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The Freemium Tech Stack For Online Retailers and Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

Did you know Amazon sells more than 353 million products? Many of those products can be shipped to Prime customers within 48 hours. The Seattle-based retail behemoth has had an undeniable impact on ecommerce–making it one of the most competitive industries in the world. Yet, even with Amazon’s dominance, why do some retailers continue to thrive while others falter?

While it’s impossible to replicate the success of Amazon overnight, much of their technology can be copied using a modern marketing technology stack. So although you might not compete with Bezos’ billion-dollar net worth, you can convert more of your website visitors into customers by adopting some of the same tools as Amazon.

Analytics

Recommended Tools: Google Analytics, Heap Analytics

You could spend the rest of your life studying the science of analytics and making sure that your analytics implementation is 100% accurate and without any bugs. But for most retailers, and e-commerce entrepreneurs a few basic reports and conversion rate metrics will suffice. Google and Heap both provide exceptional reporting tools that are relatively easy to setup and install. Best of all, both products are free to get started.

Live Chat

Recommended Tools: Podium Webchat

The majority of retail websites are static. Unlike shopping at a mall or boutique, customers can’t ask questions about sizing, prices, or discounts. By adding live chat to your website you give curious customers an easy way to have a real conversations, get answers, and checkout without issues. Podium’s Webchat even lets you text with customers so you can keep the conversation going when they step away from a computer. If you have physical locations, you won’t find a better tool for driving website visitors into walk-in customers.

Cart Abandonment

Recommended Tools: AbandonAid

The majority of customers who add your products to their shopping cart will never make a purchase. That’s pretty depressing unless you’re prepared for cart abandonment. Several tools make it easy to capture that revenue by programmatically sending offers and reminders to those most likely to make a purchase.

Email

Recommended Tools: Mailchimp (beginner), Drip (intermediate), Customer.io (advanced)

Gone are the days when you could just send email reminders to a few of your most loyal customers. Today’s best email platforms include automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. But you don’t have to be a data scientist to get started with one of these user-friendly tools.

Social Proof

Recommended Tools: Proof

Proof uses the science of social proof to convert more of your visitors into subscribers or customers. By showing purchases from real customers in real-time, Proof helps fence-sitters decide and they’ve got some great case studies to back it up. Check out their Marketing Hall of Fame for a list of companies converting more than 60% of visitors.

A/B Testing

Recommended Tools: Optimizely, Google Optimize

You don’t have to be as large as Amazon to appreciate the impact of A/B testing. Tools like Optimizely and Google Optimize help websites compare variations of webpages against a single goal to determine which variation makes the biggest impact. So before you launch a website redesign, you can know how it will impact revenue.

Lead Gen

Recommended Tools: Sumo, OptinMonster

Building an email list isn’t easy, but with the latest tools for lead generation it’s becoming easier. Sumo and OptinMonster both let you quickly create pop-up, subscribe boxes, and content upgrades on the fly with drag-and-drop builders and user-friendly tutorials. Unlike social media marketing, email marketing gives you unlimited access to a warm audience who will always receive your content regardless of algorithm changes.

Referral Marketing

Recommended Tools: Viral Loops

Everybody loves a giveaway but referral marketing is so much more than just cheap contests. Viral Loops offers a variety of referral marketing templates adopted from some of the most successful startups in history. Need an ambassador program like Dollar Shave Club? No problem. Want to drive sign-ups like Dropbox? Done.

Automation

Recommended Tools: Zapier

Automation is available to everyone these days, especially with free tools like Zapier. The automation platform is like the glue that makes all of these tools play nicely together. Integrations are fine and sometimes work, but Zapier lets send information from one tool to the next seamlessly.


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