Anyone who runs an online business of their own knows that there’s never a full stop. And in that line of work, you’re continuously on the go every day. Every business still requires marketing management, new product sourcing, order tracking, analytic monitoring, financial management and so much more. Ecommerce gives you the freedom to work from wherever you want, rather than being locked into a physical storefront during your operating hours. But you still need to be in tune with your business even when you’re away. With consumers doing their shopping online nowadays, it’s more important than ever to keep a close eye on your store’s operations and customer-engagement strategies.
Thankfully, it’s gotten a lot easier to run online businesses when you’re mobile, using desktop and web-based applications of accounting tools. There’s even a sizable collection of tools that make it easy to manage your online store right from your smartphone. Just because you run an online store and not a brick and mortar business doesn’t mean you’re not stuck with a to-do list a mile long or tasked with needing to be in a million places at once. Many business owners rely on their mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to get things done while on-the-go.
Keeping all that is mentioned above in mind, below is a list of 7 apps that are helpful in managing day-to-day business activities. You’ll find them to be beneficial whether you’re a sole proprietor, partnership or small business:
While you may not be drafting emails and adjusting templates while you’re waiting at a restaurant, or catching a ride to a meeting, it’s still nice to know that you can monitor and manage your campaigns from your mobile device. MailChimp is a standard email marketing platform commonly used by ecommerce stores, and it can seamlessly integrate with sites like Buildabazaar. Whether you’re checking up on the open and click-through rates of your latest promotional email, or wanting to see how your list segments are responding, this app is perfect for keeping you in touch with your contacts.
Trello offers some of the same features as Evernote but is more designed for collaboration and productivity. In fact, it’s a productivity management app that helps you and your team (if you have one) keep on track toward your goals. It accommodates everything from simple to-do lists to more complex goal tracking and progress assessment. I particularly like the progress meter as you check off tasks on larger projects, because who doesn’t like that kind of positive reinforcement?
At just a glance you can see what tasks are assigned to whom and jot down new notes on “cards” to share with your team. Add documents and images to your cards for better organization. Everything’s also searchable and can be filtered by keyword.
Ecommerce owners choose one or two social channels for their primary marketing efforts. Whether your brand only has a couple of social profiles, or you’re connecting with customers on a multitude of social media platforms. A major part of running a business online is maintaining a social media presence. Hootsuite helps you manage all of your social accounts from a single dashboard. It’s also a great way to bounce between work and personal accounts without logging in and out several times.
Yes, this can be really hard if you’re strapped for time, but that’s still no excuse to skip out on it. You need to be on social media and be good at it to boot! But you can definitely save yourself some time by using one tool to login, post, and manage all of your social accounts at once. You can set up a social media schedule, add team members to help manage it and track your progress. Free, Pro, and Enterprise plans are available. It also integrates really well with plenty of other apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Trello for small premium fees.
Mention helps entrepreneurs keep tabs on their businesses, industries and even competitors right from their smartphones. Simply research which keywords or brand phrases you want to track, and Mention will monitor them in real time. You’ll receive a notification whenever someone uses the keywords you selected, so you can stay on top of trending topics and track every instance of people talking about your brand and products.
Keep track of all your finances in one place with this highly-rated mobile app. Mint pulls information from credit cards, investments, savings and checking accounts. A major part of running an online store is keeping track of financials. Mint is an easy-to-use tool for doing just that, across personal transactions and business expenses, alike. You can access it from your web browser or through a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows 8 computers, and Windows 8 phones.
Once you’ve connected your financial accounts to the Mint app, you can then monitor all transactions to see where funds are coming in, when your bills are due and when payments post to your business account. Mint lets you see your current balance and all of the transactions you’ve made during a given period of time. Just sync it with your bank account and you’re good to go. It automatically organizes your spending into categories but you can specify your own, too. Then you can create financial goals to reduce debt, increase savings, increase profits, etc.
Buffer is great for making sure you always have awesome content in the pipeline for your social channels. Either curate great content or create your own, then schedule it with Buffer to have it submitted to your social channels on the day and at the time you designate for publication. Buffer is another social media tool, but it tackles a specific aspect of your social presence that you really need to pay attention to: curation. One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert and authority in your industry is to curate other people’s content on your accounts (with proper attribution, of course). Do this long enough and with discerning enough taste and you’ll attract attention for all the right reasons.
Buffer is a simple tool that makes curating content easy. Set up a pre-defined posting schedule so you fill up your queue and walk away. This is made extra easy thanks to a browser extension. You can access Buffer via web browser or on iOS and Android.
You probably already have the Facebook app on your mobile device, but make sure you have the business page manager as well. Not only can you stay on top of user engagement and direct messages, but you can also efficiently monitor insights and data for any ad campaigns you’re running between Facebook and Instagram.