2020 has undoubtedly been a major milestone for businesses. The pandemic has been a big factor in generating a huge behavioral shift in consumers’ behavior by forcefully probing them to purchase online, thus spending online far more than any of the previous years to date. Last year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other major holidays that typically take place during November and December reached a record-breaking $201.32 billion, which is a whopping 45.2% increase compared to the $138.65 billion in 2019. Not impressed?
Did you know that:
A) US e-commerce penetration grew by 10 years during the first 3 months of 2020?
B) Online cross-border purchases soared to 82% year-on-year in 2020?
If you are a retailer the message is clear; you need to expand your business to the online world. Trends, data, and most importantly, the irreversible shift in shoppers’ behavior show us that e-commerce businesses are on the rise and there is no sign of that stopping anytime soon.
With the necessary shift to shopping online, customers haven’t got the time to adjust to the different shopping experience an online business offers; a non-personalised, friction-full experience with the limitations it imposes in relation to the lack of a physical interaction with a product.
If you are ready to take the plunge or have done so already and want to invest in it even more, you want to ensure that you put your best foot forward by investing in the right tools that will make you successful. Here are my 4 suggestions on the tools categories you need to invest in right now:
Analytics and CRO tools
Data is essential to your business. Especially if you are focusing on growing a successful one. By using tools such as Google Analytics, you can make informed decisions based on concrete, real data on the channels you need to invest in, segments of customers that drive results, and optimize overall performance. Unfortunately, such tools do not reveal the user’s experience on your website, if they encounter any problems, and where they do or do not click. Such vital information can help you create a frictionless experience that will make potential customers happy while increasing conversions. An advanced session-recording tool like Smartlook will help you perfect your users’ experience by seeing the exact blocks and challenges users encounter and eliminating them.
One cool thing about Smartlook is that you can track your users’ experience even on your mobile app. This tool is a Swiss Army knife that conversion rate optimization professionals, UX designers, and customer support agents can benefit from it.
Customer service tools
Speaking of customer support agents, customer service is undoubtedly one of the crucial aspects of your business. Such teams help users find the right product, provide technical support when needed, and create a positive after-sales experience.
By investing in a support tool like Gorgias you centralize all your customer conversations to save time by answering questions from one interface. One great thing about it is that it helps automate repetitive tasks like commonly asked questions.
Email marketing tools
Building an email list is essential to all businesses. Based on Statista data, it seems that sending an email is an important part of our communication. An estimated 306 billion emails were sent during 2020 and the number doesn’t seem to be going down, quite the contrary; by 2024 it is projected that 361 billion emails will be sent.
If you are a business, an email is the best way to form meaningful relationships with potential and existing customers. What is even greater is that out of all the channels of communication available, the email is the most cost-effective of them all (compared to social media platforms) and the one that gives businesses the most bang for their buck. As a matter of fact, according to the Direct Marketing association, for every $1,4 spent on an emailing campaign, you generate $58.
One more item in the “pros” list to having an email list is that it is yours to keep, to reach out as many times needed, and when needed. You do not have to play by another platforms’ rules to reach out to them. All the above, underline the importance of having a great email marketing tool. A tool like Klavio does the majority of the work for you. It offers automated abandoned cart sequences, autoresponders, and advanced segmentation.
Social selling tools
Social media platforms are part of our everyday lives since we use them to connect with friends, family, and other professionals. Where users are, e-commerce owners follow suit in an effort to part establish new channels of communication with future and current customers and, of course, generate sales. Social media are a great way to drive traffic to your e-commerce site, but having to jump through hoops (limited reach, platform rules) put in place by Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., you often resort to paid ads with lukewarm results! A great way to use social media to your advantage is to form relationships with key people of influence. Tools like Facebook’s Brands Collab Manager is a great way to reach out to influencers, no matter their size of influence and impact they have.
It is a great marketplace where you can find the right creator to connect to, and their audience.
If you are looking for more information on any influencers, audit tools like Hype Auditor are great as they help you spot fake followers but also provide information on engagement, audience quality and insights, as well as an estimated post price.
The aforementioned e-commerce tools will guarantee that you cover all the important aspects of your online business in order to ensure maximum success. What are the e-commerce tools you are investing in 2021?