The Metacake Essential Ecommerce Marketing Toolkit
There are a myriad of ecommerce tools out there from store platforms to specialized analytics tools, conversion optimization testing platforms, and marketing & remarketing tools.
So how do you know what to use?
Well, we can’t review every tool on the market…but here is a list of our typical ecommerce marketing toolkit to get you started.
But first a couple words of warning:
1) Some of these tools are specific to a particular ecommerce platform.
Namely Shopify, which we prefer to use most of the time. But likely there are equivalent tools for many other ecommerce platforms, so don’t let that deter you if you are using a different ecommerce platform.
2) These tools are only as good as the user that is managing them.
Don’t get me wrong. They do make life easier. That is why they are so widely used. But they aren’t magic, so don’t expect these tools to do all the work for you.
Just like the tools in your toolshed at home, you have to work with them to create anything of value. If you have a hammer, some nails, and a stack of wood at home, a new picnic table is not all of a sudden going to appear in your backyard. You have to know how to build a table, and then do the work to execute.
The same applies to these tools. If you create accounts and then set these tools aside, sitting on the shelf, they will just collect dust, the same as the rest of your tools in your toolshed.
Now, without further ado, take a look and see what tools we at Metacake use that might be helpful for you:
1) Google Analytics
Data Analytics Tool
Now, there are several more advanced analytics platforms with lots of bells and whistles that add value, but if you don’t have anything else, use this. In fact, even if you do have a more advanced platform, it is good to at least have a basic install of Google Analytics. Hey! It’s free, so what do you have to lose?
The basic install is incredibly easy. You just add their snippet to the header of your site. This provides a good baseline for analytics, but most people don’t know how to use this data to make decisions to grow their business. So beyond installing basic Google Analytics, make sure you know what data is important for your business and how to track it.
This is where data becomes really valuable. When you can use it to make decisions that drive your business forward. For this, you likely need a more advanced Google Analytics install or a secondary analytics platform.
Split Testing Platform
Optimizely our testing and optimization platform of choice. We describe conversion rate optimization (CRO) as insurance for your marketing dollars. Through optimization testing, you improve your site performance and conversion rate systematically, improving the results from each and every marketing campaign. You are leaving money on the table if you are not doing optimization testing.
Analytics Tool: Heatmapping
Hotjar does heatmapping of your site pages to indicate where users are focused and clicking most. We also use it for screen recordings so that you can watch users surf your site. This may seem like overkill…and you certainly shouldn’t spend all day watching users explore your site. However, it is incredibly useful when you have a problem on your site or want to analyze a specific page’s effectiveness. Just don’t get too carried away.
4) Get Site Control
Site Popup and Feedback Tool
Get Site Control is an easy to use tool that allows you to add widgets to your site for popups, surveys, and email signups. It can even be used for live chat and social sharing. It is easy to execute and has conditional logic so that you can choose what widgets to show to different customer segments. We often use this to reinforce a message or promotion across the site, or get feedback from visitors when we have a specific question.
Customer Review Aggregator
Yotpo allows you to aggregate and verify customer reviews. Yotpo makes it really easy to get reviews from your customers, moderate them, and display them on your site in a really clean way. It is fairly expensive, but enables you to see your ROI in terms of reviews through each channel.
Social proof sells better than anything else. Visitors are much more likely to buy from you if they can see plain and clear that others are satisfied with your service, so make sure you are including reviews on your site.
6) Conversio (formerly Receiptful)
Customized Transactional Emails
There is nothing worse than making a purchase online that you are really excited about and then receiving a text based confirmation for your purchase.
Ok…there are an endless number of things that are worse than this, but receipt emails that lack character do really kill the post-purchase excitement.
This is where Conversio comes in. It allows you to create beautiful and interactive customer receipts and emails. You can prompt your users to share about their purchase to earn rewards, do clever abandon cart follow-ups, and run powerful post-sale promotions to maintain engagement.
Shopify is our typical ecommerce platform of choice. It is very easy to get set up, has a very clean shopping and checkout experience, and is very powerful for an out-of-the-box solution. If you’re just starting out, it has a wide array of high quality templates to choose from, but is also highly customizable both in terms of design and functionality.
8) Active Campaign
There are a lot of really good email marketing platforms out there, but for large email lists we like to use Active Campaign. It is also good for customer management, has powerful list segmentation, is good with automation and is fairly inexpensive.
9) Click Funnels
Sales Funnel Management Tool
Click Funnel helps you to identify and optimize different sales funnels through your website depending on the type of company you run. Whether it is a product-focused ecommerce store, a digitally-based service, or a physical service offering, Click Funnel helps refine your sales funnel to make your site more effective.
Custom Landing Page Builder
InstaPage is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily create custom landing pages for your individual marketing campaigns. We also like Unbounce and LeadPages, but InstaPage has more flexibility and power. You can choose themes from ThemeForest or custom design and code your own pages.
11) Perfect Audience
With Perfect Audience, you can deliver targeted ads to potential customers that have visited your site based on what items they viewed. Beyond generic retargeting ads, this allows you to dynamically customize ads based on each individual potential customer. It does the work for you.
Customer Service & Live Chat
This is our customer service platform of choice. You can use this tool for live chat if you’re available to respond.
If you’re not online, it seamlessly transitions to email communication. It also has quite a few of acquisition features to help convert visitors who chat with you into customers.