Today, eCommerce is a very plug-and-play realm. Bespoke builds and heavy customisations are largely a thing-of-the-past; instead there is often a tool out there which solves the piece of the jigsaw which you seek answers to.
In this article, we’ve collated a list of the 5 apps, tools and services we feel today’s retailer shouldn’t be without. From increasing buyer-seller communication and after-sales contact, customer loyalty, mobile friendliness and checkout ease, there is something in this list for all.
Why we like it: Zopim is such a well-designed app – the dashboard is really well thought out and it can be used on some eBay listings. It’s also really straightforward for your customers to make use of too.
Pre-built plugins are available for most shopping cart platforms, with a free trial and even a free single-agent tier available. For more information, or to take a trial, visit http://www.zopim.com/
Why we like it: We'll let the demo of the technology at the top of http://www.postcodeanywhere.co.uk/speak for itself on this one. It’s truly a revolution – an autocomplete search box for your customers’ addresses.
3. Mailchimp & Mandrill
Why we like it: Mailchimp is really easy to use – while what it does can be a technical concept at times, it makes sure that you don’t need to be a HTML expert at all stages along the way. It even has a free tier which allows smaller retailers to send newsletters without cost provided its self-promoting footer button can be displayed on your emails. Sign up at http://www.mailchimp.com/
Why we like it: With the slightly controversial API access limiting Twitter has embarked upon over the past few years, Tweetdeck is one of the few remaining products which gives retailers access to an experience we like to think of as ‘Twitter PRO’. Scheduling tweets can be a really useful tool in tandem with a scheduled blog post. Download it for free at: http://www.tweetdeck.com/
Why we like it: A simple plugin enables Aftership to automatically contact your customers with updates on order statuses fetched from your shipping partners. While there are likely a small handful of carriers it does not support, Aftership works with more than 249 carriers worldwide, so it’s likely that your carrier(s) of choice will work.
After tracking information is entered for an order, Aftership automatically begins checking for updates. It is intelligent enough to classify updates into specific categories such as transit notifications and delivery attempts, and the system can be told to call to a custom script on your website when a stage is reached if you wish. If you have a tracking number to hand, you can try Aftership instantly on their home page - http://www.aftership.com