What are some useful online seller business tools and resources and what niches can benefit from them?
💡 Quick Answer: Leveraging cutting-edge tools like Shopify, SaleHoo, PayPal, ShipStation, and Quickbooks for operations, SEMrush, Canva, and Google Analytics for marketing, and Zendesk and Salesforce for customer relationship management can benefit online sellers. These software solutions are great for all eCommerce niches and business models.
Online shopping is incredibly convenient, and millions of consumers do it regularly. However, being an online seller can be quite complicated. Putting up a storefront, managing products for sale, and handling financial transactions and shipping can be daunting.
Luckily, many useful online business tools are readily available to make the process manageable, even easy. We’ve listed some of them here!
Let’s start with eCommerce platforms. Three immediately stand out for their ease of use and top-notch features:
Shopify provides a suite of services that make online selling like a walk in the park. Entrepreneurs can create a storefront, track financial transactions, and ship items. It has a marketing component, too.
Why do many entrepreneurs choose Shopify over other platforms?
- It is user-friendly.
- It has affordable and tiered pricing plans.
- It has a wide range of sales channels.
- It has built-in marketing tools.
- It provides outstanding customer service.
Shopify has everything you need to open and maintain a successful online business. It is also constantly improving its system so emerging issues are quickly solved.
WooCommerce provides plugins for WordPress users. Plugins are used to enhance the functionality of a website.
Close to half of all websites use WordPress because it is open-source, easy to use, and highly customizable. WooCommerce provides seamless WordPress integration to make your online store highly efficient and easy to use for all your customers.
Here are some of the most important WooCommerce plugins for your online store:
- PDF invoices
- Packing slips
- Custom product tabs
- Checkout field editor
These plugins and thousands of others will make it easier for your customers to shop, compare prices, add items to the cart, and pay.
3. Wix eCommerce
Wix is a web development platform that is perfect for beginners. It utilizes drag-and-drop editing, which is great for website owners who are not tech-savvy.
Online sellers who want to build a basic website to open a business will find the user-friendly platform incredibly valuable. Wix provides various templates for users, with many customization options.
Wix also allows you to add the following apps to your site:
- Contact forms
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Online marketing
- Community forums
Inventory and order management
One of the reasons online selling is advantageous to entrepreneurs is the minimum real estate requirement to open and run a business. There is no need to build an actual store.
But the question is, where do you keep your inventory? Many companies also provide such services.
SaleHoo has one of the largest directories of suppliers in the world and manages a slew of wholesalers and retailers. It specializes in dropshipping, which is a business model where the online seller doesn’t need to have the actual items on hand. Instead, the dropshipper will send customers’ orders directly to manufacturers and wholesalers, and they will coordinate shipping and delivery.
What are the advantages of dropshipping with SaleHoo?
- Low startup cost
- Low overhead
- Wide selection of products
- Location is not an issue
- Easy to scale
5. Inventory source
Dropshipping is challenging without software that records and monitors the movement of all products. This is where the Inventory Source comes in. It is a dropshipping automation software and inventory integration network where sellers can automatically upload products and sync inventory in the process.
The same system will route orders with any supplier or retailer to an online store or eCommerce platform.
Inventory Source integrates with the world’s biggest eCommerce sites:
Orderhive provides SaaS solutions for ordering, shipping, and managing inventory. It centralizes all online selling tasks, including multi-channel selling and back-end processing.
Inventory is completed in real-time for close tracking and monitoring of products. It is a fantastic platform for managing an online store on different eCommerce sites, such as Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and more.
A reliable payment gateway is crucial for online retail to ensure seamless financial transactions for buyers and sellers. For shoppers, these tools make it more convenient for them to pay.
Not all payment gateways are the same. Here are three of the best channels for online sellers:
An online payment system in operation for over 20 years, PayPal is incredibly popular among online sellers. It is one of the first companies that was created for digital payments and has maintained a strong following in the millions.
PayPal currently has 435 million users. In 2022, it facilitated a payment volume worth $1.36 trillion. It can be easily integrated into retail websites and used as a merchant account and payment gateway for buyers.
One of PayPal’s best assets is security. It has an extra layer of safety measures and fraud prevention features to protect all users. It encrypts bank and credit card information to keep sensitive financial details safe.
Stripe is payment-processing software with application processing interfaces. It helps businesses increase their profit by automating financial processes.
It’s not as easy to use as PayPal, but Stripe pricing is less complicated. The most significant advantage of using Stripe is that it is customizable without extra costs. It is also just as secure as PayPal.
Square is a credit card processing system that provides hardware and point-of-sale features so that entrepreneurs can sell anywhere. All payments are secure, and the suite of services is highly customizable. It can also streamline operations across different ecommerce platforms and channels. It is a fantastic payment solution for businesses of all sizes.
Marketing and research tools
It’s difficult to determine exactly how many online stores exist, but according to some experts, there could be between 12 and 24 million.
With so many options for consumers, how can you make your business stand out?
Marketing is an essential element of online selling. Here are four of the best online business tools that can help you market your business and analyze critical consumer data to improve your operations.
SEMrush is a SaaS platform that can help users conduct keyword research for content creation. For online sellers, the goal is to make their businesses visible to as many people as possible.
SEMrush also performs competitive analysis to determine which keywords businesses in similar niches may be using. Other services include site audits, backlink tracking, and comprehensive online visibility insights.
The platform determines the competitiveness of keywords based on the following metrics:
- Search intent
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
It also determines popular keywords used in search engines like Google and Bing.
A search engine optimization (SEO) tool, Ahrefs helps businesses rank their web pages higher on search engine results. While it works similarly to SEMrush, Ahrefs is technically a comprehensive SEO resource, while SEMrush focuses more on marketing.
Ahrefs can also do keyword research, link building, rank tracking, competitor analysis, and site audits. It was launched in 2011 to analyze a site’s backlinks to determine how these will impact search engine rankings. Today, it is used by many marketing agencies. Online sellers can take advantage of its features to boost the visibility of their stores.
12. SaleHoo Labs
SaleHoo, which already provides sellers with one of the largest directories for wholesalers and retailers in the world, also has its own market research tool. SaleHoo Labs helps entrepreneurs find the best products to sell online to save time and energy poring through many items.
SaleHoo’s Market Research Lab lets you know which suppliers offer products at low cost and at which platforms these items will make more money. Some items are better sold on eBay, while others are best showcased on Amazon. In some cases, products do well on both sites.
The Lab will also provide you with the following information:
- Sales trends
- Competition statistics
- New niches
Email marketing is one of the most critical battles in marketing, and Mailchimp is the best ammunition you can have. It is an email automation and marketing platform through which you can send hundreds of messages with just a few clicks.
Even small companies or startups can use Mailchimp without a massive investment because of its freemium model.
Mailchimp also performs geo-tracking of emails and generates detailed reports and analyses on open rates and other critical metrics. These will tell you if your email strategy is working or if it needs to be finessed.
14. Google Analytics
If you have to take advantage of any seller tools, Google Analytics must be at the top of the list. It is the most popular web analytics platform available—it is free for all users and tracks and reports web traffic.
Furthermore, the tool is continuously improving. Google Analytics was launched in 2005 and is currently in its fourth version to keep up with the changes in the industry.
How can Google Analytics help your online business?
- It provides a comparative analysis of your competitors’ sites—all those that use Google Analytics as well.
- It can provide geolocation of your customers and site visitors.
- It helps identify buyers, repeat shoppers, and those who are just browsing.
- It tells you your site’s bounce rate.
- It reports which browsers your clients and prospects are using.
Customer relationship management
Your job isn’t done when a customer purchases from your online store. In fact, it has just started.
Every business must foster a relationship with its customers to develop loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. To do this, you can leverage customer relationship management (CRM) online business tools and resources.
HubSpot was founded in 2006 to provide businesses with inbound marketing, sales, and customer service tools. Its services include content management, customer support, lead generation, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and web analytics.
In the field of customer relationship management, HubSpot closely tracks and monitors each step of the customer journey. It also automates customer management to simplify the process.
Salesforce was founded in 1999 and became the largest enterprise software firm in the world in 2022. The cloud-based customer relationship management software has matured into a full sales and marketing company with various benefits for eCommerce.
Its robust open application programming interface (API) allows various integrations to make your online store more functional and boost productivity. Many businesses have reported an increase in sales after using Salesforce tools.
17. Zoho CRM
Initially a network management software with a different name, Zoho CRM shifted its focus to efficient customer relationship management systems. It provides customizable options for diverse business needs.
Zoho CRM offers the following services:
- Omni-channel presence
- Key performance indicators
- Predictive intelligence
Product photography and design
Marketing tools provide businesses with channels or maps to capture audiences. However, branded marketing assets must be provided by the company.
Photography and design tools will help you create attractive, informative, and highly engaging graphics and other such marketing paraphernalia.
Canva is an online graphic design platform that many use to make visual presentations and creative graphics to promote their brands or businesses online or in person. It was founded in 2013 and has been used to create professional designs for thousands of companies and millions of individual users.
Canva is a critical platform for small businesses that may not have the budget to hire professional graphic designers for their marketing campaigns. Anyone can make attractive visual assets on Canva, regardless of experience or skill level.
The platform also facilitates seamless collaboration among team members.
19. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe has long been the premier graphics software since its inception in 1982. It has since extended to various sub-sectors of the brand, such as Adobe Reader, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop, among others.
Adobe Lightroom is a variation of Photoshop that allows you to edit and organize photos. You can add effects to images, increase brightness, highlight contrast, and many more.
Businesses can now share the most stunning images of their products that will make people want to purchase them.
You can use Remove.bg to remove the backgrounds of various images. By doing so, you can be even more creative with your marketing assets and product images.
You don’t need to go to a studio to take stunning photographs of images for your online store. You can simply take photos wherever you are and remove the background to make it look more professional.
Other editing tasks you can do on the site include the following:
- Add white background
- Extract the subject
- Isolate the subject
- Cut out a photo
Customer support and chatbots
Sellers and buyers can communicate directly via customer support and chatbots. Businesses must take advantage of this connection by providing much-needed information and assistance to all customers in need.
Established in 2007, Zendesk provides customer support and communication services. It offers full-service communication through personalized conversations, data-based decisions, and transformation based on client needs.
Ecommerce sites can easily create a direct channel to connect with customers through chat, text, email, phone call, social media, and more.
Here are some of Zendesk’s most important features:
- Ticketing system
- Knowledge-based system
- Community forums
Connecting with customers is one of the most vital ways to create a brand that can succeed in the long term. Tidio paves the way for stronger customer relationships through its suite of live chat, chatbots, and helpdesk tools.
It also leverages cutting-edge AI technology to provide quick and qualitative support in connecting with customers. The chatbot feature is also a great way to generate more leads.
Freshworks provides customer relationship management tools for online businesses. It was founded in 2010 and has won multiple awards since, becoming one of the fastest-growing customer relationship software providers.
One of its services is Freshdesk, which provides online sellers with intuitive and contextual support for its clientele. It delivers personal support and is a fantastic platform for collaborative solutions.
Feedback and review management
It is important to solicit and respond to feedback from customers. Instead of feeling bad when you read a negative review, use it to improve your products and services.
Feedback and review management are crucial to maintaining healthy and productive customer relationships. You can also use specific seller tools to have a good brand reputation.
Trustpilot is a platform where users can leave reviews for businesses. Prospective customers and clients can comb through the platform to see if the brand they are eyeing is well-regarded by those who have already used it.
Over a million reviews are posted on the platform each month. These reviews will help your business gain more visibility and maintain a good reputation in your chosen niche. Positive reviews can then be isolated or posted on your website or social media accounts as social proof.
FeedbackExpress is primarily used by Amazon sellers, but entrepreneurs on other platforms can use it, too. Because not all customers are willing to write reviews, FeedbackExpress can send personalized messages to encourage buyers to send their feedback. Once the comments are posted, you can easily highlight the positive reviews to encourage more sales.
User-generated content (UGC) is a popular marketing trend because of its organic nature. It’s the best way to market a product by having actual users make content about their purchases.
Yotpo is a fantastic tool for optimizing UGCs to encourage customer loyalty. The platform also provides email and SMS marketing services, referrals, and reviews.
Shipping and fulfillment
As mentioned earlier, one of the advantages of operating an online store is that you do not need a physical space to sell anything. And with the appropriate shipping and fulfillment services, you can further streamline your operations and deliver top-notch experiences to all of your buyers.
Partnering with the largest courier and shipping companies in the world has worked for ShipStation in the last few years. The United States Postal Service, DHL, and UPS all work with ShipStation to streamline shipping and manage order fulfillment.
You can start shipping products in these easy steps:
- Import orders
- Manage shipping
- Update account
Shippo was launched in 2013 to provide robust ecommerce solutions to its clientele. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of its full suite of shipping and fulfillment services, including comparing shipping rates, creating brand labels, setting up internal documents, providing return labels, tracking parcels, and more.
Sellers can complete all fulfillment and shipping tasks without inconvenience.
29. Fulfillment By Amazon
Instead of storing items in warehouses, you can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) centers. This way, you can manage your business from your device—FBA will pick, pack, and deliver your customers’ orders.
With such efficient shipping and fulfillment processes, you can focus on developing your products and growing your brand.
Accounting and financial management
Is your business doing well? You can’t know for sure unless you take a close look at your books.
These accounting and financial management seller tools that can help you manage your finances:
30. QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks can help online sellers with on-premise accounting and cloud-based services. The tool automates invoicing, payment processing, and accounting. More importantly, it closely tracks finances to determine the health of the business.
Aiming to make accounting easy, Wave allows businesses to create invoices, complete online payments, and make accounting quite simple overall.
Every finance-related task can be completed on the Wave platform. New online sellers don’t have to worry about spending on their accounting tool—Wave is free to use through its freemium model.
Xero has been providing high-quality accounting services since 2006. Its cloud-based services are particularly great for small businesses. The SaaS resources can help companies manage their cash flow, create detailed financial reports, track income and expenses, manage payroll, and monitor inventory.
In a nutshell…
With millions of online stores worldwide, it can be hard to keep up. With these 30+ online business tools and resources, even new and emerging sellers have a chance to compete.
Knowing about and leveraging the right seller tools to boost your company’s online presence and highlight your products and services is crucial. This list can help you get started!
As always if you need any further assistance with anything eCommerce related please don't hesitate to reach out to our 24/7 SaleHoo support staff.