Biz Tips: eCommerce Essentials 2018 : 7 must-haves to help you thrive!

Biz Tips: eCommerce Essentials 2018 : 7 must-haves to help you thrive!


eCommerce Essentials 2018 : 7 must-haves to help you thrive!

Whether you’re an up and comer looking to make a big splash or a veteran wanting to further expand your eCommerce arsenal, here are 5 essentials you just can’t do without.

eCommerce Platform: Shopify

Shopify is a leading multichannel commerce platform that makes it easier than ever to build your online store. It does away with all the technical hassles of setting up shop and helps you cut straight to business, making it an ideal choice for beginners. As soon as you sign up, you’re greeted to a huge collection of professionally designed and highly customizable store templates that helps ensure an experience of a lifetime for your visitors without the need for any external help. Furthermore, it’s highly scalable, intuitive, easy to use and offers good value for money and excellent support. Depending upon your needs, you can choose from the following plans:

  • Basic Shopify: At $29 per month, you get credit cards rates of 2.9% + 30¢, unlimited number of products, unlimited file storage, retail package (if needed), 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, a website and blog, and a free SSL certificate. Two staff accounts are also provided.
  • Shopify: At $79 per month, you get the Basic Shopify plan + credit card rates of 2.6% + 30¢, gift cards, professional reports and abandoned cart recovery. Staff accounts get bumped up to five.
  • Advanced Shopify: At $299 per month, you get the Shopify plan + credit card rates of 2.4% + 30¢, advanced report builder and real time third party shipping rates. Staff accounts get bumped up to fifteen.

Payment Gateway: Stripe

For your customers to be able to complete the checkout process and complete their purchase, you need to provide them with certain payment options. This is where a payment gateway like Stripe comes in. When it comes to payment gateways, it’s normally the more the merrier but if we have to go with one, Stripe is the way. An all in one payment gateway and merchant processor, Stripe is available for business in 25 countries. The best part about it is that it seamlessly integrates with your Shopify store checkout process so that customers never have to leave the checkout process to complete their purchase. Moreover, with the Stripe.js reference sensitive credit card information is sent directly to Stripe instead of your local server, instantly making you PCI compliant.

Stripe is accompanied by a really simple and transparent pricing model. You get to Pay and Play with only a 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge as long as you’re under $1 million in volume per year. There are no monthly or hidden costs involved so you only pay for what you use.

Marketing Automation: Inbox25

Effective marketing automation can be the difference between a dedicated following and an alienated audience. It can be the leverage small eCommerce businesses need to bridge the gap between their more dominant counterparts and themselves. Inbox25 can help you streamline your daily tasks and offer more personal and enjoyable experiences for your customers. Praised for its ease of use, extensive features and quality, you can’t go wrong with Inbox25.

Inbox25 offers flexible payment plans based on your unique marketing needs.

Email Marketer: Pay based on the number of emails you want to send out. Starting at a $ 59 monthly plan, you get email marketing features, unlimited users and support and can send up to 12,500 emails.

Pro Marketer: Pay based on the size of your target list. Starting at a $ 499 monthly plan, you get access to complete journey management, unlimited users, lead management email marketing, social marketing, analytics and reporting and more.

Learn all about Inbox25 features.

Data Analytics: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It has been around for a little over a decade and has been providing businesses of all kinds with insights crucial to their success. This web-based platform allows you to collect data about the visitors to your website and gives everything including how they arrived at your website, what they did whilst on your website, whether or not they converted, as well as offering lots of additional information about the user themselves. These are all vital stats and knowing exactly what the numbers mean will help drive results and identify what works and what doesn’t.

While the premium Analytics 360 version gives you access to more configurations, data integration services, advanced support and advertising options, the FREE standard version still packs enough of a punch to make it a worthy consideration for your eCommerce platform. You get all the nifty analysis tools, social and mobile performance reporting, Adwords integration, campaign measurement and more. Furthermore, you get access to all the Enhanced Ecommerce features that let you monitor your revenue and conversion rate, transactions, shopping and checkout behavior analysis as well as product and sales performance reporting.

Finance Management: Xero

Keeping track of invoices, discounts and cash flows can be a daunting task. For accurate and seamless financial management, Xero makes for an excellent option. It’s an easy to use tool for all your accounting and bookkeeping needs. Its intuitive UI make it suitable for entrepreneurs as well as hardcore accountants.

The hugely scalable and extensible Xero platform provides you with a 360 degree view of all your cash flows and inventory. You can monitor all your bank transactions as it readily integrates with your account. You can set up budgets and create reports anytime with ease. You can gain deeper insights into your total income and sales by splitting and segmenting them by your various channels using Xero’s tracking codes. All your data is kept safe using SSL protection and support is available 24/7. To top things off, you can easily integrate it with Sugar with one click using our very own RT SugarXero.

Starter: At $ 9 per month, you can send 5 invoices and quotes, enter 5 bills and reconcile 20 bank transactions.

Standard: At $ 30 per month, you get all of the above without the number limits as well as payroll for up to 5 people.

Premium: You get all the features in Standard as well as Multi-currency support. Payroll for 10, 20 and 100 people will cost you $ 70, $90, $ 180 per month respectively.

Project Management: Asana

Asana gives you a complete 360 degree view of your entire project from start to finish and lets you effectively collaborate with your team. You can define due dates and assign project tasks to team members so everyone’s clear on what to do and when to do it. All your files, emails and tickets are in the same place so nothing slips through the cracks or gets lost in the shuffle as your project progresses. With over 100 integrations available, the possibilities are endless.

Free: You get unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations along with basic dashboards and search for up to 15 members.

Premium: For $ 9.99 per member per month, you get everything in Free along with advanced features such as unlimited users, unlimited dashboards, Timeline project view, premium support, unlimited app integrations and advanced search reports.


We have gone at great length discussing the many benefits of a CRM for eCommerce. SugarCRM ticks all those boxes and then some. It brings everything you need to strengthen your relationship with your customers as well as proving means to effectively manage their data. With SugarCRM you have a holistic 360 degree view of all your shoppers, vendors and inventory under one hood. Furthermore, we can extensively customize SugarCRM and tailor it your unique business processes. Perhaps, even better is that most tools and utilities on this list can be seamlessly integrated with SugarCRM to provide you with a solution that’s greater than the sum of it parts.

Contact us today for a FREE consultation session and to learn more about how SugarCRM can help your eCommerce business excel.

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