Just so we’re clear, these tools will be most useful/applicable for small to midsize eCommerce shops. We’re also mostly approaching this from the perspective of a shop that’s using a platform like Shopify, but most of these tools are fairly widely applicable.
With that, below are some of our favorite free eCommerce tools that you should definitely check out in 2015 (we’re guessing you’re probably not going to want to change anything up in the middle of the holiday season).
If you’re thinking this one’s super simple/obvious, you’re right. It is, and hopefully you already have it set up on your site. But that doesn’t make it any less powerful of a tool when it comes to gathering data about your website and your customers. The possibilities are nearly endless with Google Analytics, especially once you start getting into conversion goals/funnels.
Whether you’re looking to send out a newsletter, periodic coupons, or just build a database of your customers, MailChimp is a great free solution for all of the above. The free version of MailChimp will let you save up to 2,000 database contacts and send 12,000 emails per month. If you need more contact space, more email volume, or if you want to remove the MailChimp logo from mass emails that you send, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version.
When it comes to managing social media publishing, Buffer’s about as good as it gets. With the free version, you have access to the most important base-level functionality — basically, the ability to push updates to all of your primary social media channels and view some basic analytics data. If you want more advanced functionality and analytics, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan, but if you’re mainly just looking to simplify your social media, the free version of Buffer will work perfectly.
With Peek, you get to see and hear how a real-life user interacts with your website over the course of a five minute session. The best part? It’s completely free. According to their website, “Peek is free because [they] think the best way to spark your interest in [UserTesting] is to let you see the magic of usability testing in action.” By the way, UserTesting is the company that owns Peek, so basically, they want you to get a taste of what they do and then go to them for full usability testing projects. But if all you want to do is learn a little more about how users interact with your site, then Peek alone will work for you!
Pixlr’s in-browser photo-editing applications make it really easy to edit your product imagery (or any other pictures that you have on your site). So if you don’t really feel like dishing out hundreds/thousands of dollars on Adobe products, and if simple yet robust editing sounds alright to you, then you should really check out Pixlr.