5 Must-Have Tools for Ecommerce Success in 2015

January 31, 2015

2:00 pm

Consumer demands from brands and businesses change with every technological disruption, whether it is noticeable or not. Each year brings in a new set of opportunities and challenges. An ecommerce site, therefore, needs to be always prepared to change, upgrade, or even revamp (if required) in order to experience continued success and meet consumer expectations.

We’ve seen innumerable changes over the past few years that could affect ecommerce marketing and sales. One of the most widely discussed topics was Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm update and its effect on ecommerce. Besides, there are other noticeable trends, such as the growing number of shopping transactions from mobile devices, webrooming, and showrooming, which continue to redefine the ecommerce industry.

It is therefore important for online retailers to pay attention to the latest trends in online retail and adjust accordingly with appropriate marketing tactics. This is best done by implementing tools that integrate seamlessly with your existing ecommerce framework as well as help increase conversions and sales. Let’s take a look at some tools you can investigate further to get a head start in 2015.

ShopIntegrator

shopintegrator
Do you need to convert your existing website into a fully functional ecommerce store without burning a hole in your pocket? ShopIntegrator‘s shopping cart can do it for you. Just copy and paste a piece of code, follow a few step-by-step instructions, and your online store is ready to go live in a few minutes. You don’t need to have HTML knowledge or any prior programming experience.

This tool is easy to use and is compatible across multiple devices. You can even sell digital downloads using ShopIntegrator. It offers secure storage for your digital files and automatically delivers the downloads to the buyer upon checkout using a fast Content Delivery Network.

What’s more, ShopIntegrator can easily blend the shopping cart and ecommerce buttons into your existing business website, thanks to its point-and-click Style Designer function. Further, it is a PCI compliant and McAfee SECURE ecommerce solution. You can create a free account or upgrade to a paid account, the range of which includes Basic, Advanced, Premium and Ultimate.

MailChimp

mailchimp
Email marketing will continue to play an important role in ecommerce business. It is no surprise that all big ecommerce players continue to gain leverage with email to drive sales. Who doesn’t know that the ROI of email marketing is an unbeatable 4300%!

MailChimp is the market leader when it comes to email marketing software. It has established itself as the don’t-look-anywhere-else choice for online retailers. According to the MailChimp’s Holiday Survey 2014, around 73% of its users are from the ecommerce industry.

MailChimp is an intuitive tool if ever there was one, known for its ease-of-use. You can use it to send bulk emails and also track orders that are generated by your email campaigns. Insights from these can help you to better segment the newsletters and modify your content strategy accordingly.

Abandon Aid

abandonaid
Abandoned carts are major problems for every online store. Almost 67.45% of buyers abandon their shopping carts before they check out, according to a study published by the Baymard Institute. This means you are losing a lot of money by missing out on potential sales.

There are many clever ways to deal with shopping cart abandonment. But first, you need to understand why your visitors are running away. Is it a technical issue (such as slower loading time) that caused them to ditch you? Or perhaps it is a fundamental one: price. If so, you can persuade them with special offers, free shipping, and the like. Whatever the reason, you can convince your potential customers to complete the purchase with an email recovery campaign.

This is where a tool like Abandon Aid comes in. Abandon Aid allows you to shower love on customers who forsook their shopping carts with emails reminding them of their orders and incentivizing them to complete the purchase. With this tool, everything is automated and there is no need for manual triggers. You can even customize email templates and get reports on all key metrics.

ZopIM

zopim
2015 will be the year of the customer (as every year before and after it). To win the rat race in the ecommerce marketplace, there is no better nitro boost than giving the best possible experience to your customers. The better their interaction with your brand, the more they are likely to buy from you. In a situation like this, personalizing customer support using trained humans to assist your customers and answer their questions will take you a long way.

In general, shoppers have a lot of queries when it comes to buy online. They are mostly related to the product and after-sales services. While they can refer to product catalogs to find answers for features or browse through the FAQ section to know more about shipping and taxes, shoppers are often unconvinced whether your product will provide the benefits it advertises or satisfy their specific wants. The best way to persuade potential buyers of this is via live chats.

ZopIM is a singularly effective tool you can use to personalize customer experience by engaging them in quick chats. It is easy to install and once done, you can talk to your customers anytime and from anywhere over live chat. To take things to the next level, ZopIM comes with Google Translate.

You stand a real chance of boosting conversion rates using ZopIM. In fact, many ecommerce businesses have been leveraging live chat to drive sales. In 2012, SupplyGeeks.com amplified its conversion rates by 17% by simply adding a live chat service for customers.

Zendesk

zendesk
If you’re concerned about hiring a specialist team to improve your customer service, technology is there to help you out. Zendesk can help you enhance your support or helpdesk department without breaking your bank. Its plethora of advanced features will help you to create and resolve support tickets, create self-help sections, use templatized solutions, and track your customer service performance with a wide range of KPIs.

Zendesk also collects issues or questions raised by customers across various channels, such as phone calls, chat, email, social networks and search, and compiles all of these in one place. Further, it allows you to send surveys to your customers. Popular brands like Groupon and Gilt are using Zendesk to enhance their customer service.

Parting Words

If you’ve resolved to be more productive as an organization in 2015, you need to understand and respond to the online habits and behaviors of your customers. I hope the tools I’ve covered will help you to survive and flourish. Used correctly, these tools have the potential to generate traffic, improve customer service and boost sales for you.

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Tracy Vides is an independent researcher and content strategist, who blogs about things as diverse as tech, fashion, cars, and finance. You can follow her on Twitter @TracyVides or catch all her posts on Google+.

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