUS TOOL: Appsumo (Free to subscribe)
I'm adding one last tool because if you've made it all the way to the end, then you're probably a software nerd like me so i'll share with you how i've found most of the tools I use and many other at bargain prices. AppSumo is a daily deals website for digitally distributed goods and online services.
Thats all 19+1 Tools. Hope you find them valuable!
I guess the rest is up to you. Develop (or improve) your eCommerce strategy, find the right tools to help you work smart, and get ready to take over the world 🛒🚀
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