Perhaps you’re a seasoned seller selling online since the advent of Amazon. Maybe you’ve just discovered the magic of multichannel retail and want to expand your presence. In any case, there’s no denying that the retail landscape is changing by the day.
For one, there is the uncertainty of changing consumer preferences. What is in fashion today may be completely ignored tomorrow. Then, there’s the choice of selling online through your own store or on a marketplace such as Amazon, or both. Add a physical store, shipping, after-sales service and marketing to the mix and you have a task on hand.
However, what is the point of the digital era if it cannot solve problems for you, the retailer? Today, there’s a software tool for doing everything- and this includes procurement, inventory management, sales, shipping and marketing. In fact, there are so many of these that choosing one software platform may prove to be difficult. Here are our top five software picks to help you ace multichannel retail.
Quickbooks Makes Accounting Seamless
Accounting is a painful process for several people, what with the attention to tiny details it requires. Quickbooks is an accounting software that has been around for a while. Like good wine, it only gets better with time too.
With frequent updates, Quickbooks always manages to stay on top of accounting best practices. Users can input invoice details and let the software handle the rest. With versatile plans and pricing that suits all budgets, you can always start with the budget version and upgrade later.
It runs on all browsers and operating systems. You wouldn’t need to download anything in order to use Quickbooks Online. When you set up a new account, you just need to enter basic details and choose parameters that make most sense to your business. From your business profile, you can watch multiple tutorials and read up on their handy guides in order to complete the setup.
Intuit changed the interface design as recently as 2013 and it now offers all accounting insights on the left hand side. Any information that isn’t readily available can be found in one of the tutorials. We never thought accounting could be easy, but Quickbooks changed that perspective.
Primaseller Solves Your Omnichannel Retail Woes
Any retailer knows that inventory management is the single greatest pain point, and money drain. What’s more, when you sell across multiple channels and marketplaces, how do you keep inventory in check?
If you’re selling on just one channel, it is easy enough to visualize the orders from that channel and see what the current inventory level is. However, if you sell the same product on many channels, you need software that can dynamically keep track of sales and map it back to your inventory. Primaseller can do this every minute of every day, so you always have a real-time picture of your inventory.
While it would be fair enough to stop at that, Primaseller is an Omnichannel Retail Management software, so it also functions as a point of sale software, should you find the need for it. Moreover, from the time you receive an order to the time when it is delivered to a customer, you can track it every step of the way. Whenever returns and replacements are processed, Primaseller can adjust inventory levels for products accordingly.
With the ‘Reports’ feature, you can study sales trends and take key decisions on inventory, such as what products to stock and when to stock them. It integrates with both Quickbooks and Tally, so all of your orders can automatically be synchronized with your chosen accounting software.
Square Makes Paying With A Card Easier
According to research by Consumer Credit, about 80% of all respondents, and 100% of those between the ages of 18 and 24, used their cards for everyday purchases. People are simply more likely to pay with their cards than take out a wad of cash. As a retailer, you are probably aware of the pain of opening a merchant account in order to procure a bank’s card swiping machine.
Square Register eliminates the need for such a machine, or opening the account associated with it. The greatest benefit of using Square is that it has no hidden fees. For every swipe, it charges a fixed percentage of the order value as commission. There are no hidden expenses, and their magstripe reader is delivered to you for free when you register.
Since the square account is linked to your bank account, you receive your money almost instantly. From a retailer’s perspective, it is as simple as downloading the Square app onto a compatible device, connecting the reader and accepting payments. Whether you have frequent pop-up shops or whether you exhibit products on different platforms, Square can travel with you.
Mailchimp Reduces Your Email Marketing Costs
Customer engagement is more important now than ever. There are several retailers out there offering the exact same product at competitive prices. With online sales picking up in pace and numbers, there is no scope for stocking up and hoping customers discover you. This is where email marketing and subscriber lists come in. When you score a sale, you want to ensure that the customer buys from you again and again. You also need to build trust in your brand. You can do both by sending out periodic emails to all of your customers and a few curious subscribers.
As the list of your customers and potential buyers grows, it can be a very daunting task to send out personalized emails to each one of them. Mailchimp starts with free plans and moves on to progressively expensive ones depending on your needs. All paid plans have unlimited emails included, and the Pro plan also offers advanced testing tools.
Their Inbox Preview feature lets you see what your mail will look like across forty different mail service providers and platforms.
Around.io Automates Your Social Media Marketing
Even if we were to count only the most well-known social media channels, we still have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Managing just one of these channels, creating engaging content, and staying relevant is hard enough. Do all four and you probably need a dedicated team just for social media marketing.
Not necessarily, because Around.io brings social media marketing under one roof. On the one hand, it integrates with your online store and picks up images and links. So when it is time to create a post, you are no longer uploading the same images to different channels, writing tag lines repeatedly and wasting time in general.
On the other, it works across social media platforms and creates a marketing plan for days or weeks, so you won’t have to worry about scheduling your social media posts anymore.
You can be active on all social media platforms and post to all of them from a single Around.io tab. You can also create your own product collage that you think would appeal most to customers. Create custom Twitter hashtags and see how they perform. Your shop’s online presence is complete and perfect with the use of just one software platform.
What software service do you prefer for selling online or on many channels? Which of the suggested ones do you really want to try?