12 Can’t-Miss Tools for E-Commerce Entrepreneurs
What is one tool or dashboard all e-commerce enterpreneurs should use and why?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
In e-commerce, A/B testing is huge for increasing conversions. I love the Optimizely interface for A/B testing and highly recommend all e-commerce entrepreneurs use it.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics or something similar is my favorite. I’m a big fan of knowing who’s coming to the site and when, plus getting even more granular with the tool. Whether you sent an email blast or promoted a post on Facebook, Google Analytics provides you with a lot of insight. I like to use it to simply track hits to the site or see complete conversions.
Magento has consistently impressed us with its versatility and the depth and responsiveness of its community. We’ve used some great extensions such as Magik Daily Dashboard, which can provide great insights into the business. Tableau dashboard also provides an interactive and visual method to keep on top of the ever-growing sources of data that e-commerce entrepreneurs must manage in real time.
BuzzSumo offers a free tool for finding the top performing pieces of content across social media channels. It’s a nifty way to find out what consumers are talking most about and who your biggest influencers could be. When it comes to e-commerce, SEO and content can be critical for driving traffic and conversions, so having a pulse on what’s buzzing around the web is helpful.
To run my e-commerce business, I use so many tools and apps that I often lose track of what it all means.Ducksboard has helped me greatly by giving me a visual dashboard to track all of the activities in my organization. Being constantly reminded of my company’s key metrics makes it a lot easier to stay focused on the things that drive results. It takes a while to set up, but it is worth it.
I don’t know what I did before Dropbox. I use it for nearly everything — to maintain screenshots for my team, to send over .zip files for big projects — it’s my everything. If you’re moving your business to be entirely e-commerce, you’re going to need to integrate every moving cog of your business to a cloud-based platform. That’s where Dropbox becomes your best friend.
7. Retention Grid
I like using a tool like Retention Grid to visually show where customers are in their purchase history. Retention Grid shows e-commerce entrepreneurs where to focus: on “sleepers” — customers who need to be woken up — to “loyal” — customers who want the newest products at full price. It’s a great tool to target marketing initiatives, because not all customers respond to the same offers.
Landing pages are key for any and all direct response marketing efforts. In any team, tech resources are extremely limited, so e-commerce companies love Unbounce because you can build and optimize landing pages without troubling your developers. We’ve been able to increase conversion rates many times over thanks to Unbounce.
Webgility allows you to connect from your web store to QuickBooks software for inventory quantities, orders and even customer information. We focus on a single point of entry. The customer has put in the information and accounting should not have to enter that data again.
Mixpanel is a must-have for all e-commerce entrepreneurs. It has a ton of features, but the ones I use most often are the powerful targeting and the ability to manipulate data without having to use complex SQL.
Jirafe provides sales data in real time and lets you track consumer behavior as they access your website. You can also identify your top-selling products over lengthy periods of time. Its basic version costs $19 per month.
It seems silly to discuss email marketing, but the tool that has made the biggest impact on our business isMailChimp. Segmenting yourcustomer base allows you to share messages with the relevant group. A/B testing enables you to deliver the message in the most effective way. And integrating with social allows you to spread your message further. Simply put, email drives repeatable, effective sales.
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