Mobile Apps for Merchants on the Move

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 22 Nov, 2010

While the holidays present an opportunity for many business owners to spend fewer hours on the job and more time with family, ecommerce professionals do not have that luxury. If the retail forecasts are accurate - and merchants certainly hope they are - this week will kick off the busiest shopping season since the start of the recession.

Ensuring that inventories are stocked, promotional campaigns are launched and customer requests are managed leaves little time for anything else. Fortunately, there are as many tools today for the merchant-on-the-go as there are for the consumer-on-the-go. The ones below are among the most highly recommended:

Sugar Mobile for iPhone
SugarCRM, the immensely popular customer relationship management suite, recently added a new native iPhone application to boost mobile productivity. The new feature was part of the Sugar 6 upgrade released this month, and it enables users to access and interface with their CRM systems from their iPhones. The application offers strong customization capabilities so that users can create a highly specialized mobile experience to handle their business' CRM tasks from just about anywhere - including the Thanksgiving dinner table if necessary.

Zendesk for Mobile
Customer support software provider Zendesk has mobile apps for Android, Blackberry and iPhone devices that all give users full visibility into the company's customer-support ticket system. Users can access all customer support-ticket views to manage queries while on the move, and they can also update existing tickets and add comments for quick follow-up. Merchants can create new support tickets, view entire ticket threads and create new accounts on the fly. Users can also view Zendesk customer-support tickets created from Twitter - called a twicket - and tweet back to the customer via direct message.

Mzinga Mobile Apps
With more than 300 clients such as Amazon, Ford and ABC, Mzinga has rapidly built a name for itself in the social software space. Its suite of CRM solutions is called OmniSocial, and recently added was a list of new features including mobile apps, expanded analytics and more. Clients use the software as both an internal and external, customer-facing solution, and the customizable mobile applications are available for Blackberry and iPhone devices.

Jive Mobile 4.5
Jive-powered customer-support communities have become a popular and effective way for businesses to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. Essentially social networks for customer service, Jive has brought these support forums to mobile with the release of Jive Mobile 4.5 - a completely HTML5 based suite of social media apps with native support for Android, BlackBerry and iOS. Jive Mobile is available as both both an internally and an externally facing set of apps - meaning that Jive users can re-brand the apps to serve their own customers.

Roambi Mobile ES3
Mellmo's Roambi ES3 is a mobile application that focuses on analytics and other business intelligence data. Roambi serves up six detailed views of the data it provides for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch: a trends view, a pie view, a drill-down navigation view, a table browser, a virtual file drawer and a comparison tool. Merchants using iOS devices can have just about any aspect of their business' vital data at their fingertips from the comforts of home and family during the busy holiday rush.