As a small business, we don’t have the luxury of hiring a team of developers to develop and customize the tools we really want. Fortunately, the app marketplace fills this void with lots of choices.  The key is to ensure that these tools which are created by different developers are able to work seamlessly together to deliver the results we want.

Here is a list of tools which I’ve used to run my web business for the past 7 years.

1) Xero – accounting
This should be the most important decision you make for your business operation other than the brand of coffee you buy for your pantry. We chose Xero because there is a huge amount of integrations with other tools. This will make it easy for you to automate and reduce redundancy in your day-to-day operation.

2) TradeGecko – inventory management
We started using TradeGecko since 2015 and so far it has proven to be a critical component required to keep track of our inventory, orders, shipping and returns. It has a powerful reporting tool which is very useful to help in forecasting procurement. TradeGecko pushes sales and purchase orders to Xero automatically and saves us a lot of time.

3) OpenCart – shopping cart system
Simple one of the best shopping cart system out there. The core system is free but to get the most out of OpenCart, you need to purchase some extensions (add-ons) to suit the type of products you sell.

4) MailChimp – newsletter
E-mail has always been one of the most effective selling channel and MailChimp makes it very intuitive for us to launch campaigns and tracking their effectiveness. MailChimp connects to our Xero contacts which makes managing our mailing list easier.

There are a lot of other tools that are crucial in my daily operation workflow such as content creation and logistics solution. I did not include them here because these tools are usually business specific and company specific.

As a general guideline, the tools I mentioned above can be used for 90% of all small to mid-sized e-Commerce operations.

If you would like to find out how you can improve your efficiency for your e-commerce operation, drop me a line at yowchuan@meshio.com