How to Differentiate Your Ecommerce Business From Your Competitors

Travis Romine suggests ways to set your business apart and raise the barriers to entry, and make it harder for competitors to copy you

This post is by Travis Romine, an ecommerce growth consultant at Sharp Commerce and previous owner of ParadiseFibers.com. He consults for online retailers throughout the US on building high performance ecommerce businesses, growth strategy and digital marketing.

Why would someone buy from you rather than your competition?

That’s an incredibly tough question even for some of the veteran online retailers that I review.

If you’re new to ecommerce, make sure you determine your differentiator before lifting a finger on your website. Doing this will help keep your business model relevant regardless of marketplace trends and Google algorithm changes.

It’s no coincidence that my most successful clients, who are doing over $25 million a year, all have a solid differentiator.

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All the Software and Services You Need

Web Retailer has the world's leading directory of software tools and service providers for online sellers.

We focus on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Expanding to new marketplaces?

see Multichannel Management

Selling across borders?

see International Selling

Making delivery more efficient?

see Shipping & Fulfillment

Automating your pricing?

see Pricing & Repricing

Researching products to sell?

see Product Sourcing

Working on your reputation?

see Feedback & Reputation

Looking for outside help?

see Outsourcing & Consultants

Improving your finances?

see Financial Management

Starting to sell independently?

see Online Stores & Social Media

There are also dedicated categories for the leading marketplaces Amazon and eBay, and we cover all online marketplaces worldwide including Etsy, Jet.com, Walmart, Mercado Libre, Tesco, Cdiscount and many more.

Try our Advanced Search to find software compatible with a specific marketplace or shopping cart, or that are integrated with tools you already use.

Browse our Buying Guides for detailed information, in plain English, about all our categories and how to choose the right software or services for your needs.

Browse the Directory

The Hybrid Approach: How to Use Seller Central and Vendor Central Together

Carina McLeod explains how brands can get the best of both worlds on Amazon by managing both a vendor and seller relationship

This post is by Carina McLeod. Carina spent over seven years working in Vendor Management at Amazon UK and now has her own consultancy business, eCommerce Nurse, where she helps vendors and sellers grow their business on Amazon.

The hybrid approach is when brands sell on Amazon in two different ways: as a third-party seller on the marketplace and also as a vendor selling direct to Amazon. A business following the hybrid approach will use Seller Central to sell “direct-to-consumer”, and use Vendor Central to sell wholesale to Amazon – who then retail the products to consumers.

This type of approach is not new in brick and mortar retail, as many brands will sell to the main retailers (e.g. Walmart) and also have their own physical store in shopping malls, and their own transactional website.

But now Amazon have changed the dynamics. They have made selling via wholesale a lot easier, and selling direct to the consumer also very attractive, because with FBA only limited infrastructure is required. This means opening up doors to wholesale for rapidly emerging private labels, and offering manufacturers a low-cost solution to trial and expand their direct-to-consumer sales.

There is a lot of information out there as to why a business should adopt a hybrid approach, and the benefits of doing this. It helps maximize sales opportunity, widens customer reach, spreads risk and gives brands access to both the vendor and seller tools.

The real question is: how do you successfully apply the hybrid selling model to your business? It’s easy to list out the benefits in theory, but putting it into practice is a whole different ball game. So, in this post, I’ll set out some practical strategies for using the hybrid model effectively in your business, so you can really reap those rewards.

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Ecommerce Outsourcing & Consultants for Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

Third-party services and consultants can give your ecommerce business a helping hand, from outsourcing simple tasks to expert advice

When online sellers start out, their business usually consists of just one or two people who are responsible for doing everything. Over time, they start to hire people to handle some of the tasks that come with an ecommerce business. But, after a while, they find themselves working longer hours than they ever envisaged without getting time to focus on the areas where they add the most value.

This prevents their business from growing, as instead of sourcing or developing products they are dealing with customer queries, putting products in boxes and editing product images.

At this point, you have to consider what your time is worth and either hire more staff or look to outsource some tasks. It may cost $10 an hour to outsource customer support, but if you can spend that time developing new products, the positive impact on your business is going to be worth more.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Outsourcing & Consultants section of the Web Retailer directory. Here, you’ll find outsourcing services specifically for marketplace sellers, and seasoned ecommerce experts who can look at your business with fresh eyes and help you improve.

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