Monthly Archives: December 2013

Top Products Grabbing the Attention of the Customers this Holiday Season

Steve Burns Posted On - December 27, 2013

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The holiday season is upon us and the need for splurging on necessities and luxuries are acutely felt. But the consumer behaviors during this time of the year depend on a number of correlative verticals. The question of what, why and where naturally spins around the minds of the casual buyer. It is imperative to say that the online space has endowed the buyers with a number of options to make a good purchase.  A major contributor to the fact is that the conversions through mobile devices have risen sharply in the recent years with consumers becoming keener to splurge online. Retailer loyalty is also an important parameter and online buyers show an impressive return on that sphere as well.

The consumer confidence though have suffered a jolt post the inflation and recent financial crisis. The U.S Government shutdown has done nothing to make the situation any rosy. The month of October, significantly saw the consumer confidence level reach its lowest rung over a period of six months. In fact, the index plunged from 80.2 in the month of September, straight to 70.2 in October. The retailers at large were pessimistic about the impact that could have been a result of the meltdown. Along with the retail presence, consumers are also taking into purview the aspect of mobile commerce or in broader sense eCommerce. There are some distinct wares which are more prone to be bought by the consumer.

Footwear

The holiday season quite naturally augments the sale of lifestyle wares and footwear seems to be in the top rung of the “to have” list. Nike has had a very favorable standing in the NYSE with a number of industrial tie ups and new set of creative designs to boot.

Kid’s toys/ accessories

When it comes to buying the holiday necessities, kid’s toys are too potent to be overlooked. The Toys manufacturing Giant Mattel has recently revamped their collection of kid’s toys range with a few new additions. Mattel has been aggressively promoting their wares among the demographic of pre-teens and teenage population. A high conversion increase of almost 28% on some of the popular brands is indicating a good investment.

Digital entertainments

Another major segment that receives increased conversion during the holiday months is digital entertainment objects- DVD’s, games and others. Books (e-books) also show an impressive turnaround during this time of the year and this holiday season does not seem to be any different.

Clothing and gifts

It is that time of the year when the consumers are keener to splurge a little more than their usual budget to acquire clothing wears. Online retailers like Macy’s, J.C. Penny and all are augmenting their online retail presence to brace the year end demand. The factors that are positively affecting conversions are free shipping and year end discounts. Year end gifting is a common trend in the U.S and that necessitates the gift manufacturers to pump up their production at this quarter.

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Getting to Know the Art of Referrals

Steve Burns Posted On - December 27, 2013

Online Shopping
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Business people are a surprising lot in many respects. While their natural panache and flamboyance can win them many battles, they are surprisingly shy on many regards. Asking for referral is one such phenomenon. This common fallacy can be easily overturned, given one takes care of the following pointers.

  1. Self belief- it does matter: To ask for referrals one must believe in the service or product they are asking referral. Without being really pushy or needy one can ask someone for referral. How? Well, the secret lies in selling the business idea with passion and thrust. The experts refer to it as a part of the business psychology- of one believes his service or product is too lucrative to turn down, they are more likely to earn a referral.
  2. Providing a reason to refer: This is a tried and tested path to earning some brownie points with fellow businessmen and clients. If referring your business helps them in any way, it will certainly initiate them to help your cause. Providing others with enough reasons to like your offerings will eventually help you get the word around.
  3. Say no to the fear of asking: This is the most common aspect that a business owner may face. What the business owners need to understand is asking for referral is not pushy. If the business is providing a viable solution, it is more likely to benefit the end user. That way, one is actually bereaving another from the benefit by not spreading the word around. The important factor in this regard is to keep a balance between aggressive and passive referrals. The best way is to take a mindset of helping others- the referral will follow.
  4. Timing it right: Timing is of essence in any business .When one is providing value, one should also time it right. It is good to get the word out when there is a need for it. If one looks it from the viewpoint of social media, the most viral contents are the ones which provide some value to the end user. The concept is more or less similar in the case of referrals.
  5. Building trust: Trust is the de-facto impact maker in any business. Engaging in trust building conversations is a major aspect of referral asking. Brands which have a good conversational quotient are more prone to earning referrals from the valid sources. The confidence building practices go a long way in augmenting referrals for the business. The business owners can surely make use of the various tools to engage their target niche. It can be traditional referrals, testimonials or even online recommendations.
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Top 5 Ways Shopify Keeps It Simple For E-Commerce Merchants

Steve Burns Posted On - December 27, 2013

Powerful Ecommerce Website Solution Provider
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We all can witness that e-commerce is growing in leaps and bounds. More and more consumers are going online to purchase the goods and services they need. A large number of merchants are attracted to the vast business potential of e-commerce and they are entering this market in hordes. There are various companies that help these newbie online merchants to set up their business. Shopify is one such renowned online commerce platform.

About Shopify

Launched the year 2006, Shopify is a highly renowned e-commerce website solutions provider that helps individuals and businesses to form online stores. Over 50,000 online shops are using its support for the initial set up, selling and marketing of their products. By using Shopify, you can create a website, upload your products and market your business in a very short span of time. Discussed below are five ways in which Shopify makes e-commerce simple for online merchants.

Simplicity

If you want to build a website of decent quality without investing too much time, then Shopify will be the choice for you. There is a quick sign-up process after which you are required to follow a six step plan with the help of which you can create your online store. If you have a clear idea, your online retail store will be ready in a couple of minutes.

Having technical knowledge is not a necessity

Tech-savvy merchants will be delighted by Sopify’s customization features and other built in tools. For those e-commerce entrants who are not very comfortable on the technical front, Shopify offers solutions that are free from complicated technicalities. So, you are not required to have knowledge of web design, coding or other technical areas to successfully build your store.

Clever marketing

Marketing play a huge role in the success of any business. Shopify offers many useful tools to the admin panel that will aid in the marketing initiatives of a business.

Wide range of themes to choose from

You can find over 100 premium and free themes in the Shopify Theme Store. You can browse through them and choose the one that is suitable for your business. You can also customise the themes and even create one from scratch.

Allows to easily migrate from other platforms

You may be already having an existing store on some other platform like WordPress, Ebay or Magento. Shopify has various importer tools that will help you to migrate your store to Shopify from other platforms. ChannelSale cross integrates directly with Shopify API to synchronize the product data across the top marketplaces Amazon, eBay, Sears, Rakuten, Newegg and many more.

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Google Announces Shopping Campaigns To Attract More Advertisers

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Web Giant
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Advertising is a major source of revenue for many of the major players of cyberspace such as, Google, Facebook and many others. These major companies are coming up with new features and strategies on a regular basis to grab the attention of advertisers.

Google is one of the most widely used search engines in the world. Everyday over here, a large number of people seek information on products sold by various retailers. Product Listing Ads is a special feature on Google Shopping that enables buyers to browse through various products, view image and get to know relevant details like price.

Google has recently announced a new feature called “Shopping Campaigns” that will offer a simple means to e-sellers to promote their products and establish connection with customers. It is basically a new campaign type for PLAs.Read on, to know more about this.

Offers an easy solution to less tech-savvy merchants

The AdWords login has been made the key interface for making any major changes to the campaign. People who are not very comfortable using complicated technology can manage their PLAs in a better way with the help of this. This new structure is a lot different from the traditional PLA campaign style.

PLAs become less feed-based

Google feeds are still relevant. But with the introduction of Shopping campaigns there is a change in the approach to PLA management. The focus shifts from the technicalities of shopping feed marketing to AdWords interface.

Campaign management getting more efficient

It has a couple of key additions that assist PLA advertisers and campaign managers in a major way.The advanced and detailed performance reporting will provide more useful information to e-commerce merchants and help them to make better business decisions. Performance data can be viewed by product or product attributes like brand, category, type, condition, custom labels and so on.

This is a very clever move by Google to increase its revenue during this holiday season. But, presently, this program is not open to everyone. Those merchants who are interested can sign up for the service on the Google website.

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5 Ways By Which You Can Increase Revenue With The Help Of Google Shopping Data Feed

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Google Shopping Performance Analysis Post Becoming Paid Service
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Revenue is of paramount importance because it is the earnings of a company. In order to survive and be successful it is essential for your business to have substantial earnings. For this reason, every enterprise is always trying out various means to increase its revenue. In this post you will get to know a couple of ways in which your business can make more money this holiday season via Google Shopping.

With over 1 billion products, Google Shopping is a leading platform that enables users to search for products on the various online shopping portals and compare prices between different e-sellers. Here are 5 areas of Google Shopping data feed you should focus on in order to earn more revenue through greater conversions.

Google Shopping Data Feed Specifications

Make sure that your product information follows Google’s rules; otherwise there is a possibility that the item will not show up on search or might even get blocked. So, you should carefully go through the specifications like the Google Data Feed Overview and Google Data Feed Attribute Requirements. It is also crucial to understand these because not all data feed content rules are listed by Google.

Google Shopping Data Feed Rule Changes

E-commerce is a very dynamic field and here change is perhaps the only constant. So, visit our blog on a regular basis to know about any changes on any data feed specifications. If there are any changes, then you should update feeds based on that without much delay.

Google Shopping Data Feed Errors

Try to fix all the data feed errors by going to the Google Merchant login. There you can identify and troubleshoot items that are not approved or blocked. Taking quick corrective measures is of paramount importance because such items do not show up on search which leads to missing out on customers.

Items that go out of stock

You should formulate data feed rules for those products that will go out of stock in the holiday season. It is important to prevent shortages in stock and identify such products on a timely basis.

Insert SEO terms in your product titles and descriptions

Search Engine Optimization or SEO can help your product to obtain a good rank on Google search. Hence, you should put SEO terms in your product titles and descriptions. Additionally, you must also make sure that information describing your product is properly detailed and accurate.

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Sears Leads iPhone Response Time Tests

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Giant international Shopping Site
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In the online world, Sears is a name to reckon with. With its plethora of categories seamlessly catering to the buying needs of the online shoppers whether it is electronics, tools, clothing and the like, the online shoppers have lesser complains. A study conducted by Compuware stated that Sears’ mobile site produced the fastest iPhone access time when compared to all service providers among the web retailers of repute. It has been reported that Sears produced an average iPhone mobile response time of 4.67 seconds.

Taking a Look at the Other Statistics

Blockbuster.com secured the second position for iPhone testing with 5.04 seconds. Soon top pop up in the chart is BarnesandNoble.com with 5.63 seconds. Later to be added in the list is Williams-Sonoma.com with 5.72), followed by Rakuten.com taking 5.85.

The Top Service Carriers

The survey conducted by Compuware took into account three major service carriers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The average iPhone response time for 20 retailers was taken into account as once per hour carrier from Virginia and California, the two US-based platforms.

The mobile technology has invaded the retail scene where the e-shoppers are banking on the mobile devices, like the high-end iPhones, smartphones and the like to seal an online business deal. It is important for the web merchants to implement the best of strategies to enable their business take a step ahead. Sears is going great guns and it was bang on target even on August after July as the leader in iPhone response time.

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Best Buy Takes on ‘Showrooming’ Trend on its Stride

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Best Buy Aims to Combat ‘Showrooming’ by Matching Web Prices
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With the advent of technology and widespread internet usage the consumers of today have become more selective and careful. In such a scenario, sellers are trying out a host of strategies to attract the attention of buyers. Clever marketing tactics can help a great deal in this regard. Recently, Best Buy has been in the news for one such a reason. This consumer electronics retailer has launched an innovative campaign to take on ‘showrooming’. Read on to find out more about this.

What is showrooming?

Before getting into any further discussion, let us get a brief idea on ‘showrooming’. This term basically refers to the act of checking mobile devices in a store to obtain more information about a particular product. Many merchants fear that this can lead to loss of customers because if the buyer finds a better deal online then, he/she will purchase it from there.

A smart step by Best Buy

Best Buy has quashed showrooming fears to a great extent and has earned the trust of the shoppers. With the help of a clever holiday television ad campaign titled: “Your Ultimate Holiday Showroom”. It has called its stores “great showrooming floors” and is urging buyers to purchase from its physical shops and online platform.

Insights from a recent survey

Consumer analytics research firm Parks Associates has published a report titled “Mobile Commerce, Keys to Mass Adoption” and it is based on data from various consumer surveys with the household heads having access to the internet. It says that among users of smartphones who bought consumer electronics product in the year 2013, approximately half of them looked up the product and sales details while at the store using a mobile commerce app. Out of these 19% used an app from the retailer and 52% made use of the store’s Wi-Fi network to connect.

Consumers are using the mobile platform with more ease. They are using bar code scanning apps, mobile coupon apps and various other things to get information on products and compare prices. Quick checkout methods, convenience and easy payment options are encouraging more and more buyers to make their purchases directly with a smartphone.

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More Online Merchants Are Offering Free Shipping Throughout The Year

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Free Shipping of Product
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Online retailers pay special attention to shipping because it forms a very significant aspect of e-commerce. In the past, free shipping was offered mainly during the holiday season. But now this trend is changing; an increasing number of online merchants are providing the free shipping facility to its customers round the year. A recent survey sheds light on this interesting phenomenon.

Shipping free of cost all year

Shop.org, the online retail branch of the National Retail Federation, recently carried out a survey involving 91 online retail merchants. They were asked about their promotions and plans during the holiday season. 34.9% of them said that they offer free shipping throughout the year, compared with 23.1% the previous year. Out of the retailers who do not provide free shipping all year round, 16.3% said that they will be starting it soon as part of the holiday promotion activities.

Moreover, around 51.2% of the retailers surveyed said that they will kick start their promotion activities for the holiday season by Halloween. This year there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared with 32 days last year. For this reason online merchants are trying various measures to increase sales quickly.

More than just price

The consumers of today are on the lookout for a superior shopping experience. So, price is not the only parameter they take into consideration when making buying decisions. E-commerce platform provider MarketLive Inc. conducted a poll in which 1,000 consumers participated. It provided insights on the online holiday shopping preferences of these consumers. 91% of them said that they will readily take advantage of a free shipping facility and according to around 31% of them free shipping will act as an advantage that will drive them to pay the full price. For 87% of the consumers, timely delivery of the order is a top priority. Around 72% said that they would like to have an option to buy or reserve a product from the online platform and then later pick it up from a store.

Smart shoppers

Consumers have become very tech savvy. They are using their mobile devices to compare prices and get product information. Now more and more consumers are expecting that shipping will be provided free of cost by the e-seller. There are various other tactics like gift cards, round the clock customer service and online sharing, which can draw buyers during this holiday season.

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The Importance of Privacy For Online Buyers

Steve Burns Posted On - December 11, 2013

Young Woman E-shopper
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In order to process an online transaction successfully a consumer is required to accept a set of terms and conditions. It is expected that the buyer will carefully read the whole document and then decide whether or not to purchase from a particular online merchant. Every e-commerce merchant has their own policy document that often runs into several pages. For example, Amazon’s Privacy Statement and Terms of Use is around 6,200 words. So, in reality consumers hardly have the time to read such lengthy documents. All they do is click on the “agree” button and then they go ahead with their shopping session. Nowadays more and more people are concerned whether consumers really understand and care about the terms and conditions they are agreeing to.

Buyers take on privacy

Recently, Etailing Solutions has conducted a survey involving 176 online buyers. The main aim of this survey was to understand the attitude of online buyers toward privacy policies. The following points will give some interesting insights.

  • Around 70% of the participants rarely or never read the privacy statements while shopping online
  • Out of those who read it, most of them belong to the 18-24 age bracket
  • Those belonging to the 18-54 age group were fine with the fact that marketers might be using their personal information to offer deals on products and services they will be keen on purchasing
  • Respondents above 55 years were strongly against letting marketers use their personal details

Understanding consumers across various age groups

Youngsters have played a major role in popularizing social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. So, it is expected that they will be more willing to share their personal information. But older people are not so comfortable with letting third parties like marketers, have access to their personal information. They are more experienced and understand that when crucial information reaches the wrong hands it can lead to disastrous consequences.

Each person has their own opinion regarding this issue. But very people take any action. They place their trust on the marketers and hope things work out for the best. But, consumers should be paying more attention to this significant aspect. Google has perfectly stated this sentiment at the end of its Terms of Service Update:

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PayPal gets a Jump on the Holidays with a Free Two-Day Shipping Promotion

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

Global Online Payment Gateway
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With the holiday ongoing season is filling the air with mystic charm of festivities, eBay Inc.’s PayPal is thinking high in terms of residing on the hearts of online shoppers. It is plunging to face the tide of holiday promotions with a bang. The payments processor which is a name to reckon with now in the e-commerce world will give free two-day shipping in the US. This is something that the online shoppers would love to lap it up.

Who can enjoy this Offer?

People, who have been using their spending power with PayPal on e-commerce sites, will get to enjoy this privilege. The retailers are:

  • Levi Strauss & Co. and the offer will show up on the company’s Levi’s and Dockers sites
  • Aeropostale Inc.
  • The Sports Authority Inc.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.
  • Kenneth Cole Productions Inc.
  • iRobot Corp.
  • Shop PBS,
  • and Maurices.com owned by Ascena Retail Group Inc

Paypal’s Business Move

If you are thinking of how far the offer is going to stretch while flipping through these lines, PayPal has not commented anything as of now, apart from coming up with the fact that the offer is “limited.” It seems that PayPal is on a testing phase and it is going to make some more strategic plan only when it gets the required feedback from customers and merchants. Though online shopping is soaring in popularity among the e-buyers, it is always the ‘free’ quotient which plays on the psyche of the buyers. PayPal decided to offer free shipping inclusive of all costs. Studies and surveys have shown that shipping has been a source of botheration for the online shoppers and buyers.

The Thought behind the Application of this Strategy

There are some misconceptions which often prevail on the minds of the people about the beginning of the holiday shopping season. While some believe that the crazy rush is between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the holiday shopping season, it is actually not so. It is undoubtedly that the sales figures surge higher as the last minute buyers are often not budget shoppers and even if they plan, they fall short of their expectations and end up spending more! September 30 is regarded as the hot date where the actual holiday online shopping kicks off. It is the ripe time to pronounce exciting offers, promotional gifts and much more, nabbing the attention of the customers.

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Abbyson Living Launches Boutique Page on Wayfair

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

Wayfair purchases home décor and furnishings retailer DwellStudio
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Wayfair, the top retailer of home décor and furnishing has carved out a niche in the industry. It is the commendable customer count of Wayfair, the steady traffic it pulls which has made it an online shopping hub. The growing trend observed in the various industries is that the popular brands are being made to cash on their brand popularity so that the not-so-established ones get the much needed visibility and promotion that they hanker for.

Abbyson Living’s plan

Abbyson Living is one of the fastest growing private furniture companies. Strategic planning is something that the e-sellers need to engage in. Abbyson Living is planning to launch an exclusive Abbyson Living Boutique Page on Wayfair.com. The President of Abbyson Living said, “Our goal is to provide Wayfair.com customers an opportunity to learn more about our brand and our products.”

Know more about the Exclusive Page

In the web world, it is about connecting to the people and building a good chain of network where social media is playing a crucial role. Reaching Abbyson Living is very easy via the boutique page and connecting to Facebook, Pinterest, their official website, the blog section remains the story of one click. The ‘X-factor’ is the “featured product” section that displays at large the popular Abbyson products, creating a buzz in the market recently. The section will be updated daily with newer products to keep the customers engrossed.

What Wayfair has to say?

“Abbyson Living has great assets that tell their brand story and we’re looking forward to using those assets on our site to build further brand awareness with our customer base,” quips Paige Kelly, the category manager of upholstery at Wayfair. It is the partnership with Wayfair which is considered as the big draw for Abbyson Living. In order to provide full customer satisfaction, this is one of the best moves that Abbyson Living has made.

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Get To Know About Amazon Selling Fees

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

Amazon comes up with a Pinterest-Inspired Feature called Collections
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Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer which is renowned for its high website traffic and conversion rates. This makes it one of the most sought after marketing channels for e-sellers. So, if you wish to catch the attention of the customers and increase your online business revenue then, you must make the most of this platform by launching a campaign at Amazon Marketplace. But, before you do so, you need to know about Amazon selling fees. This post will mainly shed light on this aspect.

Key points on how the Amazon Marketplace functions

  • The transactions take place on Amazon.com
  • Amazon selling fees are determined on the basis of the cost per acquisition (CPA) model
  • Amazon selling fees are deducted and then the revenue from the marketplace is deposited to the merchant

A simple break-up of the revenue and selling fee component of a transaction

The price of the item
Add: Shipping charges
Add: Gift wrap charges
Less: Amazon selling fee (includes referral fee, variable closing fee and $0.99 per item fee)

Merchants who opt to pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99 will be known as a Pro Merchant Subscriber and they do not need to pay the $0.99 per item fee.

Referral fee

This fee is calculated as a percentage of your total item price and it is collected on the basis of the CPA model.

The percentage rate varies according to the product types. The referral fee percentages for the various types of products are mentioned below:

  • Amazon Kindle – 15%
  • Automotive Parts and Accessories – 12%
  • Tires and Wheels – 10%
  • Baby Products (not including Baby Apparel) – 15%
  • Books – 15%
  • Camera and Photo – 8%
  • Consumer Electronics – 8%
  • Electronics Accessories – 15% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 8% for over $100; minimum referral fee of $1.00
  • Entertainment Collectibles – 20% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 10% for items $100-$1000; 6% for items greater than $1000; minimum referral fee of $1.00
  • Home & Garden Products (including Pet Supplies and other items) – 15%
  • Industrial & Scientific Products (including Food Service and Janitorial & Sanitation) – 12%
  • Kindle Accessories – 25%
  • Music – 15%
  • Office Products – 15%
  • Personal Computers – 6%
  • Shoes, Handbags and Sunglasses – 15%
  • Software & Computer Games – 15%
  • Sporting Goods – 15%
  • Sports Collectibles – 20% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 10% for items $100-$1000; 6% for items greater than $1000; minimum referral fee of $1.00
  • Tools & Home Improvement Items – 12%
  • Toys – 15%
  • Unlocked Cell Phones – 8%
  • Videos & DVDs – 15%
  • Video Games – 15%
  • Video Game consoles – 8%
  • Watches – 15%
  • Any other products – 15%

Variable closing fee

This kind of fee is calculated on a fixed basis for media items and on a variable basis for non-media products. This fee relates to the shipping details of the item sold.

Here are the rates:

For media products

  • Books – $1.35
  • Music – $1.35
  • Software & Computer Games – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international
  • Videos & DVDs – $1.35
  • Video Games – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international
  • Video Game consoles – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international

For non-media products

  • Domestic Standard Shipping: $0.45 + $0.05/lb
  • Domestic Expedited: $0.65 + $0.10/lb
  • International: N/A

Now, you have a fairly good idea about selling fees which will help you to manage your marketplace campaign in a more efficient manner.

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Amazon Discontinues Product Ads For Beer, Wine And Spirits

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

Amazon planning to sell Fine Arts Online
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Amazon provides one of the best e-commerce platforms to retail brands and individual sellers. With the help of this e-sellers can greatly increase their revenue by catching the attention of a large number of customers. Since, Amazon is such a big company; every move it makes not only impacts its own business but also affects many other online merchants. Its recent decision to cancel products ads for beer, wine and spirits is one such case whose ripples are felt by many online retailers.

What are Amazon Product Ads?

Amazon Product Ads is a pay per click advertising program. These ads are displayed on the Amazon website and are linked to the product pages on the merchant website. So, the transaction takes place on the retailer’s website. This is very useful for such online merchants because due to this they can get more information on customers and boost sales in future.

Now, sellers of beer, wine and spirits will longer be able to avail the Amazon Product Ads service. But, wineries and vineyards can continue to sell their products directly at the Marketplace.

Time to try out other websites

So, if you happen to be a beer, spirits and wine merchant then, there is a host of other options that you can try out. You can list your products on alternative shopping platforms by considering factors like cost and traffic generation ability.

In the past, sellers of tobacco have faced similar problems with Google Shopping. So, such merchants have opted for other channels like Bing, Shopzilla and so on. If you happen to sell other products along with beer, wine and spirits then, you need to check the data feed and remove the restricted items to prevent any future hassles.

Why was this decision taken?

Amazon had to abide by complicated legal regulations when it came to selling alcohol. Moreover, these laws varied to a great extent across the different states. Wine.com which is a leading online wine store has been battling legal hurdles for the past 10 years. This is Amazon’s third failed attempt at selling alcoholic beverages online. WineShopper and New Vine Logistics were its two other unsuccessful efforts.

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Buyers Who Have Started Their Shopping Spree Early Are Mobile and Elated

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

Holiday Online Shopper
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Online merchants look forward to the holiday season because during this time they earn considerable revenue. Moreover, it also provides them with ample opportunity to grab the market share by attracting new customers through their attractive products and services.

It is the holiday season, so it is expected that the consumers will spend substantial amount of money. What e-sellers are more concerned with is how and where this money will be spent. They can devise better strategies if they know the answer to the above questions.

The survey that can provide some answers

In early October, branding agency SGK Inc. conducted a survey in which around 2,100 consumers participated. 13.6% participants in that group said that they started their holiday shopping before September, while 10.3% of them started in September. These early shoppers do not intend to finish early. They want to take their time and clinch the right deal. In that survey, more than half the consumers have said that they will continue to shop on the day after Thanksgiving.

Increased spending

76% of the shoppers said that they plan on spending more this holiday season than last year. Out of these shoppers who will shell out more, 79% of them will be occasionally using mobile devices for product research. While buying, such consumers also compare the prices from other retailers’ websites and request price matches.

Consumers who said that they will spend the same, only 18% of them will compare prices and buy from another merchant’s website from their mobile devices when they are in a store. 46% of such buyers will request for a price match. Those shoppers who will spend less than last year, only 11% of them will engage in price comparison and use their mobile devices for shopping, and 28% will ask for a price match.

Young shoppers

Shoppers belonging to the 18-34 age group will use their mobile devices more readily than older buyers. 82% of buyers in this age group engage in product research on their mobile devices, compared to 60% of those aged 35-54 and 32% of those belonging to 55 or older age bracket. 75% of the young shoppers will compare prices and buy from another e-seller’s web site using their mobile gadgets, whereas figure is 53% for middle-aged shoppers and 25% for older shoppers. 75% of young buyers will ask for a price match, while the figures are 46% and 25% for middle-aged shoppers and older shoppers respectively.

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The Top 6 Timesaving Automation Tools for E-Sellers

Steve Burns Posted On - December 2, 2013

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Judicious time management is one of the most important determinants of success in the business arena. This is all the more crucial in the fast-paced world of e-commerce. Now, online merchants can save valuable time by using technology to their advantage.

With the help of the following six tools you can shift your focus from the mundane tasks and pay greater attention to the important areas.

IFTTT – If This Then That

By using IFTTT you will be able to connect various web tools and services via personally created or publicly shared profiles called “recipes”. Every recipe follows a specific format: “if this then that”. Here, “this” and “that” form the trigger and action part of the recipe respectively. This tool will enable you to automate many activities like posting on Facebook and sending text messages. Presently it supports 71 channels such as Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and SMS.

Boomerang for Gmail

You can schedule your emails in Gmail with the help of Boomerang. It is a Firefox and Chrome plugin where you can write an email and specify a future date when you want it to be automatically sent. It is also endowed with other interesting features like automatic follow-up emails and reminders that will always aid you to stay connected with clients and business associates. This tool will also provide you with a great way to manage your email inbox.

Buffer

This amazing tool allows you to schedule your social media posts for the day in advance. Save yourself from the hassle of manually setting date and time for various posts. By using Buffer, you can set the line-up of your posts in just a couple of clicks. Moreover, this tool is all the more desirable because it can be integrated with many other apps and extensions on the web.

TextExpander

If you wish to type at a faster speed and minimize on the extent of typos, then TextExpander will be a great tool for you. This useful tool, available on the Mac OS X platform, enables you to assign keyboard shortcuts for phrases, sentences and paragraphs that are used most often by you. Additionally, you can also fill forms more quickly by using this.

Rapportive

In this age where most things are automated, personal touch in communication holds a very special place. Rapportive is a browser add-on for Gmail users that aims to assist you in forming meaningful relationships. As you type an email, it displays various things related to your contact like photo, location, social media activities and so on. Such relevant information will aid you in communicating effectively with such people.

Shoeboxed

Make your life simpler by availing the assistance of Shoeboxed. This service will organize your receipts, business cards and other documents into a secure online account. It will also provide you with other relevant information like deductions, expenses, payment date etc.

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