Managing an online store can be a highly time-consuming business and it’s often hard to know exactly how to get the best out of your listings (unless you can somehow spend more hours than there actually are in a day, every day, keeping on top of what all of your competitors are doing!).
This is especially true if you are selling across multiple platforms, such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy all at once, giving you even more to stay on top of. We’ve looked at the importance of multi-channel selling before, but the basics are that it:
- increases the amount of potential customers you can reach
- and reduces the effect issues with any single platform can have on your business.
However, there’s no getting away from the fact that multi-channel selling can make your business much harder to manage.
Fortunately there are a number of different apps designed to help you manage your online selling, saving you time and effort. Many also give you key insights that allow you to sell more effectively than you ever could by manually managing your accounts.
Here at ListSmart, we love making life easier and more efficient for online sellers, so we want to share some of the top apps that can help you manage your online store.
Online selling management for smaller sellers
If you are running a relatively small business, you may not think you need any help running your online store. However, these two apps have some key benefits that are well worth investigating, especially for those whose whole business is based around eBay.
Seller Hub is eBay’s own free tool for helping you to manage your listings faster and more efficiently. The tool lets you manage all of your listings from one place, while giving you access to a range of helpful tools and data to help you sell better.
Key features of Seller Hub include:
- Streamlined listing creation
- Detailed sales information (including your daily sales trends, top performing listings and how buyers find your listings)
- Exclusive marketing and promotion tools
Terapeak is a market research tool to help you create more effective listings. It allows you to do several useful things, including:
- See average selling prices
- Search for top performing keywords and categories for your listings
- Track products to determine current market demand
- Find out whether fixed price or auction-style listings will be most effective
- Monitor your competition
Online selling management for SMEs
Once you reach the SME level of online selling, you really need to start thinking about doing everything you can to minimise the time you spend managing your store and boost your sales. Simplifying and streamlining your store management is especially important for those who are selling across multiple channels, with many of the top apps designed to let you avoid wasting time manually making the same changes across multiple platforms. This can make a real difference to your margins and the ultimate success of your business.
As well as the two apps listed above, the following five apps and services could make a significant difference for you.
ChannelAdvisor is a very popular app used by well-known brands like Clarks and Littlewoods. It allows you to integrate, manage and optimise your merchandise sales across various online channels.
Key features include the ability to:
- Streamline your selling across multiple channels through a single data feed
- Gain product data insights to help you make better decisions
Trojan Electronics provides industry-leading services that help businesses gain a competitive edge in a global marketplace. It offers sellers assistance both with their selling and fulfilment of their orders.
Their service offers:
- A fully insured warehouse with pick, pack and dispatch
- Pre- and post-sale multilingual customer service
- Monitoring, analysis and full reporting
- Product manufacturing with their UK-based Contract Electronic Manufacturing (CEM) service
Volo Commerce combines powerful multi-channel management software with marketplace expertise to help you grow sales, increase efficiencies and remove complexity.
Their mixture of software and services offer:
- Inventory and stock control
- Multi-channel order management
- Reporting and analytics
Pentagon’s team of more than 150 e-commerce experts helps businesses to accelerate their online growth on marketplaces worldwide.
Some of the key advantages of their software and service include:
- Optimisation and localisation of data
- International logistics and returns management
- Multilingual customer service
Shopify offers a comprehensive ecommerce solution allowing you to create an online store to sell your goods and/or manage your stores on multiple platforms in one place.
With Shopify you can quickly and easily:
- Organise your products
- Customize your storefront
- Accept credit card payments
- Track and respond to orders
Online selling management for enterprise-level businesses
If you are a big fish in the world of online selling, you must take advantage of the tools designed to help you. We strongly recommend trying out all of the options listed above, so you can see what they have to offer your business, however the four tools listed below are also ideal for those with a significant online selling presence.
Brightpearl is a cross-channel retail management system which brings together key “back office” tasks such as managing your orders, inventory, financials, POS, CRM and more all in one place.
Advantages of Brightpearl include:
- Increased efficiency through automation of repetitive tasks
- Real-time insights through integrated accounting
- The ability to integrate all of your sales channels and back office operations
Linnworks offers a range of powerful selling tools designed to help you expand your business. It is one of the UK’s leading order management systems and is used by over 4,000 online sellers. They offer a range of fixed pricing plans with no hidden costs.
With Linnworks you can increase the efficiency of your selling and reduce costs using a range of tools, including:
- Inventory management
- Stock control
- Advanced reporting
M2E Pro allows online sellers to fully integrate Magento based systems into eBay. It works across all of eBay’s 23 core marketplaces, including eBay Motors. M2E makes managing your listings much faster and more efficient by allowing similar products to be grouped together for tasks such as bulk updates.
Key benefits of M2E include:
- Increased product visibility across multiple channels and countries
- Full integration of all eBay listings and order management with Magento
- Real time stock and order management
- 3rd party listing tool support
- Sellers retain full ownership of their own data with nothing stored off-site
Shopify Plus is Shopify's enterprise ecommerce platform aimed at large and growing online stores and brands. It offers a hosted platform designed, staffed and priced for big brands, while also suitable for smaller sellers keen to expand.
Key features of Shopify Plus are:
- Scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) hosting
- A comprehensive ecosystem of apps, integrations and custom tools
- A team of dedicated Success Managers, responsible for solving business problems and optimising Shopify Plus to meet your needs
- Multi-channel sales strategy
- Advanced security, including fraud prevention and specialised tools to deter bots and other types of cyber attacks
Where ListSmart fits in
ListSmart is a listing optimisation app for eBay. It uses machine learning to analyse millions of eBay listings, giving you key insights into how elements of your listings can be improved to increase the visibility and sales of your products. ListSmart gives you specific suggestions for how to do this, showing you how to make your listings more like those of the top sellers.
Whether you manage your store directly through eBay, or use third-party software to run your business across multiple channels, ListSmart can generate recommendations in the format you need to quickly and efficiently optimise your listings.
ListSmart is suitable for sellers of all levels, with different packages aimed at sellers of different sizes. ListSmart is currently eBay’s only officially recommended service partner for listing optimisation.
Sign up now to see just how big a difference ListSmart can make to your eBay listings.