Online marketing has changed the face of business today. This is especially true of online selling, where businesses can easily reach consumers through social media, online ads, and more. As technology has evolved, busy eCommerce storefront owners are looking for ways to automate the daily tasks associated with running an eCommerce site and, thankfully, many of these tools exist today. Whether your small business sells on Etsy, eBay, CafePress, Amazon, or your own online storefront, these tools can help you save time and generate more sales.
Some businesses have complained that eCommerce solutions like Magento require a developer to set up. “It’s important to note that Magento can be slow to load on inexpensive hosting and it is not easy to customize for a novice,” Contempo Space’s Chris Sansone writes.
“In our experience, Shopify.com has been fantastic,” Ayo Omojola of Hipmob says. “Really easy to set up, with an app store so you can easily integrate third party tools.”
Many businesses rely on Google AdWords to reach large audiences, but that can be pricey for a smaller business. With Google Remarketing, a small business owner can directly target those who have visited their sites before. Remarketing ensures those who have visited your site before will see ads for similar items on your site while surfing around the Internet.
“Most AdWords ads in our space are too expensive for our budget so, on the recommendation of our consultant, we switched to a remarketing campaign,” says Caryn McCoy, owner of eCommerce site EIDBadges.com. “This has had two amazing effects 1) Our cost for AdWords has dropped 16 percent and 2) orders from the remarketing campaign are double what we were getting via the regular AdWords campaigns!”
Once your eCommerce site is set up, you’ll need a shopping cart to process your orders. Internet marketing expert Tom Antion uses KickStartCart, finding its easy-to-use platform ideal for calculating tax and shipping, real-time processing, and usability for both tangible and downloadable products.
“I use KickStartCart to perform all of this and much more and rely on it daily to bring in sales,” Antion says. “I recommend it to my clients, not only because of the number of tasks it performs, but because of the level of accuracy and efficiency in which it performs them.”
Shai Atanelov of New Edge Design recommends pricing tools that help keep track of the competition’s pricing and also reprice products in bulk based on chosen criteria. “The tools I have experience with include WisePricer and Upstream Commerce, though Wisepricer is much newer and more affordable for small businesses,” Atanelov says.
With WisePricer, businesses can track pricing of competitor websites to know as soon as possible when a competitor is undercutting their prices. No more worrying about customers checking prices and choosing other sites over yours. You’ll know immediately when that competitor’s price drops so you can adjust your price to keep up.
Designed to encourage shoppers to review products and services, YotPo is a social media engagement tool that works. Atanelov recommends it to small businesses due to its free but effective interface that helps businesses get the word out about their brand.
“YotPo easily integrates to any shopping cart platform and has proven to increase the number of reviews left on site, as well as increasing conversions by providing trusted reviews,” Atanelov enthuses. YotPo puts the business in control, letting them hide less-than-favorable reviews. E-mail addressees of reviewers are provided to members, allowing them to directly contact customers to resolve any issues.
eCommerce is always evolving, but business owners can attract new customers and keep existing ones happy with these great tools. Best of all, technology tools allow busy entrepreneurs to automated the tasks associated with managing an eCommerce site, freeing up time for them to devote to the many other duties that fall under their responsibility.