The Online Sellers’ Definitive Guide to Outsourcing

Definitive Guide to Outsourcing

This post is by James Thomson, Partner of Buybox Experts, a consultancy supporting brands selling on Amazon and other marketplaces. James is also president of PROSPER Show, a continuing education conference focused on developing training and best-practice materials for early-stage online sellers.

First, the good news: Your ecommerce business continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Now, the bad news: Every month, you find yourself busier and busier managing operational issues like office staffing, your warehouse, customer inquiries, and product returns. With each passing month, you have less time to spend on building your catalog of desirable products, and on absorbing and integrating customer feedback into your new product development.

For large sellers that have hit the point in their daily grind that they are so busy working in their business that they don’t have time to work on their business, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate.

There will be a trigger point soon – maybe a new entrant eats away at a profitable segment of your customer base, or your warehouse gets so busy that orders start falling behind, or your family life is starting to suffer so much that you realize you must make a change! Now what?!

Continue reading

International Ecommerce: My Top Ten Myths

International Selling Mythbuster

This post is by Matthew Ferguson, Customer Success Manager at Volo, a provider of technology and services to some of the world’s largest marketplace sellers. Matthew worked as an ecommerce manager in Florida for six years, before moving into a marketplace services role in London. For the last five years he has been helping ecommerce businesses expand their domestic and European cross-border sales, and explore new global markets.

There is no doubt that international ecommerce – selling to customers outside your own country – is one of the most complex and challenging aspects of selling online.

I can’t make it less complex for you than it really is (although I would love to do that if I could!) but I can highlight some of the areas that, in my experience, many sellers misunderstand.

So here are my top ten myths about international ecommerce, covering strategy, translation, returns, taxes and duties, passive versus active selling, selling to Europe, shipping and more.

I hope you find it useful, and would be happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below.

Continue reading

20 Years in eBay Software: An Interview with SixBit’s John Slocum

SixBit Team

Way back in 1997, John Slocum created the very first software tool for eBay sellers: AuctionAssistant.

Over the past twenty years John has not wavered from his niche of creating desktop-based, feature-rich software for eBay sellers.

After eBay bought his first company in 1999, John spent ten years writing software as an eBay employee. When eBay let John and his team go in 2009, John set up his own company again and carried on writing software for eBay sellers.

That company is SixBit, and it’s going strong today. With nearly twenty years in the business, John’s history and knowledge of eBay, and software for online sellers, is unsurpassed.

Now, surrounded by so many cloud-based applications fighting for users, SixBit has held firm as a desktop tool for eBay sellers. But, in a way, that’s coming to an end – because SixBit is adding support for selling on the Amazon marketplace too.

I caught up with John to find out more about his long and remarkable history with eBay. I wanted to find out why he started down this path in the beginning, why he still prefers desktop-based software, and why SixBit is now adding support for eBay’s biggest rival.

Continue reading

US Sales Tax for European Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

US Flag Maze

This post is by Emma Scotton, Director and Founder at independent ecommerce consultancy KnowGlobal. KnowGlobal offers advice and support to online businesses, both large and small, on all aspects of their ecommerce offering. They help clients grow their businesses both domestically and at an international level.

Ecommerce is booming and businesses are increasingly fighting for a share of the lucrative global market by looking at ways to take their online business cross-border.

The US market makes for a particularly attractive option, with US consumers expected to spend $327 billion online in 2016. Moreover, the number of web shoppers in the US is expected to grow by 15% this year to 192 million and each shopper will be spending more on average, up 44% from 2012 to $1,738 per year.

What’s more for marketplace sellers is that global marketplaces are expected to own nearly 40% of the online retail market by 2020, providing a viable and rewarding route to new markets for businesses of all sizes.

In the rush to expand, however, merchants can overlook areas of international business that are unfamiliar. Ensuring you support international payments and have a logistics network capable of fulfilling orders is important, but with new opportunities come new complexities, particularly when meeting the challenge of sales tax compliance in the United States.

Continue reading

The Moneyball Method for Amazon Product Sourcing

Baseball Player

This post is by Meghan Gleason, Amazon Account Specialist at Teikametrics. Teikametrics helps Amazon FBA sellers drive traffic to their listings and scale their business using data-driven software and consulting for inventory optimization, repricing, restocking, review management, ad optimization, and product scouting. This post was first published on the Teikametrics Blog as Advanced Product Sourcing for FBA Sellers.

The typical Amazon product lifecycle has become very short, which is a result of increased competition and transparency within ecommerce.

We’ve seen a lot of clients have successful product launches on Amazon, only to have their growth quickly stunted by new products within that category.

We often hear about products that were ranked #1 in a particular category 6 months ago, and now have dropped dramatically in the rankings. This is partially due to the extremely transparent marketplace that Amazon has created, making it easier for the competition to quickly catch on to newly sourced products.

What does this mean for sourcing?

Continue reading