An exploding eCommerce business is great — but unless you have the tools in place to track your customers, analyze your user experience, and streamline communication, all that success won’t get you very far. If you want your business to grow, your customer retention to soar, and your marketing and sales team to have the insights they need to bring in more customers, you’re going to need to ensure you have some basic tools set up.
These are the three types of tools every eCommerce business needs to track your customers and grow your business.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a must-have for any eCommerce business. Built by the most powerful (or at the very least, the most popular) search engine, it’s hardly surprising that Google has also developed the best analytics tool on the market.
Google Analytics is free to use and offers a flood of data to help you understand your eCommerce traffic, improve conversions, optimize your site, and track visitor behavior. Because there is so much data at your fingertips, and so many ways you can configure it, setting up your Google Analytics system is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone unfamiliar with the platform. What makes this tool the best in the biz also makes it the most difficult to master.
Thankfully, Google knows that the deluge of info is a bit much, so they offer free training to help get you set up. You can also have your web development team (if you’ve got one) set it up for you to manage.
Rest assured, all the time spent in this tool will be well worth it in the end. The information provided here will be a key to unlocking growth for your eCommerce store. Don’t do anything else before you get this set up, because it’ll provide approximately 80% of all the information you need.
2. Customer Relationship Management System
If you don’t already know, a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) is used to manage your business interactions with consumers. The goal of a CRM is to make it easier for you to communicate with your fans and prospects through automation, segmentation, and detailed tracking.
Most CRM’s have incredibly user friendly interfaces and are a cinch to integrate with your eCommerce store (especially for those of you who are using Shopify).
Caitlin Teed, a Partner Community Manager here at Shopify, describes the importance of a CRM like this:
“Our CRM is like our superhero utility belt. It has everything we need to ensure we’re having engaging and meaningful conversations with the right people, and tracking them all in one place. It gives us a snapshot of our interactions — we can see who we’re chatting with, when we’re chatting with them, what we’ve discussed, notes we’ve left, tags we’ve added, reminders we’ve set, and calls we’ve had in the past.”
There are dozens of CRM systems out there. Generally, these are the top 3 that we recommend, but, as with anything, there is no true one-size-fits-all, so pick the CRM that sounds like it will meet your unique eCommerce needs best.
HubSpot has been an industry leader for over a decade and is the company responsible for putting inbound marketing on the map. HubSpot offers one of the most popular CRM tools out there, thanks to their extensive training, oceans of data, tailored tools, and army of merchant support staff.
HubSpot makes it easy to sort through leads, move prospects through the sales funnel, and track and automate all forms of communication with customers and prospects. It’ll help you track and attribute revenue and use customers browsing behavior to personalize marketing campaigns.
Summary of HubSpot:
- Easy to use
- CRM is free
- Has a user-friendly interface
- Offers a treasure-trove of knowledge in their blog and free training
- A good choice for small to midsize eCommerce businesses
Hubspot integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, and others.
Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM solutions used by both B2B and B2C businesses all over the world. Salesforce offers customizability and an extensive network of add-ons for marketing, customer service, and more. It’s primary component is, of course, customer management, which entails recording contacts and conversation details in a central hub.
One of the big differentiators of Salesforce is that they allow a high-level of customization. All contacts and account settings can be modified with unique tags and goals that flex to fit the way YOU do business. This does mean that using Salesforce requires a little more in the way of technical knowhow; however, we still consider this an easy platform to use.
Summary of Salesforce:
- Easy to add or delete features
- Comprehensive CRM
- As one of the most popular CRM’s out there, it’s easy to find team members already familiar with the system
- Good for small to large eCommerce businesses
SalesForce integrates with most eCommerce platforms, including Shopify and Shopify Plus.
Not looking for a comprehensive system just yet? Start-up eCommerce businesses will find this super simple CRM system helpful while incredibly easy to use.
Spreadsheet CRM is built completely in Google Sheets. It allows you to track sales, set up reminders, and even create charts and graphs for your data — all pre-built for you.
This CRM won’t give you much detail on your customers and leads, but it does give a broad overview that, while not an ideal long-term solution, gets you the basics you need for free.
Summary of Spreadsheet CRM:
- Simple and easy to use
- Best for startups and small businesses
- Use with any eCommerce platform
3. Heat Mapping Tool
While reporting software is great at showing you numbers, charts, and stats, it’s not great at visually conveying how your customers interact with your website.
You may have tracking set up to show how many times people tapped your clickable phone number, but do you know if they tapped anywhere else? Are they clicking on unexpected parts of your page? How often are your customers hitting the zoom button to get a close-up of a product, and how far down the page do they scroll to read through your description?
This type of information can be extremely helpful as you optimize your onsite customer experience. Design and content additions can be created to increase user interaction on your site and user engagement. You can then compare your data to see if those adjustments you’ve made improved things.
These are our favorite heat map tools to work with.
This is probably the most widely used heat mapping tool out there — and because it’s just that good. It offers heatmap reports, scroll map reports, A/B testing, overlay reports, and more. It’s easy to use, comes with a 30 day free trial, and offers tiered packages from basic to pro.
Crazy Egg doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, but it’s arguably the most powerful heat mapping tool in the industry.
Summary of Crazy Egg:
- Powerful tool with lots of data
- Offers A/B testing ability
- 30 day free trial
- Tiered package options allow you to get only the features you need
Lucky Orange shines because of the many tools you can use to understand user behaviors with simple visualization. They offer form analytics, visitor recordings (and live sessions), heat maps, visitor polls, and more. They also offer unlimited data for all of their 4 tiered pricing, from small to extra large.
If you’ve got Google Analytics set up, you may not be stoked about the prospect of even more data. But, Lucky Orange still fills in those holes Google Analytics leaves with their visitor recording, heat maps, and live sessions.
Lucky Orange is user-friendly, easy to set up, and offers great insights in an (admittedly, almost overwhelming) flood of information.
Summary of Lucky Orange:
- Easy setup
- Unlimited data
- Great visualization tools
Mouseflow does exactly what you’d expect with a business name like that. It tracks clicks, mouse movements, scrolling, form fill-out, and more. It records activity from each visitor, and you can filter recorded sessions to find those that demonstrate possible user frustrations or confusion. They also support A/B testing.
Mouseflow has a easy to understand user interface, and does a good job at distilling the information it gathers into understandable formats. It also has a long list of tools you can integrate it with, including Shopify.
Summary of Mouseflow:
- Tracks mouse movements and activity of each visitor
- Supports A/B testing
- Easy to understand data
- Allows filtered reports
Get Your eCommerce Business Moving
Need help finding the tools and integrations you need to track your data? If so, Flowlink can help you out with that. Looking for more sage advice on how to use Shopify Plus, FlowLink, Slack, and more, so that you can simplify your workflow? Contact our team at Mammoth Factory for help taking your eCommerce business to the next level.