4 Super Tools to Build Your own E-commerce Store


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Starting your own business can seem like an intimidating task for a million different reasons. Among them, not having access to the right tools takes the top spot for any future businessman or woman.

Here is a profile of four great online tools that fulfill four very important roles in an e-commerce store’s lifecycle.

1. ShopIntegrator

Gone are the days when starting a business was a long and belabored process. Today, a tool like ShopIntegrator means, you are ready to go into business in a matter of hours.

ShopIntegrator is an extremely user friendly shopping cart plugin that converts a blog or a simple website into a full-fledged e-commerce site. With ShopIntegrator, you can display your inventory by creating customized storefronts.


Key Features

  • Simple drag and drop design editor that lets you customize the look and feel of your online store.
  • Manage inventory, take and fulfill customer orders in a jiffy.
  • Accept payments via debit and credit cards or via PayPal on ShopIntegrator. Your site data as well as customer’s payment information is secured with best in class SSL security and PCI compliant payment gateways.
  • ShopIntegrator allows you to operate your store across various geographies with over 25 currencies accepted from across the world. The currency conversion rates and local taxes are automatically factored in for you to create a truly global shopping experience.
  • You can also build multilingual sites with 7 languages supported on ShopIntegrator.
  • Stores built on ShopIntegrator automatically enjoy a mobile optimized layout and design to reach out to users across all devices.


ShopIntegrator offers absolutely free lifetime usage for its entire range of services to stores that list 50 products or less. Larger stores can pick from a range of monthly subscription options starting at just $9.50 per month going up to a maximum of $66.49 per month for enterprise level e-commerce sites.

2. VWO

Once you build your e-commerce site, you need to ensure that it performs the way it should to maximize conversions.

Visual Website Optimizer or VWO is a fantastic tool that lets to test every element of your website to see if it measures up to its conversion potential. Unlike most other website testing solutions, VWO does not just look at hard numbers, it helps you create aesthetically appealing websites that offer results that you need.


Key Features

  • Easy to use and deploy – no more depending on web developers for website testing.
  • VWO allows you to create and run multiple A/B tests and multi-variate tests across the site simultaneously, thus saving you precious time before taking the site live.
  • Test pages across multiple domains using the same account on VWO.
  • Use VWO’s drag and drop webpage editor to test each element on the page. If drag and drop seems too amateurish for your taste, go ahead and modify the HTML, CSS or JavaScript of the page directly.
  • Offers detailed heat maps and result reports that demonstrate visually what works and what does not for each test.
  • You can also link VWO to website analytics tools like Google Analytics to see how each test version performs against pre-determined goals.
  • Dip into VWO’s ‘idea factory’ to get inspiration for your own conversion optimization goals and tactics.


After an initial no questions asked, 30 day free trial period, you can use VWO at $49 per month. Subscription rates become more expensive as the number of users tested starts growing beyond a threshold limit of 10,000 visitors per month.

3. Clicky

Every website worth its salt needs a good analytics package. While Google Analytics is the default analytics tool used by a vast majority of website owners, there are other, better tools out there that offer a lot more than Google Analytics, especially from an e-commerce perspective.

Clicky is a leading Google Analytics alternative that offers actual website data instead of extrapolated sample data that Google Analytics offers. Unlike Google Analytics, the website data is not historical but live data based on current visitors live on your site.


Key Features

  • Clicky has an extremely intuitive user interface and is easy to pick up for first timers as well.
  • Set up alerts on Clicky informing you of completion of specific campaign goals, logged in visitors and more.
  • The ‘Spy’ option on Clicky allows you to take a sneak peek into the specific pages that a user is on, in real time. It offers details about what searches were made during the current session, which domain did the user come from, their current geographic location and more.
  • It lets you create goals and monitor your website on its progress towards the pre-set goals. It also offers a live tracker that tells you how close or far away you currently are from your goals.
  • Besides offering in-depth site analytics it also lets you test your site using A/B tests, heat maps and other usability testing tools.
  • Clicky comes automatically integrated with Twitter, letting you listen in on conversations regarding your brand, track brand mentions, identify top tweeters and discover user sentiment towards your brand.


Clicky is a free website analytics tools for small websites that have under 3000 page views per day. Anything over 3000 page views per day and you can pick from subscription plans that start at $9.99 per month to $19.99 per month depending on site traffic.

4. Zendesk

The bane of nearly every service based industry is the ability to offer consistently good customer service to their patrons. With e-commerce the need to offer great customer service becomes amplified, as customer service is the only time an online shopper ever comes face to face (or phone to phone!) with a human being who represents your store.

ZenDesk is a tool that helps e-commerce businesses achieve best in class customer service by tying in neatly with your e-commerce platform and marketing automation systems.


Key Features

  • Manage customer service calls through an efficient system of customer support tickets.
  • Enable customer service representatives to resolve open service tickets through multiple platforms like phone, live chat, email, social media or forums on your website.
  • Build a repository of Frequently Asked Questions, along with their solutions on ZenDesk and share this repository easily across the entire customer service team.
  • Use data from customer service calls to build and host self-serve tutorials and guides on your website for customers. These user guides will answer basic questions that customers may have and will avoid the need for a customer to contact your customer care team.
  • Get detailed reports about the performance of your customer service team – number of resolved tickets, open tickets, call volumes, resolution times and more.


Zendesk offers superb value for money, with a starter plan that costs $1 per agent per month and goes up to $195 per agent per month for enterprise level plans.


The right tools help businesses focus on things that are central to survival and growth instead of wasting business owners’ efforts in areas that can be fixed with automation.

Embrace these tools to help your business soar to the next level without distractions and rest assured in the knowledge that your business’ support functions are in good hands.

Lori Wagoner
Lori Wagoner is a marketing researcher and strategist who works with small businesses and organizations to help them gain online visibility. Feel free to strike up a conversation on Twitter @loridwagoner.


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