12 great tech tools to boost your ecommerce profits
- October 17, 2017 | Gene Marks
Want to grow your ecommerce profits this year? You can, with the help of some great technology. Here are 12 tools you’ll want to try.
Analytics and data
These tools are all about automating data processes then delivering information back to you so you can better understand what products, companies, and stores are making (or losing) you money.
Virtual Logistics — VL provides data integration between different systems for reporting on order details, shipment data, inventory, and prices. It's designed for companies juggling different portals, spreadsheets, and partial application integrations that don't have the resources to manage them all. Its integration and reporting tools reduce data entry errors, increase productivity, and deliver information in one portal from multiple sources at once, from spreadsheets, PDFs, in-house software, and many ecommerce applications.
Teikamatrics — An all-in-one software platform that helps retailers succeed on Amazon and geared toward high-volume Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers. The application's suite of tools and services automates repricing, advertising management for sponsored products, generation and management of product reviews, and restocking. Its visualized analytics tools help their customers check inventory levels, profitability, and purchase order and shipment status by providing year-over-year trends and variations both with products and suppliers; it also alerts for the best times and quantities to order products. The platform also identifies, alerts, and helps customers take action on stale and aged inventory.
Out-of-the-box tools — Many mainstream ecommerce platforms provide their own analytics tools. For example, Shopify’s analytics and reports give its customers the means to review their store's recent activity, get insight into their visitors, and analyze transactions. BigCommerce’s reporting features give merchants deeper customer data insights for targeting, segmenting, and driving more sales through snapshots on store performance, orders, sales channels, and conversion rates, as well as many detailed reports that analyze both current and historical productivity of products, customers, and stores.
Successful online merchants know that keeping in touch with their customers – or anyone who visits their site — is crucial for generating additional sales. Most use email marketing technologies and platforms to help them do this. Here are three that work well.
Klaviyo — This platform makes it easy for ecommerce marketers to target, personalize, measure, and optimize email and Facebook campaigns. With its many integrations to popular ecommerce, point of sale, and other marketing systems, Klaviyo pulls data for segmentation and delivery based on schedules and demographics with dozens of pre-built and ready-to-go templates. The system also offers rules-based triggered emails initiated for new customers, abandoned shopping carts, and completed orders.
Active Campaign — With hundreds of templates generated from a drag-and-drop interface, Active Campaign consolidates all communication under one umbrella by providing personalized messages to customers and prospects regardless of their location. Campaign data is accumulated in one location for analysis so users can create and measure goals, integrate with other third-party applications, and pinpoint growth opportunities with detailed reports drawing on data from multiple sources. In addition, the application provides tools for site and event tracking, an integrated forms builder, a Google Chrome extension, and a strong ecosystem of support and training resources.
AWeber — If you’re not an advanced marketer or you don’t have the resources to focus on email campaigns, AWeber provides an additional level of help. It’s a more basic, yet highly regarded, email marketing service that works with more than 100,000 small businesses and helps them set up templates, campaigns, auto-responders, broadcast emails, newsletters, and promotions. The company is known for its excellent and unlimited customer support, deliverability, and educational content.
Shipping and inventory
Your products are your profits so managing inventory levels and shipping costs can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are three great systems that can help you automate these processes and make better shipping decisions.
ShipStation — A strong fulfillment tool with easy setup that enables its customers to seamlessly integrate with all major shipping carriers, shopping carts, ecommerce marketplaces, and more. Data is imported from a number of mainstream ecommerce providers (including Fulfillment by Amazon), then selling channels are used to connect to a carrier (or USPS) where batch shipping labels are created and printed, stores are updated, tracking info is automatically sent, email confirmations are generated, and branded tracking pages and a specialized portal help provide an easier experience for managing returns.
FirstMile — Using the USPS work-share program to help their customers leverage the Post Office network to get speedy deliveries at affordable rates, their service solutions integrate into common shipping platforms in the ecommerce marketplace and offer full tracking visibility. Their network reaches every state and over 200 countries and provides strong order management, detailed billing, flexible pickups, and multi-carrier labels.
ShipRush — Celebrating more than 20 years in business, ShipRush automatically import orders from over 60 carts and systems including eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce.com, and more, then prints shipping labels for most major carriers as well as offers discount postage from the USPS, FedEx, and others. The platform displays a unique and powerful side-by-side shipping cost comparisons in real time and provides shipping automation rules to streamline operations with easy setup.
All of your ecommerce transactions need to flow back to your general ledger, and your accountant will need to not only analyze the profitability of sales, but how your supply and payroll management figure into your company’s overall operations. In other words, you need an accounting system.
QuickBooks Online — The granddaddy of accounting software, QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-based accounting offering, which has been available on the market for a few years and continues to grow in popularity and usage. QuickBooks Online offers a marketplace of tools that will integrate with many ecommerce platforms and handles all sides of the financial transactions from order to cash receipt as well as inventory and payables management, payroll, and general ledger.
Xero — A strong and growing competitor to QuickBooks Online that matches feature by feature, Xero is a cloud-based accounting application built from the ground up that also integrates with hundreds of third-party products and ecommerce platforms to provide a fast, mobile, and powerful interface for managing all aspects of your financial operations.
Avalara TrustFile — As sales tax collection and filing requirements have grown, so has the need for a powerful platform to automate this time-consuming process. Avalara's applications allow customers to import and prepare an unlimited amount of sales tax data from any ecommerce or accounting platform via its dedicated connector or data upload tools. The data is then analyzed and broken down by sales tax jurisdiction and state. The software then automatically prepares and prints completed signature-ready sales tax filing forms for electronic filing from its integrated dashboard, and then migrates this data to their customers' accounting systems (like QuickBooks and Xero).
Selling online? Hopefully you’re using a few of these great technologies. You could be losing profits if you’re not!