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 email@example.com 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.
Since the Facebook Live went off on April, 2016 became a year that witnessed greatest gearshift of video content.
So, why did Live Videos set this unparallel benchmark and is considered as one of the biggest trend by industry experts.
Let’s look at this like this:
Phew!! Thats hell of an engagement.
So, if you are one of those E commerce brands diving into video marketing, I suggest to start with Facebook. The beauty of Facebook Live or any Live video is it is interactive and engaging. An impressive and meaningful video increases customer’s faith in brand and the product.
Brands are using Live videos and why you should too:
Audience crave videos. They serve as the best medium for storytelling.
With growing shift in online shopping, customers are now moving on to omnichannel, seeking authenticity and an easy shopping experience. This makes it more difficult for you to keep your brand on strong foot and maintain constant touch with your customers.
To so so, you need to move beyond the traditional e-commerce framework and generate an interesting content.
Speaking of which, video is most popular and most viewed content among customer as it enables them to have crystal idea about the product.
Coming to the why part of the question,
● Real time videos create more realistic and instant experience. It serves as a wonderful tool for personalization.
● Live videos creates a communicative channel. Hence, no matter where your viewers are, they feel connected to brand and an important part for the same.
● Video is way better and easier to get into head compared to eye draining written content. The more creative and fast loading video is, the more it is sharable.
The best part of live video is, it enables instant feedback from customer, consumes lesser time in identifying the pain area of your audience and you get better idea of their likes dislikes.
Facebook beats algorithm big time
Let’s accept it! When algorithm hits, it's almost like
Of all benefits you and I have in mind, the most realistic one is: If you want to be visible and reach out in more organic search, Live videos dominates Facebook. As a matter of fact, right now, algorithm is all in love with Live videos than anything else.
Hence, if you make an interesting and engaging live video that is likable and sharable, it will be more relevant in search result and will appear more on newsfeeds. It can literally help you from disappearing from Web.
Brands that got it right at first go:
Buzzfeed literally took the internet by storm when it came up with crazy watermelon video. By the time it was over, it had already generated more than 800,000 viewers and was trending all over Facebook and twitter. I think that was the moment we all realized Facebook live was meant to stay forever and is no joke.
Lesson to Learn: The reason Buzzfeed could get a video like this viral was, its understanding and connect to the audience. Live video was to engage the audience and make them part of it. Though, many viewers agreed they didn't even know why they watched 45 mins long live video. But it surely made them glue to screen.
With over 380,000 views and over 300,000 comments, Boohoo had the top-performing live brand video of 2016.
They leveraged Facebooks API to connect to it's audience live, with just series of trivia or images that can be answered about or inquired about in comments, within the set timer consistently flashing a winner every minute.
Lessons to learn: Timing your Facebook Live broadcast with a trending season is surely to give you an upper hand over other brands. Boohoo chose to go live during Black Friday, thereby leveraging customer’s lookout for urge to buy, and engaging them in various ways where they could win a product every 60 secs.
Tempting offers helped in gluing customer to site and also generate a great deal of traffic to site, thereby increasing conversion rate by making most of festive season urge to shop.
(A) Asos :
Asos launched Facebook Live Broadcast in August 2016 called “100 layers of Asos” where two staff members dressed models in 100 layers of Asos clothing in 30 mins.
They engaged viewers by asking them to drop their suggestios in comments as to which item should be hand picked first. This went very well for the brand and according to the Digiday The broadcast received 61,600 views, which is on par with the biggest publishers on the platform like the Daily Mail.
Lessons to learn: Live giveaway motivates audience to not be mere spectators and participate real time. This makes them feel counted and important. By engaging them to express their choice/opinion on what to style next, you establish a strong bond with your customers. They will always come back to you under such events.
As intimidating as the Facebook Live sounds, there is an easy way out if you are just beginning. For starters you can create series of steps, sequence it from what you plan to do, how can you promote the product in Live. Once you are done, encourage viewers feedback and follow up.
This will help you see a motive/purpose in doing it. Once you see that, it's easy to tackle Facebook Live and make the most of it.
Any e-retailer will tell you how tedious it is to manually place supply entries in spreadsheets. There is nothing quite so tedious as entering entire sales channels modifying quantities, placing entries and yet run out of stock unprepared.
Sadly, e-commerce operators are not the only victims of the manual processing plight; suppliers also experience their share of trouble. Whether it’s taking orders from various sales channels to keeping warehouses inventories updated, they’ve got a lot on their plate.
Manual processing leaves a window for errors that can greatly affect business, which is why utilizing automation is essential a for e-retailers and suppliers looking for smoother operations. Order management systems (OMS) can make the ordering of goods and services a breeze. From tracking inventory and vendor information to automating stock deliveries based on customer or production demand, OMS brings out new and innovative solutions for businesses operating in multiple channels. It’s a great move, as long as you chose the best provider.
What does Order management system (OMS) do?
Integrating shipping service enables on-time delivery of productsTime is of the essence, and retailers are finding it harder than ever to meet deadlines. With Amazon setting order delivery standards so high, it has become more of a compulsion than a need to deliver orders on time. Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime customers and has even started offering same-day delivery. That said, small-scale retailers have to be more punctual about ensuring on-time delivery of products, which can be a horrendous task if they do not have an automated system.
If you integrate your shipping services into your sales workflow, you’ll save time and energy generating shipping labels and choosing carriers. Most order management systems easily integrate with well known shipping partners like FedEx, USPS, UPS and several others. Be it your online store, your catalog or your warehouse, order management systems match the right inventory with accurate numbers and details of the product to your customer.
Your order management system can also track shipments and separate a unique tracking number for customers, enabling both you and the customers to track the order throughout the fulfillment process. This service also simultaneously updates the shipping information on all channels.
Another benefit of shipping integration is that it saves you from the tedious task of tracking labels and invoices. It automatically generates shipping labels along with customers’ name and address. In bulk order instances, shipping integration can save you copious amounts of time.
Last but not least, order management systems show all the carrier rates in one place. Thus saving you from the time-consuming task of checking several different accounts to compare costs. Finding the best price is no simple task, especially when you are dealing with bulk orders.
Order management system integration aids in quick processing by cutting down on manual work and human error.
Syncing Inventory management software with OMS allows for seamless business transactionsThe ultimate goal of any business is to get customers to buy your product. However, if your back-end is not efficient, or your inventory isn't integrated with OMS, you are likely to miss out on potential clients.
Unsynced inventory creates problems because it's difficult to manage orders that are refunded due to discontinued or out-of-stock items. If this were to occur regularly, it would hurt your business in the long run. Syncing your inventory with an OMS solution ensures orders are always fulfilled according to their requirements.
Rusty Birds, a design startup with hand-crafted rustic metallic birds silhouettes that can be used to adorn homes and gardens, didn’t take long to realize how crucial it was to automate their order management workflow. Dealing with end customers and wholesalers, the team learned a lot about how to provide a hassle-free shopping experience for dealing with e-retailers. Namely, the importance of maintaining a smooth back-end process. Rusty Birds decided to choose Orderhive, a robust order management software, and the output was just terrific.
OMS benefits extend to Brick-and-Click stores too. For instance, if a brick-and-click retailer sells an appliance in store which won’t be available online anytime soon, OMS inventory features will enable the supplier to connect post-sale data. It will also update the retailer’s website regarding when the product will be available online.
OMS enhances scalability and revenue margin of businessAll businesses ultimately boil down to profit margins, generated revenue, customer satisfaction and retention rates. So, retailers dealing in multiple channels have to see what order management does for the fulfilment process.
Order management simplifies customer orders by enabling retailers to modify/alter products as they wish -- making it simpler for retailers to remotely access inventory. This enables them to cut down shipping costs as well as speed up delivery time.
You can also monitor the cycle time to streamline order processing. Product flaws can also be tracked so that there are less returns and cancellations.
With a centralized OMS, you can make sure your customers purchase and receive the order exactly as they intended, while ensuring you significantly increase profit.
Allows retailers to focus more on core aspects like marketing & promotionFrom marketing the business to serving the client while monitoring warehouses, retailers work with tight schedules and ever-growing demands from customers. Management and sales representatives in B2B marketing benefit from accurate sales insights.
One of the greatest aspects of OMS is that sales reps have detailed order histories at their fingertips that enable them to better understand customers and the kinds of products they’re looking for. Also, having all sales data on hand helps them make informed decisions when providing offers, prices and promotions to clients.
Automation will leave no chance for errors that can create future trouble. OMS is an ideal system for all the one-man armies out there that are dealing with various storefronts.
Orignal Source: https://www.prontomarketing.com/2016/12/why-you-need-to-integrate-an-order-management-system-with-your-ecommerce-website/
I’m sure many sellers prefer to maintain a separate inventory calendar for managing their holiday sales orders. This is because it becomes easy to analyze performance and ensure appropriate stocking to fulfil every order that comes in.
Inventory management software is surely helping sellers eliminate the risk of running out of stock, especially during the busiest selling days of the year, but yet, many may still find it a challenge to ensure in-time delivery.
Not being able to deliver your customer’s gifts or purchases as per their Holiday needs can spread a bad word of mouth for your retail brand!
Drop shipping- “Kill two birds with one arrow”
Drop shipping eliminates the hassle for performing shipping tasks on your own, as this time-saving fulfilment method directly allows sellers an opportunity to get their customer’s order processed from the supplier’s end.
How does drop shipping work?
As soon as your store gets an order, quickly communicate sales details to one of your suppliers with stock on hand to pack and ship your customer’s orders on-the-go.
This means without having to worry about connecting with shipping services, drop shipping also eliminates the cost and effort behind maintaining separate warehouses to ensure accurate stock flow throughout holiday season.
Unfortunately, all is not great about with drop shipping business; therefore, to avoid major pitfalls of drop shipping you can continue reading this article!!
1- What if you are unable to communicate order details on-the-go?
Considering Holiday season to be the busiest selling days of the year for retailers, shoppers from across the globe would like to make purchases of the favourite products or send gifts to the friends and family on major occasions that includes Christmas Eve and New Year’s too.
Unable to maintain an instant sales order communication with your suppliers can delay order fulfilment process and spoil your customer’s holiday experience.
What you can do?
Having an ability to sync all your suppliers at one place and being able to view their inventory/stock level in real time, will make it quick to identify the correct supplier instead of coordinating with multiple suppliers to confirm stock availability.
2- What if you are unable to alert for change in delivery information or cancellation?
Centralizing your supplier’s can make it easy for you to identify potential ones that are sure of having stock in hand to fulfil your customer’s orders in time. However, considering the holiday season, shoppers from across the globe would like to receive or send gifts at convenience.
Not being able to reach out customer’s requirements until order delivered may add negative impact on their holiday shopping experience with your retail brand.
What you can do?
Mobile apps can be an ideal solution, considering the fact that your drop shipping software allows you to connect with suppliers over their smartphones. With instant messaging or alert over the phone can allow you ensure suppliers take immediate measures to stop orders being delivered at wrong place and assure fulfilment is continued when there is someone to available to receive it.
3- What if you are unable to entertain customer’s product delivery preferences?
Holiday season being the best gifting days of the year, customer won’t like if you make them wait for their orders. However, being able to allow flexibility in your customer’s holiday purchase delivery preferences can eliminate the risks of multiple attempts to failure.
What you can do?
Dealing with suppliers who offer shipment tracking details for all you sales orders that you drop ship can automatically avoid unsuccessful product delivery scenarios.
For instance, receiving shipping tracking details you can share information with your customer’s, who in turn, can directly coordinate with the suppliers and request for changes to delivery choices, if any.
The Final Advice on Drop shipping for Holiday Season
Drop shipping software is helping retailers save time from inventory and order fulfilment hassles. However, adopting the one accommodating the above three major challenges can help you enhance your virtual supply chain performance throughout the upcoming holidays 2016 and for years to come!
Online shopping has surely made it easy for people from across the globe to send gifts to their friends and family during the special upcoming occasions that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.
With so many options available online, how can you assure consumers visit your eCommerce store for making purchases this holiday season?
Retaining existing customers can be an easy way to attract holiday sales for your eCommerce store, rather than targeting new ones. You may have come across this in a number of reports based on customer acquisition; however, thinking practically targeting your customers with seasonal deal and offers may not make them think twice about taking actions, unlike new shoppers who have never made a purchase from your eCommerce store.
Importance of targeting promotional offers to your existing customers during Holiday season
I’m sure sellers from across the globe have already started being loud about their products and holiday offers to attract more and more shoppers towards their eCommerce stores. However, targeting your existing customers with special benefits can increase the chances of potential purchases rather than offering the same content for your new as well as existing customers.
Holiday promotional examples from leading eCommerce brand
Email marketing an old but effective method of promotion for Holiday Season, let me tell you why?
The increase in a number of spam emails may stop many sellers from the idea of running email promotional campaigns and mostly may depend on click-through advertising which can be expensive as actions will depend on the popularity of your eCommerce brand.
Email marketing can an ideal option for seasonal promotions as it will allow sellers to target their customers with personalized products and offers to encourage them take actions on-the-go. Apart from helping you target each of your customer’s individually, email marketing campaigns can boost sales opportunities from customers who have already shown interest in your eCommerce brand.
What can be those tips and tricks to perform effective seasonal email marketing campaigns for your eCommerce brand?
Holiday season is one the best days of the year to send emails, that will not give you a chance to improve relationship with your existing customers but also, encourage them with personalized content and deals and make easy purchase/gifting decisions during the upcoming holiday season 2016.
Tip 1- Create a buzz about the upcoming holiday season
Holiday shoppers will look up for brands that allow them to make informed purchase decisions, therefore, having an ability to make your customers access information about the trending gifts and products offers throughout the Holiday season may save them time and make purchases on-the-go.
What you can do?
Targeting your customers with a Holiday welcome email can make them feel you care for their purchases during those auspicious days of the year; however, infusing a signup form for your brand newsletters can help them gain access to your valuable products and deals to fulfil their holiday shopping need throughout the season.
Tip 2- Be loud about the special benefits
Allowing easy access to your products can help you attract customers, however, offering seasonal discounts can encourage your existing customers to take actions on-the-go.
What you can do?
Integrating promotional discount codes or coupons in your email marketing campaigns can ensure your potential customers will make purchases from your brand to make more purchases for less money. Showcasing the benefits of saving money, can encourage your existing customers to increase order value each time they’ll shop from your eCommerce brand during the holiday season
Tip 3- Allow them to make quick purchase decisions
With multiple options available online, holiday shoppers won’t like to confuse themselves while making purchases or sending gifts for friends and family during those special occasions. Allowing them quick access to products of their choice can help them stick with your eCommerce throughout the season.
What you can do?
Considering your offerings, sharing information about products that can be good gifts will help you trigger your customer’s purchase decision on-the-go. For example, send emails with multiple gifting product options will narrow down your customer’s search for making their holiday purchases.
Tip 4- Offer a value
Mostly all eCommerce brands will have their own unique holiday marketing strategies, however, giving a value to your loyal customers will stop them looking up for other brand’s deals during the season.
What you can do?
Understanding your customer’s purchase behaviour and giving away freebies as per their preferences can automatically make them feel worth of making purchases from your brand, as well as, save their time in finding the best holiday deals online.
Tip 5- Create urgency
Lastly, you would not like to perform the same email marketing strategy throughout the season. Therefore, ensuring urgency in your holiday offers can allow you perform multiple promotional strategies and make the best out of the season.
What you can do?
Whether you consider the overall holiday season, or, each promotional campaign you perform, showcasing urgency/a time limit in each email your send to your customers can make them take instant actions in fear to lose the special deals by delaying their purchase decisions.
If you can’t invest heavily, try email marketing this holiday season!
Adopting email marketing automation, you can save time and effort while sending the best promotional emails to woo your customers this holiday season.
Best of luck and season’s greetings :)
The day you stop marketing will directly hamper the bottom line of your business. Therefore, marketing has always been and will always be the backbone of any selling business.
Gone are the days when marketing was limited to print ads, today, with the advancement of the technology Internet sellers have multiple options to promote their products and services.
Multi-channel marketing can be defined as offering consumers ability to reach your product and brand information via include traditional methods like flyers, brochures, or even, digital methods like website banners, PR, blogs, and social media marketing.
“With the increasing competition in the selling world, the more you make your products information available to consumers the better sales opportunities you can expect with time.” Tweet this
Multi-channel selling is already there; however, allowing consumers to connect with your brand via their favorite touch points, and platforms is helping sellers with new opportunities by offering Omnichannel shopping experience to consumers.
Omnichannel marketing- What sellers need to know?
Considering the brand Apple, consumers who shop online can expect the same customer experience when shopping from an offline Apple store.
Therefore, offering consumers with information and innovative experiences across multiple touch points that can include your selling website, social media channels, offline store, and mobile devices will automatically help you attract potential consumers who are active on such platforms on a regular basis.
Benefits of Omnichannel marketing
According to a 2016 report by eMarketer, the average US adults will consume approximately 6 hours of their usage over digital platforms like desktops, laptops and mobile devices that include smartphones, tablets, etc.
Being present on constantly-changing consumer’s choice of touchpoints sellers can:
- Meet consumers where they are
With multiple options available in the market, consumers are no longer stuck to one platform for making their purchase decisions, and being able to access your brand information across their multiple touch points can ensure you offer them a flexibility to connect with your brand in the way they want. The more places your brand is visible, the better chances of it becoming visible to consumers from their preferred purchase preference.
- Identify potential consumer’s preferences
Sellers who have not adopted Omnichannel strategy may overlook the benefits of making their brand reachable to consumers via their preferred touchpoints. However, understanding on the usage of consumer touchpoints can help you be in line with consumer’s choice of connecting and dealing with a brand.
- Target consumers confidently
Being in touch with consumer’s preferences with a brand will need constant tracking, however, analyzing omnichannel tactics offered by popular brands will make it easy for you to come up with innovative ideas and reach out consumers in a way they would like.
Omnichannel strategy examples from popular retail brands
I- Considering online retail business
Nordstrom is one such fashion brand that allows consumers with an omnichannel returns experience, which means the brand allows consumers ability to return their online purchases at the nearest store in The United States. This brand has 334 stores operating in 39 states and Canada.
How does it benefit consumers?
Allowing consumers an ability to deal with your brand in multiple ways, whether related purchase or even returns, can automatically earn trust and encourage more and more consumers to stick with your brand for long.
Tip: Of course, you may not have a chain of stores like Nordstrom does, or may only be selling online. Therefore, affiliating with an offline store or entertaining consumers returns request via your online selling website in case of an offline purchase, can offer consumers a unique advantage of selecting your brand over competitors.
II- Considering brick-and-mortar retail business
Oasis is another innovative retail brand that allows in-store iPad service. This means consumers instead of standing in those long queues can immediately pay for their purchase from the trial rooms using the iPad, while receipt and the garment will be delivered to consumers within 90 minutes of ordering.
How does it benefit consumers?
Offering a next-level high street store shopping experience, Oasis is making it easy for consumers to get an idea about the size, color, and style of available products from anywhere on the shopping floor and changing rooms too.
Tip: Instead of making consumers dependent on store executive, taking advantage of the latest technology and allowing them with self-assisted product information and purchase abilities can enhance their offline store shopping experience. Also, allowing consumers to process returns directly from your selling website can eliminate them take the pain of especially having to visit the store to make a claim.
III- Considering mobile retail experience
Starbucks another popular retail brand is allowing one of the most engaging omnichannel shopping experiences via its Reward app. This app allows Starbucks consumers to pay via the app, collect stars, earn rewards, as well as, find the nearest store in town.
How does it help consumers?
Considering a recent report of Statista the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 207.2 million by end of this year, while forecast to exceed 2 billion users worldwide. This means allowing consumers to engage with your products and services via their mobile devices can make it easy for them to connect with your brand anytime, anywhere.
Tip: Helping consumers to use your promotional and loyalty discount codes via your mobile selling website/app, and even alerting them for the same can encourage them to take actions on-the-go. Also, allowing paperless purchase transactions can encourage them to make purchases without the need of having to remove their wallet.
With the upcoming holiday season 2016 offering Omnichannel shopping experience will surely allow a competitive advantage over sellers who have yet not adopted this strategy; however, being innovative with your tactics and measuring performance for each will determine the success of your Omnichannel tactics with time.
Simple, yet powerful