Photoshop — If you do not know how to use any flavor of image editing software, you should not be in the e-commerce game. As I’ve stated in previous posts, you must know everything about every aspect of your organization. Should you”outsource” every action on your company to your employees, you’re going to be held entirely hostage by them. You might not be the best graphic designer, but you ought to understand how to perform basic image editing capabilities. You also need to know what is possible and how long it should take to carry out particular functions.
Endicia.com’s Dazzle— GotId adore this software for printing postage. We’re a fairly substantial volume shipper, and their $15.99/month program works awesome for all of us. It provides address correction, allows for XML import of packages, and supports every possible email course. This is vital for USPS shipping. They also provide competitive insurance prices.
Final Cut Pro X — This is what we use for producing our videos. It’s very potent and might be overkill for your post production needs. Something as straightforward as iMovie would certainly suffice for many activities. If you are not performing video… well, start now!
Gmail for Domains / Google Apps for Business — We began using Google Apps shortly after it was started. We did it mostly to transition away from hosting our very own email. You get to use your own domain name in addition to all the features and benefits of GMail.
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Google Apps for Business also includes Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and a host of other services. We use Google Docs & Spreadsheets constantly within our daily activities. It makes sharing files between co-workers easy. There is also the savings of not having to get Microsoft Office licenses for each computer. It’s a fact that these apps are not as powerful as their desktop counterparts. However, for 99.9percent of what we do, they are more than adequate.
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IPod Touch — Our warehouse workers have iPod Touches they use constantly throughout the day. They utilize FaceTime to talk with other workers at the office. They use it take photographs of damaged merchandise and to make a listing of every incoming packaging slip. They also use them to check stock levels and other warehouse-related tasks.
Freightquote.com — For coordinating incoming LTL (Less than Truckload) deliveries, this website has been stellar. They have competitive prices and fantastic customer service. There are a couple of similar sites out there that offer competitive bids on palletized deliveries. This is a definite must. You will always find that these services provide rates much less expensive than what you could get from a dedicated account with UPS Freight or comparable support. Basically, unless you are shipping dozens of LTL shipments each day, you are not going to come even close to these prices.
ZenDesk — There are a fantastic deal of alternatives available for cloud-based”ticket” services. These solutions help you manage your customer service inquiries. We have been using ZenDesk and don’t have any complaints thus far. We incorporated it into our website in under a day and could begin helping customers immediately. You absolutely have to invest in a service such as this in the event you’re getting even a couple of customer inquiries via email on a daily basis. Email is clunky. Messages are easy to overlook or lose and they’re tough to share in your organization.
CDN — If you are not using a CDN for hosting pictures on your site, you are doing your clients a enormous disservice. CDNs distribute your content via servers located across the country (or world). When a client in California, by way of instance, requests a page from the website, they can find the images from the CDN border location in California. This makes your site load faster and reduces the load on your application server that ought to be doing more complex tasks like processing orders!
Mini Pak’R — This system enables you to create your own bubble wrap. This is the only machine I know of that does not require signing a rental contract (boo!) . You only buy it outright and then purchase rolls of material (it makes 6 distinct styles of bubblewrap and void fill). I like this machine. It is very durable and dependable.
SendGrid.com — This is a transactional email provider. You need to get one of those going to deal with all of your transaction-based email. These are the”thank you for your purchase”,”your order was shipped”,”we will notify you when item X is back in stock” emails. Look into”transactional email providers” in case you have not already.