You have set up an ecommerce business, perhaps run out of your own domestic premises, using your garage to store products to ship, and have seen it flourish. Yet the demands of an expanding business are taking their toll on your time, and while you used to have the capacity to cope, you can no longer continue to grow your business running things the way you do now. What software is available to help you effectively scale your ecommerce business?
Here is a look at some of the tools that you simply must utilize in the scaling process:
Business administration & finance
You may not necessarily like doing it, but it absolutely has to be done. Every successful company requires reams of administration tasks and must manage finances effectively. If you are a one-man band or just a small group of employees, you may not like the idea of hiring to achieve this. Fortunately, there are tools out there to assist. Back office software solutions such as Zirtual can provide you with admin assistants who can help with the most fundamental of tasks like managing your schedule, Kin can assist you in your company’s mandatory HR requirements, while UpCounsel can cover you for all legal aspects such as contracts. Then you have the likes of inDinero or QuickBooks which are software solutions which manage all aspects of your financial affairs. Finally, a provider such as Sellbrite can assist in time-consuming inventory management and order processing activities which are integral to an ecommerce business.
Effectively marketing your business is an essential aspect of scaling. In fact, it would be accurate to say that scaling up would be impossible otherwise. Marketing is a time-consuming process, but there are many examples of effective software solutions available to assist in this activity. The first step is to understand what a well-rounded marketing approach really is, and then implement solutions which cover them.
“There are multiple aspects to marketing of course, but in general you can break the activities down into basic categories which would be conversion rate optimization (CRO), driving traffic, developing a social media presence, content marketing, email marketing, and website interaction. If you can utilize a combination of software solutions that cover most of all of these aspects, then you have gone a long way to scale your business from a marketing perspective,” advices Jonathan Chan, a tech writer at Writemyx and Britstudent.
Driving traffic can be achieved by utilizing the services of Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, ensuring you get plenty or organic visits through search engine page rankings, for example. Similarly, Hootsuite can effectively build your presence on and through social media channels, and then MailChimp can build your effective email marketing campaign while BuzzSumo attacks from a content marketing perspective. Then you can employ a product such as Optimizely to ensure you are converting the traffic that comes your way. And don’t forget the all-important customer reviews and testimonials. A service such as Yotpo which uses widgets to customize product reviews is a great way to build brand confidence. That equates to a full marketing software package.
A major issue when growing your ecommerce business is dealing with the ever-increasing customer numbers, particularly when they wish to communicate directly. Zendesk chat allows the ability to chat with customers in real time using key-word prompts, and can also provide a host of useful reports based on these dialogues. You can also begin loyalty programs by using a service such as Smile.io which can implement points or rewards offers, or even a referrals program. Qualaroo can then be implemented to conduct customer feedback surveys in order to continuously improve customer experience.
Data is a necessary part of any business, yet the collection and analysis of this data, let alone what to do with it, is not only immensely time-consuming but in fact difficult to do unless you are a qualified data analyst. Fortunately, there are a number of analytical software solutions on the market, such as Google Analytics, KissMetrics, Looker, or any number of competitors.
“Data analysis really gives you the information you need to further scale your business. Without it, you are really pushing on in the dark,” warns Zachary Tullo, an HR professional at 1day2write and NextCoursework.
And then you need people. One of the best ways to go about the otherwise elongated, costly process of recruitment is going down the path of hiring freelancers. Websites such as Upwork or software packages like FreeeUp allow you to not only connect with great freelancers but manage their tasks too, all without the need of recruiting directly. In the case of FreeUp, potential freelancers are vetted prior to being offered to you, and good candidates can be brought on board in as little as 24 hours.
Today, these tools can be linked with each other through enterprise application integration. It is the process of connecting applications for managing customers, email marketing campaigns, and more, enabling bidirectional data sharing. SyncApps is one of the many integration platforms that enable businesses make the most of their software tools.
Specialist email marketer Adelina Benson is also a major contributor to OriginWritings.com and Academicbrits.com When she isn’t developing effecting marketing approaches and executing successful campaigns, she turns her attention to the editing and proofing of all company literature, and she also enjoys blogging on these topics at PhDKingdom.com.