Anyone who is in E-Commerce and has a LinkedIn page, or makes their job public in any way is used to the onslaught of calls from various service providers. They all promise huge gains if you would only share some of your time and profits with them. It’s impossible to try each provider or even listen to each pitch, but you still want to see what’s new in the industry and find an edge when you can. In this post I’ve chosen 3 new providers I’ve begun working with that are absolutely worth it. I’m not affiliated with any of them other than the fact that I’m a satisfied customer, but if you’re trying to find the signal in the noise then these are my recommendations. Bear in mind these aren’t new companies necessarily, just good ones.
GlobalShopex is an international freight forwarding company that is geared towards E-Commerce merchants. If you currently already ship internationally and are not having too much trouble then it’s not worth making the switch, but if you’re only selling in the US then this is an awesome option. There are no contracts, and you only pay them when they receive an international order. You simply give them a 10% coupon and that’s their cut. GlobalShopex provides you with an alternate international checkout cart so your international customers can check out using their system. So they handle all the charging, quoting, currency conversion, and even customer service. You simply ship the item to their US forwarding address. It’s a great way to expand into the international market without taking any risk at all or even experiencing a learning curve.
How the heck have I just discovered Optimizely?! I used to dream of running A/B tests on the site but I thought that was something only huge companies could do or at the very least that my platform wasn’t flexible enough for it, or maybe that it would require a full time web developer. Optimizely changes all that. You can literally drag and drop things across your site, redirect your traffic, change images, change forms, change links, and a ton of other stuff. It requires as much technical know how as Google Apps. This gives you amazing power to optimize your website very easily and find fast wins. The rates are shockingly low as well. You can use their software for as little as $17 a month. For that price it’s crazy to not be constantly testing on your website.
I just recently started using Mouseflow and have been blown away as well as a bit creeped out by it. Mouseflow will record individual’s screens as they browse your site (anonymously). So this means you can sit back grab some popcorn and watch recordings of people and see how they browse your site. This has been incredibly insightful for me, because much of what I thought I knew about the way a customer browses our site turned out to be totally wrong. This will give you an idea where people are getting stumped and leaving or what they want to see more of, and at $19 a month it’s not a big commitment. They have larger packages that track more people, but $19 will get you 1000 videos a month so that’s plenty of viewing material. Their heat map reports are nice but you can get similar things for free in Google Analytics. So in order to get a real perspective of how people navigate your site try them out.
So these are my 3 latest obsessions. If you have some awesome vendors that are worth checking out please share them in the comments!