Running an e-commerce business can be a great step forward for any small business owner looking to improve sales and brand awareness. However, jumping headfirst into this type of business model can be risky. If you do not prepare yourself with the proper tools and services, you could lose everything. With the use of e-commerce tools and services, you can maximize your results online while ensuring the best overall shopping experience for your customers.
Here are nine business tools that every SMB can use to successfully launch and grow their online storefront:
The first and most important tool for a successful e-commerce enterprise is the platform itself. An e-commerce platform is the foundation of an online store. An e-commerce platform is software that allows businesses to create, host, and administer their online storefronts. The platform includes tools that enable businesses to create a branded online storefront where their products and services can be found and sold. Platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce were designed specifically for e-commerce storefronts specifically for e-commerce storefronts, and they come preloaded with a slew of tools and services to help manage your business. Each platform has its own unique themes and included services, so with the wide variety of options available, you have the freedom to pick the one that’s right for your business.
Inventory Management Software
Inventory is your store’s life force. If an item isn’t available, or you fail to move a product through the proper logistical channels, you’re bound to run into problems with both present and future customers. That’s where inventory management software comes into play. Inventory management software will not only help you better track and organize your warehouse, but it will also help you cut down on overhead costs. Through the software, companies can manage problems like product overstocking or outages, and they can effortlessly manage orders, sales, and deliveries. Inventory management software can come with a lot of common features, including barcode scanners, inventory optimization, stock notifications, multi-location management, report generation, and purchase order records. Zoho Inventory, Fishbowl, QuickBooks are a few of the great inventory management tools you can use for your business.
Digital payment processing systems
An E-payment system allows your consumers to pay for items and services online. This complex mechanism interacts with the buyer, the merchant, the buyer’s bank, the merchant’s bank, the payment processor, and the payment gateway. You can increase sales by making your items or services available for purchase on your website. Fortunately, numerous third-party payment providers make online purchases simple and straightforward to manage. PayPal and Stripe are two of the most popular options accessible today. Almost all e-commerce platforms can incorporate these payment options into their website infrastructure.
Accounting and tax mistakes can be costly, so skipping steps or rushing the process isn’t a wise option. The best way to speed up bookkeeping while maintaining perfect accuracy is by using a business accounting system. With accounting systems, you can run financial reports and convert them into different charts that will help your team visualize your financial data. Integrated accounts processing is also more accurate in individual transactions. These services are able to screen for mistakes across informational categories to maintain overall accuracy. Because online accounting software is designed for e-commerce brands, it allows you to customize exporting in a way that makes sense for your business. Some of the best accounting software for e-commerce businesses include QuickBooks, Wave, Xero, etc.
Email marketing platforms
Email marketing can be used to reach varying audiences to share different messages surrounding brand awareness, product variations, promotions and more. This is a proven marketing method to spread material on your company and its value propositions. Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. There are several e-mail marketing tools such as Hubspot and MailChimp for growing your email lists and executing coordinated marketing campaigns. These tools can give you the flexibility to automate many of your marketing tasks and test out messaging through A/B testing. Some platforms can track those who abandoned their shopping carts and retarget them with follow-ups to increase your conversions.
Advanced analytics and tracking
Once your e-commerce site is up and running, you need to track and analyze all pertinent sales data for your company. E-commerce analytics tools can provide you with powerful data-driven insight to help you measure your brand’s progress and stay ahead of competition. Tools such as Google Analytics and Kiss Metrics provide behavioral customer engagement automation that helps you better understand the purchasing habits of your customers. These website integrations help test valuable data points on your storefront to see what changes you should make to maximize efficiency.
Shipping service integrations
All online businesses should have a strong understanding of their logistics processes and supply chain. API keys allow you to integrate USPS, UPS, FedEx, and shipping automation providers into the backend of your e-commerce store. Shipping services will often charge a one-time implementation fee with an additional per-use fee. If you have doubts on dedicating company assets to this component, consider the investment it can be to your brand. Modern shipping integrations for e-commerce stores allow businesses to get shipping rates, create shipping labels, and track packages in one single place. Shipping service integrations through tools like ShippingEasy and Ordoro take the heavy lifting out of shipping quotations and label generation for your order fulfillment. Such tools can help automate order fulfillment with high efficiency and minimal lead time for e-commerce businesses.
Social media management solutions
Every successful company understands the value of social media and where their presence makes the most sense. That being said, keeping social media profiles updated regularly is extremely time-consuming, especially for smaller teams. With the integration of social media management solutions for your e-commerce storefront, you can keep customers engaged while automating the legwork. Social media management tools like eclincher, Falcon.io, and HootSuite come with a wide array of features. Some include scheduling posts, integrated RSS feeds, competitor analysis, campaign tracking, and much more. These platforms help in social media automation, allowing you to access and post all your branded digital content in one platform. They are great for helping you organize your content and automate posts based on your editorial needs.
Customer relationship management software
Regardless of all the tools and services you use to improve your e-commerce setup, nothing is more important than your customers’ satisfaction. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a tool that’s designed to help your organization offer your customers a unique and seamless experience, as well as build better relationships by providing a complete picture of all customer interactions. Other benefits include keeping track of your sales, organizing and prioritizing your opportunities, and facilitating collaboration between various teams. Modern CRMs are all about the automation of internal and external processes like emails, invoicing, reporting, and financial forecasting. Instead of doing all these things manually, you can create smart workflows that are triggered once you or your customers perform certain actions. Some CRMs include marketing automation features that allow you to track purchase history and cart abandonment to target specific customers. Some of the best CRM software available today include Pipedrive, Zoho CRM, and Copper CRM.
Starting an e-commerce business has its fair share of challenges. However, using the above-mentioned tools can help you streamline your operations and get your business off the ground in no time. Fulfyld strategically partners with unique e-commerce service providers to help you grow your brand. Our partners offer a variety of assistance in brand development, accounting, funding, and more. Click here to learn more about the services. Here at Fulfyld, we provide you with all the solutions for your e-commerce fulfillment needs. Contact us today to learn more.