Monthly Archives: January 2013

Tapping the Potential of Mobile Devices for the Retailers

Steve Burns Posted On - January 26, 2013

Tapping the Potential of Mobile Devices for the Retailers
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In this fast-paced age where people are becoming more tech-savvy, use of the smartphones and tablets have also increased in number. For the e-sellers, it is time to explore and exploit the business opportunities that the high-end power-packed devices offer. The retailers in order to broaden their business horizon need to come up with mobile strategies, as it can have a positive impact in terms of their sales number soaring. The online retail predictions by the aces in the field vouch for the fact that mobile is going to be very big in the years to come. The e-shop merchants must optimize their sites for the mobile devices ensuring easier navigability and accessibility.

Going Mobile

The interested buyers are extensively using the smartphones to scan product bar codes and to engage in a comparative study of the products that they wish to purchase. Laying their hands on the promo codes, coupons and other exciting offers enable in switching on to a savable mode for the purchasers. The e-sellers need to come up with effective marketing strategies and well-drafted plans that would let them to make a good use of technology for furthering their business prospect. The plan of the e-commerce merchants must involve:

  • Ways of improving the consumer experience in each phase of the e-shopping journey
  • How the use of technology can spoil the customers offering them a satisfying online shopping experience
  • Decide on the investments that the online sellers must make to put to effective use this mobile technology

In the retail environment, mobile technology must blend well within the existing infrastructure. The investment choices must be made judiciously so that it has a long-lasting positive impact making the businesses of the retailers to bear fruit. A reciprocal relation needs to coexist between the e-sellers and the mobile industry so that the drafting of the e-commerce mobile strategies becomes productive in the long run.

The Benefits that Mobile Devices offer to the Customers:

  • The potential buyers can have access to accurate product description and details via their smartphones which can be termed as extended packaging
  • Making a wish-list for shopping can be easily done by the potential buyers and they can refer to it when engaging in the buying spree
  • Scanning through product inventories without any assistance also becomes a plausible option
  • For nabbing the lucrative bargains and to redeem coupons and handsome discounts, mobile devices prove to be of great help
  • In-store navigation for products placed in their choicest categories becomes easier for the customers
  • Advertising and promotional information is directly communicated to the customers on their smartphones
  • Mobile payments simplify the process of online buying and retail checkouts as browsing, ordering and paying for products becomes more convenient

The Holiday Mobile Shopping Season of 2012 was Euphoric

The sales figures of the e-sellers in the US holiday shopping season last December was impressive in the history of e-commerce in the US. One emerging trend was that most of the die-hard shoppers made a convenient use of the smartphones, tablets, i-Pads while searching for products to make the best buy. While the mobile devices pulled quality traffic, the conversion rate from prospective buyers to potential ones also became higher with i-Pads and other mobile devices. The individual buyers were more inclined to search and then take smart buying decisions using their mobile devices, helping them to avail the lucrative deals. This helped the e-commerce merchants to generate higher revenue online from increased sales.

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US Online Retailers expand sales in the International Markets

Steve Burns Posted On - January 26, 2013

US Online Retailers expand sales in the International Markets
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The top US online retailers with their vast array of products have effective marketing programs that help to reach out to the global audience. An interested buyer from a corner of the globe would love to seal a deal with Amazon, Apple, Staples and the like. That is why these giant US retailers online are tapping in the potentiality of the international marketplaces. It is the varied buying nature of the heterogeneous group of customers spread worldwide which make them praise the US-based retailers after being satiated with the quality, price and coupon codes offered by the retailers. It, in turn, helps the retailers to build a stellar reputation in the market zone.

The Challenges that US Retailers face

The US online retailers want to make the most of the opportunities that are out there in the international market zone so that they could generate higher revenue online. For business expansions on the global front, it is the logistics challenges, fraud risk, currency conversion, limitations on the technological level and a number of other factors, which often make the decision of the retailers to move to the international market a daunting one. However, with time the US retailers have exploited the lucrative global markets for their e-commerce business growth by coming up with effective multi-channel sales campaigns, seeking assistance from renowned platforms like ChannelSale.

UK continues to hold the number One Position in the Expansion List of US Online Retailers

It has been observed that the US retailers online have the inclination to look into UK first when they are thinking of reaching to global customers to offer their merchandize. The giant US retailers like Amazon, Staples, Apple, Dell engage in directly selling in UK. It is the congenial business climate which make the e-commerce merchants to satiate the online shoppers. Among the European countries, besides Denmark and Norway, in terms of business rankings as bestowed by World Bank, UK secures a place among the top ten. Amazon and eBay are among the giant retailers that are really globe trotting. Amazon international marketplaces in UK,Germany, France, Italy has a shooting performance record in terms of sales count and customer satisfaction. Ebay, which started off as an auction site, is a name to reckon with as an online marketplace. It has gone global apart from being in the US and UK, like in Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Hong Kong and the like.

Why choose for Selling Internationally?

  • By capturing the global international markets, the retailers can increase their channels across different marketplaces
  • The US retailers have observed that the best-selling products also capture the international market and the products categorized as ‘slow-movers’ also make their presence felt in the new markets
  • If you are an experienced player in the retailing world and want to venture in new marketplaces  like France, Spain, make a good use of your experience. Score over your new rivals in the niche with eye-grabbing ad templates
  • In terms of surging sales figure, things can be put to your advantage with the exchange rates. As a retailer, if you are selling your wares to countries that have a stronger currency when compared to yours, you can multiply your profits as an e-commerce merchant
  • Many US retailers have experienced faster ROI by engaging in the selling mode in the European market
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Tracing out how USA Online Shoppers are Revamping the Retail Experience

Steve Burns Posted On - January 24, 2013

Tracing out how US Online Shoppers are Revamping the Retail Experience
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Online shopping is gaining momentum with the US online buyers favoring the convenience, flexibility and the pricing structure. The retailers are optimizing their sites for mobile devices also which is making the online buyers to make a transaction anytime at their own convenience. The shoppers in the US are inclined to shop more online as they can avail the handsome discounts and can choose from a wide variety of products.

The Sophisticated Online Shoppers

The urge to shop online has increased among the individuals, making the e-sellers to offer a seamless shopping experience. The tech savvy buyers have become more informed and they are deft in conducting online researches and can find their choicest products by searching via categories. The operations of the online sellers are evolving and the online shoppers are also using a number of mobile devices to search for products to find out the exciting deals and offers pronounced online. The ‘showrooming’ trend is also on the rise where the potential buyers are making their presence felt in the physical retail outlets for checking out the products and for holding conversation with the sales stuff, but are buying that same product online. The web-based shoppers are smart as they save their hard-earned money by purchasing online with the help of discounts and money-saving deals. The free shipping service has also being one of the catalysts in making the buyers to flock to the e-shops more and more for using their spending power. The retailers must cash in these trends to let their sales figure to scale high while offering cent percent customer satisfaction.

 The Significance of Positive Customer Experience

In order to seal a business deal, transparency in the mode of communication is very essential. When a retailer gets into the good books of the customers, the traditional word-of-mouth promotion, getting referrals in social media become easier for them. A survey conducted in the US retail industry shows that over 90% of the online shoppers are more interested to recommend a retailer after they enjoy a good shopping experience. When the retailers are able to satiate their existing base, they are not only to get repeated sale but can build on their customer base and reputation.Embracing Digital Technology to the Fullest  As per the reports unveiled by Empirix and the Customer Experience Foundation in the US in 2011, it was observed that the US companies were yet to gear up for being equipped with a effective mobile strategy. Use of the mobile devices is shooting high and the retailers must make a good use of this trend to fulfill the needs of the customers and offer a supportive arm to the buyers in every phase of the internet-based shopping journey. Being digital means its incorporation must be in the way of operation of a web store, marketing, merchandising and the like. Customer is the king and by embracing technology and innovation, the retailers will be able to gauge the buying behavior of the customers and cater to their needs more successfully.

Exploiting Social Media

Social media has definitely created a buzz on the web with the social networking buffs pouring in unimaginable numbers in Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like. The norm of social sharing is making the retailers to create their brand image online and spread brand awareness. Via liking, sharing and commenting, social engagement is becoming the order of the day. The customers plunge into social media to get recommendations and feedback from their choicest social circle. The social media platform helps in forming a chain of network among the buyers. The smart buyers do their homework by engaging in social media to know about the utility of a product before they purchase online.

Multi-Channel Marketing Programs

When the e-sellers are vying to secure the top slots in the minds of the online shoppers, with their brand names having a higher recall value, it is exposure across multiple marketing and networking channels that needs to get augmented. For effective visibility across all the global channels, ChannelSale ensures its wide network of channel partners is able to maximize their online presence and reach out to their target customers. Simplifying the marketing campaign with proper data feed management,submission and optimization, for the online retailers is our cup of tea.

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Current USA Holiday Shopping Season Analysis

Steve Burns Posted On - January 1, 2013

Current US Holiday Shopping Season Analysis
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The flexibility, convenience and alluring pricing strategies during the festive season offered by the retailers has helped them to win over the online shoppers. The holiday shopping season reaps in huge benefits for the business merchants. It also helps the interested customers to switch to a savable mode by availing the exciting offers, discount codes and voucher codes when they engage in shopping online.

Thanksgiving Day Gaining in Prominence for Increasing Sales Volume

The trend observed is that the buyers are soaking in the festive spirit and indulging in buying initiating from the Thanksgiving Day. The sales figure surged to $633 million this year for the Thanksgiving Day, while it was $479 million in 2011.

Thanksgiving Vs Black Friday: Online Revenue

While engaging in a comparative study of the growth rate from 2010, it can be assessed how the US online revenue graph is picking up at a steady pace. Peeping into 2010 shows that the potential buyers used their spending power accounting to $407 million, which was the sales figure for the Thanksgiving Day and it was $648 million for Black Friday. In 2011, Thanksgiving garnered $479 million,while the sales number for Black Friday rose to $816 million. In 2012, accumulated revenue generated through online avenues reflects $633 million, while for Black Friday, it is $1,042 million. In spite of the talks about the nearing fiscal cliff becoming rife in US, the holiday season have appeased the retailers.

Cyber Monday 2012: The Biggest Ever!

It is $1.465 billion that this grand shopping day raked in as the whopping online sales figure, making it a memorable day in the history of US e-commerce. The top favored product categories were digital content & subscriptions, consumer electronics, computer hardware, video games, consoles & accessories and jewelry & watches. Green Monday which is the second Monday of December and it was (December 10) this year made the interested customers to indulge in buying and handsome figures stand at $1,275 million.

A Comprehensive Study and Analysis of the Shopping Season 2012

With the onset of November, the urge to splurge in shopping can be observed among the interested customers. The sales count for November this year is $20,376 million, which is an increase from $17,791 million of 2011. Black Friday marked a 28% percent change from 2011, with $1,042 million sales revenue. The Thanksgiving weekend (November 24 -25) saw the numbers catapult to $1,187 million, a sharp rise of 15% from 2011 where it was $1,031. The colossal and fiery Cyber Monday (November 26) this year saw a 17% hike from 2011 and the online revenue figures changed to $1,465 from $1,251.The Cyber Week amassed $5,462, which was $4,928 in 2011.

The Key Points for the Retailers to remember

  • Online shopping gained momentum with the numbers speaking for itself. There has been an overall 30.3% rise in online sales over 2011
  • The driving force making the potential buyers to seal a business deal this holiday season has been the mobile devices. Though smartphones and tablets were considerably used by the customers, iPads pulled steady, quality traffic. While taking into account the prominent retailers, Amazon tops the list of being the most popular e-commerce site measured in terms of visits with Walmart, Best Buy, Target and the like following suit
  • Sales via social media or the interested shoppers referred from Twitter, Facebook and the like only contributed to a meager 0.41 sales count even on the big day, Cyber Monday. Social sales is definitely an area that the retailers need to work on for making their business to flourish
  • It is not only the hot deals and the lucrative offers online pronounced by the retailers, free shipping was one of the major factors making the merchants to observe increase in e-commerce revenue

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Happy Selling!

This blog is brought to you by ChannelSale – a platform that empowers online retailers to manage product feed on as many as 200 different shopping channels such as marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate netowrks. 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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2013 Sales Strategies for Online Retailers

Steve Burns Posted On - January 1, 2013

2013 Sales Strategies for Online Retailers
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The dawn of the new year for the online retailers infuses them with the spirit to satiate their existing customer base year long and add new valuable customers. The sales strategies to win over the customers need to be framed with strategical thinking in tune with the prevailing and emerging marketing trends.

Popularity of Mobile Devices to Soar High 

Mobile devices enable the users to access web anytime, at any place. For ensuring a satisfying browsing experience, retailers must optimize their site for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and the like. A simple, intuitive navigation will pave way for higher conversion rate, sales volume and increased e-commerce revenue. You must cash in the trend of increasing use of mobile devices by the customers to shop online. Tap the potential of tablets, iPads and smartphones to the fullest in 2013 and observe substantial sales growth.

Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing Campaigns 

As a retailer, you need to take care every aspect of your business. Marketing campaigns need proper automated data feed optimization, submission, and effective management of your wide array of products. Leveraging your category management capabilities is essential for ensuring increase in consumer shopping basket size. The expertise of ChannelSale platform will help you to optimize your products across several marketplaces, affiliate marketing networks and CSEs.

Peeping into the Social Media Trends in 2013 

Social media is one of the resourceful platforms for the retailers to exploit. The current parameters of measuring user engagement in the social media platforms- ‘Fans’, ‘Followers’, ‘Likes’ need to be revamped in more meaningful metrics. It can be tracking the number of positive comments received about a business, coming up with new modes of making people to participate and other effective strategies. It, in turn, will help in adding more value to your business.

  • Share attention-grabbing content to stand out from brands hit by the storm of ‘un-liking,’ ‘un-follow.’
  • Create a buzz about your online presence so that social media influence buying decisions of the customers leading to increase in social sales
  • Make strategical plans for effective social profiling for enhanced communication and customer interaction

Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations 

Focus on the 3 R’s; Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations as these will have greater purchasing impact in 2013. The conversion rate is likely to increase as global consumers will bank more on the online customer reviews and ratings. Recommendations and opinions of family, friends in social media helps the interested buyers to trust a brand.

Retailers must build on Behavioral Science of Consumers 

You must have valuable insights about the thought pattern and purchasing demands of your target mass. Assessing rightly the attitude, buying patterns and the factors inducing customers to take the prompt buying action can help in catapulting your sales number. Reading the psychology of the customers in a niche is crucial to maximize your reach and attract a new base of customers.

Effective Video Marketing 

Maximize the use of high-definition video to market your products and services more convincingly. Editing the video so that it streams smoothly both on the mobile devices, desktops and laptops is crucial. Sharing it in social media will let your brand to hog the limelight, create brand awareness.

Discounts and Free Samples are always Fetching 

Online shoppers compare products pricing, specifications, check out product reviews and the hot deals in different comparison shopping engines to make the best buy. Handsome discounts, free products and money-saving deals always entice the customers to take the buying initiative and this traditional way of luring customers is here to stay!

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