At a glance, growing e-commerce or an online business seems easy enough.
But the gut-wrenching truth is – it's not!
There is no shortage of advice on growing the e-commerce business, but most of the advice is either expensive or too generic. A lot of times, online businesses like you cannot spend on professionals or agencies for the right advice. You will find other professionals out there who get the job done cost-effectively – the e-commerce tools.
Apart from helping you acquire more customers, these tools can help you stay compliant with the federal rules and improve the strategy for a fantastic customer experience. With these tools, you can utilize your time effectively and increase productivity.
According to research, there will be 2.14 billion digital buyers in the world by 2021, accounting for a quarter of the world's population. With so much at stake, it makes sense to invest in tools to help you reach the target audience while being cost-effective.
Furthermore, expecting growth and sustainability in e-commerce is impossible without the willingness to invest in resources that will help you scale the business and reach the target audience. When searching for the best tool for growing the online business, invest in tools that serve your specific business model. Not all online businesses require you to send a newsletter, but every online business requires a fast and functional website.
The e-commerce tools are based on your business model and the problems you're facing. What might work for you may not work for other e-commerce stores. Therefore, we have listed the top 6 six tools that serve a broad spectrum of needs. Treat the list as a buffet, and choose the one which best fits your needs.
- Slite – The Documentation and Knowledge Management Tool
Documentation tools are the compass for the online business because they help you locate information, including FAQs, user guides, HR policies, manuals, or product launches conveniently. Storing critical information in one place comes in handy when troubleshooting customer or business problems. For example, a customer service representative can quickly access the protocol related to a customer seeking a refund on a damaged product after the return window is closed.
According to a McKinsey report, employees spend 20% of their workweek looking for internal information or tracking down a colleague who can provide help in a specific task. Without documentation, companies around the world are losing out millions of dollars.
Knowledge management or documentation tools like Slite will help the employee seek crucial information from their knowledge base within a few seconds.
But, what is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is an online repository for storing business-critical information such as employee handbook, HR policies, FAQs, process documents, or intellectual data. You will come across internal and external knowledge base – both storing important information related to your company.
With such a storehouse of information, your employees no longer have to waste time searching in folders, emails, or Google drive. You can organize everything in Slite. Furthermore, it helps you present information in a user-friendly way ensuring everyone in the organization is on the same page.
- Allows real-time editing and formatting
- Edit or create documents, wikis, tables or tasks
- Search for information in real-time
- Allow you to integrate with apps such as Asana, Slack, Trello
- Internal document linking for creating a storehouse of information
- Sort documents in different channels
- Highlights the most popular document to everyone in the team or company
2. Osano – The Compliance Tool
What is the first thing which comes to mind with the word 'compliance'? It would be investment banks investing millions of dollars to meet the financial rules and regulations.
Today, the digital space is following an unprecedented path due to which e-commerce companies and online businesses have to comply with specific federal laws such as the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). It addresses the fundamental problem of sharing customer's information without their consent. And, not being compliant with CCPA is likely to attract hefty penalties and business loss. In one of the most famous cases, Yahoo paid a whopping $117.5 million settlement for a data breach, which compromised 3 billion customers' information.
If tech giants like Yahoo are susceptible, even e-commerce or online businesses like you are susceptible to data breaches. This is where you require a tool like Osano, which will monitor, manage, and give advice on CCPA compliance comes into play. The tool uses its Saas-based privacy platform to ensure that you and your vendor:
- do not collect unnecessary customer information
- can remove the data at any time upon request
- do not store the data for a long time
- Consent management by blocking unsanctioned 3rd party cookies
- Records consent and revocation is given the customer
- Data subject rights management
- Vendor risk monitoring
- Notifies on detecting a change in the policy of the vendor
- Alerts on detecting vendor lawsuit
- Alerts on upcoming changes to the state or federal laws
- Live sessions with privacy experts
3. Maze – The Product Design Tool
What can be more infuriating than seeing rejection in a product due to fault in the design? With the growing customer expectation, it becomes inevitable for a UX/UI designer to get user insights when building a new product idea. Lack of user insights can result in rejection of the product, thereby causing a loss of hundreds of dollars.
A tool like a Maze allows the designers to test their prototypes' performance and tweak changes based on the feedback received. It can test design ideas, run surveys, and offers resources such as the difference between UX vs UI, best graphic design books to read, and more.
- Enhances the design process by using actionable user insights
- Supports Sketch, InVision, and Marvel prototypes
- Helps in building successful digital products
- High-level result for every design variation
- Test without going live
- Validates microinteractions
4. Monetate – The Personalization Tool
Today, personalization is one of the foundations of a successful online or e-commerce business. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibab.com have made personalized shopping a ravage amongst the customers and it has become the new normal. When a customer views a product they always wanted to buy but didn't have the time to search, it feels impossible to suppress the urge to buy. And, the online business successfully strikes the right chord with the customer. It not only increases customer retention but also helps in the accelerated growth of the business.
A tool like Monetate works like a personalization engine providing unique service to every customer visiting your online store. It helps in creating lifetime customers and ensuring the highest level of customer service.
- Delivers Omni-channel personalized customer experience
- Collects and analyze useful customer data for personalization
- Creates customer segments based on real-time behavior and historical data
- Delivers product recommendation across all your channels including website or app
- Offers 1-to-1 personalization for hyper-personalized shopping
5. SEMRush – The Searching Engine And Competitors' Analysis Tool
Two crucial aspects of growing an online business are SEO and competitor analysis.
Firstly, you cannot overlook the role of SEO in building a successful e-commerce store. If your customers cannot find you, they will not buy from you. SEO reaches the target audience and improves the visibility in the organic search results. Secondly, cultivating an online business by ignoring competitors is impossible – it's all about leveraging your advantages.
Both SEO and competition analysis is a time consuming and ardent task to accomplish, but with
Smart search engine tools like SEMRush can seamlessly improve the website's SEO and keep a hawk-eye on the competitor.
- Finds the best keyword after analyzing the website content
- Suggest the best places for backlinks
- Compares your strategy with the competitor
- Advertises research to understand the ad strategy of the competitor
- Audits the website to check the SEO health
- Provides suggestions to improve the ad campaign performance
- Tracks the paid ad performance and organic keywords of your competitors
E-commerce is rapidly growing and this trend will continue for years to come. One thing which will change is the requirement of the customer. And, you should be prepared for whatever may come across using these e-commerce tools. These tools will help you increase revenue, accelerate profit, and help in growing brand awareness.
Develop a better SEO strategy, remain compliant with CCPA, or keep your website or business process in order – these tools will help you cross every hurdle with ease. Give yourself some time to see which tool works best for your business. A handful of e-commerce tools will surely make a real difference to your bottom line in 2020 and help you grow as a business.
However, do not overwhelm yourself by buying or downloading all the e-commerce tools. You need to understand your business model and find the tool to solve a potential problem you're facing.