An online store lets you break away from the confines of a typical brick-and-mortar store.
Having an online presence creates so many opportunities to reach out to and engage with your target audience. Whether you run a mom-and-pop, a start-up, or a big business, ecommerce marketing tools can become an integral part of your business’ day-to-day growth. Find out which tools help saving time and money, by organizing your search into these categories:
- Website tools – To set up your ecommerce store and help you manage it
- Research tools – To find out about your competitors, identify opportunities in your niche, and learn how to improve your own site and campaigns
- Business tools – To manage the day-to-day operations, logistics and finances of your ecommerce store
- Marketing tools – To let the world know you exist, drive traffic, convert leads into customers, and build your brand
- Analytics tools – To tell you how well everything you’re doing is working and to spot leaks in your sales funnels
Experts at McKinsey predict that by 2020 the global ecommerce economy will cross the $4 trillion mark. Forrester predicts that China alone will reach $1 trillion in total online retail spending by 2019.
You need to decide which ecommerce tool is worth the investment, and which offers you an advantage over your competitors. Combined with a smart marketing strategy, the right ecommerce marketing tools can grow your online store.
Find an eCommerce tool that works for your business
When choosing an ecommerce tool that works for you, keep in mind your technical skills and budget, as well as factors like SEO, mobile-friendliness, onsite search, and scalability. Knowing your limitations and needs makes it easier to select the tools that can help you attract users to your site, and grow your business.
You should also set up an ecommerce blog for your store. Having a blog is a great way to demonstrate authority and credibility; keep your customers informed and engaged; and boost customer acquisition for your online business.
To kick things off, we’ve listed down seven eCommerce tools that you can use to grow your business.
1. Email marketing
Email is the currency of the web, and for every ecommerce business, the ultimate goal is to turn potential customers into paying ones. When it comes to these conversions, there isn’t a more powerful channel than email.
The average click-through rate of an email campaign is around 3% (of total recipients), whereas the average click-through rate from a tweet is around 0.5%. This means you’re six times more likely to get someone to click through to your website via email than from Twitter.
What’s more, email is highly measurable. Constant Contact customers have real-time access to metrics like open rates, clicks, bounces, forwards, social shares and more.
If you’re serious about email marketing for ecommerce, you’ll need to work with an email service provider; one who can provide you with professional email templates, automation tools to help you grow, easy ways to or manage your email list, and tracking features that show you how customers are responding to your emails.
When building your email list, remember to never purchase a mailing list. Email marketing is all about building and nurturing relationships; connecting with a smaller list of quality contacts is more impactful than blasting out email marketing campaigns to contacts that don’t even know your business.
2. Social advertising
Managing an online store is tough enough. Couple that with all the work that goes into maintaining an active social media presence across different platforms, and you have your hands full.
With the Facebook lead ads tool, you can create Facebook ads right from Constant Contact, where the lead information is automatically populated into your account using marketing automation so you can market to target customers using email.
Social ads are being credited with higher purchase influence, especially among millennials where it’s the second-most influential paid media. Using Facebook to collect business leads allows you to target your defined audience, both people and organizations interested in your business, who are willing to share their contact information with you.
One major benefit of Facebook for this purpose is that it supports mobile optimization, and offers the ease of submitting necessary information directly via Facebook. No new tabs, no leaving the Facebook page, and no extra hassle.
Pro tip: Go the extra mile and learn how to integrate Facebook seamlessly in your email marketing strategy.
3. Google Analytics
Analytics tools use data science to help you understand what your customers want, why they came to your store in the first place, and how you can attract more of them. Keeping an eye on these statistics is a necessity.
A free tool brimming with information, Google Analytics can help you improve conversions on PPC ads; optimize your site and product descriptions, and track visitor behavior on your store. Google Analytics is a must-have for any ecommerce business. You can also set up reports that help you identify problems or opportunities in real-time.
4. Text marketing
Contacts are the lifeblood of your business or organization. Without them, keeping customers or supporters engaged is an uphill battle. EZ Texting offers your business a flexible platform that can be used in multiple ways:
- Coordinate your workforce – Send bulk text messages to let your workforce know about daily shift schedules, weather alerts, or HR tasks they need to complete. It’s perfect for situations where you need your workers to receive messages quickly.
- Advertise an event – Got a bake sale, concert, or volunteer opportunity? Texting is a quick and easy way to let thousands of contacts know in a matter of minutes. Sending notifications via text keeps your event top-of-mind, and can help more people show up.
- Billing alerts – Whether you’re dealing with customers or vendors, automatic billing alerts delivered via text can make it easier to stay in the black at the close of the month. Texting’s superior open rate can keep your message from getting lost in the mix.
- Customer service – Text customers when their package arrives, or chat with them one-on-one. Many consumers prefer to communicate via text message. Offering this option to become more responsive to your customers’ needs.
Constant Contact offers an integration with EZ Texting that automatically syncs your contacts, so you can create different segments from your lists, and start sending texts to your customers in no time.
5. SEO tools
SEO, or search engine optimization, means setting up your ecommerce website and content to better show up in online search results. While many digital marketing tactics rely on you reaching out to your audience, SEO gives you the power to reach people as they actively search the information related to your products and services on their own.
SEO helps you improve your visibility within the organic search results, which is the traffic that comes to your site naturally, rather than relying on paid search results alone.
Another important factor in the growing importance of SEO is mobile, and the popularity of using devices like smartphones and tablets to search online. According to a recent report from Google, 50 percent of mobile users are more likely to visit a store after conducting a local search on a smartphone.
By taking steps to optimize your online presence with search in mind, you increase the chance of people finding your business and becoming a new customer.
Pro tip: We have a library full of helpful SEO best practices to help you turn your website into a trusted resource that benefits your business.
6. Google AdWords
To increase brand and product exposure, you can use Google AdWords to create campaigns that drive more loyal customers to your website. With Google AdWords, you can target specific audiences based on location or keywords, and you only pay for actual results.
When was the last time you whipped out a phone book to look up information on a local business? Chances are that big yellow book doesn’t get much use anymore. These days, you’re more likely to get your answer from a quick online search. So are your customers. With 81 percent of consumers conducting online research before making a purchase, having a healthy relationship with Google improves your chances of being found by your next great customer.
What makes Google AdWords extra special is that you don’t have to create the demand – you simply need to satisfy it. Your audience is already looking for your products and keywords.
7. eCommerce platforms
Constant Contact’s integration with Shopify makes your ecommerce journey extremely smooth sailing. Once integrated, Shopify allows you to automatically sync critical customer data between Constant Contact and your Shopify ecommerce system.
Shopify provides you with a variety of tools to help you set up and run your business. Depending on the pricing plan that you choose, you can find everything you need to showcase your products online, to process payments, and to make your store work for you.
- Free and paid themes from the Shopify Theme Store to make your business stand out and look great
- Free and paid apps from the Shopify App Store to expand the functionality of your ecommerce store
- Shopify’s own payment provider to accept credit card payments
- Growth opportunities with Shopify’s sales channels and an enterprise plan for merchants selling in high volumes who need to decrease transaction fees
- A Shopify blog with guides and articles about running your store or connecting with your customers
- Experts all around the world, who can help you set up, design, and market your store
- A dedicated Support team available 24/7 to answer your questions no matter what Shopify plan you’re on.
Choose marketing tools for eCommerce that scale with your business
The number of things you need to get into place when setting up your ecommerce business can seem daunting at first. Remember to plan carefully, choose tools and platforms that can scale with you, and invest where it counts.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ecommerce tools available to you. However, using even one of them could make all the difference to your business, helping to create a marketing engine that grows your ecommerce store and elevates your marketing efforts.
Visit our Apps & Integrations page for a full list of tools that integrate with Constant Contact.