The e-commerce world is a competitive one. If you are starting out in e-commerce, either on a small scale or you are looking to expand your operations, the right tools are essential. As the online customer experience is pivotal to creating a great e-commerce store, using the essential tools will help you improve your interactions. What are the best tools out there?
Website Platform Tools
You need to focus on the user experience, and every part of your website, from the homepage to the product pages, must convey the right approach. You can use companies to help you design your site, but a website-building tool is only as good as the vision you have in your head.
There are many customizable platform-building tools out there, but you have to get the balance right. You can start by using the platform design for selling products, but you may wish to diversify later on.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is still an important tool that will help you to boost your business in every single way. There’s a wide variety of email marketing tools out there, for example, MailChimp, but you can benefit by looking for existing integrations with other e-commerce tools, making it easier to get everything up and running.
Ensuring that you market your business appropriately is not just via social media, and is a common misconception these days. Email Marketing is still numero uno when it comes to getting customers.
Inventory Tracking Tools
Keeping track of your inventory will help you keep track of your business as you scale up. One of the common mistakes amateur e-commerce business owners make is by starting either too big and having a surplus of inventory or starting too small and not factoring in enough time for the delivery of additional items.
Inventory tracking tools cover two different types, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or warehouse management systems. Ensuring you grow your sales and manage your inventory concurrently is essential and will make sure you don’t run into financial problems, not least if you overspend at the outset or there is a lag between waiting to get paid and paying the supplier, which can put many businesses out of action.
Web Scraping Tools
This can help your business stay competitive. The term web scraping involves extracting data from websites, such as product information, financial data, and customer data. Using a scraping bot can help you to understand purchase behavior, target your ads better, and gain deeper insight into your customers.
It can also help to gain better accuracy in your results, providing you access to clean high-quality data and can help your business save money over time. As businesses become dependent on the data, it is a tool that cannot just provide you with what is going on out there but can give you a clear advantage.
Project Management Tools
One of the biggest oversights conducted by small businesses, especially e-commerce ones, is that everything is done in a manual fashion. Many people take to annotating their sales on spreadsheets, but the big problem is that keeping track of the sales, inventory, and customer insights starts to become incredibly complicated with this approach. This is where project management software can make easy work of running an e-commerce store.
Project management tools help you in every single aspect of your business. It makes it easier to access files, minimize risk, manage your budget, and so much more. The great thing is that there’s a wide variety of project management tools available, for example, Asana, but you should choose a tool that meets your needs. If you are planning on scaling up your business and hiring more people, a project management tool that everybody can get to grips with will ensure communication is comprehensive, employees know exactly what they’re doing, and you have a clear vision of how the business is going to progress.
Mobile App Creation Tools
Creating a mobile app for your e-commerce store is one of the most important things you can do. Approximately 60% of e-commerce sales are conducted via mobile apps, and with the number going up you will need a mobile app that can increase interaction, improve payment methods, and provide all the essential product information in an easy-to-read manner.
One of the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is having a mobile website that makes it easier to read. Small businesses still utilize WordPress and create an e-commerce website that is only desktop-friendly, meaning customers have to zoom in and out to make the purchase. Time is of the essence and if your customers waste it with a fiddly site, they will soon turn away. Mobile apps are critical to how you engage.
Customer Service Tools
Selling products is not just about the e-commerce store as an interface, but it is about building that relationship with customers to ensure that they will keep coming back. Customer service tools come in many different shapes and sizes, for example, a comprehensive FAQ page can help to reduce customer contact, but you should not make it difficult for customers to email or phone you, especially as you start making a massive expansion.
Customer service tools don’t just go beyond text, phone, live chat, or social media, but you need to be looking to the future. Even now AI is used by call centers for customer service agents to manage calls better while also keeping customers in the loop, for example, with regard to waiting times. Customer service is still the most important tool your business will ever use, and therefore, making sure that your business can deliver results the first time around in relation to complaints will guarantee the customer goes away happy and is more likely to return.
These tools are the tip of the iceberg, and with so many more out there, there’s no limit to what your e-commerce business can achieve. But if you have these in place, this will provide you with the best foundations to boost your company.