Finding the right marketing tools is essential for staying ahead of your competitors – but with a market flush with all sorts of different tools and options, it can be challenging to decipher which tools will best fit your needs.
The reality of eCommerce marketing tools is that they can come in all shapes and sizes. Because of this, it is vital to break down the different purposes these tools serve and how they can benefit your online store.
Luckily for you, we have taken a look at the top eCommerce marketing tools in 2021 to help you make sense of the many tools available today. In this article will discuss 7 main categories of marketing tools and some of the best options currently available within each category.
These 7 categories are as follows:
- Customer Service: Tools that aid in improving and optimising the customer experience
- Analytics: Tools that help automatically track crucial metrics and customer insights
- Email Marketing: Tools designed for creating and enabling automated email marketing campaigns
- SEO: Tools that help improve your Search Engine Optimization and help your website to rank higher on search engine result pages
- Social Media: Tools made for the management and optimisation of social media accounts and platforms
- Chatbots and Virtual Shopping Assistants: Tools that utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide more human-like support for customers
- Product Management: Tools for helping to keep product listings and projects well-managed and well-organized
Customer Service ToolsWithout high-quality customer service, your marketing strategy is bound to flop.
It is crucial to use comprehensive customer service marketing tools to ensure your customers are satisfied and supported.
From helpdesks to customer loyalty programs, here are our top picks for customer service tools:
Document360 Knowledge BaseCustomers will inevitably have questions about your products, but depending on the size of your business, there may not always be a human around to help out. Enter Document 360 Knowledge Base, an online tool and platform designed for creating a self-service help centre. The platform has a simplistic, fresh interface and uses a WYSIWYG editor that somewhat flattens the learning curve. It also has a built-in search engine that allows the users to search by article titles, content, and tags making the retrieval of information pretty comprehensive.
Pro Tip: Document360 has a very detailed online help centre that can assist you with any issue you may encounter or provide useful info when creating your FAQs and User Guides.
Cost: After a free trial period, startup plans cost $49 per month
ReferralCandyWhat if you could grow your sales through your customers themselves? Well, with ReferralCandy, you can! Word-of-mouth marketing is highly effective, and with this tool, you can reward your customers for each referral they complete.
ReferralCandy allows you to customise your reward options and brand your communication, and easily integrate with whichever eCommerce platform you prefer. The integration with the two most widely-used eCommerce solutions - Magento and WooCommerce - in particular, is very simple. Like many of the tools in this list, it has a simple and easy-to-use interface and it also integrates with third-party products like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Mailchimp, and so on. It also has neatly developed features like post-sale pop-ups and sidebar widgets, increasing the chance of making a conversion.
Pro Tip: You can use ReferralCandy’s automated reward pay-outs and make it a referral program that runs itself.
Cost: After a 30-day free trial, plans start at $49 per month (plus commission fees)
Analytics ToolsAnalytics, demographics, and metrics…oh my!
Your analytics matter, as they can give you important insights into which parts of your marketing strategy are working effectively versus which areas need more attention.
Here are our top analytics tools for 2021:
HotjarGetting to know exactly what your customers are doing on your site is hard, but fortunately, screen-recording tools allow you to get a much better insight into this area. Hotjar is one of the most popular tools that can do that, offering both heatmaps of your most-clicked areas of a specific page and recordings of what people do on them.
The reports are pretty comprehensive, allowing you to see where the customer struggled in their buyer journey by showing things like what page they entered and on which one they left.
Pro Tip: Aside from the pretty detailed analytics, you can also use Hotjar to create surveys and lead forms, voiding the need to use a separate tool for this purpose.
Cost: There is a free plan which will allow you to create heatmaps for up to three pages of screen recording for up to 300 sessions (100 sessions at the time), and the paid plans start at $99 with up to 15,000 sessions.
HeapAre you losing customers somewhere along the line but unable to figure out why exactly your website or online store is losing customers? Heap is a fantastic tool for pinpointing the blind spots that have been overlooked.
This tool can drastically improve the customer experience by identifying the exact areas of your digital interfaces where customers are struggling. Additionally, Heap constantly measures customer behavior, providing you with valuable insights for every interaction your products receive. You can track custom set events and set funnels in order to better understand user flow and the dropoff.
Pro Tip: Heap was designed with product marketing and eCommerce specifically in mind, making it a stellar option for your online store’s analytical needs.
Cost: The starting plan for Heap is FREE, with paid plans available containing extra features and insights.
KissmetricsAs your online store and business begin to scale up, you will likely need more thorough and advanced reports on your various metrics. Kissmetrics for eCommerce is perfect for small businesses looking to level up their marketing and analytic capabilities.
Kissmetrics allows you to do all the standard metric measurements, plus revealing more technical aspects such as the lifetime value of customers by segment and detailed customer reports. From total sales and total revenue to average revenue per person and conversion rate from cart to purchase, their reports provide great eCommerce insight helping you to understand whether your marketing and UX are heading in the right direction.
Pro Tip: If you’re using a third-party app like Salesforce or Slack (which does not integrate directly) you can use Zapier and send information from those apps to your Kissmetrics account, allowing you to keep all of your data in one place.
Cost: This tool is a more advanced option, with the starting plan coming in at $299 per month. However – the payoff and support can easily justify this price.
Email Marketing ToolsWhen done right, email marketing campaigns can be super helpful for boosting both the traffic and sales of your online store.
To achieve an effective email marketing campaign, it is essential to find the right tools for email automation, actionable insights, and quality customer data.
Here are our top three picks for the best email marketing tools for eCommerce in 2021:
MailChimpMailChimp is one of the most widely used email marketing tools, thanks to its approachability and ease of use. For eCommerce purposes, MailChimp offers a wide variety of integrations for hundreds of different platforms and applications. If you are one for advanced features and capabilities, Mailchimp is your go-to solution. They pretty much offer it all - drag-and-drop email template creator, A/B testing, preview, time scheduling, marketing automation to set email sequences and so on.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling with getting the most out of your plan or you just need help due to time restrictions, use Mailchimp’s Experts Directory to hire someone with the skills you need.
Cost: MailChimp offers a reasonably capable free plan, with paid plans ranging from $9.99 per month for essential plans to $299 per month for premium plans and huge email lists of 200,000+ subscribers.
OmnisendFor those brand new to email automation and marketing, Omnisend may be the tool for you. Offering a simple to use interface and straightforward back-end design, this tool is super friendly for beginners looking to get started with email marketing.
Omnisend can aid in a number of marketing tasks, including email campaigns, SMS, segmentation, pop-ups, forms, and reports.
Pro Tip: Omnisend offers a feature called “Product Picker” that allows you to choose any product from your store to include in your email or newsletter – a significant advantage for eCommerce.
Cost: Omnisend offers a fairly comprehensive free plan, with paid plans starting at $16 per month.
DripIf you’re looking for an email marketing tool that is specifically designed with eCommerce in mind, look no further. Drip is easy to use and offers a plethora of features made for empowering big and small online stores.
Features you can find within Drip include everything from the basic email campaigns to email segmentation, split testing, and in-depth reporting. Plus, Drip offers comprehensive automation options and it’s extremely easy to integrate with the two most popular eCommerce platforms - Magento and WooCommerce.
Pro Tip: Drip is excellent for online stores looking to scale up their audience and business volume – and this scalability is reflected with the pricing.
Cost: Cost can vary as Drip will scale alongside your business for optimal use – after a 14-day free trial, plans start at $19 per month.
Social Media ToolsOn social media, you can get in touch with the whole world.
Social media has become one of the most powerful channels for communicating with customers and building an online presence. Plus, it can significantly boost your sales by helping to target very specific audiences.
Using social media tools can help you create a consistent posting on social media and engage with your followers. Here are three more tools designed for social media marketing:
Promo Video MakerVideo consumption only continues to rise, prompting businesses of all sizes to search for ways to create video content. If you are looking to liven up your content stream but don't want to break the bank (as video creation can get crazy expensive) let us introduce you to Promo.com.
Promo is a video creation company that helps marketers with the promotion of their business on social media platforms. They have a library containing the astonishing 12 million video clips and templates (and growing), which can be edited and enhanced.
You can simply choose the format you want - for example, Facebook ad video or Instagram Reels - and edit it with licensed music, custom text, and logos.
What I personally like most is their clean and easy to use interface. As someone who is not a video editor, I want maximum simplicity if for some reason I have to create a video and they totally succeeded with that.
Designing videos with Promo has been effortless and I especially appreciated two things - their large selection of text styles and the fact that you can add your own video if you are making a collage.
Pro Tip: Promo.com has released a social calendar which is very useful to social media managers who use special dates to publish posts. You can syncronyze it to your own calendar in Google or Apple, but more importantly, if you use it directly from their site it will direct you to the videos appropriate for that particular holiday
Cost: They have a trial option after which you will be prompted to choose one of the two plans - business (€49) or Agency (1€65). These prices will be slashed almost in half if you purchase their annual subscription plan.
BufferKeeping up a consistent posting schedule can be tricky, especially if you are already working around a busy business schedule. Buffer is an excellent tool for pre-scheduling your posts and tracking your social media analytics. You can integrate 5 of the major social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
Not only can Buffer help you to plan your posts and automatically post them for you, but they have a newly released analytics feature - Engagement - which provides an even deeper look into customer behavior.
Pro Tip: If you’re outsourcing your social media management and you’d like to manage the content before it goes out, instead of sending Excel tables back and forth, you can use their Awaiting approval feature and do this process directly within the tool.
Cost: Buffer offers four different plans, with the starter plan being completely free. The free plan allows for three social media channels and ten scheduled posts per month. Paid plans start at $15 per month and provide a range of extra features. A 14-day free trial is available as well.
LoomlyLoomly is a social media calendar tool that allows for scheduling and management of social media content. A major advantage of Loomly is that it is incredibly beginner-friendly, even for users who may not be the most social media savvy. Loomly also has the capabilities for social media management at all levels – from startup to enterprise-level eCommerce businesses.
Pro Tip: Use their feature that automatically pulls in relevant suggested posts to level up your posting game.
Cost: After a 15-day free trial period, plans start at $25 per month.
Chatbot and Virtual Shopping Assistant ToolsAs your eCommerce business begins to scale up, it can be challenging to keep up with your customers’ necessary interactions. Chatbots and virtual shopping assistants use AI and machine learning to provide automated and human-like responses to your customers.
From helping a customer navigate your store to answering questions about products, chatbot tools can be handy.
Here are three great tools that utilize chatbot and virtual shopping assistant technology:
MobileMonkeyChatbot technology can quickly become overwhelming to try and figure out – but with MobileMonkey, you can rest easy working with easy-to-use interfaces and features.
MobileMonkey uses its own patented marketing technology known as OmniChat to help build better chatbots for multi-platform use. Plus, this tool offers both the resources and support to help educate users on making the most of their chatbots.
Pro Tip: MobileMonkey offers its users daily webinars that help to ensure your chatbot is working optimally!
Cost: MobileMonkey offers a starting Free Forever plan which is, you guessed it – completely free! Paid plans start at $21.75 per month, with free trial periods available.
ChatFuelChatFuel is a highly rated chatbot tool that doubles as a virtual shopping assistant. This helpful tool can do everything from answer FAQs and recommend products to optimize your sales funnel!
Plus, ChatFuel has proven success in boosting the sales of its eCommerce clients. Its design and purpose are perfect for creating your own virtual shopping assistant for your online store.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use ChatFuel’s abandoned cart recovery feature – it reminds customers about items they may have added to their cart and then forgotten to purchase!
Cost: Get ChatFuel for free with their free plan that includes a 50 user limit. Paid plans have no user limits and start at $15 per month!
ManyChatManyChat is a chatbot and virtual shopping assistant designed for use in eCommerce. It allows you to create personalized and interactive responses to make conversations with customers feel more natural.
Additionally, ManyChat offers a payment option when you integrate with Facebook Messenger – this allows your customers to purchase products directly through the bot!
Pro Tip: ManyChat offers an extensive library of resources to its users, including best practices, guides, and tutorials to ensure you find success with your eCommerce chatbot.
Cost: ManyChat offers a free plan with limited features and a Pro plan starting at $10 per month! Custom plans are also available.
SEO ToolsSearch Engine Optimization, or SEO, is crucial for your online visibility.
With search engines still reigning as the main method for buyers to find new products, SEO remains a super important eCommerce component.
From finding the right keywords and building landing pages to tracking search engine metrics, SEO is a necessary component to help your online store appear in more search results.
Here are our top tools for ensuring your eCommerce SEO is top-notch:
SEMrushSEMrush is a top-rated solution for SEO needs – and the tool offers features specifically for boosting the sales and visibility of eCommerce and online stores!
With SEMrush, you can carry out several essential SEO activities, including auditing your site for meta information, obtaining backlinks, and research keywords and competitors.
Pro Tip: SEMrush can actually double as a social media tool as well, allowing you to manage your social media directly from the SEMrush interface, and so you can skip buying a separate tool for social media management.
Cost: SEMrush offers many advanced applications and features, making it a more expensive option. After a free trial period, plans start at $119 per month.
Google Search ConsoleRather than being a singular tool, Google Search Console is a collection of tools designed for helping your online store to rank higher on search result pages.
Google Search Console can provide you many detailed SEO reports, including how well your website is indexing, how specific pages are performing and recording all of your internal and external links.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use the URL inspection tool, which helps to see your website from the point of view of Google’s search engine. You can also use it to index pages that haven’t been indexed for some reason or re-indexing them after making corrections that the Search Console has recommended.
Cost: FREE! Like Google Analytics, Google Search Console is entirely free to use and can integrate with most eCommerce platforms.
AhrefsAhrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset designed for tracking and optimizing your website to its fullest potential.
With Ahrefs, you can not only audit your site and search for keywords, but you can also analyze your competitors and track your ranking progress as you improve your site’s SEO.
Pro Tip: Ahrefs offers a tool called the Content Explorer, which allows you to research the types of content that perform the best within your niche or industry.
Cost: Ahrefs is a highly comprehensive and all-inclusive tool, making it higher in price. After a 7-day free trial, plans start at $99 per month.
Product Management ToolsYour products are a key element of your online store – after all, products are what ultimately end up in the hands of your customers!
Ensuring your product production and management are optimized is crucial. From project and task management to listings and analytics, product management tools can help you to improve your online store.
Here are three great tools for product management:
ProductboardAs your online store grows and brings in more sales, it’s essential to know what products to plan for the future. Productboard helps to assess what your customers want and need in order to build an effective product roadmap.
Productboard offers you a variety of features to improve your existing workflows. The tool also allows you to keep close track of your future product plans and newly launched features.
Pro Tip: Productboard can integrate with other team communication applications, such as Slack, for seamless communication and collaboration within your product development team.
Cost: After a 15-day free trial, plans start at $20 per month.
TrelloTrello is all about boosting your product management productivity! Using Trello allows you to work on project boards more effectively.
Plus, Trello enables you to automate essential tasks without having to code! This makes it way easier to work through product development challenges with ease.
Pro Tip: A major feature of this tool is Trello’s cards. These cards are portals used to organize work and consolidate entire ecosystems of data and conversations into one central location.
Cost: Trello offers a competitive free plan with many of the essential features included. Paid plans begin at $10 per month.
Closing ThoughtsYour eCommerce marketing strategy is critically important to the success of your online store – but with thousands upon thousands of tools available, it can be hard to figure out which ones will help you to grow your online visibility and boost sales!
The tools we have covered in this list each come with their own unique set of capabilities and benefits. By utilising these tools, you can automate and optimise your marketing strategy,increase your revenue per user and bloom as a business.
And remember, in the same way that location is critical to physical stores, powerful hosting that guarantees good performance is crucial for the success of online stores. Monitor your store’s performance and speed - if thanks to your marketing efforts your growth becomes exponential, it’s always a good idea to check if the time hasn’t come to upgrade your hosting.