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Easy Peasy Ecom Review – A Product for All Marketers

Smartphones and tablets have completely changed the game for the ecommerce industry. In the last few years, the strategies of large and small companies alike have shifted to become more mobile focused as consumers have rapidly embraced mobile shopping. For instance, 70 percent of consumers shopped via their smartphone this past holiday season.

A few years ago designing an app or a mobile site for your company was a luxury, but now it's becoming more and more of a necessity. Ecommerce business owners, take note. Following are the must-have apps that will make mobile business easier and more useful for both consumers and owners.

Shopify Mobile

Shopify lets a business reach its customers on one platform, whether it be through online, in-store, or even through social media. You can sync orders, products, and customers across all your sales channels, and Shopify Mobile is making the experience even easier.

In one simple app, you can capture payment, fill orders, adjust product inventory, track sales, and create new products. Just make sure you're using a device, like the Galaxy S6 edge, on a powerful 4g network to receive notifications for a new sale and fill the order even while on the go. People will be raving about your shop's customer service and how quickly your product arrived on their doorstep.

Also, the updated Shopify mobile app also allows you to do stuff like responding to Easy Peasy Ecom Review, reviewing all inventory changes made to products in the last 30 days, and more like fulfilling items by fulfillment services.

Shopify

Google Analytics

Tracking page views, interactions, and click rates are second nature to ecommerce business owners. Google Analytics helps you figure out which parts of your website and marketing strategy are driving the most conversions. This app lets you track your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns as well as sign ups from different platforms and search engines. This free app is critical for helping you determine a successful strategy for the upcoming months.

Google Analytics

SEO Search Ranking

Working in ecommerce often means stressing about how you compare to your competitors for certain keywords. Having data about how you rank can change everything, and the SEO Search Ranking app can help. When you know where your business stands, you can better craft effective strategies for building backlinks, incorporating the right anchor text, and more. If your competitor is a retail giant, for instance, trying to corner niche keywords can end up benefiting your business more than trying to compete for the more general keywords and rankings.

SEO Search

Facebook

People who do business online use the Facebook app for a variety of reasons. Facebook is a great place to advertise sales, boost brand awareness, and respond to questions quickly on your business's fan page. With this app, you can easily offer online customer service by responding to comments, whether they are negative or positive. Keeping customers engaged is the name of the game in building brand loyalty.

Facebook

WordPress

The WordPress app is great for ecommerce business owners who are always on the run. Now you can use your mobile device to update your website with breaking news, new photos, and blog posts. Thanks to the app's social media plugins, you can even alert your followers to new website updates as you make them. WordPress is user-friendly, so even the technically challenged can have a website that looks like FB Pixel Secrets Review.

WordPress

Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows business owners to see everything going on with their company's social media feeds. This makes answering questions, responding to comments, and engaging with customers easy. As many business owners know, a well-developed social media presence can do wonders with cultivating a community and generating repeat customers. This also allows you to schedule your tweets and Facebook posts in advance, making social media easier than ever. Hootsuite allows you to schedule days, weeks, or even months of posts at a time, making your social media manager's job much less difficult.

Apps are plentiful in online business today, and if you're not using the best ones for your business, you could already be behind your competition. From organization to process optimization to social media to analytics, there's something to help every business person get ahead. These myriad apps help ecommerce business owners stay connected, competitive, and engaged, all of which are increasingly critical in today's mobile business world.

For both businesses, our phone lines are open only in the mornings between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. MST.  After a lot of back and forth, we’ve found this to be a good compromise for offering phone support but not allowing it to consume our entire day.  This way, our team can focus on operations in the morning and work on longer-term projects that require more focus in the afternoons without being interrupted.

Who’s Answering the Calls?

For the first few years of business, I personally answered calls for both businesses, so I’m very comfortable doing that.  But once I brought on my first state-side employee (here’s looking at you, Pat!), he took over those responsibilities.  So while I’ll occasionally cover the phones when he’s out of the office, it’s a trusted team member who manages most of those calls.

Before Pat came on board, I considered hiring a call center to help me but I decided against it – and I’m glad I did.  I think it’s extremely difficult to train third-party contractors to provide quality phone support, especially if your needs go beyond basic operational issues (returns, order placement, etc.).  Personally, I’d rather have no phone number than offer a subpar outsourced phone experience to my customers.

 

Tips for Your Own Business

As you’re wrestling with this beast called phone support, here are a few tips from my experience that should help:

Know What Percentage of Sales Come From the Phones

This is absolutely crucial to understand for your business.  If only 5% of your revenue comes from the phones, eliminating your toll-free number is probably a no-brainer.  But if you’re generating 70% of sales via phone orders, you’ll need to be very careful with the changes you make.

You can, of course, track this manually.  But what I prefer to do is to set up two Google Analytics profiles – one that includes ALL of my sales data and one that filters out sales data that originates from our location in Bozeman, Mont.

Because we place most customer orders via the website, all of these “phone orders” will be filtered out of the revenue report in the second profile.  Comparing the difference in revenue between the two profiles is a quick way to determine how much of your revenue is being generated by the phone.

Locate Your Number Strategically

Slapping your toll-free number in 80-point font on your homepage probably isn’t the best approach, as you’ll likely be flooded by callers asking any and all random questions.  Instead, be a little more strategic to increase the number of high-value calls you get.

At TrollingMotors.net, we were repeatedly getting calls asking about repair parts (which we don’t sell) and from customers inquiring about warranty issues (because they thought we were the manufacturer).  So to help increase efficiency, we listed four options on our “Contact Us” page.

If the visitors needed help with one of the issues we didn’t offer, the link they clicked would quickly address that issue and point them in the right direction.  If they needed to order – or needed help with an existing order – they’d see a page with our phone number.

TM-Contact-Us-3

Do It Well – Or Not at All

Unless you’re offering a VERY basic product that doesn’t need much explaining, it’s going to be difficult to outsource your phone support.  Sure, you can have a call center take orders and pass along return information to you.  But if your customers need much more than that, they’re going to be frustrated talking to someone who’s working off a script.

Your best bet?  Either skip the phone line all together and provide email support or bring it in house.

Beef Up Your Website and Email Support

If you won’t be offering a phone number, you’ll need to have exceptionally good email support.  As someone who used an Excel worksheet to track customer support issues when I got started (I can’t believe I’m admitting this), I’d highly recommend using a help desk.  I currently use Zendesk, but I’ve been impressed by HelpScout recently and would recommend them as well.

Without phones, you’ll also need to invest in an incredibly detailed and value-adding website.  That’s because most customers will simply go elsewhere if you’re not available to answer questions directly and your website does a poor job of supplying the information needed.  For more insights on beefing up your website, see this case study on redesigning an online store.

Which Toll-Free Service to Use?

Currently, we use RingCentral … and they’re all right. Not great, but all right.  Their interface is pretty complex and confusing, but once you get things set up, everything seems to work fairly well – unless you’re on a Mac.  If you’re an Apple guy, RUN AWAY from RingCentral, as their OS X soft phone is absolutely terrible.

I’ve heard good things about Grasshopper, although I’ve never used them myself, and Phone.com and Phonebooth.com are some other options.  My friend and fellow store owner Pete Sveen did a great write-up comparing these four phone services over at Think Entrepreneurship that’s definitely worth checking out.

 

What Do You Think?

How do you handle phone support in your business?  Think I’m missing out by not offering full-fledged phone support?  I know there are a ton of opinions on the issue, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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