Philippine MSMEs have turned to online selling during the pandemic — but some have yet to leverage tech tools in streamlining their day-to-day operations.
73% of MSMEs said that they need help in going digital.
So let’s tackle one of the most common questions that we receive from our customers…
What tools do you need for an online business?
Here are 7 essential tech tools for online selling during pandemic (and beyond)!
1. eCommerce Platform
While there are lots of places where you can sell online such as Shopee, Lazada, and Facebook Marketplace, having your own platform gives you…
…the freedom to customize your website so it shows your unique brand.
…a “permanent” web address where people can easily visit and shop.
…control what happens on your website — not some other platform’s algorithm.
However, investing in a fully functional and optimized website could get expensive.
That’s why it’s important to find the right platform that best fulfills your business’ specific needs.
(Excuse us for tooting our own horn first…)
- Prosperna myStore – Proudly local, made specifically with the Philippines’ needs in mind. With our we-do-it-for-you service, you will be supported every step of the way in creating your online store.
- Shopify – Shopify is created so that businesses can create and manage their online store. However, the cost of setting up a Shopify store is considered expensive, as shared by many SMEs we talked with.
- WooCommerce – WooCommerce is an open-source software hosted in WordPress. While this is 100% fully customizable, it does come with a steep price! You’d need to be familiar with coding. Or hire a web developer to help with the setup and maintenance.
|Online selling during a pandemic makes us rethink what tech tools we should invest in.Keep on reading to find out Prosperna’s newest solution for budget-conscious MSMEs.|
2. Digital Payment Processing Systems
With the continued threat of spreading COVID-19, we must make online selling as contactless as possible.
That said, some consumers are still hesitant to pay online due to security and privacy concerns, as well as high charges.
- PayPal – One of the leading payment gateway providers here and abroad. Setup is easy. Aside from PayPal payments, they also accept credit and debit card payments.
- GCash – Perhaps the most widely used digital wallet here in the Philippines. You can create your GCash QR to securely accept mobile payments in real-time.
- PayMongo – From credit cards to e-wallets to over-the-counter payments. PayMongo is revolutionizing how people pay online with one-time payment links.
3. Shipping Service Integrations
Shipping and order fulfillment is one of those tedious and time-consuming tasks in business operations.
Automating and optimizing these will not only save you time…
…it will also make your customers happy and satisfied. And keep them coming back for more.
Your first step?
Partner with a TRUSTED and RELIABLE shipping provider.
- Lalamove – Lalamove boasts of fast same-day and door-to-door delivery. You can easily book online or via their mobile app. And they offer different delivery vehicles based on your business needs.
- Borzo (formerly MrSpeedy) – Catering to SMEs, Borzo offers same-day or scheduled delivery around Metro Manila at an affordable rate. There’s no need to register when booking.
4. Email Marketing Platforms
If you want your business to last — you need to build TRUST with your customers.
One effective way to do this is through email marketing.
Aside from giving updates, you can share more stories about your brand for reliability and credibility.
These platforms have built-in reporting to help you track how your email marketing is performing.
- MailChimp – MailChimp is a user-friendly platform that allows users to create personalized campaigns and automate workflows. It seamlessly integrates into your online store so you can gather data for customer purchase behavior.
- Sendinblue – Sendinblue brags about being the most intuitive platform with its drag-and-drop builder. Aside from emails, you can also send SMS marketing and install a chat window on your website.
- MailerLite – MailerLite is known for its straightforward straight forward easyIt’s a good tool if you’re looking for a no-fuss way to begin email marketing.
5. Social Media Management Solutions
With the rise of businesses using social media as their online storefront, managing social media has become even more time-consuming.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
There are tools available to help you batch create content and schedule ahead of time.
With monitoring and reporting functionality, you can analyze and strategize how to improve your social media marketing.
- Native Social Media Solutions – Facebook and Instagram have Creator Studio for managing content creation and publishing. While YouTube has YouTube Studio.
- HootSuite – For businesses that are managing different social media accounts. Easily organize, curate, and schedule content in one place.
- Buffer – If you’re just starting out and looking for basic content batch scheduling across multiple social media platforms, Buffer is a good tool to start with.
6. Tracking and Analytics Software
Gathering and analyzing data is an important part of growing any kind of business.
When it comes to eCommerce, Google Analytics is a free tool that you can leverage to track and analyze data.
More importantly, you can utilize Google’s unique insights and machine learning technology so you can get the most from the information you’ve gathered.
Be sure to specify the key metrics that you need for your business.
Also, depending on which software you invest in, they may come with their own data analytics feature.
Here are some examples:
- eCommerce – Product Page View, Add to Cart, Successful Sales
- Website – Page Load Speed, Website Traffic, Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate
- Social Media – Conversions, Referrals, Engagements
- Email – Deliverability Rate, Open Rate, Click-Through Rate, Conversion Rate
7. Cloud Storage
To fast-track the growth of your business, you need to go digital.
This includes paperless transactions and taking advantage of cloud storage to store data.
Aside from being sustainable, storing data in the cloud offers convenience, security, and accessibility.
It also makes for easy data sharing within your organization, and a faster alternative to transacting with customers and external partners.
- Google Drive – This cloud storage solution easily integrates with Google’s wide array of native apps such as Doc, Sheets, and Slides — allowing easy collaboration with your team in real-time.
- Dropbox – Bring all your files in one place, no matter what type of file. You can download and sync Dropbox on your laptop or desktop so you can easily use it like a regular folder.
- OneDrive – For basic cloud storage at a more affordable price, OneDrive is a good alternative.
Bonus: Social Commerce App
Social commerce is becoming a new norm for doing business online.
Thanks to social commerce, it’s now easier to connect with your customers and give them a seamless online shopping experience.
But online selling inside social media is still a cumbersome process if you don’t have the right tech tools.
Social media platforms are limited in their ability to support end-to-end purchasing journeys. Specifically, with payment and shipping.
A social commerce app that can easily integrate with social media platforms like Facebook.
With myChat, you can start selling online and offer customers a way to buy, pay, and book shipping — automatically and seamlessly directly inside social media.
Investing in the right technology will save you time and money.
By streamlining and automating your day-to-day operations, you can focus on ways to grow your business.
Prosperna is on a mission to educate and empower Philippine MSMEs like you with the right tools so you can boost your online selling, even during a pandemic.
That’s why we’ve created our newest social commerce solution.