It’s time for our annual round-up of ecommerce predictions for the year ahead!
This year we have over fifty experts from five continents – from the USA to the UK, Ireland to Israel, Singapore to South Africa and more. It’s the most comprehensive panel of online sellers, technology vendors, service providers and ecommerce consultants ever assembled.
They have a lot to say about what to expect in 2017, taking in Amazon, eBay, private labeling, sourcing from China, multichannel ecommerce, consumer expectations, social media and more.
So here it is: our Expert Voices Ecommerce Predictions for 2017.
This post is by James Storie-Pugh, Director at Pivot International. Pivot are an ecommerce agency specializing in global ecommerce marketplaces. Based in London, they act as the local representative office for marketplaces around the world including Newegg, MarkaVIP, JadoPado and Trade Me. James has worked in ecommerce and digital marketing since 2008, for companies in France, the UK and the USA.
New Zealand might not be an obvious choice for international sellers looking to expand – it’s an isolated island nation in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from its nearest neighbor Australia, with a population of less than five million.
But New Zealand is also a well developed English-speaking country with a healthy economy, high average incomes and excellent access to the internet. Online spending by New Zealanders (known as “Kiwis”) is expected to reach nearly NZ$6 billion in 2016 – an average of $1,200 for every man, woman and child.
Nearly 2 million Kiwis buy online, and 38% of their purchases go overseas to international sellers. Those international sales are estimated to be worth NZ$1.6 billion. Two-thirds of all online shoppers in New Zealand have made a purchase from an overseas business in the last three months.
Where do Kiwis go to make those international purchases? They go to homegrown online marketplace Trade Me. Responsible for nearly three-quarters of all domestic web traffic, Trade Me has been described as a basic human right for Kiwis.
Here’s what you need to know about selling there as an international business.
This post is by Jordan Garner, Director of Marketing at Trustpilot. 20,000 new reviewers join Trustpilot each day, making it one of the world’s largest online review communities. Trustpilot has over 20 million reviews of 130,000+ businesses and counting.
The holiday season, for most online retailers, is the busiest time of the year in terms of sales revenue. But new data shows that it’s also when the proportion of negative customer reviews is at its highest.
Having a rock solid strategy to proactively collect and manage reviews is critical at all times of the year, but is certainly most urgent during the holidays simply because of the sheer quantity of feedback that comes in during this time.
It’s not all bad – the increased quantity of reviews also gives sellers a unique opportunity to turn 2016 holiday wins into 2017 sustained growth. By proactively collecting tons of feedback, retailers can use these reviews to boost sales moving forward, as well as make sure any new customers are having the best possible experience so they will come back for future transactions.
Let’s look at the numbers…
When marketplace sellers get together, the conversation often turns to multichannel management software. Many sellers will talk knowledgeably about different vendors, but others will look on blankly.
After a while, when there is a break in the conversation, one of the sellers “in the know” will notice the vacant stares. How can they explain what they’re talking about? Maybe by saying how this kind of software synchronizes stock levels across marketplaces, creates listings and manages orders? Well they could, but normally they don’t. They just say, “Oh you know, like ChannelAdvisor!” And the blank looks fade instantly.
ChannelAdvisor is pretty much synonymous with “marketplace management software”. They’ve been in this business since 2001, longer than almost anyone else. They have over 2,800 customers globally, and in 2015 managed $6.8 billion in GMV (gross merchandise volume – total sales). ChannelAdvisor supports over sixty sales channels around the world, and the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013. There’s no-one else like them among the many multichannel software vendors.
I caught up recently with Mike Shapaker, ChannelAdvisor’s Managing Director for the EMEA region (covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa). We talked about how this industry giant came to exist, the features they have been working on recently, and the company’s plans for the future.
This post is by Mark Faggiano, Founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service that helps more than 5,000 online sellers with sales tax calculation, reporting and filing. TaxJar offers a free 30-day trial.
If you are an online seller in the USA, you’re probably well aware that you are required to collect sales tax from buyers in your home state. But, as with just about anything to do with tax, it gets a little more complicated than that.
This post provides the fundamentals for sales tax nexus for online sellers, including what creates nexus, and what that means when it comes to collecting sales tax from your customers.
It covers the impact of using Amazon FBA (and other third-party fulfillment services) on sales tax nexus, how to determine whether a fulfillment service gives you nexus, and what to do if it does.