All posts by Alex Knight

About Alex Knight

Alex Knight is a feature writer for Web Retailer. A journalism graduate from City University, London, Alex has written for a range of publications, on varying subjects, and produced a short, independent documentary. In the world of ecommerce, Alex has compèred Amazon seller events and is also the host of our Ecommerce Heroes YouTube series.

Get Sourcing This April at Global Sources Exhibitions

From mobile devices to virtual reality, home products, fashion and luggage, you can source almost anything at Global Sources trade shows

If you are a private labeler or a seller looking to develop a brand, it’s very likely that you’ll be sourcing products from factories in Asia. So it makes a lot of sense to attend trade shows there, and meet face-to-face with potential suppliers.

Not only does this cut out lengthy email conversations, where your requirements can be easily misunderstood, it helps you get a feel for the right supplier and start building a relationship with them.

Trade shows also give sellers a chance to get hands on with potential products. In the age of the internet sellers can be all too tempted to source products without ever seeing them. At trade shows, sellers can get their hands on sample products, test them out and make a far more informed decision on which products to source.

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Is it Still Worth Getting an eBay Store Design and Listing Template?

Changing policies and buyer habits have divided opinion on eBay store designs and listing templates. Which approach is best today?

If you were to jump in a time machine, set the dial back five years and search eBay, it would look quite different. Back then, the marketplace was brimming with vibrantly designed eBay stores and listing templates, because there was little question over the positive impact that a custom design had on sales.

Return to the present day though, and a lot has changed. eBay has banned Active Content and introduced features that hide the listing description, and many more buyers are shopping on mobile phones and tablets.

As a result of these changes, opinion has become polarized on whether having an eBay store design and listing template is good or bad. Some sellers believe that a design can hurt sales and would never use one again, as they are seeing better results with plain text listings.

Other sellers still choose to have a store design, because it provides a recognizable brand, gives marketing opportunities and allows customers to see what makes them unique. It’s one of the big advantages of eBay over Amazon – being able to stand out from the crowd.

In this post I’ll look at the pros and cons of having an eBay store and listing design, and ask if it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: a strongly branded design that works perfectly on desktop and mobile browsers, complies with all of eBay’s policies, and – most importantly of all – increases your overall sales.

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Ecommerce Outsourcing & Consultants for Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

Third-party services and consultants can give your ecommerce business a helping hand, from outsourcing simple tasks to expert advice

When online sellers start out, their business usually consists of just one or two people who are responsible for doing everything. Over time, they start to hire people to handle some of the tasks that come with an ecommerce business. But, after a while, they find themselves working longer hours than they ever envisaged without getting time to focus on the areas where they add the most value.

This prevents their business from growing, as instead of sourcing or developing products they are dealing with customer queries, putting products in boxes and editing product images.

At this point, you have to consider what your time is worth and either hire more staff or look to outsource some tasks. It may cost $10 an hour to outsource customer support, but if you can spend that time developing new products, the positive impact on your business is going to be worth more.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Outsourcing & Consultants section of the Web Retailer directory. Here, you’ll find outsourcing services specifically for marketplace sellers, and seasoned ecommerce experts who can look at your business with fresh eyes and help you improve.

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Amazon Seller Tools and Services: The Essential Guide

From repricers to managing feedback and using consultants, Alex Knight explains the different Amazon seller tools and services available.

Amazon Seller Tools

Selling on Amazon is hard. The level of competition and the number of hoops that Amazon want sellers to jump through make it almost impossible to survive without automating and optimizing some parts of the process.

Luckily there are tools and services that can help with almost every stage. Whether you’re just launching your product, sending stock to FBA or trying to get your Amazon account back after a suspension, there’s something in the directory for you.

In this post, I’ll be walking you through the Amazon Selling category of the Web Retailer directory, explaining what tools there are for Amazon sellers in each section and how you can benefit from using them.

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Financial Management Made Easy: Tools and Services For Online Sellers

Managing your finances can be a nightmare. These tools and services reduce headaches, increase accuracy and help find new opportunities.

Very often, marketplace sellers focus on the more exciting parts of their business, like product sourcing, and shy away from areas that they find boring, or difficult, like managing their finances.

This can be counterproductive, because no matter how you feel about getting your finances in order, it’s a necessary part of running any business. It’s a discipline that sellers need to embrace, and become proficient at, so they really understand the numbers that matter.

You don’t have to spend hours in Excel to keep on top of your record keeping and accounts. There are tools and services specifically made to help manage bookkeeping for ecommerce businesses. These help make the process more efficient, while also minimizing the risk of errors.

There are also tools that produce reports to help you see how your business is doing. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are busy all day dealing with suppliers, listing products and providing customer support. But being able to see how profitable you are, at any time and at any level of detail, is crucial to business success.

Expanding into new product lines, or increasing purchase levels to get better discounts, can also make a big difference to your business. Some sellers choose to take out loans, or use other cash flow solutions, so they can take advantage of new opportunities when they present themselves, or plan for the seasonal ups-and-downs of ecommerce.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Financial Management category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers Cash Flow and Loans, Accounting Connectors, Ecommerce Accounting and Sales Tax and VAT.

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