Updated: December 30, 2019
Congratulations! You’ve successfully designed and launched your online store! Now, you just need to do a little marketing and attract some shoppers.
Worried? Don’t be.
Any marketer will tell you that promoting an eCommerce platform can become a daunting task. In fact, eCommerce marketing is intimidating to lots of store owners.
We’ve designed and developed in the eCommerce space for over a decade, so we’ve seen our fair share of marketing tools in action. We have put together a shortlist of effective eCommerce products that we recommend to our clients and collaborators to regularly reference.
Google Analytics is the baseline monitoring tool for traffic in and out of your website. It’s the industry standard for learning about your site’s performance and its customers. These two foundational insights will inform and drive your marketing strategy.
“You can’t do eCommerce without Google Analytics,” says Leo Baratta, marketing technologist at JAM Paper & Envelope. “You have all the data you need, right from the creators of the number one search engine in the world. It’s customizable, in-depth and totally free!”
SEMrush is a search marketing Swiss army knife. It offers an entire suite of tools indispensable to any eCommerce application. “SEMrush helps us find all the keywords that are competitors are ranking for, which helps us target new products in our industry,” says Jeff Moriarty of Moriarty’s Gem Art.
SEMrush’s auditing tool offers a comprehensive diagnosis of its subjects’ search engine optimization. This type of data is crucial for any e-tailer operating in a crowded market space. (You can check out your competition, too!)
Hotjar offers a more granular examination of your online store. It’s better suited for tracking individual visitors, and can even do it in real-time.
“[Hotjar] uses heat maps on your website to see how visitors move their mouse and click around,” says Chachi Flores, senior manager of eCommerce at Peacock Alley. “You can even record their mouse activity to study their next move. Knowing what your visitors expect and how they behave can help entirely optimize your website.”
The aptly-named ConvertFlow is a conversion tool that allows store owners to embed marketing mechanisms directly into their online store. No coding experience required!
“I use it for all of the opt-ins on my own sites, and we used it for a good while on Nectar as well,” says Ben, an eCommerce marketing professional currently with Nectarsleep. “It’s one of the few tools in the space that has taken a new perspective to opt-ins. Their retargeting funnel capability is genius. Think email style advanced automati
\ons, but on site! You can change the messaging and content of their modals to match where a person is in their buyer journey.”
Ahrefs offers an all-in-one search marketing platform for online stores. It’s a complete toolbox for managing content marketing strategies and keeping an eye on competitors.
“This is a must-have tool for any eCommerce company where new products are launched constantly, and SEO is essential for online sales,” says Hamna Amjad, community manager at Gigworker. Using this tool, you can get a clear idea of what products your target audience is looking for.”
“You can completely understand why your competitors are ranking so high and what you need to do to outrank them,” Amjad continued. “You can do an in-depth SEO audit for your website to figure out an overall SEO health score and visualize key data in charts. It will find out all possible SEO issues and also provide recommendations on how to fix them.”
Running multiple accounts across different platforms can be quite the juggling act, even if it is necessary for a successful eCommerce marketing strategy. Sprout Social is a social media manager that consolidates disparate social media accounts into a central platform.
“You can schedule an unlimited number of posts per day across multiple platforms,” says Amjad. “You can manage all your social media campaigns and also measure the performance of these campaigns. It will give you insights about your audience and help you in improving your social media marketing strategies which will ultimately lead to sales and profit.”
Buffer is a good alternative to Sprout. It’s a social media management platform with a seamless calendar and scheduling functionality.
“The more effectively you know your customer, the more persistent you will actually be in selling the product,” says Brett Helling, CEO at Ridester. “For this, we use Buffer for our timely delivery on posts and shareability with the customers. Due to different time zones, we prefer automation of our social media posts and the results it provides is [sic] phenomenal.”
Ontraport’s automated campaigns can be easily tailored to any eCommerce store. They allow for highly personalized marketing funnels.
“The system is built to respond uniquely to each customer in the marketing funnel according to how they respond or interact,” says Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics. “Overall, Ontraport can turn your marketing into a well-oiled machine, while offering the personal touch and gentle care that you need to turn the maximum amount of leads into sales and loyal customers.”
You’ll want to look into ActiveCampaign if your online store relies heavily on content marketing. It’s a highly robust tool that allows store owners to build complex funnels.
“There are very few tools that can match the level of sophistication, integration and ease of use that you find with ActiveCampaign,” says Ben of NectarSleep. “The SMS and on-site popup modal functionality is also amazing. You can fire a message on any of these platforms as a step in their automations, which is amazing for taking a customer and meeting them on the platform they are most likely to engage with.”
Reach out to Codal if you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your eCommerce marketing strategy or even just the overall performance of your online store. We’ve got ten years of experience designing, developing and maintaining eCommerce platforms, so we know what makes online retail tick.