As the year 2013 comes to a close, mobile is ubiquitous. According to an Infographic from AF-Studio and Super Monitoring (with thanks from Digital Buzz Blog), smartphone ownership in the year 2011 was just at about 35%. By May 2013, that number grew to 56%. By 2014, more than 2500 million units of smartphones would have been shipped. More than 50% of the average global mobile web users now use their smartphones as their primary or exclusive means of going online. About 6.5 apps on the phone stay busy with the average consumer activity, over a 30-day period.
How many people use mobile apps? According to Mobithinking, over 1.2 billion people used apps in the year 2012. By 2014, that number is pegged to reach 4.4 billion users growing at 29.8% each year.
While consumers are all over the web – through desktops, laptops, and mobile phones – how can ecommerce retailers use the mobile revolution? While that makes for a series of posts by themselves, the least ecommerce retailers could do is to start with apps exclusive for ecommerce store management, customer management, invoicing, and plenty of others. It’s an exciting time to be in business. Who would have that you could manage entire business from the palm of your hands? Here are some useful apps for managing your ecommerce business:
EBay has a world of apps that work within its ecosystem. The apps are available across categories such as customer support, Finance, accounting, inventory, listing, merchandizing, research, shipping, sourcing, and payments. If you are interested in selling on eBay, the eBay application center [http://applications.ebay.com/selling] has plenty of apps you could pick and run with. Most of them are free. Some of them are priced (but most of them have a free trial period). Mark Buckingham of Tech Radar has another huge list of eBay apps for sellers. We think you should bookmark it.
EBay is a huge opportunity. Are you there yet?
Etsy, as a marketplace, has been growing in popularity as we write this. Apart from the official Etsy app, there’s a rapidly growing marketplace with apps available for sellers. You could use the IFTTT application to automate parts of your workflow. Use Etsy-fu to schedule automatic tweets to your Twitter account. If you think Facebook is where you should be, launch your own Facebook Store.
Selling on Etsy is easy peasy. What do you plan to sell?
Amazon competes directly with eBay. For sellers, it’s another huge opportunity. Amazon has helpful apps that can aid you to sell on Amazon. Start with Amazon Price Check and Amazon Flow. Another app called Amazon Fee Calculator helps you calculate how much you really make on Amazon, and other marketplaces such as Half.com, Paypal auctions, eBid, and eBay. Finally, the “Sell on Amazon” app is a must-have for Amazon sellers as it helps you find best prices for listing, make modifications to your product listings, and much more.
Xero , Xero Apps, and Xero Touch
If you were in business, you’d need an account. Or, should you? This is an era of web-apps and sometimes, you have software or a web-app available that could just be a better choice in place of a full-time accountant.
Xero.com is a New Zealand based company that creates accounting software for small business owners. Xero has apps and touch-based websites for easy access to your accounting systems, dashboards, invoices, credit notes, and a host of other features on the move. The web-app itself features bank-reconciliation and lot of other features. While we are at it, Xero plays nice with many other web-apps, marketplaces, and software. For instance, Xero has apps for eBay, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.
As orders pile up and as you grow your ecommerce business, you’d need a way to keep in touch with your business and build relationships with them. With every customer being different and with multiple things to remember about every customer, just how do you keep track of your customers? What’s the best way to manage your customer-base? Ecommerce business owners need a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that’s easy to use, includes all the features you’ll need, plugs into tools you’d most commonly need, and is web-based (much like your business is).
BaseCRM is a CRM built for small business owners. It focuses on what’s important. It kills clutter. It’s beautiful to use and functions as smooth as a dream. It’s also free to start with. Upgrade when you grow bigger. Base CRM features geo-location, in-app phone calls, document management, and it integrates with other popular apps such as Google Docs and Xero.
We plan to keep this as a growing list of ecommerce apps. Let us know about more ecommerce apps that can make life easier for e-railers.
Tell us what’s on your mind.