4 Ecommerce Apps You Need (And How to Measure Them)

Having an ecommerce site alone isn’t enough to launch a successful business in 2019.Today’s shopper has plenty of choices when it comes to buying online, and that means retailers need to develop a competitive strategy for success. One of the best – and easiest – ways to do that? Supercharging the functionality of your ecommerce store with a variety of apps and add-on platforms.

Ecommerce apps can help you do everything from implement a customer loyalty platform to gather reviews to upsell customers post-sale – without building out all that functionality yourself.  And whether you use Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce or another platform, there are multiple apps that can help you grow your business. Read on for a few of our favorites – plus, what metrics you need to track from each to measure performance:

Loyalty

Your most valuable customers are the ones who keep coming back – and a significant portion of your time and energy should be spent trying to attract, and then retain, this exact type of customer. Loyalty apps help you create and manage reward programs that incentivize your high-value buyers to become long-term customers – adding value to your bottom line without the cost of acquiring new customers.

There are tons of loyalty apps out there that are easy to plug into your ecommerce store and let you create and manage custom loyalty programs – including points and referral programs, VIP programs and more. The more advanced ones will have options for design customization, customer profiles, reward program communication, gamification and other premium features. A few of our favorites? Smile.io (a Glew partner), Loyalty Lion, and Collect Loyalty.

What to measure: Key loyalty program KPIs will depend on the specific loyalty program you use, but be sure to track things like reward program usage by different customer groups, and revenue, average order value and lifetime value by different loyalty program tiers. Get more value from your loyalty platform by creating customer segments based on loyalty program usage for targeted marketing (you can do this easily with Smile.io and Glew).

Email marketing

Email communications are a must in the ecommerce world. Whether it’s marketing to customers with abandoned cart emails, advertising a special offer or making targeted product recommendations, email should be a crucial part of your business strategy.

A good email platform doesn’t have to require a big investment – in fact, many are free for a certain number of contacts. Just make sure you can collect email addresses from your customers, send and track email campaigns, set up automation based on certain customer actions (like cart abandonments or purchases) and segment your subscriber list for targeted marketing. Some premium options will integrate with other marketing platforms or social media, or offer the ability to create landing pages or communicate via text. A few email marketing apps we like for ecommerce: Klaviyo, MailChimp and Dotdigital (all of which integrate with Glew), Drip and Emma (Glew integration coming soon).

What to measure: Email performance reporting is pretty basic: open rate, click rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, unsubscribes. But be sure to look at these metrics for every campaign you send, regularly. Outside of that, you can do some really cool things when you connect your ecommerce store, your email provider and an analytics platform like Glew, like build customer segments based on different purchase behavior (like VIPs or value shoppers), then create targeted email campaigns for those segments. You can even push segments directly to your email platform with Glew and Mailchimp or Klaviyo.

Reviews

Studies show that more and more shoppers (especially millennials) are making purchases based on peer recommendations, and customer reviews are a big part of that. They provide social proof for your products and let potential buyers see why they should buy from you, too. Displaying product reviews on your ecommerce site also increases customer trust in your brand.

There are many different ways to get customer reviews on your site, and tons of apps to make it easier. Some help you generate more reviews with post-purchase emails or questionnaires, and some have incentive features that offer users discounts when they submit reviews. Now, many apps include photos or videos with reviews instead of just text, making reviews even more valuable to prospective customers. Yotpo and Judge.me are popular review apps, as is Trustpilot (a Yotpo integration is coming soon to Glew).

What to measure: Measuring the effectiveness of product reviews can be tricky, since so many of the benefits – “customer loyalty,” “increased trust” – are intangibles (we can all agree, though, that the impact of bad reviews is certainly not intangible). So – what can you measure? Look at your ratings trends, including your best and worst-reviewed products and your most commonly reviewed products. Then look at your corresponding sales data – like orders, revenue, returns, profit and margin. You’re likely to see a correlation between your highest-rated products and better sales.

Customer experience

Your website is where the vast majority of your customers will interact with your brand. And you want their experience to be a good one – one that will drive them to make that initial purchase and then come back for more. There are several tools that can help you understand your site performance, identify areas for opportunity and even test and optimize your experience to further drive revenue.

The first thing you need is Google Analytics. This free tool is basically the backbone of all website analytics, with data about your website traffic and demographics. Then, you can layer on something like FullStory, which gives you a picture of how customers are actually experiencing your site – complete with individual session replay and heat mapping. After that? Use something like Optimizely to test different site experiences and figure out which version of your site performs best.

What to measure: Your customer experience is where many of your different apps and platforms converge – and where an analytics platform like Glew is helpful to make sure the data matches up. Look at things like website traffic and sessions from different channels and devices, conversion rate, and trends over time or seasons and among different demographic and customer groups. Also look at what matters for your specific business – are your customers taking the desired action on your site, whether that’s gravitating toward certain products or signing up for your mailing list? Then, identify what you can do to drive your conversion rates and revenue higher through testing.

Know what’s working and what’s not

When you boost your ecommerce store with all these apps, how do you know what’s effective and what’s missing the mark? The more tools you use, the more that reporting and analytics matters. You need know what’s working and what’s not so you can figure out where to continue investing your time and money, and adapt your strategy as needed. And, most importantly, you need to know that your data matches up across all your sources. 

The good news? Glew integrates with many of these apps – and tons of others – to help you get a handle on your overall ecommerce performance. Learn more about our reporting and analytics features and how we connect your disparate data sources for easy reporting in one place.

More reading

Want to supercharge your ecommerce reporting along with your apps? Check out our 2019 reporting checklist to learn the 27 metrics you should be reporting on daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly:

Get the Checklist