Many small business owners don’t realize there are add-on software plug-ins which can be downloaded as addendums to many popular web commerce programs. These plugins are great options for shortcuts in making your life as a business owner easier, but you’ll have to know which ones are best for your needs. What are the best plugins for your needs as an entrepreneur, and how can they make your life easier in commerce?
Your Search Engine Optimization makes a big difference to your website. Search engines bringing up your site as part of their top results, especially for local businesses, makes a huge difference to finding new customers. For example, for WordPress, there are plugins such as Yoast, RankMath, and others to make sure that your blog has keywords adjusted to be what the potential customers are searching to see. This means that more people see your website, which means more people can decide to use your services. Your fight on the internet is for the eyes and ears of the world, and having a great plugin can be an extra weapon in your armory for gaining just that.
If you use different platforms to sell your products, having one place to manage your inventory will make everything much easier. Regardless of what platforms you are using, making things as streamlined as possible is essential. WooCommerce, for example, has plugins like Stock Manager, which does exactly that: shows what you have in stock and how many of each. WordPress has similar options, like WP Inventory Manager. Using a similar option, regardless of platform, can help you stay organized and know what is leaving your store quickest, and what needs reordering. Making sure you have exactly what your customers most demand in stock, when and where they want it, means more repeat customers who are happy, which means better growth for your company.
One of the best things for an entrepreneur is to know what sales haven’t been made…or made yet. Having a plugin to track “abandoned carts” is magnificent for helping finalize those sales. Everyone has had a customer who places multiple items in their cart and then who wanders off. Knowing why the wander has happened matters to the business. Obviously the product was desirable, or even the window shopping wouldn’t have happened. Apps that collect that data, and give you the chance to offer a discount or other option for abandoned carts, whose owners might have gotten discouraged by shipping costs or other frees, can finalize those sales and get you more loyal customers.
There are plugins which can make your calendaring so much simpler! Enter Scheduling App plugins. These handy plugins can have customers enter their own data into your calendar file, and then you have the chance to confirm or reschedule their appointment. These are equally magnificent for photographers, plumbers, and therapists to use, as well as anybody who has individually scheduled appointments out of necessity. It also helps you to not need to hire an assistant who is in charge of doing those things on your behalf.
You could hire specialists to do full data analysis of your company’s web presence (and this is a great idea periodically) but for day to day analysis, using a plugin is a great option. Plugins such as MonsterInsights grab all the great data you need to know about from google, crunch it all down into bite sized pieces that won’t overwhelm your brain, and offer it to you in easy to use form. There are many other options for google analytics as well, if you prefer other plugins. Find whichever option is within your price point, and which has the user interface which is most useful to you.
There are also options to both produce and send emails to your customers or clients, using the data gleaned in your analytics. You already know that certain demographics prefer email at certain times of day, and email client plugins can help you not only send those targeted emails, but also make sure they arrive just at the right moment. This optimizes your chances that these customers, or potential customers, will not only click through to your site, but have a few minutes to shop around.
As a business owner, often it’s easy to wish for an “easy button” to take just a small amount of the volume of tasks to do off of your own shoulders. However, if you judiciously use plugins, it’s like hiring another person, only in robot form. Plugins don’t sleep, or need time off, and they crunch all the numbers and analyze data you need so your team can more effectively do their own jobs. They save you time, money, and effort!