As more and more businesses are going online, it is becoming increasingly evident that running an e-commerce website is much more difficult than maintaining a blog where you actually sell nothing even though it may be monetised. On an e-commerce site you are literally setting up a storefront of sorts and so you need to think of it in much the same way you would a brick-and-mortar shop with one ‘small’ difference. Your customers will be in cyberspace rather than physical space. Even so, an e-commerce website has the same goals of selling products or services and in getting paid for what they sell. So let’s look at three must have tools for your e-commerce website.
Any retail shop knows that display is everything. How products are displayed is just as important as where they are displayed and so a great deal of thought and effort is given to this aspect of your business. In running an e-commerce site, you must give the same careful attention to how you display your product lines and then how to present them in the very best light.
This typically requires some sort of photo editing tool. Two that come highly recommended are Photoshop and Canva which is more like a set of templates in a graphic design program but does have photo editing tools as well. With Canva you can display your products in a professional manner with the ability to edit products in and out as sales change.
If you are going to take payments online, the simplest way to do this is to sign on with a payment gateway that enables you to take payments from customers in the widest array of ways. For example, a great payment gateway will accept PayPal, bank debit cards, credit cards, digital currency and so many more forms of payment. And the best advantage to you as the online ‘proprietor’ is that you don’t need to run the register.
The gateway is the liaison between the customer and their manner of payment. They simply click the payment method of their choice and the gateway does it all from confirming the availability of funds to getting your money to you once it’s paid. How quick and easy is that? You are free to continue selling products and the gateway is your digital cash register. No e-commerce site should be without a payment gateway like you can find here.
Social Media Customer Service Department
Although not exactly a tool in the literal sense, there are tools out there that can automate your social media customer service department. When it comes to today’s consumer, they want to engage with brands they buy from and what better way is there than through social media? Tools like Loopit and Everypost can have you cross posting across all your social media pages so that you only need to post once. This saves time (which is money when you are in business!) and allows you to go about what you do best, merchandising and listing products on your site.
Loopit can be automated to grab content and then repost across all platforms as well. What a great way to be social! However, there is one other thing that needs to be said here and that is you can’t solely rely on these reposting tools. You really must engage with your followers on social media so some time needs to be spent posting and replying to comments if you want to establish that real relationship 21st Century consumers demand.
There are tons of other tools which you can utilise on an e-commerce site but if you use no others, these three are a must! Display your merchandise, take payments and then offer a high level of customer service to get that positive (word of mouth) feedback every business needs. These three are essential so give them a shot.