by Tracy Vides
One of the most challenging aspects of being an entrepreneur is the persistent lack of time, you are constantly on the run with days and months flying by. Your growth chart changes over time, the number of employees in your company increases, and you update your car and office, but one thing that doesn’t change is you are always hard-pressed for time.
Entrepreneurs who run e-commerce businesses are better off than their counterparts in that help is available in the form of automation – here are some sound arguments for why they must equip themselves with tools and tool suites that help them get things done faster…
Do more in less time
One of the best parts about the latest SaaS and e-commerce tools is you are able to do more than ever in less time. They help you automate every step in the e-commerce cycle so you can have more free time on your hands.
For instance, HubLogix automates tedious tasks such as drop shipping, inventory management, shipping tracking, etc., which are inherently unproductive when done by a person. All these tasks can eat away a major bulk of your time – automating them frees up your time so you can focus more on productive and lucrative business functions.
There are literally hundreds of ecommerce “plugins,” “add-ons” or “extensions” – whatever you choose to call them (depending on the platform you are using) – that make everything from handling orders to upselling to social media sharing a breeze.
Believe it or not, there is a free alternative tool available for almost everything these days. From creating product videos to testing your site, from finding relevant SEO keywords to automating emails, entrepreneurs who want to do anything on a budget can do so using free SaaS tools available online.
Get professional results
Other than being cost-effective (or free), e-commerce tools are also known for their amazing professional results. You don’t need to hire an analyst, designer, or agency for small jobs, as most of the important ones like logo and layout design, product recommendations, A/B testing, web analytics, PPC, etc. can be handled easily with the help of intuitive tools.
For instance, gone are the days when you had to hire a Photoshop expert or spend endless hours making a logo. E-commerce platforms like Shopify offer additional options such as a free logo maker tool to help you make a professional-quality logo even if you are not a designer.
You can go a step further and create striking homepage banners using a tool like Canva. These tools take the pain and guesswork out of designing and give your professional quality results.
Make better decisions
From your social media channels through to your website, every venue is a potential goldmine for insights. They are leaking crucial information and valuable data that begs to be listened to. Tuning into this data can help you understand your customers and make better decisions.
If you are not mining this data, you are missing out on valuable insights into your audience, users, customers, and site visitors. For instance, Crazy Egg offers heat maps, scroll maps, overlays, and confetti reports that help you understand everything from the number of clicks on each element of your page to how far down the page people are scrolling on your website.
Stay ahead of the curve
The success of your e-commerce business depends on quite a lot on which tools you use and how well you use them.
E-commerce remarketing tools like AdRoll and Criteo (and of course the big daddy, Google AdWords) help you reach back to visitors who didn’t buy from you and significantly boost your brand recall as well as marketing ROI in the process. Retargeting ads help you convert customers who dither in making decisions, so you can easily stay in their memory even after they’ve flown the coop, ahem, your website or app.
With AdRoll or other remarketing tools, all you need to do is place a single pixel (code snippet) in your website and then divide your visitors into various segments based on their interests and intent. The segment you target will then begin seeing associated ads at strategic places along their web journey!
Rake in the sales
E-commerce tools directly affect the bottom line. These tools improve your conversion rate through proven techniques that hold the visitor’s interest for a bit longer. For instance, exit pop-ups are designed to increase signups and subscriptions while a visitor is about to leave the website. Cart recovery tools are designed to minimize abandoned cart recovery through personalized, automated emails. The best part is, many of these tools are integrated with or built into your e-commerce CMS.
On the other hand, some tools affect the bottom line indirectly (for example, customer service and analytics tools). Believe it or not, even the smallest things like not having social buttons on your website might affect conversions. So it is very important to use the latest, bleeding-edge e-commerce technology.
The best part is, the cash register keeps ringing even without your direct involvement.
Get peace of mind
It’s surprising how underestimated peace of mind is in an entrepreneur’s journey. Most people speak about how they worked 16-18 hours a day or how they hadn’t taken a break in months or even years. This can be a disastrous attitude in the long run.
A lot of people are averse to tools because they think they might interfere too much with their natural working style. However, if you really value your peace of mind, it helps to use technology.
All tools are designed to scale operations and boost your productivity in a particular area, and bring peace of mind in the process.
Make money while you sleep
The best tools let you relax in the knowledge that things will be “the usual” and status quo will be maintained even in your absence.
While e-commerce tools might cost you money, they also make you money as we saw in the conversions section. Another rationale is that your time is money. So with all the time on your hand, you are free to network, find better growth opportunities and focus on expanding your business (or even starting new ones) rather than do the same things over and over again.
The case against e-commerce tools
There are situations when falling back on a tool might not be right for you. Some of these include:
- You can get it done cheaper by humans.
- You have superpowers that negate the need of tools.
- Your ecommerce goals are not monetary or lucrative in nature and you’d like to highlight the fact that operations are carried out manually, maybe in order to appeal to a community.
- Your goal involves integration of multiple functions that necessitate human intervention or input (an example being designing a complete identity for your brand), in which case an online marketplace would serve you better.
If none of the above apply to you, make sure you use as many e-commerce and automation tools mentioned here in order to scale up your business, lend credence to your marketing, and keep operations smooth.
Tracy Vides is a content marketer and social media consultant who works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene compared to her illustrious She Owns It counterparts, Tracy has started off well by building a good online reputation for herself. She’s now a “serial blogger” with posts featured on Sprout Content, Steamfeed, Soshable and elsewhere.
Connect with her on Twitter @TracyVides for a chat any time!