By Rachel Oliver
For many entrepreneurs, the mere idea of starting and running an online store can be enough to throw them into a tizzy. The truth, however, is that you need not be a computer geek to be able to launch and run an e-commerce store.
To a newbie, running a web store can feel like steering a ship in uncharted waters. But, with the help of the several web-based software available today, building your online store should be a breeze. Regardless of your experience of working in the fascinating digital world, these DIY e-commerce tools can help you steer through it with ease.
Not only that, the said tools can also help your procure the resources you need and connect you with marketplaces and merchant services. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to run your business as well as e-commerce website without incurring too many expenses.
You’ve probably already guessed that managing an online store will require a lot more than simply setting up a website and showcasing your products and services. There are going to be a lot of other aspects such as sales and marketing, research and development, human resources, and IT to look after.
If you plan to handle all these responsibilities independently, then online tools can aid you greatly in running your website without hiccups. Whether it is creating and assessing the website, scheduling posts and messages on social media, collaborating with team members, managing customers, distributing content, or carrying out other related activities, these tools can work wonders.
A few web-based tools that can help you run your e-commerce website are mentioned below.
It doesn’t need to be said that before you can launch and run a cyber store, you need to build one. Other aspects to consider include creating and managing the back-end processes, forecasting sales and looking after customer service.
While it is extremely crucial to give the majority of your precious time to making sales and keeping your customers happy, you simply cannot overlook the importance of building an online store that is visually stunning and user-friendly. Fortunately, having a tool like ShopIntegrator at your disposal can make this easy and quick.
The great thing about ShopIntegrator is that it is convenient to use. With it, you can turn your already existing website, blog, or social media page into a full-fledged e-commerce store. It also comes equipped with a built-in content management system that allows you to use the content of your choice to market your products and services effectively.
Another element that makes this tool easy to use is its drag-and-drop feature. Whether you want to add a new feature, create and manage coupons, synchronize processes and work-flows that are PCI-compliant, or modify the checkout process, you can do it all with ShopIntegrator. Best of all, it optimizes your store for screens of different sizes, supports seven languages, and offers multiple secure payment gateways to customers making for safe transactions.
With ShopIntegrator, you can not only build your web store, but also incorporate m-commerce functions to it and manage it easily.
Finding suppliers is one task that every new entrepreneur struggles with. Most suppliers shy away from associating with new online store. Plus, competing with big retailers, who already have time-honored relationships with suppliers, can give e-commerce start-up owners nightmares until they’re finally able to create a place for their brand.
CommerceHub can be your savior in such a situation. It serves as a merchandising and order fulfillment platform, links suppliers with online retailers, and enables larger retailers to network smaller online retailers for business purposes.
Thanks to CommerceHub, there is no need for you to find wholesale suppliers and/or spend on a warehouse to store and manage your inventory, but rather operate as the middleman between suppliers and customers.
This platform also assists you with managing some of the most crucial aspects such as handling purchase orders and dealing with shipping and returns. This, in turn, saves you time, money and other hassles that come with order fulfillment.
When you start an online store, one thing becomes certain: you’re done with doing things manually (well, at least most of them). In keeping with that thought, Fishbowl ensures that your e-store is well-equipped with sophisticated inventory and warehousing management.
Wondering how else can it make life easier for an e-commerce store owner?
For starters, it allows you to stack bills related materials and work orders together in a systematic manner. Plus, you can keep a track of all your items without losing sight of any important aspect. This means you steer clear of overstocking, as well as avoid running out of stock.
It helps you build efficient systems and processes to “pick, pack and ship products.” Further, you can monitor assets using bar codes, place automatic reorders and access data updated in real time.
There’s no denying the fact that one of the most critical aspects of getting repeat purchases includes providing shoppers with exceptional customer service. Do not make the mistake of undermining the importance of the role Zendesk can play in delighting your customers.
Zendesk is a support ticket platform that offers a streamlined customer service system by compiling Facebook posts, tweets, emails, and telephonic and live chats in a single platform. This will enable you to respond to customer feedback, suggestions and queries quickly and efficiently.
Other vital features include generating reporting and analytics data, complete customization for your brand, and assessment of your customer service team’s performance.
Almost every modern business uses social media as a mode of communication as it enables them to connect with potential and existing customers. However, managing several social media accounts simultaneously can seem like a bit of a bother. However, HootSuite is an effective tool that solves this problem by helping you manage all your social media conversations at once.
Whether you’re looking to manage your social media accounts, schedule messages and posts, measure ROI, track and engage your followers, or generate reports using media analytics, HootSuite can do it all. Further, it also keeps you in the know of the latest in your social media efforts. This way, you know what you’re doing right. If you see something going wrong, you can stop doing it and tweak your strategy to work better.
Now that you’re armed with the tools you need to run a web store, what are your waiting for? It’s high time you turned your e-commerce dreams into reality. With the above tools at your disposal, you should have no trouble in setting up your very own online store. We live in the digital age, and the scope in the virtual world is limitless. By having the necessary tools to manage your web store, you can be sure that you’re ushering into a new era which will take your business to the next level.
Rachel Oliver is a passionate writer. She often share her thoughts on business, technology, leadership, finance, fashion and more. Feel free to hit her up on Google+.