Monthly Archives: March 2017

Diversifying from Online Marketplaces with Online Stores and Social Media

Marketplaces are hyper-competitive and ultra-demanding. Is it time to protect your business by building your own independent brand?

There’s no question that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are powerful sales machines. Offer the right products at the right price, while keeping your service levels high, and the orders will roll in.

But competition is always fierce. Buyers don’t know who you are, so they will trust the marketplace to guide them to the best seller each time they make a purchase. That usually means whoever happens to be the cheapest. The marketplaces don’t play favorites.

Nor do they look after you. If you falter and stumble, they don’t pick you up and dust you down – they kick you out. It doesn’t take many complaints from their customers – the buyers – for you to become persona non grata.

What’s an online seller to do? How can you rise above the endless mass of competing sellers, all fighting to reach the top? The only way is to strike out on your own. Build a real, recognizable brand. Sell through your own online store. Build your own social media following. Unlike your marketplace selling accounts, those things really belong to you. They can’t be taken away easily, and they are a powerful asset to build your business on.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Online Stores & Social Media category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers store platforms, tools for creating Facebook stores, tools for feeding existing listings through to social networks, and connector apps between marketplaces and store platforms.

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Marketplace Management Tools: How Do I Choose the Right One?

Matthew Ferguson takes on his hardest question yet: how to choose a multichannel management tool – the octopus of your ecommerce zoo!

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

We sell a number of goods from several different suppliers, and we can’t keep it all organized with spreadsheets anymore. We sell on Amazon and eBay, and want to sell on Walmart and others. We were looking at systems out there and there’s so many. Inventory managers, listings tools, etc. I have no idea where to start. They all seem to do different things. Help?

— Chris from L.A.

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Spotlight on World First Receiving Accounts

Save time and money on your cross-border sales with this easy-to-use service for online sellers

Cross-border ecommerce is huge and it’s getting bigger. It is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 25 percent, meaning that by 2020 it will have risen to $900 billion. That is twice the predicted average annual growth rate for domestic ecommerce.

There are several challenges which cross-border sellers have to manage. Translating listings and providing customer service in the local language are two of them, while working out the logistics of cross-border delivery can also prove difficult.

Receiving the proceeds from your cross-border sales may seem to be the easy part, as the marketplaces will do the conversion into your home currency for you. But, this ease-of-use can prove costly, as sellers don’t receive competitive exchange rates from the marketplaces.

World First receiving accounts are easy-to-use and provide sellers with a better exchange rate, so sellers can increase their profits from international sales by doing little more than opening an account.

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Selling to Amazon Through Vendor Central or Vendor Express: Pros and Cons

This post is by Kiri Masters, CEO and co-founder of Bobsled Marketing, a New York City-based digital marketing agency that helps brands grow their revenue on Amazon. Bobsled’s comprehensive launch and optimization process has been used for hundreds of products across Amazon’s North American and European markets.

With over 688,000 unique brands selling on Amazon, competition is rife. It can be difficult for sellers to find an edge through the third-party Seller Central program. The good news is that brands have the option of developing a wholesale relationship with Amazon through their Vendor programs.

Amazon’s wholesale Vendor programs have been getting a lot of attention recently. As a Vendor, your products are sold under the trusted Amazon brand. In addition, Amazon will buy and store your inventory, taking care of shipping, pricing, customer service and even returns.

While there is a lot of information and training available out there for brands who are selling on the Amazon marketplace, there is a severe lack of information for brands who are currently selling (or planning to sell) wholesale on the Vendor platform, using either Vendor Central or Vendor Express.

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Selling on Walmart Marketplace: is it Really Worth the Effort?

Walmart marketplace? Like the wild west. Running your own webstore? Like raising a baby pig. Matthew Ferguson explains.

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

Hi Matt! I recently got approved to sell on Walmart which I know is special to receive, but I’m not sure it’s worth my time to prioritize this. I was going to focus on a new website originally. Is it worth listing on Walmart? I sell mostly homewares and bedding supplies. It’s a vague question, sorry! I would appreciate complete honesty.

— Will from Texas

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