Thinking about building an e-commerce-ready website? So you came up with a great idea, you found some funding, suppliers and a company to develop and build out a rocking website. You look at the final design of the site and can’t help but see those dollar signs flashing before your eyes. You know this is one of the most beautiful e-commerce websites you’ve ever seen.
A few months in, several thousand spent on driving traffic to your site you realize there just ain’t much action going on and the sales are just not as hot as you thought they’d be.
In no particular order here’s my list of the top tools every e-commerce site should have.
Online Payment Service
If you want to accept payment online (which is probably the right thing to do!) then you’re going to need some kind of a payment service like PayPal. Think about the more exact type of service your business will need: pricing, structure, features and more will be some of the things you’ll want to weigh in on before selecting a service to work with.
E-commerce Software with Flexibility and Features
Unless you have super deep pockets you’re going to need to use a 3rd party e-commerce software to help sell your goods. There’s a bunch out there like WooCommerce, Shopify, 3D Cart or Volusion. Prices and features will vary so you’ll need to do some research to find out who offers the best solution for your needs.
This is a great tool to employ. Create videos that preview your products or services! You can get creative like the folks at Blendtec. It’s a cool concept but just being able to walk the user through the product or service would be a great way to engage so hop on it and get some videos.
Free Shipping (and Returns)
Do you think that offering features like free shipping or free returns would have a negative impact on the bottom line? This article with lots of stats from the Huffington Post features some pretty telling stats about why you should seriously consider free shipping AND returns:
- 81% of consumers less likely to make another purchase when being charged for returns
- Zappos recorded 75% repeat buyers after offering free shipping and one year on returns
This is the one tool even I think is totally cool. Product Remarketing is remarketing the specific product the user visited on your site via platforms like Facebook and Google Remarketing. The reality is likely 99% of first-time visitors won’t be making a purchase on that first visit. Generic remarketing is nice and all and may bring visitors back to the site. But if you want to kick it up a notch and make the experience as personal as possible then remarket to the user the exact product they were checking out on your site!
Just because you have an e-commerce site doesn’t mean you need to sell everything there. Opening a Facebook Store is a great way to keep your Facebook visitors on your page and converting them instead of sending them back to your site. Pretty much any e-commerce software provider would have a plugin for seamless integration from your site to your store.
Shopify has a cool feature where you can select the products you want to sell on your Facebook Store. Maybe you want to focus on the things that would sell through a social platform or introduce a new product to your Facebook audience before it goes live on your site. Either way a really cool way to build sales.
Formerly known as Google PLA’s (Product Listing Ads) this is Paid Search product that actually displays a picture of a specific product on a Google SERP (search engine results page). The great things about this product?
- Lower cost per click
- Higher click-through rate
- Visual of the product along with price, website and a call to action
The end result is when you click on the product you like you’re taken directly to that product page. Few clicks to the product page = increased conversions. Done deal!
Brand Ambassador Tools
What’s a Brand Ambassador tool? My thoughts are this: someone comes to your site, likes a product and buys it. Now is the perfect time to get them to share the purchase through their favorite social profiles.
The cool opportunity here is leveraging the peer network. If your friend bought something cool you may likely become influenced enough to purchase the same product or something else from the store. I mean, how many times have you verbally told someone about a great purchase you made? Well, now you can do it online!
I made this word up! But the concept is about buying an item after sharing/favouriting it on either Pinterest or Instagram. People (mostly women) are using sites like these to find their next purchase. So why not make it easy to find your product and lead you back to your site for purchase. Remember reading magazines and seeing the pictures of things you might want to buy? Well, it’s kinda like that but you can buy things without having to leave your house.
If you have any other cool tools you use for your e-commerce website just let us know! We’d love to hear what others are finding is working for their site.
Like this post? Read the case study on how we drove a 750% ROI for an e-commerce client.