Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Ewen Finser
The Digital Merchant Mission
Our mission here at The Digital Merchant is to help you make the best buying decisions for your business tools and to feel more confident in the tools you purchase and use.
Check out our growing YouTube channel where we go deeper into the digital tools we actually use to grow our businesses!
Here are a few key guides to get you started
Help people make smarter choices when choosing the business tools that drive their business.
Authentic reviews. Real-world testers. Honest reviews. We’ll never endorse a tool we wouldn’t use in our own business and pay for. We are not affiliated with any software or tool.
Why The Digital Merchant?
Every software, service, or other tools we mention on our site are tested by the writer. We aren’t like some sites that look at the sales pages of the products or services and try to figure out which one is best. We get down into the nitty-gritty so you don’t have to.
We created this site because we’ve been there. As digital business owners, we eat, sleep, breathe the online world and when it comes to the tools we use, we are as deeply passionate about our portfolios.
You might be able to relate.
How many times have you spent countless hours researching a new tool, only to sit at the pricing page with fearful hesitation? How much is this going to cost me per month? Should I pay yearly? Will it integrate with my other software and promotion tools? Oh no, I think I have to integrate two parts with Zapier, now how much is Zapier per month again?
This just scratches the surface of how painful making the right digital tool choices can be. We’ve been there. You begin a new promotion, launch a new course, or want to finally track those expenses. Every tool has its pros and every tool has its cons.
That’s why I (selfishly) created The Digital Merchant. Because, I, like you, wanted to help in making smarter choices that I didn’t regret later on. I know how quickly every payment adds up per month and I want to help you make the best choices for your growing online business.
We have a lot of real business owners writing, research, testing for this site. Why? We all have to find that ‘right fit’ when it comes to tools. Some tools are best suited for new businesses online, while more sophisticated digital marketers and larger companies need other software solutions to scale. Whether you are just starting out, or scaling and growing your business to new heights, let The Digital Merchant be your first stop before you invest more money.
Just starting to create your digital presence?
Don’t worry. Our testers have been there and remember the pain points and struggle you have. As much as possible here, we try to give new and small businesses online the very best information and guidance on what they really need. My best advice when starting out, for as long as possible try to use the free or really low cost of tools so you can do your own testing. Only buy the tools that move your business forward and help you achieve your goals. Keep it simple and do your research.
We also discuss, test and talk a lot about the tools that will help your business grow online here. If you are looking to set up an online store, want to start your first promotion, this is the place where we’ll give you the real-deal truth on what works and what doesn’t.
Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
Your needs are a little different than those just starting. You want to scale, grow, make more sales and take care of the money you have coming in. You might be hiring teams, need some lead generation tools — this is a crucial point of your online business and the decisions you make today have a lasting impact.
This is where you make those big decisions — like choosing a CRM! The right CRM can make change your business, the wrong one could cost you thousands and thousands. I’ve personally been through migrations from one platform to another – nobody wants that either. We’ll do our best around here to save you the headaches and help make these big choices easier too.
How I’ve Structured The Digital Merchant
I’ve thought of every relevant tool that you’ll need to grow your business. I created this site for business owners, digital marketers, managers just like me that want to make the best decisions. I’ve tested and tried many of these tools myself and will never recommend something I wouldn’t pay for and use in my own online portfolio.
Some tips on how to choose a business tool.
Research and test for yourself before you commit.
Always do your homework. Don’t trust the slick videos and customer testimonials from the software tool site (they want to sell you, remember?) Always check out third-party reviews and watch videos of the tools in action.
2. Evaluate the tools you already have.
Once a quarter, I like to have a rundown of the tools that I’m currently using and I always ask myself the same question — Do I use this tool every day? Yes, keep it! Do I use this tool once a week? Yes. Maybe I need to keep it, or find a new way to use it more often. Can a free tool replace what I actually use this for? If yes, maybe it’s time to cancel.
3. Does the tool integrate with the tools you already love?
This is important because even the best tools out there for someone else might not work for you if you can’t easily integrate. Think about the tools that you use every day, find out (before you buy) if they integrate easily. Any extra setups might mean a clunky buyer experience or tech issues down the line, which could cost you sales. On the other hand, if you find a tool that you might like better, that’s more powerful and you want to invest, it might be worth it to replace the tools you currently use.
About the Founder
Ewen Finser, Head Merchant
Ewen Finser first started blogging and building websites back in 2011 (just for beer money!). Since then, he’s become gluten-free, so building a media company seemed like a more prudent idea. Operating a portfolio of 150+ different content sites and digital commerce lines, Ewen started TheDigitalMerchant as a venue to provide honest assessments of the tools and strategies he and his team use to grow their businesses over the past decade.
Ewen is very humble and won’t beat his chest about how he’s been able to grow a massively profitable portfolio. However, the whole The Digital Merchant team admires not only Ewen’s knowledge and experience but also his heart to help others through the site. He would never recommend a tool he hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole researching and using himself.
About the Awesome Tool Testing Team
Our editors not only know how to format a photo, but they have also been working in the digital space for decades between them. They are all self-confessed SEO and digital marketing nerds, who spend their own time researching Google’s latest algorithms and bring this energy here. They read everything our real-world testers write with intense curiosity and ask the questions many of you have on your mind in order to create the best content.
Lindsay Pietroluongo has worked helping business owners and small brands create a strong digital presence since 2009.
During this time, Lindsay has had to go through multiple software tools to find the best tools to help with her business. She realized that other people had the same problems she faced and she set out to help them.
Now she spends time reviewing software here on The Digital Merchant to help others with their questions about the best hosting, the best project management tools, as well as helpful articles to guide people on the best ways to progress in their business.
David Borgogni is a marketing professional with years of experience in the digital marketing space. His advice doesn’t come purely from research because he’s lived the challenges he helps visitors through.
An SEO specialist, David founded First Click Content, a digital marketing agency that focuses on driving organic growth through smart SEO and best-in-class content.
Helping business owners choose the right marketing tools comes easy to David and he’s here to share his insights with The Digital Merchant readers.
Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist that focuses on B2B and digital marketing.
Despite the complicated nature of B2B and digital marketing, Rosie knows how to break it down in an easy-to-understand manner.
She has features in Reader’s Digest as well as G2.
Her goal is to help business owners find the best tools to run and grow their businesses with as little stress as possible.
Julie Thompson loves business and loves helping other people succeed in their entrepreneurial journey. She’s written for Business.com as well as Business News Daily.
She has over a decade of experience working remotely and uses her experiences to help others. As a remote worker, Julie depends on many tools to help her run her home office efficiently.
With Julie’s experience of working remotely for so many years, working with international business owners, startups and her active testing and research of new software, she feels confident in giving advice to The Digital Merchant readers.
Some of Julie’s favorite software are Trello, Grammarly Premium, Canva, MailChimp, Ubersuggest, Google Analytics, and Google Docs.
Joe Elvin is a business, digital marketing, and social media specialist.
You might see Joe out traveling the world after his success creating a life he loves, but he takes the time to try out and review important business tools to help visitors to the site figure out which tools are the best for them.
Joe is painfully honest about the shortcomings of some of the world’s favorite tools and digs deep to find the best tools, even if they aren’t the most popular.
His goal is to help other business owners and would-be business owners grow and become successful.
Deb is the founder of (DCS), which is the Database Creation Site. This website creates MS Access Databases for personal use, writers, and businesses.
She uses her knowledge and expertise in becoming an entrepreneur to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs to accomplish all of their dreams. Plus, she keeps herself updated with the latest advancements and trends in software. By staying on top of all the latest information and trends, she can help new business owners avoid common problems in the newest software to hit the market.
Jessica Lauren Vine
Jessica Lauren Vine is a business writer and editor with over 20 years of experience with online and offline businesses.
She built and sold her first online business at the age of 12 and has loved all things online marketing since.
In her spare time, she researches new business models and reads books on business, wealth, and personal development with the goal of helping others with her growth from the information through articles and videos on the topics.
Jessica has multiple blogs and YouTube channels on the topics on travel, adventure, working from home, marketing, and more.
The Digital Merchant Videos
Want to have a closer look at how we make digital tool decisions for our businesses? Check out a few of our latest videos where we walk you through the steps and share our personal insights as we grow our businesses.