158 Ecommerce Business Tools: Best Tools for Online Merchants

Every ecommerce merchant will need an arsenal of tools in order to stay on top of mounting orders. Tools can do virtually anything these days — from automated social media posting to order tracking, there’s now definitely an app for that. Here are 158 tools to help you manage your ecommerce business.

How to select the best tools

Tools are an inevitable part of running an ecommerce business. From inventory tracking to retargeting ads, there are a ton of useful apps and tools you can use to automate, scale, and improve your business.


At the same time, it can be easy to let expenses and subscriptions get the better of you and have a rising tide of recurring costs that push your business overheads up. Don’t get swamped by unnecessary tools and select the ones that will work for your business and make you more profitable.


Here are some tips to help you select the correct tools for your business:

  1. Find the disruptor tool — the one that’s about to ‘hit it big’. These often come it a better price and you may benefit from a better service with a smaller tool.
  2. Engage with the on-boarding — watch the videos, attend the demos, and make sure you read up on the support literature.
  3. Read the reviews — social proof and the opinions of your peers matter.
  4. Negotiate the terms — sometimes, you can get a better deal by speaking to someone on the sales or product team direct. You’d be surprised how often you can cut deals and get custom solutions.
  5. Be a big customer — as in, invest in the tools you use. The bigger you are to them, the better service you will get.
  6. Hunt for integrations — tools that speak to each other are great for growing businesses and will help you keep expensive development and engineering costs down.
  7. Test the support out before you buy.

Search engine optimization tools

Number one rule of SEO tools: don’t expect them to ‘do SEO’ for you. By all means, make the most of these awesome search engine optimization tools, but know that they are only part of the puzzle when it comes to driving in organic traffic.


Moz Pro


Having been focussed on the SEO world for a decade now, Moz has long been established as a superlative knowledge base and community for anyone looking to get the most out of online search — something that’s particularly important for an ecommerce seller. But it isn’t just a community: it’s also the provider of invaluable SEO tools such as Moz Pro.


Moz Pro is a full SEO suite that allows you to review and improve your keyword targeting, track your rankings, audit your pages, optimize your content, and build authoritative backlinks that will bring you traffic for years to come.


Starting at $99 per month, Moz Pro certainly isn’t a cheap option, but factor in the unquestionable expertise of the company and you’d be foolish not to consider giving it a try.


Ahrefs


A more recent arrival on the SEO scene, Ahrefs has quickly carved out a space at the top end of the industry, and may well be the best overall choice if you’re looking for a general SEO suite. Most notably, it features class-leading backlink research capability.

What’s more, despite its remarkably in-depth approach, it remains very user-friendly. The huge data pools are neatly gathered and displayed in clear breakdowns, making it a snap for you to see where your competitors are beating you and what changes you need to make to get your store’s rankings moving in the right direction.


Every decent SEO campaign needs a reliable analysis tool, and if you’re going to bank on one to give you an accurate assessment of your situation, Ahrefs is the current champ. And with a basic tier of $99 per month, it has the same baseline cost as its chief rivals.


SEMrush


An all-inclusive SEO toolkit that has been in consistent development since 2008, SEMrush is the industry veteran that can still keep up with the newer contenders. The name of the game is reverse engineering: through keyword, backlink and technical audits, you can identify (and subsequently adapt) the strategies of the biggest businesses in the world.

Now, while Ahrefs has essentially cornered the market for backlinks (no one can compete with its phenomenal performance in that area), SEMrush still has plenty to offer when it comes to keyword research, with many still preferring it over Ahrefs in that regard.


Screaming Frog SEO Spider


The more products you offer through your store, and the more blog posts you create, the harder it can get to keep track of everything your site has to offer. That’s where a site crawler such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider becomes highly useful. Enter your store’s domain and it will crawl every accessible page, giving you a breakdown of the entire site complete with various metrics relevant to SEO.


Find broken links, missing metadata, poor titles, and duplicate content, then prioritize pages accordingly to make rapid improvements and boost your rankings.


There’s even a free version available that’s capable of crawling up to 500 pages per site — if you have a fairly small site, it may be enough for your needs, though the full version isn’t particularly costly.


SEOquake


When you’re an online merchant looking to maximize your profitability, spending money on SEO tools is at best a grudging necessity. Thankfully, SEOquake is free. Actually, entirely, completely free, with no catches, tiers, or hidden charges.


All you need to do to get started is install the extension for your preferred internet browser (on the desktop, it’s available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Safari — if you’re using Internet Explorer, then it’s about time you made a change). Once it’s installed, you’ll have a formidable toolbar that expands into an SEO dashboard upon request, providing you with on-demand insight into any page you visit.


You can see page details, any diagnosed problems, incoming and outgoing links, keyword density, and even a direct comparison with a specified site.


And if you want to save the data for use in another tool, it’s easy to export it. As an accompaniment to your other SEO tools, SEOquake is an unmissable freebie.


Yoast SEO


If you’re running a WooCommerce store, then you’re in luck when it comes to SEO, because you have access to one of the most highly-regarded SEO plugins available: Yoast SEO.


Designed as a WordPress plugin, it works perfectly for ecommerce purposes, giving you conveniently color-coded data about how you can improve your store copy and SEO-friendliness.

In addition, it’s available for free, so you have no compelling reason not to use it. You don’t need to follow every suggestion it provides, of course, so it’s better to have too many improvement ideas than too few — clear up the red suggestions and you’ll be in good shape.


There is a premium version of YoastSEO available, but popular consensus is that it isn’t really worth it since the additional features don’t bring too much to the table. Get the free version installed ASAP, and see how it helps you.

A good ecommerce marketing strategy will focus on sales (duh), but will also take into account brand consideration and reach, as well as metrics like CLV (customer lifetime value) and NPS (net promoter score).


In a nutshell, it’s not all about sales, but about the quality of the customer relationships you are building. Keep this in mind when you set out to market your online store.

Keyword and niche research

Keyword research is part of SEO, but it’s such an important topic for ecommerce merchants that it merits its own category. Keyword and niche research should keep you busy pre-launch and post-launch of your online store, as understanding your audience and market are essential for a successful ecommerce business.


Google Keyword Planner


Google Keyword Planner is a great tool which is free to use (once you’ve setup a Google Adwords account and pay for some ads). It’s pretty much the grandfather of keyword research.

  • 1
    Average monthly search volume
  • 2
    Search volume by device – mobile vs. desktop
  • 3
    Number of searches by city, state, and/or country
  • 4
    Projected number of clicks
  • 5
    Estimated costs
  • 6
    Impressions.

It’s more basic than some of the paid-for SEO tools, but it’s a solid place to start. Anyone doing PPC campaigns will massively benefit from this.


Note: some of the data is hidden (unless you spend money on an Adwords campaign).


For more information on Google Keyword Planner, check out the video below:


SpyFu


SpyFu is a search marketing tool that tells you which keywords and terms are most valuable to your competitors — it’s a great competitor analysis tool that’s easy to use. Perfect for growing ecommerce brands.


It pulls out details such as:

  • Keywords bought on Google Adwords
  • Organic rankings
  • Each ad variation used for the last 9 years.

For example, SpyFu was used during the 2008 US Presidential election. The Washington Post used it to establish which keywords the candidates were advertising on – John McCain advertised for the keyword “hot wife”!


To find out more about SpyFu, watch the video underneath:

Answer The Public


Answer The Public is a free tool that helps you broaden out your keyword research, and it’s fun and easy to use to boot!

The keyword data it spits back is split into five different categories:

  • 1
    Questions
  • 2
    Prepositions
  • 3
    Comparisons
  • 4
    Alphabeticals
  • 5
    Related

By incorporating this keyword data into your content, you can rank for the things your audience really care about. This helps you to find gaps in your market, boost your SEO standing, and attract higher-converting organic traffic.


For more snappy guidance on how to use Answer The Public, have a look at the following video:

Google Trends


Google Trends is a pretty basic tool — we don’t suggest you but your entire business plan at its mercy, but it is a solid way to ascertain interest in broad search terms over a stretch of time. Search interest in a product or brand is a pretty reliable indicator of commercial value and opportunity.


Google Trends can also show you how markets are evolving (and where), which related terms are most popular, and whether there is a growing interest in your niche.

Credit: Jungle Scout

If you’re an online merchant using Amazon as a channel to sell your products, then Jungle Scout is a must for you.


As you probably know, competition on Amazon as a seller is ridiculously high. Jungle Scout is an Amazon product research tool that will give you an advantage over other sellers.


It’s an easy-to-use, intuitive tool that has multiple features such as product tracking, competitor-monitoring, a “niche hunter” and keyword scout.


Ubersuggest

Neil Patel’s free keyword research tool is a great place to start if you need more data on a keyword, or want to generate more keyword suggestions.


With a clean, user-friendly interface, it looks simple enough, but has a range of features and will provide you with plenty of information. Just enter your keyword or phrase, select the location you want to search in, and click “search”. Easy.


What you’ll get back is a range of data from Google’s autocomplete function, showing you what users are searching for. Ubersuggest will also tell you how competitive a keyword is, suggest some keyword ideas, give you search volume and SERP analysis. Pretty handy.

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Content marketing


Improving your content marketing results is massively important for any ecommerce brand. Content is one of your greatest assets, and when done right, content marketing can be a huge sales driver.


Market Muse


High-end content marketing is really challenging, particularly since it’s an area that’s typically been very difficult to automate, yet it’s absolutely worth your time as a retailer. If you can stand out with your content, you can get ahead of your rivals before potential customers even reach your store homepage.

The result of huge improvements in the field of NLP (Natural Language Processing), Market Muse allows you to quickly and usefully compare your content to that of your competitors. Pick out a page from another company that you know to be performing very well, and let the system relate it to your work: how can you make changes to get closer to that standard?


Market Muse may suggest that you raise your word count, change your formatting, or increase the relevancy or quantity of your keywords. It can’t handle complex nuance, obviously, but neither can Google’s crawler — so give it a try.

BuzzSumo is the holy grail of finding popular online content at the click of a button.


BuzzSumo can be used in a number of ways; firstly, it’s a useful tool for finding out what’s working for your competitors. Enter their domain, and their most popular content is listed and filtered by time frame. This means you can get a really good grasp on what’s popular in your industry by investigating a few competitors.


The same principle can be applied to search terms/niches such as ‘social media marketing’, for example.


With the Pro plan, even more features are available, including monitoring keywords and authors, domains and more.

  • 1
    Can be used as a free tool (although admittedly limited)
  • 2
    Excellent for getting a grip on what’s hot in your industry
  • 3
    Find out who is posting, sharing and build lists of influencers
  • 4
    Great for keeping tabs on your competitors and their strategies

Hemingway App


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”


So said Ernest Hemingway, arguably one of America’s greatest novelists.


But you don’t need to bleed (or indeed use a typewriter) to write search engine optimized copy with the eponymous Hemingway App.


Simply copy and paste your text into the field provided, and this handy tool will highlights any syntaxical or grammatical mistakes that you might have made.

Hemingway App uses a color-coded system to indicate long sentences, overly complex lines, use of the dreaded passive voice, and more. If something can go wrong with your copy, it’ll find it and highlight it. With search engines’ emphasis on great quality content, the Hemingway App is a vital tool for writers of any calibre.


HARO


Help A Reporter (HARO) is a networking hub that connects journalists with useful sources and contacts from a range of industries. For reporters who need informed opinion or knowledge quickly, HARO is a godsend.


But it’s not a one-way system. HARO also helps individuals, charities, businesses, and more get some easy media coverage too. Getting your brand’s name in the press (plus a link to your site) gives you great PR and greater clout


Buzzstream


Links are the juice that will get your store climbing those SERPS. But creating a backlink network for your online store is time-consuming, and time is a scarce commodity for self-starting entrepreneurs.


Thankfully, Buzzstream makes it easy for you. The service connects you with influencers, bloggers, and news sites to help you easily and effectively build backlinks to your website. Outreach campaigns are a breeze with Buzzstream, and it’s a tool well worth the investment.


Pitchbox


Another amazing tool for building outreach campaigns is Pitchbox. Sourcing influencers and bloggers is intuitive and straightforward, and personalized email campaigns can be seamlessly orchestrated from the dashboard.


The great thing about Pitchbox is its sophisticated analytics features. Response rates, website authority, campaign performance, and more can all be monitored with accurate, real-time data.


Pitchbox will knock your socks off.


WebinarJam


Webinars are an excellent but underutilized form of content marketing for your online store. They’re a chance for you to show off your wares (and your knowledge), build followers and boost sales.


For a strong webinar solution that’s comprehensive and easy-to-use, look no further than WebinarJam. Customized pages, advanced analytics, and virtual whiteboards are just a few of the great features that make WebinarJam a strong contender.


And while WebinarJam might be prohibitively expensive for some, you can still host your own webinars with Google Hangouts. It lacks the features of WebinarJam, but it still works in a pinch.


Feedly


Stuck for ideas for your next blog post? Struggling to hit on that perfect title? Feast your eyes on Feedly, a free content curation app that collates all the best from the web into one handy app.


Browse by keyword to find trending topics that people are reading about right now. Once you’ve found what’s popular, use it to inspire your own content and create a blog post that shines.


Product marketing


The internet is an ever-changing place. As a modern website owner, you need to keep up with a lot of innovations and learn more skills to ensure your website remains intuitive to navigate, visually appealing, and trustworthy. In this challenging context, you’ll be pleased to hear that technology can help fill most gaps where your knowledge fails. Simplify the experience customers have with your website using the following tools. 


AddSearch


Internal search is hugely valuable to both prospective customers and you, the seller. Visitors to your site who can’t find what they’re looking for obviously can’t buy it from you, and having difficulty locating things in general is likely to damage their opinion of your brand. And from your perspective, being able to see what people are looking for enables you to make suitable changes to the structure and content of your site.


AddSearch is an internal search system designed to be fully customizable and function as the perfect replacement for Google’s Custom Search Engine. The search box and the results scale neatly to suit any device size or type, and each result provides a screenshot to increase clarity and make results more enticing. What’s more, it’s self-learning — the better particular results perform, the more prominently they’ll be positioned.


Unbxd


Unbxd can give you a major boost in internal search power (at the cost of a much steeper price tag, of course). Going beyond basic typo detection, Ubxd is capable of discerning and recording semantic intent, then using that information to optimize both search results and product recommendations.


As each visitor browses your store, this system will learn what item types and styles they prefer, then adjust its predictive results to prioritize suitable items. Your customers will be able to find what they want much more quickly, leaving them more likely to follow through and place orders.


Klaviyo


Getting started with complex customer journey marketing can be tricky, but Klaviyo aims to make it very simple. You need only drop the code snippet into your store’s source code and it will get to work collecting and collating valuable information. Set up integrations with your CMS and other tools you’re using and it will pull everything together.


With that data collected, you can create segments, generate Facebook and Instagram ad audiences, and set up sophisticated chains of triggered emails. In addition, Klaviyo has a powerful CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) function you can use to pick out your most valuable customers, giving you the opportunity to target them directly to keep them happy and loyal. And if you just want to give it a try, you can do so for free with some limitations (you’ll need to accept some Klaviyo branding).


Stamped


It’s tough to make a mark in the ecommerce world without a lot of social proof to back up your claims and attest to the reliability of your company. We’ve become so used to the Amazon-style system of placing such emphasis on customer reviews that we get suspicious when we encounter sites that don’t feature them prominently.


If you’re not currently making optimal use of social proof, you need a system like Stamped. Supporting all major ecommerce platforms (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc.), it can email customers post-purchase to collect feedback, provide discounts for loyal customers, present reviews very smartly, and even connect to social media for additional testimonials.


Syte


Have you ever seen a product you must own, but not known which brand it’s made by? No more. Visual search has consigned those days to the past and Syte is at the forefront of ecommerce product and image search.


Adding this to your business gives you product recognition technology that lets your customers shop from any image they have. All they need to do is upload an image and it will locate the product from your store which matches it.


It requires no training to integrate with your software and is simple to use. If you want your business to be part of the 21st century, Syte is the ideal search tool for you.


Customer.io


Email still has the biggest ROI of any form of marketing. Selecting the right email marketing tool is vital for your business and Customer.io is one of the best on the market. Combining automation with advanced analytics, Customer.io helps you to get the most from your emails.


It has a whole host of great benefits and features, including:

  • 1
    Seamless interaction with your customers
  • 2
    Advanced customer segmentation
  • 3
    Ability to send attention-grabbing newsletters

Billions of emails are sent everyday. With Customer.io you can make sure your business sends the right emails to the right people at the right time.


Conversion rate optimization & growth


Growing your ecommerce website and making the most of the traffic it gets should be your number one priority. Investing in search and content is great, but is it at the cost of maximizing sales? Or developing your business to its full potential? With conversion rate optimization and growth tools, you can use data science to make sure your business is developing in the right way.


Lucky Orange


If you want to know how your website can do more to convert, it’s essential to know where it’s currently falling short, which is precisely what Lucky Orange can help you identify. It’s a comprehensive heatmap tool that does a lot more than tell you just when and where your visitors click on your website — it even shows you their cursor movements.


Here’s how it works: when someone reaches your site, it starts recording all of their on-site activity. That encompasses their clicks, their scrolls, and their cursor movements. It even records everything that’s happening on the page, including dynamic content such as product carousels and slideshows. You can then filter that data however you like: watch the recordings back (skipping the parts where there’s no activity), review standard heatmaps, or look at isolated metrics.


With all of this plus polls and on-site chat, it’s a tremendous broad-strokes solution for CRO, helping you make the most of your qualified leads. And at just $10 per month for the basic tier, it’s an easy sell.


Optimizely


If you want to ramp up sales and maximize your ROI, you’re going to need slick landing pages that boast compelling UX design and make it easy for people to buy what you’re selling. Optimizely is an intuitive tool for carrying out extensive A/B testing, running through numerous versions of a page until you’re confident that every last part is performing well.


What’s more, you can scale your testing with high-level project management dashboards, broaden it to any system, language, or algorithm using full-stack support, and even automated product recommendations with ease. And since it will readily integrate with industry-standard tools including Google Analytics and KISSmetrics, it will slot neatly into your general marketing strategy.


The only significant issue with this tool is that the costs aren’t provided, so you’ll need to deal with sales reps to find out what you can expect to pay for it. Still, if you find the set of features appealing, it may be well worth your time to see what they can offer you.


PickFU


Want effective split-testing, on-point optimization, and insightful customer feedback? PickFU offers it all in one easy-to-use platform. PickFU essentially sources genuine, unbiased feedback on anything you might need to get your ecommerce store off the ground.


While I've PickFU is included in the conversion rate optimization & growth section, its tools can be easily applied to virtually any other aspect of your business. It offers a variety of different types of polls to provide cost-effective and perceptive responses. From new product launches to business idea validation, PickFU provides insightful and actionable feedback to guide your project to fruition.


While PickFU offers an array of benefits to the user, it's ease-of-use and affordability in particular make it stand out against the crowd. Starting at $50 for 50 responses, each pricing plan offers different features that are easy to take advantage of.


Planning a new project? You'd do well to do it with PickFU.


Justuno


Similar to having a skilful store assistant, using effective on-site messaging can prove very effective for achieving more with your leads, particularly those lacking urgent actionable intent. Justuno is a CRO suite with features that excel for this, providing countdown timers, banner promotions, upselling, and much more.


Integrating with numerous major CMS choices — including Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce — as well as other marketing tools such as HubSpot and Klaviyo, and priced based on how many visitors your site gets per month, it definitely warrants some consideration.


Fomo


Social proof is a huge revenue driver, because almost everyone wants to feel that their decisions are in line with those of others. It’s reassuring to know that someone else has bought the product you’re buying, or is interested in the same things that interest you. Fomo (named after the fear of missing out that plays such a huge role) is a system for displaying a stream of interest-boosting insights on your store.


For instance, you can let store visitors know when someone subscribes to your newsletter, or buys a particular product, or leaves a glowing review — but it doesn’t stop there, because the large range of integrations allows you to bring in almost any kind of update you want. Point out a sale that’s about to end, or a product that’s almost out of stock, or note someone following your brand on Twitter.


All the activity your visitors see will make your store feel more active and vibrant, making them feel part of a communal experience. Starting at $39 per month, it isn’t all that cheap, but it might be perfect in your case.


Sumo


A suite of marketing apps providing distinct CRO features, Sumo is compatible with just about any CMS, but has dedicated plugins for popular platforms including WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.


You can use the apps to build lists, generate heatmaps, and even drive traffic: display a table of suggested links from other Sumo-enabled sites, and your site will be entered into that pool as well, bringing you more visits.


Pricing starts at $29 per month for the basic tier, but if you want the full range of functionality, you’ll need to pay $79 per month. That might be too much for you to consider, but it will really depend on whether the specific apps on offer provide you with enough value. Consult the Sumo support team and they’ll be able to give you more information.


PushEngage


Push notifications are remarkably powerful when used effectively: unlike emails, they’re not commonly filtered into spam folders, or left to rot in overloaded inboxes. They appear directly on the screens of the mobile devices that we carry with us wherever we go, or pop up in our desktop browsers. PushEngage is a platform for segmenting and sending push notifications, helping you to win new sales and keep your store visitors updated.


Not only can you target visitors based on location, products viewed, and categories browsed, but you can also set up automated sequences to drip-feed across visits and steadily increase your conversion rates without pushing too hard. And with rich native analytics, you’ll have all the data you need to optimize your settings.


There’s a limited free plan you can try, but if you want to use the platform at any scale, you’ll need to sign up to the basic plan which will cost you $29 per month. Since the cost isn’t too prohibitive — and you can test things out with the free plan — there’s little risk in trying it.


Gleam


In many ways, email marketing remains the best marketing channel for ecommerce. It’s flexible, cost-effective, easy to automate, and smooth to scale. But if you’re going to run an effective email marketing campaign, you need an extensive email database — and Gleam is designed to help you build one.


Intended to provide your email collection process with some much-needed polish (hence the name), it provides four apps through a single dashboard, allowing you to run embedded competitions, provide rewards for specific on-site actions, display galleries of user-generated content, and implement targeted email capture forms.


Integrating with social media platforms, ecommerce platforms, and other marketing tools, it might seem costly (starting at $97 per month for the entire package), but you can buy the apps individually: if you only want the competitions, for instance, they’ll only set you back $10 per month. And since you can upgrade or downgrade on a month-by-month basis, you can cut costs whenever you don’t need a particular app.


Omnistar


Referral programs are complex and can be tough to implement on your own. But when the reward is so high, it pays to invest in one. So where’s your knight in shining armor when you need them?

Have no fear! Omnistar is here!


Omnistar makes it easy to create a referral program that’s effective and accurate. An intuitive dashboard, a multichannel referral strategy, and a variety of rewards makes Omnistar a strong contender for referral program of the year. And best of all? No transaction fees. Nice one, Omnistar.


Wishpond


This all-in-one cloud-based customer relationship management solution incorporates over a dozen apps that will help you enhance your marketing efforts. These include building landing pages, website popups, email marketing automation, and lead management.


You can also use Wishpond to run contests and promotions on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, it has a high number of third-party integrations so it will combine seamlessly with WordPress and popular apps such as Salesforce, MailChimp, and GetResponse.


ExitBee


ExitBee is a cloud-based email marketing and smart ad tool that is designed to help you retarget customers that are about to leave your site, It does this by analyzing visitor behavior and predicting the moment they are most likely to leave.

As a retargeting tool, Exit Bee enables you to create email campaigns based on visitor location and behavior. This means you can apply filters by the device, pages visited, time spent on page, and pages visited or not visited.


The free Exit Bee extension integrates into Magneto ecommerce stores, However, for $10 per month, you can gain access to more features, including personalized conversion optimization consulting.


VWO


Standing for Visual Website Optimizer, VWO is a tool that simplifies A/B testing, but what elevates it above similar tools is the advanced options and features. This includes heat maps, visitor surveys, and an IdeaFactory function that allows you to browse case studies, white papers, and other sources for inspiration. As a result, VWO is a particularly effective tool for tackling cart abandonment and high bounce rate.


Unbounce


Unbounce is a drag and drop landing page builder that is designed specifically for conversion optimization. One of the most popular tools of its type available, you don’t need coding skills to create, launch, and test your own landing pages. Other key features include a wide range of integrations, a mobile-responsive template gallery, and the ability to publish on any domain.


KingSumo


Giveaways and contests are two of the most effective ways to gain more subscribers and customers. Available as a free WordPress plugin, KingSumo allows you to set up viral giveaways in minutes to potentially capture lots of emails. You can share your giveaway easily on the most popular social networks to grow your followers too.


Inventory & shipping


You can perfect your production and master your marketing, but if you can’t get your inventory where it needs to go in a timely fashion, you won’t have any chance of success. Inventory tools give you options for how you deliver — through dropshipping, print-on-demand, or old-school warehouses — and help you maximize your efficiency.


Cratejoy


The subscription model is an ecommerce trend that shows no sign of slowing down.


Cratejoy is one of the biggest subscription box marketplaces out there, and Cratejoy also has its own product that allows you to create your own subscription website.


Cratejoy handles all of the subscription business-specific stuff like building a website, managing fulfilment, and scaling your business.


It’s a hassle-free option with built-in growth for anyone who wants to make it as a subscription business. Sell with Cratejoy here.


Sourcify


Before you start selling, you need to source the right product(s).


Unless you are making products on your kitchen table (that’s cool too), you will need to get to grips with the wonderful world of wholesalers, manufacturers, and factories.


Sourcify is a trusted go-between that can match you up with overseas factories and producers who can make your dreams a reality. This service is for retailers and ecommerce merchants with a strong business plan and product idea who need genuine manufacturing partners.


Sourcify also has a product for anyone spending less than $10,000 on product sourcing here.


Skubana


Described as "the Operating System of Commerce", Skubana is certainly an ambitious project. An order and inventory management suite designed specifically for enterprise-level scaling potential, it aims to provide supreme clarity and data consistency while automating as much of the logistics process as possible.


Looking for complex demand forecasting and in-depth analytics? Skubana has you covered, all while proving easy to extend through an App Store that bolsters an already-formidable level of integration with popular systems.


If you’re ready to get serious with your online store, this solution is the perfect companion to help you reach the next level of efficiency and success.


Inventory Source


As convenient as dropshipping may be, it doesn’t inevitably result in maximum operational efficiency, particularly when you’re using various suppliers on an ad-hoc basis. Finding a way to automate your dropshipping workflow is essential for maximizing your profit margins — and that’s just what Inventory Source does.


Working with numerous retail and inventory management tools (including Shopify and Skubana, respectively), it makes it possible to sync your dropshipping product lineups across all your sales channels. Notably, it allows edits from both suppliers and retailers, allowing them to negotiate strong relationships as they go.


Feeling that you’re spending too much time exporting and importing dropshipping products? Save time (and a lot of effort) with Inventory Source.


Oberlo


Dropshipping on the Shopify platform is a popular way to enter the ecommerce world. It’s a natural fit: the ease of the dropshipping model, coupled with Shopify’s intuitive store-building. But which provider should you choose? Well, it’s difficult to look beyond Oberlo.


As one of the top-rated dropshipping providers in Shopify’s App Store (for good reason), Oberlo integrates neatly with your store, drawing seamlessly from a worldwide supplier network to give you countless clear options. With a free plan available, why not give it a try?


Shipstation


Being fully mobile is no longer an option for ecommerce businesses. Your customers demand a fully mobile shopping experience and that includes the shipping of their orders. Shipstation mobilizes the shipping, tracking, and management of your products.


Shipstation comes with all the workflows and automation tools you need to optimize order fulfilment for your business. It integrates with all the major couriers, including:

  • DPD
  • DHL Express
  • FedEx
  • Hermes
  • Parcelforce
  • Royal Mail
  • UPS

It’s compatible with all of the leading ecommerce platforms, from Etsy to BigCommerce and you can dispatch all of your orders from your phone. See what Shipstation can do for your business by signing up to a 30 day free trial today.


Sellbrite


Need a tool that centralizes your inventory and streamlines the product management for your multi-channel business? Then Sellbrite is perfect for you. It’s compatible with eBay, Amazon, and many of the biggest ecommerce platforms.


It has a great range of features and benefits, including:

  • Powerful reporting
  • Data streamlining
  • Automated listing

Whatever sales channel your customers use, Sellbrite lets you reach them. If you want to grow and upscale your business then look no further than Sellbrite. 


Ecomdash


Are you an SME that wants a tool to look after all parts of your inventory management? Ecomdash could be the tool for you. Its multi-channel software lets you sync your inventory with the leading marketplaces, making it easy to list your products in all the places your customers use.


Along with having superb customer support, Ecomdash is free of transaction fees. This means you can scale up your business without paying hidden costs to broaden your sales channels.


For more information on the range of features available with Ecomdash, check out the homepage today. If you’re an SME seeking to centralize your product inventory, it’ll be time well spent.


TradeGecko 


Do you demand an inventory management system that puts your insights, orders, products, and customer details in the same place? Then you’ll love TradeGecko. It’s a cloud-based tool that looks after inventory management, supply chains, and sales.


TradeGecko creates a page for all of your products. Each page lets you see the sales performance and stock availability for the item, allowing you to track performance and sales trends. You can use this data to create customized reports, using the KPIs that are important to your company.


Over 18,000 companies use TradeGecko everyday to make their business run smoother. Sign up for a 14 day free trial now and you’ll see how TradeGecko makes your life easier.


Shipwire

Scaling distribution is a major challenge when you’re trying to grow your ecommerce business, particularly if you’re mixing dropshipping supply with standard inventory fulfilment. Shipwire is a cloud service designed to make your life easier by handling your supply logistics on a global scale.


What exactly does this mean? Well, if you have supply and a buyer to receive it, Shipwire can leverage its warehouses (joining with yours if needed) to get the job done — no matter where the recipient may be. Think of it as a facilitator, working alongside you to ensure that your shipments proceed as planned and get where they need to go.


ShippingEasy


Claiming to be the easiest cloud-based shipping software on the market, ShippingEasy provides you with a wide range of functions that allow you to take control of your order fulfilment process and retrieve the time that you would otherwise have spent on the logistics of shipping and inventory management. Through it, you can manage your orders, print labels, set out custom shipping rules to save time, and even automate marketing emails and recommendations.


Furthermore, it grants you access to some exclusive shipping rates on small but heavy items, making it ideal if you want to ship consumer electronics (a sizable market online). And if you need further assistance, ShippingEasy has the consultation teams to point you in the right direction.


Printful


Printful is a print on demand order fulfillment system. It’s easy to use, free to set up, and doesn’t have any monthly fees — sound pretty good, right?


The concept is simple: you receive an order for your product, then pass it onto Printful who print and deliver the product to the consumer. No need for owning or managing inventory or minimum purchases. Printful offer high-quality printing on a number of products, such as clothes, tote bags, phone cases, pillow covers, towels.


Printify


Another print on demand, dropshipping solution, Printify is a solid option for online merchant wanting to go down this route. Printify will pair you up with major print providers around the world, and can even set you up with free samples to test your potential products and printing partners.


You can choose from a catalog of hundreds of products from homeware to apparel, customize your products with any design or art that you’d like, and then add the products to your online store (Printify is compatible with Shopify, WooCommerce and Etsy at the moment). Printify handle manufacturing, shipping and billing so that you don’t have to.


Kickpay


Kickpay is a tool that puts the needs of small businesses over the priorities of investors. It’s inventory management software that means you no longer pay for your products upfront – now you pay for them after a sale is made.

It works in three stages:

  1. Your data is connected and Kickpay looks at your sales history
  2. Kickpay pays for the goods, paying your business or manufacturer directly
  3. Each time you make a sale Kickpay are paid for the items old

Upfront costs are one of the biggest burdens for small businesses. With Kickpay you have one less upfront cost to worry about.


Dark Store


Dark Store is another company flying the flag of shipping cost reduction – down with austerity, up with efficiency. Dark Store’s model is to lower the amount you pay of fulfilment by bringing the shipping centres to you, and reducing delivery time.


Does it work? Most businesses lose 25% of their revenue meeting fulfilment costs. With Dark Store that goes down to 3%. We’d say the model works. Now it’s for you to decide if it works for your business. 


Easypost


Let’s be honest, (shipping) API isn’t one of the sexiest acronyms in business. Who really cares about Application Programming Interface? Well, you do and so do your company’s stakeholders. So what spruces shipping API? A simplified process that means you can spend less time thinking about that dour acronym – gorgeous.


Easypost has made this possible by taking the complex technicalities out of shipping. With a clean and speedy interface, your company can save countless hours every year. Easypost features:


  • Carriers
  • Pricing
  • Shipping API
  • Tracking API
  • Shipping Insurance
  • Address Verification
  • Fulfilment

And it lets you use all the major shipping distributors, including:

  • UPS API
  • USPS API
  • Fedex API
  • DHL API

Now tell me that hasn’t got you a little hot under the collar?


Flexport


Whether you like it or not, freight forwarding is a vital part of ecommerce and of your business. Your products need to get from the storeroom to you customers front door and that’s where Flexport come in. Whether you’re shipping regionally, nationally, or globally this tool’s robust software and skilled experts make the process run smoothly.


Flexport’s great services include:

  • Ocean freight
  • Air freight
  • Trucking
  • Cargo insurance
  • Customs

Take the hassle out of shipping by letting Flexport get your products from A to B, no matter if they need to travel over air or sea.


Brightpearl


Keeping on top of accounting, inventory, and orders can be tough. As your company grows it becomes more of a stress to deal with these separately – so why bother? Brightpearl is an omnichannel retail management system that centralises all of these and more.


Brightpearl lets you run reports to see which of your products are selling and which aren’t. These reports also provide cost details, so you can see what the true profit margins are for your goods. Save your workouts for the gym and let Brightpearl do your trading and financial exercises for you.


Finance

Unless you’re an accountant, the headline financials for your ecommerce business are what you’re interested in. But what if you’re neither a finance expert, or in a position to pay for one to manage your accounts? That work still needs to be done if you’re going to trade effectively. Finance tools take the hassle away from managing your accounts and reviewing the performance of your business.


Signifyd


The incredible convenience of online banking comes at a cost: a great susceptibility to fraud. Because transactions can be issued in so many different ways from so many sources (often with no direct human involvement), retailers must be extremely careful to check that the orders they receive are legitimate, or else risk losing a lot of money.

Signifyd is a fraud prevention service that integrates with your existing systems to automatically weed out fraudulent orders without you needing to do anything more. Each fraud check produces a full report with a score and an explanation, making it clear why the associated decision was reached — and if a fraudulent chargeback somehow slips the net, they’ll pay you back within 48 hours (including chargeback fees and shipping).


Wiser


The availability of massive quantities of digital data is both a blessing and a curse in the ecommerce world, because it makes it possible to hugely improve almost everything about your business, but tends to require far more of your time for analysis than you can realistically relinquish. That's why you must find a tool to make the process of data analysis smarter, and Wiser might be what you're looking for.


Billed as your "single source for omnichannel intelligence and optimization", this service grants you a huge amount of insight into your business and its position relative to its competitors. Are your price points optimal? Are you collecting enough data in the right areas? Are you achieving a solid standard of consistency throughout your reseller network? Wiser can answer these questions and more.


PayPal


Since it was the first hyper-convenient online payment service to hit the mainstream, PayPal has the advantage of widespread support and acceptance. It essentially serves as a payment facilitator, allowing users to connect their bank accounts or credit/debit cards to their PayPal accounts and carry out one-click payments across many online systems.

PayPal is great for merchants because it makes life easier for customers (encouraging them to spend more), integrates with plenty of systems (if you use a vaguely modern CMS, you should be fine), and doesn’t require them to have specific merchant accounts. It has its drawbacks, such as sluggish withdrawals at times, but overall it’s a great service.

Stripe


If you’ve tried PayPal but found that it doesn’t quite provide the levels of functionality and customization that you require, then Stripe might be the service for you. Where PayPal is a broad entry-level solution for buyers and sellers with basic needs, Stripe is more of an enterprise-level choice aimed at businesses with web developers on hand.


Stripe is also excellent for security, because you can configure buyer payments to go directly to Stripe servers without passing through your store first. That takes you out of the equation and absolves you of responsibility for anything that may go wrong with the transaction, something particularly useful now that GDPR has altered global attitudes to data protection.


Quickbooks


Keeping track of your incoming and outgoing revenue and ensuring that everything adds up as it should can be a major source of frustration when all you want to do is focus on selling more products. Quickbooks is a powerful SaaS suite that makes it easy to keep all your financial information in one place, and since the cheapest tier is just $5 per month, it isn’t going to drain your profits.


You can access Quickbooks through a web browser, or download it to your Mac or Windows machine to save some time, and even the $5 per month tier allows you 24/7 support, a strong range of integrations (including Shopify and PayPal), and the ability to record receipts simply by photographing them.


Xero


Offering a similar level of quality to Quickbooks in many ways, Xero becomes more attractive the bigger your business gets. With far more integrations, superior security and uptime levels, and better customer service, it’s a stronger option for medium to large businesses that need to be absolutely certain they can rely on their financing software.


It bears noting, though, that while Xero used to offer Payroll as part of even its cheapest plan, it now (as of the 1st of November 2018) offers it only as a paid extra. And with pricing starting at $39/month + $6/month per person, it’s far from cheap. That said, payroll is only likely to be worth having if you have at least a small team working under you, in which case that cost may not amount to much for your business.


PennyPipe


We’ve looked at payment processors and financing software suites that have strong baked-in integrations, but they’re not always optimally smooth. PennyPipe is a service that quickly and cleanly moves data from your payment systems to your financing systems.


It’s even sophisticated enough to automatically port over refunds, so you don’t need to manually work on your financial data. Every payment of any variety is set out neatly and made available very quickly — you can’t watch your payment details roll in in real time, but there’s very minimal lag, so it isn’t far off.


Mint


Developed by the same company behind Quickbooks, Mint was designed to help people track their personal finances, something that is just as important for an online merchant as tracking their business finances. Since it’s hard to keep a business going when you’re struggling with your personal finances (it’s tough to focus when you’re worrying about having enough to eat while handling orders), you need to establish discipline in all your spending.


Mint can collate information from multiple bank and credit accounts, and allows you to set weekly budgets to achieve optimal frugality. It also provides insight into your habits, letting you see where you’re going overboard. It’s 100% free, with no catches, so there’s really no good reason not to try it.


Wally


If for whatever reason you don’t like Mint, you can give Wally a try. It’s also 100% free (there are plants to introduce some optional premium features at some point, but there’s nothing at the moment), so you could even use both if you wanted (though I wouldn’t recommend it). Mint is generally considered the better overall option, but Wally does have its advantages.


For instance, it’ll work with just about any bank you care to mention, while Mint will exclusively work with banks in the US or Canada. Mint is also online only, which can be a problem if you’re trying to update your settings and your data signal cuts out: Wally only has limited functionality when offline, but some functionality is better than none. Overall, it’s worth getting both Mint and Wally and seeing which you prefer. It won’t cost you a dime.


Wave


Despite offering three convenient financial tools for free (with no hidden catches), Wave doesn’t actually stop there. Instead, it’s really an entrepreneurial community of sorts, dedicated to helping aspiring business owners achieve their dreams. Its free accounting software, invoicing software, and receipt-scanning functionality would be good enough, but knowing that you can get help from a like-minded community is invaluable.


So how does it make money? Well, through payroll services in North America and charging fees on online transfers, neither of which needs to involve you if you just want the free support. Test it out and see how you get on.


inDinero


If your software is capable of scaling to meet your ever-shifting needs, shouldn't you have an accounting service that can do the same? This is precisely what inDinero sets out to accomplish, providing not only the software you need but also the targeted support from expert CFOs that can make all the difference.


Think of it as a one-stop shop for all your accounting needs, allowing you to handle everything relevant through a central dashboard (including chatting with experts). The pricing may seem intimidating (ostensibly starting at $310 per month), but consider that you can seek a tailored package better suiting your current needs, and weigh the cost against the prospective benefits.


Authorize.Net


Finding a trustworthy and reliable payment solution is extremely valuable for an online merchant. Authorize.Net is a leading payment gateway that handles over a billion transactions every year and has been in operation since 1996, boasting an impressive and consistent record.


One thing it particularly excels at is customer support, offering free 24/7 support (using real people, so no chatbots) that has secured it an Achievement in Customer Excellence trophy at Conformit’s Ace Awards for 11 years in a row. In the event that something goes wrong, you need to know that you can get some high-priority assistance, and you can rely on that with Authorize.Net.


TaxJar


Handling sales tax in online retail is more complicated today than ever before. In light of a shift to an economic nexus sales tax model, anyone who sells online to customers in various locations must be very mindful of the thresholds in different areas (and report everything accordingly). Why not automate the whole process?


This is what TaxJar is for. Easily integrating with popular systems such as Shopify, Magento, Amazon and Paypal, it can calculate your sales taxes and file your records automatically at the most appropriate time, leaving you free to concentrate on other things. And since it starts at just $17 per month, it's an expense that's easy to justify.

Customer service & experience

In today’s ultra-connected world, your business can’t afford to under deliver on service. Customers expect immediate responses to their queries, 24/7 access to problem-solvers, and a wide range of options for getting in contact.

 

Otherwise, they are inclined to take their custom elsewhere. Luckily, your business doesn’t need to be in a million places at once to meet these growing expectations. From chatbots to survey and builders, the following tools make delivering an always-on service both easier and cost-effective.

Olark


How can make give your shoppers a more human sales and customer service experience? By taking some of the work away from people and giving it to the machines. Olark is livechat software that drives up efficiency and revenue for your business. How? By speaking to your customers.


Some of the great features you get with Olark include:

  • Brand matched chatboxes
  • Transcripts that give you valuable insights on your customers
  • Live updates for your chat metrics
  • Automation and ecommerce and marketing software integration

The machines haven’t won yet (Judgment Day is still a while off). So while you have control over them, let Olark’s chatboxes help you to win the ecommerce war.


Front


If you’ve ever worked as part of a team, you know the value of a shared inbox. It’s a simple concept, but one that works wonders for business. It boosts productivity, streamlines work processes, and gives you oversight across your tasks and team members.


Front is a shared inbox with a difference. You can categorize emails by keyword or client, assign owners and tag individuals in threads to save time and prevent duplication of work.


But the best thing about Front is that it doesn’t just do emails. Your social media, live chat, and even SMS messages can all be monitored in the Front dashboard, helping you keep on top of your work.


Facebook Messenger


While Messenger started out as purely social, today it has evolved into a vital customer service tool for businesses both small and large. When your customers are so active on social, it makes sense for you to communicate with them there too. Messenger follows your customers, provides seamless support, and works with a whole host of chatbots for easy automation.


And whenever your customers click your Chat Now button, you automatically get access to their personal data so you can mine it, learn from it, and deliver a highly personalized customer service straightaway. Beautiful.


ManyChat


AI chatbots are extremely popular at the moment, and if you want to be able to provide round-the-clock responsiveness to your customers, you should be considering implementing one of your own. ManyChat is a straightforward tool that lets you create a custom chatbot for Facebook Messenger.


This means that a customer can always get an instant response, even when you and your team are out of the office. These bots are capable of handling most basic queries, and when they encounter more complex issues, they can seamlessly refer the cases to your team


Client Heartbeat


Surveys are effective for gathering direct feedback from your customers about the areas that are important to you. However, collating all the data can be a huge task, depending on the quantity and quality of the information gathered. Client Heartbeat is another really helpful tool, enabling you to make professional-looking surveys that measure and track customer responses.


You can use this data to identify customers with concerns that need addressing, collect testimonials, and even see how your business measures up against the competition.


SurveyMonkey


Do you need to gather information quickly and easily?

Data is a super powerful business asset and a tool like SurveyMonkey will help you gather and organize data better.

 

Whether you want to get in touch with staff, follow up after an event, check in with clients, or gather data for marketing purposes, SurveyMonkey is a really user-friendly survey tool.


LiveChat


No guesses for what this one does! LiveChat is a robust customer service solution that offers 24/7 live chat, customer query tracking, and sophisticated data analytics for startups, SMEs, and enterprises.


As well as issue resolution, LiveChat also lets customers grade your customer service so you can build on it and continually delight your shoppers. On top of that, social share buttons make it easy for happy customers to sing your brand’s praises online. Nice.


Zendesk


Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk that provides calm and clarity for you and your customers. As well as strong live chat features, Zendesk hosts a knowledge hub so your customers can quickly resolve common issues without reaching out.


But what about those difficult issues that require a little more work? Zendesk’s online community feature lets your customers share questions and collaborate together to find a tailored solution. It’s slick, comprehensive, and keeps your customers happy — what’s not to love?


Groove


For a help desk solution that’s simple but effective, get in the Groove. It syncs with most email inboxes to transform them into a powerful support hub for your customers.


A ticketing system keeps queries under control, and 24/7 live chat provided by Olark looks after your customers, wherever in the world they may be. And because Groove integrates with dozens of other apps including Slack, Zoho, and MailChimp, you can hit the ground running.


Tagove


A strong customer service experience is one that’s convenient and personal, and Tagove offers that tenfold. It’s a live chat platform like no other, letting you have real-time voice and video calls with your customers to nurture leads and boost sales.

And it’s super interactive too. You can share screens with your customers or communicate via smartphone to swiftly and seamlessly resolve issues. It’s easy to use and no download is required — super slick.


Vero

Vero is email marketing with a difference. Where other email marketing platforms offer set templates, segmentation, and scheduling, Vero provides a 100% customizable platform.


Granular analytics, response email templates, code and visual editors — Vero has it all. And with a pay plan that scales with you, it’s a solution that will serve you well as your business grows.


Qualaroo


Why do customers make the decisions they do? Qualaroo is a customer decision analysis tool that helps you get to the bottom of this by learning more about your customers and prospects. It’s used by some huge names — eBay, TripAdvisor and Glassdoor to name a few.


The platform lets you collect and analyze user data in real-time in a range of different ways, and has some awesome features such as advanced sentiment analysis, precision targeting and powerful reporting. 


Smile.io


It’s simple: using a rewards system helps you can build loyalty with your customers, increase customer retention, and turn your customers into brand advocates.


Smile.io is a rewards program which allows you to build a community of repeat customers around your ecommerce store. Upon joining your program, customers can build up points, resulting in discounts, gift cards or more — you decide! You can also offer VIP status for valuable loyal customers, and mobilize customers with referral bonuses for shouting about your business.


Smile.io integrates with a number of ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce.


UserTesting


UserTesting is a really handy research tool for online merchants wanting to get rapid customer feedback on customer experience. It emcompasses pretty much every step of the customer journey, from UX on your site, to using mobile apps, to testing out product prototypes.


 By connecting with your target audience and collecting feedback, you’re gaining invaluable insight into what is working for your business, and what isn’t. This allows you pinpoint any trouble areas and come up with solutions before they become long-lasting issues for your customers and your brand.


Promoter.io


The best way to create and build a store that keeps your customers happy is simple: customer feedback. But sourcing this can be a challenge. Knowing what questions to ask, how to collate the responses, and extracting meaning from them can be a mammoth task.


But Promoter.io makes all that easy. Deep consumer insight, accurate customer behaviour predictions, and seamless integration are at your fingertips with Promoter.io. It delivers real results, and with a competitive pricing plan, Promoter.io is a valuable investment for growing online businesses.


ReferralCandy


Your customers are your best marketers. If they love your brand, they’ll shout about it. ReferralCandy just gives those customers a push in the right direction.


Reward your customers with store credit, discounts, freebies, or cold hard cash in return for a successful referral. ReferralCandy uses sophisticated widgets, popups, and email templates to hook customers in and drive up your sales.


Pricing starts at $49 a month plus commission, so experiment with a 30 day free trial today to see if ReferralCandy works for you.


Sweet Tooth


Nothing keeps customers locked into your brand like a rewards program. Treat your customers right and they’ll keep on coming back for more.


And Sweet Tooth makes all that simple. It provides points schemes, VIP programs, and referral plans to increase customer retention and boost loyalty. And when that means money in the bank for you, Sweet Tooth is a tool well worth your time.


Wooly


Your customers are the influencers you didn’t know you had (or needed). Truly happy customers will sing your praises online willingly, so why not make the most of it with Wooly?


Wooly uses your email subscriber data to create a comprehensive searchable database of your customers’ social profiles. You can then find those that love your brand the most, so you can reach out and start collaborating.


Friendbuy

Another strong contender for referral programs is Friendbuy. It provides sophisticated workflows, event-based triggers, and flexible APIs to you can create and customize your reward and referral schemes to perfection.


And with Friendbuy’s helpful and knowledgeable onboarding team, it’s easy to get started. Its pricing plan is a little steep, but if you can afford it, it’s worth it for maximizing your ROI.


Thankbot

Here’s something a little different that you’ll love.


There’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note. It’s unique and personal, and customers love it. But who has the time to hand-write notes?


Thankbot does. For less than $5, you can get handwritten marketing that makes your business stand out from the crowd, boosting sales and engagement manifold.


Yotpo


Social proof is crucial for building your customer base and increasing sales. The positive testimonials of fellow customers can make or break a prospective shopper’s purchase decision.


Yotpo makes sourcing genuine social proof a breeze. It integrates seamlessly with most ecommerce platforms to collate reviews, social posts, and other user-generated content to promote your store. Experiment with Yotpo’s free plan to discover how it can grow your online store.


Remarketing & ads

Sometimes your customers need a little convincing before they make a purchase. They might abandon their cart at the checkout, or they’ll navigate away from your online store before clicking buy now. Thankfully, the handy tools below let you chase down these dithering customers and increase your sales.

OptiMonk


Popup windows can be annoying — when they’re not done right. Thankfully, OptiMonk has the perfect formula for on-site messages and exit intent popups that deliver results.


Online merchants can reduce cart abandonment, increase order value, collect feedback, and more with OptiMonk’s slick, stylish popups. And with prices starting from as little as $29 a month, OptiMonk is an affordable and attractive popup solution.


AdRoll


For a sophisticated retargeting service that follows your customers wherever they go, choose AdRoll. It offers comprehensive contextual and behavioral targeting with a strong self-service dashboard, letting you drill down into even the most granular customer information.


Where AdRoll really comes into its own is its detailed metrics options. Online merchants have complete visibility of customer data and campaign analytics, so you can create complex targeting campaigns that are effective and scalable.


Recart


Abandoned carts are one of the biggest sources of lost revenue for ecommerce businesses. Dithering customers lose you sales, so it’s important to stay on top of them.


Recart makes reducing abandoned carts easy. Push notifications, Messenger nudges, and popup windows are just some of the ways that Recart chases those abandoned carts and boosts your revenue. It’s also super cheap, with prices starting at $29 per month.


Criteo


Ecommerce has given your customers a lot of choice when it comes to making a purchase. Consequently, they spend a lot of time researching a product before committing. That can mean lost sales for you — unless you use Criteo.


Criteo shows the right ad at the right point on your prospective customer’s journey. It also offers personalized video ads for dynamic retargeting that will grab your customers’ attentions and increase your sales.

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Email


As an online merchant, you need to incorporate email marketing into your overall strategy. Strong engagement levels and a high ROI make it silly to miss ignore this highly effective marketing channel — it’s just a matter of picking the right campaign manager for you!

Campaign Monitor


While you’re scoping out options, Campaign Monitor is definitely one to consider, with comprehensive automation features, beautiful templates, and an easy-to-use interface.

More than 250,000 businesses across the globe use Campaign Monitor for their email marketing, including Adidas, Amnesty International, and Penguin Random House.

 

That’s some pretty huge names using the tool to connect with their audiences and execute super-personalized campaigns.


The downside? Campaign Monitor is expensive in comparison to its competitors.

AWeber


AWeber is a solid, well-established email marketing platform choice, with a range of features for a very reasonable price.

As with other email marketing solutions, AWeber offers responsive emails, segmentation, autoresponders, split testing capabilities and easy integrations.


So what makes it stand out? Well, unlike other options, AWeber offers a huge range of newsletter templates, coming in at a whopping 700+ templates. With this many templates available, alongside extensive tweaking and coding features, you won’t run out of choice.


It also gives you access to a library of free stock images that you can add into your emails for free.


MailChimp


Mailchimp has been one of the biggest names in email marketing and automations for a while now. With attractive templates and comprehensive analysis & reporting features, it’s easy to see why this tool is used by all sorts of different businesses across a wide range of niches and industry.


Mailchimp allows users to build and manage email lists with granular segmentation, creating unique optimized targeting. As it has a range of pricing plans (going from free to $199), it’s suitable for any business from SME to large corporations.


Moosend


Email marketing and automations platform Moosend is a super useful — and incredibly powerful — tool for online merchants. Say goodbye to boring emails and trying to understand HTML; say hello to efficient email automation! Moosend help you with your email campaigns and lets you create really beautiful, professional-looking emails with its catalogue of ready-made and DIY templates.


One of the big perks with Moosend is that it doesn’t just help you to design pretty emails; you can also track and analyze the performance of your email campaigns, conduct split testing, and improve your campaigns accordingly.


Sanebox


If you’re a busy ecommerce entrepreneur, then the amount of emails you get flooding into your inbox every day can be overwhelming. How do you stay on top of them? How do you figure out which emails are important and which are just fluff?

Meet Sanebox. Sanebox is a handy email management tool that uses clever algorithms to automatically sort your emails into different folders based on the level of importance of the email. Important emails stay in your inbox, distracting emails are moved to a “SaneLater” folder to read at a later date, and spammers are banished to your trash.


Good Email Copy


Need inspiration when it comes to writing emails that will capture your customer’s attention? We’re not all natural writers, and when it comes to crafting an engaging email that’s going to get customers clicking, it can feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall.


Luckily, Good Email Copy has got you sorted. This awesome website has collected email copy from some great companies so that you can get inspired when it comes to writing your own.


Constant Contact


This tool has been called the Volkswagen of email marketing – and that’s not because of a emissions failure. It’s solid, reliable, and will help you to arrive at your goals. There are no shiny tassels with Constant Contact, but there are also no pain points. If you want an email marketing campaign that works, this is an ideal tool for you.


ActiveCampaign


No longer a scrappy upstart, ActiveCampaign now ranks among the best email marketing software. A CRM and automation platform, it comes with some excellent features:


  • In-depth reporting: you can analyze geo-targeting, page visits, and click-maps
  • Zapier integrations: this lets you connect with more than 150 toolsç
  • User-friendly interface: it’s intuitive and simple to pick up

It’s great for organizations of all sizes and online merchants of any level of experience. You can find the full list of benefits by visiting the ActiveCampaign website.


MailPoet


There are many tools for managing your mailing lists, but MailPoet is definitely one to check out. Its design is simple and elegant, enabling you to create high-quality newsletters, automate email marketing campaigns across multiple sites and lists, and even generate essential analytical data so you can improve future campaigns.


It’s easy to import and export your contact lists, and you can even compose and beautify your communications within Wordpress, via MailPoet’s drag-and-drop email designer.


Hubspot


Hubspot is a CRM best-associated with inbound marketing. It’s designed to help you attract customers, improve lead conversion, and close sales. It also has some email features that are super useful for your sales team:

  • Email scheduling
  • Tracking notifications for emails
  • Templates to create sales emails

Even if that’s not immediately relevant to your business, use Hubspot as a resource. Its blog is full of useful articles, ebooks, and free courses. Check out Hubspot today. At worst you’ll learn something valuable about marketing.


ConvertKit

 

Ideal for bloggers and marketers, this is a perfect tool for small business owners. It’s powerful, simple to use, and has some top features:

  • It’s scalable
  • There’s no charge for multiple subscribers
  • Custom email templates
  • Custom unsubscribe links
  • Easy to embed opt-in forms
  • Great for creatives, ConvertKit brings flair to email automation.

Social media


Social media is a big traffic and sales driver for ecommerce brands. When so many (read: virtually all) of your customers are active on social media, it make sense that you should be too. Sales, traffic, engagement, brand awareness, and more are at your fingertips; these tools make it all that bit easier.

Snapppt


Right now, Instagram’s current ecommerce offerings are still in their early stages. Shoppable posts are just gaining traction, but only for those brands who meet their location/business requirements. How does your little ecommerce biz get in on the action?

Enter Snapppt.


The chances are you’ve already integrated your Insta feed with your ecommerce store. Customers can browse your Insta from your website, but they can’t buy — unless you’ve got Snapppt.


Snapppt lets any online store make their Instagram feed 100% shoppable from their store’s website. Customers inspired by killer styles can quickly and easily buy the look there and then.


Snappt is easy to set up and free to use, so there’s really nothing stopping you. Curate your best posts and see those sales soar.


Tailwind


High-quality social automation tools exclusively designed for visual social platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram are hard to come by. Frankly they’re pretty rare, and those tools that do exist tend to lack the functionality of other social automation tools.


So Tailwind is disrupting the industry somewhat with its end-to-end solution for Pinterest and Instagram automation. It’s one of the best social automation tools around for these visual platforms, and it’s easy to use. Sign up for a free trial before committing to make sure it’s right for you.


Loomly


With your marketing strategy sprawling so many social platforms, it can be hard staying on top of all of them. So just like you’d use a calendar to organize your week, a social media calendar tool such as Loomly.


Loomly lets you manage all your social media editorial calendars in a single top-down overview. You can coordinate your social campaigns from your master calendar, or drill down into platform-specific views. It’s a simple tool, but one that makes your life that bit easier.


AdEspresso


The world of Facebook ads can be a scary one for first-timers. Carousels or Canvas? Dynamic or Domain? Navigating the intricacies of Facebook’s ad system can be a challenge.


But AdEspresso takes all the stress out of creating an effective Facebook ad campaign.


As well as being a great educational resource for ecommerce entrepreneurs, AdEspresso also offers an easy-to-use ad platform. From ad creation and management right down to campaign analytics, online merchants can orchestrate Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads with ease.


AdEspresso is intuitive but sophisticated, so it’s easy to get started. Prices start at $49 per month, but experiment with the free trial first to see if it works for you.


Stencil


On social, high-quality visuals are king. No customer wants to see grainy, poorly-lit photos taken on a second generation iPhone. So it’s important that you get every aspect of your visual content on-point, and that includes your dimensions.

Image dimensions are an oft-neglected aspect of visuals. When you publish images to social, it often takes novices two or three tries to make sure everything scales and suits social as it should.


Stencil makes this easy for you. As well as providing basic drag-and-drop graphic design and layout functions, Stencil also lets you cascade images across a range of social platforms, complete with perfect proportions.


Prices range from 100% free to $12 per month, so ecommerce entrepreneurs of any budget can take advantage of Stencil.


MeetEdgar


MeetEdgar is a social media scheduling tool designed to save time — perfect if you’re an online merchant, entrepreneur or professional.


This handy time-saving tool not only schedules your posts like other social media tools, but also helps with content curation by finding interesting new content for you to share.


Like similar tools, MeetEdgar allows you track links, clicks and the success of posts, but it also divides your content into categories such as “inspirational,” “promotional” or “use once” for easy sorting. The tool works hard: it keeps your social posting ticking over even after you’ve stopped inputting content, by recycling your posts or even creating updates for you using RSS feeds from your favorite sites. Automation at it’s finest.


Buffer


Buffer is one of the big names on the social media management scene.


An effective social media strategy is an important part of any overall marketing strategy for online store owners these days. You need to post interesting, valuable content regularly to engage with your customers and build relationships, as well as promote your brand and products.


This is where Buffer comes in: it automates this process to save you time, and lets you schedule your social posts in advance.

Image Buffer

It also provides comprehensive social analytics to help you review the performance of your posts and optimize your social strategy. You can even add multiple team members (up to 25) to your account with varying degrees of access, so that everyone can help with social.


Buffer has an incredibly intuitive interface, making for a smooth user experience. The  user-friendly dashboard is a great place for managing all of your social channels and gives you clear, clean graphics to help with analysis. A tool well worth investing in.


Bulkly


Buffer is great and all, but keeping your content queue full can be a challenge. Finding the time to create and schedule your amazing content is tough, and getting that notification from Buffer that your content queue is empty is downright embarrassing.


Oh hey, Bulkly!


Bulkly makes it easy to populate your editorial queue in just a few clicks. It takes minutes to set up, and because it integrates with your social profiles, it can recycle your old content and give it a new lease of life.


AuthentiPix


The app formerly known as Instagration, AuthentiPix, is the Shopify plugin you didn’t know you needed. It trawls all those beautiful user-generated pics of your products on Instagram to cascade them across across your online store.


AuthentiPix is easy to use and super-affordable, and it’s perfect for ecommerce stores with Insta-ready products such as apparel or jewelry. It tracks hashtags or your own Insta feed so you can find only the best images for your store. Nice.

Design & Branding


Creating a brand for your ecommerce business makes total sense. It will bring you the longevity that you need in order to get repeat custom, and to dazzle those new prospects in the first place. These design and branding tools will help you with everything from creating strong logos and memorable infographics to finding the perfect font and editing product photos.

Leadpages


Optimizing your landing pages is one of the most effective things you can do to squeeze better results from your digital marketing campaigns, and Leadpages is a comprehensive solution for quickly and easily designing and integrating outstanding landing pages.


Starting at $25 per month, the basic tier allows you to customize a superb range of templates using an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to create unlimited landing pages, and allows you unlimited traffic and leads. From the $48 per month tier up, you can run unlimited A/B tests. The lowest tier grants you 40+ standard integrations, but the top tier (at $199 per month) also provides advanced integration capability.


Piktochart


Piktochart is a web-based design tool that helps you to create stunning visuals to support your brand. It’s simple to use and you don’t need to have design experience to make infographics, banners and posters for your ecommerce business.

 

Piktochart has a whole range of features, so you can use it to create memorable presentations and data-driven reports too. You can even create interactive charts and maps — just import your data, pick a style, customize your visuals and you’re sorted!


Pixlr


Pixlr is an online photo editor tool that you should definitely add to your toolkit. The web-based editor boasted over 2 million combinations of free effects, overlays and filters, and it can cover pretty much anything you need.


You can access Pixlr via the web app or mobile app, making editing on the move easy and effective.


The Noun Project


Often overlooked, icons exert a lot of influence over how we perceive digital content and the brands that produce it. Using great icons (and doing so with consistency) is a great way to demonstrate professionalism and an understanding of UI principles. But how do you get such icons? Look no further than The Noun Project.


Provided as a resource to the design industry in general, every icon uploaded to the site is available for download and use free of charge with attribution — and if you don’t want to include an attribution, you need only pay a small fee (split 50/50 between the site and the creator) and you can do so. Achieving a remarkable level of quality, this site is the place to go if you’re looking for a particular icon for your website or marketing copy.


Font Squirrel


What’s in a font? Well, depending on the situation, possibly quite a lot. If you choose extremely poorly, a font can ruin your copy, leaving it borderline-illegible and exhibiting a tonal mismatch with the actual topic. But don’t worry if you’re struggling to find the perfect font, because you can always use Font Squirrel, a site packed with free fonts.


Tagged in numerous ways (primarily for their styles, uses, and languages), there are hundreds of fonts available here, each providing a preview with a gallery of images if you click through to it. But that’s not all: the site also has a font generator (upload images to create your own font), a font identifier for figuring out which font was used for a piece of text you say, and a community section called Font Talk for, well… talking about fonts. For anyone who’s interested in fonts, it’s the place to be.


LogoJoy


Feeling unhappy with your current company logo? Maybe it has nothing to do with your business, or the designer tried way too hard to be clever and ended up with something incredibly confusing. Or perhaps you haven’t got around to getting a logo yet. Well, no problem: you can always give Logojoy a try.


What is it? It’s an AI-powered logo generator. You enter your company name, pick some color schemes you like, choose some relevant icons, and get a gigantic (and ever-expanding) list of logo suggestions. If you spot one you like, you can click on it to get a full preview (complete with business card designs), and pay $20 to get a low-resolution version for inspiration or $65 to get multiple high-res versions with unlimited changes and lifetime technical support. Compared to hiring a graphic designer, it’s a bargain.


Canva


Canva is a must-have graphic design tool for online merchants wanting to create attractive visuals and branding for their business.


This handy tool comes with a range of features including photo editing, text overlays, and custom graph creation to name just a few. Whether it’s unique images, infographics, banners or thumbnails that you want to make, it’s all made surprisingly easy by Canva’s intuitive and straightforward interface and drag-and-drop functionality.


Canva also lets you set color schemes and pair compatible fonts, so your images will always be on-brand, whether you’re using them for your website, email campaigns or social media posts. And the best news? It’s completely free!


Google Alerts


Google Alerts was set up by (you guessed it) to notify people when it finds matches to search terms you’ve bookmarked. The terms can include articles, blog posts, web pages, and more. Once a match has been found, Google alerts you by sending you an email.


The benefit of using this service is that it keeps you brand up-to-date with industry trends and changes. This allows you to tweak your brand message to newsjack, or buzzsurf, and give your audience content they care about.


99Designs


Looking for a platform that puts your business in touch with graphic designers to create your next logo? Then you should have a design for having this tool in your life.


99Designs offers you two ways to connect with freelance designers.


You can use the platform to find a designer with the skills you need, then work with them directly


You can invite the full creative community at 99Designs’ disposal to submit a proposal, then pick the best one


A new design is created every two seconds on 99Designs, with nearly 100,000, 000 made since the platform launched. All it takes is a few moments for you to find the design your brand needs.


BrandYourself


BrandYourself is a tool designed to help you manage your online reputation. You can use it to track your online branding efforts, find out what people are saying about your business, and improve your reputation.


BrandYourself helps out with all of the embarrassing stuff: negative press or reviews, complaints, unprofessional social media posts. You might not have realized or noticed, but all of these things can build up to tarnish the reputation of your company.


Signing up will minimize your risk factors on Google and social media, and build a strong online presence by maximizing your positive visibility.


You can get a free initial reputation report, and pay for a full service with a range of options if you feel it’s necessary.


Mention


Mention is an easy-to-use media monitoring tool which keeps an eye on more than a billion sources — including social media, blogs, forums and more — in real time.


It’s useful to know when and where your business has been mentioned, whether it’s about your brand, your products, or even your competition. If it’s a positive mention, you can engage and attract a potential customer, and not miss out on an opportunity. And if it’s negative feedback, you now have the chance to respond quickly and suitably — potentially strengthening your online reputation.


Productivity & Business

No matter how big, small, new, or old your ecommerce business is, to achieve your maximum potential, you need optimal productivity. Business productivity uses automation to centralise your processes and save you time. Be the best you can be with these great productivity and business tools.

Kin


Efficiency is one of the foundations of the most successful businesses. Without organising your employees in the right way projects fall behind, or off a cliff. The result? Poor employee retention and a business missing its potential. Kin is an HR tool that gives your brand control over employee organisation and efficiency.


It works by centralising the data and files you hold on your employees. It then connects this to your company directory, calendar, and co-worker bios. If you’re looking to keep HR costs at a minimum, Kin will make staying on top of employee reviews and objectives a breeze.


IFTTT


What’s IFTTT? It’s “If This, Then That.” And what’s that? Well, it’s a free web-based service that brings your apps and devices together, simplifying the process of synchronising them.


Using IFTTT allows you to create a smart office with the minimum of hassle, enabling you to control your devices and apps by voice. But that’s not all. It also lets you post images and content across multiple social media platforms. If you want the internet to play nice with your brand’s apps and devices, you need IFTTT.


Slack


Slack is essentially a messaging tool — perfect for keeping in touch with colleagues and customers alike. Unlike regular messaging apps where important information can be easily lost among watercooler talk, Slack lets you seperate your communication into channels. This means you can organize conversations into different projects or topics to easily keep track of what needs to be done, saving you time and money.


Pomodoro


If you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, then check out Pomodoro. It’s a free online tool based on the Pomodoro Technique: a time management method which uses a timer to break up your working day into 25-minute focused sessions of work, followed by 5-minute breaks. By cutting up long time periods and setting you shorter, more tangible goals, Pomodoro helps you to be more productive and fit more into your day.


This online version allows you to tick off your to-do list as well as use the timer without having to sign up, but other paid versions will integrate with other tools you use and provide extra functions.


Tick


Time is neither your friend nor your enemy, it’s your inventory and it needs managing in the same way as your products. If you don’t keep track of how long products and tasks take, they can become unprofitable and cause your company to run at a loss. Tick makes sure that doesn’t happen.


Tick has a three step time-card:

  1. Select your  project
  2. Pick your task
  3. Enter your time

You can add notes to each entry and access time-sheet reporting to get down and dirty with your data. Without time streaming your business can cut through its profits by accident. With Tick you can drive project efficiency on purpose.


Toggl


Toggl is a handy time tracking tool that helps you to manage your day more effectively. It’s as simple as opening up your tracker and pushing the ‘start’ button when you begin, and then stopping the timer once you’ve finished your task. You can add task descriptions, as well as tag them and assign them to projects, making tracking your workpots much, much easier.

The Toggl Button browser extension also makes it incredibly easy to track your time on a range of different tools, programs and devices at the click of a button.


Toggl comes with a dashboard (featuring visual pie and bar charts) and reporting, which you can sync up with the rest of your business or team so that you can see how long you — and your employees —  are spending on specific projects and campaigns.


Chanty


Is your ecommerce business seeking a free team chat tool? One that helps you to collaborate better and erode the hours you lose communicating through all multiple channels? Then look no further than the AI driven Chanty.

Chanty sells itself as an “an office into your pocket,” and it’s features go some way towards realising this claim. It allows you to:

  • Share a variety of content formats
  • Highlight your colleagues or employees in conversations
  • Pin your ideas to keep them from getting lost
  • Get more done by adding this one app to your business.

MindMup


The creative process is rarely linear – if it was that simple all your business’ ideas would arrive fully formed. Using mind maps is a way to record your thoughts ad-hoc and draw them together. MindMup lets you do that, and more. 

MindMup comes armed with a range of features:

  • Time-saving keyboard shortcuts
  • Google application synchronicity
  • Crisp project planning and management

It’s free for one user but could save your company countless pounds and dollars. Try it today and turn your train of thought into a well-oiled machines.


Wunderlist


If you love making lists you’ll be disappointed to learn that Wunderlist is (probaby) the only pure list making tool you need. What you’ll be delighted to discover is that it brings the joy of note taking online.


You can create lists and share them with colleagues. You can sort your lists alphabetically, by due or creation date, by assignee, or by priority. It’s everything you ever wished your paper notepad was and more.


Remember The Milk

Are you the sort of person who lives by your “to-do” list? I thought so (we all are). Gone are the days of scrawling messages on your arm in a grotty biro. Away with the time when your computer screen was decorated by tatty sticky notes. Arise the day of remembering to buy the milk by using Remember The Milk.


It sends you reminders by email, text, IM, Twitter, and all the major mobile applications. And if you need to remind yourself of a previous note, you can use the search function to find your previous entries. Don’t let your company’s coffee go without it’s dairy spice, download Remember The Milk and never miss a reminder again. 


Evernote

If note taking was a wine, Evernote would be vinified from the rarest grape and poured into a crystal glass. But it would also supply you with cheese, light a candle at your table, and depart without giving you a hangover. It’s not only the premium note app, it’s a life saver.


You can record notes by:

  • Web page
  • Formatted text
  • Photos
  • Voice memos
  • Hand – “ink” notes

In fact, you can take pretty much every type of note you like and organise it how you want. Some tools need to be seen to be believed. Try Evernote now and you’ll be a follower for life.


Trello


Project management can be a pain in today’s world of online collaboration, and that even goes for small projects: as you scale up, the problems only increase in complexity. You need to find ways to take huge amounts of information (including feedback from multiple contributors) and display them in a comprehensible way.


Trello is a project management tool designed to do just that using the popular Kanban system. It offers sophisticated functions, but keeps them covered with a simple and visually-arresting front end that represents everything from projects to events with richly-configurable cards.


The basic version is completely free, but if you want to make the most of it, you’ll need to pay $9.99 per user per month for the business version with app integrations and email support (among other things), or up to $20.83 per user per month for the enterprise version if your business is large enough to justify it.


1Password


This tool is a password manager. 1Password saves your passwords and site logins, so you don’t have to. But that’s not all. You can also share credit card details. Secure notes. Anything that’s too sensitive to send by email.


It’s ideal for families. Why? Because its family plan protects up to five people, by giving them an individual account. It also syncs seamlessly with all devices, saving time for overrun parents.


Online merchants will adore using 1Password. The business plan is as secure as the family offering, but it comes with extras. This includes reporting facilities, and management tools. You can onboard up to 50,000 people.   

Trustpilot rates it 9.2 out of 10. Try it for free today and see what you score it.


Dropbox


One of our favorite tools. This cloud storage facility and collaborative workspace has been helping merchants for a decade.


Here’s how.

  • Upload files and access them from anywhere
  • Change a document from one device and it’ll sync across all of them
  • Brainstorm, plan, design, edit, and review with Dropbox Paper
  • Integration with crucial business tools (like Slack, Salesforce, and Gmail)

21st century businesses need to be fluid. They need to be responsive. And they have to allow for global interactions. Using Dropbox allows your company to be all of these. Watch the video below to find out more:

CloudApp


Communication is key to any success in business. So say LinkedIn, the world’s premier employment platform. CloudApp allows you to accelerate communication for online merchants.


It’s a video and image sharing platform. It lets you capture GIFs, and videos. It enables screen recording. And it offers screenshots. All of which is possible through a slick and simple app.


It’s free for an individual user and has a scalable price structure. This makes it an excellent choice for solopreneurs with an eye on long-term expansion.


Find out more by visiting the CloudApp website today.    

Analytics

Ecommerce all comes down to numbers. What you spend versus what you make. The hours you put in versus the value you get back. If you don't know the numbers, you can't improve, and the key to this is analytics: tracking everything that happens through your ecommerce store so you can see how all your work is paying off. Use these analytics tools to collect more data and turn it to your advantage.

Bitly


If knowledge is power then links can build an empire. Links build the authority and increase the ranking of your website, increasing its traffic and boosting revenue for your business. Bitly is a URL shortener that allows you to optimize your links with branding and tracking.


  • Branding: Create links that are consistent and deliver your brand message 
  • Tracking: Use analytics to measure the performance of your links  

If that wasn’t enough, Bitly also has an excellent website with a host of helpful webinars. Get more from your links and they’ll deliver more customers to your business.


Segment


Segment is a tool that allows you to capture, organize and utilize your customer data more efficiently. You can use the app to collect data from over 200 tools, other websites, plus a wide range of devices, including mobiles, tablets, browsers, smart TVs, and point-of-sale registers. 


When installing Segment for the first time, you can export data from all your existing systems and apps. The app also creates a backup copy of your data, so you can access it anywhere, anytime. As a result, you will be able to identify trends, gain a better understanding of your revenue sources, and make your data management more robust.


Overall, Segment allows you to build a better understanding of your customers and prospects without the need to learn complex API interactions, allowing you to make significant savings on developer costs.


Google Data Studio


Collecting all the performance data in the world won’t help you if you’re not able to display it properly. Google Data Studio makes it easy to turn near-incomprehensible data sets into sheets and graphics that can be understood at a glance.


Want to review your product range and figure out which item is making you the most profit? Could be a little tricky with basic analytics output, but Data Studio can make it clear. And whenever you need to provide a presentation to win over a potential investor, you can ensure that all the top metrics get the spotlight they deserve.


As part of the Google ecosystem, Data Studio will seamlessly hook up to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Search Console. Just configure some simple views using the templates and let it auto-populate them. Oh, and it’s 100% free. Why wouldn’t you use it?


HotJar


Figuring out how well your user interface is working can pose a real challenge — you can get somewhere by assuming the mindset of a prospective customer, but it isn’t going to be representative of the real thing (no matter how well you understand your audience).


HotJar takes the guesswork out by generating heatmaps that show you exactly how customers are interacting with your website, including where they scroll and when they click. You can see where CTAs aren’t standing out enough, and where your content is failing to hold attention as you need it to.


With the ability to easily toggle between Mobile, Tablet and Desktop views, you can learn a lot about how differently your website performs depending on the circumstances of the visitor. Since having a cross-platform website is essential today, this is highly valuable.


But that isn’t all that HotJar can accomplish: it can also provide form analysis, record specific customer journeys throughout your website, and pop up with surveys to collect real-time insight that can give the heatmap data some much-needed context.


Tend


A customer’s visit to your site forms just one part of their full customer journey, and if you only know about what happens when they’re visiting you, you’ll miss out on a lot of important information that can help you make more sales.


Tend can bring together scattered data — about parts of your website, and parts of your visitors’ journeys — and provide you with a complete picture of what’s happening and how you can improve. Then comes the important part: it not only details individual user journeys, but also equips to you configure complex automation sequences.


By looking at a user’s journey, you can see how they arrived at your site — by referral, through organic search, through a PPC ad — and set up actions to trigger based on their behaviour. This is particularly useful for segmenting your contact list and allowing you to take a more personalised approach with your marketing and your UX design.


What’s more, the powerful Zapier integration makes it easy to add to the default data collected by Tend with data from any other marketing or analytics tools you have connected to your store, making it richly customizable.


KissMetrics


If a system such as Tend doesn’t quite meet your needs, it might be time to kick things up a notch with KissMetrics, a full-spectrum analytics solution. More suited to businesses and the enterprise level than to individual users, it provides wide-ranging functionality allowing you to get extremely in-depth with your customer segmentation, analysis, and engagement.

Beyond the level of something like Tend, KissMetrics supports conversion and goal tracking, can generate Facebook Audiences with ease, will integrate neatly with many ecommerce systems, and even offers email automation.


The cost is relatively steep, starting at a not-insignificant $500 per month, but it may be worth it if you’re determined to squeeze maximum value from your analytics — particularly when you factor in the value of the detailed knowledge base and associated support system.


Cyfe


How simple would your life be with a dashboard that monitors EVERYTHING? Pretty darn simple. That’s precisely what you get with Cyfe’s all in one business platform – it’s the cloud-based software that cuts down your work hours and give you back your free time.


It sounds too good to be true but it’s not. The areas it monitors includes:

  • Social media
  • Web analytics
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Support
  • Infrastructure

It’s compatible with more major data sources than you can count on 12 hands, with pre-built widgets that make collecting information easy as pie. Take back control of your time Cyfe’s dashboard monitor. 


Metrilo


If only your business’ marketing team knew how your customers behave. With that information you could design targeted campaigns with a much better chance of converting. With Metrilo you can get data on your customers behaviour, along with email automation and a CRM built for ecommerce brands.


But what’s important to your business are the cold hard results it will bring you. This is what you can get from Metrilo:

  • 39% improvement in email conversion
  • 48% increase in retention rates

It has official plugins for Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and more. So what are you waiting for? Check out Metrilo today.

Technical

You can achieve some success in ecommerce without digging too deep into technical elements, but your opportunities will be limited. Why not aspire to more? Here's the good news: the internet is full of incredible tools that make everything from coding to design so much faster, easier, and more accessible. Give them a try. You'll be glad you did.


GitHub


You can get quite far in the ecommerce game without needing to know any code, but if you really want to maximize your results, you’ll benefit from looking beneath the surface of your website and getting involved in its development.

GitHub is a software development community: a place for people to host their projects and get feedback and suggestions from experienced developers. If you decide that you want a feature on your store but you can’t find a suitable plugin (and you don’t want to pay whatever it would cost to hire a developer), then you can try using GitHub.


Is it a site for mooching off the work of others? No, certainly not, and you won’t get much help if you treat it that way. Instead, look at it as a supportive learning environment. If you’re willing to learn how code works and you aspire to develop your own website, the GitHub community will gladly lend you a hand.

Open Graph Tags


Marketing on Facebook is very important for many ecommerce businesses. It’s the world’s biggest social network, and boasts an astonishing depth and breadth of user information that can be leveraged to create finely-segmented promotional campaigns. That’s why you need to care about how your brand comes across on Facebook.


Open graph tags allow you to tag a page to determine how it will be interpreted and displayed when someone links to it through Facebook. Tags include og:title, which (as you’d expect) details the title of the content, and og:image, which gives Facebook an image to display alongside the link.


Every link shared on Facebook faces a very competitive environment — Facebook isn’t exactly lacking for content, with the average feed full to bursting with videos and polls and infographics. Having a solid description and a relevant image showed with your link could make the difference between a click and a miss.


Structured Data Testing Tool


When a search engine (usually Google, of course) crawls a page, it must try to figure out what the contents mean so it can properly index and categorize it, and while search crawlers have become smarter over time, they’re still not great at interpreting natural language. That’s where structured data comes in.


Structured data is website content tagged using standard terminology to explain what the different parts signify. For instance, you can use tags to tell Google what the title of a page is, what the subject of the content is, or who the author is. This cuts down on the time needed to parse the content and makes it less likely that the content will be misinterpreted.


What’s more, now that Google is seeking to raise convenience for the searcher by extracting relevant data from websites and displaying it at the top of SERPs, structured data is key for being selected for those snippets. The clearer you make your structured data, the more likely it will be that your content will be chosen for a relevant search, getting you a link at the top of the page.


Schema App


Structured data is a dream for the detail-obsessed SEO geeks among us. It can be configured in so many different ways, and used to communicate so many things, that it has an astonishingly high ceiling for performance — yet a lot of sites don’t use it at all!

Part of the reason for this is that it’s quite complicated and not well understood, which is why online merchants can benefit from some guidance. Using the commonly-supported Schema.org standard, Schema App provides you with a way to assemble accurate and fit-for-purpose structured markup in very little time. You don’t even need to spend hours trawling through Schema documentation or trying to get the parsing exactly right, giving you more time to think of inventive ways to use schema data.


You can make use of the software on a manual basis, or seek broader integration to use it at scale. However you implement it, you’ll build a coherent microdata strategy and structure — something most companies (even giant brands) still lack.

Axure


It’s fairly rare for an online seller to have web design and development skills to go along with their sales expertise, and even a seller does have such well-rounded skills, they’re unlikely to have the time needed to do everything themselves. That’s where outsourcing comes in — by finding some good freelancers, you can get your design and development work done without incurring the cost of hiring an agency.


But using freelancers does require you to stay on top of all the proceedings. You need to know what’s happening, what to expect, and what (if anything) stands in the way of progress. This is what Axure excels. A wireframing and prototyping tool, it equips you to keep your content updates in a central (and highly visible) position.


Ever dealt with frustrating project-related email chains where you’re never quite sure what all the recipients know, or struggled to get an update on some work because the person responsible for it got sick? Being able to quickly communicate complex ideas and ensure constant content accessibility is very valuable, and Axure gets everyone working from the same sheet.


Wrike


A less techy version of Axure, Wrike is a great multipurpose online project management system that’s perfect for a small-to-medium ecommerce team in need of a unified workflow.

Using Wrike, people can easily track the status of a project and keep on top of their assigned tasks without you needing to remind them. But it’s more than a solo reminder system — it’s also a great collaborative tool that allows people to work together on projects and tasks.

Clean, easy-to-use, intuitive, and boasting an excellent range of integrations that lets it seamlessly work alongside most standard software systems, Wrike is perfect for anyone who needs to corral a team of freelancers or collaborate with a full-time team of remote staff.


Adobe InCopy


The entire Adobe creative suite is definitely worth looking into, but InCopy is particularly useful when working with freelance designers or copywriters. When it comes to precise editing and version control, there is really no better solution on the market for getting maximum polish on your all-important copy.


As a high-performance word processor that carries the rich functionality you need without venturing into the unnecessary complexity of InDesign, InCopy allows multiple people to work on the same piece of content simultaneously. Instead of getting into editing wars with employees, you can review their contributions and easily dismiss them as needed.


Dropbox commenting can definitely start you off when it comes to design feedback, but anyone that’s serious about editing design work will benefit from getting to grips with the Adobe suite for a clearer, more precise editorial workflow. When it comes to creating that perfect sales brochure or new social media feature, you’ll be grateful for a quick and easy way to give feedback and track changes.


GTmetrix


Slow and steady may win the race if you’re living in Aesop's fables, but here in the real world it does serious harm to your business. The slower your website the lower your Google ranking, and the shorter your website visitors. With GTmetrix you can analyse your website speed and finds ways to make it faster. Here’s how:

  • Page monitoring and testing: It carries out weekly speed tests
  • Monitored alerts: Get alerts when a page triggers any speed conditions you’ve set
  • Global testing: See how your website is performing in seven different global areas

Test out GTmetrix now and you’ll never have to worry about losing customers because of slow loading web pages again.