With Q1 still in full gear and the holiday rush over with, this is the perfect time to optimize your business. It’s not just enough to private label and sell your products. You have to retain your customers and optimize the way you develop a relationship with them.
Any of these e-commerce applications can give you the edge you need to continue to grow.
Chad Rubin, CEO of Crucial Vacuum, a direct-to-consumer brand founded in 2009, is a successful Multi-Channel seller and also a Flexport customer. Today, Chad Rubin shares with us his top recommended e-commerce applications to automate operations and take your business to the next level.
E-commerce store tools like these are used to research your product, your competitors and then dominate the category. Don’t leave home without it.
Amazon.com is a jungle of products and category branches. It’s easy to get lost and assume that your prospective product is better than another. However, due to the size of Amazon’s marketplace, it’s really difficult to gather accurate results when researching your prospective products. Jungle Scout is a paid application that compares product pricings, product performances, calculated fees and display historical data. While Jungle Scout does all this automatically, it also allows you to track your competitors at the same time to ensure you stay at the top. This intuitive tool allows you to purchase smarter and efficiently. Jungle Scout starts at $39/month.
Tired of working with distributors and want to work directly with a manufacturer? A lot of sellers feel that pressure from distributors taking a heavy cut. Then the question becomes “how do I meet manufacturers when most are overseas?” Panjiva is an incredible e-commerce application where they match sellers to manufacturers. You can choose your suppliers based on locations or their top customers. Panjiva also provides you with the top trends in the import and export activities, competitor activities, sales leads, and an intricate risk analysis of trade lanes for supply chains. Panjiva starts at $99/month.
As customers peruse your products, one of the major deciding factors of whether or not they’ll complete the purchase are honest reviews of your product. BQool is an e-commerce application that compiles all of your product reviews and allows you to contact your customers and resolve their issues with ease. Don’t let a negative review bring your product down. Instead, work with the upset customer and get the review fixed. BQool has a 14-day free trial, but billing starts at $22.50/month.
We’re going to do our best to refrain from patting ourselves on the back too hard, but we love our software. Skubana is an ERP platform that handles your entire multi-channel e-commerce operation after the checkout. Skubana tracks shipments, manages your orders, generates your purchase orders, and provides state of the art analytics reports that provide precise profitability reports – and the kicker is that all of this runs on our cloud so you could access your entire business, all through a webpage. Whether it is off of your phone, tablet or computer, manage your business across all of your sales channels, from anywhere, at any time. After our free 14-day trial, we utilize a pay as you use pricing, however pricing starts at $499/month. Check out our pricing page for an estimate.
These productivity apps further your business by optimizing the way you communicate with your teams, and conduct business.
As business owners, we’re swamped with important e-mails. Because of this high influx of e-mails, it is easy to have a few urgent ones slip through the cracks without a response. Boomerang hooks up with your Gmail/Google Apps and allows you to set e-mail reminders, schedule e-mail dispatches, response tracking, read receipts and more. This tool revolutionizes your e-mail, and allows you to communicate flawlessly for your business. Boomerang’s basic plan is free, but subscriptions start at $4.99/month.
There are many organizational tools out there to organize projects. There’s Pinterest for design ideas and there’s Trello for Business collaboration. Trello, like Pinterest, utilizes cards and boards to organize your tasks to do, what’s currently being worked on, and then completion. Trello could be used to organize each of your teams’ tasks while you’re aware of what everyone is currently working on. Trello is a free platform but if you’d like extra business integrations with Salesforce, Slack and more, Trello Business Class starts at $8.33 per User/month.
Customer Retention Tools
It doesn’t end after the customer makes the purchase. You have to sell to them, again and again. These tools ensure that you maintain a relationship with your customer by keeping contact to refrain from becoming their one night stand.
To master your customer retention, you have to optimize your customer interaction. Help Scout is an e-commerce application service that provides you with an intuitive mail service, customizable knowledge base and more – all with the intention of increasing customer interaction. This service will help you convert customers into life-long patrons. Help Scout starts at $15/month.
If you’re looking to have a starting e-mail marketing solution, look no further than Mailchimp. This email application service allows you to create custom e-mail blasts to your customers. You can create lists to differentiate consumer groups so that you could have a focused e-mail going out. Mailchimp is exceptional for customer retention as it allows you as a seller to connect with them on a personal level, while providing them exclusive offers and discounts that they may be interested in. Mailchimp is free to sign up, however if you have over 1500 customer contacts, subscriptions start at $25/month.
This e-commerce application service integrates with Mailchimp to maximize your customer retention. Windsor Circle’s system auto generates recommended products for your customers, predicts order dates, predicts replenishment dates, customer analytics, segment your customers into efficient lists, purchase history and more. Windsor Circle focuses on ensuring that your customer doesn’t just leave after the purchase but remembers what they purchased, recommends what should be their next, and sends email reminders. Contact them for a pricing estimate after your free 60-Day Trial.
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just send out e-mails and newsletter blasts to all of your customers. They aren’t just numbers but rather a unique personality per person. Klaviyo’s service allows you to segment your customers into lists and provide unique profiles to these groups. With customized and unique profiles you can better target your customers to cater to their needs and wants with efficient marketing. Klaviyo lets you set up drip campaigns, recommended products and establish sign up forms to carefully filter your customers into their appropriate groups, thus selling to your customers exactly what they want. Klaviyo starts at $25/month.
This post is contributed by Chad Rubin, CEO of Skubana and Crucial Vacuum. Skubana is an all-in-one ERP system that seamlessly integrates with e-commerce businesses, 3PLs and warehouses, provides state-of-the-art profitability reports and more.