Monthly Archives: May 2014

eBay acquires mobile app developer StackMob

Daniel Posted On - May 21, 2014

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PayPal, the renowned E-Commerce service provider eBay’s payment platform has recently acquired StackMob, a mobile app developer, targeting to provide the customers the facility to pay with mobile devices. This will obviously enable Pay Pal to make its presence stronger in mobile commerce apps and further popularize its mobile payments solutions. But eBay has not yet disclosed the terms of this deal.

StackMob was founded in 2012 at San Francisco which offers a platform to developers and companies to create and manage mobile applications. It is well known for its custom API (application programming interface) which is highly rated by the developers as it makes easier to connect mobile applications to backend platforms such as Salesforce and SAP. Therefore it is expected that the acquisition will support the company to develop backend software for mobile apps, which will automatically enhance PayPal’s mobile technology.

Most probably it will bring some extra mileage for PayPal when compared with its other competitors like Google Inc.’s (GOOG) digital wallet, Intuit Inc.’s (INTU) GoPayment and Starbucks-backed Square Inc.

Today’s tech-savvy consumers, are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile Internet devices to get the convenience of ordering and paying online. In order to gain out of this market trend, PayPal has wisely taken the necessary measure in time by acquiring StackMob for continued growth in the mobile space. Apart from its online payments service PayPal is opting to expand its offline, mobile and online offerings to stores, restaurants and other businesses. This has been recently reflected in its implementing an updated version of its app that offers features like ordering and paying in advance for carryout food to avoid lines.

While announcing the deal, James Barrese, PayPal’s chief technology officer, perhaps made the right comment in his blog by saying, the talented team from StackMob will help to move them faster in creating testing and deploying products that aim to transform payments.

PayPal has already started working to encourage users to spend more of their money through its network at brick-and-mortar retailers which still account for more than 90% of retail sales, as well as sales through smartphones.

Although this venture seems to be quite promising for eBay’s payment business, there are other challenges too. Banks and other companies are announcing their own payment systems to fight back and naturally the competition will be expected to pick up. Major online retailers, like Amazon.com (AMZN) are not going to make things easy for eBay. To add more, Google has also taken certain initiatives in the online retail as well as payments segment that will no doubt increase competition for the eBay.

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The eCommerce battleground – the synopsis of Walmart Vs Amazon

Daniel Posted On - May 21, 2014

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Amazon has long claimed its dominance in the field of eCommerce by virtue of its extensive networks and superior shipment facilities. It has become a set standard to meet up to the efficiency that Amazon shows in their product deliverance and customer orientation. In line with the increasing competitions, Amazon has been able to keep their service viable and economic by incorporating slew of interactive updates to their eCommerce mediums.

Walmart has traditionally operated from their shops and warehouses. While by eCommerce stature, Amazon is still the trendsetter; the others are still making their best efforts to augment their eCommerce endeavors – at least service wise. In line with the practice, Walmart has been making some changes to their business practice. To foster better product shipment and better channeling, Walmart has indulged in building dedicated warehouses to tackle the bulk online orders.

It is to be noted that Walmart is no small pawn in the online marketplace either. It is almost a decade that Walmart made their foray in the internet market. In spite of that, their online sales have only accounted for a mere fraction of their $469 billion empire. In the last fiscal, the online conversions came in at $7.7 billion. In the same time span, Amazon recorded a conversion statistics of $61 billion. The numbers are proof enough of the catch up that Walmart has to play to come up to the eCommerce standard of Amazon. So what exactly has Walmart in plan to augment their consumer satisfaction? Replicating the Amazon business model is not the viable way to go as Walmart itself has a pretty expansive retail network. In bare numbers, Walmart has 4,100 retail stores and that too within a mere five miles distance from 2/3rd of the US population. What Walmart is effectively trying to achieve is to integrate their expansive distribution networks, stores into a well oiled fulfillment network.

The Omni-channel commerce as a retail strategy is implemented by a slew of top brick and mortar retailers including Walmart. Omni-commerce by integrating retail stores and eCommerce platforms can very well be an answer to come up against the figures of eCommerce, given the retailer has a massive retail presence – something that Walmart does have.

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Amazon Raises Fee for Prime Shipping

Daniel Posted On - May 16, 2014

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Recently, Amazon has taken a decision to raise the annual fee for the two-day shipping service by 25 percent, to $99 for its 25 million members of Amazon Prime program.

Although it is considered to be a rational decision when judged from the business point of view, it is also criticized by some analysts who think many prime consumers will be unhappy and might be reluctant too to pay more.  The new price was effective on the renewal dates for existing customers, from 17th April.

Amazon is a top ranking retailer going to hit $100 billion in revenue earning with 237 million active customers. No doubt it has changed people’s experience with purchasing books online and now opts to do the same with other products of entertainments. It is also identified as the pioneer in reestablishing many retail rules. But in spite of everything the main factor which regulates success for every business remains the same for Amazon too. Customer opinion and satisfaction is vitally important. Consumers wish to get their purchases fast but they also wish to make it less expensive. All these days Amazon pressurized its suppliers and successfully achieved the optimum customer satisfaction quotient. But the new decision of increasing the fee for prime shipping may not be accepted by all the members and bring some negative impacts.

Few unfavorable comments have already come up on the retailer’s discussion forums. One consumer mentioned it as ridiculous and other did not forget to announce that they are already paying tax on their Amazon purchases as well as on the Prime fees itself. Not only that, they also said they did not watch the 40,000 movies and TV shows that was offered along with Prime membership. Moreover, the two-day shipping sometimes take more time than it is supposed to take. In such a situation they did not hesitate to write they would rather prefer to go for the standard shipping option, completely free for those who hit a $35 minimum.

Investors, however, welcomed the news. Wall Street has clearly expressed their opinion by saying Amazon can easily improve its shipping margins, helping the fragile bottom line without letting the revenue fall. On the other hand Fiona Dias, ShopRunner’s chief strategy officer said people are a little upset with Amazon which indicate there will be a lot of upset.

Gene Munster an analyst has estimated that may be a quarter of the prime base would be rebelling against this which amounts to 1 percent resulting to a cut of $800 millio, on the other hand the increased fees would add $150 million to the bottom line giving a good shot in the revenue earned.

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Personality Based Product Description- Effective Way to ensure Engagement

Daniel Posted On - May 15, 2014

Product Descriptions
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The online marketplace is fiercely competitive to say the least as a number of online platforms vie for recognition at the same time. In fact, there are firms which indulge in selling the similar products in the digital space. The online merchants are always on the lookout to differentiate their products from the competitors and endow them with a unique touch.


Beating the Competition

Making a product stand out in the competitive market is no easy task as only the branding endeavors might not prove enough. The merchants thus look out for more indigenous ways to entice the consumers to make a buying decision. One way to better engage the consumers and propelling them to buy, even without a definite call-to-action is the concept of personality enriched product descriptions.


Product Descriptions Vs Specifications

One might argue that consumers seldom go into the product descriptions, rather look out for the bare specifications to satiate their needs. Optimizing the product pages can effectively better the search ranking of a site. Apart from the obvious benefit of unique content, the creative image based product descriptions can garner back-links from third party websites. The present day purchasers do a lot of researching before zeroing in on the product of their choice. Comparing the products, reading reviews and making a note of the price differences is something that almost every online buyer does. Unique product pages are the keyword to garnering audience engagement among a sea of generic contents.

Higher the Conversion Rate

To better augment the product pages to work towards conversion, the merchants need to be specific on a few pointers. First and foremost, to write persuasive copies, one must be fully aware of the target consumer which the product is catering to. From the age bracket to the spending power, every little detail must be taken into purview before making inroads into content development. This will endow your product descriptions with a personality of its own as the copy literally becomes the voice of the product.

Only an Engaging Copy works

A core feature of writing a persuasive copy is to emphasize the features in a more expansive manner. One can break it down in FAB (feature, advantage, benefit) mode. Emphasizing the benefit that the consumer will have by acquiring the product is something that the copywriters must infuse in their writing to better their chances of converting the casual visitors to conversion. Making room for reviews and ratings against the products or services will further enhance the product’s acceptance among the end consumers. Last but not the least; the merchants must look into avenues to make their pages more interactive and engaging. Adding custom imagery to the product pages certainly helps the cause of making the product listings more appealing and interactive.

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Top 7 ecommerce trends to be followed in 2014

Daniel Posted On - May 14, 2014

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The e-Commerce market always shows some changing trends. It is a threat for the small business owners. The small scale businesses cannot understand and implement new tools and strategies at regular intervals to combat these recurring changes in the consumer behavior. The tackle these basic e-commerce trends in 2014 business owners can focus on the below mentioned factors.

Custora High-Growth E-Commerce Index reveals 2013 Black Friday was “Mobile Friday” with almost 40% of all online Shopping done on mobile devices. This trend will go on rising more in 2014. Therefore small businesses need to make sure their sites are properly optimized so that customers can view them on their mobile devices.

Over the time retailers are focusing more on faster and cheaper shipping procedures to offer the customers more satisfactory purchasing experiences. Small businesses also need to put more effort in this regard. Those who fail to afford faster shipping options can innovate ideas which carry special care to build personalized relationship with the customers.

Small businesses also need to think bigger in terms of geographical barriers. All the businesses are making huge profit by experiencing transactions beyond borders. In. 2014 there will be growing trend in capturing international market. Small businesses need to adapt that technique too.

Content marketing is an important component in digital marketing. It has influenced businesses a lot in 2013 and will continue to grow. A recent study shows that 82% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for content marketing in 2014. Small businesses also need to provide attractive and useful contents to drive customers towards their sites even if they do not spend a lot on this head.

Consumers online prefers to get relevant information within a click of their mouse. Therefore less time is the main thing they are interested in. Small businesses by assessing their available data can plan to provide relevant, thought-out recommendations, so as to help the consumers browse less and find more.

Pre-sales campaigns are in demand now. By analyzing the future market demands products are manufactured. Small businesses also need to keep their eyes open about this for of marketing and assess the probable needs in the market in near future. This doubly benefits the customers and the retailers.

Building your brand is the ultimate goal in every business. In e-commerce trend also brand is the greatest player which motivates customers to buy a particular product. So, small business owners also need to focus on establishing their own brands as well as the big businesses.

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The E-Sellers should check Out the Social Influencers in Business Marketing

Daniel Posted On - May 7, 2014

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If one asks a number of marketing experts about the recent trends in marketing, they will have one option in common- social media! The economies of marketing can be hold responsible for the fad about social media. Social media is making the diversification of Marketing channels much more viable. A major boost to social media can be attributed to the human trends of the society at large. With the digital dependence firmly settling in the psyche of an average person, communication and engagement across social media platforms is at an all time high.

How the social influencers can add that extra edge to your business?

The role of social influencers on business marketing cannot be denied. The retail segment has felt the pinch to amplify their exposure on the online space with the bandwagon of eCommerce. Now, social is playing a massive role in brand augmenting and channeling prospective consumers to the online retail spaces. In this context social media can be deemed as the great leveler. For long internet marketing was a money game with paid searches, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc coming into play. With social, the upkeep of brand identity and augmenting conversions is made far less strenuous.

A major reason for the effectiveness of social media is the consumers’ inclination towards positive reviews before making a purchasing decision. Research has found that online buyers pay much heed to the community dialogues and reviews in their bid to making a purchasing decision. Niche based social media presence thus certainly helps. Though social media provides a sea of marketing avenues, it is still one of the most underutilized modes of marketing.

The revamped word-of-mouth promotional tool

There was a time when “word-of-mouth” marketing was preferred as the most genuine way to communicate brand identity. In the digital era, social media plays almost the same role by providing the consumers a better platform to engage. Industry insiders estimate at least a 10-20% increase in the social media marketing budgets for the major brands in the coming quarter on 2014. There is a downturn to social media as well. With a deluge of options cropping up every day, businesses have to fixate their strategy to only a handful.

By sheer user base, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are clear favorites to find a place in the social media strategies. Facebook officially has 1.11 billion active users per month with 550 million for Twitter and 70 million for Pinterest. And if numbers are anything to go by, the reasons are plenty. Almost 71% of users rely on social media to make purchasing decision. Moreover over 80% rely on the social media posts of their friends as a valid source of reference. With social Media platforms stressing on personalized experiences in recent times, the importance of augmenting social media is paramount.

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Digital Gift Cards Can Be Used To Draw The Attention Of Holiday Shoppers

Shrikar Khare Posted On - May 1, 2014

Young Woman Shopper
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The online retail sphere is chiefly characterized by cut throat competition. E commerce merchants are experimenting with various novel methods to attract buyers and increase sales. In such a scenario innovation and clever thinking are essential for survival and success. Moreover, online retailers need to be constantly on the lookout for emerging market trends that will serve as opportunities for growth of their businesses. The use of digital gift cards is one such phenomenon that is gaining popularity among online buyers. Read on, to find out more about this.

Insights from a recent survey

We get to know a couple of interesting things about digital gift cards from a survey by InComm, a company that offers transaction services along with gift and debit card products. The findings are drawn from an online survey of 500 US consumers carried out in the month of November. Out of those online shoppers who planned on getting digital gift cards during the holiday season, 48% wanted to buy two or three cards, 44% said they will purchase more than three cards and the rest 8% would buy only one card.

Reasons for popularity

The immense popularity of these cards during the holiday season can be primarily attributed to the fact that they can be purchased very easily and quickly. According to the survey, the main reason for preferring these cards is their instant delivery. 62% of them desired to buy those cards that delivered gift items electronically. The report says that 75% of those surveyed expect to purchase at least one digital gift card in the year 2014. Around 70% of the respondents are keener on buying digital gift cards now than they were two or three years ago.

Digital and physical gift cards

Physical cards are still popular among shoppers but they like to have a choice between digital and physical gift cards when they are buying from an online store or mobile app. According to the survey, this is applicable for 87% of the buyers. The report also throws light on the type of merchants consumers buy from. The popular merchants were dining establishments, department stores and web-only retailers.

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The Holiday Buying Spree for Online Buyers

Shrikar Khare Posted On - May 1, 2014

Holiday Shopper
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Online shoppers contribute to a major chunk of the conversion metrics of any leading retail brand. In fact, major brands are optimizing their online presence to lure the consumers into making a purchasing decision online. The holiday season specifically sees major footfall in the online retail space and brands quite obviously look to churn out the best returns out of the mad dash. The results are quite effective to say the last. The holiday season quite naturally pumps up the sales charts.

Key metrics of holiday shopping

If one tries to quantify the holiday shopping trends, the results does provide a few startling facts. For example, the online shoppers tend to be loyal ones as well. Research has found that almost 69% of online shoppers tend to stick to the same retailer for consecutive years or long. There are some key factors that contribute to the loyalty aspect. These aspects include effective customer service, free shipping, sales and discounts and more. The proximity to indulge in a transaction is more for the online buyers if they experience have been favorable.

Time syncing online Marketing

The online marketing endeavors of the major brands follow a common trend- time syncing with the major festivals. Special discounts and gift vouchers attribute to a major portion of the sales during the peak seasons by virtue of the introductory and clearway sales. Attracting reward points and exclusive goodies just adds to the allure of online shopping during the holiday season.

Reaching out to the audience

It is imperative to say that to reach out to the audience; bigger brands all have their specific strategies in place. The viable options that stare in front of the online friendly brands are:

  • Going social: This is a major mode of attracting prospective clients. Social media plays a massive role in thought formation nowadays and people often rely on the feedbacks on the social platforms to make a purchasing decision. The brands often take advantage of this phenomenon by virtue of the augmenting their social presence.
  • Promotional campaign on checkout page: Checkouts are the best place to augment sales returns as per many industry insiders. Promotional campaigns targeted in the checkout zone can optimize the effects and thus augment repeat buying.
  • Optimizing the FAQ pages: This is a technique that can nudge the buyers to make a purchasing decision. People often refrain from making online purchase when they have limited information about the intended purchase. It is the FAQ section of the site which can provide them with the necessary impetus and insights.
  • Providing live chat: Consumers like consultations and if there is a helping voice in hand in their bid to make purchasing decisions, it always helps.

There is a growing impetus on online product placement nowadays and it is viable to say that the holiday season provides a lot of avenues to make room for better sales conversion.

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ChannelSale announces partnership with World First

Daniel Posted On - May 1, 2014

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ChannelSale is pleased to announce it’s new partnership with World First, the international payments specialists, to bring you access to better exchange rates for the proceeds of your international online marketplaces.

World First help thousands of e-commerce merchants save money every time they repatriate the proceeds of sales from international online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Play.com. World First’s dedicated service for online retailers is a cost-effective and straightforward solution for expanding your international Multi-Channel Sales reach. They can open non-domestic accounts for receiving funds in a number of currencies (GBP, USD, CAD and EUR) from E-commerce marketplaces in the UK, US, Canada and Europe. This helps you to achieve better exchange rates, meaning that the savings could be significant.

How you use the savings is up to you: you could offer more competitive pricing on your online storefronts, or expand or reinvest in your e-commerce operations. And with World First’s best-in-class online platform, World First Online, there’s greater flexibility in managing your currency conversions. Allowing you to choose the time – day or night – to repatriate your funds to your home business account, giving you 100% control of your profits.

To find out more about how you could start saving time and money, sign up here or reach out to Jason Magee via email, Jason.magee@worldfirst.com or via phone at +1 571.447.4900.

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Top 5 Back-to-School Tips for Increasing Sales for the e-Commerce Merchants

Daniel Posted On - May 1, 2014

Doting Teacher and Student
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For e-sellers, this will be very good news: an increasing number of shoppers are choosing to buy their back-to-school supplies from online stores. So, here is a wonderful opportunity for you to grow your business by cashing in on this trend.

Here are five tips that will help you to increase the back-to-school sales of your business:

Develop an exclusive back-to-school section

Simplify the shopping experience of your buyers by creating a special section for back-to-school items in your online store. Here you can put all the items, deals and related information in one place which can be easily be spotted by the shoppers.

Allow buyers to personalise their products

You can attract more buyers by offering products that bear the colour or theme of their individual schools. Customers tend to form an emotional attachment with personalised items. This emotional attachment helps to foster loyalty among customers. Hence, it is crucial to offer products that cater to the unique customer needs.

Importance of product descriptions and photos

When shopping school supplies or products online, customers cannot see the products for real. So, it is essential to provide a lot of information to them so that they can make proper buying decisions. Make sure that your products are described in detail that includes crucial information like measurement, colour and so on. Moreover, providing detailed descriptions will help you to stand out in the crowd and project a trustworthy image.

The same thing applies to product photos as well. The customers will get a clear idea about the product by looking at the photo. So, you should ensure that the photos are well lit and taken from various angles.  So it is the visual impact that the high-resolution images of the back-to-school products make along with apt product descriptions, which augments the chance of a product sale.

Attract customers by offering deals

Customers are always on the lookout for deals and the same applies for the doting parents in the lookout for school supplies. It has a psychological influence on shoppers and has the ability to increase their satisfaction level. You can try offering free shipping of the products also as this strategy has proved to be a success for many online retailers. Additionally, you can also offer tailor-made deals based on data elaborating customer buying habits.

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Amazon paves way for App Developers as Affiliates

Daniel Posted On - May 1, 2014

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Amazon says the new program will widen the scope for Amazon associates and it will simultaneously help app developers better monetize their apps and games. Amazon did not forget to mention it will pay app developers commissions which will range between 4% and 6% for any sales they generate.

Mike George, vice president of Amazon appstore, games and cloud drive claimed with this modification, developers now will have the ability to create an even deeper connection between their app and the products customers usually value and purchase through Amazon.com. It has been observed that the developers will be able to utilize the program in three ways:

  • They can sell a single item from Amazon within the app or game. For example, if a consumer encounters a giant three-headed wolf at the end of a game, it can then sell that user the “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirt from Amazon.
  • They can showcase a product category. Such as, a nutrition and fitness app developer can sell its users vitamins, supplements and fitness gear within the app from Amazon.
  • They can bundle a physical product from Amazon with digital content within the app. This will allow a developer to sell a toy version of a game character and then automatically enable the user to play as that same character.

Days of Wonder Inc., the producer of both physical and app-based games, is making new moves and utilizing new techniques as it is launching updated version of its existing mobile app. The modernized and revamped app automatically induces consumers to buy the board game version of its Ticket to Ride game via Amazon as the users play the digital game.

Eric Hautemont, Days of Wonder founder and CEO has highlighted this as a developmental outcome of the company’s business progress model which connects high quality physical and digital board gaming close to each other.  He was also proud to announce that they were in a right position to grab the advantage of this unique kind of physical in-app shopping experience offer which Amazon is apt to provide.

Previously also Amazon made such type of efforts which helped developers to encourage consumers in making purchases while playing a game. In April 2012 Amazon launched an in-app purchasing service that let app developers sell digital content and subscriptions from within apps and games together.

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Get to know all about wine and its prices at Wine-Searcher

Daniel Posted On - May 1, 2014

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A recent study reveals wine is still considered to be a luxury product in many countries of the world. A new French research states that in international scale, on an average it takes about 7 hours and 15 minutes to work and earn the money required to pay for a bottle of wine. There are various types and categories of wines with a wide range of prices. In fact some wines offer better value than others. The Wine searcher database conveys price lists of 43,936 wine merchants across the world.

Wine prices

The price of wine fluctuates just like gold, oil, sugar and coffee. Change of wine prices also has impact on social and economic issues but it is comparatively slow, therefore predicting changes in wine value is quite more apparent than for other investment commodities. The factors which regulate wine prices are discussed below:

Vintage

Wines become exclusive and expensive and vintages with favorable harvest conditions or astronomical events. Sometimes wines from a particular year increase in value if the influential wine critics declare a ‘vintage of the century. Actually, the fame and reputation of a given vintage influence the price of its wines more than the actual quality. Therefore psychosocial factors dominate the wine’s Market value a lot

Financial condition

Like any other commodity the overall economic conditions of a country, or the world influences the price of wine up to a considerable extent.

ŸAge and value

It is a common idea that wine increases its value as it ages. “Old wine is expensive wine” is a most common factor making a wine to be more precious as well as valuable.

About the search results

To find out the price quotes in wine searcher database it is required to order search results in ascending order by price. As it is arranged from cheapest to most expensive, automatically this prioritizes halves before bottles, which are before cases.

Tax Information

The wine searcher displays prices as they receive them. Most of the prices are showcased with the taxes. But in some cases prices are listed without tax. For example, for our USA merchants, prices listed on Wine-Searcher exclude sales tax. But the tax status of each list is mentioned in the ‘description’ information. Sometimes average prices and price ranges are also displayed but they do not include the taxes.

Exchange Rates and Excise Tax

Wine-Searcher uses inter-bank rates to convert currencies and updates them on daily basis. But Wine-Searcher does not adjust for Excise taxes.

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