A famous e-commerce expert once said, “An online marketplace can seldom be interesting in the absence of automation tools.” This clearly bespeaks the importance of leveraging the services of e-commerce tools. In the wake of the gospel truth pronounced, it is learnt that marketplace website software owners are entitled to three crucial factors- Business acumen, intellectual agility and automation. This article is all about endorsing ‘5 must have tools’ Rhapsodies of praise are inevitable outcomes of meticulously anchoring the features of the following tools:
- MailChimp: In e-commence industry, the role of email marketing cannot be discounted and disregarded. To drive sales and generate leads, email marketing is the most preferred pursuit. It is estimated that the returns of an effective email marketing campaign are overwhelming. Let me run through some figures- about 98% online marketplace owners rely extensively on email marketing. ROI is estimated to be a whopping 4300%. Well, these inflated figures testify the significance of email marketing.
MailChimp is an email marketing tool that allows you to embark on effective email marketing campaigns. Target audiences (customers) are known to have customized profiles and dedicated accounts in various email clients such as Yahoo, Outlook, Google, Hotmail, etc. MailChimp determines the 10 popular email clients that your target audiences use. MailChimp provides a dedicated email format and template to each of the email clients. By selecting the preview button, you can have a view of how your email appears. Modifications can be done with ease. That social networking can be achieved in synchrony with email advertising is a stand-apart feature of MailChimp. What all it takes to initiate the email marketing campaign is a click and a couple more to update your social media platform profiles such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc. There is something endearing to this. If your subscriber base is less than 2500 and if you send less than 12000 cumulative mails, you can avail the features of MailChimp for free. If your business is on a roll, you may opt for premium plans. In addition to all the features, MailChimp allows you to track your campaign. Analytics360 module, an integral part of MailChimp provides insights on your campaign. It compares your recent campaign with the earlier ones. You can add your contacts manually. As an alternative action, you may upload a CSV file and bulk import the contacts. You can also add your own HTML design templates. MailChimp’s online training sessions and live webinars are impressive. All in all, this is a feature rich tool catering to your requirements.
- Abandon Aid: Your online marketplace business may go down like a lead balloon due to abandoned carts. Higher the abandoned carts, higher the risk of losing money on potential sales. According to the reports of Baymard institute, approximately 67.45% of shoppers checkout of the online marketplace platforms without closing any deal. This may be due to countless reasons such as:
- Zero balance in their credit card accounts
- Second thoughts such as intentions of buying after soliciting opinions of friends, fellow customers etc.
- Technical issues such as slower loading time.
- Price comparisons (with the items on other sites.)
There are umpteen ways of feeding the brains of customers with intellect and get their curiosities going. A follow-up email can address their concerns. In such scenarios, Abandon Aid plays a vital cameo. Abandon aid sends personalized mails to customers and requests them to complete the deal in the simplest and most effective ways. Email templates can be customized. Abandon aid can send countless mails per campaign. It all depends on the number to which it is set. This savior tool dons the hat of an evangelist and showers love on your customers. You can do away with manual triggers. Every activity is automated. Performance reports on each and every email marketing metric can be obtained.
- Zendesk: Bad customer service may throw your online marketplace business into a pretty pickle. If your technical support team is not on alert, your business is bound to go down the tube. Rather than shedding a few extra bucks for hiring support staff, it is recommended to leverage the features of Zendesk help desk software. Zendesk is accessible on several platforms such as Android, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry. It allows customers to pitch their concerns through multiple technology based channels such as mobile, electronic mail, Facebook, Twitter etc. Templatized solutions to real-time tickets are always in the offing. Zendesk has a host of Key- Performance-Indicators that allow you to assess your customer service. There is something more to it than it meets eye- Zendesk sends feedback surveys to your customers. To convey the gist in one simple sentence, the purpose of Zendesk is to trade the finite customer service for the infinite customer satisfaction
- Optimizely: Optimizely is one of the premier A/B testing tools. This A/B testing tool works best with every existing platform. Its installation is a single step process. What all it takes is proper insertion of a single line of HTML. Here is the interesting fact- The single line of HTML is generated by Optimizely at the time of set-up. By using Optimizely, you can track:
- Customer engagements
- Email sign-ups
- Custom goal setting
- Custom goal tracking
- Landing pages traffic metric
You can track anything and everything that is relevant to business. For instance, you track the revenue in addition to other relevant metrics. Optimizely is reasonably priced. Its free version offers a variety of features. Depending on your business requirements, you can opt for various premium plans and subscriptions.
- Crazy Egg: If you are ignoring this tool, I am sure you’ve got bats in the belfry. Crazy Egg is a crazy tool that is known for its awesome heat maps feature. Heat maps indicate the website areas that are being ignored by customers. Apart from this Heat maps feature, analytical graphs are also provided. A free 30 day trial version is also available. Crazy Egg is relatively expensive. Premium plans start from $9 per month to as high as $99 per month. Crazy Egg has no A/B testing features. However, it is ‘one-size-fits-all’ tool. As a consequence, it can be used on any generic website and is not limited to e-commerce marketplaces or digital marketplaces.
Before drawing the curtain close, I would like to emphasize that the aforementioned tools if used to their complete potential can generate traffic, deliver quality customer support and boost your sales.