AsWas / RocketPlace Conference 2008 Report
Scott Pooler reports on the latest software developments from the RocketPlace conference in Florida
Tags: Selling, Conferences, Software Development
The first RocketPlace was held at Disney World's Yacht Club Resort February 27 - March 1, 2008. This conference for eBay
Powersellers was initiated and organized by Debbie Levitt of As Was, an eBay marketing and stores
design firm based in Tucson, Arizona.
Scott Pooler, Debbie Levitt (left), and Laura Delle Torre
The two and a half day conference featured
numerous eBay and eCommerce solutions providers, software vendors and Internet
experts. The focus was on business building rather than the controversy
surrounding eBay's recent fee and feedback changes. The attendees at RocketPlace came ready
to learn about new ways to increase business and get more out of the most
recent eBay and eCommerce options available to them.
"This conference was created to encourage
current Powersellers to expand upon the methods which have made them successful
in the past with new ideas and techniques" said Debbie Levitt. "We carried the concept to the marketplace
and created a seminar, which provides value while avoiding the hard sales
pitches normally found at similar events."
Multiple software providers were present
and made presentations at the event.
Attendees learned a great deal from all of the presenters, here are a few
of the highlights of the RocketPlace presentations for Auction Software Review
readers who could not attend.
Jessica Hum, online marketing analyst for the
Ontario, Canada based multi-channel sales automation software company,
provided the audience with an inspiring presentation detailing the
necessity of managing SEO and SEM for entire product lines online. Kyozou provides a managed service
approach to these very important factors of any online sales operation.
Max Leisten, Senior product manager at
ChannelAdvisor detailed the extensive e-Commerce capabilities of the
ChannelAdvisor stable of software tools. When asked about ways in which
ChannelAdvisor is improving their already extensive product lines, Max
Leisten said "With regards to marketplaces and eBay we are working closely
with our sellers and eBay to support many of eBay's recent changes
regarding feedback, Finding 2.0 and PayPal Extended Seller Protection — in a
way which will really use the new programs to a seller's advantage."
The ChannelAdvisor product
presentation was thorough and covered the entire process and possibilities
available regarding the real benefits of using the application to insert
inventory into multiple marketing channels including eBay. ChannelAdvisor is a strong product and
should be one of the primary solutions under consideration by merchants
with over $15,000 in average monthly sales volume.
Brian Gibbs, President and founder of the company,
explained the benefits of the shipping service monitoring system his
product provides to sellers. Brian
developed the software from within the trenches of the shipping &
packaging industry as an actual shipping and packaging store owner. The Refund Retriever monitoring service
operates in the background keeping tabs on all of the shipping accounts a
"There isn't a single carrier that ever notifies its
customers of a late package. Can you imagine UPS, FedEx, or DHL sending
you a check in the mail or removing charges from an invoice because they
failed to meet their self imposed guarantees? Of course not, the customer
must watch his own back", says Gibbs. Refund Retriever watches your back
for you and secures the refunds due to your company when time constraints or
other guarantees are not upheld by the shipper.
Sparks - Constant Contact's Regional Development
Director in South Florida - presented a lively and interesting explanation of the power of
email list building and customer contact programs. "We've found online
sellers use Constant Contact's email marketing tools to promote repeat
purchases from existing customers and to build a solid list of bidders for
future listings," said Sparks.
Steve Nye - Hammertap's Research Education Specialist -
explained the importance of research and how to find important and
relevant information regarding eBay sellers competition, niche and
category choices all from a single platform console. Hammertap is one of the best tools
available for eBay sellers who want to know not only what to sell, but
when to sell it and at what price.
Michael Lambert, CEO and co-founder of Merchant Advantage, gave the presentation. Merchant Advantage is a clearinghouse
of information exchange between merchants and online portals or channels.
The service imports database information from inventory for any client and
then processes that data in real time to evaluate over 100
different online channels as a potential marketplace for each inventory
item. Once an evaluation is delivered
via the web site (or a more advanced desktop application) a merchant may easily place online inventory on any - or all - of the hundreds of emerging niche marketplaces in
the Merchant Advantage system.
The benefits of this service are vast time
savings, ultimate market testing capabilities and ease of evaluation of
specific niche channels for products.
The days of being limited to only one or two channels to sell
through are gone. Merchant
advantage opens up the entire world of Internet channel selling to any
merchant with an existing inventory.
The presentation was delivered by Tobe Goldfinger, CEO of custom applications software vendor JDT Technologies.
When a company needs a specialized application designed to
work with existing programs, such as integrating QuickBooks
with a sales management tool, JDT
is the company to call.
Goldfinger is enthusiastic about the future applications her company can
deliver, due to ChannelAdvisor's strong movement toward an open API. JDT
is already taking advantage of the API to create interesting
extensions to the ChannelAdvisor platform. On other fronts, JDT
is developing a new desktop tool to manage one-of-a-kind inventory, and they
are looking into doing a consignment communications system.
* * * * *
Overall the RocketPlace (TAWC) conference
was an informative and valuable two and a half day event at the beautiful
DisneyYacht Club Resort in Sunny Florida.
The conference will possibly move to Las Vegas in the fall of 2008. Check
RocketPlace.com for details, or look out for an announcement in the newsletter .
Photos by Jen Franklin
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About the Author
Scott Pooler is an eZine
Articles Expert Author and the Publisher of the Trading Assistant Journal.
His company - AllBusinessAuctions.com based in Largo, Florida USA provides eBay stores design, eCommerce development, Internet & eBay solutions & software to small and mid sized businesses worldwide.