Being a part of a commercial business is a bigger commitment than most people think. Especially now, when you divide yourself between online and offline operations and it seems like your time and money are used towards dozens of varied ends. You've seen and heard about powerful software that make complex business operations manageable by small teams and individual owners but perhaps don't know where to start.
You may be seeking to accomplish any of the following:
- Enhance your business’ credibility
- Market through targeted, multi-platform campaigns
- Add customer support to your business
- Create rewards / referral programs
- Manage online order fulfillment from your store
- Other ecommerce / physical retail operations
With so many software options for businesses with an online presence, filtering out the noise and finding the solutions that address specific needs can be overwhelming. Many times, the solutions are right under your nose just waiting to be discovered. You may have even taken a quick glance at a few of these during your research and didn't even realize it.
Here are 12 of the best solutions for a variety of online business functions that deserve a second look:
Online businesses that don't generate reviews lose out on organic search traffic and consumer trust. Yotpo provides widgets and engagement features that help ecommerce sites encourage reviews and social sharing. The tool also includes analytics, providing businesses with an understanding of the social media and traffic impact of existing reviews.
- Yotpo reviews are designed to increase page rank through indexing in search engines.
- Create after-purchase email campaigns to foster customer relations and increase review rates.
- Leverage your existing social media to create repeat customers
Maintaining social-media engagement can be a time-consuming task for ecommerce businesses. With Yotpo, businesses can publish select customer reviews and thank customers via Facebook and Twitter, increasing content and engagement at the push of a button.
A leading choice among industry-leading online retailers, Bronto lets businesses maximize revenue with intuitive, user-friendly marketing tools. Professional and technical resources are available for complex or custom needs, but the Bronto platform lets any organization handle campaign management, built scalable databases for marketing purposes, and design mobile-friendly messages.
- Add functionality through the Bronto app library, which includes apps such as coupon managers, social analytics, and cart recovery.
- Use in-dash functionality to create keyword-rich messaging for email or SMS purposes.
- Conduct A/B testing of marketing materials and increase sales impact by sending the message that optimizes click-through and conversion.
According to the Baymard Institute, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is around 67 percent. (1) Around two-thirds of your potential customers abandon the process at the shopping card. Bronto's messaging features let you communicate with those customers to rescue sales.
Add a personal touch to all communication with Klaviyo's data-driven email ecommerce software. Klaviyo uses your existing databases as building blocks in customized email campaigns, and the service goes above and beyond inserting names into form-based letters. Use Klaviyo to create demographic-based campaigns or leverage shopping trends to send emails that are more likely to be read.
- Communicate with customers before, through, and after the every sale.
- Send top customers special deals and targeted offers to grow loyalty and increase brand awareness.
- Klaviyo's API works with many common tools used by ecommerce companies, including Amazon, Help Scout, and Shopify.
For many ecommerce businesses, stopping inappropriate campaigns can be as difficult as crafting email marketing that converts. Email campaigns that remind customers of your subscription services should stop arriving in the inbox of those who've subscribed, for example, or you risk alienating a customer. Klaviyo lets you set automated controls that manages drip campaigns.
When you're service is top notch and your products are worthy, it's not hard to convince a customer to refer someone. Add a reward, and one referral quickly becomes many, which is great for business but bad for management. ReferralCandy reduces the work involved in managing referrals and expands your business's social media reach.
- Reward loyal customers when they refer their friends, doubling consumer engagement.
- Drive referrals with an automated, user-managed program that provides high ROI without creating loads of extra work.
- ReferralCandy's program includes protection against abuse and fraud, including expiration dates on discounts and the ability to disable return from counting in rewards programs.
You can easily allow customers to send coupon links and incentivize your confirmations. Place a referral link with a reward into your customers' purchase receipts so that when they receive their awesome product from you they can keep that momentum going with an incentive to share their purchase success.
Every customer is unique, which means you can't expect every person to search for products using the same words. Swiftype creates smart-search technology for your site, delivering helpful and relevant results to customers whether they search via PC or mobile device. The plugin installs easily on any ecommerce site, minimizing set up and adding power to your platform in minutes.
- Create user-friendly searching to help customers find products and services.
- Target mobile users with apps for Android and iOS platforms.
- Customize site search technology to meet business needs and integrate with existing ecommerce platforms.
Customers don't always know exactly what they're looking for, and a site that can mimic and in-store browsing experience increases the chance of a sale. Smart searches offer customers items that match their search keywords as well as items that are related or relevant. Increase sales by offering customers choices they didn't realize they wanted to see.
Helpdesk software doesn't have to be complex. In fact, the best CRM solutions are simple and efficient, which makes HappyFox a great choice for online retailers. Launch helpdesk software in days, integrate it into any application, and protect customer data with secure login and data storage procedures. HappyFox is mobile-ready, so there isn't extra work involved in taking care of the growing segment of mobile shoppers.
- Cloud-based helpdesk options let companies manage customer questions and needs from anywhere in the world.
- Customize HappyFox to work with your processes instead of changing processes to work with the technology.
- HappyFox supports 35 languages, increasing customer service capability.
Customers shop online because it's convenient, instant, and flexible. When online shoppers have questions or concerns, they expect help that matches the buying experience, but small online retailers can't always offer a 24-hour call center. Use HappyFox's integrated technology to answer customer questions within 2 hours on average.
Social marketing is essential to any online brand, but the plethora of networks and millions of users can be overwhelming for busy ecommerce businesses to navigate. AddShoppers takes the mystique out of social marketing by engaging your customers and driving word-of-click campaigns. Robust data gathering lets you review and manage trends while easy-to-integrate apps put users in control of referrals and sharing.
- Encourage social media engagement with sharing buttons, social rewards, and referral programs.
- Use data to target social media users on platforms such as Facebook.
- Measure the return of each social media campaign or action, and make smarter marketing decisions with every new campaign.
Integrating social media buttons onto a ecommerce site is one of the easiest—and hardest—ways to engage more consumers. You can't just pepper the site randomly with the buttons—they should appear consistently on every page, including dynamically generated product pages. AddShoppers' attractive sharing widget works with any ecommerce site, and you can customize buttons to encourage increased shopping communication.
Online space domain space is cheap when compared to the cost of physical warehouse space. Yet, a growing ecommerce business experiences a growing inventory. Shipwire offers cost-effective warehousing and shipping solutions, removing the space requirement from any ecommerce business. Run the show from your home office with the help of a worldwide network and cloud-based technology.
- Shipwire integrates with existing order management systems, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel to move your delivery vehicle at a faster pace.
- Global warehouses let you store and ship product anywhere in the world.
- Automate shipping to increase efficiency.
Online retailers manage a lot of information daily. With Shipwire, you can concentrate on increasing sales because the ecommerce software automatically manages shipments by comparing shipping options and costs to ensure efficient, customer-centric, and cost-effective delivery of products.
Small to medium ecommerce businesses often employ individuals who wear multiple hats. With Cratejoy, the person wearing the technology hat gets more done, letting them concentrate on customer-facing functions. Cratejoy services include domain names and sites, inventory management and traditional ecommerce carts.
- Verify customer addresses before shipping to reduce time spent handling returns and customer frustration with lost orders.
- Manage cash flow to work for your business with flexible subscription management.
- Coupon and promotion systems let you reward loyal customers or encourage new subscribers.
Shipping is a growing expense for ecommerce businesses, especially with competition offering free shipping on an increasing number of orders. Cratejoy offers discounted postage through negotiations with the United States Postal Service, letting businesses cut back on a constant expense. The ecommerce software also offers one-click label printing, increasing efficiency in warehouse or shipping departments.
Leverage popular social sites and your existing social network to make sales on Facebook and Instagram. According to Soldsie statistics, businesses can see a 300 percent increase in sales using the platform. Many small businesses are already selling via social media, and Soldsie integrates automatic invoicing, payment, inventory management and communications into the process to reduce complexities and the chance for financial loss or error.
- Soldsie lets you directly monetize both Instagram and Facebook pages.
- Sales campaigns generate social media buzz, increasing brand awareness through the sites and contributing to online marketing.
- Soldsie connects to PCI-compliant credit card options or Paypal, so transactions are secure.
For the past few years, social media statistics agree that pictures gain the highest level of engagement on sites such as Facebook. Soldsie lets you easily turn that engagement into sales. Users comment on pictures to make purchases, which increases visibility on Facebook for your brand and drives additional sales.
PCI compliance and other credit-card regulations offer challenges to ecommerce businesses looking to manage cost-effective, efficient shopping cards and purchasing solutions. Celery offers peace-of-mind for consumers and businesses. Charge orders individually, in batches, or upon shipping, creating the ability to accept preorders or make provisions for complex shipping needs.
- Celery can be integrated into any ecommerce site, and 24/7 support brings confidence to online retailers of any size.
- Customize checkout options to meet the needs of your customers and business.
- Collect appropriate sales fees, including taxes and shipping.
Customers don't want to deal with multiple transactions, especially when ordering online. Let customers bundle shopping into one transaction—even when the cart includes a preorder or temporarily out-of-stock item. With Celery, you can charge customers for items that ship now, and charge again for future shipments, reducing chargebacks and returns on items that don't arrive right away.
Colluding with the competition may go against most common business practices, but DandyLoop's unique ecommerce software lets online retailers manage relationships without promoting the competition. Most online retailers can't carry everything a customer needs or wants, but DandyLoop lets you build a network of noncompeting products to recommend to your customer base. Not only do you benefit by return recommendations, but your customer is happy and more likely to return.
- Work with other shops to enhance visibility by sharing traffic.
- Recommend non-competing products and receive recommendations in return.
- Transparent reporting lets you track progress associated with each recommendation relationship, so you can identify areas to target in future promotions or relationships.
A customer looking for one item on your site may navigate away when the item is not found; DandyLoop lets you save the interaction by offering an item from another store. Effectively, your small ecommerce business becomes a one-stop shop for certain needs without the capital and inventory normally required to do so.
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