With global online sales amounting to $3.53 trillion (approximately £2.8 trillion) in 2019, e-commerce is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative markets worldwide. However, running your own business online is no mean feat. You are up against a tremendous amount of competition from all directions in your bid to acquire as many customers as possible. To really maximise your business potential – and stay ahead of your competitors – you’ll need to enlist the help of some high-quality e-commerce tools.
Whether you want to track website engagement or provide more accurate delivery updates, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 effective e-commerce tools to facilitate the growth of your online business.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that converts any WordPress website into a fully functional e-commerce store. You’ll need to have WordPress installed on your web host before you can use the WooCommerce plugin.
The great thing about WooCommerce is that it essentially does all the work for you. It provides you with product pages, inventory management, coupons, and more. You just need to add content and your online store is ready to go. The WooCommerce plugin also includes a range of pre-set themes for you to choose from. If you can’t decide from the available options, you can use third-party websites for a wider selection of themes.
WooCommerce connects to all major payment gateways including PayPal. It can also integrate with alternative payment methods such as Amazon Pay, thereafter. It also comes with fantastic customer support if you need any assistance.
It’s worth noting that, although WooCommerce is free to use, domains, themes, and hosting services all carry a set fee. The themes often cost around £80 (approximately $100) each.
Aftership is an e-commerce tracking solution that provides customers with real-time delivery updates. It is compatible with over 660 couriers worldwide and will automatically track the latest shipment information. You can even send push notifications to your customers via SMS or email. This includes any updates regarding delayed deliveries and failed delivery attempts.
Aftership lets you customise the content of your delivery updates by selecting specific triggers for push notifications, for example ‘in transit’ or ‘out for delivery’.
Some of the largest online retailers use Aftership. Wish and Groupon are among the tracking solution’s list of big brand customers. Aftership’s free plan has a limit of tracking 50 shipments per month. If you require more, you’ll need to pay a premium starting from $9 per month, which converts to about £7 per month.
#3. Oberlo (H2)
Oberlo is a dropshipping app for the Shopify platform that makes tracking products a breeze. Dropshipping is the process whereby merchants fulfil orders by shipping products directly from the supplier. This eliminates the need for retailers to manage stock for themselves. Oberlo helps arrange the shipment of each order, thus simplifying the entire dropshipping process.
Oberlo also helps you find products that you want to sell online. Thereafter, you can quickly add them to your Shopify store. Orbelo seamlessly integrates with sites like AliExpress where you can directly import products from their vast database in just one click. There’s also an option to filter products from AliExpress based on delivery time so that your customers receive products quickly. In addition to this, Oberlo will allow you to customise products with new images, titles, and descriptions.
Providing that you already use the Shopify platform, Oberlo is one of the most useful e-commerce tools – especially for smaller businesses that want to avoid the hassle of managing their own stock. It is free to use up to 500 products and 50 orders per month. You can increase your usage by choosing one of Oberlo’s premium payment plans thereafter – starting from $29.90 per month (about £24 per month).
By analysing website engagement through heat maps, session recordings, and surveys, Hotjar is one of the most unique e-commerce tools on the market. It helps you identify how visitors are interacting with your site, thus also revealing areas for improvement. The tool shows you where they click, where they scroll, what their interests are, and whether they see the critical elements on your page so that they can take your set action. In addition to this, you can view anonymous user sessions on your site. This gives you visibility into potential bottlenecks and the areas visitors are falling off.
While most regular platforms use standard graphs and charts, Hotjar provides a much deeper level of insight into your user behaviour. It gives you instant feedback on exactly where your site visitors may or may not be paying the most attention to, so you can act immediately.
Installing Hotjar onto your website couldn’t be easier. By following the very simple guidelines provided, the software will be up and running within a matter of minutes. There’s no need to worry about Hotjar affecting your website speed or SEO performance either. Big brands such as RyanAir, Hubspot Academy, Reed, and Matalan trust the platform to improve their online performance.
Hotjar’s Basic Plan is free forever and permits an unlimited number of users to track up to 2,000 page views per day. If you need to track more pages and extra features, the next level up is Hotjar’s Plus Plan for €29 per month and 10,000 page views per day.
BuzzSumo is a content analytics tool that helps you decipher the subjects your intended audience is most interested in. Simply type in a keyword or domain name and BuzzSumo will tell you which content works from an index of over 5 billion articles. Whether it’s short-form or long-form content, BuzzSumo will identify which formats resonate the most with your specific audience.
If you’re looking to boost your brand’s visibility online by working with influencers, BuzzSumo can help with that too. It has a vast database that shows the authority of each influencer using meaningful metrics that identify those who truly drive engagement. The tool also enables you to analyse the influencers that are producing the best results for your competitors. You can filter your search based on engagement, language, and much more.
BuzzSumo offers a free trial that provides access to both content analytics tools and influencer searches. Once the free trial is over, pricing starts from $99 per month, which is equivalent to about £80 monthly.
Effective E-Commerce Tools For Online Business Growth
Whether it’s WordPress plugins, tracking solutions, stock management apps, website engagement tools, or content analytics platforms, there are plenty of e-commerce tools that will support the growth of your online business. They will help to propel your business towards success in an increasingly competitive marketplace.