Want to make a profit on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, or any other online marketplace? Then you’re going to need the right e-commerce tools.
Many online sellers go into business with dreams of financial freedom earned through passive income, only to realize that the business is anything but passive. Between updating listings, optimizing website performance, getting orders out the door, maintaining the books, and so on, managing an online marketplace is a lot of work.
This is why e-commerce tools are essential. Behind every successful online seller is an array of time-saving, money-saving, and sanity-saving apps and services. Make no mistake: multi-channel e-commerce can be a great way to grow your business, but that doesn’t mean you need to do it alone. No seller can’t afford to manage everything manually.
Based on our experience in the e-commerce landscape, here are 14 of the most useful e-commerce management tools out there.
E-commerce Tools: Websites and Hosted Shopping Carts
BigCommerce is a go-to e-commerce solution for merchants who sell inventory on their own websites. The platform includes everything you need to build, launch, and drive traffic to your shopping cart or online storefront. In addition to its hosted e-commerce capabilities, BigCommerce makes it easy for sellers to list products on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Instagram.
Shopify is another leading all-in-one platform providing tools that facilitate sales everywhere you do business, from a hosted storefront, to online marketplace sales and social media. One significant benefit of Shopify is flexibility. The e-commerce marketplace doesn’t limit your subscription options by your number of sales, meaning you can sell as much as you want using the basic plan.
In addition to its small business subscription plans, Shopify also offers an enterprise e-commerce platform called Shopify Plus, which has more powerful tools and support.
WooCommerce is another online storefront solution, albeit very different than the two above. For one, it’s an open-source WordPress plugin, which means it’s highly customizable. But, it only works on sites built on Wordpress, and you’ll need to download, install, and set it up yourself. On the plus side, unlike other alternatives, WooCommerce is completely free—there are no subscription costs, premium plans, or transaction fees.
E-commerce Tools: Shipping
Let’s talk about order fulfillment. ShipStation is perhaps the number one e-commerce shipping platform because it makes fulfillment a cinch. You can create shipping labels, comparison-shop between carriers, take advantage of carrier discounts, send order updates, and process returns from any device. The cloud-based software allows you to largely automate your shipping processes, so you can speed up turnaround and eliminate guesswork.
ShipWorks is not only a viable alternative to ShipStation, but for some sellers, an easier and more cost-effective software solution. ShipWorks integrates with most major e-commerce tools and marketplaces, allows users to shop between live carrier rates, and offers custom labels and batch processing. One downside, however, is that the software is exclusive to Windows. If you need to be able to access your order management shipping options from your phone, tablet, or Mac computer, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
6. Desktop Shipper
One of our personal favorite e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions is Desktop Shipper. Desktop Shipper provides automation, real-time rate shopping, discounting, and batch processing features as well as the ability to define your unique shipping requirements for each of your integrations with a wide variety of shipping carriers and partners. They also provide a truly responsive support team.
E-commerce Tools: Business and Product Management
That’s right: we included ourselves on this list—because we’d be withholding information about how to achieve e-commerce success if we didn’t. In a nutshell, SellerActive automates multichannel e-commerce. We provide the tools and capabilities you need to expand into new marketplaces, keep your listings synchronized, and utilize smart features such as automatic repricing to manage and grow your business everywhere you sell online.
8. Intuit QuickBooks
QuickBooks is the premier accounting solution for businesses of all sizes. The QuickBooks Desktop and Online services are tailor-made for small and large e-commerce businesses. Sellers can confidently accept payments, track their income and expenses, run reports, minimize their tax liability, and pay their employees, vendors, and contractors on time. QuickBooks also integrates with many e-commerce tools, including SellerActive.
SkuVault is a cloud-based inventory and warehouse management system that takes the time and frustration out of keeping items in stock and accounted for. SkuVault users lower their out-of-stock rates by 90%, fulfill orders 87% faster, and ship items to the wrong address 83% less of the time. Additionally, the service reduces labor costs and provides advanced inventory reporting, so users can find opportunities to save even more money.
Miscellaneous E-commerce Tools
10. Google Analytics
If you’ve ever tracked general website traffic, you know the power and depth of Google Analytics. But did you know that it can provide you with detailed e-commerce insights? Online sellers can use Google Analytics to understand their customer conversion rates, the value of each online session, overall sales and revenue trends, and much more.
Search engine optimization still is and will likely continue to be an essential component of online marketing. It’s also a key ingredient to e-commerce success, particularly in light of the rise of multichannel e-commerce and the lengthening of customers’ paths to purchase: you should be aiming to rank at the top of search throughout the shopping journey. Moz is here to help. In addition to the company’s SEO products, the Moz blog features a wealth of information about boosting online sales performance.
What kind of messaging resonates with your customers? Do certain steps in your sales process get in the way of conversions? Find out these answers and more with Optimizely, which gives you the tools to completely personalize each shopper’s experience.
Social media management is much more complex than it once was, thanks to the proliferation of social networks and the increased scrutiny brands and platforms face from consumers and regulators. Hootsuite simplifies publishing and community engagement across social media platforms, so you can focus on driving traffic to your store rather than keeping up with a chaotic deluge of tweets, posts, photos, videos, and messages on multiple apps and sites. Check out their guide for using social media to engage with qualified e-commerce sales leads.
Finally, for all your inbound marketing needs, there’s HubSpot. From email campaigns to landing pages and blogging, HubSpot’s CRM software and suites of marketing and online sales tools do it all, with extensive e-commerce platform integration and free features. HubSpot is also known for detailed educational content, and its e-commerce guides and training sessions are no exception.
These are just 14 of the tens of thousands of digital e-commerce tools out there. For more online marketplaces, platforms, accounting software, and other online retail tools, check out our integrations portal.
Have an e-commerce tool you’d like to share with the world? Share your recommendations with us in the comments below!
DOWNLOAD OUR CHECKLIST: 14 E-COMMERCE TOOLS EVERY ONLINE SELLER NEEDS