For an ecommerce business owner, digital tools can be a boon, automating tedious tasks and streamlining operations. Furthermore, they can help you personalize your user experience, generate insights about your audience, and thereby improve your sales.
However, there are a lot of options to choose from on the market, and that can lead to analysis paralysis.
To help you navigate this crowded field, I have compiled a list of 13 ecommerce tools that will be highly valuable to most ecommerce entrepreneurs. A few are free and can be used by startups strapped for resources, but even the paid ones will make a great addition to manage and scale your store’s operations.
Ready to pick out your favorites and open doors to higher sales and much higher productivity? Let’s go!
Price: Complete a questionnaire for a quote
Live chat has quickly become the leading contact method for online customers, over email and social media. As customers receive instant responses to their queries, their satisfaction levels are higher than other channels.
Meet LeadChat. This service offers what they call “live chat agents.” The team has developed a suite of tools to help engage your customers directly on your website. The way their technology does it is by empowering real human chat agents. They initiate a conversation with all your visitors, personalizing them on the basis of the page the visitor is on and the keywords that got them there.
For example, if a visitor lands on your pricing page, your agent can engage with your visitors and answer their questions related to pricing and packages. The software also implements chat popups at specific times after the user has been searching your web page. This gives the user the chance to look around and then ask questions, instead of exiting your site to find the answers. The more satisfied customers are, the greater chance they will remain on your website, which increases conversions.
TalkWalker.com implemented LeadChat and increased its conversions by 122% and sales by $460,000.
To get a quote for your business, take the short quiz by LeadChat here.
Price: $9/month with 14-day free trial
Audience Push is a tool that allows you to automatically update your custom audiences without manual inputs.
If you aren’t aware, custom audiences are a great tool for targeting your existing customers on and off Facebook. You build custom audiences based on people’s behaviors and activities on your website and then retarget them with personalized ads that reflect their unique activity. The effectiveness of your marketing efforts is higher with custom audiences because you’re promoting to people who have already visited your online properties.
However, updating your Facebook custom audiences can become tedious. For example, if you are using third-party software like Shopify and you want to capture new customers’ information and add them to your custom audiences, you have to download the lists of email addresses, phone numbers, and other information from different stages of your Shopify cart, and do this regularly. Then you must finally upload these lists of customers and prospects as often as possible to keep your lists updated, ideally every day. This is a tedious manual process and it has to be done for each audience.
Audience Push saves you many hours by updating your Facebook custom audience in real time and automatically. Every time someone checks out, their contact details are instantly pushed to a Custom Audience on Facebook.
Price: Starts at $20/month
Zapier is a powerful automation suite that integrates various apps and automates workflows. You can use it to pass information between apps and build processes for faster execution of routine tasks.
Here’s an illustration of how Zapier works.
For example, when connecting Shopify to Mailchimp, you can use a zap (a rule you set up in Zapier to connect two apps) to automatically add all your new Shopify customers to your MailChimp email list, instead of manually downloading spreadsheets and uploading new contact data.
Or you can do something as simple as creating a Trello card based on new product orders. However you want to connect the applications, its likely Zapier has a zap to help you do it. It’s all about the power of automation.
You can start by exploring the large library of ecommerce automation zaps.
You can also search 1,000+ apps in the search bar at the top of Zapier website for finding more integrations of a specific app. You can begin automating 1,000 tasks per month with Zapier at $20/month.
Price: $9/month with 30-day free trial
Online accounting is critical for running your ecommerce business smoothly. Xero is a time-saving tool that automatically imports your bank statements and categorizes them.
For easy access and visibility, it also has a central dashboard so you can view your cash flow and the health of your business in real time.
You can also connect Xero to your bank (extra layers of protection ensure your data is safe) and automatically filter your transactions into Xero every business day. You can record expenses without managing paper receipts and also give access to the whole team for managing your expenses from anywhere.
You can also use Xero to invoice your customers and even set recurring invoices for certain clients. It also offers inventory management software tools to help you track your stock quantity and keep track of your bestselling and most profitable product lines so you can easily keep on top of profits.
Xero connects with 700+ tools ranging from CRM, point-of-sale, inventory, and other parts of your business (explore retail app integrations here).
Price: Customized pay as you go
Stripe is an end-to-end solution to meet all your payment needs, from accepting payments on the web, through mobile apps, credit cards, and wallets.
Here is a display of all of the features Stripe offers:
Some notable features:
- Mobile – With new advances in technology and ecommerce, buying goods and services on mobile devices has soared. Stripe offers developer-friendly tools for mobile purchase with ample documentation available.
- International – Stripe is also convenient for international sellers, offering the ability to display prices in local currencies (you will need to pay 1% conversion fee on top of transaction fees).
- Fraud protection – Stripe helps you steer clear of fraudulent ecommerce transactions with its machine learning solution Radar.
- Compatibility – Integrate Stripe with over 300 tools. You can explore its ecommerce partners here.
Stripe and Xero are excellent tools to run your ecommerce business. However, the usual process to use them together involves downloading and importing a CSV file from Stripe to Xero. It can become tedious for your bookkeeper/accountant (or you) to perform such data entry manually.
BankFeeds connects your Stripe and Xero accounts and imports transactions into Xero. You can even use it to automatically reconcile the transactions and save more time.
BankFeeds also protects your personal information and sensitive transactional data by using Xero and Stripe’s official Application Programming Interface (API). An API is a set of protocols and subroutines for building application software.
The tool offers the first 100 transactions for free. For unlimited transactions, you need to upgrade to $9/month.
Price: Free and paid plans available
As an ecommerce business owner, you likely know the importance of feedback and how it can improve your business. There are numerous free tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey to collect feedback from your customers. This gives you insights into their preferences so you can use this data to improve your products and business.
However, with Feedier, you can gamify the customer experience and reward customers for completing surveys. You can create your own reward program (custom message, coupons and vouchers, downloadable file and money transfers) to boost participation and improve engagement for your surveys.
Feedier also offers beautiful and dynamic forms that detail the approximate average completion time so you can respect users’ time and they will know how long it will take to complete the survey. The tool also offers in-depth reports and real-time analytics and customer segmentation, which helps you to discover customer advocates you can build closer relationships with..
You can start with the free “essentials plan” and later switch to the paid plans if required.
Price: Free and paid plans available
If you run a bustling ecommerce store and your website goes down, your revenue stops for however long your site is down. For ecommerce businesses, even five minutes of downtime can result in losing a lot of sales and potential damage to your reputation if your customers complain online.
Uptimerobot monitors your uptime and response times for free at regular five-minute intervals from multiple locations and notifies you immediately when your site is down. It has 50 monitors in place and can notify you via email, SMS, voice calls, Slack, push, and other options when your site is unresponsive. You can also customize the times when you do not want monitoring, for example, when you are doing planned maintenance on your website.
The free plan monitors your site at five-minute intervals. If your website gets substantial traffic and being down for less than five minutes would damage your brand, opt for the paid plan that monitors your website at one-minute intervals. If you want more monitors with shorter monitoring intervals, you can buy a pro-plan at $5.50/month.
Price: Starts at $99/month
Ahrefs is an industry-leading tool to help you increase your website traffic through detailed analysis of your own site and your competitors.
With Ahrefs, you can perform competitor analysis and dissect the traffic, backlinks, and keywords of other brands. You can also compare multiple domains, find your low-hanging opportunities (ones that can move the needle fast without a lot of work), and get insights into the SEO and content marketing efforts of your competitors.
Some of the more notable Ahrefs features:
- Discover the keywords your competitors are ranking for, how much traffic they bring and which ones you aren’t ranking for
- Find the backlinks pointing to your site and any other, and the value of each link
- Explore outreach opportunities by finding which sites mention your keywords but aren’t linking to you
- Track your daily/weekly/monthly desktop and mobile keyword rankings and monitor key changes over time
The tool can also reveal targeted insights like why the highest ranking page isn’t getting the most search traffic. As you can see in the screenshot below, the top-ranking page for the term “heat vest” is Amazon, and it should ideally get the highest traffic. However, the sixth search result from the warming store gets more search traffic than it.
This is because the sixth page is likely ranking for a LOT of other keywords that bring it more traffic. Ahrefs can help you find these keywords.
You can get started with a trial of the tool $7 for a week and do these 10 actionable things (they are a set of use cases that even their adept customers tend to miss inside the tool). Otherwise, you can subscribe to the lite plan at $99/month directly.
10. Agora Pulse
Price: Starts at $39/month
For an ecommerce brand, social media automation is essential, because consumers use as many as seven social media channels to reach brands. It’s also time consuming to monitor your presence and manually respond promptly to customers on so many networks.
Agora Pulse simplifies social media management with a single dashboard across five major social networks. You no longer need to log in to multiple platforms to stay on top of your mentions.
With this tool, you can monitor and reply to all of your social conversations, publish and schedule content, collaborate with team members and assign responsibilities, and track your results with powerful analytics.
One handy feature is the ability to manage incoming messages from customers and provide stellar customer service using its keyboard shortcuts. The tool has users that even manage 3,000 messages in a single day.
Agorapulse even offers “saved replies” that you can use to send a templated response to common questions that you encounter. The option is only available for their pricier plans.
pricing plans start at $39/month.
Do you know which of your marketing activities is yielding the highest ROI? Google Analytics can help you gain insights to answer this question. It’s a powerful analytics tool for all kinds of businesses.
You can start with monitoring data on visitor sessions to your website, the pageviews per session, bounce rate, and details about your audience. You can also access behavior reports showing you the shopping behavior of new vs. returning visitors, your conversion rates, coupon codes redeemed, and more.
Google Analytics is a robust tool—here’s a guide on how to set up ecommerce tracking using Google analytics. You can also set GA for your app. And for advanced users, here’s a detailed guide on doing ROI analysis inside GA. The Optimize Smart guide is another great resource that helps you set up ecommerce tracking in your Google Analytics. It provides the specifics of gathering sales data of your store.
12. Shipping Easy
Price: Free plan for 50 monthly shipments
Satisfying your customers and delivering a world-class customer experience is important to increasing sales and keeping your customers coming back for more. The way you deliver your products plays a major role in customer experience, as shipping costs are a major reason for cart abandonment.
As an ecommerce merchant, you might have experienced how processing orders, packaging products, and labeling them manually can be cumbersome. For many small businesses that are starved of resources, shipping becomes time consuming and expensive.
That’s where Shipping Easy can help. It offers a discounted and automated shipping option, allowing you to access the best rates, print labels easily, and automate your workflows by streamlining shipping, tracking, and returns.
They even offer Flat Rate Green cubic shipments for packages between 2 lbs to 20 lbs, based on the dimensions of the product and not the weight. It can lead to huge discounts.
As much as I would love to help you find every ecommerce tool you might want to purchase, it’s impossible to cover everything.
That’s where G2Crowd comes to your rescue, helping you choose the perfect vendors to suit your business tech needs. Its proprietary algorithm gathers data from social networks, its user community, and other sources. You can read more about their scoring methodologies here and how it gives authentic insights on products (there’s no paid placement in their ratings!).
For example, look at the 373 options it offers for ecommerce platform software.
You can sort the software by features and star ratings. You could even explore software in the context of the commonly asked qualitative questions.
It’s unlikely you would have considered Ecwid over Shopify and WooCommerce, unless you found it toppling these two according to the G2Crowd algorithm (which factors real user satisfaction).
Go Build Your Ecommerce Tools Stack Now!
Whether you’re starting a new business or have an established ecommerce store, the above tools will help you streamline your operations. Hopefully, you found a few tools that are a great fit for your needs. Give their trials a shot, and if they save you time, resources, and money, then integrate them in your workflow.
Once you’ve found a set of tools that serves your business needs, you have your personalized tools stack.
Are there any other tools that you have used in your ecommerce business? Let me know in the comments.