Category Archives: multi channel marketing

17 Steps To Get Your Customers ‘Head Over Heels’ When Reviewing Your Products

Stephen Posted On - May 15, 2018

online reviews
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Did you know that 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews? Or that 84 percent of them trust such customer generated contents just as much as their friends?

These numbers very well outline just how important of a role reviews and ratings come to play in the success of a business today. For online sellers, it is even more crucial. Amid stiff competition and when other vendors are, more or less, offering the same kind of products and executing similar strategies, there are only a handful of things that can make as much of a difference as customer reviews.

Not only do such contents put forth the products and brands in the truest of form, which usually lacks in (poor) self-absorbed marketing efforts, they also build trust. And in the online scene, trust has emerged to be a defining line between the small and high earning sellers.

So, if you’re an online merchant, getting customer reviews should be at the top of your priority list. But then again, getting words out of customers, and the good ones at that, is a challenge in itself. Additionally, tackling negative reviews is an art that is known not to many.

But don’t worry, we have got you covered here.

There are ways to get your customers go ‘head over heels’ when reviewing your products. The whole process can be divided into 4 parts.

Part 1: Giving enough REASONS to leave good reviews
Part 2: Asking them to leave reviews for the products purchased
Part 3: Winning their reviews (more on this later)
Part 4: Handling the bad reviews swiftly

Now let’s break down these parts into multiple steps to understand things better.

PART 1

1. Offer great products

Guess who is offering good products? Your competitors! If you want to outdo them, it’s imperative that you offer great products. NO LESS! No amount of marketing and fawning can beat the quality. So, ensure whatever that you are offering is of A-Quality.

great Offer

2. Don’t exaggerate

Many online sellers are in bad habit exaggerating about their products on different channels and in different forms. They go over-the-top in product descriptions and use false claims in marketing efforts just to attract more purchasers. Don’t do this. Because upon getting their products, customers would see through your lies and embellishments. And if that happens, your retention sizes to ZERO. They might even leave bad words for you on different platforms. At such time, Online Reputation Management becomes extremely difficult. So, avoid creating contents that exaggerate about your offerings. Be as honest as possible. All the time.

3. Deliver faster

If the estimated shipping date is 25th, try to deliver the product on 23rd. Everyone loves surprises. When you deliver faster than customers’ expectation, you can easily delight them. And in that, getting a positive review becomes very easy. So, team up with the right shipping partner and make quick deliveries. (And under no circumstance should you ever delay!)

4. Talk to them

How would you react to a person talking to you very friendly? Unless you doubt him/her to be a serial killer, you would respond in an equally friendly manner. And in that conversation, you will see a bond forming that, if nourished properly, can go on to become much more meaningful.

The same dynamics work even in the online scene. When you engage your audience or customer in a meaningful conversation, you can connect to them on a more intimate level. This can then easily shape in a good customer experience. And when the customer has enjoyed or is enjoying dealing with you, they would definitely love to leave you good product reviews.

These are 4 steps that accrue enough reasons for the customers to leave good reviews and ratings for your products. Now to the next part of asking them to leave reviews.

PART 2

5. Note in the package

Include a note in the product package asking the customers to leave you an online review. When, after checking and trying the product, they see a request from you to leave good words for the product, they are more likely to act on that.

Now the note, if you can, make it more personalized. Include the name of the buyer if possible. Also, along with that, include a QR code and shorten URL where the customers can conveniently go and rate and review the product.

‘Hey (name), did you like the product? We have worked very hard in making and delivering the product to you. Can you please leave a good review for us online? :)’

Who wouldn’t want to act on that sweet request?!

6. Push a friendly email

Follow up the sale with a drip email campaign. Depending on the product you sold, you can tell customers more about its features and how they can maximize its usage. Ask them if they are facing any problem with their purchase. And then ask them to leave good review and rating on the product page. With the right email automation partner and copywriter, this is quite easy.

7. Tell them on social channels

Don’t just use social channels to talk all good about your products. Use it regularly to ask your existing customers to leave reviews and ratings. This is like a simple reminder. If you have offered them a good product, most of them wouldn’t mind rating you good.

Also, don’t go “please review us” or “please rate us on Amazon”. Such requests usually go unnoticed. Try to be creative and keep the focus on the customers. Something like “Did you like our product? We would love to listen to you here (link to your product page)” would be much more effective.

These are 3 simple steps to ask your customers to rate your products on marketplaces. Of course, even then, many of them wouldn’t care about doing that. In such case, you must WIN their reviews as something of a prized item. This is what the next part helps you do—win reviews of reluctant customers.

PART 3

8. Message them on their phone

This step might be a little bit intrusive and many people won’t like it, but it’s worth trying. You already have the number of the customers that you collected at the time of checkout. Pull up those numbers and shoot them a sweet text message on their phone. Ask them if they liked the product and remind them to ‘write about their experience’ on the following link. Given it’s a much more personalized form of communication, many would act on it.

9. Produce blog articles

You can use blog articles to engage your purchasing customers and push them to leave their ratings and reviews. Here, you are required to be a tad creative.

For example, say you sell athletic wears. Now, you can write an article on something like “How to improve the longevity of your fitness wears” or “10 tips to run and workout longer every day”. After giving them a resourceful read, at the end include a Call To Action (CTA), asking the customers to leave their reviews on the products they purchased.

In the CTA button, you should be original. Instead of saying “review us” or “please leave a review for our products”, you can say something like “We’re continuously trying to improve our products and would love to listen to your personal experience. Please tell us how did you like our products here (include link).”

If you have offered them something worthy in the article, many would be much more positive towards your CTA, eventually leaving you good reviews.

10. Offer exclusive discounts

Ask your customers to review your products and then offer them exclusive discounts on their next purchase. This can not only increase the number of reviews but also effectively increase your sales.

Admittedly, pulling such campaign on a mass level could be a tedious task. First, you must redefine your pricing strategy and keep your long-term profit margin intact. Also, you must efficiently communicate this offer to your customers, and on the right platforms.

Moreover, you must have a proper mechanism to track the reviews and who are those individuals. Your customer database will only get bigger.

But kept aside all the efforts you would have to make in this process, if you manage to pull all the strings correctly, the rewards could be beyond your expectations.

11. Talk to them on social media

Talking to your customers individually, asking them the right questions and resolving all their queries—these are sure shot ways of not just getting good reviews from them but also improving your retention rate.

So, after email, the next best avenue for engaging your customers is social media platforms. Converse them on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, DM them, strike a meaningful conversation. And at the end, ask them to share their experience about the conversation and the product in the review section.

12. Offer cashbacks

Cashbacks are a new breed of offer in the online shopping world. And it must be your last resort. So, before that, you must do your calculation correctly.
How much cashback do you want to offer your customers for leaving good product reviews? How much benefit will that particular review bring to your business? How you’re going to track such reviews, customers, and cash back? How are you going to communicate this offer to the buyers in the most impactful way?

These are few questions that you must answer before going ahead with the cashback offer. Again, this task could end-up becoming a big stress for you. So, ensure you have enough resource to handle the workload and that the return is worth the effort.

These are 5 steps that would help you WIN the reviews of your customers. If done correctly, in no time, will you have a pool of buyers going head over heels for your products in the review section. After that, comes the next big challenge—negative reviews and how to deal with them. This is what we discuss in the next part.

PART 4

13. Respond promptly

Good or bad, respond to every kind of review promptly. But when dealing with the negative ones, understand the difference between promptly and hastily. When you act in haste, there’s a big room for making mistakes. But when you are prompt, you think first and then respond.

So, whenever you spot a negative review, however cruel, take a deep breath, control your emotions, think from the perspective of that customer, think of the most appropriate way of responding and then hit the reply button. The quicker you reply, the better it is. Because you never know how many customers can form a perception of your product through this negative review.

Now here’s prickle though—at least for multi-channel vendors. When selling on various platforms, keeping a tab of all pouring reviews can be difficult. Responding them can be even more hectic. This is where a good e-commerce solution can come to save your life. Names like ChannelSale, a globally trusted multi-channel e-commerce software solution, can integrate all your shopping channels and make handling the various ends of your stores much easier and quicker. So, on their centralized platform, among other things (like inventory, listing and shipment), you can easily track your reviews on different storefronts and then respond to them promptly.

14. Never question the customer

Never (ever) argue with the customers. Never call them a liar or question their experience. Regardless how tempted you are to go against their words, always act empathetically. Listen to them. Nod. Agree with what they are saying. And then provide the right course of action or solution.

When you question them, you will only make the matter worse. And the conversation there may even trigger other customers who may end up reviewing you bad.

15. Spot smear campaigns

These days, it’s not uncommon to find businesses running smear campaigns against their competition. Often you, too, can fall for such campaign by your competitors. So, it’s important to identify such negative reviews from the unauthentic resources, which could be tricky.

Do a background check on the customer who left the bad review with whatever information you have at hand. Ask them for their invoice number to identify them or any other reference number you have provided them.

If they haven’t purchased from you and are lying in the review, even then don’t go all guns blazing at them. Just stay calm, use humor and deal with them in a good way.

16. Accept. Apologize. Improve.

Many online sellers do this thing—instead of admitting their mistakes and the flaw in their products, they try to give some lame excuses. And unless the customer is really dumb, nobody buys such reasons. So, whenever you find that it was your mistake and the product wasn’t the best, the go-to option is to accept it, then apologize for it, and then promise to improve. A positive response to negative reviews can win hearts.

17. Compensate

You will often find customers who will be angrier than they should. They are hard to deal with. And they would completely shame your brand and products. Again, yes, they might be over-reacting, but it was your mistake for providing them a bad product, right? So, at such times, it is best that you compensate for the troubles they are going through.

Now you can decide to return back their money, replace the product for free or offer them some freebie as a gesture of sorry. Such measures can easily calm them down and reassure the other people who are reading the review that you’re a good seller.

These are 5 steps to effectively deal with negative reviews.

Admittedly, the mentioned steps in individual parts can take a lot of time and resource. So you must find the right and most efficient ways to execute them, which is a topic for another discussion. To make things quicker, you can signup to social media management tools and multi-channel e-commerce solution.

All being said, these are the steps how to get your customers go head-over-heels when reviewing your products. Now go, do it!

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How to win Buy Box on Amazon, Walmart, NewEgg, and Sears?

Stephen Posted On - April 16, 2018

Amazon, Walmart, NewEgg, and Sears
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Did you know 82 percent of sales on Amazon happen through Buy Box?

Things are similar even on other marketplaces like Walmart, NewEgg, and Sears. No wonder, the majority of online sellers put so much effort in winning these buy boxes that virtually guarantee them increased sales.

But like every good story comes with some kind of problems—so does this one. Getting your products featured in the buy boxes on major e-commerce platforms is a tedious task. And when thousands of sellers are trying to do the same thing, the competition is seamless and chances are minuscule.

But don’t be disheartened now!

Yes, it’s difficult. But that doesn’t mean you let the opportunity of being a super-successful seller slip by just like that. You definitely should work hard for that. And with the following tips and ways, who know, you can qualify for the buy boxes tomorrow. (So many vendors already have!).

Read Guidelines Like A Bible

The first step to win the buy boxes on major selling platforms is doing exactly what you’re being told to, and avoid things that you’re asked not to do. This is no less than a rule!

One of the biggest mistakes many online vendors make is follow some backdoor techniques and hacks to get what they want. While these shady ways may work for them in the short span, they are bound to fail in the long run. So if, with a long-term vision, you want to add sustainability to your online business, you are advised against following such “tricks and hacks”.

Besides, why follow methods that are against the guidelines of marketplaces when you can win Buy Boxes with legit ways?!

So spend some time in reading the official guidelines of all those platforms where you are selling your products. Yep, the fonts might be small in size and the texts might be boring. But a bit of work in this step can take you a long way.

5 Essentials to Qualify for the Buy Boxes

Here are 5 things that would make you a strong contender to win buy boxes:

Have a professional seller account

Different marketplaces offer different types of seller account. For example, Amazon has two types of seller accounts- Professional Seller and Amazon Vendors. Similarly, NewEgg offers three types of seller accounts- Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. On the other hand, Walmart.com has a standard free account for every type of vendors.

Wherever applicable, remember, you cannot hope to score Buy Box with free accounts. Now don’t go to invest in the costliest package. Just upgrade your current plan to a professional one. This will put you on the list of sellers that marketplace prioritizes. Also, with more flexible options at hand now, you would easily be able to make necessary changes to qualify for the box.

The Most Competitive Price

Online shoppers usually look for affordable items. And what they look for is exactly what marketplaces aim to offer them. So if you’re offering your products at low price, there’s a big chance you could qualify for the buy box easily.

Indeed this means you would have to compromise on your profit margin. This is where effective pricing strategy comes into play a big role. Do your calculation properly and then finalize the listing price accordingly – will the benefits of getting featured in buy box make up for the low price you’re currently selling at?

FREE SHIPPING, no less

Many wonder if shipping charge plays as big of a role as it’s generally believed. Here’s what we say – free shipping is a MUST to win buy boxes. Yes, they are a MUST! Indeed, there are many instances where sellers charging shipping fees do get featured in the recommended box. But there a range of different factors come into play here, including their successful sales history.

If you’re trying to qualify for the box quickly, you must offer free shipping to buyers on whatever marketplaces you’re selling on. Again, this is where effective pricing strategy can come into play a prominent role.

Positive reviews and feedbacks

You knew this was coming! It’s a no-brainer.

Good reviews and ratings signal that the customers are satisfied with their purchase. If there are many bad feedbacks, it simply means that the product is bad. Top marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, NewEgg, and Sears take user-generated contents very seriously. And rightly so! Would you buy from an online seller that’s plagued with many bad reviews?

So the first step in this department is to offer customers high-quality products and give them no reasons to complain. The second step is to ask them to leave good reviews for the products. And third, if anyone has left a negative remark, answer that person tactfully instead of looking sour.

Keep Your Inventory Updated

No marketplace would like to display products to buyers that risk being out of stock. That’s the biggest experience spoiler for the customers. So as a general rule, to get promoted to the buy box, as well as in the search result for your targeted keywords, you need to keep your inventory updated all the time.

If you’re handling many storefronts, updating your inventories on all platforms can be time-consuming and very inconvenient. This is where a good multi-channel e-commerce solution can help you. It can integrate all your stores on a centralized platform and facilitate real-time, multi-channel inventory management, also providing help with other backend activities like product listings and feed optimization. All these can eventually end up qualifying your products for the buy box.

These are 5 essentials that you need to win buy boxes on e-commerce platforms. Of course, there are few other factors that you should pay heed to equally. But if you manage to pull off these mentioned tips successfully, the other pieces will fall in the right places.

It might all look a bit complicated, but they aren’t. Few steps here and few tweaks there, and your products can stand as a strong contender for the buy box. Besides, even if they look difficult to execute, you should still follow the steps. Remember, getting featured in the buy box can totally change the game for you, making you a successful online seller in no time.

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Beginners’ Best Approach To Multichannel E Commerce

Stephen Posted On - June 28, 2016

Multichannel E Commerce
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When you want to be present in more than one selling platform from the very onset of your e commerce venture, it is extremely necessary that you play your cards flawlessly. Being lenient and having your judgement clouded with whims and wishes can prevent any multichannel endeavor from taking off from ground level. Here are a few very important tips that can help keep overconfidence in check while offering optimum growth, healthy revenues and ample avenues to multichannel ecommerce ventures to expand with time…

Contain greed –

To begin with, it may sound very tempting but it is always wise to limit the number of platforms you wish to spread into. Choosing one or two from among the top performing marketplaces is far better to start with than choosing ten different platforms to sell. The eBay v/s Amazon debate is good to consider deciding which would be more suitable for you than being present in both and being smacked out of your time, patience and investments.

Integrate – integrate –

Secondly, you will have to initiate proper integration between all the platforms you are present in with your shopping cart. Say for example if you are powered by Magento and you are present in Rakuten, Amazon, Jet.com and Etsy, you will have to carry out Magento Amazon, Magento Rakuten, Magento Jet.com and Magento Etsy perfectly. The costs can run up to a few good thousand, so it is always wise to start with a tiny handful of marketplaces than stretching presence over 5 or more.

Use fee calculation & fraud protection softwares –

Thirdly, multichannel e commerce can always be profitable when you use fee / profit calculation softwares to determine how much profits your products will fetch at the listed price. This is a great way to prevent revenues from seeping out from where you may not be watching. At the same time, using fraud prevention softwares can protect you from inauthentic transactions that can save hundreds to thousands of hard cash every year.

Be present in comparison shopping engines –

Among all the platforms you may choose to be present in, it is necessary to include comparison shopping engines as well. Comparison shopping engines like Shopzilla, Nextag and of course Google Shopping can be welcome traffic drivers to your store which can improve your visibility and conversion rates by miles. Integrating with your chosen comparison shopping platform is just as necessary as it is to integrate with the marketplaces.

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Multichannel Ecommerce Rules You Must Never Overlook

Robin Smith Posted On - June 27, 2016

multichannel inventory management
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Multichannel ecommerce is the best route to winning maximum traffic for your online store. Almost all successful online merchants owe their growth and profits to this one of a kind way to reach millions of prospective buyers at one single shot. However, there are yet another lot of sellers that have not been able to harness as much benefit from multichannel selling as they thought they would. Basically, failure to grab opportunities while performing in multiple platforms of sale can be blamed on missing out or not being too careful about certain spoken and unspoken rules that govern this mode of commerce.

Ignoring integration:

Integration is the first rule that not-so-successful sellers seem to ignore first. Say for example, if you are Shopify powered seller performing in eBay, Amazon, Jet.com and Google Shopping at the same time, you will have to carry out proper integration with all of these platforms irrespective of how much it ends up costing. If you choose to integrate with eBay and Jet.com while leaving Shopify Google Shopping syncing to chance, your future of multichannel e commerce is sure to be gloomy in the near future.

Forgetting multichannel inventory management includes the entirety of supply chain:

Secondly, inventory management in multichannel ventures is not only about managing in flow and outflow of your products from respective warehouses. It involves the entirety of supply chain involving getting your stock from the wholesalers and keeping in touch with the matter of ‘availability’ in their side. Predicting your sale and stocking up accordingly without taking into account issues that may be arising in the part of your wholesalers will contribute equally to issues like over and underselling, order cancellations and many more.

Using advanced multichannel inventory management softwares that cover the entire spread in comparison with those that cover only a part of the process is highly recommended in this respect.

Listing parity maintenance:

Thirdly, keeping in mind that price is the King, you must at all times list competitively in all platforms of presence. However, there are platforms that guarantee the lowest prices or best deals to its buyers. If however, your list price is higher in some other platform, you may face risk of being suspended or banned for committing the folly of driving traffic outside the platform. This situation is best when avoided. Using high quality price management softwares can help ease the issue to a large extent.

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Few Tips To Make Your eBay Listing A Little More Interesting To Cassini

Stephen Posted On - June 11, 2016

multichannel retail software
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eBay listing is known for being more accommodative than listing in any other marketplaces or comparison shopping platforms today. This opens up golden opportunity in the part of the sellers to pitch their products better and gain a profitable edge in competition. Good old Turbo Lister with scratch basic listing strategies is sadly on its way out. With Cassini unfolding its revolutionized arms to search for the best products for buyers, it is time sellers to embrace evolved strategies along with evolved tools to rise in charts in terms of product visibility and conversions.

In order to achieve optimum levels of performance through right listing, the first steps need to involve the most suitable eBay listing softwares. This applies mostly to store owners who have large product categories and inventories to handle. Using automation softwares to upload listings while optimizing them at the same time make products more visible to target buyers while leaving enough time in the hands of the sellers to improve their performance in other aspects of eBay selling.

Secondly, the idea of relisting should not be overlooked by eBay sellers who have certain listing that have not done well over the past one month or more. By relisting these products, the previous history of the listing which is essentially bad will get wiped out offering a fresh new chance to the products to feature at the top of search list. This can make a massive difference in terms of positive buyer engagement and conversions which is something that sellers should never miss out on.

Thirdly, these are times when using innovative tools should be considered from the very onset. Many third party providers of e commerce solutions are presently offering solutions that enable your listing to display ‘only 1 product left in stock’ to the buyers even if you have many in stock at that very moment. This creates a sense of urgency among the latter to make their purchase before stock runs out thereby creating sale in your favor.

Although this appears more like tricking your buyers to make a purchase, at the end of the day, there is no harm being caused to anyone. In fact, many multichannel retail software users are already using this feature to the fullest to drive maximum conversions in favor of their listed products. Last but not the least; it always works to focus upon ‘value per listing’ to make the listing more interesting to buyers than ever before. This includes free shipping, extended return period, special offers etc.

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Must-Have Features In Data Feed Management Softwares

Robin Smith Posted On - May 18, 2016

data feed management softwares
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If you happen to be spread into a number of e commerce marketplaces, comparison shopping sites and affiliate platforms at the same time, the process of managing your product feed can get into your nerves faster than you can possibly think. Uploading feed manually as per the unique specifications mentioned by individual platforms of sale is a process that is fraught with inevitable and unforgivable errors. Top it up with the necessity of introducing changes time and again, and you have everything you need for your venture to collapse within a month. Data feed errors are neither entertained by the prospective buyers or the concerned e commerce platforms.

Multichannel sellers however, have been ever grateful to e commerce solution developers for introducing a range of data feed management softwares the primary purpose of which is to ensure automation of the entirety of the process. This in itself is a massive relief to the sellers as it saves days worth of time and hard work. The question though revolves around whether automation is all? Considering the fact that the very basics of feed management tools and software solutions is to minimize manual work behind the process, sellers often look for features that offer ‘more’ to the cause than stick to the fundamentals.

Improvements that followed soon after set the process of transformation of these solutions in motion at practical jet pace. So, at this very moment, while looking for functional feed management software, there are a certain must have features that users of the same must insist upon. To begin with, ‘unlimited’ is the word that you must be assured in any product feed management tools. This basically means that the providers of this solution should be willing to manage unlimited feeds across unlimited channels. Certain solutions come with limited feed upload and place a ceiling upon the number of selling platforms that they can cater to. Choosing these options can be very regressive as far as growing ventures are concerned.

Secondly, users must insist upon complete automation in comparison with partial options irrespective of how attractive they sound. The only hard work that users need to do is to upload their store feed into the software and the rest should be taken care of. Very importantly, these tools should blend in to form an integral part of any multichannel selling software that the sellers may be using. At the same time, the aspects of data filtering and analytics integration should also be offered by the softwares.

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Your Multichannel Business Can Be A Ticking Time Bomb Without These Inputs

Daniel Posted On - April 18, 2016

Multichannel selling software
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The gist of the list stating why multichannel endeavors are a must for all e commerce sellers to engage in, is very arresting indeed. In simple words, which seller today would not want to be exposed to millions of unique visitors in hundreds of top performing marketplaces and comparison sites, gain a surge of orders from the same and break all barriers of profit limitations that may have been dwarfing their respective endeavors? Amazing as this sounds, the flip side of multichannel selling can weigh down on the sellers in many ways than one. And costs is only the beginning of it all.

When you have your presence over two or more different platforms of sale, you will have to carry out the same operational tasks over and over again for every single marketplace. This applies to creating listing (which is perhaps the most annoying of them all), followed by managing inventory in all the different marketplaces and then comes the hurdle of keeping track of the inflow and outflow or orders, tracking performance in every single platform of presence, following up with customers, mobile integration for each and many more. Basically, multichannel efforts may come with the assurance of some serious profits, putting the act together can pose as a major reason for sellers to collapse under pressure.

Smart sellers these days, don’t commence their spread over multiple platforms of sale without the assistance of proper multichannel selling softwares. This is by far the most important input that can prevent your efforts to sit on a time bomb that can blow up any time without warning. It may have been repeated infinite times over, but no one can say it enough that you need to use these softwares right from the beginning. The task of these solutions is to harmonize and integrate your presence over all your chosen marketplaces / comparison shopping platforms.

On integrating with these solutions, you will be able to keep a crisp control on multiple platforms through a single interface. Say for example, with data feed management software, which are a part of the multichannel softwares, you will be able to upload, import or even introduce changes to your store listing to multiple marketplaces in tune with their specifications with nothing more than a click or two. Say for example if you are present in 5 platforms, you will be able to save 4/5th of the time you will otherwise need to complete the task.

Same can be said for inventory control, pricing, repricing, tracing performance, maintaining customer information, completing orders, managing abandoned carts, integrating with affiliate sites and mobile platforms and many more without having to buy and deal with single individual tools.

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What is the ‘omni approach’ that the brick-and-mortar retailers are following to give a tough competition to the online retailers?

Daniel Posted On - June 9, 2014

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In a recent report of MIT, it has been projected that the Omni-channel consumer will be the driving force influencing the future of e-commerce as well as brick-and-mortar stores. The stiff competition among online players has influenced brick-and-mortar retailers to make their online presence stronger through E-Commerce, social media and mobile apps.

According to Macy’s annual report, the heritage brand now already refers to itself as an “omni-channel retail organization operating stores and websites.” This has created a strong competition in between the online retailers. According to a report from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on retail operations benchmarking it has been clearly stated that the remarkable growth rates of more than 15%, has caused the large retailers to focus on non-store channels to reach tier-2 and tier-3 cities including remote areas where there is no brick-and-mortar presence.

The Omni-channel concept

Omni-channel is the most modern concept which will dominate the market scenario in future. It will provide you a magnificent opportunity.  With your mobile you can carry a store with you when you walk in and out of a physical shop. This has a revolutionary impact on local retail. And it will offer you the advantage of finding out anything anywhere. It will also make you able to transact anywhere, and fulfill anywhere. So this has a great impact on retail marketing and consumerism. A shopper will have a new experience of reinventing a physical retail store.

Consumer’s benefit

A large brick-and-mortar retail store is more or less a warehouse with the trappings of a front office. These new systems will give a consumer more flexibility in buying more or less items, and offer a newer and advanced retail experience. There will be more organized systems in distribution, Fulfillment, and discovery. This system and environment will also allow the new firms to compete with the reputed and centralized companies that virtually dominate the retail sector both in online and offline market.

Special features

In an Omni-channel approach, a company is able to avail a higher level of facilities which provides opportunity to purchase across various channels, integrating the physical stores with online websites, apps, tablets and social media. The customer can continuously experience a brand through this approach.

The Omni-channel consumer’s expectation levels are also high. They want everything to be readily available including an equally accessible brand experience. As per MIT’s report, 80% of store shoppers check prices online and one-third of them utilize their mobile device to check the information while shopping inside the actual store. This research result indicates the consumers have rising tendency to approach their experience from various angles and platforms.

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The e-retailers must watch out for more consumers spending more online in 2014

Shrikar Khare Posted On - March 24, 2014

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Online retailing is facing a booming market these days. The year 2013 was no doubt a great year for online retail sector. And it is anticipated that 2014 will bring higher sales turn over as more and more consumers are shifting online. And this will be a continuously growing trend of every modern society. The e Retailers need to be ready for cope with the rising trend. Certain points are to be kept in mind while chalking out strategies to meet the huge need of the online customers. And as there will be more consumers spending online it is also important for the retailers to understand how to get the best result by implementing the following measures.

Best practices to boost your ecommerce businessProduct photographs

Companies that focus on appealing images of their products and services get an extra mileage. The right images of a retailer’s offerings help to drive customers and also motivate them to buy. So it is essential to capture good and exclusive photos to compete online.

  • Merchandising matters

Merchandizing different products and services along with the particular categories available on your website can be good innovations which will be helpful for the overall experience with your company online. It is better to classify all your products and services in categories based on nature of the products.

  • Easy navigation facility

Make sure that your website is designed in such a way so that the customers find it to be easy to navigate. All the product information should be easily available so that the customers do not face any difficulty in finding the details about a particular product.

  • Pay attention on SEO 

The process of driving more traffic to your website from the search engines is extremely important for e-retailing. People find the right information they are looking for on the web through the searching which leads to effective business.

  • Use pay per click

Pay per click advertising is almost similar to SEO except it is paid ads in the search engines as opposed to organic listings. Pay per click advertising is present at the top of the search results for different groups of keywords that advertisers specify at the beginning of a campaign. A proper balancing between your SEO and PPC activities will help you to get the most visibility and best value for your efforts.

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media plays an important role in drawing attention of an audience by sharing quality content and incorporating interactive conversations.

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Amazon products Ads can be one of the best retail channels in 2014

Daniel Posted On - March 20, 2014

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Amazon is the most sought-after advertising channel all over the world. Amazon products Ads can provide a great advantage for the retailers to build their brand exposure in 2014. If you have not yet taken a positive decision about Amazon Product Ads, this is the high time to take a prompt action.

Amazon Product Ads are advertisements on the Amazon marketplace that enable retailers to drive shoppers directly to their e-commerce site on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Product Ads link shoppers directly to the seller’s site, to facilitate the transaction. These ads give you the opportunity to offer a great online shopping experience to the consumers.

How to start

Setting up an Amazon Product Ads account is similar to opening an account on Amazon Marketplace. The retailers are to submit their detailed product information along with some basic seller information like product type, category, product title, a unique SKU for each product, a URL for the associated product page on your website and an image. It is also mandatory to add a product price and the delivery charges to be paid by the customer.

Other information to include

The retailers are supposed to include few more details to make their products attractive which can draw the attention of the consumers. It should carry all the features including the key advantages. Amazon Product Ads is unique in this respect which allows the retailers to include all these details without charging any thing.  This influences the customers to make effective buying decisions, which drives the traffic clicking through to your website. Therefore if you are a retailer opting for Amazon product ads for the first time or an existing advertiser wants to get a higher benefit from your existing Amazon ad account, you need to pay serious attention towards the quality of the information you provide about your products. This will surely affect your ROI and it will also help Amazon to best target your ads.

Take help of keywords

To best utilize Amazon product ads you can also add up to five keywords for each product you advertise. While selecting the key words try to research well and try to match with the same terms that are popular on your own web store or in your paid search campaigns, so that it works most effectively.

Cost Benefits

Amazon Product Ads provides you a special facility to set a daily budget and cap your spending which is not available with many other CPC advertising programs. This particular feature helps you to avoid traffic spikes than can drain a monthly budget within a short period of time.

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Multichannel Marketing Key for Reaching Online Shoppers

Daniel Posted On - October 28, 2013

Happy Online Shoppers
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The e-commerce world is marked by cut-throat competition. So, in order to survive and succeed you need to work hard and think smart. Reaching out to a large number of shoppers will play a very crucial role in the success of your business.

Traditionally, online merchants have been heavily depended on Google for the major part of their website traffic. This strategy worked perfectly a couple of years back; but not anymore. Now multi-channel marketing is the key to increasing the visibility of your products among customers. The absence of your business in a particular channel can result in considerable loss of revenue.

Several Options To Try Out

If you want to try out other channels, there are several options to choose from. Some of them are expensive while others are free or affordably priced. Here is a list of a couple of avenues that you can consider.

  • Comparison shopping websites: TheFind, Shopping.com, Shopzilla, Nextag, Google Shopping, Bing Shopping and PriceGrabber are some of the popular comparison shopping portals. Most of these websites will direct shoppers back to your e-store.
  • Amazon product ads: It is a pay-per-click advertisement that is displayed at the bottom of Amazon pages for relevant categories and products.
  • Pinterest: In this popular website you can put up the picture of your products. These can then be shared among friends in the network.
  • Facebook: You can start by creating a Facebook page of your company. This will definitely help to spread awareness about your company and its products. You can also place advertisements here.
  • Tumblr: You can promote your brand and its products via this blogging platform.
  • Affiliate networks: You can reach out to a target audience with the help of these large ad networks.
  • Search advertising text ads: These are pay-per-click text advertisements that appear on the search engines Google and Bing.
  • Google Product Listing ads: This is a pay-per-click offering that shows up ads containing rich product information like photo, price and name for relevant search queries.

Selling Across Multiple Channels

If you want to catch the attention of a large number of customers then you can sell your products at multiple online marketplaces. Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Sears, Rakuten, New Egg are some of the most popular options that you can consider in this regard.

The Amazon Advantage

Amazon charges a fee of around 15 percent to sell products there; but a large number of online merchants are willing to pay this amount because of the advantages that it offers. Currently, a large number of shoppers begin their product searches on Amazon. The reason behind its popularity among shoppers is the superior shopping experience that it offers. So, you need to pay proper attention to this platform.

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Why are Marketers plunging into ‘Mudvertising‘?

Steve Burns Posted On - July 22, 2013

Why are Marketers plunging into
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Over the past four-five years, a new sport called ‘mudventure’ has been gaining popularity across the country. This sport combines arduous physical athleticism, team work and a whole lot of mud. Meets occur in different cities where participants gather and pay anywhere from fifty to two hundred dollars to take part. Why this sports popularity is growing at a phenomenal rate is because unlike other most other sports, the objective isn’t victory, it’s more about having a good time with family and friends and being fit and healthy. The participants are put through tasks, some of which can be described as death defying, and many of these events are not time bound. They are about being strong enough to finish the challenge and then share the accomplishment with loved ones.

If you are thinking why marketers are connecting to it, the main objective of every business is to reach to the broader target segment, so that the sales pitch of a marketer is broad and appealing enough to reach the targeted mass. Find out the reasons why marketers being attracted to this sport.

The Rising Popularity of the Sports Events

Marketers are being drawn into the world of mudventures because of the rising popularity of the sport. Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash are three of the biggest mudventure events that took place last year, drawing in around 2 million participants and generating around 200 million dollars. When you dwell in the amount generated by the smaller racing events, the figures go even higher.

The Attractive Age Group

Secondly, the average mudventure aficionado falls between the age group of 18-40 and has an income in the $70,000 range. This is a highly attractive age segment to market to with spending power that is high enough to make big brands sit up and take notice. There’s even an all-woman version of the sport called Dirty Girl.

The Sporty feel can be cashed on by the Brands

The sport events consist of highly taxing, physical tasks. Brands like Reebok will naturally want to capitalize on this event as it serves as meeting point for amateur athletes. One of the major events is even called Reebok Spartan Race and a Reebok-Spartan athletic wear line is about to hit retailers. This line will contain sportswear with ‘new technologies’ which will enable athletes to perform better in the mud. These events create the perfect atmosphere to conduct on site activations and sell sport apparel. So what are you waiting for, if you belong to the industry which has that sporty streak and that reflects in the products offered, you are rearing to go!

Advil, the painkiller, is also sponsoring a few of these events. This too seems like a natural partnership as the sports themselves are extremely physically taxing, as is training for the events and this ensures Advil’s relevancy in connection to this sport.

The Social feel

The main motif of mudventures is to have a good time and foster happy spirits. There are even after-event parties. Numerous brands position themselves as a giver of good times. The beer company Dos Equis gives a free beer to whoever completes a challenge in Tough Mudder. MillerCoors is returning this year as Warrior Dash’s official beer sponsor. “Warrior Dash embodies Miller Lite’s positioning of fostering the bonds of friendship,” says the brewer’s spokesman Jonathan Stern. “Great friends come from far and near to participate in the Warrior Dash. Miller Lite is all about good times with good friends, so the two brands work well together.” So social engagement in the physical world gets highlighted and emphasized via these events.

Though there are certain risks with associating your brand to something so potentially dangerous (two lawsuits are slated for trial this summer) the advantages to marketers in undeniable. The sport is becoming more popular and these events are a perfect platform for marketing on a mass scale. Many of these brands feel that as long as the organizers are dedicated to the well being of their participants, they will be satisfied.

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Google Belts out the Wide View Tool for Online Marketing

Steve Burns Posted On - May 16, 2013

Google Belts out the Wide View Tool for Online Marketing
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It can be aptly said that if you are hankering to know more about the web world, Google hardly misses to be on the spotlight as it is always up to something. The recent buzz that is going on is that Google has come up with a wide view tool for internet marketing. The source of data comes from the every step that an online customer takes till the completion of the online buying journey.

The findings have their base on the collected online marketing data from over 36,000 Google clients. The samples taken for the findings used Google’s analytical tools which paved the way for millions of purchases across various industries spread throughout 7 countries. Google Analytics is a potent tool that has been used by the e-sellers as the parameter helping them to keep a tab on the e-commerce performance, gauging the flow of traffic, conversions, bounce rate and the like.

How the New Tool works?

The wide view tool acts as the catalyst in influencing their marketing dollars in a planned way. So the softer nuances or the not-so-important yet crucial behaviour of the prospective buyers can be gauged before completing the e-journey. It can help the e-sellers to exactly know what is making the e-shoppers to increase their basket size or to go away from a site, increasing its bounce rate. All the interactions play a huge role for sealing the final online business transaction. The pre-purchasing behaviour of a shopper like clicking a link recommended by a friend, his searching behaviour or a buyer’s reaction while checking out the ad displays tell a lot about his nature.

The Importance for the E-Sellers to understand the Online Purchase Journey

The nature of fierce competition in the online business domain has made the online retailers to try their best and frame the emergent marketing strategies in tune with the prevailing trends. An online business owner with the help of the tool gets to know about the wider picture about the emotional e-journey of an online shopper. It helps in reshaping his marketing strategies for his greater business development.

Strengthening the Marketing Campaigns

The dim global economic climate has made e-sellers to think twice while spending the advertising dollars while promoting their business. Multi-channel marketing is in vogue as it is exposure across the global markets which a business is striving to achieve. So in order to make the marketing campaigns edgy, it is the inclusion of the right ingredients and a strategic plan in the marketing campaign after studying the map of your target audience, which pays off in a big way. If you want a trusted partner giving vent to your multi-channel marketing programs, then you can rely on ChannelSale.

It is not only the retail that can avail greater benefits by using this tool, the automotive, consumer packaged goods, technology and the like which can benefit a lot. How the application of the various online marketing methods impact an e-seller’s revenue generation graph can be well traced out via the deft use of this new tool, rolled out by Google.

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Expansion of Search Marketing Efforts is Essential for the E-Sellers

Steve Burns Posted On - April 6, 2013

Expansion of Search Marketing Efforts is Essential for the E-Sellers
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This era of business promotion is about creating brand awareness and putting in greater promotional efforts so that a business gets the required visibility. It is expansion of the search marketing efforts, finding out new avenues beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo or the staple search engines, which is in vogue as the customer are becoming smart enough to take the best buying moves. The potential buyers in need of specific are searching in a number of places as they are informed buyers taking effective purchasing decisions. It has been reported recently that 30% of the e-shoppers when indulging in shopping, straight away hit Amazon, the giant retailer, and it was 19% of the interested online buyers who began with Google.

Making the Marketing Dollars to Dance to the Tunes of the Purchasers’ Behavior

Amazon is the open product search engine and the effort, money that the e-sellers are putting in the advertising campaigns must follow where consumers are searching. The e-sellers are strategizing their multi-channel marketing campaigns by banking on companies of repute like ChannelSale so that a company gets the required exposure. The e-sellers make a strong chain of network with the top online marketplaces so that they are able to engage in product listing and hog attention of the potential buyers. Google who was regarded as the gatekeeper of internet is definitely there reigning the web world, but the online shoppers are making good researches directly approaching the giant retailers, visiting the CSEs, so that they do not regret their buying decisions later on. The comparison shopping engines are helping the prospective customers to find out the best deals, compare the prices before engaging in buying.

Amazon: The Gatekeeper of e-Commerce?

Amazon’s search engine, A9 has created a buzz by showcasing results of product sold on Amazon as well as at other places through the paid ads in its shopping path. There is no limitation whatsoever in the way the search results are displayed now where the potential buyers get information on the products sold by the retailers as well as the availability of the products at external website.

The Other Players

Ebay with its voluminous client base in a on-and -off relationship with third-party ads as the statistics of the last few years reveal. Ebay has taken the plunge also with the inclusion of some cost-per-click ads from Shopping.com, which happens to be its subsidiary. It also gets banner ads rolling occasionally. For the e-sellers, finding out newer modes of search traffic will help them to depend less on Google. It is the not only the search engine optimization industry which is facing the wrath of Google by its gamut of algorithm updates, with Google Product Search becoming Google Shopping, a paid model, it is making the online retailers to pay for product listing. It is a masterstroke on the part of Google to push up its whopping sales figure to great measures. With the prospective buyers directly approaching the online marketplaces to look for their products, the e-sellers must think of innovative search marketing efforts to appease the buyers.

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Top Performing Comparison Shopping Engines in the US

Steve Burns Posted On - February 6, 2013

Top Performing Comparison Shopping Engines in the US
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The e-commerce merchants want their array of products and services to earn the optimum level of exposure. The retailers want to find the best shopping engines to optimize their site, to achieve their ROI goals and for expanding their business. The top comparison search engines act as the best platform where the interested buyers can look for products, check out the alluring deals and engage in price comparison before using their spending power. The merchants tailor their online advertising and promotional budget in tune with the paid and non-paid services that the CSEs offer.

Google Shopping 

When the search engine giant Google thought of charging the retailers, Google Product Search got transformed to Google Shopping in the fourth quarter of 2012. Way back in May 2012, Google had pronounced this business proposition. Business merchants could avail the immaculate paid listing service and show themselves up to create an online buzz only after paying. Google being the top player in this sphere made the other comparison shopping sites to put on their thinking cap whether to revise their marketing strategies or not. Google Product Search has always been the coveted CSE that generated quality traffic and higher amount of conversion rate. It facilitated the merchants to manually update the feeds and they could upload in bulk via FTP.  In 2012, Google Product Search has the highest conversion rate, it being 2.78%.

Nextag 

Nextag has carved out its own niche in the online domain by helping the buyers to book event tickets, travel destinations and have an easy access to the wide range of products cataloged under specific categories. It enables the buyers to use their purchasing power wisely. It is the innovative CPC pricing model of Nextag which help the e-commerce merchants to optimize their products in the respective comparison pages. Placed next to Google Shopping is Nextag in terms of having the conversion rate, it being 2.06%.

Pricegrabber

This search engine providing the price comparison service has satiated both the buyers and the business merchants alike. It was acquired by Experian in 2005 for a whopping $485 million. The snail’s pace at which global economy is recovering is making the purchasers to fasten their financial belt. Pricegrabber helps in checking out the hot, money-saving deals on computers, electronics, clothing, furniture, indoor living and the like. The e-commerce merchants vouch for Pricegrabber to let their products hog the limelight.

Amazon Product Ads

The e-commerce business merchants can cash in the potentiality of Amazon Product Ads as they get the scope to link customers to their business website externally. This shopping engine is soaring in popularity and Amazon is making data feed management more easier for the business merchants. In your Amazon Product Ads account, you just need to add your email. This makes way for receiving notifications about product feeds and payment alerts as text messages via the merchant dashboard. In order to make a product marketing campaign successful, the retailers must act wisely and choose the right comparison shopping engines.

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