Building and growing a successful e-commerce business requires you and your team to put together a lot of pieces of a complicated puzzle. Once your venture is up and running, itâ€™s up to you to look for help to reach your goals beyond the startup phase. Many entrepreneurs look to technology for help as they look to expand. Here are 10 top technology tools you need to boost your e-commerce business.
1. Website Design
The importance of great website design shouldnâ€™t be ignored by new or existing e-commerce website managers. Looks do matter to your customers, and effective website design can help your siteâ€™s visitors navigate to the right spot quickly and without frustration. A solid website design format can help bring in more customers and keep website visitors engaged in your content. Many entrepreneurs ignore this basic principle and are unable to maintain a strong level of success.
2. Social Media Management
In todayâ€™s e-commerce world, social media management is another key factor to building sales and your brand. This is much more than simply creating an account on the most popular social media platforms. Effective social media management takes advantage of the multiple opportunities available on social media to draw in customers, promote products, and build awareness about your brand.
3. Site and App Hosting
The way you choose to get your site or your mobile app hosted can affect your e-commerce siteâ€™s success as well. Most businesses look to outsource their hosting to get a reliable and more beneficial experience. Itâ€™s important to survey your companyâ€™s needs for its website traffic and mobile app volume when choosing a qualified hosting organization. This way, you donâ€™t have to worry about site issues or problems with functionality within your app.
4. Expense Accounting
Some e-commerce gurus focus all of their energy on the customer side of their business and fail to realize the importance of tasks that go on behind the scenes. Basic business tasks that all companies need to address, such as expense accounting, need to be prioritized so profitability doesnâ€™t suffer. Today, itâ€™s easy to acquire an inexpensive but effective expense accounting tool you and your staff could use to track spending and other costs.
5. Project Management
Another essential basic business task is project management. If your venture has a staff and multiple projects going on at once, itâ€™s vital to get some help with an outside sourced project management tool. Luckily, there are many options available for small businesses that make it simple to delegate tasks to your team and keep a constant eye on the progress of each project. Some of these tools can run in the background of your smartphone or tablet and keep you updated when important milestones are reached.
6. Website Analytics
A successful e-commerce site also needs some sort of tool to run website analytics. Web analytics tell the site owner information about who has visited your site, how long they were there, and where they came from. This important information can help you and your team make decisions about marketing, search engine listings, product pages, and website design to increase the number of visitors to your site.
7. Voice Communication
E-commerce sites may also need to invest in some sort of tool that allows for voice communication with customers. Instead of simply relying on email or online messaging, itâ€™s a good idea to have a dedicated solution allowing you to call customers on the phone. Donald Burns of magicJack offers an affordable solution that uses Voice over IP technology through a computer.
8. Email Marketing
Your email marketing plan is another big part of growing your e-commerce potential and building your customer base. If you donâ€™t already have a mailing list or an email marketing client, itâ€™s relatively easy to find a partner to help you manage this monumental task. You can work together with an email marketing tool to develop a stronger message to potential and current customers.
9. Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management tools are also indispensable to a businessâ€™ success in the early days. You may have a large number of competitors offering some of the same types of products as you do online, and youâ€™ve got to differentiate yourself with solid customer service. A customer relationship management tool can help you make better decisions about your strategies with customers by using helpful data and metrics.
10. Online Transaction Capability
Finally, no e-commerce business will become successful without a solid plan for online transaction capability. The tool you choose must be secure and reliable so you and your customers are never let down when trying to sell or purchase items. This is the true heart of your business, so itâ€™s recommended to go with a company that has a solid reputation in this field.
Building an e-commerce business requires more than just a product and a website. You and your employees need to create an entire experience for your customers and an arsenal of tools within your organization to make company goals happen.
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