10 Apps You Need to Start Your Ecommerce Business
If you do not plan which apps you need for which function, it is quite easy for you to end up with more apps (and monthly charges) than you actually require. Plus you’ll also find out that there is a large overlap of features and functionality.
To give you a pointer, if I was launching an ecommerce store that was consumer facing and sold a range of products; these are the apps I would use to help me assist in the growth and marketing of the business.
This is based on the usage of any ecommerce platform (ideally with an API), but if I was just starting out it is likely I would choose a hosted service with a range of built in features and relatively easy to setup with minimal coding required.
There are a few of these and all of them offer similar features and functionality, however my favourite is Mailchimp. They have a large amount of integrations and have added lots of new functionality recently, including some very cool ecommerce features which are being updated; you can view them here.
There is a free plan you can use and while not all features are available, there is a generous limit of 2000 subscribers which help you cut down costs when first getting started.
Curating and posting content for Social Media can be time consuming and sometimes neglected!
Buffer makes it easy to schedule your posts throughout the week for all of your social media channels making it a job you only have to do once a week.
Buffer have a freemium account that you can utilise before committing to a monthly fee.
Customer service is a key way for you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and a platform like Freshdesk can help you manage your customer enquiries in an efficient and timely manner.
Freshdesk provides you with live chat and ticketing system that easily integrates with your ecommerce platform and allows you to view the customer order history when you are dealing with them.
This gateway is a great solution for all of your payment needs, it offers a range of features and functionality, including the ability to save cards compliantly.
Also there is no monthly fee and no merchant account required, saving you some money every month (which is always good to the beginning).
If you are just starting out you may consider inventory management unnecessary until ‘I get a bit bigger’.
This would be fair however it is a lot trickier to implement an inventory management system when you are operational than at the beginning. Implementing this type of system will allow you to build a foundation for your business to grow while managing your inventory process efficiently.
If you are manufacturing your own product then Unleashed allows you to create your own serial batch IDs to comply with the legal requirements of producing your own products.
Xero is a great platform for your accountancy requirements. It integrates with the majority of ecommerce platforms so all orders will be fed through automatically saving you hours of admin time which you could be spending on promoting your website!
7. Shipper HQ
Delivery is an area that allows you to stand out from your competitors, think Amazon! Shipper HQ integrates with a range of ecommerce platforms and allows you to offer enterprise level shipping options including features such as collect in store and delivery date options.
Stand out from the crowd and offer shipping options your customer want and need rather than the what is easy!
This tool allows you to grow your email list, reduce cart abandonment and social engagement.
Typeform create beautiful forms, and they are a great way to increase engagement within your website, perhaps with a competition entry or an RSVP to an event.
These forms can be easily embedded within your website and are a great way to capture additional data i.e. email addresses.
Typeform have a freemium account which is great if you only need some of the basic features the account offers (which should be more than enough at the beginning)
10. Receipt Bank
If you are using Xero or Quickbooks then this app is a great time saver, all of the receipts and invoices you collect when running your business can be scanned using their app or emailed using your unique email address.
This is then fed directly into your Xero account ready for you to approve and saving huge amounts of time on data entry and allowing you to focus on your business.
There are lots of different platforms that all do similar tasks and at similar price points, I have chosen these as I am familiar with them and have implemented them on a variety of occasions.
If you use another ‘must have’ app for your business, let us know in the comments below.