Having multiple storefronts is considerably powerful for many businesses as it unlocks their potential and increases the number of revenue sources. Furthermore, you can also pick and choose the catalogue of products throughout multiple online outlets through the advantage of diversification. However, manually managingmultiple storefronts can present a set of distinct challenges for businesses. In this article, you will find the answer to solve this complexity.
Why Multiple Storefronts?
If you are currently just dealing with a single channel/storefront, you might be surprised by the benefits of having multiple storefronts. While selling everything at one store can be easier to manage, it makes much more sense when it comes to e-commerce and e-retail. These are some of the distinct benefits of selling at multiple storefronts:
While it is extremely advantageous to sell at multiple stores, it can bring some challenges for you as well:
While selling across multiple stores has its pros and cons, manually extending your sales across channels proves to be a hassle. The solution to all the challenges of selling to multiple storefronts is an automated solution which allows you to handle all the processes from a single place. An order management software can provide an automated solution to this problem which allows integration with multiple storefronts, while also allowing you to manage your inventory across those channels. Some of the features offered by order management software are:
The supply chain of a company extends from the factory right up to the point of sale where customers have access to the products and services. A supply chain strategy determines the demand of a product, when it needs to be delivered to the distribution center and dispatched to the retail store.
But simply determining the demand of a product isn’t sufficient. Different industries have different ways of managing or fabricating their inventory. For some they rely on past purchase history and sales of products to house the right amount of inventory and others work on an ‘on-demand’ strategy. This depends on the nature of the business and kind of products.
In inventory management, inventory control systems are categorized into two types-
Push Model of Inventory Control
In push model, forecasting of inventory needs is done to meet customer demand. The company predicts which products customers will buy and how much will be purchased. The company will as a result produce just enough product to meet the forecast demand and sell the goods to the consumer. In push strategy there is a fair amount of predictability in demand forecasting for products.
An example of a push strategy is Material Resource Planning where materials are released according to the forecast production plan without taking into account the demand or status of orders. An instance of a push strategy would be to start producing and ‘pushing’ warm clothing to retail stores as soon as the autumn months are coming to a close and winter is approaching.
One of the advantages of push strategies is the predictability factor mentioned above. Companies are mostly sure that they will have enough products to meet customer demand. It allows them to plan production schedule in order to meet their needs in time and place stock wherever it is required. Another benefit is that it can reduce shipping costs. Since the push inventory control system relies on high inventory and make-to-stock principle, companies buy accordingly to avoid undersupplying. They place larger, less frequent orders from suppliers to cut down on the number of shipments.
However, push system has certain pitfalls too. The biggest one is probably that the forecasts it relies upon are mostly inaccurate since sales differ from year to year. This leaves the Company in a soup because more often than not they are left overstocked or understocked. Storing excessive inventory can steal from your net profits as you will be forced to sell products at discounted rates. It will also lead to higher carrying costs, waste of warehouse space, inventory shrinkage due to spoilage or disposal, higher debt, low cash flow and a barrage of other problems due to declining inventory management. Most importantly, undersupply due to push system incapacitates the business to fulfil customer orders leading to resentment and decreased customer loyalty. All in all the push system is less adaptable to changing trends in customer demands.
Pull Model of Inventory Control
The pull system of inventory control seems like a more grounded strategy for inventory management. In this model, businesses make just enough product to fulfill customer orders. This strategy begins with a customer’s order. Products are pushed into the supply chain only when there is demand. The pull strategy also makes efficient use of real-time data to make informed decisions about ordering or manufacturing products.
Sophisticated cloud-based inventory management systems have made it possible for businesses to gain real-time visibility into the movement of their inventory, thereby affording them greater inventory control. This also helps them to carry out faster retail replenishment that uses actual daily consumer demand to make an accurate forecast.
Just-In-Time principle of inventory management, is an excellent example of a pull strategy. The main aim is to keep inventory levels to a minimum, not more not less, but only enough to meet consumer demand. Even the classic Kanban is a pull system because the number of kanban cards limit the Work in Process in the system.
An instance of pull strategy could be a luxury custom car manufacturers, who manufacture high priced cars according to specific requirements. For such a person, it is sensible that he waits until he receives an order to actually build a customized car for the customer.
Unlike the push system, the pull strategy relies on frequent but smaller orders. Rather than basing itself on long-term (though inaccurate) projections, pull system is more reactive and adaptable to changing consumer buying trends.
The main advantage of a pull system is that companies are able to meet consumer demand without having leftover inventory. In case a particular product suddenly grows or decreases in popularity, it is easy to adapt. This way retailer can also keep customers satisfied by fulfilling all orders and it also eliminates the threat of selling at discounted rates. By applying the pull strategy businesses are saved from storing excessive inventory, reducing carrying costs and inventory levels.
Yet, there are a couple drawbacks to this strategy as well. One of them is that since the pull system relies on smaller but frequent orders from suppliers, it hikes up shipping costs. Another problem that can surface is that if the popularity for an item suddenly rises, the supplier might not be able to provide enough stock to fulfil orders on time.
It is nearly not possible for inventory managers to know how much inventory is required at a specific time. Selecting the right inventory control system depends on number of factors such as type of product, nature and scale of business, amount of inventory and warehouse space. Sometimes companies can also adopt a hybrid approach. Computer giant Dell, has incorporated a push-pull strategy where the raw materials are ordered beforehand but the actual computer is not assembled until they receive an order.
E-commerce is a tremendously profitable industry. Having a website to sell products online could be an excellent money making business. A website will save you from the hassle of keeping an inventory, paying rent for a physical store, or warehouse.
However, simply starting an e-commerce website isn’t going to bring in sales. Many people think starting an online store is a slam dunk and that products sell and money comes all by itself.
The main aim of an e-commerce store is to acquire many customers and maximize conversion rates.
However, there are so many things that can go wrong, ending in customers going crazy. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes that e-commerce websites can make, which might impact their sales and amplify bounce rates.
1. Lack of Customer Service
Consumers will continue to shop online. Even though they don’t speak face-to-face with a sales rep, customer service is still important. It should be easy for consumers to get their questions answered, speak to a person (if they want) or raise a grievance. You also need to be prepared to accept returns, support a variety of payments, including refunds if necessary.
2. Providing Low-quality/wrong Product Photographs
Bounce rates increase on your e-commerce website due to misguided users after they see wrong or bad product photographs. if it is supposed to be a ‘blue bottle’ then the image should be that of a blue bottle, not a white or red one. The size of the product is important. Images taken from different angles can provide the audience an idea about the colours, design or material of the product.
3. ‘No Results’ Upon Searching
Don’t show customers a ‘No results’ page that might annoy them and turn them away for good. Suggesting alternatives to their search might help. For instance, if a customer searches for ‘white socks with prints’’ and you don’t have such a product in the inventory, suggest other items on the same lines. For example, suggesting a ‘multi printed socks’ could serve the purpose. It might seem tedious but in the end, will help in converting your leads into sales. Worth it right?
4. Including Out of Stock Items
Imagine this. When you diligently search for an item on an e-commerce website, but instead find the words ‘Out of Stock’. What do you do? Leave that site and move on to another. Now this could happen to you.
If any of your products are out of stock, DO NOT display them on the results or on category pages. Another option is to add a tag on the product image, clearly stating that the product is not available.
5. Lack of Shipping Options
Customers like to have variety and this is true for shipping options as well. It is recommended to offer customers a number of shipping options so that you can justify that the customer has made a good choice by purchasing from your site. This is indirectly beneficial to you as well, since different shipping providers offer different rates, and functions.
6. Poor inventory management
You might ask why inventory management is an important aspect in maintaining an e-commerce site. Well, of course it is. Otherwise how are you going to sell customers the products they want? Whether you are keeping inventory in a warehouse or opting for drop-shipping, you will still have to maintain a thorough count of your inventory and stock levels. If you are operating on a large scale, you can invest in an inventory management system it will allow you to have greater inventory control, know when to replenish stock and maintain orders.
An inventory management system will give you access to real-time data, so that every piece of inventory , every movement of goods is accounted for.
7. Desktop-only design or unresponsive website should be upgraded
Today people are shopping, making payments and transactions through the mobile and tablet at a rapid rate. We no longer live in a world of desktop computers. So it is essential that the e-commerce website must be responsive one. It should be one that can be optimized on different devices, desktop, mobile, tablet, and laptop. In not doing that you can lose existing and potential customers who use other devices or are shifting from their old ones.
Starting an e-commerce website might seem like a cakewalk, but it’s really not that easy. Each and every aspect about your website has to be carefully planned and implemented. Even the slightest change in design, navigation, optimization might have a significant impact on your website’s performance in terms of traffic, conversion of leads and ultimately sales. So next time you are thinking of starting your own e-commerce site, make sure to avoid these mistakes.
Orderhive one of the best in class Order and Inventory Management software has been rated as the best inventory management software by GetApp for 2 successive years and also by modeeffect. Used by over 2 Million sites across the globe, Woocommerce is definitely a user choice for most E-Commerce websites. Orderhive integrates with woocommerce, which would mean Woocommerce users integrate their stores with Orderhive, and have integrated sales from all other channels. These sellers would also manage their inventory efficient by using Orderhive’s inventory management feature. Orderhive has been rated top inventory management software for woocommerce owing to multiple factors such as real time sync of orders and inventory across platforms, capability to integrate with variety of other softwares such as integration with accounting software, CRM software and others. Getapp is a part of gartner group of companies, is an aggregation and discovery platform used by many people to search for appropriate software for their businesses. Getapp listing orderhive as the #1 rated inventory management software goes on to show the trust that people have on Orderhive and they way Orderhive is growing. It’s Time all small to large businesses give Orderhive a try to manage their inventory. Try it for free.
The world has gone online, so have the businesses all over. Digital presence, which is both relevant and optimized, is the key to business growth. E-commerce retail business has got into a whole new echelon with multi-channel adoption. With the selling channels & customer demands expanding and increasing in chorus, the need for effective inventory management strategies becomes inevitable.
First, let us ponder over few major obstacles in inventory management:
So, Inventory management, both on and off screen, is a potent matter to be dealt with. To leverage inventory the best way and increase both sales & profits, online retailers should primarily embrace a mix of modern inventory management methods and traditional methods. Some are listed below:
1. Forecast your demand
Properly forecasting demand for your products forms the base of a good inventory management plan. Using past few months or past years data to forecast demand & sales, while also considering current market trends, demand can be forecasted depending on area, sales channels and season.
2. Choosing the right stock allocation technique
Smart allocation of stocks is the key. If you have 100 SKUs of a single product and 3 sales channels, you can allocate stock in the following ways:
5. Determine safety stock level
Purpose to ensure that the business NEVER runs out of stock, a safety stock level should be maintained, but not so much that the carrying costs end up straining your finances. Safety stocks are also known as BUFFER stock. You can use the formula: Safety stock = (Maximum usage x Maximum lead time) – (Average usage x Average lead time)
6. Outsource fulfilment
Outsourcing is one of the smart inventory management methods for ecommerce retail. This way, you can handover complete inventory-keeping and fulfilment process to a third-party vendor. For instance, using Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon), you handover warehouse stocking, picking, packing and shipping processes to Amazon itself.
7. Supplement with dropshipping
Just because you don’t have a dropshipping business, doesn’t mean you can’t use dropshippers to fulfil your orders. If you run out of stock, you can partially adopt dropshipping to get orders fulfilled and hence not miss any sales. Additionally, you could also use dropshipping to test new product ideas.
8. Finding the right inventory management software
Centralizing your inventory management activities done across multiple sales channels has become a must so that you can keep errors at bay and focus only on one thing: business. With inventory data being centralized, you can sync & track inventory across the channels – warehouse to end-customer, manage orders and fulfilment, shipping, accounting etc; all from one place. While you have real-time updates, inventory management software also provides you accurate sales reports and analytics, enabling you to take better business decisions. You can determine stock replenishment time for each of your sales channel in real time. There are tons of potential inventory management systems that work with multi-channel stores offering a multitude of inventory solutions. Some of the best and well-equipped are:
Ecommerce retailers function in an extremely competitive landscape; and effective inventory management can often make or break a business. It becomes extremely important to make sure that your inventory works for you and not against you.
How do you approach inventory management? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome? What lessons can you share with budding business owners? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!
One product and multiple codes.
As a retailer, how do you map this codes? Which of the many codes UPC, EAN, ISBN, ASIN should you be using?
Before addressing this, it is important to know why you need these codes? Is it mandatory to use these codes?
What is EAN – International Article Number (EAN)
Amazon demands EAN-codes to enhance the quality of its search results and a catalog as a whole. You can obtain EAN from your manufacturer and if you fail to obtain from him, buy it.
However, if you are selling on Amazon.com brush of the hustle. You don't need an EAN in the first place.
What is ISBN – International Standard Book Number
If you aren't selling books, you need not worry about it.
What is ASIN – Amazon Standard Identification Number
A diverse and vast marketplace Amazon is, it's mandatory to have unique identification barcodes for the varied products that are sold. As a retailer, you either need to get ASIN attached to your product or register yourself on Amazon and get one assigned. This will help you in keeping track of inventory and prevents you from accepting out of stock products
As Wiki puts it: The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization.
Why is ASIN important for you? When you embarked to oversee stock and ship items, you'll see that requests you get from Amazon will be set apart with their ASIN. So the demand you get has an ASIN on it that you have to further find the right product from your inventory. At exactly that point would you be able to send the correct item.
Gems, excellence items, and individual care can be sold on Amazon without an UPC. When you transfer them, they will be allotted an ASIN.
Coding every product is a tedious task. Consider how far you send your product before it gets to the client. A few people will deal with it meanwhile. Bundling office, shipping, and last-mile accomplices are all involved in this process. Without a one of a kind code to recognize items, you may simply wind up delivery the wrong thing and put it through this whole procedure for reasons unknown.
Social media is at the heart of marketing strategy. Given the time we live, it is important to frame a social marketing strategy to sustain business goals.
And, statistics has it,
Today, 62% of adults worldwide use some form of social media via computers, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, Internet-enabled TVs, handheld music players, and e-readers.
The evolving social media has offered small business owners another platform to promote their business online for almost no prior investment. And to be honest, time is the most basic cost when it comes to social media marketing.
If you have just started, you are busy planning all aspects of your business and would obviously have no time to spend on social media. Hence, it is important you create a marketing plan and set goals for social media to learn about your audience and reach out to them so you can reduce the learning curve and avoid wasting time.
Nielsen also states that four of five Americans are now leveraging social media to help and expand their client base and also build relationships with the customers. It is evident that social media is not going anywhere and it has a high stake in success or failure of the business.
As a Small business owner, you need to frame a social media strategy to reach and engage the existing and potential clients. In today’s connect world it crucial to research your customer’s purchases online and seek a recommendation for the same. It is in the best interest of your business to craft this data meticulously with your social media strategy.
The only challenge left is how do you plan your social media strategy? Since it's the first time you will be crafting your social media strategy here are the five things you should keep in mind while Devising a Social Media Strategy
(Click to dig more)
Undoubtedly, what matters the most is you rank higher than your competitor on Google.
The e-commerce SEO is overlooking an excellent opportunity due to its limited focus only on Google. But, you end up forgetting that for it's Amazon actually where you would want to shine brighter than your competitors.
Statistics has it; Amazon has three times more search volume for products than the Google.
So if you are one of those on league who is either crafting a new site or enhancing the old one, these SEO tactics can help you save on losing sales.
In 2011, Search Engine Watch reported that a research study by Optify discovered that “websites ranked number one received an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4 percent; number two had a CTR of 12.5 percent, and number three had a CTR of 9.5 percent.”
In layman's term if you do not have a well-crafted strategy, you are not just losing on sales, but the brand value and clicks too.
However, it's never too late to start.
You can start with:
Identify your potential Keyword:
What works for one does not work for other.It applies best to the retail business. Keywords are not universal that it will work in your favors. So, it's important you figure out proper keywords for homepage
When it's time to optimize the important pages of website, keep in mind factors such as how relevant it is, what's the search volume and
When it comes to optimizing the most important pages of your site, be attentive to aspects such as
● whats the search volume
● How's the site ranking
● What keywords are relevant for your site
And start with the most appropriate ones to brands and products, with search volume at par and the one's with Low difficulty score, you get it from Moz tool.
Pick Keywords for your web and blog content:
Content is at the heart of marketing and ranking. You can use this space to optimize it with broader keywords that you wouldn't be able to use for a website. Long tail keywords works wonder with such content.
To put it simply: If you are retailer dealing in selling apparel; your target would be to rank ‘clothes’. But then it doesn't make up for a popular keyword. At such instances, more specific and long tail keywords come into the picture.
So you might as well try selling “ dresses” “clothing for women” dresses online” and so on
Longtail keywords are relevant (hence them having their name) because they makeup over 70% of online searches according to SEOMoz and also tend to convert better as they catch people further along in the buying cycle
According to Search Engine Land. “ When you use a keyword strategy, don’t be perturbed by Google’s algorithm changes. Focus on what matters, and you’re golden,"
Keep an eye on your Peers activities:
Once you have figured out the proper keywords all you have to do is look out for what your competitors are practicing.
With MOZ tools you can quickly evaluate the page authority and domain authority of your most trusted peers. If you land on the page with higher domain authority and page authority, assess the keywords on the page and AVOID USING THE SAME.
Yes! A high domain authority means they are already well established and ranking well, which means there is no way you can match the level at an onset. So, opt for something low, and you will have it right.
Are you navigating them right?
An amazing site architecture can have a great impact on your site usability and rankings. As a retailer, your focus should be on making it easy for your customers to find the desired product and create a seamless navigation.
In an example below, you can see a well-thought and neatly crafted site, with apt product divisions as per the style of the product
With the best usability access, you can see all the products are just a click or two away from the landing page. Such approach is SEO friendly and easy to be optimized as per search engine users.
Moz aptly puts it “pages buried very deeply in the architecture might not receive enough link juice to be visible in search engine rankings.”
Is your site taking forever to load?
Once you have all the potential fall out sorted, it's time to focus on the site speed. No one is going to wait while your site takes a lifetime to load patiently. You will miss out on potential customers if you don't take care of your site speed.
In fact, research shows that 40% of people abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load! Don’t lose customers because your site is slow.
Build Qualitative links:
Just like content, you inbound links are equally crucial for enhancing ranking on the web.
If your links are not qualitative or attract negative traffic or low-quality traffic, Google will penalize your site. And if this isn't much of a harm, even your referral traffic would not make an inch difference to your business.
To point out few characteristics of low-quality link
● A bad quality inbound link is one from low domain authority website.( Moz will help you in figuring that)
● These sites are full of anchor text. You can see ads all over the site. These are also the spammed websites that has just stuffed the keywords as much as possible. Whenever Google rolls out Panda, Penguin these sites disappear in no time.
● Speaking of which, content farms (sites that accept guest posts from anyone about anything) is something you don't want to get into as it drives away the traffic by providing a low quality link.
On the other hand what you can do is:
● Focus on quality content that can gain you enough traffic. Craft this content with targeted keywords, and some authoritative links.
● Offer a high-quality guest post, pitch a quote for a story, co-authoring a research study, putting together a great infographic, and so on.
Link building can frequently include outreach to other pertinent sites and websites in the industry. This outreach habitually identifies with the advancement of something that you've quite recently made, for example, a bit of substance or an infographic. A shared objective of the effort is to get a connection, yet there is significantly more to it than simply this:
Outreach can help you construct long haul associations with the primary influencers in your industry, and these connections can imply that your business turns out to be profoundly respected and trusted. This in itself is significant, regardless of the possibility that we overlook third party referencing for a minute since we are making bona fide evangelists and supporters for our business.
The primary reason of optimizing your site is to increase bottom sales.
And if you have SEO done right, you can definitely see a boost in quality traffic that can lead to conversions and repeat visitors.
But, Keep in mind: It's not a one-time thing. Google rigorously updating their algorithms you need to keep your site up to the mark and strategize accordingly
SEO asks for lot of dedicated resources and time, but you won't regret it, especially if you have right people on board. Aforementioned points can help you in getting started with optimizing your site.
Guest blog post by Chris Dunne from RepricerExpress
Did you know that 82% of all Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box? Consequently, if you're not in the Buy Box or more buying options, your chances of making a sale are pretty slim.
What is the Buy Box?
Amazon consists of two types of sellers, Amazon itself, and third-party sellers. For most items there will be a number of different buying options for the buyer.
When a buyer selects "Add to cart", the seller who has the Buy Box at that moment in time (the Buy Box winner rotates but more about that later), gets that all important sale.
With an estimated 82% of sales (more for mobile sales) on Amazon going to the Buy Box "winner", it is easy to see how important it is for sellers to know how to win the Amazon Buy Box.
Buy Box Factors
The Buy Box algorithm starts by analyzingeach offer by all the sellers of a product. It then evaluates each offer on the basis of history of seller, prices and many other variables which will be discussed in the later section.
After carrying out the analysis, Amazon rewards the Buy Box to what it deems as the best buying options for the customers. Amazon no longer awards the Buy Box to one seller, but instead rotate or share the Buy Box between a number of sellers. The rotation allows Amazon to know which seller is giving the best services for that particular item.
● Fulfillment Method
Fulfillment can be done either through FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant).
Amazon gives FBA a perfect score for multiple variables including shipping method, on time delivery and inventory depth. This makes it highly unlikely for merchants to beat FBA sellers.
● Seller Rating
Seller rating is the score given by the customer to the seller.
For every order that is fulfilled without any kind of problem seller gets 100 points. If Amazon considers it to be a perfect order it then awards the seller 10 extra point. 110 points is the maximum what the seller can get.
If late shipment of the order occurs, Amazon deems this as a minor issue and gives the seller zero points.
While orders with moderate problems such as the seller canceling the order receive -100 points. Orders with negative feedback result deemed as a major problem result in -500 points for sellers.
Amazon group sellers in brackets. Moving up from one bracket to another will have a positive impact on sales with the aim being to get into the 98-100% bracket.
As seller rating is so important, many sellers are turning to automated feedback software such as FeedbackExpress to boost or protect their seller rating on Amazon.
● Shipping Time
The amount of time seller requires to ship required item is known as the shipping time. For certain products like birthday cards and perishable items this has high impact on winning the buy box.
Shipping Time is arranged into the following brackets (only includes working days):
• 0-2 days
• 3-7 days
• 8-13 days
• 14 or more days
● Delivery History
Three different elements of the delivery are considered: on time delivery; late shipment delivery; and tracked delivery rate. Each element is considered on the basis of last seven, 30, and 90 days.
On-time delivery is the percentage of order buyers received within the estimated delivery date. Late shipment delivery is the rate of order being shipped after three or more days.
● Order Defect Rate
Order defect rate (ODR) comprises of the following three different metric: negative feedback rating, A-Z Guarantee claim rate and service charge back rate.
Amazon add these rates in order to find out the number of orders which were defective. The ODR should be below 1% according to Amazon, and any sellers above this will be penalized.
● Customer Response Time
Again, Amazon check responses for the last seven, 30 and 90 days and compare them for all the competing sellers. Messages replied after 24 hours or never replied to can have an adverse effect on the ratings.
By marking as no response needed the seller can save themselves from any negative points. However replying within 12 hours increases your chances of winning the Buy Box.
● Feedback Score
Feedback score is the culmination of all feedback score the seller has received over a period of last 30 days, 90 days and 365 days, with the most recent feedback having the largest impact.
● Feedback Count
Feedback count is the number of buyers who have given seller feedback. Feedback is a key metric and higher feedback count can lead towards winning the Buy Box.
● Inventory Depth and Sales Volume
Amazon prefers sellers who have enough inventory to cater the demand which the Buy Box can create. For this very reason, sellers with large inventory, consistent sales, and good stock history may be granted a higher buy box share.
If two similar sellers are competing against each other than this factor could come into play.
● Cancellation and Refund Rate
The number of orders cancelled before being shipped by the seller and the number of orders refunded after being shipped make up the cancellation and refund rate.
A rate higher than 2.5 % can affect your chances of winning the Buy Box.
Want to Win the Buy Box?
In order to win a share of the Buy Box, sellers need to improve their metrics without forfeiting performance in other areas. It is not always easy to find a perfect balance between customer support, price and several other factors.
Three strategies that may help with this are,
● Know your metrics --Sellers should be aware of their seller metrics in Amazon Seller Central.
● Focus on the important metrics -- Some sellers might choose to focus on those metrics which have the most impact on the Buy Box.
● Improving seller performance -- Use Seller Central to see which key areas of performance you need to improve on.
Buy Box Requirements
There are four key criteria sellers must have to compete for the Buy Box,
● Professional Seller account -- Only sellers with a Professional Amazon Sellers account are eligible to win the Buy Box. Individual or Basic Seller account are not eligible.
● Buy Box Eligibility -- A seller must be Buy Box Eligible (previously called Feature Merchant) for the product in order to compete for a share of the much coveted Buy Box for that products sales. Sellers can be eligible to win the Buy Box for some products and not for other products. Sellers can fast-track their way to Buy Box Eligibility by using Amazon FBA.
● Item Condition -- Items must be new. Used items will not feature in the Buy Box but instead will feature in the Buy Used Box.
● Stock Availability — An obvious one but if you don't have stock of an item, you can't win the Buy Box with the exception of a back-ordered item.
Optimize Your Prices
Optimizing the price of your product will almost certainly increase your chances of winning the Buy Box, as price is a key factor.
Repricing software such as RepricerExpress can not save you huge amounts of time and effort as well as helping you win the Buy Box.
RepricerExpress works within your defined pricing rules and ensures your prices are optimized. With price optimization, your prices and subsequently profits will increase when a competitor runs out of stock.
Delivering a first class customer experience gives sellers the ability to raise their prices significantly and still maintain a healthy Buy Box share,
guaranteeing the maximum possible profit for each and every sale.
Finding the optimal pricing point for every product is crucial and challenging. Get it almost right and you’ll probably win some sales, perfect it and you’ll watch your overall profits soar!
With RepricerExpress you get a super-fast repricing solution that is really easy to setup and works across Amazon and eBay. Plans start at £35/$50 and include a free 15-day trial for you to try out and see if it works for your business.
Sign-up today using the promo code “ORDERHIVE10”, and you can enjoy 15 days of Amazon repricing for free (no credit card required), then get a 10% discount on your first month’s subscription.
If you have any other repricing queries, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our great customer support team will get back to you asap.
About the Author
Chris Dunne is Marketing Executive at RepricerExpress who writes over ecommerce mainly. Chris is a huge football fan and craft beer nerd.
In a recent Harris poll, as many as 91% responded that store’s return policies are crucial for purchasing product. Hence framing a well-thought-out return policy clearly displayed in your store is key to attracting- and keeping- your customers.
As the online world is now shrinking to the core, shopping online is more of a norm now. Brick and mortar stores are vanishing at a light speed and hence your visitors are choosing cognitive over the real feel. Needless to say, this gives a toss to their confidence while buying since they cannot physically inspect the product.
Hence, your return policies serve as the driving force behind their buy decision and increase faith in your brand, also a fair return policy earns you a recurrent visitor as well.
A well-framed returns and refunds & exchange policy creates a good brand impression, increases credibility in the market and you as an owner can pride yourself on a stellar customer service experience. It is one of the many “wow” factors you can offer to shoppers who are little interested in buying online and still lure them to your site.
How to Write a Great Returns Policy
As and when you have to update or revise your return policy, it states the fact that it has not worked well for you prior to this. So this time when you sit to outline this policy make sure you have following this included
Don’t hide your policy.
You don't want them to play a treasure hunt on your site to find return policy. Keep this in broad daylight on your main menu. If possible shout out your transparency by keeping them on your banners or somewhere its prominent.
Trust me, of all the best, is to drop in with an Email. Let your customers know you are out there to take it back if they don't like it. This means- live up to what you have said in your policy.
Maintain the clarity:
There’s a lot to learn from Amazon I tell you. Offering free shipping to its return policy, it is a class apart. They place their policy right in its footer making it easy for visitors to find.
However, it has segments of its return and refund policy on terms and condition. So you really need not go through a leaflet to see what applies to you , since it depends if you received the package by FBA or FBS.
Keep Your Returns Free:
Zappos, the most popular brand in e-commerce too has to let it go when it comes to offering the best customer service. Zappos offer free shipping and returns and it works great for them. However, according to Craig Adkins, Zappos VP of service and Operations, a customer buying even exclusive and most expensive shoes also have 50% return rate. And yet, they are still the one’s who spend most their money on with them and is, in turn, profitable
The return policy that sets Zappos apart from its competitor is, it allows 365-day limit to return/exchange the products that are purchased from them, given the fact the product is still in good condition or at least in its original package.
Look how Zappos turned the most annoying and unpleasant experience into something relieving and fun. This encourages customers to buy several items from the store without hesitation and return it if nothing suits them. Also, the longer the return period you are likely to see the boost in your sales, like Zappos.
Zappos gets 75% improved customer loyalty repeat buyers from free returns, even though they charge more for their products (eCommerce Digest).
Keep it easy to understand
There is one biggest customer turn off pertaining to return policy. Even the friendliest brands tend to reflect ‘legal speech’ while addressing refunds. For instance ‘ discretion’ ‘under so and so condition’ etc are the phrases that give kind of head spin to your customers.
Hence when you are writing your refund policy adhere to following norms when writing a return policy:
(a) Keep it simple
(b) Don’t use complicated legal jargon
© Maintain your brand voice
Best Buy sets a great example by discussing their return period for respective products, listing what products can be returned which cannot. They also list out the ways the customers can return the product or opt for a refund. The style of showing return policy is great. Simple language, bullet points makes it a fast and easy read.
Generate web Content particularly for your return process:
Promote your return process as much as you can. It will definitely lead customers to your way and entrust their faith in you. Consider publishing a FAQ page and customer service numbers.
I am a huge fan of neatness and clarity ASOS shows on its refund page.
Disclose any fees beforehand
Most checkout fails due to hidden shipping cost, and so does customer’s perception of brand. When your customer wants to return an item they have purchased, they would hate it to the gut to shell out the return fund as well.
When your customer already is experiencing an unpleasant experience, it is not advisable to hit them more with unexpected and hidden shipping and restocking fees. Two of three customers would buy more if returns were free.
Marks & Spencer has always maintained an efficient and smooth return policy in its store and the online store is simply awesome. They offer free returns to stores via freepost. Not as easy as having a collection arranged, but at least customers incur no costs.
Inculcate testimonials and promote it on your Social media
Happy customers will always be thankful for the hassle free return and seamless brand experience. Do not hesitate to ask for a testimony. Once you process the return immediately and they get it, they'll be more than happy to pen down.
You can take their picture and testimony to add it to your return page. When your other customers will see this they will be assured and will likely associate with you. This will also boost your brand credibility.
You can wear this as a proud social badge by reflecting positive experience.
Free shipping and Free returns are the most lucrative services you can offer to your customer to establish long term relations. Return and refund policy speaks a lot about your brand’s ethics and values. Even the top notch brands are fighting hard to deliver the most remarkable shopping experience and make shopping a wonderful experience for them. Aforementioned steps can help you enhance and frame better return policy and make an impression hard to forget.
Simple, yet powerful