It’s common for small business owners to struggle when it comes to completing all the day-to-day tasks associated with running an eCommerce store. From keeping on top of inventory levels to managing employee payroll, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
What’s more, tasks that aren’t an absolute priority, like marketing and running customer loyalty programs, often get sidelined. And this invariably leads to lost revenue and customers.
But there is an alternative. With the right software, it’s possible to automate and streamline an array of time-consuming tasks, freeing up your resources to focus on what matters most. In this post, we’re going to look at six must-have tools that can transform the way you do business.
Ubersuggest, which was recently purchased by well-known marketing guru Neil Patel, provides retailers with a comprehensive platform for tracking the health of their website, conducting competitor analysis, and researching new keywords. The keyword research tools, which require no technical experience, are particularly useful for boosting search rankings and finding low-cost keywords for paid ads.
Finding all-in-one tools for managing your online search engine presence can be challenging. Ubersuggest offers a number of competitive pricing plans along with an excellent “forever free” option. So you can dip your toes in the water before taking the plunge.
Top features: Keyword research, rank tracking, competitor analysis.
If you don’t already have an eCommerce store because you haven’t yet launched the online side of your brick-and-mortar business, then you’re likely wondering about which platform to opt for. In that case, we have one clear piece of advice: go with Shopify.
It’s hands-down the best solution on the market. And no competitors that we’ve come across combine the same level of ease-of-use with such an advanced, extensive feature set. “Shopify Basic”, which will cost you $29/month includes unlimited products, integrations with third-party marketplaces, discount codes, payment processing, and a range of customization options.
The large online community of Shopify users is also at your disposal should you ever encounter any problems (along with 24/7 support).
Top features: Store-builder, unlimited products, promotional tools.
So it might seem a bit unusual to include another eCommerce platform after singing the praises of Shopify. While we do believe that Shopify is currently the best solution available to small businesses, there is one exception: if you already run your website with WordPress.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. It provides all the functionality that retailers need to build and scale an online store. Features include payment processing, unlimited products with multiple listing options, easy-to-implement templates, and more. Even better, WooCommerce is free. You’ll only have to pay for premium subscriptions and templates, so it’s very cost-effective in the long run.
Top features: An extensive library of integrations, payment processing, beautiful pre-made templates.
Effective inventory management is a key component of every successful retail business. But it also requires large amounts of time and resources. Inventory management software adds an extra layer of functionality to the tools already available in your eCommerce platform. It can be used to automate routine tasks like stock replenishment, organize shipping and fulfillment, and generate data-based insights about your current inventory-related processes.
Zoho Inventory offers a range of inexpensive plans for smaller retailers, all of which include automated workflows, integrations with third-party apps, shipment tracking and label printing, and support for offline sales. There’s also an attractive free plan which allows for up to twenty orders per month.
Top features: Advanced inventory management, automated workflows, and shipment tracking.
Zapier is one of the world’s best-known automation tools. From a retail perspective, it enables you to sync up the transfer of information between your whole tech stack, which can save a significant amount of time over the long term. And while many of your solutions will offer native integrations, Zapier fills the gap when certain third-party apps aren’t supported.
Setting up automated processes, which are called “Zaps”, is straightforward and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. There’s also a free plan, which has a maximum of one hundred updates per month, so you can give the solution a try before you opt for a premium option.
Top features: Automated processes and easy-to-use interface.
Quickbooks is one of the few accounting apps which offers a tailored feature-set for online retailers. It integrates natively with apps like Shopify, Paypal, and TransferMate, and includes an array of easy-to-use tools for handling taxes, invoices, refunds, and so on.
Top features: Accounting add-ons.
Running a small business is hard work. Your time is valuable and you need to be careful about allocating resources. Apps like the ones described in this article enable you to save time, shore up inefficiencies, and automate routine tasks, all of which allow you to focus on what’s truly important.