7 Must Have eCommerce Tools to Adopt During COVID
COVID-19 has reshaped virtually every aspect of our lives. And as if running a business wasn’t complicated enough to begin with, now we’re in the complex reality of supply & demand and logistics complications. As tough as it’s been, the good news is we’re seeing early signs of a retail rebound. As businesses pivot focus to online sales, there are still huge gaps in experience but the online experience still has a long way to go to even come close to the in store performance.
In a world without brick and mortar stores, eCommerce best practices are changing fast and the importance of online retail is growing by the day. We’ve talked to customers and eCommerce experts and gathered a list of essential eCommerce tools to help you not only survive but come out of the crisis stronger than before.
By empowering clients to self-book their appointments, the process of going back and forth to schedule an appointment is cut from the equation. Customers can even book one-on-one online consultations with former in-store sales reps — a savvy way of recreating a comforting sales experience from the safety of your home. I’m sure we all relate to feeling busier than ever, despite a global pandemic keeping us in our homes for most of the day. People like experiences like this as it keeps their schedule clear, and locks them in for the committed.
For growing and sustaining your contact lists, we suggest an email campaign management tool like Klaviyo. This cloud-based email marketing tool sends out targeted emails based on simple metrics like viewing and purchasing history, as well as what kinds of interactions customers have had with past emails. Think of it as a way of personalizing while collecting info, all from a safe distance. Covid has pushed more customers online. It has also pushed Amazon customers who couldn’t get their faves from the eCommerce giant during the crisis to explore more options. Now is the perfect time to capture these new customers’ email and to grow your list.
When stores are closed, your customers have literally nowhere to go to get advice. Think of the last time you tried to buy a laptop or a camera and landed on a website, with nothing but a list of questions and no one to ask questions to. Automat helps you guide your customers in their purchase decisions. It gets to know them, makes personalized recommendations, and gives them the confidence boost they need to buy. Just like an in-store salesperson would. eCommerce sales automation is great for ensuring that your customers’ first interactions are amazing and to get them to buy faster. Check out our case studies to see how automated sales conversations are impacting conversion rates.
Now that the majority of sales are happening online, take advantage of all the traffic to optimize your site. For this, we suggest an A/B testing tool, like Optimizely, which compares two variations of a webpage, assessing their performance and multivariate testing. By making adjustments as small as simply changing a button, to as sweeping as an entire redesign of a page, this testing tool allows you to adapt to the consumer’s experience and preferences.
Because we’re all dosing up on screen time — one study showed engagement increasing 61% over normal usage rates — a social media management tool, like Hootsuite, perfect for keeping tabs on all that traffic. With a simple dashboard, the process of switching back and forth between Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube is streamlined. By keeping track and managing your many social network channels all in one place, being responsive, listening and being present on social media is easier than ever, in a time when it matters most.
Is COVID brain fog making it hard to keep focused on marketing your business? Allow us to point you in the direction of Kit. Kit is a free, virtual marketing employee, offered by Shopify. It recommends marketing activities that are most likely to drive sales and create Facebook and Instagram ads to keep your business on people’s minds. It’s a proactive, artificially-intelligent assistant that is on call 24/7, and that will help you improve your marketing efforts in this time of crisis.
Customer service during COVID can get overwhelming, giving your customers access to live agents via your site is a great way to help them. When fast, automated chat like Automat’s are great to get people to buy, live chat is a powerful tool to cover customer service conversations. Many customers are buying products online for the first time right now, and many companies are dealing with unreliable shipping and supply and demand issues. Having live chat can get your customers’ needs met and keep them happy.
These tools are great because of their usefulness in both the COVID, as well as post-COVID world. Companies who’re leading the retail rebound charge all have two things in common: they’re focusing on building stronger connections with their customers via new marketing messaging and social media, and they’re focusing on conversion optimization. Hopefully this list of tools will help your business make every visit count.