eCorner recommends: Tools to improve your onlin...

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eCorner recommends: Tools to improve your online business

 

We often get asked for recommendations for online tools and providers to help small businesses grow and succeed. We thought we might compile a list of the various tools we either use ourselves or recommend for businesses looking for new or more effective ways of managing their day to day tasks.

eCorner will look to keep adding to this list as we find new products and solutions which complement your online stores and can be used to help make your business successful.


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Small business tools to improve your online business

 

Design

 

Canva

We are addicted to Canva here at eCorner. Gone are the days where online graphic design needs to be a complex and costly process. Canva is an easy to use, online design tool for creating graphics for everything from your online store, Facebook ads, and even printed flyers. Canva's basic account is free, or for a low monthly cost you can get a range of additional features to take your designs to the next level.

Many eCorner customers now use Canva for all their online store graphics, as well as imagery for newsletter campaigns, social media ads and much more.

 

Pexels

To make great designs you need great imagery. There are several free stock photo libraries out there but our favourite is Pexels.

There is an excellent and ever expanding range of high quality stock photos and imagery to help lift the impact of your online store and marketing intiatives.

 

Accounting and bookkeeping

 

Xero

Xero is an easy to use, but powerful, online accounting platform with some great functionality to simplify your small business accounting and bookkeeping.

Best of all Xero can be easily integrated with your eCorner Store, allowing for the seemless passing of order data to your accounts without the need for any data entry.

 

Receipt Bank

Receipt Bank takes away the pain of tracking your businesses expenses, but centralising and simplifying the management of your receipts. All you need to do is scan the receipts with your smartphone, and Receipt Bank captures the necessary information.

You can then integrate Receipt Bank with your accounting software, like Xero above, and seemlessly book your expenses to your accounts.

 

Inventory management

 

Unleashed

Unleashed is a powerful, online inventory management solution to allow you to take control of your stock and ordering processes.

Unleashed integrates with many other online applications including eCorner Enterprise stores and accounting platforms like Xero.

 

Point of Sale (POS)

 

Kounta

Kounta is a Point of Sale "POS" Software System that works on iPads, Macs, PC's and also the existing traditional Point of Sale equipment that you have already invested in.

Kounta integrates nicely with eCorner online stores as well as Xero.

 

Online marketing

 

Google Ad-words

Google Ad-words is an online advertising service developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings, and video content within the Google ad network to web users.

Google Ad-words integrates with many other advertisment media such as YouTube and third party blogs and forums. Ad-words allows easy remarketing to people who have visited your website.

 

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. Google Search Console is a simple and effective way to see what Google sees on your website. It also integrates with Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

 

MOZ

MOZ is a software as a service company that provides a extensive set of search engine optimisation tools. There are numerous tools and services available that can help website owners improve the quality and visibility of their websites.

 

Google Shopping

Google Shopping, formerly Google Product Search, Google Products and Froogle, is a Google service which allows users to search for products on online shopping websites and compare prices between different vendors.

Google Shopping is managed via the Google Merchant Center where you can send data feeds of your products to Google to list on Google Shopping. Google Shopping product listing typically appear above all other search results in Google search and will link directly to products in your online store. You pay on a cost per click basis when people click on your products.

 

Facebook for Business

Facebook as a social media platform has been a huge success and used by people of all ages. It can also be a very effective and low cost medium for promoting your business or products. If you have a website then you  should also have a business Facebook page. You can create posts or listings on Facebook that you can promote or you can create ads that display in the Facebook network. Facebook ads are reasonably easy to setup and run and you pay based on the number of times shown or number of clicks or conversions. It can be a very cost effective way to reach a large audience. Best  tip is always make sure that you setup the audience that you want to promote to in order to  get the best results.

Other social platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram all offer advertisment and promotion capability. Depending on the type of customer that you are selling to these may also offer a cost effective method of promoting your product. But remember if you are not a regular user of these platform then they will not deliver the results that you might expect.

 

Productivity

 

Evernote

Evernote is a note taking app, but its also so much more. Keep all your notes on all your devices (phone, ipad, computer) along with files, reminders, voice recordings - anything you want to be able to find easily.

The app also has fantastic search capabilities, as well as many sharing and collaboration tools. Best of all, the applications can be separately secured to keep all your notes private and safe from anyone who happens to get into your phone or computer.

 

Slack

Slack is a team collaboration tool that brings together all of your team's ideas and communications into a single cross-device application.

It's effectively an online work/meeting space where team's conversations are organised and accessible to members at any time and from anywhere. Particularly powerful if your teams are spread across multiple locations or on the road a lot.

 

Live Chat

 

LiveChat Inc

Live Chat is a great way to connect with your customers while they browse your online store. We have tried several of the options out in the market, and have found Live Chat Inc's solution to be the best all-round chat system.

Live Chat Inc let's you set up roles for various members of your team and tie those to particular pages on your site to allow for more targetted and valuable communication with your customers, letting them connect with the right person to get the information they need. The platform also captures some great analytics in real time about what your visitors are doing and where they come from to inform your discussions with them before you even connect.

 

Storage

 

Dropbox

The online storage space is pretty competitive these days, with players like Google Drive etc coming into the market. Dropbox is still a favourite here with its solid security features, powerful cross-device syncing tools and easy collaboration between team members.

That said, depending on your needs and desired spend, there are many other options for secure online storage including Google Drive, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive and many more.

 

Security

 

Hivint - Security Colony

Hivint's Security Colony is a cyber-security collaboration and sharing platform for businesses big and small. It includes resource libraries, risk assessment tools and many other resources to assist businesses to managing their cyber security risks.

Hivint is eCorner's Security Partner of choice, assisting us to keep all your online systems secure and PCI DSS compliant.

 

Analytics

 

Wagtail Analytics

Wagtail is eCorner's own online analytics application. In additional to many features that you would recognise from other analytics applications, such as goal setting and campaign tracking, Wagtail also allows you to track your online statistics in real time (as opposed to up to a days delay with many other analytics platforms).

Wagtail also includes powerful database reporting capabilities to be able to extract and report on the data stored behind your online store and give you a real time view on the financial and commercial performance of your store.

 

Google Analytics

Much like Wagtail, Google Analytics allows merchants to track many of your online stores metrics and set goals and campaigns to seek to influence your customer's behaviour (and ultimately sell more products).

Google Analytics also integrates effectively with Google's other tools like Google Ad-words to allow for better cross-campaign targetting for your marketing.

 

Written and published by Jae Debrincat, General Manager – eCorner Pty Ltd

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