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9 Apps All Small Business Retailers Should Be Using

Being a small business owner or manager often means you don’t have a huge budget to invest in technology. Luckily, there are many free and affordable apps out there designed to make your life easier!

The Best Small Business Apps for Retail

We’re a small business, too — which is why we’re familiar with many retail-focused apps on the market. We’ve outlined nine of our favorite options and how they can benefit you and your retail business.

1. Trello

As a small business owner or manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate. That’s why our app recommendations start with an organizational app that we love!

Trello is a great place for your team to collaborate, manage projects, stay organized, and improve productivity. The app makes it easy to create a board and then sort projects and tasks into lists and cards. You can break things down even further with checklists and assigning items to individual team members.

Many of our own departments use Trello because it’s such a great tool! There is more than enough to work with on the free version of the app, including unlimited members, cards, and storage. But if you want even more features, automation, and customization options, look into their pricing.

2. Google Hangouts

While we’re on the administrative side of things, Google Hangouts is another app that your small business should be taking advantage of.

Google Hangouts is extremely beneficial, especially if you have a small team that needs to keep in touch and collaborate. It’s a free app, allowing you to contact individuals and/or an entire group with voice calls, video calls, and text-based chat. As a business owner, it’s impossible to be at your business 24/7 — so with Google Hangouts, you can feel comfortable having a go-to app for team meetings outside of your storefront.

3. Canva

You may think that having branded marketing materials isn’t possible without a significant marketing budget. Pro tip: It’s completely possible.

Most small business retailers don’t have a huge budget to work with, so they’re tasked with keeping design in house or leaving it out of their strategy altogether. Luckily, Canva is an app that has made design possible for everyone — whether you have experience with it or not.

All you need to do to get started is create a Canva account. The app provides you with a library of templates so you can quickly and easily create a logo, flyers, business cards, social media graphics, presentations, and so much more. 

If you already have a designed logo, that’s even easier. You can use photos of your products, happy customers, or storefront and place your logo on the images. Canva even provides you with the correct sizes, so you know you’re using the right dimensions for social media posts and printed pieces.

Like many of these small business apps, Canva is free, but there are additional features when you purchase their Canva Pro plan.

4. Facebook

Our next small business app recommendation is one you’re probably familiar with: Facebook!

Retailers do extremely well on social media platforms like Facebook. And once you’ve got all of your images designed for free, the rest is cake.

Use Facebook to post updates about what’s going on in your store. You can share photos of new arrivals or products that are part of a current promotion. Or you can record a quick video of a team member giving a product demonstration or talking about their favorite item in the store. Lastly, if you’re hosting an online or in-store event, Facebook is a great place to promote it. 

All of these things can be done for free. Retailers can get away with only posting organically to Facebook — but make sure your content is as visually appealing as possible.

5. Hootsuite

This next small business recommendation ties into the previous. Hootsuite is an app that allows you to schedule out your social media posts in advance.

If app #4 made you cringe thinking about how much time posting on Facebook would take, don’t sweat it! You can give one user access to a free Hootsuite account and link up to two social media platforms. But if social media really does make you nervous, we recommend starting small with just one platform.

The great thing about a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite is that you can map your content out in advance. Think as far out as you can. You may want to plan two weeks ahead, or an entire month. No matter the timeframe you choose, freeing up the time it takes to write and post content on a consistent schedule is worth it.

Upgrading on Hootsuite means you can link up 10 social media accounts and schedule out an unlimited number of posts — so if you’re a content pro, it’s worth considering.

6. Groupon

Many customers swear by Groupon, snagging a deal at any chance they get. While there are several big box retailers present on this app, it’s also a great place for small businesses to promote themselves.

As you know, people are always looking for the best deals. This is especially true for consumers who have never been to your store. In their eyes, they might not be able to justify paying full price for a product or service they’ve never tried.

Groupon makes it easier to be discovered by first-time customers doing a quick search in their neighborhood. And if you post an enticing deal on the app, they’re a lot more likely to purchase the Groupon and stop in. Then, if you make those visitors happy, you have the opportunity to create a life-long customer relationship. If anything at all, being on Groupon as a small business is great for brand awareness.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

7. SurveyMonkey

If email campaigns aren’t your thing but you’re eager to get a temperature check on customer satisfaction, SurveyMonkey is a great app for small business retailers.

This tool makes it simple to create a survey and send it out to your customers. Surveys can help you find out how a new customer discovered your business, if a loyal customer likes the changes you’ve made to your storefront, how event attendees are enjoying your workshops, and so much more.

On the HR side of things, you can even use SurveyMonkey to gauge how your own employees are doing. It’s important to get their feedback, too!

8. When I Work

If your small business is more than just you and there are a few employees to manage, When I Work is a must-have app.

When I Work comes with employee scheduling software, allowing you to create a work schedule and share it with your team. On the same app, employees can clock in and out, making it easier than ever to track time. And lastly, you can even communicate with your team via the When I Work app too, making it the perfect management tool. And it’s just two dollars per user!

Some point of sale software, like CAP Retail by POS Nation, have employee management built right in! However, if you’re using a point of sale solution that doesn’t have this feature, scheduling software can get expensive. Luckily, When I Work is consistently ranked as one of the most affordable options.

9. QuickBooks

Now, here’s a nice transition from employee management: an accounting app!

Like scheduling, most small business owners can’t afford to pay a hefty price for accounting software. Luckily, QuickBooks is a budget-friendly app that makes not-so-fun administrative tasks a breeze.

Small business retailers can use this app to get an overview of expenses, pay and manage their invoices, and submit payroll for employees. QuickBooks is extremely affordable for a small team, and like other apps, you’ll only need to upgrade as your business grows and you bring more people on board.

Small Business Apps and POS Integrations

There are several apps that are beneficial to small business retailers, so feel free to do your own research and find out what’s best for you and your team! These are just a few of the free and affordable apps we love.

Most paid apps have free trials, so if it’s an option, be sure to take them for a spin before making a commitment! Trial and error is part of running a small business.

If you have any questions about small business apps or integrations supported by CAP Retail by POS Nation, contact our team at 1-877-727-3548.


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