There’s a lot that goes into running an eCommerce set up. Especially, a successful one. From inventory management to managing customer relationships, and then the payment processing, order fulfilment, and shipping logistics. Plus, you’ve got to generate more business. So then you have your email marketing campaign, social media campaign, SEO — you name it honestly. There’s so much software for eCommerce.
You can find yourself an integration for almost anything. It means you don’t have to deal with everything that goes on in your business manually. It means reports can be generated automatically, emails can be triggered without you touching anything, products can be processed for shipping without you needing to know about it. Integrations are streamlining the crap out of eCommerce. But now, there’s so many — it can be hard to properly consider all of your options.
These are some of our favourite integrations and software for eCommerce.
It’s important your customers have a secure and simple way to pay for your products. A payment gateway integration is for sure the most essential software for eCommerce. It’s a tricky one though — because there are sooo many and all with slightly differing capabilities to suit different stores.
We recommend Stripe to all of our eCommerce clients. It’s an integration that has both merchant account functionality and gateway functionality — so you only need Stripe to accept payments and to deposit funds into a bank account. Stripe’s good for subscription services too. It handles recurring charges like an absolute boss. Selling internationally? Stripe converts currencies too. Where other payment gateways charge fees for international payments, Stripe does it for free.
Square’s payment integrations give online stores a fully functional payment process — whether it’s on an eCommerce website or on an app. Square’s ideal for business owners who run an online store, but have a brick and mortar store too. Well, if you sell your stuff online and offline basically. Square integrates everything so accounting’s a breeze too.
It’s not exactly a payment gateway, but it deserves a shout out. Afterpay is a payment service that pretty much every online store can benefit from. What can we say? People are just more likely to drop $80 on your product if they can pay $20 a fortnight for four fortnights. Afterpay makes people buy, makes them buy more, and increases the chance of repeat purchases — nice. Oh yeah, it also guarantees you an upfront payment… which is nice.
The best shipping integration for you, will depend on where you are, where you ship to and what you’re shipping. Here are a few with different perks.
ShipStation integrates with your other integrations like your inventory control and invoicing software. It sends customised order information and tracking numbers to your customers, it uses efficient shipping labels. Plus, if you’re using Australia Post to ship to domestic customers and then something like UPS or DHL to ship internationally, ShipStation will integrate with all of them. It means you can handle all of them from within ShipStation.
Australia Post offers their own integration for eCommerce. Their shipping software integrates with payment gateways — plus it provides your customers with different options like Express or eParcel services. If you’re shipping large amounts of products with them, there’s usually a discount on offer too.
Shippo integrates with Australia Post and other courier companies too. It works to find you the best shipping rates, and provides shareable tracking and package insurance. Plus, it has address validation — so the integration won’t give your customers the chance to stuff up their address. It also has multilingual service, so it’s ideal for international orders too.
It’s unrealistic and also, probably insane to monitor your products and stock levels manually. Inventory management is one of those things that needs to be automated and softwares and integrations are solving online store owners’ problems. It means you can track your stock levels whenever you like, automate reordering, and it means customers don’t order products you’re sold out of.
Stitch Labs is great for effectively controlling your stock levels. It provides multichannel management and automatically syncs channels for you. The program also provides you with sales status reports.
Ordoro actually streamlines your order fulfilment process for you, with another added bonus being integrated shipping management. The idea of Ordoro is that it unifies your inventory, making it way more simple to manage. It also works to find you more competitive shipping rates.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems help you nurture your client relationships. It keeps your customer data and user analytics in one place, along with their profiles. They help you automate sales and learn more about your customers — especially if your CRM is integrated with your online store. This means the customer data is put more into context — making it a really effective software for eCommerce.
HubSpot is the leader in customer relationship management. It helps you analyse customer data, segment customers based on their purchases, and it makes automating email marketing campaigns super duper simple.
Salesforce help you track your customer details and interactions too. It also helps you make better informed decisions because it gives you fast insights on your customers. Like HubSpot, Salesforce also helps you boost your customer engagement with automated, personalised email marketing campaigns.
Online shoppers have short attention spans. If they have a question about one of your products, or your shipping, or how ordering works — they want an answer right now. They don’t want to call you, they don’t want to wait for you to email them back. Live chats help business owners connect better with their customers and engage with them. More importantly, they help you get information to your customer as soon as they need it.
Drift is an amazing software for eCommerce. Making it super easy for you to build your own chatbot, you can tailor your chatbot to your business’ processes and your tone of voice. Your chatbot can be there to answer any questions your customers ask. Or, messages can be sent to your customer when there’s a trigger — like looking at a product and leaving the page without adding it to their cart. Answering your customer’s questions as soon as they’re asked decreases cart abandonment.
Userlike is a really flexible chat tool. It can be used through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other different chat apps to reach your customers where they are. It gives you one central and handy spot for messaging and nurturing those customer relationships. Plus, Userlike integrates with your other apps and embeds itself into your existing process.
Integrating your email marketing platform with your online store is an amazing idea. It means you can automate your emails for your customers. So, when someone places an order they’ll receive a “thank you for ordering” instantly. Even better though, are the integrated abandoned cart emails, the lead nurturing campaigns. Email marketing in eCommerce can seriously aid your sales.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular options for eCommerce email marketing. It offers pretty decent email templates that are customisable, along with smart send schedules. It has good A/B testing and groups customers well, so it’s easy to trial and error your campaigns. A few marketers have reported deliverability problems with Mailchimp, with a lot of their emails ending up in spam inboxes.
Klaviyo has been designed specifically for eCommerce. It has good A/B testing, templates, and scheduling like Mailchimp. But it integrates better with eCommerce and has better capabilities when it comes to customer actions triggering emails and flows. Plus, it has simple to digest analytics. Klaviyo’s capabilities are way more advanced than a lot of ESPs — so it isn’t ideal if you’re not the best with technology. Email marketers have reported slow responses from support though.
Almost all of the online store software we’ve listed do come with their own analytics. But, we’re talking serious, insightful analytics that refer to your actual online store — not just who bought what from that specific email. We’re talking bounce rates, effective A/B testing, which pages are performing better — and why. A sturdy and powerful analytics integration is the software for eCommerce.
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics software for a good reason. It tracks where your website visitors go, where they exit, and how long they spend on each page. The analytics and stats you get from Google are really easy to understand and consume quickly.
HotJar gives you crazy good analytics. Recording your user’s activity, it shows you heat maps for each visitor. The recordings show you exactly where visitors went, where they clicked, all that jazz. It gives you an insanely good idea of exactly what’s going on when your customers use your online store. You’ll know exactly which filter item made them go, “eh, stuff it”. It’s for sure one of the most ‘hands-on’ systems for analytics but it’s so damn insightful.
If you’ve made it to the bottom of this, we reckon you’re probably trying to boost sales through your online store. We have the goods (web design, development, content marketing, that sort of thing). Get in touch to see how we can help you.
Or read some of our other eCommerce blogs: