On the hunt for e-commerce tools? Here are the most popular ones (sorted by stage and category)

How much time have you spent searching for e-commerce tools?

Whether you’ve owned your shop for some time now or you’re just getting started with it, your answer is probably “a lot”. 

The thing is, with so much variety out there, it’s often difficult to figure out which tools are really necessary for you.

And that’s what this post is here for – we’ve sorted the most popular tools according to your shop’s stage (i.e., depending on how long you’ve had it) and category (to make it easier for you to find the tools that most interest you).

Let’s get started because we have a lot to cover!

👉 [Launching] Must-have e-commerce tools when opening a new your shop

Is your store ready to open its virtual doors… but you’re still wondering if everything’s under control? 

Here are some must-have tools, but first make sure to read our step-by-step mega guide on how to create your online store (we touch on everything from technical and legal to strategic and advertising aspects to consider).

✅ 1. Hosting

By “hosting” we’re referring to the computer (known as “server”) where your site is hosted. Even though it’s virtual, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be floating around in cyberspace. 😉

If you’re already looking for the perfect hosting service, you’ll already have discovered just how many options you have available. So which one’s right for you?

Here’s a post on hosting. It explains what it is and the different types out there as well as things to consider before choosing one.

✅ 2. E-commerce platform (or CMS)

CMS (or Content Management System) is the software tool you use in order to create and manage your website.

Just like with hosting services, you must have seen how many options are out there, and that each has its own pros and cons. Here are the most popular e-commerce CMSs:

And these are just the most well known options.

Here’s a post on the most important criteria when choosing a CMS for your store and how the ones above compare to each other; but that’s not all: here’s another post featuring less-known CMSs. 

Both posts are worth checking out. 

✅ 3. The template (the foundation of your shop’s look)

Now that you’ve chosen your web hosting and platform, it’s time to pick the template that will determine what your store looks like as well as some other aspects, depending on what the template allows you to implement (for example, navigability might be affected by menu options).

Every CMS features (free and paid) templates that are specific to them. However, we always recommend going with a paid version, as it gives you: 

  • More customization options
  • A lighter design (crucial for a faster website load speed)
  • Enhanced SEO optimization
  • Additional functionality (or the possibility to do more without additional tools)

We know that you most likely prefer to keep costs to a minimum, but this is an investment that will save you lots of headaches in the medium-term. 

✅ 4. The payment gateway

What are the possible ways for clients to transfer us money?

As its name suggests, a payment gateway is the tool that allows your customers to pay for the items in their cart. Ideally, the transfer should be a fast, safe, and convenient operation for users. 

The most popular payment method is by credit card, but there are other options you should implement, such as PayPal (trusted by many). Here’s an in-depth post on the different payment methods there are and which ones you should get started with.   

👉 [Growing] E-commerce tools aimed at increasing conversion in growing shops

Your store may already be up and running, but this is far from over. Here are some of the most popular tools to help you manage your store and increase both traffic and conversion rates. 😉

✅ 1. Tools to enhance the user experience

The user experience is the impression (good or bad) users get after interacting with your shop, and it’s decisive when it comes to increasing sales.

That’s why we want to recap some factors you must bear in mind to make it better as well as some tools you may find useful: 

So far, so good?

It’s a lot of information, we know, but don’t worry – you can bookmark this post and refer back to it whenever you want.

✅ 2. Shop management tools

Your store and catalog are growing, just like the number of customers. Someone needs to address this mess, right? 

That’s what management tools are for, and here are two very important ones to remember:

➡️  A. PIM: Stock management

Product Information Management (PIM) tools help the process of centralizing and handling all of your product information data.

This means much more efficient management of the information concerning your stock (even if you’re working with several sales channels simultaneously). Here’s everything there is to know about this useful tool.

➡️ B. CRM: Customer management

Yes, here’s a bit more jargon for you!

As its name suggests, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools help you sort all your customer-related data. In other words, it stores all the information concerning existing and potential customers, including their shopping history and interests.

This information gives us a better understanding of our audience, which should, in turn, help us improve the purchase process and generate more conversions.

✅ 3. Marketing tools

This category allows for several posts, so we’ve sorted the tools into subsections to make it easier for you to find relevant information. 

➡️ A. Email Marketing

There are two tools you need if you want to implement an email marketing strategy:

  • A form builder: those little boxes where users insert their name and email (there’s more information you can ask for, but those two are the most popular options).
  • An email marketing provider: a tool that stores and labels your contacts. It also allows you to send newsletters and create an autoresponder

You can make use of specific tools (such as Thrive Leads) to create forms, although there are also visual layout tools for this. As for email marketing providers, there is no shortage of options, but here are a few of the major players:

  • Mailchimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • GetResponse
  • Infusionsoft
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Email marketing is often overlooked in the e-commerce world, so if you’re not entirely sure how to get started, here’s another key tutorial to check out: Email marketing for e-commerce: the ultimate guide to turning your subscribers into clients.

➡️️ B. SEO

The truth is, there’s no magic tool to immediately improve positioning. Don’t forget that Google takes into account many different criteria to establish the ranking. 

So what can you do to improve your SEO?

To start with, bear in mind that your store should be structured according to different keywords that should be researched beforehand. Here are some of the most common tools for this:

  • Google’s own keyword planner: Though if you aren’t doing any marketing, you’ll just get a broad range of them, which isn’t all that helpful.
  • Semrush
  • Ubersuggest
  • Kwfinder

Once you know the keywords you’re going to focus on with your product cards and pages (i.e., transactional keywords) or with your blog (i.e., informative keywords), it’s crucial to focus on the user experience (we won’t elaborate more on this because we already gave you different tools above) and link building for SEO. 

➡️ C. Content creation

As we’ve just said, informative keywords are tackled with blog posts, but there’s a wide variety of content (and tools) you can include in your content strategy.

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As you can see, there’s a lot of work ahead for you. 😉

✅ 4. Web analytics tools

Good shop optimization requires good measuring since it’s the only way of discovering your store’s weaknesses. 

There are many web analytics tools out there, but here are the best-known options:

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Another essential tool we haven’t mentioned yet is Google Sheets, Google’s cloud-based spreadsheet software, which allows you to share your dashboard and progress with the whole team. 

👉 Get your hands dirty and start using these tools

There are a gazillion tools, as you’ve just seen. 

Tip: Don’t try them all at once – not only is it impossible but also highly time-consuming. Analyze your shop’s needs at the moment and pick the relevant tools accordingly. 

And remember to bookmark this post for future use. 😉