There’s a lot of work that goes on into running a successful e-commerce website. One of the most important parts of running an e-commerce website is establishing and maintaining a high conversion rate. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, conversion basically refers to the process of turning a visitor into a paying customer.
As you can imagine, this is particularly important for e-commerce websites; after all, what’s the point of good search engine optimization (SEO) if most of the people who visit your site don’t end up buying anything anyway?
There are a fair number of tools out there that can help you improve your e-commerce website’s conversion rates. Most of the ones available are paid, but there are a few decent free and freemium options out there for those of you who are either on a really small budget or who are just starting out and testing the waters.
Recommended Reading: Do You Have What It Takes To Dive Into E-Commerce?
Analytics And Conversion
Hublo is a great, easy-to-use tool that can help you analyze visitors to your website and improve conversion rates with some of the handy features that come with the service. Hublo’s simple WYSIWYG interface is great for anybody new to the world of analytics and optimizing conversion rates, and lets you simply copy and paste in order to add a new tracker, saving you the hassle of dealing with complex code. You can even just click on page elements in order to start tracking user behavior.
Hublo lets you set up your own conversion funnel without having to delve into any code, letting you track metrics and conversion rates quickly and easily. Hublo will provide reports about when your customers drop off, letting you improve your sign-up or purchasing flow to reduce the number of customers that drop off. Hublo also integrates with Intercom and Mixpanel.
ClickTale combines a Mouse Tracking Suite, Heatmap Suite and Conversion Suite into one powerful tool to maximize the potential of your e-commerce website. ClickTale supports Session Playback on both desktop and mobile, letting you play back customers’ sessions on your website. In addition, ClickTale provides detailed heatmaps also for both desktop and mobile, complete with link analytics. ClickTale’s conversion tools include Form Analytics and Conversion Funnels.
PadiTrack is another tool focused on analytics for your e-commerce website. The main focus of PadiTrack is its conversion funnel tracking capabilities, although it also has landing page and e-commerce reports available in its Pro plan. PadiTrack offers complete integration with Google Analytics, even letting you access funnels retroactively. PadiTrack also offers visitor based funnels, and lets you set certain funnel steps optional.
PadiTrack will also accommodate any length of conversion funnel, so you don’t have to worry about having a funnel that’s too long for the service. PadiTrack’s reports also complement those of Google Analytics, showing you only the data that’s relevant to your interest. What’s more, the service claims that its reports are easy to follow and "look human".
ClickHeat is a tool that generates virtual heatmaps of clicks on a website, both "hot" and "cold" zones based on the number of mouse clicks on an element or area of a website. This is really useful if you want to optimize the design of your e-commerce website. It provides you with actionable data about where visitors do and don’t click, ClickHeat gives you a great starting point when it comes to redesigning your website.
ClickHeat has the ability to group pages using keywords and also track screen size and browser, which makes it possible to track data on websites with liquid CSS layouts. In addition, ClickHeat is programmed to require only a small amount of function calls to log a click, meaning that you shouldn’t see any increase in server load even with all the click tracking.
Heatmap is a tool that collects and displays real-time heatmap data for your websites. The heatmaps are quick to display and are constantly updated, so you can make changes to your website and see the effects of these changes immediately. Heatmap also implements an "augmented reality" approach to the interface, with a sidebar that provides real-time data, plus the ability for you to interact and browse your pages even while the heatmap data is visible on screen.
One of the most important parts of providing a great shopping and user experience and, by extension, creating returning customers, is providing a great live customer support service to answer any queries they might have. Pure Chat is a great, and free, way to do this. Pure Chat is one of the easiest ways to add live chat to an e-commerce website, and lets you communicate with customers directly while they’re browsing your products and making purchases.
Pure Chat lets you customize the look of the chat widget to suit your website, and even provides a library of in-app images to further spice up the chatting experience. What’s more, Pure Chat offers Hosted Chat pages, which let you connect with customers and buyers even if you don’t have a dedicated e-commerce website. Hosted Chat pages work with eBay and Etsy pages as well as Craigslist listings.
IPerceptions is an exit survey service that you can use to identify the "why" behind the statistics. While analytics can show a lot about how customers behave on your site, they can’t tell you why they behave in those ways — this is where surveys come in. IPerceptions has a permission-based 4Q Task Completion survey with 4 questions that focus on helping you answer the "who" and "why" questions, as well as how the site is doing and what needs to be fixed.
Users with a multi-national customer base will be glad to know that the 4Q supports more than 30 languages. In addition, the iPerceptions 4Q survey includes Google Analytics injection, letting you integrate the qualitative data from iPerceptions with the quantitative data of Google Analytics. IPerceptions also includes its own reporting tools.
SurveyMonkey is a well-known survey tool that can prove to be of great use for optimizing your e-commerce website. Unlike iPerceptions’ 4Q survey, SurveyMonkey surveys aren’t limited to being exit-only. SurveyMonkey offers real-time results and a very easy-to-use web-based survey tool. SurveyMonkey also offers a number of different survey templates and visual themes for maximum ease of use. SurveyMonkey also includes a feature for validating or requiring survey responses.
SurveyMonkey offers a few ways to deploy or send your survey: you can send your survey via weblink, email or Twitter, but you can also share it on Facebook, deploy it in a pop-up window or embed it directly into your website. Paid accounts also let you download responses, filter and cross tabulate data and let you access other useful tools.
Activity Stream is a tool for Magento e-commerce stores that shows alerts for recent activity and purchases on your store. Activity Stream takes advantage of our natural tendency to engage in herd behavior, encouraging visitors to purchase by showing other customer activity in real time. It can also indirectly help highlight items that customers may not realize were available on your website, helping upsell your stock and services.
Activity Stream lets you set the colors for alerts in order to match the color scheme of your website. It will also let you set where the alerts appear, to suit both your website and your customers. Activity Stream alerts are also cross-platform, compatible with desktop, mobile and tablet. Activity Stream also works in all browsers, including later versions of Internet Explorer.
Google Analytics Experiments is Google’s very own free A/B testing service, and part of Google Analytics,. Formerly known as Google Website Optimizer, Google Analytics Experiments lets you test different versions of a website in order to analyze important data such as bounce rate and session duration. This is particularly useful for testing site revisions; just set up a Google Analytics Experiment with the original site and the new version and see how both perform.
With Google Analytics Experiments, you can select the percentage of visitors that are included in the tests, as well as choose which objectives that you’re looking to test. The Experiments service comes with its own set-up wizard to guide you through the process of creating a new experiment.
More on A/B Testing:
- Guide to A/B Testing with Google Website Optimizer
- A/B Test Results And Case Studies For UX Design
- Usability Testing: What You need to Know