I love eCommerce, I hate paying for tools.
I’ve tested a half ton tools. (~1,000 tools). Though I love trying new software I rarely make the monthly investment after the 30 day free trial. Thanks to Andy Dunn we all know eCommerce is a bear and every quarter I’ll analyze what SaaS tools are making the cut.
Yet there are some tools I consider essential to my eCommerce business and I suspect you’ll discover at least 1 new tool that will change your life for the better.
Given that I’ve been working with Experiment Engine for 2 years and have helped run over 500 A/B tests generating millions of dollars in additional eCommerce revenue, this is an obvious choice if you are a high tempo testing retailer and even if you need help running your first A/B test.
Helping scale the testing programs of top eTailers including The Honest Company, Under Armor, theCHIVERY, and Invaluable, Experiment Engine is a CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) workflow management tool.
Ideally, you’ll have over 1,000 transactions a month but if you have less than that you’ll just need to run your experiments longer to reach statistical significance.
Amazon for example sees over 86 million unique visits a month and runs thousands of A/B tests a year, Bryan Eisenberg has been documenting them since the late 90s but it’s crucial to do data driven redesigns instead of just executing on what looks the best.
You can test out all A/B testing workflow management features for FREE.
Depending on where you stand with your A/B testing program if you need design, dev and CRO resources you can choose between On-Demand and Strategy pricing.
If you have any questions about Experiment Engine let me know! 😀Try Experiment Engine for FREE
I have no idea how I ever promoted content before, I would literally be lost without this tool.
Sujan Patel built this tool because he wanted to automate his content promotion efforts. Since the tool worked so well internally he decided to make it available to all marketers.
The way the tool works is brilliant. You scan a blog post you’ve written and ContentMarketer.io will populate any company or person mentioned in the article. From twitter handles to personal email addresses!
Once you’ve finalized the influencers you want to email and tweet to there are dozens of proven templates that will get you results out of the box.
I recommend adding your own flair and voice to them but they will work regardless.Buy Content Marketer
Have you ever wondered how successful your competitors eCommerce email marketing strategy is? Perhaps you are like me and you have a dedicated email address and subscribe to all your competitor’s email campaigns. Or you are like Carl and Tom and you’ve built a software to do just that.
Mailcharts starts at $29.00 a month and will arm you with infinite email ammo. With thousands of companies in their email repository, you’ll never run out of email marketing ideas! 💡
Once you sign up you’ll be able to track your competitors. For example when I run the email marketing at Hammock Town I’ll track some of the best outdoor eTailers including REI, Backcountry, Moosejaw and Patagonia to stay on top of outdoor email marketing trends.
With new features being added to the Mailcharts platform constantly you can discover what ESP and the tech stack behind the companies’ emails. For example Toms is utilizing Bounce Exchange powered by SendGrid.
Want examples of cart abandonment emails, shipping confirmation emails, order confirmation emails? Not to worry the Mailcharts team has hundreds of examples for you.
Try Mailcharts for Free
Every, eCommerce store can improve their email campaigns. Both transactional and promotional and this is done through A/B testing.
Klaviyo makes it super easy and you don’t need dev work to start A/B testing. You can try them for FREE and if you send less than a few thousand transactional emails a month I recommend using Klaviyo for transactional emails and Mailchimp for promotional emails. You’ll save hundreds of dollars every month and Klaviyo has a nice built in Mailchimp integration.
If you have a built in cart abandonment system in your CMS such as Shopify or Magento ditch it now. Before Klaviyo we were converting about 9% of abandoned carts, now we are at converting abandoned carts at 23%+ 🚀!
The main cause of the increase is the dynamic variables Klaviyo tracks helping make emails much more relevant.
With Klaviyo you’ll be able to easily set up Product Review Emails, Cart Abandonment Emails, Post Purchase Emails and did I mention A/B testing? You’ll be able to A/B test everything!
Try Klaviyo for FREE
Ptengine is an all in one analytics and heatmap tool. You can utilize Ptengine to track everything as you do in Google Analytics while also taking full advantage of heat map features.
Unless you live in Google Analytics like I do the reporting is much simpler with Ptengine, at a quick glance you’ll see where your best customers are coming from and utilize the heat maps to improve their experience.
Utilize heatmaps to redesign your website with confidence instead of playing the guessing game you get a real look into what your customers are doing when browsing your site.Try PT Engine FREE
Shopify is Magic. With over 200,000 stores and is valued at over $1 Billion.
It’s SEO capabilities are far superior to other content management systems. It’s pre built tax rates and shipping integrations save you hours of time.
Want to set up product reviews, you can do so easily by installing a free product reviews app, want to set up Payments with Amazon ,or PayPal? You are 1 click away once you start using Shopify.
If you aren’t a developer or designer their premium themes are second to none and will surely convert better than 99.99% of Magento eCommerce stores.
As far as scaling Shopify Plus is one of the best hosted solutions for managing your eCommerce business. One of the most attractive features of Shopify Plus is that you own the checkout experience and can start A/B testing with revenue and transaction goals without a custom set up. For $1,000 a month you have a fully hosted enterprise eCommerce platform. If you’re using Magento, Shopify will cover the cost for 6 months and migrate you for FREE.
If you are scared of migration here is the complete guide to making sure you don’t drop the ball when you migrate from Magento to Shopify.Try Shopify FREE
Are you handling customer service emails without a helpdesk like Help Scout? Stop. Stop right now. 🚫
Customer service is crucial to keeping and maintaining loyal eCommerce customers. eCommerce Consultant, William Harris wrote “The Quick Guide to Boosting Customer Loyalty and Repeat Business” and superior customer service is an essential ingredient to perfecting the recipe of customer lifetime value.
For those that are just starting out/cash strapped Help Scout offers a FREE forever plan but the amazing part is that they can handle and help you scale your eCommerce store
if when you start selling at the enterprise level!
Their reporting features are phenomenal. You’ll truly understand the performance metrics of each of your customer service reps, the times of the day that are the busiest and you’ll get insight on how you can improve your customer service experience.
Though my favorite feature are the customer happiness and satisfaction ratings. These are the metrics that truly matter for your eCommerce business and it’s crazy how customers won’t say much but will easily click on the
“How Would You Rate My Reply Text”
You’ll have a real time happiness and Net Promoter Score valuation for your customer service metrics! Look at these weekly and make amends to those that replied “Okay” and “Not Good”.
Try Help Scout FREE
Ever since I started traveling abroad I’ve tried to ditch the main telecom companies. I did this by porting my number into Google Voice and using VOIP to make my calls.
Google Voice is great + it’s FREE… but it’s not ideal when you are handling a professional eCommerce Business.
With Aircall’s robust features you can run a small eCommerce business but look and respond like a large scale enterprise.
- Call Recording – ✔️
- Welcome Message – ✔️
- Music On Hold – ✔️
- Voicemails/Absence Messages – ✔️
You get a free trial and can get basic phone support features for just $12 a month, but for the price of 2 cappuccinos ☕️ (per user, per month) you get fantastic integrations and call recording. It’s a shame you have to double down again to get analytics but maybe that will change.
Did I mention the integrations? Aircall to Slack!
Aircall to Helpscout.
It’s Customer Service on Steroids but the legal happy kind.
If you are going to try Aircall service let me know and I’ll send you a referral link so I can get $50 to buy some books from Amazon. I’ll send you something nice too 📚.Try Aircall FREE
This is not necessarily a tool but a library full of resources that will teach you how to use your tools more wisely.
If you want to improve your or a client’s website sales, but aren’t sure what works best (*hint nobody is) use the CXL Institute to formulate hypothesis and start AB testing your eCommerce site.
With the CXL Institute you’ll get exclusive access to 4 new video courses, data-driven marketers on topics including conversion optimization, digital eCommerce analytics, persuasion and psychology.
This really is a no brainer to test out for at least 3 months, especially since the ConversionXL Conversion Course is included with your subscription.
The comprehensive conversion optimization course that will ensure you become one of the top optimizers in the industry. Learn how the best conversion rate experts in the world approach conversion optimization.
You’ll learn the methodology, tools and mindset needed to become a successful conversion rate optimizer, increasing your sales 10 fold.
Subscribe to the CXL Institute
Taught by Peep Laja worth (💰1,499.00)
eCommerce is a bear, don’t pay for tools unless you have to. We are always testing new eCommerce tools at Hammock Town so let us know!
What is the #1 indispensable tool in your eCommerce tool box?
Image Credit: florianric