For an eCommerce website to be successful in today's competitive landscape consideration needs to be paid to several factors. Below we list the common factors that aid eCommerce success.
eCommerce Software: WordPress, Shopify, Magento
Each platform has its own pros and cons including complexity of use, flexibility, functionality, management, security measures, third part compatibility etc.
Shopping Websites: Amazon, Google
Feeding your products through to sites like Amazon and Google – yes – costs money but this should be weighed up against the additional sales generated and also the increased exposure for your eCommerce website.
The feed / s can be set up to automatically take notice of product and category changes you make on your eCommerce website and periodically regenerate and resubmit the feeds through to these shopping platforms.
Shopping Comparison websites: Newegg, Shop, ShopBot
Similarly with the ability to feed products through to sites like Newegg, Shop, ShopBot and other shopping comparison websites the same strategy and cost modeling applies here.
Newsletter Managers: Campaign Monitor, MailChimp
A great way to keep in contact with your customers – updating them on new products, product ranges and other useful or sales focused information.
These systems range from the simple to the elaborate; allowing simple sign-up forms through to managing customer journeys from inception of a subscriber, customer through their full life cycle. Some allow the integration of product feed data to be used in managing certain types of newsletter like basket abandonment. GDPR is an important consideration so ensure you follow the guidelines before sending out any communications.
Social Media Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Another great way to engage potential and existing customers. It may be it is sales, customer service, information dissemintation or general engagement – Social Media is a must for most businesses.
With Social Media there are a number of offerings here in relation to reaching your intended market. This encompasses both free and paid forms of advertising your eCommerce website. And each platform attracts its own type of audience and user so research the top x number of Social Media platforms to find where your audience is.
Campaign Managers: HubSpot, Infusionsoft
Managing the acquisition of new customers has become more complicated with the number of online channels where they can be reached or found. Newsletters, Social Media Accounts alike require management with a consistent message and with as much ease, from an administrative perspective, as possible. Offerings like that from HubSpot and Infusionsoft attempt to make this possible.
Pay-Per-click Advertising: AdWords, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter
Another way to reach your intended audience is to use pay per click advertising. Again there is a cost – but needs to be balanced against sales / engagement your eCommerce website gets through them. The range of these type of advertising vehicles is vast from dedicated platforms like AdWords and Amazon through to this offering being available via Social Media websites. Each provides tools, control panels, reporting and metric targeting and like social media your audience may be reached through a specific PPC channel so do some research / testing.
Analytics: Google, MSN, Hotjar
Who is visiting you eCommerce website and what are they doing when they get there. Which pages are performing the best and which require your attention, where are you losing customers, which pages are not converting.
Analyzing the visits and engagements on your website can help you focus your attention on the parts of your eCommerce platform that require the most work.
As you can see the list of eCommerce tools is long and a lot needs attention. As business owners we have only so much time during the day. So work with the above tools methodically (they are not in a particular order) so that you can measure results from the work you do on each point to find which elements are the most effective for your eCommerce website.