Starting an ecommerce company from the ground up is an expensive endeavor. Everywhere you turn, another company needs money so that you can keep your company running. Some of the expenses you’ll encounter simply can’t be avoided. Others, however, can be reduced or even eliminated, as long as you know where to look for cheap (or free) alternatives.
Does this all sound more amazing than you can even imagine? Well, wait until you see some of the tools out there that could make developing your ecommerce company easier and more fun than you thought possible.
Product images are a challenge you’ll struggle with throughout the life of your company. You simply can’t upload iPhone images and expect to compete with other companies…or can you?
We’re the first to suggest the most professional images possible, but does that mean you have to hire an expensive photographer or purchase outrageous camera equipment to get the job done? With iPhone camera lenses, which you can attach in various ways, you can take some amazing photographs that rival any produced by DSLR. In fact, there is even an attachment for SLR lenses, if that’s the route you choose to go.
You can also enjoy Shopify’s tutorial on capturing amazing images with a smartphone camera. With these tips combined with your new camera lenses, you’ll be set to create some incredible product photos.
The very thought of Photoshop sends many people into a panic. First, it’s expensive, right? And then you have to learn to use it, which is no easy feat. We can’t all be professional photographers and graphic designers. Fortunately, Adobe saw your need and soothed it with Photoshop Elements. It’s a much less expensive and much easier to use version than the professional product.
With this program, you can edit your own photos, create stunning product images, and even mock-up your own catalogs. And did we mention it’s less than $100?
Social proof is huge. Nothing markets a product better than word of mouth, but harnessing that power for your ecommerce site can be hard. Of course, you can run yourself ragged sharing everything from your site on all your social accounts and just hope that someone somewhere starts talking about you.
Or you can use LoopIt. This new program allows your website visitors to ask for opinions from their friends right there on the site. If they find something they love, they can send the word out over their own social media platforms to get friends’ opinions. They get reassurance; you get brand recognition, word-of-mouth marketing, transparency, and important data you can use for later marketing campaigns.
Credit card processing is a must for online businesses, but choosing the right company isn’t easy. There are plenty available with the technology and security you need to rest easy, but some take a larger percentage than others. Leap Payments takes the smallest percentage of all the available processing companies, and they charge a lower membership fee.
This is basically Graphic Design for Dummies—and it’s FREE. If you don’t have the cash to pay a full-time graphic designer or even hire a freelancer on occasion, then this could be your dream come true. Canva makes it possible for you to design your own social media cover images, book covers, catalogs, website background designs, fliers, postcards, presentations, posters, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
The program itself costs nothing, and many of the images available for use are also free. If you need something a bit more professional or polished, there are some paid images to use, too, but get this: They only cost a dollar. And you don’t pay for those images until you’re ready to publish.
Now, with these particular tools available, do you think it’s actually possible to take your ecommerce business to the next level? Let us know if you try any of the suggestions. We love to get feedback so we can share with everyone!
Originally published Sep 8, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016