10 Must-Have Tools for Any Successful eCommerce Brand
As retail sales continue to shift from brick and mortar stores to online storefronts, brands across all industries are diving head-first into the world of eCommerce. But establishing a successful eCommerce brand is no easy task. It's estimated that a whopping 90% of eCommerce brands will fail in 2022 due to mistakes that were (at the time) easily preventable if they had the right tools at their disposal.
With an endless number of seemingly useful tools available, constructing one's eCommerce stack can be a devilishly tricky process. Here are ten must-have tools for any successful eCommerce brand.
An eCommerce Platform
While this may seem like a painfully obvious selection, there are a plethora of different eCommerce platforms to choose from, all with their own unique flavors and benefits. Some platforms are simply plug-and-play, while others require more technical knowledge to use efficiently. Certain platforms benefit larger brands while others are more optimized for start-ups; you get the idea.
Shopify is a great platform for brands looking to get up and running quickly and with minimum friction. Because Shopify requires little to no technical skills to use effectively, smaller brands that lack the resources of a fully-fledged IT team will benefit greatly from using it.
For larger brands that sell in high volume, using a platform like BigCommerce will be more beneficial in the long run, thanks to their incredible amount of built-in sales features and ability to handle a vast amount of product variations.
Shopify templates don't have what you're looking for? Learn more about the benefits of a headless Shopify site!
Shipping and Inventory Tools
Quick delivery times and readily available inventory are critical factors that can either win shoppers or lose them for good. This effect has been amplified due to the ongoing supply crisis making shipping and inventory tools absolutely essential for any successful eCommerce brand.
Ordoro is a commonly used shipping and inventory tool for eCommerce, especially for smaller brands. Their combination of open API, a plethora of shipping options, and generally low costs make Ordoro more than suitable for the needs of many eCommerce brands.
Digital Payment Processing Tools
An eCommerce brand without digital payments processing tools will (obviously) not stay in business for long. One critical point of consideration for brands in 2022 is providing a wide variety of payment methods. Shoppers don't want to feel trapped into creating another new account with an unfamiliar service provider. They crave the freedom to pay for products and services in the manner they see fit.
One tool that offers such payment diversity is Braintree which has gained considerable popularity due to its use through Airbnb. While still under the PayPal umbrella, Braintree is a much more versatile tool than PayPal, even including Venmo as an acceptable form of payment.
Shopper data is the lifeblood of any eCommerce strategy, and by extension, so is one's CRM software. As one of the most important eCommerce tools on this list, choosing the right CRM software will singlehandedly improve one's ability to build and foster relationships with potential and existing shoppers.
The big names in CRM software are Salesforce and HubSpot. Salesforce is known for being a very robust platform catered towards larger brands that want plenty of options and hold a large number of marketing contacts. HubSpot, on the other hand, is excellent for small brands as well as mid-market enterprises that are looking for a CRM tool that is easy to use and readily deployable.
Both are excellent options; choose the software that best matches the needs of your brand.
Project Management Tools
It is exceedingly difficult to manage projects across multiple teams without using a solid project management tool. These tools help managers create projects, assign due dates, track progress, and collaborate at a high level with every person in the company. If you're used to managing projects through spreadsheets, your first interaction with a dedicated project management tool will be a truly eye-opening experience.
A great tool for companies of all sizes is Asana. The amount of project management depth that Asana provides both at the free and paid tiers is difficult to beat, especially for most small businesses and start-ups that can essentially use the tool for free.
Modern Sizing Solutions
For eCommerce apparel brands, size confusion is a significant barrier to conversion and a primary driver of increased return rates. A poor sizing strategy not only results in lost profits due to the aforementioned issues but also increases a brand's carbon footprint through the shipping wastes generated from processing size-related returns.
Modern sizing solutions like WAIR help eCommerce apparel brands eliminate size confusion and boost shopper confidence through personalized and accurate size recommendations. While many solutions rely on purchase and return data for sizing, what sets WAIR apart is its vast database of over 3 million body scans taken from real people across the globe. This exclusive data is the backbone of WAIR's sizing solution, the most comprehensive sizing solution in apparel eCommerce.
The benefits of WAIR do not stop there. WAIR's sizing solutions also capture new body data from shoppers. This process is done entirely on the backend, ensuring a smooth sizing experience for shoppers while also providing brands with insights that reveal opportunities across all business units.
Learn more about why sizing is one of the most important elements in eCommerce.
Customer Service Tools
Customer success teams rely on these tools to provide continued guidance and support to shoppers. More often than not, CS tools are aligned with CRM data which helps paint a complete picture of who the shopper is, what issues they are facing, and how your team can assist them further.
While many brands (rightfully) look to Zendesk for their customer service needs, Gorgias has proven to be a more robust CS tool specifically for eCommerce brands. Gorgias was purpose-built for eCommerce, has powerful dashboards available for CS professionals, and boasts deep integrations with Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.
Content Marketing Platform
Organic and paid content are the driving forces behind a brand's ability to attract shoppers to its site. But one's content strategy is only as good as the content marketing platform they choose. These tools will singlehandedly determine the planning, execution, and overall effectiveness of one's content strategy.
HubSpot is a crowd favorite when it comes to content marketing, and for a good reason. It's an all-in-one platform that is not only easy to use but also provides users with numerous analytics tools that shed light on how shoppers are interacting with one's content across all channels, and those on Shopify looking to take a more personalized approach to their campaigns, tools like Kanteneo stack nicely here.
Analysis and Tracking Tools
Gaining insights into website activity, identifying weak points, capitalizing on opportunities, each of these processes would be impossible without analysis and tracking tools. The insights provided to brands through these tools will be critical in forming and validating their eCommerce strategy.
Google Analytics is generally the most preferred way for brands to analyze the data surrounding their eCommerce site. Not only will Google Analytics provide insight into the critical aspects of any eCommerce brand, but it's also a relatively easy-to-implement tool requiring only the addition of small snippets of code to the back end of one's website for tracking purposes.
Rewards and Referral Tools
It always pays dividends to reward loyal shoppers, as well as ones that drive traffic directly to your eCommerce site. Whether that's through a points-based loyalty program or strategically delivered promotional offers, building out shopper loyalty can have a dramatic, positive effect on your revenue stream.
Zinrelo is an excellent tool for eCommerce brands looking to fire on all cylinders when it comes to building shopper loyalty. Not only is their approach to nurturing shopper loyalty meticulous, but they also can be integrated into numerous eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and many more.
Create Your Foundation, Then Build Upon It
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, every tool mentioned holds the essential properties needed to succeed in the eCommerce space. Once you have the essentials covered, you can branch out into new dimensions to further optimize your stack based on the unique needs of your eCommerce brand.
Interested in learning more about WAIR? Schedule a demo here and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram , LinkedIn, and Facebook for all your fashion content needs!