April 13, 2024

Most people prefer to buy things online these days. With global retail e-commerce sales set to exceed 6.3 trillion in 2024, now might be the perfect time to get into the e-commerce business. 

If those are your thoughts, welcome to the 576 billion dollar industry of e-commerce startups. 

As you might expect, the competition is stiff, as there are thousands of startups already in the market before you conceived the idea. 

Nonetheless, you can still catch up if you start now. Here are nine tools you need to get up and running in no time. 

E-commerce is about selling products and services online. So, the first thing you need is a website. 

While the option of building from scratch does exist, the cost far outweighs the benefits. Instead, an e-commerce website-building tool will get you set up in an instant for less cost. These e-commerce platforms come with off-the-shelf front-end, back-end, and customizable features for e-commerce store startups. 

They could be open-source e-commerce platforms that allow you to install the source code on a web hosting server for free or SaaS e-commerce software that charges monthly fees. You should consider your content creation needs, expected website traffic, design, and aesthetic needs when making this choice. 

To the public, your e-commerce store startup was already live when you launched your website. Now, you need to live up to their expectations when the orders start rolling in. You want to ensure orders are efficiently fulfilled while avoiding surplus and stockouts. 

That’s why you need an inventory management tool. This tool helps you monitor all aspects of the supply chain, like purchase orders, stock levels, demand forecasts, and the order fulfillment process. 

The point is to ensure that your startup satisfies customer demands as much as possible. That’s key to a successful e-commerce store startup. 

In addition to managing inventory, the day-to-day operations of your e-commerce store startup will include tracking employee work progress, outsourcing work, creating content, tracking budget, and a host of other tasks that pop up. And they all have to get done promptly and effectively. 

As the person in charge, it is important to stay on top of all operations, and a project management tool helps you do just that. It improves both your communication and productivity to keep customers satisfied. More importantly, it keeps you focused on your targets as you try to match customer requirements. 

Project management tools that align your business processes with your natural organization pattern often produce the best results. So, it’s a great idea to look out for the top solutions that possess features matching the tasks your startup is looking to perform.

Finances are crucial to startup success and, so, should be taken seriously. Yet crunching numbers, thinking about taxes, and managing your books isn’t exactly a dream task for most people. So, it is advisable to implement a scalable structure for handling financial data from the get-go, regardless of whether you’ll be handling the books personally or hiring an accountant. 

Accounting software makes this accurate and efficient. They help you determine your sales expenses, profit margins, invoicing, payable taxes, overhead costs, and other financial details. 

Some programs have both account and inventory management functionalities. While they cut costs, they might limit you in terms of capabilities. However, should you opt for a separate account management tool, you must ensure your pick integrates perfectly with other tools used in your startup. It is also important to choose accounting software in your niche, as they may have specialized features that improve your workflow. 

You should strive to foster long-term relationships with your customers because they are crucial to your startup’s success. Paying close attention to them involves monitoring their purchase history, their buying patterns, likes, and preferences. 

You can’t handle those tasks manually. That’s why you need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. 

The right one possesses analytics functionalities that capture and analyze customer data. As a result, you can leverage the insights for personalized marketing efforts and targeted promotions. 

The point here is to bridge the gap between your customers and your startup. 

A payment processing tool or payment gateway facilitates the acceptance of electronic payments from customers online. It is as important as your e-commerce website building tool because you must be able to process transactions to be up and running. 

Its function differs from account management tools in that it focuses on transactions between your startup and the customer. 

When choosing a payment processing tool, you want to choose something fast, reliable, and secure. Customers have a short attention span and will often ignore a purchase when they encounter difficulties like payment glitches. In addition, customers want to be sure their payment information is secure with your store. So, you must opt for an option with secure encryption and fraud prevention technologies to avoid exposing customer data to data breaches, as Mint Mobile experienced.  

Most importantly, it must be compatible with your website, as you’ll be integrating it with the website. 

Email is the internet’s sales channel. When you’re just starting, you’re looking to build awareness and engage with customers to drive sales. And emails are one of the tested, trusted, and most efficient ways of doing that. However, email outreaches can be quite technical and difficult to execute correctly.

To improve your chances, you need an email marketing tool to create, send, test, and optimize email campaigns. This tool streamlines and automates personalized email outreach programs to boost your conversion rate. 

In addition to these base features, the best email marketing tools offer plenty of aesthetically pleasing templates, cutting-edge automation tools, and audience segmentation and analytics functionalities. 

8. Content Creation Tool 

Once you have the basic architecture of the functional aspects of your e-commerce store startup set up, you need to put the word out. Content, Bill Gates said, is King. It increases your visibility — a crucial factor for market awareness and, ultimately, sales. 

You need tools to get content creation right. 

Some tools help you create aesthetically pleasing designs, brand logos, supporting imagery for your startup and online store, and other brand elements. 

For example, photo-editing tools are a type of content-creating tool that helps you create appealing product photos. Likewise, content management systems help you create online blogs that can be used for audience building.

If your content creation efforts are effective, you should be getting inquiries, questions about your offerings, and even negative feedback. It all signifies that you’re getting across to the customer. In response, you need to support your customers with whatever needs they need meant. 

A customer support tool helps you handle all correspondence with the customers for the appropriate departments. 

For instance, you need a help desk ticketing system to collect, organize, and prioritize all customer queries in order of importance before assigning them to the appropriate departments. You can also consider live chat software to facilitate real-time communication between customers and customer support agents. Customer feedback, surveys, and social media tools also help you run opinion polls to get customer feedback on different concerns. 

Conclusion

Your e-commerce website is the first thing you need to kick off your e-commerce store startup. Next, you need a payment system integrated to conduct transactions. 

Inventory, project, customer relationship, and account management tools handle the different aspects of your business, as implied by their names. With a smooth-running structure in place, content creation and email marketing tools help you get the word out there via email and content marketing outreaches. 

And when the queries start coming in, your choice of customer support ensures you don’t miss a thing.