Tools & Tech

I know firsthand how it important it is to use software products, tools, and resources to help my retail business run more efficiently so I’m here to share some of my favorites.  I hope you find this list helpful!

If you have a recommendation that isn’t on this list, please contact me and tell me about it.

Here’s a list of software, products and tools I feel are helpful to Shopkeepers:

Wholesale Platforms:

TUNDRA – Tundra is an online marketplace where Buyers (Brick and mortar store owners) can shop and place orders with Sellers (Makers).

If you’re a BUYER click HERE to get 15% off everything you buy on Tundra for the first 30 days and I’ll get 5% back.
If you’re a MAKER, click HERE to apply to sell on Tundra where your products can be seen by 25,000+ buyers!

FAIRE –  similar to Tundra, Faire helps retailers find and buy unique wholesale merchandise for their stores. Retailers can order online wholesale and get flexible payment terms.  Click here to read a blog post I wrote about Tundra vs. Faire.

If you’re a MAKER who hasn’t applied to sell on Faire yet, CONTACT ME and I’ll send you a special email invite from Faire to apply to join. If accepted by Faire you’ll have the ability to sell your products in an online marketplace to over 150,000 retail store owners.

Point of Sale:

SQUARE – Square is a cloud based point of sale system that lets you start selling wherever your customers are. Square makes it easy to sell in person, online, over the phone, or out in the field. Click HERE for free credit card processing up to $1000 or HERE for a free credit card reader.
SHOPIFYYou’ll also find Shopify listed under Website/E-Commerce, if you’re looking for a true omnichannel retail platform – where you sell in person through a POS system, ecommerce through an online shop, on social media with tagged posts AND more, I recommend Shopify.

Bluetooth Scanner (for Square POS):

Socket S700 Scanner – If you’re looking for a wireless scanner to use with your Square Point-of-Sale System, this Socket S700 has worked well for us in my own store.

Website and/or E-Commerce:

SHOPIFY –  Shopify is a complete commerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage a business. Create and customize an online store. Sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. Manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping. Get a free 14 day trial!

Website Hosting:

SITEGROUND – Platforms like Shopify provide you with hosting but if you have a WordPress website, you’ll need hosting for your website.  Siteground provides fast and secure hosting but equally important, their Support is outstanding!  I have contacted them via chat countless times and each time my issue has been resolved or my question has been answered.  I highly recommend using Siteground if you need hosting for your website.

Bookkeeping:

BENCH ACCOUNTING is an online service that handles your bookkeeping for you so that you can focus on running your small business. If you don’t want to learn HOW to bookkeep yourself and you know it’s time to hand this task off to the experts, Bench is the service for you with tiered pricing based on the size of your business. Click HERE and you’ll receive your first trial month free AND 30% off your first 3 months.

Payroll:

SQUARE PAYROLL – If you use Square for your point-of-sale system then using Square to manage your payroll is easy!  If you’re ready to build your team and want to hand off the payroll using a simple system and process,  click HERE to get one month free.

GUSTO – Gusto is a modern, online people platform that helps small businesses take care of their teams. On top of full-service payroll, Gusto offers health insurance, 401(k)s, expert HR, and team management tools. Click on the link to set up a simple payroll system for your own team! Click here to get one month for FREE.

Shipping:

SHIPPING EASY  Ship your first 50 packages each month for FREE at discounted rates.  If you ship a higher volume, choose from one of Shipping Easy’s paid plans.  Shipping Easy is ideal if you want to ship or see rates or ship through multiple carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL).

PIRATE SHIP – is the ONLY shipping software that offers true Commercial Pricing USPS rates with ZERO additional fees or volume requirements. Every single Pirate Ship account gets access to Commercial Plus Pricing rates for all USPS mail classes.  Pirate Ship only offers shipping through USPS. 

Shipping Scales:

ACCUTEK 50 Lb. Digital Scale with Adapter – run on 3 x AAA batteries or 5v adapter (both included)

ACCUTEK 100 Lb. Digital Scale – Accuteck ShipPro Series comes with two way sided fold up mailer holders. Accuteck ShipPro can be powered by batteries, USB cable, and Ac adapter.

Video Conference / Online Teaching:

ZOOM is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.  If you want to teach an online class or host a webinar, Zoom has a free plan and paid plans starting at $14.99.

Video Equipment:

RING LIGHT & TRIPOD – If you’re looking to do more lives, teach more on video and want good lighting while you’re doing it, this is the ring light I use and I love that it comes with an adjustable tripod, different colored light covers, AND a bluetooth remote that works with a cell phone all in a nice carrying case.

Inventory Management:

SHOPVENTORY Shopventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution that integrates with a range of sales systems.   Get a FREE 30-day trial!

CRAFTYBASE –  Craftybase is an all-in-one business management software designed for handmade sellers. Track material and product stock, calculate COGS for Schedule C, log expenses, and keep your pricing on track. Sign up for a free 14-day trial!

Social Media and Marketing Tools:

PLANN – Plann is a complete Instagram scheduling, analytics and strategy suite that is visually focused, just like Instagram to ensure your absolute success on social media. Teamed with a beautifully simple drag and drop workspace, you’ll be able to create your own uniquely branded Instagram feed too.  We’ll help you measure the results of your posts, your stories, track your website click-throughs, and even show you your best-performing color palettes to keep you focussed on your growth.

Email Marketing:

FLODESK –  This is a super simple email platform to help you create gorgeous, high converting email campaigns. From the moment you create your account, you have access to beautiful templates and layouts that you can customize to match your brand in minutes. Click here to get 50% off their introductory offer.  For $19/mo you get unlimited emails and unlimited subscribers!  This software is currently in Beta which means it’s new and if you join early, you’ll get the best rate and offer.  Once they add additional integrations, the price will increase and only those that join at the beta price will get unlimited emails and unlimited subscribers.

Graphic Design:

CANVA PRO – Canva Pro offers everything Canva does for free plus the ability to resize your graphics, upload fonts, save your brand colors and logos, folder organization, you can add team members and so much more!  If you feel limited by a free Canva account – trust me, Canva Pro is completely worth it!

Time Management Tools:

TYPEFORM – Simplify our business and get better data with conversational forms, surveys, quizzes & more.  Sign up for a free plan!

TRELLO –  Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.  Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. Sign up for a free account!

Online Teaching Platform:

MEMBERVAULT– If you’re a retail store owner looking to teach online or offer classes/courses to your customers.  Membervault is an easy to use platform to teach courses, offer digital products and create memberships.

Bags and Packaging:

AMERICAN PAPER AND PLASTIC CO. – A family owned company in Hamilton, Ohio, this company offers custom printed kraft bags, tissue, and other packaging supplies for retailers.  American Paper and Plastic is offering the Savvy community a free plate for your first custom printed bag order (value $75).  Contact JamieBishop@apaper.com and tell her you’re part of our community to redeem the offer.  Click here to watch Jamie’s video to help you choose which bag is right for your business.

Retirement/Investing:

ACORNS – Whether you want to invest for retirement or invest some spare change to build a small nest egg or emergency fund, the Acorns app makes it easy!  I used this simple app over the past few years and now have over $2,000 just by investing spare change from debit and credit card purchases and/or contributing $5-10/week.  This app may not set you up for retirement but it’s a great tool for building a nest egg or emergency fund!  You won’t even notice the change is missing.  Click HERE to get your first $5 when you sign up!

Business Credit Card:

CHASE – Chase offers 3 business credit cards so you can choose what works best for you! Each card offers cash back rewards and what’s better than cash?! Click HERE to choose the card for you and earn a cash back bonus too!

Make Home Life Easy:

GROVE COLLABORATIVE – This app and monthly subscription has saved me HOURS of chores/shopping every month.  Grove Collaborative is an online subscription service that delivers cleaning supplies, household products, and other essentials directly to your home.  Not only am I using earth-friendly products, but I’m saving myself time by getting my household and personal products delivered right to my door. Click HERE to get your FREE Mrs. Meyers & Grove scrubber.

*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I believe they are useful to shopkeepers.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.