Running an eCommerce store can be incredibly rewarding. More time. More freedom. More money. But it can also be a lot of hard work.
Luckily there is a range of fantastic tools for ecommerce available that can make running your own online store as easy as it can be. Using them can make your processes more effective and more efficient, so that you can channel most of your energy into making your store as successful as it can be.
And it can be very successful. In fact Forbes claims that over 23,000 online stores make at least $100k in revenue a week. But, in order to be one of these, you need to take advantage of every tool at your disposal. Your competition certainly are.
To give you the best chances of getting ahead, we’ve listed 6 essential tools for eCommerce store owners. These tools will help you figure out who your audience is, market to them more effectively, improve your business processes, and, ultimately, help you make more money.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports traffic to your site. It is the most widely used web analytics service on the internet.
The service can be integrated with pretty much eCommerce platform and gives you a fantastic insight into who’s visiting your page, what they’re doing when they’re there, and where they’re coming from.
This means you can get accurate data about which demographics are most interested in your store so that you can target marketing materials more effectively and monitor which of those materials works best.
The service is also integrated with Google AdWords, making it easy to bid on the most relevant search terms.
Really, all eCommerce stores should use Google Analytics. It’s free, and it’s great.
You’ve probably read about how important it is to communicate with your customers. Well, it’s true. But managing social media accounts, newsletters, emails, and the rest can all become extremely time-consuming.
MailChimp allows you to manage at least one of these problems – your newsletter.
Newsletters are a great way of keeping in touch with past customers or just people that are interested in your store. You can use them to promote discounts, content, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
MailChimp makes crafting and sending beautiful newsletters incredibly easy. And, since the service allows you to import data from Excel and other popular spreadsheets, it’s relatively painless to generate and segregate mailing lists.
Social media is probably the eCommerce store owner’s greatest friend. For free or for a very low cost, social media sites allow store owners to communicate with their customers quickly and easily. They allow companies to establish and grow brands, and to give their organisations real character.
Of course, keeping on top of all of this can be incredibly difficult. But there are a host of social media management tools that can make it a whole lot easier.
Hootsuite is undoubtedly king of the social media management tools. The system can be integrated with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress, and more.
The platform allows you monitor multiple streams from one place, schedule content and updates for posting well in advance, access detailed analytics about your campaigns’ performance, and create professional reports quickly and easily.
All organisations create a whole lot of internal and external content. Whether they’re text documents, images, spreadsheets, or videos, you’ll likely be storing files on separate computers and hard drives.
This makes finding and sharing documents pretty difficult, especially if you’re looking for old or obscure files.
Dropbox is a simple and elegant cloud-based storage and file-synchronisation tool. Simply upload your files to Dropbox and access them from multiple devices and share them with your colleagues so that they can have easy access to them, too. And, since files will be stored on the cloud, you won’t have to worry about them computers or hard drives getting damaged.
Ah, accounts. The business owner’s worst nightmare.
For years, businessmen and businesswomen have struggled with accounts. This is especially true if when business is still growing and can’t yet afford to pay for an accountant’s time.
But ecommerce owners have a major advantage in this area. Since all of their business is done online, most of the figures can be collected as and when events happen.
Wave is the go-to accounting solution for ecommerce site owners. It provides detailed, integrated reports on your site’s financial situation so that you can quickly send out invoices and handle receipts from your customers. And it also includes a payroll management area for paying you team (if you have one).
Lastpass is a freemium password management service. The system seeks to resolve the password fatigue problem by centralising user password management in the cloud.
As an ecommerce store owner, you should already know that security is a major issue. And that if a malevolent hacker manages to get hold of your password it can be incredibly bad news for your business and for your customers.
LastPass helps you secure and remember your passwords by password protecting you entire list of passwords. It is also able to autofill whenever you type in the name of the master password.
A great tool for protecting you against online threats
We hope you enjoyed our list of essential tools for ecommerce store holders.
We believe that these tools can make a real difference to the day-to-day running of your ecommerce store, as well as safeguarding you against future developments.
Most ecommerce store owners use a selection of online tools, so you should always keep an eye on what’s available.
Do you agree with our list? Or is there something we missed? Let us know with a comment.