E-Commerce and technology are two terms that are here to stay. Technology is the driving force behind much of the e-commerce boom. Within the realm of e-commerce, there is a slew of technology that can help any product based business become more efficient and successful. There is sure to be a technology add-on or integration for your website to help you accomplish nearly any goal.
We’ve made a list of the most important technologies we thought useful for product based businesses operating e-commerce websites. Here are the technologies we cover:
- Magento is a fairly powerful e-commerce platform. This is a great shopping cart (and lots more) program for the more established business with the resources to manage a complex e-commerce system. The advantages are that it is an enterprise level platform and will connect to nearly all warehouse management systems, inventory management systems, CRMs, marketing automation systems, and has APIs available to make new connections. Though it is very robust, Magento is also more costly than others.
- Woo-Commerce is a great add-on for WordPress and other CMS web-platforms. The core add-on is free, though you may need additional, paid add-ons to customize your ideal solution. A great advantage to Woo-Commerce is its modularity, allowing the program to be flexible and work for nearly any e-commerce situation. The add-ons are not all expensive, and range from $9-$300 dollars depending on the add-on. There are direct integrations for UPS, and USPS allowing you to get real-time shipping charges to your customers with a mark-up.
- Shopify is more than a shopping cart. It’s essentially an entire content management system (CMS) in one package. Shopify allows you to manage all of your website content, products, and inventory in one platform for a monthly fee. This is a great solution for a start-up looking to keep its e-commerce system as simple as possible and free from the burden of having to manage teams of people to coordinate on an e-commerce platform. That said, much like Woo-Commerce, Shopify is very modular in the sense that there are thousands of add-ons to help you accomplish any goals, though each add-on comes with a fee.
- Worldwide Brands
- Need to find a wholesaler to work with? Or a drop-shipping company that has products you want to sell on your website? Worldwide Brands is the #1 certifier of wholesaler’s and drop shipper’s. You can find almost everything on their site. They charge a one-time lifetime membership fee of $299, but if you are in need of these types of connections, this database will save you a ton of time.
- A very robust add-on to help you with customer service, ticketing, and online-support. Zendesk is a great way to address customer service directly through your website. Customers can file tickets or have real-time conversations with a support staff to answer their questions. Your responses can be saved in a knowledge-base for customers and staff to reference in the future. This is a great solution for retailers that have a need for product support.
- A great email marketing tool at a reasonable price. Aweber connects to most e-commerce stores and CMS platforms.
- Bringing visitors to an e-commerce site is one thing, making sure you close the deal is the real trick. PadiAct helps you do this with its behavioral targeting system, ensuring you are targeting the right products to the right visitors.
- SEO Moz
- This is a great tool for researching keywords and website traffic. Especially for competitor sites. SEO Moz provides access to multiple SEO tools and keyword rankings for a monthly fee. A great tool for someone looking to build their SEO strategy and achieve higher search results.
- Google Analytics
- This is an absolute must. Google offers a very robust set of website analytics for free. As they are, by far, the number one search engine in the world and very influential, it is imperative to use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic. You are required to place a small snippet of code into your website, but after that, the tracking is nearly endless.
- Kiss Insights
- Kiss Insights is a nice tool for adding small, unobtrusive surveys to your website. This can help you gather customer data little by little, and in a non traffic-deterring way.
- Crash Plan
- You need to ensure that your website stays up all the time. From being conscious of Google’s uptime monitoring, to giving your customers the confidence to purchase on your website, you want to make sure you always have a current backup of your site.
- eCommHub automates many of the necessary but tedious tasks involved with running a drop shipping business, including order routing, inventory management and emailing tracking numbers. Currently works with Shopify with support for Magento, Volusion, BigCommerce and 3D Cart.
Credit Card Processing
- PayPal is one of the most well-recognized brands in e-commerce. The advantage to a PayPal account is that you are able to take cards in person, through PayPal’s interface, or on your website using PayPal Pro. They charge a percentage of each transaction, and the pro account has a small monthly fee.
- This is also a very well recognized name in merchant services. net is a payment gateway that can be used on many e-commerce platforms, including those we have listed above.
- Gravity Payments
- Gravity Payments allows e-commerce websites a simple and easy way to let their customers pay by credit card on their website. Similar to PayPal, Gravity Payments offers online processing, mobile processing, as well as point of sale, and loyalty and gift cards. These additional features are great for online retailers that are getting started or already established.
- Google offers a variety of research tools to help you improve SEO and website traffic. The first if the Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to see search volumes for specific keywords and phrases.
- Google Insights& Trends offer information not provided by the standard Keyword Tool. You can get data on relative keyword search volume, trends, geographic origination and more.
- SEO Moz
- The SEOmoz Toolbar provides at-a-glance SEO metrics for websites, as well as for the results in Google’s search listings. A must-have when doing lots of competitive research. Available for Firefox and Chrome.
- Mozilla Firefox
- The SearchStatus Plugin for Firefox offers information for the loaded browser domain including Compete.com traffic estimates, PageRank and Alexa ranking. It also offers page-specific tools such as highlighting no-follow links, showing meta-data, an outbound link count report and more.