All ecommerce managers have a toolbox of ecommerce tools they use every day to monitor and measure the performance of their stores. We have compiled a list of Ecommerce tools we have found useful under a number of headings.
SEO tools for eCommerce
wincher ( paid ) used for simple ranking tracking of your domain keywords and your competitors ranking wincher.com ( affiliate link ) daily email informing you of your new ranking positions and when your competitors are out ranking you. Nice little daily snap shot to get a quick feel for the climate.
semrush ( paid ) the swiss army knife of seo observation. Be aware alot of sites are denying semrush access because it really exposes your business intelligence to others.
ahrefs ( paid ) back-link tracking SEO tool. https://ahrefs.com/
Screaming frog ( paid ) desktop application that runs deep audits of links, quality and structure on your site. Excellent for large sites of 100’s of pages. (https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ )
Answer the Public (free) great mind mapping tool for keyword research. https://answerthepublic.com/
CanIrank ( paid ) great keyword research tool, very good for finding keywords that are high value and there is little competition for. ( is there such a thing ! ) https://www.canirank.com/
Uber Suggest ( free ) type in a starting keyword and then get suggestions. The results are scraped from Google’s suggestion box ( so they say ) https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
Panguin Tool : Has your site suffered a Search Engine Ranking drop, maybe this tool will help you identify when the drop happened and if your site was affected. https://barracuda.digital/panguin-seo-tool/
Image Management tools for eCommerce
Online Image Converter (free) https://www.onlineconverter.com/
Ifranview Bulk Image Conversion (free) this tool I have been using for 10 years and it still tops anything I have used https://www.irfanview.com/
TinyPNG (free) reduced the size of PNG files for storing on your website. https://tinypng.com/
Gimp this is a free download graphics tool that almost as good as photoshop. If you are creating banners etc than its perfect. gimp.org
uptimerobot(free) monitors by ping, https and will send a SMS and or email when there is a suspected outage. https://www.uptimerobot.com
pingdom tools (paid) monitors uptime, SSL status, and Speed dips on your site https://www.pingdom.com/
Page Speed Tools
gtmetrix (free) excellent visual tracker for determining the speed of your site. Good for identifying causes of slowness on your ecommerce site. Shows the real speed cost of twitter feeds, facebook feeds, livehelp etc on your site. https://gtmetrix.com/
Google Page Speed Audit, google’s version of page speed testing. Note it does not improve rankings per se, but works on the theory that the quicker your site is the better the experience for your customers.
Firefox page insights (free) addon for your browser available when you do “inspect element” . Great for debugging traffic.
Note : Each traffic tracker you place on your site needs to be updated in your cookie permissions and notified to your visitors. Most services for analytics take your data and store it on their servers. You have no control of this data and usually you pay for this “service”.
Google analytics (free) good for tracking traffic as google sees it.
CrazyEgg (paid) : realtime tracking of visitors in a video format. Great for watching user behaviour on your site.
Analytics tools Ones that do not take your data to another place.
AwStats (free) raw stats where you can see all the bots that visit your site. Usually included in your website hosting stack. Yes you maybe surprised how much time google spends on your site and they never report this in their statistics !
Piwik / Matomo (free) excellent webstats collector that stays right on your website and no data leaves your server to feed some other data monster. Sometimes can slow the site a little. Stores massive amounts of data and is realtime. https://matomo.org/download/
So you need to see if your site will withstand 10,000 users on at the one time. You need to test this in the off peak so that the impact of the server crashing is not a big disaster. We use loadimpact.com
Product Market Research
Terrapeak (paid) collates sales information from amazon and ebay telling you top sellers, best price and other data. It is a gold mine for product and price research. https://www.terrapeak.com
Sale Calc (https://salecalc.com/) is a super site where you calculate easily the cost of selling your product on amazon or ebay. It also has a paypal fees calculator.
There are a whole bunch of sites creating ecommerce dashboards for google analytics. These are all good starting points. For a dash board to make sense for your organisation it has to be specialised and specific measuring the metrics that affect your profit and cost of customer acquisition.
Just google “ecommerce dashboards” and you will find plenty. Do not sign up to online services that provide sexy looking statistics and dashboards. Why ? because they are taking our Business Data and using this for other purposes. Google dashboards have all you need. Yes google may be doing the same as the paid dashboards. Typically own hosted dashboards are best.
Email Marketing Tools
Mailchimp (paid) feature rich but expensive per email sent. www.mailchimp.com
Sendy.co (paid) they claim 100 times cheaper than mailchimp. It uses Amazon’s Email service to send the emails and is alot cheaper per email sent. www.sendy.co
phpList(free) self hosted email platform. You need an extremely clean list to get away with this else you will have your ip address black listed very fast if you decide to indulge in some fast and loose spamming. https://www.phplist.com/
Mautic (free) self hosted automated email platform. Allows you to run automated triggered email campaigns. You need to have a technical skill set to operate and install this.
Data manipulation Tools
Heidi SQL ( free ) a super tool for connecting to a database and creating complex sql statements joining and merging data. Great for developers and store owners alike who want to extract information quickly. I would only recommend using this in read mode an with a read only database user else you could really mess up an ecommerce site writing data. https://www.heidisql.com/
AirTable (paid) This tool allows you to create small applications on the fly from spreadsheets and share them. Great for importing data creating a small application for a sub set of data. Again caution to be used if connecting this to an ecommerce dataset. Airtable.com. Create your relational database structure and the apply airtable to it.
Excel ( paid ) I know it seams obvious but you will always need this for manipulating data to be able to create great graphics and presentations to management.
Running jobs automatically to update products prices stock levels and push orders is a must when you have volume.
You can write scripts and run them via cron on your hosting. Here is a good place to create the schedule frequency easily.
If your hosting does not allow cron to run, there there are services that provide this for you. You can run the cron from another location. Just be aware of the time zone they operate in, not every server in the world is in your timezone. You will need to offset the time.
If course you can always move to a hoster that offers cron, this is possibly the best solution.