Are you thinking of opening an online store? my list of must-have tools is an important resource you cannot afford to ignore. Even if you do not read any other post on my blog, please don’t ignore this one.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know by now that I have a fixation for online shops, I mean who does not want to be sleeping and be making money. Unlike the brick and mortar store which you have to physically open and close for it to function, online shops can make sales while you are busy doing something else.
Here Are 10 Must-Have Tools You Will Need to Make a Success of Your Online Shop
Email Provider services:
Email provider service is the number one on my list of must-have tools if you are serious about growing your customer and revenue base. They are companies that help you to not only collect email addresses from your buyers and customers but also to send email campaigns to them.
This tool is the most important tool you will ever need because it gives you direct access to your customers. Some of the more sophisticated ones like Mailchimp has all sorts of capabilities like Landing page creator, Lists, Templates, email automation and also reports. They have a variety of templates for different types of campaign ranging from basic email templates to templates for sending out campaigns about your new products. The wonderful thing about MailChimp is that a good number of these features come with the free package. Of Course, there is a paid aspect but even the freebie is enough for you to run your online store with. To sign up with MailChimp, click here.
There are other paid email provider services like Convertkit, Sendlane, Mailjet and Vertical response. Most of these email services that I mentioned are paid platforms except for Vertical response and Mailjet which has a free part and a paid part if you want more sophisticated features. I love Mailchimp though because it can be integrated across all platforms especially with WiX platform.
I was using SENDLANE before and sincerely loved their features, but they got too expensive for my small blog and I had to stop using them.
Google Analytics :
Google analytics is one of the must-have tools which you cannot afford to ignore because it pulls all the data from your store and gives you a rundown of what is happening in your store. This includes the number of visits, the number of orders from your store, transaction value and even the number of unique visitors to your online store. Your google analytics is your friend if you want to track your online store data and know how to manipulate your data for future use.
Google webmaster is not the same as Google analytics, I use to think they were. This tool enables you to add your store or blog to the Google webmaster so that it can crawl your website. In crawling it, its able to collect some information which you can use to determine how to make your shop rank high on google. One of the good things about this tool is that you can pull information such as the keywords which people are using to find your page on the internet, you can also see which of your products are ranking best on Google hence, optimize, using such keywords to attract more customers. To learn more about how to use Google webmaster, read this beginner’s guide by Neil Patel.
Pop up Creators
Have you ever been to an online shop and while browsing you saw a pop up that required some form of action from you, perhaps to prompt you to sign up for their newsletter or perhaps even offer you a gift to sign up, these are pop up forms that are used for collecting information or even informing visitors to the shop of a promotion going on in your store. A good recommendation for these type of pop-ups is Privy. Privy gives you the opportunity to integrate a pop-up flyer or form on your shop. You can use these pop-ups for different things like announcing a sale, collecting information and even automating your email series once someone signs up
Live chat provider:
Live Chat provider is an equivalent of store attendant in your shop, if you use an online shop provider like Wix, you will be able to enable this feature for free. With this feature, you can answer questions from anyone who is visiting your store for the first time and needs clarity. Some people don’t like to write emails, so this is the closest you will get to talking to a customer one on one. If your Live chat is on, you can see its notice on your phone that someone is currently in your store, you can even start the chat by asking how you may help the person just like you would have in person. Your ability to answer your customer’s questions immediately means that they are able to make better decisions as concerns your product.
Smartlook: Your greatest asset on my list of must-have tools
Have you ever wished you knew your customers’ navigation journey in your online store, you wish you had an online CCTV on that will help you know what your customers are searching for and what actions they took, before leaving your shop. The best tool to use is Smartlook. Smartlook records your online store and is able to show you the different actions your visitors took before they left your store.
They record how long they stayed in your shop, from where you are able to see, what your customers struggled with before they left or bounced. This is a good tool that provides you with feedback in a way that no other tool will. Smartlook has both a paid feature and a free feature. If you are not able to afford the paid feature, you can use the free one, Its cool, the only problem with using the free feature is that you are not able to make use of the extended capabilities like heatmaps and events. You are also restricted to 10 visitors per day which means you do not have an overall outlook on what your customers are doing. To sign up for Smartlook, click here
Trello a Must have tool:
Trello is a tool you can use to project manage not only your online shop but also your entire life. You can create different boards and use the features available to plan out your projects from Product research to the last post on your Blog. It’s a useful tool if you have to work in teams. Even if it’s only you that runs the store, you will find it very useful.
Oh canva, what would I do without you?. Some Bloggers lives will be over without canva Lol, just kidding, but canva is a resourceful tool for creating Pins that you use to add pictures to your blog posts about your products, combine Canva with Pixabay( a free online picture repository) and you have a winner. That is why I added it to my list of must-have tools in this post.
I love Canva because you can use it to produce a variety of things like Printables, worksheets, templates, Logos, Headers. They also provide you with thousands of Templates to choose from, Canva is not the ultimate when it comes to providing you with a platform for making beautiful Pins but it suffices for a starter like me.
You need this tool because not everyone uses the Dollar currency, now Imagine your products are listed in Dollars and someone who uses Pounds or Lira or other not so popular denomination of currency comes to your store to buy goods, they will be doing a mental calculation of how much your goods costs in their own currency. So why not make it easier for them by providing a currency converter in your online shop, that way they can make decisions easily instead of having to leave your store to go check somewhere else. The most important resource you have in an online shop situation is time to get your customer to check out, if they are not able to do it quickly they will lose interest and not return.
G Suite is your Google docs and the companions which you need for working on your documents. It will also help you to keep them where you can easily access them( the Cloud) since its connected to Google drive. G suite simply makes creating content easy for any blogger or online shop owner. It’s a very resourceful tool on my must-have tools list.
This is an online tool that is free and enables you to do your Keyword research as quickly as possible. Just add their chrome extension to your webpage and every word you browse on Google it throws up for you the Keywords that are associated with it, including the competitive index and the pricing each keyword generates. It makes Keyword research easy because you do not have to log into the Google keyword planner. It might not be extensive like semrush and co but it helps you to choose keywords that you will use in optimizing your online shop.
The only thing about this list that I forgot to tell you, is that you can only implement it in a standalone shops like Wix and Shopify, preferably WiX because their systems make it easy by providing you with a direct integration for all these features or simple ability to integrate it yourself by adding a code to your online shop. If you want to see a shop I built with the Wix platform click on the picture below
With the above listed must have tools, you are well on your way to running a successful online store, now over to you what tools did I miss?
Drop your comments below.