Monthly Archives: December 2012

Continuing constant dialogue with buyers and potential online buyers

Steve Burns Posted On - December 28, 2012

Continuing constant dialog with buyers and potential online buyers
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On busy days, keeping in constant touch with your customers – real or potential is a chore. There are millions of things to be done, and at the same time, you have a bunch of customers asking you about a particular variant of a product or information about shipping. Sometimes it is weeks since the day I have caught up with all the mails I have to respond to. But I guess that is symptomatic of the times we live in. It is the information age and just keeping up with the intensity and volume of correspondence both personal and commercial.

But I have learnt with experience that if I follow through on Amazon’s guidelines for customer communication, there are seldom any repeat communication from the same one – except a thank you note in some cases – something that is always welcome on a busy day.

I follow three mantras while keeping in touch with customers.

1.    Attend to their requests promptly.

2.    Be accurate in your replies – answer their questions and queries in full.


3.    Have a helpful attitude- it translates into customer goodwill.

These might sound simple, but when you are rushed with a million and one things that demand your immediate attention, then it takes intense focus and patience to prompt, accurate and helpful in your correspondence with clients.

Happy Selling!

ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers online retailers to distribute product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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Grabbing the right eyeballs on Amazon, Ebay, Sears, Buy.com, Newegg, Google Shopping

Steve Burns Posted On - December 28, 2012

Grabbing the right eyeballs on Amazon, Ebay, Sears, Buy.com, Newegg, Google Shopping
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Grab consumer attention by displaying your products when customers are searching for them. Discover where and how shoppers find what they want on marketplaces Amazon.com, Ebay, Sears, Buy.com, Newegg, Sell.com, PriceFalls and Comparison Shopping Engines such as Google Shopping, Shopzilla, Nextag, Pronto, PriceGrabber, Become, TheFind, SortPrice, Bing Shopping and list your items accordingly.

Browse the path
On Amazon, the thumb rule is that “Birds of a feather flock together” – make sure your products are placed where many more similar products are present. This demands choosing a specific, intuitive, category and sub category where your product will be listed.

A quick search on Amazon.com for any search item will show which categories have the most similar items. For the generic term “item” home and garden is the current winner with more than 200,000 listings. If any buyer sought to filter through all these listings for a specific product, they would soon lose steam. Hence, putting your products in a precise and intuitive category is the best way to ensure that your products are discovered and “seen”.

Once you have decided on the main category, there are sub categories that potential buyers will allow buyers to further narrow down their search. It is important to understand that creative browse structuring is not helpful to the buyer. It should be intuitive and based on pre determined associations. Do remember times when you searched the corridors and shelves of supermarkets with futility, only to be told by the sales supervisor that the product was stacked in another shelf altogether? It is like keeping candles in the gardening section or hose pipes in the toiletries section.

Are you thinking –  “How the hell do  I choose the browse path during the listing process?”  If you can create a detail page, you will have to walk through a series of screens, to choose the best placement of your item – this is essentially the browse path. If you are adding a listing to an existing page, then you will be using the existing browse paths for the page, so you can avoid these steps.

Search Terms

Combining good browse paths and good search terms are a certain way to ensure that your products grab customer eyeballs. Essentially search terms add more browse paths to your item. Knowing the right words to add are a matter of knowing your product and your buyer intimately. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind while adding search terms:

•     Do not duplicate any words OR terms in your title.
•    Don’t duplicate any words OR terms from your brand name.
•    Don’t use terms or names of competing brands – say if you are selling Apple, do not use the name of Samsung as a search term.

TITLE

Good titles are essential because title terms are what the customer sees in search results and that is what they use to click through to go to the detail page. A good title will be accurate, descriptive yet precise- a long title can work against your interest. Think of it as a newspaper headline, it should grab attention, create interest and make a person want to pick up the paper and read. It should inform customers what the product is.

An example of a great title is one we found in heating and cooling equipment: “Apple I Pad 5 leather case”

What a title like this does is:

•    It attracts buyers seeking a particular brand – many people search a brand, and then a sub category of product for that brand.
•    Buyers looking for a very specific product – so buyers seeking a leather case for their APPLE IPAD will know you sell them.
•    Buyers looking for add ons – these buyers may be buying Apple Ipads, and will connect to your product category too.

Need to know more – This ChannelSale Blog is a great place to start – it provides oodles of information on how to improve your marketing skills online.


Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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Choose the right packaging to improve customer satisfaction

Steve Burns Posted On - December 13, 2012

Choosing the right packaging to improve customer satisfaction
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Buyers expect to receive their consignments in top condition when they order online. This is one of the most important aspects of the customer experience. All your investments and efforts in attracting the buyer, convincing him to order etc will be wasted if the customer has problems with the packaging while the product is being delivered.

To ensure that the customer experience is always delightful, follow the following caveats while packing products for shipment to the customer:

•    Select the right box:

If you ship your products yourself (i.e. you are not using Fulfillment by Amazon) ensure that you pack your products in strong corrugated cardboard boxes. Check the bottom of the box to ascertain the weight limit. Avoid having an outer covering because it will get torn in transit and will lend the packaging a sorry appearance. Torn off outer wrapping can also cause your consignment to be delayed or lost in transit.

•     Invest in the right packaging materials

Use packing peanuts, and bubble cushioning, especially if you are sending something that is fragile in nature. Wrap the items with double cushioning if required.

•     Have special packaging for high value items

Ship expensive jewellery, watches and other items in a special manner befitting their order value. For small items choose a box no more than 7 by 4 by 2 inches. Use a signature confirmation service to confirm receipt of the material. Nobody wants to have an expensive item shipped and never arrived! Also, avoid revealing the value of the item shipped by attaching anything outside the box.

Good packaging and shipping practices are an important aspect of the overall buyer’s experience and demands enough attention to detail.

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Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click

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How to improve your product listing qualities

Steve Burns Posted On - December 13, 2012

How to improve your product listing quality
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Good quality listings will help people rapidly find, evaluate and buy your products.

A good quality listing will have basic information like Title, SKU#, MPN, UPC, images, brand, price, quantity, product category and description. In addition their are strongly recommended fields and optional/ recommended fields. Find all of this information in the ChannelSale inventory template file available on request.

Use the ChannelSale manage inventory tool and fix portions of the inventory that have incomplete, invalid  or have poor quality information per the guidelines defined by the online Marketplaces, Comparison Shopping engines and Affiliate networks.

To fix lacunas in your listings:

1.  Log into your ChannelSale.com account.

2. Select Home> Message center.

3. Navigate to feed import message, click on details and view on screen or further click on download as CSV.

4. In the feed import report on screen or offline you will be able to view detailed error for each SKU individually indicating the error type examples missing  MPN, invalid UPC, Image URL etc. Thus now you can easily identify the specific error SKU’s to be targeted and fix the data appropriately prior to re-listing on the Shopping sites.

5. Once you have finished with fixing your product data, save and submit the file for auto importing into your ChannelSale account to immediately implement the product data updates across all the sales campaigns on the online shopping sites/channels.

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Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale.com– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email info@channelsale.com or for more information click ChannelSale.com

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