If you’re running an ecommerce business, there are thousands of free tools you can use to help with your business – regardless of what platform you are using,
I’ve shared some of my favorite apps with you in the article “Awesome Apps for Ecommerce Owners” and in the article “There’s an App for That!“, and I’ve mentioned other free apps throughout articles in this “Just JayDee” series.
In addition to the mobile device apps (for phones and tablets), there are also free tools that you can use on your computer to help you with your business. Here are a few of these helpful desktop tools.
QR Code Generator
Have you ever scanned a QR code (like the one on the right) with your phone? If you haven’t, a QR code is a special coded symbol that, when scanned by a smartphone or tablet, brings you to a predetermined destination – such as a website.
I use QR codes for a variety of things with my website. For example, I have a QR code for special discounts currently offered, one for custom landing pages I want to promote, another for my business cards (that bring people to my website), and even QR codes for window decals for my vehicle when I am on the road hunting for vintage treasures (because you never know who might scan that code). I think QR codes are a quick and easy way to direct traffic to your website. Here is a free tool that you can use to create your own QR code.
Tool: Free QR Code Generator
URL Link Shortener
I like to create shorter links to website pages, especially when posting to social media. Custom shortened links are much more memorable, and they don’t take up as much space as the regular URL of a website. I use Bit.ly to shorten my links. Besides creating custom shortened links using this tool, you can view the analytics for the link to see how many times it has been clicked on, the date and time the link was clicked on, which social networks that link is posted to, and more. This information can be very helpful when tracking how effective these links are – especially links to your marketing efforts. I highly recommend using this tool!
Check Your Grammar
When writing content for item descriptions or content for blog articles, make sure to avoid typing errors, misspelled words, and bad grammar – as these things can be a real turn-off to your visitors. Using a tool called Grammarly, you’ll be able to check your spelling and your grammar as you type!
Grammarly is an extension that works in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. Once you install the extension (it’s easy to do), you can turn it on or off as needed, and use it to help with your writing.
Share Your Screen
Have you ever talked to someone on the phone while leading them through a website, telling them what to click on? Frustrating, right? Now you can easily and quickly share your computer screen with another person to show them exactly what steps they should take. This simple Chrome extension called CrankWheel allows you do share your screen or browser tab with someone within 10 seconds! There is no need to download software for either you or the person you are sharing your screen content with – just click on the CrankWheel extension icon, give the person your screen ID (provided after you click the icon) and they will be able to open their browser and watch what you are doing on your screen. CrankWheel works on either desktops or mobile devices.
Organize Your Browser Tabs
If you’re like me and many other people, you probably have a couple dozen (or 114 – yep, that’s me) browser tabs open at one time, toggling between them as you work. Now you can organize all those tabs into one tab using a Chrome extension called OneTab. This tool displays all your open tabs into one easy-to-read list on one single tab. This helps reduce clutter on your screen and makes it easier to switch between tabs. It also helps save computer memory. Once you have all open tabs displayed on the OneTab, you can switch between the tabs by restoring the tabs individually, or all at one time.
Stay tuned to this “Just JayDee” series for even more free tools in upcoming articles!
ADDITIONAL FREE TOOLS TO CHECK OUT:
- Evernote Web Clipper – I’ve mentioned Evernote several times in this series of articles – it really is an awesome tool! You can take Evernote a step further by using the Evernote Web Clipper, available as an extension in Google Chrome. With the Web Clipper tool installed, whenever you find something on the Internet that you want to save, you can clip it. Things like articles, news stories, images, code snippets, and videos can all be saved within Evernote. When you access Evernote, everything you’ve saved is there and can be accessed on any device that you use Evernote on.
- Chrome Browser Tabs – In addition to the browser tab manager mentioned above, another alternative is to use a Chrome extension called TooManyTabs. This extension puts a icon on your Chrome toolbar that allows you to see a preview of all the tabs you currently have open in your browser window, and you can then easily switch between tabs or organize them.
Do you have recommendations for other free tools you can use for small businesses? Share in a comment below!
Also published on Medium.