8 primary e-commerce instruments to make it simpler to promote your merchandise

1. Platforms for creating your e-commerce website

There are e-commerce solutions such as Shopify, Prestashop or Magento that have all the necessary features to manage and sell your products online. Thanks to these e-commerce platforms, you can manage your product and inventory catalog, your orders, customer data, but also payment and delivery parameters, etc.

Another option: you can easily create your website using a simple CMS. For example, WordPress, the market’s leading CMS, has an add-on dedicated to e-commerce: WooCommerce. This open source extension allows you to quickly configure e-commerce sites: personalization, payments, deliveries, online products, order management, international sales, and more.

These e-commerce solutions have the advantage of being able to connect to your applications that you already use on a daily basis. Thus, integrations with payment solutions (PayPal, Stripe,), e-mail solutions (Mailchimp, Mailjet,), collaboration platforms (Slack, Microsoft Teams ali) but also services such as Google or Facebook are possible.

In most cases, you can create an e-commerce site for free on these platforms, but the functionality remains very limited if you do not add paid modules. You will also need to consider the cost of web hosting.

2. Web hosts for your online store

In order to host your e-commerce site and make it accessible to all users, it will be important to choose the type of web hosting: shared or shared, on a dedicated server, VPS (virtual private server) or even in the cloud. To make your job easier, you can rely on web hosting solutions such as Infomaniak, IONOS, OVHcloud or even o2switch. These solutions allow you to host your website and your professional email addresses, but also to reserve a domain name.

3. Secure online payment solutions

To securely manage payments on your e-commerce site, you can integrate payment solutions designed to suit the needs of professionals. You will find PayPal, Stripe or Square separately.

These solutions make it easier for your customers to pay on your website, make it easier to receive transfers, but also analyze your performance and thus avoid payment failures. Most of these solutions accept major online credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc. These platforms can also manage international payments.

In terms of price, these services most often charge a commission on completed transactions, which may vary depending on the location of the transaction (national, international, European, etc.). Companies with high payment volumes can often benefit from customized discount offers based on the number of transactions.

4. Customer Review Management Tools

Visitors need to read customer reviews or testimonials about your products, but also about your brand. They appreciate feedback from real people who have already bought one of your products or have been in contact with your company. Customer reviews are part of the essential security elements of an e-commerce website.

To help you manage reviews, you can rely on specialized solutions that can send automated emails or text messages to request reviews from your customers a few days after they are purchased. These tools allow you to manually or automatically moderate reviews and later easily integrate them into your product sheets on your website, but also on Google (on your Google Ads, on your Google Shopping products, etc.).

In addition, these solutions have dashboards, so you can keep track of statistics: number of visitors, page views, invitations sent, published and collected opinions, processed messages, requested opinions, spam, etc.

5. Tools to track the prices of your competitors

Want to keep an eye on the prices your competitors charge on their e-commerce sites? It is possible! There are competition and pricing tools that keep you informed on a daily basis about price changes as well as promotions set by your competitors. It is possible to configure personalized alerts to get real-time information. You also have the ability to track the stock’s stock status and price, regardless of country, language or currency.

Some tools also offer automatic price updates. It is possible to set continuous price fixing according to management rules and price changes applied by competitors. You can also perform a complete market analysis with global data on prices, competitiveness, or real-time positioning of your sector of activity. Solutions such as PriceComparator also offer you access to the price history of your competitors or resellers to analyze their strategies in more detail.

Namely: these pricing tools can be easily linked to e-commerce platforms, CRMs and ERPs.

6. Marketplaces for selling your products

It is no longer enough to own an e-commerce website. In order to gain visibility and develop their sales, e-retailers now mostly use markets. These online markets generate thousands, if not millions, of visits per month, enabling brands to gain greater visibility among their audiences. This service is not free, the markets usually work according to the sales commission system.

There are general markets that sell all kinds of products such as Amazon, Rue du Commerce, AliExpress, Cdiscount or even eBay, but also markets specializing in a particular area of ​​activity such as ManoMano, About You, Zalando … Therefore, it is important to analyze All of these platforms also identify the ones that best suit your area of ​​operation but also your business goals.

Namely: some sites like Rakuten or eBay are “pure markets”, offering only third-party products, unlike Cdiscount or Amazon which will also offer their products.

7. Tools for managing all e-commerce flows

There are product feed management tools that can distribute your products across thousands of channels: markets (Amazon, CDiscount, Fnac, etc.), social networks, price comparators (Kelkoo, Idealo, etc.), partner sites (Rakuten, Awin…). Product Feed Manager has the advantage of automatically updating your ecommerce website’s product data across all of your distribution channels.

How does it actually work? You can generate product feeds by importing your product catalog in XML, CSV, JSON, TXT format or by linking your e-commerce website through a dedicated plugin to download all the data from your catalog. You can then easily optimize and enrich product information and filter products by setting distribution rules according to the channels used.

Another advantage of e-commerce flow managers: centralization of orders from all your distribution channels for easier and faster processing. It is also possible to opt for stock synchronization that allows real-time updates on all channels as soon as the order is placed. The prices of these solutions usually vary depending on the number of products and the required distribution channels.

8. PIMs for managing and distributing your product catalog

Managing a product catalog is complex and time consuming. To manage your product catalog more efficiently, you can rely on PIM solutions that centralize the management of your products and facilitate their distribution across all channels: e-commerce sites, markets, print publications, and more.

These platforms can combine these 2 services:

  • PIM (Product Information Management) that allows you to manage all your textual product information. In this way, you can constitute, classify, enrich and distribute all data related to your products on all sales channels.
  • DAM (Digital Asset Management) which is a media library that centralizes media related to products: photos, videos, sounds, etc. Some solutions allow automatic processing to resize visuals to formats required by different channels.

These PIM solutions are ideal for brands that manage large quantities of products and that opt ​​for omnichannel distribution. They enable different business teams to save time on product management and enrichment thanks to the centralization of data on a single platform.

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