Are you planning to launch an online store but don’t know where to begin with? You’re not alone. Many budding entrepreneurs are popping up every day, and there’s a need to use different tools to manage everything at a time.
There are thousands of tools in the market for building a website, email marketing, social media marketing, rewards, CRM, shipping, cybersecurity, etc. But the pressure is choosing the right one based on the tool’s features, pricing, and user-friendliness for your business.
Setting up an online store is a tremendous challenge, especially if you are someone new to the eCommerce industry. But we have got you covered. In this article, we’ll share the top 10 essential tools you need to get your online store up and running. So, let’s get started!
Why Using Essential Tools for Your Online Store is Important?
Before we dive into the list of essential tools, let’s talk about why using these tools is important for your online store.
✅Save your time and money
✅Automate many tasks without human intervention
✅More time to focus on growing your business
✅Deliver a better customer experience
✅Get instant reports
✅Easier to track sales
✅Data-driven decisions to improve your business
✅Stay ahead of the curve
✅Better shopping experience
Essential Tool #1: E-commerce Platform
The first essential tool that you need for your online store is an e-commerce platform. This is the foundation of your online store and will determine how your website looks and functions. Many e-commerce platforms are available in the market, each with unique features and benefits.
When choosing an e-commerce platform, consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, payment options, and integrations with other tools. Some popular e-commerce platforms used by small businesses include Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that helps businesses of all sizes to create, manage, and grow their online stores. This one is my personal favorite, as it takes only three steps to create an eCommerce store for a brand.
With a user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and a range of powerful features, Shopify provides a comprehensive solution for selling products and services online.
Essential Tool #2: Payment Gateway
Once your e-commerce platform is set up, you need a payment gateway to accept customer payments. A payment gateway is a service that processes online payments and securely transfers funds from the customer’s account to yours.
When selecting a payment gateway, look for one that is secure, reliable, and supports multiple payment options. Some popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.
PayPal is a secure, user-friendly, and versatile payment platform. Its features and benefits include easy setup, global reach, mobile compatibility, integration capabilities, and seller protection.
This is definitely an ideal choice for businesses that are looking to establish an online presence and streamline their payment processes.
Essential Tool #3: Email Marketing Software
Email marketing is a powerful tool for engaging customers and driving sales. With email marketing software, you can send targeted campaigns to your customers based on their behavior and preferences.
Some popular email marketing tools include BayEngage, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Klaviyo. These tools offer features like automation, segmentation, and A/B testing to help you optimize your email campaigns.
TargetBay’s BayEngage is an all-in-one email and SMS marketing platform designed to help businesses of all sizes engage with their customers effectively. With its user-friendly interface and features, BayEngage empowers marketers to create, segment, automate, and optimize their email and SMS campaigns, resulting in higher customer engagement and increased conversions.
The special thing about BayEngage is that it has AI-powered tools and a tap to opt-in for SMS at an affordable price. If you are a beginner starting your own online business, this tool can manage most of your engagement work with your customers.
Essential Tool #4: Social Media Management Tool
Social media is a critical channel for promoting your online store and engaging with your customers. But managing multiple social media accounts can be time-consuming and overwhelming.
That’s where social media management tools come in. These tools allow you to manage all your social media accounts from one platform, schedule posts in advance, and track your performance metrics.
Some popular social media management tools include Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social.
Hootsuite provides small businesses with unique features that help with social media management. Hootsuite stands out from the rest in terms of scheduling and automation, content curation, social media monitoring, team collaboration, performance analytics, and integration capabilities. Thereby providing a way to help businesses establish a strong social media presence, engage with their audience, and drive traffic to their online stores.
Essential Tool #5: Customer reviews tool
Customer review tools are more important for any online store. Because customers today are more likely to purchase a product with the number of reviews on Google and also by looking at picture reviews from customers, remember, it is very important for a brand to collect picture and video reviews and display their reviews on Google.
The most popular and essential tools for customer reviews are BayReviews, Yotpo, Loox, Stamped, etc.
TargetBay’s BayReviews is a unique tool that is a Google reviews partner which helps in collecting more product, picture, and video reviews for your business. You can also build a customer photo gallery in the reviews section. It doesn’t stop with that, they also help you to display the reviews on Google as star ratings to increase visibility.
Essential Tool #6: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is essential for managing your customer interactions and keeping track of your customer’s journey. With CRM software, you can store customer data, track customer behavior, and automate your sales and marketing processes.
Some popular CRM software includes Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM. These are some of the essential tools designed to help you streamline your sales and marketing processes and deliver a better customer experience.
Zoho CRM is a great and user-friendly solution for small business online store owners. Its comprehensive features, including contact management, sales automation, pipeline tracking, email integration, marketing automation, analytics, and mobile accessibility, will definitely help businesses to maintain customer relationships and drive growth.
Essential Tool #7: Shipping and Fulfillment Software
Shipping and fulfillment software is essential for any online store that sells physical products. These tools allow you to manage orders, track orders, and streamline shipping and fulfillment processes.
Some popular shipping and fulfillment tools include ShipStation, Shippo, and Easyship. These shipping essential tools offer features like order tracking, label printing, and shipping rate comparison to help you save time and money on your shipping processes.
Easyship is a technology-driven shipping platform designed to simplify the shipping process for e-commerce businesses, including small online store owners. It has unique features, including multiple courier options, transparent shipping costs, a shipping rate calculator, automated shipping labels, international shipping facilitation, shipment tracking, analytics, etc., making it a valuable tool for optimizing shipping operations, expanding reach, and delivering a positive customer experience.
Essential Tool #8: Website Optimization Tools
Website optimization is very important for driving traffic and elevating sales to your online store. Website optimization tools help you improve your website’s performance, speed, and user experience every step of the way.
Some popular website optimization tools include Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTmetrix. These are some of the essential tools to analyze your website’s speed and performance and provide recommendations for improvement.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free online tool provided by Google that analyzes the performance and loading speed of a website on both mobile and desktop devices. It evaluates the website’s performance based on various metrics and provides actionable suggestions to optimize and improve its loading speed.
In addition to the performance score, it is a great tool for a beginner as it offers detailed suggestions and recommendations to improve the website’s speed and performance at the same time.
Essential Tool #9: Cybersecurity Software
Cybersecurity is a critical concern for any online store. With the rise of cyber threats like hacking and data breaches, it’s essential to protect your online store from these threats. And it is not easy without leaning on a tool that protects your website from threats like these.
Cybersecurity software can help you protect your online store from threats like malware, phishing, and hacking. Some popular and essential tools for cybersecurity include Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky.
Norton is a great cybersecurity software designed to protect users’ devices and personal data from various online threats, including viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other cyber threats. Norton’s cybersecurity solutions are known for their ease of use, reliability, and effectiveness in safeguarding users’ devices and personal information.
Essential Tool #10: Helpdesk and Customer Support Software
Last but not least, helpdesk and customer support software are essential for providing excellent customer service. These tools allow you to manage customer inquiries, track customer issues, and provide timely support.
Some popular helpdesk and customer support tools include Hiver, Zendesk, Freshdesk, and Help Scout. These tools offer features like ticket management, live chat, and a knowledge base to help you deliver excellent customer support.
Freshdesk is a user-friendly and cost-effective helpdesk solution. It provides multichannel ticketing, automation, a knowledge base, and community forums to streamline customer support operations.
Launching an online store can be challenging, but you can make the process much smarter and easier with the right tools. By using the essential tools outlined in this article, you can streamline your operations, improve your customer experience, and drive more sales to your online store.
So, what are you waiting for? Get set to launch your online store today!