Does checking your store’s stats make you feel…
Do you have that nagging feeling that something is wrong?
Is your your conversion rate is still below the industry’s average? Bounce rate too high and email list not growing as much as you’d expect?
We’ve already covered many aspects of the process of improving your business metrics, from which website elements to test and the basics of A/B testing to the best email subject lines and much more in between.
Today, I want to supplement all this advice with something else – a list tools you’d need to improve different aspects of your business.
A/B testing allows you to test various site elements to identify what works best, so you can fine tune your site to respond best to your user’s expectations.
Here are the two leading platforms for A/B testing.
VWO prides itself on being the easiest A/B testing tool on the market. It’s certainly a good one to go for if you’re on a budget. With a $9/mo starting plan, it’s a great tool for dipping your toes into the world of A/B testing.
The tool allows running a number of tests, including:
It also features a simple point and click editor, easy to use even for a beginner.
Even though it’s very similar to VWO, Optimizely targets more enterprise market. And thus, includes more data at a much higher price.
It does however feature a free Starter plan you can use for A/B testing and multivariate testing.
Usability testing is a technique of validating designs and interface elements by testing it on real users. It can help you find out what problems your users might be having with your site.
Here are few suggestions for various usability testing tools:
Loop11 is quite an interesting tool, allowing you to run remote usability tests by creating a series of tasks and inviting participants to validate them.
You can send the test to your own social audience, ask your site visitors to participate or recruit participants in few other ways the tool provides.
From their feedback, you can quickly learn what works on your site and where visitors have problems.
Loop11 allows to start with a free project and then, either pay per project or on monthly / annual basis.
UserTesting allows you to recruit users, who video record themselves performing tasks on your site – so you get to hear their comments while they do so.
The audio comments alone make the tool invaluable for getting qualitative insights about your site.
This is another amazing tool to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in your store.
Just upload your design (or even a wireframe) and let users complete whatever tasks you specify. But there is a catch (which also explains the app’s name):
Testers have only five seconds to view your image and must then answer the questions you have set. The tool then collects responses, extracts the frequent keywords, and present the data in graphs.
Testing is one way to increase conversions, but not the only one. You can also try to drive the visitor’s attention to promotions, deals, or run a competition or other marketing initiatives aimed at driving more customers to the site.
Here are few tools that can help you do that.
I’m sure you’ve seen those bars containing an ad or link to specific area of the site before. They’re unobtrusive yet can grab a visitor’s attention better than banner or text link.
You can use HelloBars to advertise your latest promotion (or to simply remind users of any unique benefits of buying from you) and link to appropriate page on the site.
SumoMe offers a number of tools you can use to increase both traffic and conversions, from heatmaps to social shares and a lot in between. But the tool I want to mention today is their List Builder.
List Builder allows you to display a pop-up seconds after a customer enters your site, and then again when they decide to leave.
These popups work because they let you engage with customers at two very crucial moments of their experience – beginning and end.
Sweetpstakes are the most popular form of contests in ecommerce. They’re quick to set up and spread like wildfire, reaching huge numbers of customers fast.
As a result, they help you grow your email list quickly, and build a massive social following that you can later convert into sales.
ViralSweep is a great tool for running sweepstakes on your store. It’s simple to use, but boasts the capabilities and features to run contests of any size.
Email is the most converting channel in ecommerce.
In 2011, SEEWhy discovered that email traffic is the highest converting traffic channel at checkout at 67.37%. For comparison, direct traffic converts at 23.68%, while display advertising at 0.53%.
Email automation helps to develop both customer loyalty and bring new sales. But, in order to do it well you need to use a trusted platform. Here are few to consider.
Drip is a simple to use platform that covers every stage of your sales funnel. From signup to creating an email sequence, sending emails, and providing insights on customers’ response, this app covers it all.
Active Campaign is all-in-one email platform that can help you grow your business with different email tools. From sending once-off email newsletters to advanced email automation and CRM, the app covers every aspect of your email marketing.
And with a monthly price starting at $9 for both once-off emails and auto responders, the tool is ideal for anyone just starting out with email automation.
Live chat is one of the most demanded features on ecommerce sites today, and for good reason.
Live chat is convenient. Emarketer discovered that customers prefer to use Live Chat for smaller queries – order status, promotions, shipping information, or those related to product advice.
It also helps increase conversions. BoldChat discovered that chatters are 7.5x more likely to place an order compared to visitors who don’t chat (source).
Having a reliable live chat provider is crucial for any store. Here are two systems that work well for online retailers.
Zopim is a tried and tested platform on the market. It includes all options you’d expect from a live chat provider.
Owners of smaller stores may also appreciate the mobile app, which allows you to interact with customers even when you are not in front of a computer.
Userlike is a newer app that promises easy installation, privacy, and security, as well as powerful features.
And from what I could see, they deliver on that promise.
The tool offers powerful API, allowing proactive invites, macros, and much more to improve your real-time customer service.
It takes time and effort to improve various business metrics. From bringing in more traffic and sales to building customer loyalty, you need know-how, but also trusted tools to help you get the job done.