4 Ecommerce Tools Small Retailers Should Tinker With
An eMarketer report indicates that there will be a 4 percent increase in U.S. retail sales in 2015, hitting nearly $5 trillion. It also predicted that ecommerce in the U.S. will experience a 14 percent jump. An analogous report from Forrester Research also indicates similar growth. It states that U.S. ecommerce sales are slated to hit $279 Billion this year as consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online.
The holiday season sales of 2014 saw an increase of 16 percent in ecommerce retail sales, worth $72 billion in all. Although it is too early to say anything about this year’s holiday season, you may let your imagination run wild.
It is therefore a great time for small business owners to find buyers online. Here are four of the best and value-for-money tools to help you along the way.
Optimizely works as your on-demand technical team. It allows you to perform instant testing, schedule tests, measure conversions, track engagement and clicks, and so on. It also integrates with various analytics tools, including Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, and SiteCatalyst.
The Guardian, Sony, Cars.com, Fab, and many other bigwigs are using Optimizely to analyze what converts best and what’s more likely to lead to higher revenue. There are several packages available to support different levels of ecommerce businesses. Small businesses with less than 2,000 monthly visitors can start with the free, basic package. There is also an Enterprise package on offer, customized for your business requirements.
#2. Exit Monitor
Consumers these days have so many options that they are becoming increasingly impatient. The average bounce rate for Q4 2014 was 30.2 percent; the second highest in the last five quarters. Small business owners therefore need to focus more on optimizing for conversions if they want to generate leads and keep the conversation going with their customers.
People leave a site for various reasons, ranging from price to navigation issues such as difficulties in checkout. You can solve or at least better deal with a lot of these issues if you can track the mouse movements of your visitors. Enter Exit Monitor.
It tracks the visitors’ mouse movements and displays targeted and personalized offers in real time, just as a visitor tries to leave your site, enticing and encouraging her to stay back or consider purchasing from you. In terms of metrics, this leads to reduced shopping cart abandonment and lower bounce rates. If you are looking for an alternative for a more expensive monitoring tool like Bounce Exchange, Exit Monitor is the right tool for you.
Exit Monitor also provides visitors’ behavior reports; another reason why you should consider using this tool. Apart from real time reporting, Exit Monitor comes with app integration capabilities, allowing you to connect email marketing tools with your customer relationship management solution. There is a 14-day free trial on offer if you’d like to try out this vast array of mind-numbing features.
A relatively new entrant to the ecommerce industry, Unbxd has two personalization products: an intelligent, “context-aware” site search solution and a personalized product recommendation tool. Two of the most important and profitable characteristics of an ecommerce website.
Site search is incredibly important for conversions and you need to make sure it works flawlessly and unobtrusively for your customers. A post on Econsultancy claims that nearly 30 percent of ecommerce site visitors use the site’s search function. Besides, there are reports that site search is over 1.8 times more effective in converting visitors. Unbxd’s intelligent site search can understand user intent and is highly error-tolerant.
The product recommendation tool offered by Unbxd provides an Amazon-like experience based on user behavior. This is a great tool that has the ability to identify customers’ preferences in brand, category and price range, and has been known to increase conversion rates by 17 to 22 percent. It is also compatible with major ecommerce CMS platforms including Bigcommerce, Shopify and Magento.
All online stores face a common problem: abandoned carts. According to Listrak an average of 72 percent of shoppers (2014 figure) abandon their shopping cart midway through the purchase process. To avoid missing out on your potential sales, you need to first understand why people leave a particular site.
As mentioned earlier, the causes for this can be numerous – slower loading times, price, navigation issues, and so on. Whatever the reason, there are ways to convince your visitors to stay and complete the transaction with – hold your breath – an effective email recovery campaign. For example, if price is the issue, you can provide special offers such as free shipping or a discount on the second purchase to persuade customers to buy from you.
AbandonAid helps you send email reminders and offers that incentivize them to revisit their ‘abandoned’ orders and complete the purchase. With AbandonAid, all this is automated, meaning you don’t have to bother with manual triggers. It also allows you to customize email templates.
Further, AbandonAid provides reports on key metrics such as the total numbers of emails sent, open and click-through rates, percentage of conversions, and sales recovered. It integrates well with major ecommerce platforms including Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart and ZenCart. AbandonAid has a pay-as-you-go pricing under which the company offers free services up to the first $500 in recovered revenue.
For a successful ecommerce business, you need detailed insights on your customer behaviour as well as market trends. The four tools I’ve discussed here offer critical insights to help your business grow by enhancing your market reach and customer engagement capabilities, reducing your bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment frequencies, and leading to higher sales revenue. Let me know in the comments if you use any of these ecommerce tools or if you’ve tasted success with other good ones.
Images: Author’s Own
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