Monthly Archives: December 2014

Etsy has introduced offline credit card readers just in time!

Shrikar Khare Posted On - December 22, 2014

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Recently Etsy the popular site for craftwork manufacturers and dealers has introduced card readers to its US merchants which are absolutely free for them. The only criterion is you will need to have a store with Etsy and use its online payment service system.

These merchants will be at liberty to use these cards at various online craft fairs as well as offline sales promotions and presentations. It will also help them to analyze different aspects of their online presence and upgrade accordingly to achieve the best results.

However, this is not a totally new drive. Other eminent online retailers like Amazon.com. PayPal and Square already have this facility. It is ascertained that about 35% of people who already has an Etsy shop are using it and accepting payments in this process while they are completing transactions in the craft fairs.

Though Etsy’s charge is same as Square, it is a bit higher than Amazon and PayPal. But by paying this extra 2.75%, the merchants become enable to forego the 3.5% transaction fee which is charged on other online orders.

But this is quite clear that Etsy is not targeting to capture market by offering lower rates. On the contrary, it is basically focusing to provide more efficient service than its existing rivals who have marked their footing by using the hardware strategically in catching  the merchants’ attention including guiding them about various functions covering Inventory Management, interactive receipts, etc.

Camilla Velasquez, the director of Etsy’s payments and multichannel sales, has also highlighted the same view point by saying that possibly every merchant will be interested to pay an extra $20 for every commercial deal if they are assured that they are getting something better and smarter.

The readers introduced by Etsy have some definite benefits. It is compatible with smartphone app. This easily links the sellers with the online store and the entire inventory. Not only that, if a consumer buys a particular product, from a booth he can fast post a review on the seller’s page. And he can also mark a particular seller as his ‘favorite’ as he is entitled to get a receipt for his purchase.

Not doubt Etsy’s card readers will also face some major challenges. The basic reason for that is, payments through smartphone apps are soon going to be reaching its height of popularity. And Apple the retail giant has just launched its smartphone payments system too. Etsy will have to combat against all these hard competitions.

 

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Barnes & Noble Beats Predictions And Narrow Downs Its Loss Margin

Daniel Posted On - December 22, 2014

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Recent record shows though the famous bookstore Barnes & Noble has incurred a loss it could at least narrow down the margin a little which was beyond expectation. The whole incident of managing to save the company from a greater loss has given a positive thrust towards the company’s share in the market.

Michael Huseby, the CEO of Barnes & Noble, said in a recent statement that they have somehow continued to improve their performance in financial parameter, and at the same time concentrated on executing effective strategic initiatives.  This included taking steps towards the proposed separation of the Barnes & Noble Retail and the Nook Media businesses.

Huseby further mentioned that the retail section’s core comparable sale is however getting some definite advantages from improving physical book industry trends, supported by additional merchandising initiatives including store promotions.

While discussing this point he also provided the previous figures of company earning indicating 0.4% decline in core bookstore sales. But this obviously presents a track record excluding Nook product sales. When the Nook’s results are also taken into consideration, Barnes & Noble’s performance record touched a lower limit of 5.1% in the quarter.

But there is a silver line in this negative picture. Although Nook segment sales showcased a declining curve from 54.3% to $70 million, its EBITDA loss got a little positive swing by $50 million which made it a $5 million for the quarter.

No doubt the company highlighted their internal strategy of initiating the progress towards separating Nook Media from Barnes & Noble Retail, but at the same time it also played the game cautiously which keeps the things a bit hazy regarding the exact time of such executions.

In fact they are still continuing to showcase a situation where they are still carrying out some discussions about restructuring agreements.  As a result it is not being possible to assess when the Nook spin-off will take place. It is also likely that it may become as late as first quarter of 2015.

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Google’s new app Inbox will bring smart changes in email marketing

Shrikar Khare Posted On - December 19, 2014

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Google has launched a new app called Inbox that is expected to affect the total e-mail marketing strategies currently being followed by the majority e-retailers.

This upgraded app will offer more advanced functions unlike a typical inbox organizer. The new app will have various facilities using which consumers will be able to group e-mail messages. It will also have similar functional advantages just like way category tabs they are familiar with while working in Gmail.

It is also expected to pull relevant information like tracking information or something else which is not present in an e-mail.

Google search Inc has already done havoc while offering various facilities for Gmail users. And Inbox is perhaps doing something more on that. In July 2013 Google reorganized its Gmail inbox which included an additional benefit of automatic filtering system of e-mails into tabs on the basis of a sender’s name. A default tab identified as “promotions”, was also introduced. All marketing mails from various e-retailers were classified into this specified category.

This innovation in Gmail created a set back in marketing activities. For example Groupon, has clearly declared that as a result of this change many targeted consumers never opened their marketing mails which in return created a net loss of $2.6 million for them in q3 of 2013.

The renowned lead research analyst of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and also an e-mail marketing expert, Chad White has said that, primarily, marketers should be careful about the newly introduced bundles and highlights.

With the new tab Bundles the consumers will be able to group e-mails. This is more like the category tabs in Gmail. You can also use it for setting your preferences. White also added that by utilizing this tab a less engaged subscriber would become sleepier, at the same time actively engaged subscribers would have a choice to be more engaged.

The highlight is nothing but a feature that will allow you to get all relevant details about a particular email which is apparently hidden in a mail. No doubt this will largely affect the status quo which will influence commercial dealings. While discussing about this White sited an example also by saying you can see the actual time status of a package delivery by using this search expertise, though it is not mentioned anywhere in the mail. This may make things too transparent which retailers may not like always.

White has also commented that at present inbox app is remaining in the invite only category, which is to be downloaded as a separate app. So naturally it will take more time to make it in use on a wider sphere.  But though the progress of accepting and using it will be initially slow, he expressed his belief by saying that soon it will start influencing the marketers. This will also lead towards increased message relevance along with further development towards creating smarter contents and smart targeting as well for the entire e-mail marketing process.

If you want your retail business to soar high, then the process of order fulfillment should be a hassle-free one. ChannelSale’s Order Management and fulfillment process with professionally designed interface is going to help you to offer your customers great after-sales support.

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Overstock.com is serving TV and mobile commerce in a single platter

Shrikar Khare Posted On - December 11, 2014

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Recently Overstock has taken a new stand. They are trying to combine TV commerce with smartphone commerce which is a unique proposition. They have named this new campaign as “Overstocktober.”

In this process if you have a smart TV or a TV with special app, you can shop anything while you watch a program from the comfort of your home.  A recent study reveals that 23% internet users in United States love to browse the web or apps through their smartphones during the time they are also watching a TV program. And it is also revealed that another 19% also prefers to do the same but they want to do it through their tablets. This apart, 26% already have a practice of shopping online while they watch the TV.

After going through the above statistics no one can have confusion that overstock has probably taken the right step in right time which is going to combine both the activities in a meaningful way. To make it possible, Overstock is using specialized TV commerce technology which is being delivered by another service provider called Delivery Agent Inc.

Saum Noursalehi, senior vice president of marketing, Overstock.com, perhaps rightly expressed his viewpoint when he said; smartphone is likely to be the best option for a large section of TV viewers. People are already accustomed with shopping through their mobile devices and are quite comfortable in it. So they will be using it with confidence while they watch a program. And it will never create any distraction in midst of a TV program.

Noursalehi further said that TV commerce will contribute a lot towards acquiring various valuable engagement and transnational data. Most interestingly it will reveal hundreds of facts like which channels are performing best and what time of the day is being maximum effective etc.

As it is still in an experimental stage, Overstock.com and Delivery Agent are continuing on the basis of payment made by the first for every thousand impressions. So basically they are following the CPM model, common in online advertising. But there is a high chance that in near future the Retailer will enter into an affiliate relationship. At present both the companies are planning to test different language alternatives on the TV overlay which has enough scope of addition and alteration as it require.

Mike Fitzsimmons, chairman and CEO at Delivery Agent said they are trying to make it an easy to use process where the consumers will get a multi-device experience and at the same time they will also enjoy shopping this way as it will be a great entertainment too. According to him, shopping coupled with entertainment will be a powerful thing altogether.

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A record 44% U.S. consumers prefer online retailing this year!

Daniel Posted On - December 10, 2014

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The recent market scenario is indicating that in the coming holiday season consumers of United States will do their shopping online. It is also suspected that the figure for these online shoppers will be around 44% which is a strong pressure indeed on the retail stores and malls.

During the last season National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted a survey on this same subject and found 40% consumers prefer to go online which has further increased in 2014.

It has been observed that since 2006, this trend has become extremely popular when consumers spend time on the net and browse through various sites even if they are not buying anything.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group Inc., a consulting firm revealed his observation in an interview by saying that online has done a very good work by keeping the consumers engaged with ready product information. Cohen also commented that this new trend will push more consumers towards online sales which will also lessen impulse purchasing. Now it has become proved to be true.

Current market trend is also indicating towards a not so bright picture. It is expected retailers will again face a steep market and people will spend less amount on personal head and 57% will buy more non gift items nearing $126.68 which is less from last year’s record of $134.77. It is also expected that 36% will be checking the products including pricings before making a purchasing decision.

It is also going to be a fact that smartphones will play a vital role this year, 56% consumers will use it for shopping and collecting information about various items online which is 54% higher than last year’s record. Consumers will take the full advantage of this device while checking the product descriptions including price quotes. It is also a fact that this year there is a huge craze for electronic products including smartphones.

Technology will play a big role in the hunt for gifts, too. 56% of smartphone owners plan to use their device while shopping, for example, to check prices online while they are visiting stores, up from 54% last year.

This analysis is really enough to make the retailers and showroom owners feel low in spirit.  But the truth can not be reversed. A recent research conducted by Shoppertrak supports that truth by providing figures that foot traffic has become less by 3.1% in September followed by a another 2% in the week ended in October 2011.

It is crucial for the retailers to engage in product data feed management so that they can earn brownie points and ensure success for their multi-channel marketing campaign. ChannelSale is the best multi-channel marketing service provider and their managed services via ChannelSale Software Solutions can help businesses to soar high!

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8 tips for getting more traffic and revenue on Google shopping!

Daniel Posted On - December 9, 2014

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Google is always considered as the no. one channel in generating traffic to a website. All the online retailers depend on Google more than any other channel for leveraging their business effectively. But in spite of that still there are many who do not know how to use it to the optimum level in driving consumers towards their sites.

Here are few important points which will help you to utilize Google traffic in a most effective way to achieve a great result during the holiday shopping season.

 1. First try to convey the relevant facts about your product. Google ads are strong enough to highlight your product information in a most catchy way. So you need to utilize them well.

 2. While putting your product information through an ad keep it in mind how it will become relevant to various searches conducted by the consumers.

 3. You can take advantage of data feed changes and edit your ad contents. No doubt this will help you to get more traffic towards your site. You can hire the services of multi-channel marketing campaign solution providers with their smart software solutions who can help you for Product Data Feed Software.

 4. You can take help of various bids like Device bids, Bids specific to time and day of the week, Ad Delivery settings, Negative keywords, Search terms etc., to increase your ad visibility. Google Adwords offers this to the advertisers so that they can opt for a higher exposure for their product advertisements. This will assist you in drawing attention of a larger number of targeted audiences.

 5. While planning your campaign don’t forget Google dominates search so plan your visual and content about your products in a strategic way which will cover a wide spectrum.

 6. Also keep it in mind that Google is liable for 87% of the mobile search market.

 7Google shopping product ads have prominent product images try to use this opportunity to attract consumers.

 8. Google search has lower CPC than the usual paid search which has automatically increased search traffic to this site take advantage of that larger flow of crowd while you plan your seasonal campaigns for the holiday shopping time.

A higher traffic automatically leads to higher revenue. So just by putting a little more effort you can easily get best results in your online business.

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5 golden rules for the retailers in the holiday season

Daniel Posted On - December 9, 2014

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Every online retailer looks forward to earn handsomely from the holiday shopping season. This is the right time when you can easily replenish your down sales in Q2 and Q3 and also gear up for your overall business position. But to utilize this opportunity in Q4 you need to be careful about the following aspects:

1. You can start planning your marketing and pricing strategies for the holiday season long time before. In fact it will not be impractical at all if you start it in the beginning of the year. This way you will get more time to collect data, study and plan for a all round promotion.

2. Studying the online trends are extremely important for succeeding in business. You need to know what exactly the holiday shoppers are looking for this year. Apart from stock, advertising channels including tools also radically change from one year to another year. You need to be aware about these factors. Various eCommerce publications can help you to make a thorough analysis in this regard.

3. To best utilize the season of up market sales in Q4 you must know your audience well. The demands and requirements change from place to place. So unless you can understand your consumer’s shopping trend for this holiday you will never be able to attract them.

4. Most of the times e-retailers depend on Google to draw traffic towards their sites. There is no scope of suspicion that Google is the best in this regard. But ideally you should also consider other channels along with Google which will allow you to get diversified customers from different parts.

5. Try to establish your own niche and stand out in the crowd. If you can present your exclusivity you can easily hit the holiday shopping market. Otherwise there is a high chance to be lost among many who has no uniqueness that attracts the consumers towards a particular product or item.

Beside all the above mentioned aspects you also need to be careful about your shipping efficiency as getting the gifts in time is extremely important in holiday shopping. You should also pay serious attention towards your client handling because deriving customer satisfaction is the ultimate target of every business.

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Google’s Third Party Product ads Enriching Consumers’ Searching

Daniel Posted On - December 2, 2014

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Google is one of the most popular destinations which offer various advertising facilities for the retailers. Google Shopping Campaigns happens to be a feature like that.

This allows the merchants across the country well organized their entire stock comprising various products and commodities on the net within AdWords. It provides a great support in creating customized campaigns consisting special tools that can screen various data and offer you a particular campaign’s performance results.

This analytic mechanism has a great importance in online retailing. A merchant can utilize this performance appraisal report for understanding the market trend, consumer’s behavior pattern and also the impact of various ads. Not only that he can also monitor and rejuvenate product sales by reshuffling various marketing strategy and implementing improved techniques on the basis of that.

As it is extremely effective in prioritizing products and forming marketing principles, currently the company is directly inviting the retailers to start their own campaigns into Google’s e-commerce sites including their partners’ search results on their respective sites.

So now the merchants can go ahead with their own Product Listing Ads commonly known as PLAs. In this process when some one tries to find out a particular item on Google’s e-commerce sites, all products which belongs to that specific category or all the existing related product ads across the Google network also automatically comes up.   This obviously includes the most reputed and widely popular sites like Walmart, as a logical phenomenon of new AdSense for Shopping.

In this present scenario, therefore, a PLA has become more important as it can now highlight all relevant results based on its contextually. This goes without saying that these search results are determined on the basis of the user’s data feed, which indicates a particular product category or the product name as Google puts it.

A consumer gets immensely benefited from this process of search results as it enables you to access unlimited data about various retailers and their products beyond Google.com or Google Shopping.

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Get ready to accept a higher threshold rate for free shipping

Daniel Posted On - December 1, 2014

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Every year during the holiday season e-retailers offer various free shipping facilities to their customers. This year also there will be no change in this approach though the parameters may be shifted to a higher level.

Stella Service, a customer service research firm recently conducted a survey and came to a conclusion that in 2014 holiday season customers will have to buy more to reach a higher payment grade for receiving this free shipping facilities.

The research work included about 113 retailers in the two consecutive years 2013 and 2014. And according to collected data it was ascertained that average threshold to avail free shipping has become increased. In 2013 it was marked at $76 but in this year it has become fixed to $82.

Although the major e-retailers are pioneering this rise in the minimum rate for receiving free shipping, in few specific items it is being lowered down. In case of apparels and accessories the rate is decreased by $14. Auto and home improvement products are also experiencing a decrease which comes to $27.

According to Stella Service, there is a noticeable rise in the number of companies offering free shipping during this one year. In 2013, only 56 companies offered free shipping but that number turned to 65 in 2014.

No doubt free shipping facility attracts more customers. That is why during the holiday shopping season, a large number of e-retailers automatically incline towards this, to sustain in the competitive market. As per Internet Retailer analysis of free shipping, 623 out of 1,000 popular retailers offer this service to their customers at least for some categories amongst their entire product lines.

Internet Retailer has also checked the free shipping parameter rate offered by top 1000 retailers. It was found that the rate varies with the time factor. During the period 1st to 7th of November it was $93.72 and within 14th to 19th of December it became $98. And the number of companies offering free shipping also changed with time. It was 84.3% in 1st week of November but in the second week of December it came down to 62.6% only.

Interestingly there was also a big difference between these threshold rates which automatically changed from one retailer to another. The analysis revealed Sam Ash Music is the company which has the lowest free shipping threshold which is a $9.99 while AusTexAppliance.com has fixed this rate at $1,999.  All other retailers, more or less came within this range.

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Amazon and Macy’s are already gearing up for holiday sales!

Daniel Posted On - December 1, 2014

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As the holiday season is almost on our threshold, Amazon.com the giant retailer and Macy’s have already taken new initiatives to boost consumers’ shopping spree especially for the children’s products.  It’s a good news for all preparing to Sell on Amazon.

Amazon has updated its site with a focus to help parents to find suitable toys for their kids. A new gift finder has been added which allows you to filter your search by various parameters like age, gender, brand, price range including interests also. You can also check all the best deals available for this festive season along with the best selling information.

Amazon has announced, while doing the up gradations they have largely depended on the holiday toy list of 2013. Most interestingly this list was created by Amazon Mom program’s Facebook fans. The members of this free membership program include the parents of small children who enjoy special discounts on various kids’ products through this program.

There is also a large group of fans of Amazon Mom on Facebook who voted on the toys from different trend categories. This year the retailer is offering its customers the facility to check out the entire list of Amazon Mom Picks on its site.

Furthermore, Amazon is trying to lure customers by announcing discounts and special offers like 50% off Crayola Toys including Fisher-Price and Hasbro also, which are only available for a limited period or till the products, are in the cart.

Obviously all these features and deals are included in Amazon.com’s mobile app too, because this has become the most upcoming and popular device for ordering products online. During the last holiday season, in every second, more than one toy was purchased by Amazon customers via mobile devices.

Macy’s, the famous retail chain as well as the web merchant has also geared up for holiday sales promotion just in time. It holds the no. 13th position in the 2013 top 500 retailer guide and has a huge network of 800 stores throughout the country. They have decided to open the stores at 8 o’clock in the evening on Thanksgiving Day on the basis of their consumer’s requests, they said. Naturally this will allow the retailer to offer the Black Friday sales earlier than usual time.

To make a clear idea you can also check out these sales activities through their Pinterest page. The associates can also review available shifts during the festive season and accordingly choose the time they prefer.

You can also use your smartphones to check the entire inventory to make a well planned Black Friday shopping list. From 21st November onwards, customers will be able to enjoy this facility for choosing various products online and come across a more exciting shopping experience at Macy’s.

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Gifts.com is adored by the customers for its exclusivity

Daniel Posted On - December 1, 2014

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Gifts.com is one of the most popular sites that offer such a wide range of product varieties for various occasions in a human’s life cycle. This online Retailer is esteemed not only for its huge selection of unique products and items that can fulfill everyone’s individual requirements it is also famous for its exclusivity which is really unparalleled when compared with other online marketers.

It has classified gift items for various occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings and engagements, and various other every day occasions in one’s life. Are you thinking of buying a gift for your mother? Do you want to make your Father’s Day gift to be a unique choice this year? Will you attend a baby shower and planning to gift something cute and useful? You will get everything under one umbrella.

There are exclusive and top class gift items suitable for every one from all age groups. This lead the company boasts about their performance which is really unbeatable. They have declared so far they have catered to over 100 million customers across the globe.

Not only that they deal with more than 20 categories which consists of business gifts, greeting cards, flowers, gift baskets, gourmet foods, food and wine, beauty and fragrance, hiking and camping, jewelry, personalized gifts, watches, toys and games, men’s fashion, women’s fashion, tech items, travel items and many more.

There are various other gift item sections based on individual tastes and interests like music lovers and pet lovers sections. Consumers can also filter their search by occasions or simply by recipient such as boyfriend, mother, teen guys, babies and toddlers etc.

If they want to give a more generalized search they can also opt for personality sections like senior women, boys girls, all men etc. In the occasion category also beside common gifting occasions like Birthdays and Weddings there are more options like host and hostess gifts, new job gifts, housewarming and thank you gifts also.

The site also has special offers for the holiday season which is no doubt happens to be irresistible and comes in thousands varieties to suit every budget. Gifts.com is extremely popular all over the world for its best gift ideas which makes gifting really a special experience for both the parties – the person who gifts it and the person who receives it!

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