Trying to get your online business going but frustrated at the endless choices of ecommerce tools, apps, platforms and options??
I know how you feel.
And what’s worse is that - there are hundreds and thousands of ecommerce tools that you could potentially choose from. Yet, despite this abundance of choice, you’re suffering from analysis paralysis.
Which one works? Which one helps?
Would I get ripped off?
That’s why to help you out, I’ve listed out some of the most popular tools in the market that you can consider testing. These tools have been proven to work over the years - and are built to solve different problems for your ecommerce store.
Have a look at them - and see if they are a good fit for your store.
eCommerce Platforms - Set up your own Store
Before you even begin looking at some of the more sophisticated tools on the market, you need to have an ecommerce store.
If you don’t, then perhaps it’s time to start creating one.
Fortunately, there are several easy-to-use ecommerce platforms out there in the market that you can consider using to set up your store.
A plug-and-play ecommerce platform for anyone who isn’t as technically-gifted, Shopify is one of the fastest growing platforms right now. Powering about 500,000 ecommerce websites, Shopify is easy-to-use and offer tons of ready-to-plug templates for you to get started.
The downside is probably their on-site SEO, as URL structures are hard to modify.
One of the largest, if not the largest, ecommerce platforms on the market, WooCommerce powers (at time of writing) almost 3 million websites in the world.
If you’re a fan of Wordpress as a content management system (CMS), then WooCommerce is probably your best bet. Also, it’s free to install, plus, there are a bunch of quality WooCommerce hosting providers in the market.
Another alternative to Shopify, 3dcart offers a complete ecommerce website builder for small businesses, with many out-of-the-box features, 100+ supported payment platforms and over 60 mobile-ready themes. They also offer a Dropshipping plan starting at just $9.99/month.
What happens after you’ve set up a ecommerce store?
Simple - you need something to sell. Not only that, you’ll need tools to help you with inventory management, shipping, accounting, etc. - all those boring, operational stuff that you probably hate… but needs to get done.
Here are some of the tools that can help you simplify and systemize these operational activities.
JungleScout is a tool that helps you find lucrative niches and products across the entire Amazon catalog. Their Chrome Extension feature even allows you to see every product’s price, estimated sales, review count and more.
One of the toughest things to do is to source for products or suppliers. Sourcify helps you automate them. All you have to do is to simply submit your concept to them - and they will help find your suppliers!
Sellbrite helps you automate listing, syncing and shipping across all your sales channels. That means, if you’re selling on multiple marketplaces, e.g Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Walmart, Newegg, etc. - Sellbrite will help you make sure everything is neatly managed and easy to read and observe.
Just simply looking for an easy way to print and sell apparel? Printful is an on-demand printing, fulfillment and shipping tool that can help you sell T-shirts anywhere, be it your own store or another marketplace.
ViaBill is an online payment solution that allows shoppers to buy now and pay in easy monthly installments with 0 interest, while merchants get paid upfront and in-full. They take care of all credit and fraud risks and integrates directly into your website so that your shoppers would never have to leave your page. All they have to do is to simply select ViaBill at checkout.
Want to keep your teams, tasks, and communications at one place? ProofHub will do that for you. Add tasks with deadlines, share files, proof and annotate them using markup tools, collaborate in real-time, track project progress, and do a lot more using this all-in-one project management software. Loved by thousands of teams across the globe, this easy-to-use software simplifies task management and collaboration among teams to help you remain in ultimate control of everything.
With your store ready, and products to sell, how then do you start getting sales? By generating awareness and acquiring customers.
Fortunately, there are also tools in the market that makes marketing tactics easier to execute. Here are some of them.
Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, YouFoodz, etc. are some of the largest companies out there that have grown by using a referral program. ReferralCandy is the tool that makes setting up a referral program possible (and easy!). No tech-savvy needed.
Originally an email marketing service, Mailchimp is now the world’s largest marketing automation platform. Mailchimp can serve as your email database where you can send emails, engage your customers, build your brand and get them to buy.
Running tons of ads on Facebook and Adwords? Then you’ll probably need a lot of highly-relevant, super-targeted landing pages to convey your offer. Unbounce is a advanced landing page tool that can help you improve your PPC conversion rates.
It can be difficult trying to manage tons of social media channels at once. Buffer helps you schedule posts on the different social media platforms (e.g Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) - and also provides a dashboard that helps you see your social performance over time.
Want to run a giveaway that generates hundreds (if not thousands) of emails that you can later remarket to? KingSumo is a free, and easy-to-use tool to set up your own giveaway. It even has its own viral component built in for you.
Your friend has just bought X. What happens if you saw this on an ecommerce website? Would you feel more inclined to buy if you saw one of your close friends buy too?
The data says yes. Fomo is a tool that shows all your visitors social proof of your store’s success. By emulating a busy cashier in a retail store, all your visitors can see how many sales you’re receiving at any given time.
You can’t create a comprehensive SEO strategy without knowing what your competitors are doing, how to build links and where you stand. Ahrefs is the tool that allows you to grow your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your niche - all in one platform.
AddThis has been known for their easy-to-use share buttons, trusted by millions of brands around the world. But they also offer a full suite of website tools to help you grow your online business and engage with visitors, all for free. They create email list building tools and promotional CTAs, with little to no code experience required.
Intercom is both a customer support and a conversion tool. By integrating live chat, emails and helpdesks, Intercom helps you serve your customers better by allowing you to chat with them in real-time, or offer proactive help through targeting.
Promoter.io captures your customer feedback on how you’re doing through the Net Promoter Score system. Know why you’re doing well, or why you’re not favoured through direct, personal feedback from your customers.
Messenger isn’t just a place for you to chat casually with your friends. Your customers want to reach you via Messenger too. Provide customer support, or build messenger bots to help answer customer queries fast.
Probably the most used analytics tool in the market, Google Analytics shows you everything from how many visitors you’re getting, which channels are performing, what pages are performing best and so on.
As a growing online business, it is natural for you to receive hundreds of product feature/pricing/refund requests. ProProfs Help Desk allows you to stay on top of every customer communication and solve customer problems faster.
Features like shared inbox, knowledge base, canned responses, ticket prioritization, etc. make ProProfs Help Desk a must-have e-commerce tool. The best part? They offer a Forever Free plan with basic features.
These are some of the most popular ecommerce tools used by thousands of ecommerce stores worldwide to run their businesses.
Each of them were made for a specific use, so don’t feel the rush or panic to try to install them all.
Instead, find out what problem you need to solve, then have a look at the tool that would solve the problem. Give it a test run (most of them have free trials), and decide if it’s good for your store (or helps you solve your problems.)
That way, you will be able to manage your costs and spend only on the tools you need.
(Note: If you want to read more about how the e-commerce pros are doing it, check out our post on the best e-commerce blogs).
Si Quan is ReferralCandy's Content Marketing Manager. He is also the co-founder of BreakDance Decoded, an online breakdance training company. He loves standup comedy, and has a dream to visit at least 100 countries in his lifetime.