As we enter the second quarter of 2018, stats show unprecedented growth in the number of e-commerce stores opened. Now more than ever, we can harness the power of the internet to create a business from scratch with little overhead and a ton of potential; but before you dive into your new venture, make sure you are set up for success.
Some of these tools are free, some of them are paid, so for the logic sake, I will list them in chronological order, from when you launch the store to when you are about to scale it to a full-blown business.
Shopify: Shopify is the fastest growing e-commerce turn-key platform out there. With packages from $29 a month, you can set up your store and start selling within minutes. Shopify offers a few free themes and several paid ones. If you are starting out, you don't need a bigger package but consider upgrading as soon as you start getting a few sales. Shopify integrates with several third-party payment gateways, but you can set up the native Shopify Payments with a few clicks. There's also a full ecosystem of third-party apps that make the sites as customizable as you want.
Privy: Once you start sending visitors to your online store you want to make the best out of site's traffic. Privy is a handy little Shopify app that allows you to create pop-ups in seconds. You can quickly design the pop-up by dragging and dropping pictures, logos text and more. Then you decide how soon the pop-up appears after visitors land on the home page and congrats! You are capturing valuable emails that you can use to market your products. Pro-tip: create a digital item and offer it for download in exchange for their email. If you sell pet food, for example, make an ebook called "4 foods your dog should avoid today".
MailChimp: There are several email responders out there, but MailChimp is my personal favourite because it's straightforward to use, it integrates with any app I have ever used, and it allows me to segment my lists based on date, region, campaign and so much more. After a few weeks that you have started collecting emails through your website, you will begin to creating content for your email marketing. With MailChimp, you can create your emails, queue them and then look at the insights to see open rate, click through rate and more. Overall, a great tool to have in your e-commerce arsenal.
TradeGecko: Once you start scaling your e-commerce business, you will probably sell across different platforms. It's only a matter of time until you will start losing track of your inventory. "Where do we need to send this new batch of sunglasses???" or "Ugh, someone ordered a scarf on Shopify, but we have no inventory left!". To avoid these frustrating situations use TradeGecko to synch your inventory across all platforms. You'll receive notifications when it's time to reorder. TradeGecko integrates with virtually any other application out there so you can have the peace of mind of knowing that you will never run out of stock again.
Xero: At this point, your store is growing, and you need an accounting software to keep track of your accounts payable, receivable, purchase orders and more. Xero integrates with Shopify, TradeGecko and several other apps in the e-commerce landscape. There's nothing worse than growing your business with pieces of paper laying all over your desk. There's always a risk of having double entries, but if you commit to cloud accounting, you will never have to worry about mistakes and a messy desk again.
I hope this read was helpful and if you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to see what you can do with all this new info!