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.

How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive External Traffic to Your Listings

Alex Knight talks to Katie Palmer of etailz about the most effective way to generate external traffic and sales: working with “influencers”

We often hear from sellers who want to drive visitors to their Amazon, eBay or Etsy listings from outside those marketplaces – known as “external traffic”. Competition is fierce on the marketplaces, so if you can bring in buyers from elsewhere that really helps lift your products above the fighting on price, reviews and PPC advertising.

So far so good, in principle. But sellers struggle to find good, practical advice about using social media to drive traffic to their listings. They get bombarded with information about starting social pages and growing a following, but for many sellers it just doesn’t go anywhere. A lot of valuable time goes into it and they get very little reward.

How can sellers really leverage social media? The usual superficial advice to “use hashtags”, “post your listings on twitter” and “build a following” is of little help. Instead, for most sellers, the best way to gain significant traffic and sales isn’t from their own social accounts at all – it’s from working with people who already have a large following of their own: “influencers”.

Influencers are people who have a large blog readership or social media following (often both) within a particular niche such as nutrition or technology. They might write a blog post featuring your product, post a picture of them using or wearing it, or give out an exclusive code providing a discount to their followers. The overall aim is to get the word out about your brand to a large, but targeted, group of people who may then go and buy one of your products.

We spoke to Katie Palmer, the resident influencer marketing expert at etailz, a leading online retailer and service provider, to find out how to be successful with influencer marketing.
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Retail Global 2017: Learn, Network and Get Involved in Las Vegas this September

Escape the confines of your office, hear from experts and network with fellow retailers – there’s no better way to grow your ecommerce IQ

When you have an online business it’s easy to spend all day staring at a computer screen, devoid of real human contact, especially if you work alone. You know there’s events out there, but attending is a big step when you have a growing business taking up all your time.

It does take time and effort to attend a conference, there’s no denying that. But nothing can beat learning and interacting in person. A webinar, for example, can’t replace the experience of hearing from a range of experts in a room full of like-minded people, who you have the opportunity to network with face-to-face.

Industries like blogging and cyber security, which could not be more rooted in the online world, have huge and successful conferences with tens of thousands of people attending. Conferences are just as valuable to businesses who sell through Amazon, eBay and their own online stores.

That’s where Retail Global comes in. Now in its third year, it gives sellers a chance to learn, network and interact with industry experts and fellow sellers. It provides two dedicated tracks for marketplace sellers alongside keynote speeches, panel discussions, intensive workshops and even a gala pool party.

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The Best Free Amazon Keyword and Product Research Tools

Alex Knight walks us through the best FREE research software Amazon sellers can use to help their sourcing and marketing efforts

Earlier this year, I did some research on the best free eBay selling tools to help me sell a rather gnarly collection of gnomes. This process made me realize just how useful free tools can be for online sellers and I was keen to provide our readers with an Amazon equivalent. So, I donned my deerstalker hat and began tracking down some useful free tools for Amazon sellers.

I focused my search on tools specifically made for sellers. This excludes software like CamelCamelCamel and Keepa. While they are undoubtedly useful pricing tracking tools, they are essentially shopper-focused. Instead, I’ve included tools that provide Amazon marketplace research data, whether that’s in the form of keywords people are searching for, sales estimates or pricing advice.

All the tools included in this article are free to use. By this, I don’t mean that they offer a free trial for a few days, and then make you spend your hard-earned bucks. These tools all have “free forever” versions where you can access the same features, day after day, without ever being asked to pay.

For each tool I’ve identified what it does, how it works and why you might want to use it. There is also a walkthrough video so you can see each tool in action.

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How to Choose an Amazon FBA Prep Service

Alex Knight looks at FBA prep: why it’s important, why sellers decide to outsource, and how to choose the right FBA prep service

Preparing your inventory for FBA can prove frustrating. You’re running low on stock at the Fulfillment Center, orders are pouring in but you’ve hit a bottleneck – you can’t prepare your inventory quick enough to meet demand.

At this point, you decide it’s time to outsource your FBA prep to a third party but there’s so many factors to consider that you’re a little lost. You’re essentially handing responsibility for part of your business over to a third party, so you want to be absolutely sure you’ve considered everything and made the right decision.

To help you decide, we’ve explained what FBA prep is, identified why many sellers choose to outsource it and explored some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an FBA prep service.

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eBay Turbo Lister Replacements: Five of the Best Alternatives

Alex Knight picks out alternative eBay listing tools for sellers still relying on eBay’s much-loved but now obsolete Turbo Lister

This month marks the end of an era, as eBay retires its listing tool, Turbo Lister, after almost two decades of service.

Turbo Lister always splits opinion, as some sellers opted for third-party eBay listing software long ago. For many others though, Turbo Lister’s ability to create listings offline and upload them in bulk to eBay, for free, made it their listing tool of choice.

It is these sellers who are now left with a tough decision. On one hand there is eBay’s “improved” Seller Hub, which does feature a listing tool. But, it is not a desktop application like Turbo Lister and doesn’t have either the option to work offline, or the capacity to store finished listings.

This is driving many sellers to third-party eBay listing tools. But, with several tools claiming to be the premier Turbo Lister replacement, it can be hard to decipher which is right for you. Maybe you’ve tried several already, but haven’t found one you like, or are yet to find one with all the features you need.

To help, we’ve taken five listing tools that sellers could use to replace Turbo Lister: SixBit, Xpress Lister, Wonder Lister, Ad-Lister and CrazyLister. I’ve reviewed their key features, and identified which type of sellers they are most suited to.

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