4 Digital Tools Essential for eCommerce Growth in 2021

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4 Digital Tools Essential for eCommerce Growth in 2021

The eCommerce industry could only achieve global dominance because of developers’ hard work in creating intuitive software since the turn of the millennium. Imagine the consequences of starting an online store that required an entrepreneur to painstakingly learn how to code their site, safely handle transactions, and do everything else along the way. Yet, traditional retail would still be on top across the board.

The eCommerce value of digital tools doesn’t begin and end with getting stores up and running, though. The intelligent use of the right software is crucial to the ongoing growth of an eCommerce operation, and any store owner who can’t quite figure out their next step would do well to invest in it. To that end, here are four digital tools essential for eCommerce growth in 2021:

Strong eCommerce platforms

Many people think of the CMS (content management system) as relatively insignificant for eCommerce growth: a functional necessity when getting started, but of no importance when bringing in more customers and increasing profitability. However, this perspective is slightly awry because the foundation you build upon is always significant. Having the right platform underpinning your store will make every other task more likely to succeed.

Consider the need for long-term customization. Many eCommerce entrepreneurs get started with stores that have somewhat generic designs: maybe they lack the skills to make them stand out or lack the resources to put time into it. But once you’ve started to build a brand, you need to cultivate that brand’s identity through the website, and that’s harder or easier to achieve depending on the underlying platform.

Simple template-based platforms like GoDaddy work fine, to begin with, yes, but their limited options will become frustrating if you use them for long enough. This is why it makes sense to take a long-term view when choosing your CMS in the first place or be open to the prospect of migration down the line. Platforms like Magento are harder to learn but can do so much more.

Comprehensive A/B testers

There’s no such thing as a perfect website, and even a small improvement to the design can significantly impact eCommerce. But how granular can you get? Well, with A/B testers, you can get extremely careful with the changes you make. A/B testers allow you to test multiple versions of the pages on your site to see how they perform. For example, if version B gets 3% more conversions than version A, you can switch to it permanently (or until version C comes along).

Services like Optimizely are ideal here, hooking into website platforms and making it easy to swap out small pieces of content without having to go through manual edits. But do you need to carry out A/B testing to drive sales? No, of course not — but if you’re not going to commit fully to making your store as good as it can be, how can you expect to compete with the many other eCommerce entrepreneurs who will make that commitment?

4 Digital Tools Essential for eCommerce Growth

Reliable social media managers

So much of online retail is shaped by social media these days. New products are tirelessly promoted through posts across Twitter and Facebook, with brands investing in direct posts, advertisements, and influencer arrangements. Many companies even sell directly through social media channels, using myriad social integrations to offer buy-now buttons almost anywhere.

I don’t mean employees by managers here: I mean tools designed to assist with social media marketing actions. For example, they can automate the distribution of posts by defined schedules, ready resources for cross-posting in line with differing platform requirements, and track brand mentions for improved customer engagement (even identifying sentiment).

Think tools like Mention and Buffer. If you’re not already using them to maximize the impact of your social media activity, adding them to your software lineup and investing time in using them effectively will surely pay off in a big way. Just remember that they can’t polish your social content for you: you’ll still need substantial measures of creative ability and effort.

Dynamic pricing systems

Offering unique products isn’t easy these days. Now that every brand can operate nationally (or even internationally) through extensive eCommerce fulfillment networks, someone shopping for a given item can invariably find it on one of many other sites if they’d instead not purchase it from you for whatever reason. So what drives people to go elsewhere? More often than not, pricing.

Don’t you default to sorting by lowest price when searching for particular items you want to buy? For example, maybe you want a product of a specific kind, but you’re not set on a specific brand, in which case you want to see what the pricing baseline is — or maybe you are set on a specific brand, in which case you don’t want to pay any more than you need to for your chosen product.

Implementing a dynamic pricing system allows you to keep your listings competitive without needing to spend time trawling through competitor sites and adjusting your prices accordingly. Instead, you need only define your parameters (largely how variable your prices should be, how often they can be changed, and how slim the profit margins can go), set up a service like Prisync, and leave your listings to shift without direct intervention. This can be huge for growth.

Wrapping up, the digital tools we’ve looked at here can do much to help the development of your eCommerce business. If you can establish a strong foundation then focus on optimizing your website, social media activity, and pricing, you can have a real shot at leading your niche.

4 Digital Tools Essential for eCommerce Growth in 2021

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