The life of an online seller is tough, what with intense competition, a system skewed in the favour of the customer, and lack of proper regulation. The fact that business is dependent on several factors and associates does not help. If your logistics partner falters, you get blamed and shamed. If natural calamities cause a slight delay, the customer is up in arms against you and wastes no time in giving you a detailed negative review on social media.
While some errors are a part and parcel of a commercial exchange, you can ensure that things go as smoothly as possible by running a well oiled mechanism. There are a few tools online that help minimize errors. Entrusting some tasks to software can reduce the possibility of careless mistakes that can cost you in more ways than one.
We have listed some of the useful tools and software that can make your life simpler.
Tally Shoper 9 – Legacy accounting software Tally offers Shoper 9, a retail management software. Shoper 9 helps manage retail transactions for commercial enterprises. It can handle COD transactions, enables real time data exchange between different locations, consolidates all your data for quick perusal, manages data, manages stock (gives you vital notifications), and helps take care of cancelled orders. Shoper 9 is suitable for both small and large enterprises.
The Shoper 9 interface is quite simple and helps manage data exchange between the warehouse, head office and stores. The software is designed to handle several lakh units, interact with multiple stores, and manage inventory. The software also allows you to create alerts for pricing updates, including price revision dates.
Shoper 9 allows for interface customization, and can be easily set up. Tally provides a good support system and updates.
You may not need Shoper 9 if you are just starting out. It might be a waste of precious resources. Consider it when you think of scaling up.
Google Analytics – Google’s free web analytics service helps users monitor their web traffic. All you need is a Google account to sign up for Analytics. Google has a separate Ecommerce Tracking for online sellers. Shopify has given a guide to set up Analytics for the Shopify store. Google Analytics gives you information on buyer behaviour and help you decide how to drive more traffic to your site.
If you are just setting up shop, and are working on a shoestring budget, this is the answer to your problems. The step-by-step instructions simplify the process of setting up and monitoring
Google Analytics is not suited for large enterprises. If you are planning to scale up, it is better to hand over your data collection to a professional. Plus, Google’s data is collected through cookies. If a user has disabled cookies, the system cannot track their behaviour.
Magento – Magento is a popular ecommerce solution provider. The open source platform has products for ecommerce small enterprises and B2B. Users can operate multiple stores. Its features include content management, choice of themes, shopping cart, check out, and administration. Magento’s shopping cart is suitable for a large online store.
Users laud the good support system extended. The support team is available 24/7 and is quite helpful. It also gives you an edge in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is mobile friendly. As it is open source, there is a huge community of programmers whom you can approach at any time if you get stuck.
However, users find Magento complicated and time consuming. Users who do not have knowledge of Java can find it difficult to get used to the process of setting up working and modifying the store. It is also heavy on the purse. It also takes up a lot of space, putting constraints on system memory.
Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a social media tool that helps you post and track your social media presence. You can post quick updates on leading social media including Facebook, Google +, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can interact with followers and track their engagement through Hootsuite. You can opt for their free version, which lets you post on three platforms, monitor accounts and interact with followers.
Hootsuite has a simple interface and allows flexibility. It is also mobile friendly, and lets you import RSS feeds. It also has a directory of the many different apps, allowing you to access them easily. Hootsuite also lets you schedule your posts, making your social media posts a hassle-free process.
However, the free version can be limiting, so you would need to opt for their paid service. This might turn out to be an expensive affair. Some of their tools are not really valid for a small business. Facebook and Hootsuite’s analytics do not get along very well, so posts via Hootsuite are not tracked by Facebook analytics.
Canva – Canva is a graphic design tool. With an interesting interactive website, Canva offers both free and paid services. You can create designs for social media, ads, posters, presentations, collages, visiting cards and more through their templates. It also has tutorials and coaching for the amateurs.
On first glance, Canva is a graphic designer’s happy place. Its simple interface elevates the user experience to a different plane. It is a suitable option for those not familiar with designing. It unburdens you of having to figure out the designs and images.
The free images are limited, so if you want more choices, you will have to opt for the paid version. There might be some problems in importing and saving your work.
So there you are; some essential tools for your online store. What do you think, are there any other tools that fellow online sellers could use to their advantage? Tell us in the comments section below.