Some of the best success stories come from new entrepreneurs who are establishing their own e-commerce storefronts. However, jumping headfirst into this type of business model can be risky. If you don’t prepare yourself with the proper tools and services, you could lose everything.
Here are 7 business tools that every small business owner needs to successfully launch and grow their online storefront.
1. An e-commerce platform
The first and most important tool for a successful e-commerce enterprise is the platform itself. Platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce were designed specifically for e-commerce storefronts. These platforms come preloaded with a slew of tools and services to help you manage your business. Each platform has its own themes and included services. Pick the one that’s right for your business. (Are you looking for a storefront option where your internal team can order branded merchandise (SWAG), official print materials, and more? Mimeo has you covered. We offer corporate-branded storefronts via our Mimeo Marketplace platform.
2. Digital payment processing systems
You can convert more business by making your products or services purchasable on your website. Thankfully, several third-party payment providers make online transactions trouble-free and easy to manage. PayPal and Stripe are two of the most popular solutions available today. Nearly all e-commerce platforms can integrate these payment solutions into their website infrastructure.
3. Email marketing platforms and on demand print marketing
To let new and existing customers know about products, you can turn to email marketing. This is a great way to get the word out about your brand. MailChimp is an invaluable tool you can use to grow your email list and execute coordinated marketing campaigns. What makes MailChimp so great is its ability to automate many of your marketing tasks. It also helps to track abandoned shopping carts and send customer follow-ups automatically to maximize conversions.
Another effective way to spread the word about your brand is through direct mail. With direct mail, you can break through the constant digital noise and land in your target customers’ hands. Mimeo has been helping clients print and distribute captivating direct mail pieces for over 20 years. Our online print solutions include postcards, flyers, brochures, catalogs, newsletters, and SWAG. Learn more about Mimeo’s direct mail on demand printing services.
4. Advanced analytics and tracking
Once your e-commerce site is up and running, you need to track and analyze all pertinent sales information for your company. Kiss Metrics provides behavioral customer engagement automation that helps you better understand the purchasing habits of your customers. Regardless of whether you’re focused on making more sales or increasing the performance of your website, Kiss Metrics’ website integration helps test valuable data points on your storefront to see what changes you should make to maximize efficiency.
5. Shipping service integrations
All online businesses need to have a solid understanding of how to handle their logistics efforts. Shipping service integrations through companies like Shipping Easy and Ordoro take the heavy lifting out of shipping quotations and label generation for your order fulfillment. Both companies are ideal for e-commerce businesses and can help automate order generation and marketplace fulfillment with high efficiency and minimal lead time.
6. Social media management solutions
Every successful company needs to maintain its social media presence. 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 required to do so. HootSuite is one of the gold standards in social media automation, allowing you to access and post all your branded digital content in one easy-to-use platform. This platform is great for helping you organize your content and automate posts based on your editorial needs.
7. Customer relationship management software
Regardless of all the tools and services you use to benefit your e-commerce setup, nothing is more important than your customers’ satisfaction. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools have been around for years now, but Zendesk is by far one of the most popular tools in use today. That’s because out of all the customer service tools available, Zendesk concentrates on creating the best customer experience on your website while tracking those experiences through an extremely intuitive interface. In combination with a dedicated customer support team, using Zendesk can give your company a real competitive edge when compared to other companies’ lack of customer engagement.
Running an e-commerce business can be a great step forward for any small business owner looking to improve sales and brand awareness. With the use of these e-commerce tools and services, you can maximize your results online while ensuring the best overall shopping experience for your customers.
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