Succeeding at running an ecommerce business means wearing many hats. You have to be responsible for:
- Setting up your shop and managing it
- Researching competition and identify opportunities
- Managing daily operations, logistics and finances
- Building your brand and reaching your target audience
- Driving traffic and converting leads into customers
- Determining how effective your sales efforts are
The good news is a number of online ecommerce tools—many of them free—are available to help you run your online store..
Here is a quick guide to twelve top apps to make your job easier without spending a fortune.
- Google Analytics
A powerful must-have tool for any ecommerce business, Google Analytics puts valuable data at your fingertips, allowing you to monitor website traffic, optimize site and product descriptions, track visitor behavior and improve conversions on PPC ads pointing to your store. Google even offers free training to help you master its analytical tool.
One of the most useful tools for managing your ecommerce business is Shopify’s mobile ecommerce app, which provides you the ability to gauge traffic, track conversions, receive shopping cart reports and get order notifications, allowing you to stay connected to your day-to-day ecommerce operations.
Wanelo (Want, Need, Love), which functions like a virtual shopping mall for ecommerce stores that aggregates product feeds in one place, is a great tool for promoting your online shop and the individual products you sell.
A no-cost alternative to accounting apps like Zoho Books and Xero, Wave is a platform that lets you handle payroll, direct deposit, invoicing, annual record keeping, tax calculations and receipt management. Although the interface is somewhat slow and the UX could be much better, it integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Google Drive, Workato, Shoeboxed and other apps.
Expensify lets you keep track of business expenses by scanning printed receipts (photographing them with your smartphone), doing away with the need for keeping and filing stacks of paper. The digital receipts are categorized then organized in an app-based expense report.
Buffer makes it easy to plan your social media calendar, track your readers' interest in certain topics, and boosting engagement, with an analytics dashboard that offers useful insights into your audience’s behavior.
Mint allows you to monitor all your finances in one place by pulling information from your credit and debit cards, saving and checking accounts, and investments. It lets you track transactions to see the source of funds coming in, stay on top of when your bills are due and know exactly when deposits post to your business account.
Designed as an organizational tool that lets you manage your days, set and track goals, and gain insight into your marketing efforts, this analytics app functions smoothly and integrates with more than 45 top ecommerce apps, including Shopify, PayPal, Quickbooks, MailChimp and Google Analytics.
Ecommerce businesses can use Mention to keep tabs on their brands, businesses, industries, trending topics and even competitors by using keywords and phrases to track and monitor any mentions being made online in real time.
- Wish Pond
Wish Pond focuses on identifying, capturing and converting leads using landing pages, popups, contests and marketing emails with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, which make it easy to customize your campaigns.
Hootsuite lets you manage all of your business and personal social accounts from a single dashboard by effortlessly bouncing between social media platforms, eliminating the need to log in and out to jump around.
A time management software app, TickSport makes it easy to keep projects on time and budget. You can use it to log hours, track productivity, take important notes, and hopscotch between timers as you multitask. The app's report functions are useful for keeping an eye on project budgets and assigning tasks to various team members.
No matter what your business model, technical knowledge or marketing budget, these free and affordable mobile tools can help you better manage your ecommerce business’ research, operations, finances, marketing and analytics.