5 eCommerce Tools You Should Be Using Right Now

Posted September 27, 2016 by   in Digital Marketing, eCommerce Website, Email Marketing, Marketing Statistics, Marketing Strategy, User Experience


A little over 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “10 BigCommerce Add-ons Too Profitable to Ignore”. Well, a lot can happen in 2 years.

Here at Springboard, we’ve launched several successful eCommerce stores of our own during that time, and we’ve established a list of Add-Ons for BigCommerce and Shopify that we’ve found to be instrumental in helping us fine tune our proverbial eCommerce engines.

These add-ons have allowed us to see explosive growth within our own eCommerce brands, and we feel it’s time we share these tools with you, so that you can grow your own eCommerce store. The 5 tools below are all add-ons we’re using currently, and we can vouch for their usefulness and ability to perform the eCommerce business functions they’ve each set out to improve or overcome.

If you’re interested in growing your own eCommerce brand(s), check these out and let us know what sort of impact these have on your own business!

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is still fairly new to the email marketing game, but they’ve definitely got some added skills over some of their competitors. As Fred Perrotta, CEO at Tortuga Backpacks said: “Other email software is for sending emails. Klaviyo is for making money.” According to Klaviyo, their average customer makes >$75 for every $1 spent on email. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s a 7,500% return on investment!

Klaviyo has API integrations with BigCommerce and Shopify. For one of our best performing eCommerce brands, we currently use BigCommerce as our shopping cart platform. Currently, when a customer is checking out on any BigCommerce store, their email address is not collected until the second step of the checkout process. So we wondered… How many customers are abandoning their shopping cart before they even reach that point? And more importantly, what can we do to reclaim these lost sales?

Using Klaviyo, we found that we are able to utilize their Javascript API to pass custom events and data from our eCommerce storefronts to Klaviyo. We all know that abandoned shopping carts are very prevalent in online retail. On average, more than 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned. And those are just the ones we can measure!

If you can save even a few percentage more of these abandoned carts, it can equal a pretty large increase in revenue. With Klaviyo, we were able to make some customizations to our checkout page so that we are able to capture the customer’s email address as the first field they fill out. Once we’ve captured their email address, we can then pass it, along with the contents of the customer’s shopping cart, over to Klaviyo using their Javascript API.

Just the seemingly simple act of collecting the customer’s email address earlier in the checkout process is projected to bring us an increase of $1.6 million in otherwise lost revenue this year! Once we’ve passed the customer’s email address and shopping cart contents over to Klaviyo, we’re able to setup email flows that are scheduled to send them abandoned cart messaging (20 minutes after purchase, 12 hours after purchase, 18 hours after purchase, and 24 hours after purchase).

Over the past 30 days, we’ve been able to reclaim over $23,000 in abandoned carts, and that’s just on one of our eCommerce stores!

Klaviyo 30 Day Abandoned Cart Recovery Stats

In summary, if you’re not already using Klaviyo with your eCommerce brand, do yourself a huge favor and go check them out. It’s well worth the investment!

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JustUno

Along the same vein as abandoned shopping carts, how many of your visitors are leaving your eCommerce site before they even get to the cart or checkout page? Are you doing anything to retain these customers by offering them an incentive to stay? Or at the very least, are you capturing their email address so you can contact them later through a win-back campaign?

Using JustUno, we are able to create exit intent pop-ups that offer a customer who is about to leave our store an incentive to stick around and make a purchase. Through the JustUno dashboard, we have complete control over the messaging, and overall design of each pop-up we create for both desktop and mobile users. We can even do A/B testing between several different pop-up messages and designs to see which one performs better.

Additionally, at what rate are you currently growing your email marketing lists from your on-site email sign-up? What if you could increase the number of potential customers in your email list and send them targeted marketing emails?

Through the use of JustUno, we also have the ability to capture email sign-ups much earlier in the customer journey, allowing us to grow our email lists over the past 2 months, 125% faster on average than the previous 2 months before implementing JustUno. This allows us to send out our marketing emails to a larger audience and see a larger ROI on each email campaign we send.

Justuno Stats

JustUno allows you to market to more customers and keep customers on your site. Who doesn’t love that?

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HelpScout

So often, as marketing-minded people, we talk so much about lead generation and driving traffic to your eCommerce store. While this is definitely a very large part of having a successful online storefront, it’s also important what type of post-purchase experience you offer to your customers. Let’s face it, if one of those customers you worked so hard to get to convert into a sale on your store has a bad customer service experience post-purchase, they likely won’t be coming back again. Perhaps even worse than that is the potentially bad publicity your brand could receive on social media as a result!

We get it. You’re very focused on the day-to-day operations of your business, and it seems like your email inbox is never going to end. Getting to “inbox zero” seems virtually impossible. You feel as though you spend a lot of your time glued to your inbox responding to customer inquiries and customer service issues.

What if I told you there’s a better way? What if you could reach that elusive “inbox zero” while serving your customers through an exceptional customer service experience at the same time? With HelpScout, we’ve been able to achieve that and more!

If you’re like us, you totally geek out on big data. When it comes to managing your customer service emails through Gmail or Outlook, you really don’t have many metrics to measure your performance besides the number of unread messages. With HelpScout, all of those important customer service metrics are at your fingertips. From the number of conversations your customer service team has per day, to establishing the busiest time of the day and/or day of the week, these metrics can help you better shape how you approach customer service.

HelpScout converstions report

You likely have additional customer data across multiple eCommerce platforms and tools, but with traditional email, you don’t have any insight into these additional data points when speaking to a customer. HelpScout allows you to integrate not only your store’s email accounts, but also your shopping cart software, your live chat software, and your email marketing software.

In fact, HelpScout boasts integrations with 40+ tools! When you’re getting ready to respond to the next customer service issue, you can see the entire email conversation thread as well, even if the subject line is different across emails! Using these features, you get a much larger picture of each customer’s communication history, allowing you to provide more personalized, efficient communication and customer service. From one place, you can see live chat history, email history, order history, and which of your email lists your customer is subscribed to. For the most part, you no longer have to be logged into multiple platforms in order to have a holistic view of your customer!

Overall, HelpScout has a ton of incredible features, but it’s ultimately all about providing an exceptional customer service experience for your customers. Give them a try!

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Skubana

Skubana was started by Chad Rubin. Chad was once a Wall Street executive, but after being laid off in 2009 during the market collapse, he decided to begin his eCommerce journey. Now the owner of the recognizable brand Crucial Vacuum and a number of other online retail businesses, his stores now ship over 60,000 orders a month!

Through the experience of starting his own online retail brands, and the growing pains he experienced along the way, Chad struggled to run his businesses operationally and found that he had to subscribe to numerous costly platforms in order to fully manage his order volume. Similarly to how Chad approaches starting each of his eCommerce brands, he saw that many other Online Retailers were having the same issue. He decided to disrupt the ERP/Back Office SaaS scene and start his own platform, Skubana, an all-in-one order management, inventory, PO’s, analytics, and accounting cloud software that automates and accelerates back-end operations for all online retailers.

When we started our own online retail businesses, we quickly discovered that we were spending a lot of our precious time performing repetitive low-level tasks. We realized we’d much rather be spending our time focused on driving more sales and growing our business. From manually creating purchase orders, to creating complex spreadsheets to report on our business metrics, we knew there had to be a better way.

Unlike many other online retail back office solutions, Skubana is able to offer all of this without any contracts, set up fees, percentage of our revenue, or custom development.

With Skubana we’ve been able to set much of our business on autopilot with cross-channel inventory control, automated resource planning, automated fulfillment through OrderBots, and even auto-generated purchase orders. We’re still pretty new to Skubana, but we’re already seeing gained efficiencies across the board, allowing us more time to focus on growing our business.

If you’re looking to consolidate your order processing, shipping, inventory and reporting into one enterprise level tool, you’ve got to give Skubana a try!

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ShipperHQ

Shipping can be a sore subject for a lot of online retailers. Thanks to Amazon.com, Jet.com, Walmart.com, and many other massive online retailers, most of our customers are expecting free shipping, or inexpensive real-time rates from one or more shipping providers. Handling all of your shipping rules within your eCommerce platform can be complex and difficult to setup. Most eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify also limit you on the amount and type of complex shipping rules you can create.

What if you sell a product that cannot be shipped to a certain country or state? How do you keep a customer from receiving a disappointing email or phone call post-purchase informing them that you are unable to ship the product they purchased to their shipping address?

With ShipperHQ, you are able to create your own carrier rules, shipping discounts, promotions and markups. Let your customers know, before they place their order, that you don’t ship to their location or that you are offering a shipping discount or promotion. You decide exactly which shipping options are available to your customers, and how much you’d like to charge for each option.

Additionally, ShipperHQ allows you the ability to assign box sizes for more accurate rates with dimensional shipping, allow your customers to choose a specific date and time for delivery, and validate shipping addresses. By displaying the best shipping rates based on time and cost, you will see an increased conversion rate and a decrease in cart abandonment.

ShipperHQ also offers the added benefits of allowing in-store pickup, renaming of shipping methods, and multi-origin and drop shipping.

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