Ecommerce Operations Roundup: Inventory, Efficiency and Processes

Ecommerce Operations Roundup

Finding good products and marketing them successfully are what gets a business off the ground, but there’s a lot more to master to stay profitable in the long term.

As a business grows, a whole host of operational challenges emerge. The skills needed to handle them successfully are quite different to those that got the business started – disciplines like inventory management, efficiency and process improvement. They’re less exciting than sourcing and branding, but are absolutely essential to the healthy functioning of the business.

Here’s a roundup of articles from the Web Retailer blog focusing on the operational side of the ecommerce business. They provide a great primer on warehouse management, making use of data, repeatable processes, supply chain management, handling growth, inventory management and optimization, and systems thinking.

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Amazon Brand Gating: What Does it Mean For Your Business?

Amazon Brand Gating

This post is by Leah McHugh, an ecommerce consultant for ecommerceChris.com. For Amazon sellers, having their merchant account suspended means losing time and money trying to get back in business. ecommerceChris shows sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

Last week Amazon began gating many major brands. In order to sell those brands you must now submit 3 official invoices and/or a letter from the brand owner, and new sellers to the brand must pay a non-refundable “approval fee” as part of the approval process.

This is not the first time we have seen Amazon restricting brands, nor is it the first time we have seen them charge an ungating fee. They’ve already been doing this as part of the Fine Jewelry category approval process.

But, this is the first time we’ve seen them do this on such a large scale.

There has been a lot of guessing, a lot of misinformation, and a lot of emotion flying around the seller community, and understandably so. We’ve been given very little information about a change that will have a huge impact on the marketplace, and on its third-party sellers.

So, let’s take a look at the implications.

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Ecommerce in Brazil: A Golden Opportunity?

Ecommerce in Brazil

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. This post was originally published on the KnowGlobal blog as The Games Begin: Taking a Deep Dive into E-commerce in Brazil.

This year the Olympics hit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the largest ecommerce market in Latin America.

With the World Cup hosted there in 2014 and the Olympics this year, the country has needed to develop its transportation, aviation and general infrastructure to support the influx of tourists.

This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Brazilian ecommerce due to expedited logistics and increased internet penetration. So much so, we can expect to see continued double digit growth in retail ecommerce sales in Brazil, growing to $29.65 billion (US) by 2019.

So in the spirit of all things Olympian, we’ve taken a deep dive into the Brazilian ecommerce market to discover the opportunities available for retailers in this exciting and developing market.

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800lb Gorilla: The Dangers of Selling on Amazon

800lb Gorilla Amazon

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. Sign up for Travis’s weekly ecommerce tips at sharpcommerce.com.

There’s no doubt that Amazon will continue to gobble up an incredible chunk of online retail in the coming months and years. Amazon has a huge audience with 54 million users of their Prime service alone!

As an ecommerce merchant, how can you best use this channel to your advantage but also protect your company?

For most B-to-C retailers I consult with, I recommend selling on Amazon as a general rule. A properly created Amazon listing will get your brand and product in front of a giant group of consumers ready to buy. However, there are some significant risks to using Amazon as your main or only selling channel.

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