Ecommerce Toolkit

We know how challenging it can be to optimise and grow your ecommerce store in a highly competitive environment. To help make things as easy as possible, and allow you to take stock, we’ve compiled a checklist of over 70 resources you can use to adapt, manage and grow your business online.

Build

Platform
Hosting Provider
Payment Gateway
Stock Images
Copy
Shipping Solutions

YOU
HAVE
AN
ECOMMERCE
STORE

You’ve built your business plan; now is the time to create your online presence

Manage

Project Management
Accounts

Customer Service
Review Platforms

Analytics
Grow

WAYS TO
MANAGE
YOUR
ECOMMERCE
BEAST

How you can manage your ecommerce store and prevent it from becoming a monster

Acquisition

Email Marketing
Social Media Management
Trends / User Research
Optimisation & Personalisation
Ecommerce Personalisation Software

QUICKLY
ESTABLISH
A
LARGER
REACH

Social media channels require a separate strategy to ensure consistent communication

Build

YOU HAVE AN ECOMMERCE STORE

You’ve built your business plan; now is the time to create your online presence.
Are you using the right platform for your ecommerce business to grow?
The build section of the toolkit covers everything you need to ensure your website will run smoothly and efficiently.

Platform

Is the platform you are on right for your business needs and ecommerce growth? Ensuring your ecommerce store is on the right platform will allow your site to grow seamlessly, depending on the functions and features you want to offer. As different platforms offer different options, the good news is, there’s plenty of choice, so you will be able to find something which suits your needs.

Shopify is a user-friendly ecommerce platform which allows you to create a great looking store straight out of the box. It has developed considerably over the last few years and is a great all-round solution.

Branding itself as ‘the last ecommerce solution you will ever need’, Xcart provides an out of the box solution for people looking to set up an ecommerce site.

WooCommerce is the option for you if you’re looking to combine ecommerce with a WordPress site; it’s a popular, open source ecommerce solution, positioning itself as giving a fantastic layer of flexibility as well as bucket-loads of bolt on features.

Currently serving over 60,000 fellow merchants, BigCommerce  is another established player in the ecommerce platform area. Offering 0% transaction fees and 24/7 support it is worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative platform.

As a well-established player in the ecommerce field, Magento has a strong developer community and is great at providing SME and Enterprise level solutions

’Europe’s leading ecommerce platform’ is aimed at medium to enterprise level businesses and has over two decades of experience in the field.


Hosting Provider

The right hosting partner can make the difference between ongoing success and failure. Once you have decided who will be providing the framework for your site migration you also need to re-think about where it will live (or rather who will be hosting it). 

Are a well-established hosting provider who offer fast hosting for small to medium enterprises. They currently look after over 2,000,000 and even include specific WordPress and WooCommerce options.

Bluehost offer a great start-up package which allows people to get set up quickly. They also provide some interesting, shared-hosting products which can result in lower costs.

Dreamhost’s ‘always up’ proposition is appealing to people looking for a guarantee of reliability. They also offer free WordPress migrations if you are looking to transfer an existing site.

Finally, HostGator offer a reliable service with free SSL certificates and WordPress installs. Similar to the providers listed above, they can help you scale quickly.


Payment Gateway

You already have your site up and running and everything looking great, but are you using the most efficient method of enabling people to make payments? A reliable payment provider is essential to the success and smooth running of your business. 

The key things to consider when choosing a payment platform are: 

  • Ease of integration – does it work with your platform?
  • Security – how robust is it when it comes to customer data and fraud?
  • Dispute policy – what is their process for handling refunds and payment disputes?
  • Fees – what are the transactions fees?
  • Online to offline – if your business is multichannel can your payment provider handle this through one account?
  • Is your payment gateway provider a secure environment for issuing refunds and credits to your customers?

Top Payment Gateways

  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Sagepay
  • Paypal


Stock Images

We always recommend creating your own imagery where possible, although time and other constraints mean it may not always be possible.  Stock images have improved massively in recent years; you still need to take care to make sure you’re using images to match your brand.

Unsplash is a fantastic free resource of stock images. There is a great range of images and the tone tends to be more creative and less corporate.

Shutterstock is a well-established source for stock imagery. With 200,000 new images every day, you will be able to find an image to cover almost any eventuality. Shutterstock also includes video and audio clips, allowing for full rich content support.


Copy

When your products are updated and uploaded to your ecommerce store, does your copy need a  refresh or rewriting? This can be one of the toughest areas to get right on a website and, without having to hire a professional copywriter to help you out, there are a number of resources to make your job a bit easier.

This is a unique and really useful app which helps you to break your writer’s block and get your ideas down ready for editing. By focussing your eyes on the centre of the screen, Freewriter helps you to get your words out and in a format that can be worked with.

Once you have your ideas down and captured in a text file you can copy them into Hemingway to see how the text flows. Too many long sentences? Reading age out of line with your target audience? Hemingway will pick this up and make it easy for you to sort it out.

We find Grammarly indispensable. What’s not to like about an app that checks your grammar and spelling as you write? 

The online version of the traditional writer’s friend, effortlessly expand your vocabulary and rid yourself of your crutch words.


Shipping Solutions

In a similar way to the payment solutions, choosing the right shipping provider is an essential part of optimising your ecommerce business for success. We’ve listed some of the main providers below. This is an individual choice but the things we would consider are:

  • Price
  • Level of integration with your business; how easy is it to get the tracking details into your system and out to your customers?
  • What level of international support do they provide?
  • What level of customer service do they provide?
  • What is the end-user experience like? This will reflect on your brand and needs to be taken into consideration
  • Whether or not you have a comprehensive delivery and returns policy and strategy in place

Main UK Shipping Providers

  • Royal Mail
  • DPD
  • Hermes
  • Yodel

Manage

WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR ECOMMERCE BEAST

How you can manage your ecommerce store and prevent it from becoming a monster
The build section of the toolkit covers everything you need to ensure your website will run smoothly and efficiently.
Have you created an ecommerce beast that is growing out of control? You can use the following tools to keep everything moving forward with (almost) zen-like control.

Project Management

Keeping track of all of your actions is critical to the smooth running of any business. What do you need to do right now and what is important but not urgent? Free up some headspace and ease your mental load.

One of the originals in this area, Basecamp offer their tried and tested plaform to organisations of all sizes. It is easy to manage users, projects and tasks. They have a great blog and podcast too.

Great for managing large complex projects, Asana can be more suited to large, enterprise-level projects.

Offering an intuitive board and card-based system, Trello provides a good overview of what’s required in different areas of a project. We’ve found it easy to use and flexible to adapt for different areas of the business.

The now established disruptor developed out of a gaming company. Slack allows for easy communication between teams. You can easily set up different projects and assign team members. This is a great tool for discussing ideas and working collaboratively.


Customer Service

The old adage that it is cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one is true across all types of business. Being able to keep your customers happy and respond quickly is really important if you are looking to grow in a sustainable way. The platforms below continue to keep track of customer queries, issues and satisfaction rates:

  • Zendesk
  • Freshdesk
  • Helpscout


Accounts

Online accounting takes the majority of stress out of the financial reporting requirements of your business. There is a great selection of providers in this space and we’ve listed some of the main ones below. Things you do with an online accountancy platform include:

  • Monitor cashflow
  • Create projections
  • Manage your debtors
  • Keep track of invoices
  • Set people up on direct debits for recurring payments

Accountancy platforms that are better suited to ecommerce are:

  • Xero
  • Quickbooks
  • Freshbooks


REVIEW PLATFORMS

Happy customers result in positive reviews. When you look after your customers, make this step as easy as possible by including a straightforward professional review platform. One of the challenges with selling online is it can be hard to build trust. If people cannot physically see and touch your product how do they know if it is right for them?

Reviews from other people who were in the same situation as them provide the social proof they need to continue. This is the online version of the line outside the most popular restaurant in town:

  • TrustPilot
  • Feefo
  • Reviews
  • Google Reviews


Analytics

As well as the in-built analytics which come with the platform you have chosen, there is a suite of products available from Google which can augment this data even further, allowing you to make more informed decisions to grow your business. While all of these are free to use at time of writing, you will need to invest some time to get the most from each area.

This is the original analytics product from Google and it provides a great level of information on your users, traffic sources and the actions people have taken on your site. Google Analytics can be used to track goals and events which impact your business objectives. Using Google Data Studio (see below) you can create dashboards on a wide range of different business areas.

Google Search Console provides data about the organic search performance of your site within Google, by setting it up, you will get a wealth of data about how Google views your site and any potential errors. As with Google Analytics, the most important metrics can be pulled into a Google Data Studio dashboard.

Data Studio allows you to incorporate data from mutiple sources into one place. Create bespoke dashboards to showcase the metrics which are most important to you and the success of your business. Google Data Studio has almost unlimited applications but at the entry level it allows people to take a personalised look at their data.

Google My Business straddles the gap between local listing and business information platform. Use it to establish your local presence but also as a central place for collecting reviews and showcasing your products and events, which in turn drives more traffic and more reassured prospective customers.

A container tag solution from Google, Google Tag Manager can hold all of your tracking tags and JavaScript snippets for third party applications. From Google Analytics to Facebook to applications such as Hotjar, Google Tag Manager stops your site becoming bloated with too many tags.


Grow

What are your plans for continuing and maintaining consistent growth? The resources listed below just begin to scratch the surface of the options available to you. To be in a position to grow the most important things to consider are:

  • Your budget, what can you get for your spend & where will it have the most impact?
  • Your target audience – who is your target audience and where do they hang out?
  • Your product – how are you presenting your products in a way that appeals to your target audience?
  • Your message – what calls to action are you using & what will the hook to attract people in be?
  • Your strengths – what strengths and resources do you already have to hand? You are better doubling down on a strong area than trying to mitigate a weak one

Continuing to ask these questions of yourself and your site gives you the answers as to whether you’re using the right technology, with the best fit for you, what you need to do about it and when.

Acquisition

QUICKLY ESTABLISH A LARGER REACH

These platforms will provide you with reach for a price and need some careful targeting. However, once you get it right, it is possible to quickly establish a larger reach

Social Media Channels

For the social media channels a separate strategy and plan is required to make sure you are communicating consistently and on a regular basis. Whole articles can, and have been written, on these areas but here’s a list of the main channels to get you started:

  • Google/Bing Ads
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin

  • Facebook
  • TikTok
  • YouTube


Email Marketing

Bridging the gap between acquiring new customers and communicating/upselling to existing ones is email marketing. Each year a new batch of articles are written about the death of email, despite this it is still alive and kicking and going from strength to strength as a channel. 

Having an effective email marketing strategy in place both to grow your email list and then nurture this community can be one of the most effective ways to grow your brand. The tools listed below are used by some of the most successful ecommerce sites to achieve this.

  • Mailchimp
  • Constant contact
  • DotMailer

  • Hubspot
  • Active Campaign
  • Campaign Monitor


Social Media Management

As mentioned, social media can be a great way to communicate with your audience. However, things can become increasingly complex the busier you get and the more channels you have to manage and communicate via. Using a social media management tool can take time and stress out of the process, allowing you to schedule your social posts, whilst giving you more control.

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite

  • Tweetdeck


Trends / User Research

Get ahead of the competition by jumping on the latest trends before they break through into the mainstream. By creating content for an up-and-coming area within your sphere of expertise you can corner the market and reap the rewards before any of the competition has cottoned on. 

Likewise, understanding what people are asking online and the problems they are trying to solve can give you a good head start when it comes to positioning your products and website content to match your target audience.

These suggestions below all have a good track record of working for ecommerce brands looking to stay relevant.

  • Buzzsumo
  • Google Trends
  • Exploding trends

  • Alsoasked.com
  • Answerthepublic.com


Optimisation & Personalisation

We might be biased but we feel we’ve saved one of the most impactful areas to last. Optimising your site and personalising the experience can be one of the most efficient ways to grow your business online, leading to increased basket and order values and a really personalised shopping experience.

As experts in website conversion rate optimisation and personalisation, PureClarity has a large range of SME clients, both B2B and B2C, that have seen amazing growth first hand. Small changes can make a big difference and by using some of the resources listed below you will be able to increase the effectiveness of all of your marketing channels by first improving the conversion rate, starting with the customer experience of your site.

  • PureClarity
  • Hotjar
  • VWO
  • Optimizely
  • Instapage
  • Unbounce

  • Optimizely
  • Crazy Egg
  • AB Tasty
  • Omniconvert
  • Monetate
  • Convert Experiences

Intelligent Ecommerce Personalisation

PureClarity is an award-winning ecommerce personalisation software solution which, when plugged into your ecommerce store, delivers powerful online shopping experiences through a wide range of personalisation features. PureClarity has a large range of B2B and B2C SME clients who have increased revenue by 26%, conversion by 71%, and order value by 15%, and build a loyal and valuable customer base.

The benefits you will see from using PureClarity are:

  • Improved customer loyalty and repeat buyers
  • An increase in average order value
  • An increase in sales
  • Better customer reviews
  • An increase in engagement with your content

  • Better insight into buying behaviours
  • Ongoing support and advice
  • More time to focus on other things
  • Happy customers who feel they’re really in a dialogue with the brand and who’ll come back and spend

30 Day Free Trial

At PureClarity we offer a 30 day free trial so you can be 100% sure that PureClarity is the perfect solution for your business.

  • Get started straight away
  • Use of all PureClarity features
  • Compatible with all ecommerce platforms
  • No credit card required, no contract
  • Guided, simple onboarding 
  • Access to great expertise and experience, tailored to you and your site