You don’t have to wear all of the hats in your online store. Use these 5 apps to automate your day-to-day tasks.
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Do you struggle to handle all of the tasks in your business?
Do you find yourself running in circles trying to speak to suppliers, research products, and market your store all at once?
It’s not uncommon to see a store owner burned out from doing all of the heavy lifting in their business. It’s hard work.
But, there are ways to cut back on the time you spend in your business. And it doesn’t require hiring any employees.
All it requires is using apps.
Apps that, when used together, can automate many of the time-consuming tasks in your online store.
This article is going to share the 5 best e-commerce apps you can use to save time, money and energy.
5 Apps to Automate Your Online Store
These five apps help to automate all of the following areas of your ecommerce store:
- Running your store and managing orders
- Marketing and advertising to attract new customers
- Packaging & shipping items to customers
- Collecting & paying sales taxes
- Remarketing to customers
Let’s take a look at the apps, and why they’re so effective.
Shopify is basically an ecommerce store in a box.
It is a beginner-friendly platform that allows anyone to create beautiful websites. But the benefits go beyond this.
Shopify also has the incredible benefit of being able to integrate apps with your online store.
Their app store offers a range of apps, both free and paid, that you can ‘plug-in’ to your online store within minutes.
A few examples of some Shopify apps we use are:
- Printful that allows you to add custom print-on-demand products to your store.
- Oberlo that helps to automate the fulfilment process for website orders
- Ali-Reviews that imports product reviews from Aliexpress right into your store.
There are so many more apps, that we even created a whole article on 99 of the best Shopify apps!
So, Shopify helps to tackle two big problems for store owners.
It solves the problem of developing and managing a professional ecommerce store without any experience. They make it very simple and easy for anyone to set up their online store.
And, it allows you to leverage apps to manage the key areas inside of your store, all in one place.
You can liken it to an all-in-one hub, where you can manage everything from payments, orders, products, and even marketing.
It’s an app we both highly recommend and teach members how to use inside of our clubhouse.
To learn how to create an online store with Shopify, this article guides you step-by-step.
This is a print-on-demand company that can print, package and ship orders — directly from your Shopify store.
Using the app, you can upload your own designs onto products like t-shirts, mugs and even pillows.
Then, when someone places an order for one of these products, Printful’s production warehouse will print the design, package it, and ship it to your customer. It’s literally a hands off process from start to finish!
Still, you may be wondering “How do I pay Printful for my orders?”
Handling orders with Printful is pretty simple, thanks to their seamless integration with Shopify. The process can be summarised in the following steps:
- When a customer places an order, you receive the money via Stripe or PayPal (two of Shopify’s payment gateways)
- Then, Printful’s app will “scan” your store to find any orders to fulfil
- When they find an order, they charge you for the fulfilment cost with the credit card on file in your account
Again, this is all done automatically, so you never have to waste time with products, payments or suppliers.
However, there are times where Printful can run out of stock for a product you sell. When this happens, it’s always smart to have an alternative supplier at hand that you can switch over to.
Which brings us to our next app…
Almost identical to Printful, Printify is another awesome app you can integrate with your Shopify store.
They have a range of custom products you can design, from t-shirts and hoodies, to pillows and blankets, and even phone cases.
Any time a customer buys a product, Printify is notified of the order. Their production team will then print the design onto the product, package it, and ship it to your customer. It’s all hands off.
We recommend using this as an alternative app to Printful (or vice versa).
While starting an online store seems a great idea, there is one thing that holds a lot of us back.
What taxes do I need to pay? How do I pay them?
In a nutshell, there are two types of taxes you will be required to pay.
The first is income tax. This is tax due on the profits you earn within a single year, and is paid to your state or country.
The second, sales tax, is what is paid to the state in which a customer resides.
Collecting and paying sales tax isn’t the easiest task. But with TaxJar, handling this responsibility is surprisingly easy.
TaxJar is an online service that helps you identify which states you owe in sales tax.
Using their Shopify app that connects to your store, you can automatically collect sales tax for the states where you hold a “nexus.”
You have a nexus when your presence in a state is significant enough to comply with their sales tax laws. In the beginning, though, it’s likely that you won’t have a nexus in many states, so you won’t be required to collect any sales tax.
When sales tax for a state is due, TaxJar automatically pays the collected amount to each state. Each has their own tax rate, which is why TaxJar is essential for accurately calculating the amount owed in each state.
Note: When we mention “state,” we’re referring to the US. This is because a large majority of our customers are based here, so that’s where most (nearly all) of our sales tax will be paid to.
To learn more about how to pay taxes in your online store, check out this blog article.
One of the most powerful ways to earn more sales is to re-market to existing customers. And that’s exactly what this app does.
CM Commerce Email Marketing is a Shopify app that re-markets to customers through email marketing. It has several features, but there are two in particular that we highly recommend.
The first is the ability to offer discount coupons.
Immediately after a customer makes a purchase, they are automatically emailed a discount coupon. This coupon will usually expire after a certain period, which adds scarcity and encourages customers to act quickly.
The second feature is the ability to recover abandoned carts. If a customer forgets to checkout, they will receive a follow-up email that reminds them to complete their checkout. Recovering abandoned carts is a big deal; just one abandoned cart email alone can re-collect up to 10% of lost revenue.
Both of these emails can fit into an email sequence that you can easily setup within the Shopify app. Then, each time a visitor subscribes to your email list, they get carried through this sequence, with a means of getting them to buy from your store again.
The Bottom Line
Running an online store is great. But if you don’t find a way to stop working IN your business, you’ll soon find yourself with no time to work ON the business.
With the help of these five apps, you can easily save time and energy that you can now put towards growing your ecommerce store.