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35 Powerful Ecommerce Tools to Grow Your Business in 2021

Looking for tools to grow your e-commerce business? You are in the right place. 

We’ve put together a list of the best tools to sell online and scale your business, covering the following categories:

  • Landing pages
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Pop ups
  • Email marketing
  • Email verification
  • Marketing and sales
  • Advertising
  • SMS order confirmation
  • Inventory and order management
  • Procurement platforms
  • Shipping and tracking
  • Web analytics
  • KPI Dashboards
  • Customer Support 
  • Bookkeeping
  • Multipurpose tools
  • Automation 

As you can see, we are going granular with the categories. Growing businesses have specific needs, and these have to be addressed with specific tools. 

It’s better to consider software for email marketing, web analytics, and pop-ups separately than to search for tools for, say, “digital marketing”. 

Also, please note that this list is aimed at business owners and managers that already have an e-commerce platform in place. 

If this isn’t your case, please start by looking for the best e-commerce platform before selecting specific tools.

Ready? Let’s go!

The best e-commerce tools to scale your business

Landing pages: Unbounce

Conversion-driven landing pages you can build without code.

Unbounce is a landing page builder helping businesses convert visitors into sales. It allows users to create, publish and track landing pages using a drag-and-drop editor. 

Another interesting service they provide is a landing page analyzer. You can use it to get recommendations on how to improve your LPs. 

landing-page-of-unbounce-altImage source: GetApp

 

Why we recommend Unbounce

We love how easy it is to use Unbounce. 

It doesn’t require technical knowledge, and empowers users to make data-driven decisions instead of relying on instinct.

From the drag-and-drop editor to the template library, Unbounce is a great tool to convert more and convert better. 

While it can get pricey as visitors and conversions increase, the value it can bring makes it worth considering.

  • Pricing: Starts at $80/month
  • Coolest feature: The drag-and-drop allowing non-technical users to create landing pages without any coding

landing-page-builder-of-unbounce-altImage credit: G2

 

Best Unbounce alternative

Perhaps you already use Unbounce, and want to explore something new. Or maybe you just want to see what your options are. 

In that case, you can check out Instapage as the main Unbounce alternative.

SEO: SEMrush

SEO tools and workflows that help you rank higher and get more traffic.

SEMrush is an online visibility management platform helping businesses optimize their online presence. Featuring 50+ tools for SEO, data analysis and content marketing, SEMrush is favored by six million marketers around the world.

semrush-dashboard-screenshot-altImage source: Semrush

Why we recommend SEMrush

SEMrush provides everything you need to take your search engine marketing to the next level. 

First of all, it’s vital to audit your website for traffic and performance. On top of that, the platform provides multiple optimization tools, ranging from backlink possibilities and to content recommendations.

SEMrush is a great tool for e-commerce businesses that are serious about their SEO efforts. The data it provides makes it a must-have to rank higher in search results and increase traffic to your store.

  • Pricing: Starts at $119.95/month
  • Coolest feature: The SEO writing assistant checker, which helps you optimize your content for SEO, readability, and tone of voice.

semrush-keyword-tool-overview-screenshot-altImage credit: ReviewDigit

 

Best SEMrush alternative

Are you starting out with SEO and SEMrush feels a bit overwhelming? Then consider Ahrefs.

Social media: Buffer

Complete toolkit to publish and measure engagement.

Buffer is a platform to publish social media posts, promote engagement and measure the results. It allows to fulfill an incredible range of tasks, including:

  • Managing multiple social media profiles
  • Plan and schedule posts in advance
  • Collaborate with multiple team members
  • Analyze social media performance 

buffer-social-media-product-altImage source: Good2bSocial

 

Why we recommend Buffer 

Social media has a significant impact on e-commerce. For example, research shows that 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery

However, managing social media in e-commerce is demanding. It involves many moving parts, including: Content creation, answering messages, keeping track of mentions, and more.

Buffer is about content scheduling, but also about improving your social media performance. Whether you have someone looking after your social media or are doing it by yourself, Buffer can save you a significant amount of time, energy, and money.

  • Pricing: Starts at $0/month for the publishing tool, and $35/month for analytics
  • Coolest feature: Analytics insights to improve your social media efforts and build upon what actually works

buffer-website-page-analytics-altImage Credit: Buffer

 

Best Buffer alternative

Buffer might not be your cup of tea, in which case you should look at one of its biggest competitors, Hootsuite

Pop-ups: Poptin

User-friendly lead capture pop-up tool.

Poptin helps you engage visitors with pop-ups to further convert them into leads, subscribers, and sales. 

It offers a variety of templates for overlays, surveys, chat, push notifications, or embedded widgets.

poptin-product-tool-altImage source: GetApp

Why we recommend Poptin 

To put it simply, pop-ups drive conversions in e-commerce. Poptin provides e-commerce businesses with an easy way to implement them without the hassle of coding. 

Case closed? No, there’s more. 

Poptin lets you segment users, feature coupons, and set up custom triggers on popups. These are things a growing e-commerce company needs to at least try when it comes to hitting sales goals.

Also, the free plan is good enough to figure out whether pop-ups are what you are after, or not.

  • Pricing: Starts at $0/month
  • Coolest feature: Exit-intent triggers to get the customers’ attention at the right time and keep them in the store 
poptin-pop-up-page-altImage credit: Poptin

Best Poptin alternative

If you aren’t convinced by Poptin, please take a look at Wishpond

Email marketing: Mailchimp

Marketing platform to deliver fast, personalized transactional emails.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that allows you to create, send, and analyze email and ad campaigns. 

mailchimp-campaign-ecommerce-altImage source: G2

 

Why we recommend Mailchimp

It is likely that you’ve used or at least heard of Mailchimp before. The platform boasts 12M active customers around the world and 1B emails sent daily

Needless to say, these figures weren’t attained by chance. Mailchimp is a well-oiled machine with plenty of resources, templates, and integrations to cover your email marketing needs. 

The drag-and-drop interface is key to create and deliver email content that converts. This is what makes Mailchimp so popular: it's a user-friendly tool that works. 

  • Pricing: starts at $0/month
  • Coolest feature: The templates, giving you plenty of relevant, proven examples to choose from

mailchimp-example-of-templates-for-ecommerce-altImage credit: love the idea

 

Best Mailchimp alternative

If you are ready for an email software that goes a bit deeper than Mailchimp, we suggest trying out ActiveCampaign.

Email verification: Clearout

Email verification and validation tool with 98%+ accuracy.

Clearout allows you to verify the status of every email address in your database. With 20+ validation methods, it helps you get rid of useless email addresses. For the record, these are the ones that decrease the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. 

clearout-dashboard-email-verification-tool-altImage source: Clearout

 

Why we recommend Clearout 

Email campaigns such as abandoned cart reminders are effective, as long as you make it to the inbox. 

Keeping a clean email list is often an afterthought for business owners. However, it can deliver major results in terms of email open rates, click rates, and conversions.

Clearout is how you make sure that your emails don’t end up in the spam folder. Usability and price transparency make it a great choice as well. 

  • Pricing: Pay-as-you-go model or monthly subscription starting at 5,000 credits for $24.50/month
  • Coolest feature: Bulk email verifier, allowing you to verify up to 1M+ emails per task

analytics-clearout-dashboard-email-verification-altImage credit: G2

 

Best Clearout alternative

For an email verification tool with similar features, we suggest looking at ZeroBounce.

Marketing and sales: HubSpot

Full sales and inbound marketing platform for growing businesses.

A pioneer of the inbound methodology, HubSpot offers a complete platform to manage sales, marketing, customer service, and content. 

ecommerce-hubspot-deal-view-altImage credit: Alycom business solutions

 

Why we recommend Hubspot

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform can be of incredible help for a growing business. 

Scaling a business is challenging, and having more visibility into sales and marketing pipelines can’t hurt. 

What works? What doesn’t? What’s worth doubling down on? Here’s where HubSpot comes into play.

A major player in the software industry, HubSpot provides a comprehensive set of tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes. As a centralized suite, it can help you leverage content, social media, ads, and sales in one place.

  • Pricing: Starting at $45/month for the Marketing and Sales hubs
  • Coolest feature: Custom dashboards for all the essential info you need

hubspot-ecommerce-tool-dashboard-altImage credit: HubSpot

 

Best HubSpot alternative

If you are looking to move past HubSpot and into another full suite for marketing, we suggest Drift.

Advertising: Facebook Ads Manager

Tool to create and manage ads across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

Facebook Ads Manager helps you create, run and track ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. 

facebook-social-media-tool-for-ads-altImage credit: Strike Social

 

Why we recommend Facebook Ads Manager

Regardless of what you sell, social commerce is key to growing your e-commerce business. The latest data shows that a third of shoppers are likely to make a purchase from a social media network

If you are thinking of social media ads, there is no way to avoid Facebook Ads Manager. 

It offers plenty of data points to customize your campaigns, and a sheer amount of insights to optimize, retarget, and convert. Sure, there are other channels as well, but Facebook Ads Manager has to be a part of your arsenal.

  • Pricing: Depends on budget and campaign scope
  • Coolest feature: Cross-app ad delivery

facebook-instagram-collaboration-ads-app-altImage credit: Mashable

 

Best Facebook Ads Manager alternative

There is no other way to advertise on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger without going through Facebook Ads Manager. 

However, if you are looking to expand your advertising efforts, we highly recommend looking at Google Ads.

SMS order confirmation: Mitto SMS

SMS messaging platform to alert, notify, confirm and promote.

Mitto is an omnichannel communications solution to engage with customers through different messaging channels. 

Their SMS offering is particularly relevant for e-commerce. It allows you to bulk send promotional messages, order notifications and customer support responses.

mitto-text-messaging-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: Mitto

 

Why we recommend Mitto

Texting is the most prevalent form of communication for American adults under 50. On top of that, millennials account for 50% of all online purchases. 

As you can tell, reaching the right audience on the right channel is key to an e-commerce strategy.

We love Mitto SMS because it helps online stores reach a key audience at an affordable price point. 

Sending SMS notifications is a unique way to stand out from the competition, although it should be done carefully.

Pricing: Starting at $10.00/month

Coolest feature: Verified SMS by Google, showing customers that your communication is legit and that they can trust you.

mitto-example-of-verified-sms-messaging-tool-altImage credit: Mitto

Best Mitto SMS alternative

Whether you’re looking at a Mitto SMS alternative or at a full-fledged communication platform, we recommend considering Twilio.

Inventory management: QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko)

Online inventory and order management for SMBs.

Quickbooks Commerce helps you organize products, orders, payments, customers and insights on one platform. It offers native integrations with Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, WooCommerce and Magento.

tradegecko-online-inventory-management-tool-for-ecommerce-altImage credit: TradeGecko

 

Why we recommend QuickBooks Commerce

Scaling a business can be messy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. QuickBooks Commerce allows you to manage every product, order and customer from a single platform. Order, and simplicity.

But aside from the convenience factor, using QuickBooks Commerce is also a great way to garner insights. Detailed reports and forecasts are essential to stay on top of things and make the right decisions as your business grows.

  • Price: Starts at $39/month
  • Coolest feature: Dashboards and reports for a  quick snapshot of your products and orders pipeline

quickbooks-analytics-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: QuickBooks

 

Best QuickBooks Commerce alternative

For a great QuickBooks commerce alternative, please take a look at Netsuite.

Procurement platform: Procurify

Spending and procurement management in one hub.

Procurify helps mid-sized companies control, track and analyze their spending in a single platform.

procurify-ecommerce-management-orders-tool-altImage credit:Procurious

 

Why we recommend Procurify

While not every business needs a dedicated procurement platform, it might become a necessity as your online store grows.

Procurify gives your team a structured way to gather all purchasing and expenditure documents. From a collaborative standpoint, it also helps you manage approvals and streamline core purchasing processes.

In short, this is a platform that enhances your existing data and helps reduce the time spent on procurement processes.

  • Price: On request
  • Coolest feature: The mobile app, allowing you to request, approve and receive orders on the go, in seconds

procurify-app-ecommerce-tool-for-approving-orders-altImage credit: Jessie Gao

 

Best Procurify alternative

For a complete business management platform including procurement tools but also CRM, billing, accounting and more, we recommend looking at Odoo.

Shipping and tracking: EasyShip

Cloud shipping software powering merchants to scale globally. 

EasyShip helps shipping tasks with features to compare quotes, generate labels, schedule pickups and monitor finances. It connects users with an international network of couriers and warehouses. In turn, this allows you to improve transit times, lower shipping costs and reduce tariff exposure. 

easyship-ecommerce-shipping-tool-tasks-altImage credit: Global from Asia

 

Why we recommend EasyShip

Not every growing ecommerce expands internationally, but some do - and the challenges can be quite unique. 

From handling international payments to marketing to a foreign audience, selling abroad often feels like navigating through uncharted waters. Shipping, however, is the most important aspect to solve. 

EasyShip ships to 220+ countries, with total visibility on all import costs and customs documentation. Most importantly, it provides preferential rates, which makes a world of difference for growing stores looking to increase sales volume.

  • Pricing: Free plan available, then starts at $29/month
  • Coolest feature: Real-time rates at checkout, updating shipping costs automatically

Image credit: EasyShip

Best EasyShip alternative

If you’re looking for an EasyShip alternative or want to try something different, look no further than ShippingEasy.

Web analytics: Google Analytics

Web analytics tracking and reporting.

Google Analytics is the main source of data and insights for e-commerce websites. Online stores use Google Analytics to better understand what works for their business, and build better user experiences for their customers. But you probably knew this already.

google-analytics-dashboard-view-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit:G2

Why we recommend Google Analytics

We’ve already touched upon the importance of quality insights in this article. Google Analytics is second to none when it comes to getting performance data from your e-commerce store.

Google Analytics unleashes its full power when leveraging custom features such as e-commerce tracking.

Tracking every step of the customer journey is free with Google Analytics, making it a must-have tool in every stack.

  • Pricing: Free
  • Coolest feature: E-commerce measurement, providing you information on which online efforts are generating revenue


google-analytics-master-view-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: Social media examiner

 

Best Google Analytics alternative


Exploring other analytics tools like Kissmetrics can help you get a better understanding of customer behavior.

KPI dashboards: Geckoboard

Dashboard platform to present data in a clear, straightforward way.

Geckoboard streamlines data from spreadsheets, databases and other tools to present it in the clearest possible way. 

With 60+ data sources to choose from, it allows you to create custom dashboards for key performance indicators (KPIs). In other words, Geckoboard lets you make data-driven decisions at a glance. 


geckoboard-dashboard-platform-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: Geckoboard

 

Why we recommend Geckoboard


KPI dashboards get all the relevant data on one screen. For an e-commerce, this can be anything from sales by region and time to best-selling products and margins by platform.

E-commerce operations are filled with numbers to look at, and it’s easy to get distracted. In turn, Geckoboard helps you concentrate on the most important key metrics driving your business forward.

  • Pricing: Starts at $28/mo
  • Coolest feature: The ability to personalize dashboards for different stores, teams and goals


geckoboard-analytics-view-ecommerce-platform-altImage credit: Geckoboard

 

Best Geckoboard alternative


If you’re interested in exploring other solutions for KPI tracking, we recommend considering Databox.

Customer support: Zendesk

Support suite to have conversations with customers across different channels.

Zendesk centralizes customer support coming from multiple channels (email, live chat, voice, social messaging apps) in one place.

This makes staying atop of customer support tickets easy, allowing you to deliver better, faster responses to customers.


zendesk-customer-support-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: Zendesk

 

Why we recommend Zendesk


Interactions with customers are a big part of e-commerce success. 

Research shows that 53% of people who use messaging apps are more likely to shop with a business they can message

Similarly, a whopping 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase

This is what makes Zendesk so attractive. You can increase the number of customer support touchpoints, and still manage them all from one platform. 

  • Pricing: Starts at $49/month
  • Coolest feature: Cross-channel communication, keeping all your exchanges with customers in a single place, no matter where it comes from


zendesk-ecommerce-tool-for-customer-support-altImage source: G2

 

Best Zendesk alternative


Have you tried Zendesk and are looking to explore something new? Take a look at Freshdesk.

Bookkeeping: QuickBooks

Accounting software for small businesses.

QuickBooks is a household name when it comes to accounting. It’s a one-stop-shop to everything that matters in accounting: income, invoices, expenses, taxes, payroll, and more. 


quickbooks-ecommerce-accounting-tool-altImage credit: Quickbooks

 

Why we recommend QuickBooks


With 18,000+ reviews averaging a 4.5/5 rating on Capterra, QuickBooks stands out as a reputable bookkeeping tool.

Keeping tabs on accounts is essential, but also overwhelming at quick growth stages. With e-commerce-specific features such as sales tax configuration and plenty of native integrations available, Quickbooks is a great platform to streamline bookkeeping operations for your online store.

Pricing: Starts at $12.50/month

Coolest feature: Receipt capture, automatically adding expenses to your transactions from a snapshot taken with your phone.


accounting-ecommerce-tool-quickbooks-receipt-example-altImage credit: Quickbooks

 

Best Quickbooks alternative


For an alternative solution to Quickbooks, we suggest looking at Freshbooks

Multipurpose tools: Airtable 

A spreadsheet-database hybrid with multiple collaboration features.

Airtable is a tool that combines the flexibility of a spreadsheet with the power of a database. You can attach files, organize data in kanban boards, manage calendars, and report on whatever data you may store in it.


airtable-landing-page-example-ecommerce-tool-altImage credit: A better lemonade stand

 

Why we recommend Airtable


We are big fans of Airtable at Integromat, and have written about it before

Whether you're looking to create a database for your orders, a backup inventory, or a content calendar, Airtable is the answer. 

In addition, it’s a good tool to experiment with and fits well in countless different workflows. 

  • Pricing: Starts at $12.00/month
  • Coolest feature: Cells support images and files


airtable-workflow-example-altImage credit: Marker

 

Best Airtable alternative


If you’re looking for cloud-based databases, Ninox Database might be a good fit.

Automation: Integromat

Most advanced automation platform on the market.

Integromat automates processes that you currently handle manually. Ecommerce businesses use it to connect apps, move data, and automate workflows. It works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and does not require your intervention.

integromat-automation-integration-ecommerce-tool-alt

Why we recommend Integromat

We’re not really objective here, but Integromat is a great fit for scaling your business. It allows you to do more, in less time, with fewer people. 

The number of tasks you can automate with Integromat is huge and grows every day. And yes, successful e-commerce businesses that automate are posting incredible time, resources, and productivity gains

  • Pricing: Free plan, then starts at $9/month
  • Coolest feature: The visual editor, to create your custom automation in a playful way

integromat-example-of-created-scenario-alt

Conclusion

Congratulations, you’ve gone through the entire list! 

These tools will serve as a solid base for growing your e-commerce business to the next level. 

When evaluating tools and resources, always keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Test before buying: Most of the solutions feature a free trial period. Take advantage of this opportunity to become familiar with a tool before spending any money on it
  • Reach out when possible: Check if you can talk to a sales rep or a customer success manager for a demo. You might even get a discount!

Much like world-class athletes needing a different training regimen than the weekend jogger, growing your online store requires the adoption of new practices.

With the right tools and mindset, you will be able to make the most out of your business. And that, friends, is what matters at the end of the day.

Happy scaling!

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