Hustle isn’t the only tool you need.
7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s a great time to get involved in ecommerce, as revenues are on an upward climb. For example, in 2017, online purchases were responsible for 10.2 percent of all global retail sales. In 2021, they’re expected to grow to 17.5 percent of the market, as reported by Statista.
However, running a successful ecommerce business isn’t as easy as putting up an online store. This fact may prevent many hopeful entrepreneurs to give up before realizing a profit or to struggle as they try to figure out where they are going wrong.
One way to avoid this type of pitfall — and to help entrepreneurial self-starters earn higher revenues — is to share a few simple ecommerce tools, all of which are designed to help sell products online and increase those sales.
If you’re thinking about selling products online, you need a place to sell. BigCommerce provides that and offers ecommerce software that is designed for all sizes of business. The CMS helps you sell more by offering:
- Visually appealing websites designed solely for ecommerce businesses including tools and conversion optimization features.
- Customizable options so you can create the best shopping experience for your specific target market audience based on industry, and simple to use drag and drop tools that will help you design without coding knowledge.
- BigCommerce’s site builder is awesome, but as your business grows, you may want to switch to a different CMS/site infrastructure. With BigCommerce’s API, this is easy enough for any developer to handle. This is what’s known as the “headless ecommerce” trend.
- Many businesses consider Magento and similar solutions because they can host their own sites and tinker with the code as they like. Others prefer pure SaaS solutions such as Shopify because this puts the onus on providers to ensure that the site’s tech infrastructure and hosting are top notch and always up to date. Thanks to “headless ecommerce,” BigCommerce offers the best of both worlds.
My software agency uses CMS platforms including WordPress, Joomla, Magento and even Shopify. BigCommerce is my team’s favorite tool for a number of reasons, including the above points. More importantly, apps can be easily installed. The platform itself is built with conversion optimization tools such as one-touch buy features that also provide a ton of value.
Sometimes an entrepreneur doesn’t even know what they want to sell before they know they want to sell products online. Oberlo is a perfect tool for this scenario, enabling an entrepreneur to customize, dropship (meaning they don’t have to hold inventory) and sell pretty much any type of product from bracelets to drones to sweatshirts. Or, if the ecommerce company already sells and dropships products, Oberlo can be used to sell new products. It offers a lot of great features including:
- Thousands of different products to sell, customize and ship.
- Automated product and order management, creating a more seamless shopping experience that can inspire customer loyalty.
- Automatic inventory updates so customers can be assured that the items they want are in stock and available.
- The ability to edit product descriptions and images so they’re more attractive to your target consumer, which can also fast track your search engine results in web browsers.
Oberlo takes the headache out of trying to figure out what products to sell or makes it super simple for an existing business to sell new products. In either scenario the value of the tool becomes exponential. What used to take trips overseas to find manufacturers, meet with product designers, buy massive quantities of inventory, etc., has all been condensed into one easy and effective to use application.
One of the things that set Amazon apart as an ecommerce business is that products shipped from its warehouses are in branded boxes. Packhelp provides this service to other ecommerce brands, helping increase sales by:
- Strengthening brand development and recognition,
- Making customers feel as if they’re getting more than just the goods they ordered and
- Offering a more personalized experience, setting your company apart.
Great customer service is one of the most fundamental but most overlooked activities. From a focus on customer service alone, Zappos and Tony Hsieh changed an entire industry. Amazon does a phenomenal job with customer service and it’s worth a trillion dollars. I love using this tool when shipping physical products. It’s an extra touch that provides your customer with one additional layer of service that may win them over or encourage them to refer you business.
It can be maddening to have an underperforming ecommerce site, especially if you know that there’s a market for your goods. That’s where Neatly.io comes in because it enables you to improve sales by:
- Compiling your data in easy-to-read graphs and charts, giving you a big picture view of where your ecommerce site may need to be improved to increase completed purchases,
- Providing tips as to how you can improve upon problem areas and
- Enabling you to set monthly goals, motivating you to keep making progress.
I’m a big fan of this tool for its easy-to-use dashboard and useful data. Data can be the biggest advantage you have as an internet entrepreneur. Data gives you the ability to know how customers and potential customers are interacting with your store. This data can help you make changes that will enable you to sell more.
Social media marketing is a must. One way to dramatically accelerate sales through social media is to get some of your industry’s top influencers on board. Intellifluence does this by:
- Helping you figure out who those individuals are,
- Enabling you to message them directly,
- Giving you the opportunity to approach several influencers at the same time and
- Powring you to do deals and measuring their success.
In 2010, I became a co-founder of a sports nutrition company. One vital component of our growth and success that led us to multi-million dollar revenues in under a year was leveraging influencers in the CrossFit space. Influencer marketing has grown leaps and bounds since then but still plays a critical role, especially when executed successfully, to drive brand awareness and sales. This tool can help accomplish both.
Connecting internet entrepreneurs with these new tools can help create systems that will make customers buy more, repeat sales and lead them back to your site again and again. Sometimes the difference between a successful ecommerce business and a failing one are the tools that are used in the backend. Hustle helps, but that’s not always the deciding factor. Stay ahead of the curve and on the hunt for any new tools that surface. Make sure you’re working smart and leveraging all of the tools at your disposal.