If you are running an ecommerce store, it is important that you have a strategy that scales with you. This means focussing on the future and long-term success of the business. As the company grows, gains more customers, more orders and expands into new opportunities, your time and resources will become stretched.
Investing in tech tools is an important step when you get to this stage of your business. They will save you time and money (not to mention stress) when it comes to taking your brand to the next level. From automation to data analytics, ecommerce tools are designed to make scaling your store easier by removing pain points and giving you the ability to do more. A successful scaling strategy will ensure you will seamlessly grow your business and create long-term loyal customers, without compromising your customer experience.
We’ve collated the 10 must-have tech tools to help you scale across the four main areas of your ecommerce business; acquisition, conversion, fulfillment and post-purchase. The tools we’ll be exploring are:
- Acquisition: Shogun and Octane AI
- Conversion: Klarna and Dynamic Yield
- Fulfillment: ShipBob, Skubana and Re:amaze
- Post-purchase: Listrak, Okendo and LoyaltyLion
Acquiring new customers is an important part of a business. Expanding your customer base will generate more revenue. But, trying to reach more new audiences while keeping costs down will come with challenges. You may find your current acquisition efforts stretched and your strategy will have to change to keep up with the growth. This is where the following ecommerce tools save the day.
“As you scale, you need to maintain the perception of quality around your brand”
Shogun is a drag and drop webpage builder for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. While starting out, many stores are happy to use website themes provided by these platforms. But, as your business grows you might want to customize your website’s design more. Shogun expands the building and designing capabilities of Shopify and BigCommerce ready-made themes, without the need for a developer. Customizing your website to align with your brand and your desired customer journey is an important step in scaling your ecommerce brand. It allows you to align with customer desires and build an emotional connection with them. This way, shoppers are more likely to stay with you and spend more over an extended period of time.
Octane AI is a Facebook Messenger and SMS Marketing tool. It helps connect you to your customers with abandoned cart messages, custom automated campaign messages and answer questions automatically. These help to boost your marketing efforts by driving people to your store. Messages from a variety of sources have a higher open and click-through rate than emails alone according to Octane AI. This is why a Facebook Messenger and SMS tool is perfect if you’re looking to scale how you reach out to consumers and encourage them to visit your website.
Conversion is one of the most important metrics in business. From sales to newsletter signups and referrals, optimizing for conversion will have a profound impact on your revenue. When you’re ready to raise the bar of your conversion strategy, these ecommerce tools will optimize your website and increase your conversion rate now and into the future.
“Optimizing your conversion rates by paying attention to the on-site experience will ensure you don’t outgrow your store”
Klarna is a payment ecommerce tool that allows shoppers to pay later for orders. Rather than paying upfront, consumers can pay in smaller installments with Klarna while still being able to go ahead with their orders. This means that shoppers who may have been put off by price initially will be more likely to continue with their order and have the freedom to pay in installments. This can be a stress reliever for shoppers and creates a positive user experience. Having this variety in payment options will encourage customers to purchase from you.
Dynamic Yield is a personalization and engagement solution for ecommerce stores. Their platform works to improve sales and drive engagement throughout the digital shopping experience. Using customer and browser data, Dynamic Yield delivers targeted messages and product recommendations for shoppers at relevant times in their journey. Personalization creates a good user experience and delights customers who, in turn, encourages them to shop with your brand for a long time into the future.
As your brand grows, you will likely get more orders from customers around the world. These orders will become difficult to fulfill from one central location. To grow your ecommerce store effectively, you will need a fulfillment infrastructure that will service more customers and help you compete with the likes of Amazon. The following ecommerce tools will help you to seamlessly process orders, save time and delight customers.
“If your fulfillment strategy becomes a barrier to turning orders into repeat customers – you’ll reach a plateau”
ShipBob is a third-party logistics provider that fulfills orders for ecommerce stores. With their technology, orders are automatically sent to one of their numerous warehouses for processing and sending to customers. When processing many orders becomes too difficult, ShipBob’s solution is effective at saving you time and money and giving you the space to scale your store. This way you can continue delighting your customers with a stellar shopping experience that helps secure long-term loyalty.
Skubana is a platform that handles order fulfillment, inventory operations purchasing data all in one place. The software synchronizes data from all sales channels from POS systems to third-party logistics providers. Skubana is a highly useful ecommerce tool for businesses looking to consolidate their multiple operations software into one place. With this tool all purchase order data is clear and available which makes fulfillment simple. The more seamless you can make this process, the better the shopping experience and customers will be more likely to return.
Re:amaze is an integrated customer service, live chat and helpdesk platform. This tool seamlessly combines email, social media, mobile and chat conversations. Their solution allows you to easily share customer communications across all teams which ensures changes to orders are never missed. This leaves customers always satisfied with your brand and, overall, more likely to re-engage.
The period of time after a customer completes a purchase is crucial. This is the perfect opportunity to turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers that buy again and become advocates. Post-purchase communication with your customers has a profound effect on their lifetime value and your overall revenue. From customer support to loyalty programs, an effective post-purchase infrastructure will unlock many possibilities that will scale your business. These ecommerce tools will provide you with tactics and solutions that will create long-term customers out of every shopper.
“Loyalty can’t be assumed – you have to earn it”
Listrak is a retail digital marketing automation platform. Their solution can be used in the post-purchase phase to send targeted, personalized messages to shoppers. Listrak can be used for email, SMS and social media messaging. Their software is data-driven so users can get valuable insights from their marketing and use it to optimize their efforts. Listrak’s marketing automation helps retailers drive lots of consumers to return to your store in a way that’s easy and manageable.
Okendo is a customer review software for online retailers. Their solution is used to drive user-generated content (UGC) – such as product and store reviews – once a customer has completed a purchase. UGC is a powerful tool that builds trust with consumers and encourages them to buy from you. Okendo’s software allows you to showcase UGC on your site to help drive conversions. It also helps capture more data on your customers which can be used to better your marketing efforts.
LoyaltyLion is a powerful loyalty and engagement solution that drives retention, repeat purchases and customer advocacy. Our software allows retailers to create engaging reward programs for their customers that shows how much they value their loyalty. Our technology is data-driven and gives merchants valuable information about their members which they can use to power their loyalty efforts. Returning customers are crucial for scaling your business as they have a higher customer lifetime value than guest checkouts and help bring you new business through referrals, reviews and more.
Whatever stage your business is, scaling should always be front of mind. Growth will come with its own set of challenges and it is important to be prepared. These ten ecommerce tools are designed to give your store the space to grow from a modest retailer to an ecommerce enterprise.
Interested in learning more about how to scale your online store? Take a look at our Look forward: How to scale your ecommerce business ebooks and webinars.
This article originally appeared in the LoyaltyLion blog and has been published here with permission.