Editor’s note: This post was originally published by a guest author in July 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated in July 2022 by us for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
According to a 2016 study, more than 50% of consumers state they purchase more on the web than from physical stores. Due to this rapid adoption of online shopping, retailers need to move online before they run out of business. However, before you get started with your online store, you need to decide on a platform to be on. There are many SaaS tools for retailers out there where you can set up your business like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Instantestore. Another option is creating a website of your own on Wix, Weebly, or Jimdo.
Software-as-a-Service is the preferred choice especially for small retailers, as it is extremely cost-effective and the software has already been made – ready to be deployed. The deployment time is also reduced drastically as the cloud-based software is ready once you are done with customization. As SaaS provides an option of monthly or annual payment, one doesn’t have to flush all the money paying for the license fee in one go, nullifying implementation cost, maintenance cost, and risk involved in traditional software.
Read on and find out what other best SaaS tools for retailers are out there!
Let The World Know
You need to announce your online presence to the world. Do all you can to promote yourself, let the people know who you are, what you are all about, and what they can expect from you. Almost everyone is on at least one social media platform because building social proof is critical for acquiring customers. The way you promote on your socials will say a lot about your brand image and will help form a brand identity. Most people think that an occasional post on Facebook or a couple of tweets on Twitter will suffice. But sadly, it isn’t so.
You need to buck up and keep your social profiles active. Look at the best times to post on different social platforms and schedule your posts, so that you constantly appear on your user’s timeline. There are a couple of tools that help you to schedule your campaigns easily and also show you a report of which campaign worked well.
Fine-tune your brand by putting up ads on websites that your target audience usually visits. Visibility plays a vital role in creating an impression and building trust.
Let me be honest, there is no point in giving your all if you don’t rank well. You have to rank on the first page of Google or at most on the second page, otherwise, the chance you receive organic traffic is really small.
It is vital to target the right keyword for generating more traffic to your page and for google to crawl and improve your ranking. For this, you need to optimize your on-page keywords, add an image alt tag and so on. Keyword difficulty and volume of the keyword need to be taken into account while finalizing the keyword for which you want to rank. The more you use a particular keyword, the better your chances for visibility. Check out this comprehensive post from Crazyegg.com to get more insight into SEO for e-commerce businesses.
When it comes to retailers, it is not just about traditional SEO. It is important to build reliability and trust around specific locations so that you get listed when people search for something related to your business in your location. Traditional SEO helps google identify trusted content rather than location.
You need to rank for geographically related keywords, which include the address (map), contact details, reviews, customer ratings, your operational hours, etc. It validates your business and cites you effectively. You need to list yourself in important directories like google business.
Manage Your Inventory Better, Deliver Efficiently
It is not easy to supervise the flow of goods from manufacturers to the end consumer. You obviously have hundred other things on your plate than monitoring inventory and tracking orders. You need a tool to take care of your stocks, manage returned goods, track supplier availability, finalize shipping providers, check inventory value, import and export data, and more. Managing the stock of your multiple-location retail store can be cumbersome. Why break your head on these issues when you can use a tool that would manage all your inventory just like you would? Export your company data and information and let a tool do the rest for you.
Additionally, you function better by managing the working hours of your employees and tracking their work hours and sales progress.
There are a few SaaS tools for retailers that take care of your logistics with an efficient distribution solution. They help you in saving cost in delivering goods.
Create a marketing list, adding all customer leads, accounts, and contacts. Keep track of your users and customers and find out the best channel to encourage engagement. Monitor where your users are dropping off and attack them accordingly. It is essential to re-engage and retarget your users to nudge them to make a purchase.
Don’t be disheartened if all users don’t turn into customers. Follow up on them; send them interactive emails, touch them via SMS informing them about special offers, or re-target and engage them by web push notifications.
While building strong customer relationships is one side of your business, you should also focus on reaching out to potential partners (for example on LinkedIn). An online tool like ContactOut can help you tremendously with this task because it allows you to see the contact details of the person you want to talk to. Even if you’re a smaller business, creating a network around yourself will provide credibility and may also be a way to scale your company for the future.
Build Authority and Trust
Last but not the least, you need to establish yourself as authentic and trustworthy. Back yourself with amazing customer reviews, strive to get good ranks from customers, acquire likes on social media sites, and get featured on blogs. Online interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in an offline store. Be prompt in answering queries – customer service is vital to make your customers happy. Happy customers lead to loyal customers. You need to have a chat on your website so that you can cater to the users 24/7. This will build reliability and trust. Moreover, it helps in generating leads and boosting sales. The better the customer service, the better are the chances to your brand will stand out.
Wrapping up about the SaaS tools for retailers
Saas is ever-evolving and tools will keep getting better to make the lives of online businesses easier. Name it and someone has probably already invented a tool for it. Here’s a quick list of the most important takeaways from this article:
- Set up your online store
- Let the world know that you’re online
- Optimize your website to make it easily be found
- Manage your business better with cloud-based platforms & deliver more efficiently to customers
- Improve communication with existing and potential customers
- Build authority and trust for your online store
Choose from the mentioned SaaS tools to be more competitive online. They say the sky is the limit, but for now, let’s stop at the cloud.
Pravya Pravin is a Product Marketer at iZooto. She writes often on the iZooto blog. iZooto is a web push notification platform that helps marketers drive user engagement. With amazing personalization and customization features, it enables marketers to engage their users across both Desktop and Mobile.