Your customers are mobile, so your business should be too. Phone and tablet applications can simplify your selling by giving you real-time notifications and access to information however, whenever, and wherever you need it. But what apps and software are worth the price and which will truly help to grow your business?
If you sell on Amazon, you should have the traditional Amazon app on your phone. This app lets you function as any other Amazon customer with the ability to browse and purchase items. This can help you see what your storefront looks like “from the outside.”
However, the primary reason to use this app is to watch what your competition is doing. You will be able to see their prices, how many items they have in stock, their product descriptions, and their reviews (both good and bad). This can help you see where you stack up in comparison: what looks good in their listings? what looks bad? what can you be doing better?
Even if you sell on another online platform, Amazon is too huge a competitor to ignore.
(Plus, you can scan the barcode of an item in a brick and mortar store, and if Amazon has that UPC in stock, it will come up with relevant product listings. This can help save you money on your own shopping!)
In the same way, whether or not you sell on eBay, it’s important to take stock of the eBay competition. If you sell on eBay, this app will also allow you to see your listings from the customer’s point of view. This is especially crucial since eBay storefronts can be so customized.
In this same vein, you want to download other store’s apps. Never make the mistake to think that your competitors are constricted to one platform.
If you are a HomeRev seller, consider downloading Wal-Mart or Home Depot apps to watch similar products’ pricing and reviews. Take notice of complaints especially. This can help you determine the true pain point of your consumer—how are they not obtaining the product that they need from your competitors?
If you sell on Amazon, the Amazon Seller app is a non-negotiable must-have. It has so many features that allow you to be available to the customer and to your business 24/7 (although this can be good and bad). It has a barcode scanner that allows you to scan, sell and check inventory, so you’re always up to date on your stock. No hectic inventory scans once a month. It also allows you to re-price this inventory as you see fit. (Below, we will discuss apps that offer automatic re-pricing options.)
The app also lets you check sales and manage orders in real-time, which includes the status of FBA shipments and your disbursement amount (so you’re always aware of your cash flow). To be honest, this can be a little overwhelming sometimes; you need to have the discipline not to be checking your orders every other minute.
However, it can be highly useful if you’re out walking the dog and a frantic customer email you. You can quickly check the status of their order, and email them right back (directly on the app)—all while your dog plays with his bone!
This app doesn’t calculate all of the fees involved with each sale, though. If you are an Amazon Professional Seller, this shouldn’t matter as much because you will have a tighter control of your expenses through the platform. However, Individual Sellers should take into account that it is not as updated with fees versus profits.
Users also don’t like that it does not have direct links to Camelcamelcamel or Keepa, which are free Amazon price trackers with sales rank history. Just because it doesn’t have a direct link within the Amazon Seller application doesn’t mean you can’t have these accounts, though. Plus, these can be accessed through Scoutify with Inventory Lab.
Inventory Lab is a favorite among Amazon sellers. It helps list products, prints inventory labels, manage cash flow, and keep track of profitability for each SKU and groupings of products. It is an expense management tool that takes care of more than just profitability—it ensures a healthy, growing business.
Inventory Lab costs $49 per month. With this price, you also get access to Scoutify, which is a scanning app with in-store sourcing and other integrations. You can see updated ROI to the minute, so you can watch how much you are making. It also offers quick links to Camel and Keepa to keep up with sales rank history and check prices.
A comparative option to Scoutify is Profit Bandit (through SellerEngine). It is $9.99 per month, which is significantly less, but you do not give all the inventory, stock, and management features of Inventory Lab. Profit Bandit is focused only on the profit you are making.
Feedvisor is an automatic re-pricing tool. It is not a mobile app currently, but we wanted to include it due to its software functionality. It functions as your personal competition consultant. Unlike similar programs, it doesn’t just automatically undercut competitors’ prices, which can create a hit to your margins. Rather, it takes into account competitor prices with external and internal dynamics to create a price that will help you win the Buy Box and grow your business.
The cost is dependent upon the number of users. It is certainly not cheap, but it is guaranteed to significantly boost your margins and your Amazon presence and optimization.
Their online system is threefold: 1) provide effective, automated emails and responses to customers at different points along their order-journey; 2) encourage satisfied users to rate your company; 3) monitor and address negative feedback within minutes of occurrence.
They also offer a service called RepricerExpress, which is similar to Feedvisor in that it watches competitors’ prices. However, it only looks to win the Buy Box by “beating out” the competition in terms of price; it does not look at other dynamics, as Feedvisor does.
You pay for Feedback Express based on the number of emails per month that you want automated and sent out—the rest is included (including mobile notifications of negative feedback). The most popular plan is 5,000 emails for $49 per month, but there are less and greater packages as well.
There are other feedback app options on the market, too. We recommend Feedback Express not for its spectacular features but for its high ratings among users.
There are a lot of apps on the market that helps entrepreneurs of all kinds. Some of our favorites include Intuit, Evernote, and Scanner Pro or Tiny Scanner.
Intuit has a lot of different tax and expense apps that are worth looking into. Our favorite is Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed. If you are a one-person seller, this app it is an easy way to track all of your associated expenses in one location. It is also invaluably useful when tax season rolls around (it also shows you your relevant deductions). This app costs about $13 per month.
I personally use Evernote for my own work. It is a great way to store and organize receipts, expenses, documents, and emails. You can store everything and anything in one spot with in-depth categories and sub-categories. It also syncs with all of your devices so you can always have access to the information that you need. (The basic version is free.)
I also love Tiny Scanner and Scanner Pro. You can scan in receipts and other hard copy documents to your mobile phone. You can then export them to Evernote or email them directly to clients etc. It is incredibly useful for those, “Oh I forgot to fax that!” moments too. Both apps have a small one time fee of under $10.
These apps will help you manage your expenses, out-perform your competitors, and boost your profits—all while lowering the amount of work you have to do!