ALT: Cropped shot of a woman holding a credit card with a computer screen in front of her displaying an online store.
After poor website personalization cost online stores $756 billion in a single year, it has since become a priority to invest in certain resources to acquire and retain customers if you want to run a profitable e-commerce store.
While there are several tools out there promising to help you gain customer trust and increase revenue, it can be overwhelming to choose those that are the most effective.
In this guide, you’ll find the best tools you need to start and scale your e-commerce business.
Keep reading to learn about these 10 essential tools you need to run a successful e-commerce store online:
1. A Suitable E-Commerce Platform
An e-commerce platform is the most important tool your online store needs to succeed. Before you start an e-commerce business, choose somewhere suitable to host your products.
An e-commerce platform makes your store available to potential customers or visitors who might search for your business online.
With WooCommerce, you can create a streamlined online store using powerful e-commerce tools, security, and expert guidance.
WooCommerce is an all-in-one tool that comes with several features that makes it a reliable platform to host your e-commerce store online:
- Payment gateways
- Accounting features
- Market vendors
- Shipping and delivery services
- Currency converters
2. Payment Gateway Integrations
As an e-commerce store owner who wants to earn maximum revenue and satisfy customers, providing a simple payment system is a great way to increase sales.
Your customers should be able to enter their payment details while guaranteeing a risk-free payment process that is protected against fraud and network glitches. You can use several payment gateways for this, such as:
ALT: Cropped shot of a man holding his credit card and typing its details while shopping on an e-commerce website.
According to Invesp, many customers abandon their carts due to payment issues. Providing an easy and direct payment process on your e-commerce website will ensure you avoid this problem and sell more products.
Integrate a suitable payment gateway depending on:
- Your preferred payment currencies
- The fees that the payment gateway charges, including transaction, cross-border, and chargeback fees
- How quick payment processing is
- The payment methods the gateway supports
3. Shipping and Carrier Integrations
After setting up payment gateways for your online store, consider shipping and carrier integrations. Note: This is only necessary if you’re an e-commerce store owner who sells physical products.
Shipping and carrier companies are essential to help you coordinate your orders and their delivery quickly and efficiently.
Integrating these shipping and carrier software solutions, such as FedEx, ShippingEasy, and Ordoro, to your e-commerce website will ensure your orders are taken care of — labeled, packed, shipped, and delivered.
4. Email Marketing Channels
Your e-commerce store needs an email marketing service, such as Constant Contact, to:
- Collect information from new leads
- Grow your email list
- Send order processing updates, such as payment info and shipping status
- Promote your new and existing products to your subscribers
- Build a relationship with your audience
You can also reduce shopping cart abandonment by sending follow-up emails to customers who didn’t complete their purchase.
Email marketing channels are vital in growing your online store through:
- Automated emails
- Form and landing page builders
- Built-in email analytics reports
- Coordinated marketing campaigns
5. Analytics Tools
It’s crucial to track and analyze your metrics to identify problems and find improvements based on your customers’ behavioral patterns and purchase habits.
- Website traffic
- Bounce rates
- Conversion events
- Traffic sources
6. CRM Software
ALT: A call center agent in a headset taking down information from online store customers.
As you invest in tools that will directly increase your e-commerce store’s conversions and revenue, focus on customer relationship management (CRM) software too.
Customer satisfaction is paramount. How happy your consumers are with your support, service, and products will directly affect sales. Aim to provide an excellent customer experience by acquiring live chat and help desk software.
With chat tools like LiveChat, you’ll be able to provide proactive customer support and guide website visitors to products they’re looking for. Live chat software empowers you to communicate with your audience 24/7 — even when you’re not present.
Help desk software, such as Zendesk, also encourages a self-service system where your customers can find answers to what they’re looking for by going through the resources you’ve set in place.
7. Referral Marketing Software
You can use a tool such as ReferralCandy to set up referral marketing for your online store. Referral marketing is a game-changer for e-commerce stores — when people are referred to your business by a loyal customer, you have a 37% rate of retaining them.
With referral marketing, when a customer refers someone to your e-commerce store, they get a reward (similar to affiliate marketing). The more word-of-mouth recommendations your e-commerce website gets, the greater your conversions and the more rewards for referrals.
8. Paid Marketing and Retargeting Tools
As an e-commerce store owner who wants an influx of quality traffic, running paid ads targeted at your ideal customers is a way to skyrocket your online store’s sales and profit.
- Increase your brand awareness
- Market your hot product
- Get your target customers into your sales funnel by signing them up to your email list
These tools track the results of marketing campaigns across multiple advertising channels and devices. You can run ads using certain keywords related to your e-commerce store to target specific:
- Income levels
ALT: Two screens facing each other showing e-commerce data analysis and representation using graphs, bars, and pie charts.
You can even retarget people who reached your online store but didn’t complete their purchase.
AdEspresso is a simple ad testing and optimization tool that you can use to create A/B split tests for your Facebook ads to find out which one resonates more with your target audience.
AdEspresso analyzes your ads and shows you how they’re performing with suggestions for optimization.
9. Social Proof Apps
Social proof apps are powerful for every business, but especially e-commerce stores. Social proof relies on the psychology of consumer behavior. According to Robert Cialdini, only 5% of people are initiators — the remaining 95% are imitators.
Since consumers tend to be persuaded by the words and actions of other people, using a social proof app like TrustPulse, SocialProve, and OptinMonster on your online store can be a huge advantage for your e-commerce business.
These social proof apps show customer reviews and ratings, real-time customer activity, and sales notifications on your e-commerce website in the form of banners, floating bars, and unobtrusive popups.
Social proof apps increase not just your credibility but also your conversions by creating a sense of urgency.
10. Legal and Financial Management Tools
Besides the marketing and setup aspects of your online store, you need tools that guarantee your legal and financial standing. As your online store expands, accounting might get out of hand, and legal issues that require critical solutions might begin to surface.
With a tool like UpCounsel, you’ll be able to contact and hire qualified legal practitioners on-demand to help you with the legal protection of your e-commerce documents, such as trademarks, agreement forms, and intellectual property.
Tax filing can be a complex process. TaxJar makes the process easier through tax filing automation. Once you integrate it with your online store, it automatically files the correct sales taxes.
As your e-commerce business expands, there comes the need to balance sheets, keep records, and calculate cash flow.
Whether math is your strong suit or not, this is the point where you’ll need accounting software like QuickBooks, which provides a complete view of your e-commerce business’s financials.
Final Thoughts: 10 Essential E-Commerce Tools Your Online Store Needs
Running an e-commerce store online has a low setup cost, no work hour restrictions, and a possible high profit margin. But without the right tools in place to boost your e-commerce business, gaining those profits isn’t feasible.
With the tools mentioned above, you’ll be able to generate more sales and streamline your workflow while providing the best shopping experience for your online store’s customers.
Ready to set up your online store with speed and efficiency? Get started with a Bluehost WooCommerce hosting package today.