Category Archives: The Big Picture

Topics that affect your ecommerce business as a whole, including the most important trends in ecommerce.

Multi-Channel Retailing in 2018: More Channels, More Challenges

Road junction representing multi-channel selling

This post is by Katherine Khoo, Managing Director at ecommerce and inventory platform iPages.

2018 is the year of multi-channel retailing. With over half of all product searches in the U.S. and U.K. starting on Amazon, it’s no wonder that retailers are swiftly changing their strategies to include multiple sales platforms.

Most of us will be tempted to think of simply selling through marketplaces (Amazon/eBay) when we think about multi-channel. However, there are far more ways to get our product into the hands of consumers. There’s Amazon Vendor, for example, and also social shopping on Facebook and Instagram, and voice search with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

One in four households now own a voice-controlled assistant, and Instagram shopping is a buzzing new channel with massive potential. So what does this mean for multi-channel retailing in the year ahead? And what are the challenges of selling on these diverse new channels, which are growing so dramatically in 2018?

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5 Ways Amazon Private Label Selling is Under Attack

Private labeling seemed like the perfect business model for the Amazon marketplace. But has the whole private label ethos now had its day?

Private labeling has long been seen as the golden child of business models for Amazon sellers. It allows you to create your own brand and a unique listing, then use some simple marketing methods to push it to success.

For a long time private labelers have had an open playing field to take advantage of the Amazon marketplace. However, a number of changes and challenges are making it increasingly difficult to prosper.

Competition is higher than ever, the market is oversaturated in many product categories, and it is becoming harder than ever to find new products. This has forced prices down and caused profit margins to shrink. Dirty tricks from some sellers are rampant and, overall, the marketplace today is far more aggressive and hostile than it once was.

In this article we discuss the changes which have most affected the Amazon private label business model. So much has changed, is it still possible to succeed as a private label seller?

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Get Ready to Sell Your Ecommerce Business in Just Six Months

Greg Elfrink lays out the blueprint for creating a streamlined business that will sell for the maximum price in the minimum time

This post is by Greg Elfrink, Content Manager at Empire Flippers, a broker specializing in online businesses. Empire Flippers has sold dozens of FBA businesses, and earlier this year completed its largest ever sale: a $1.7 million Amazon FBA business.

It can be an intense, stressful but rewarding process building up your ecommerce store to a level of profitability. However, the reward shouldn’t be focused on the profit you earn every month, as there is a much bigger reward waiting for you: your ecommerce store’s exit plan.

In other words, you could take all of the sweat equity you put into your business and sell it for a large lump sum of money. That capital can be leveraged into all kinds of new projects. You could choose to invest in new ecommerce businesses, buy physical real estate or even pay off debts.

But selling a business takes preparation. Buyers are looking for well-run, streamlined, predictable businesses. If yours is profitable, but chaotic, then it’s going to be much harder to sell.

In this article, you are going to learn exactly how to build your business so it can be sold quickly and at the best price possible. We are going to cover what you need set up right away, how your business should look six months out from being sold, and the final tweaks you need to make in the three months before you sell it.

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Marketplaces Are Horrible, So Why Do We Sell On Them?

Every day marketplace sellers deal with returns abuse, unfair metrics, rude buyers and declining sales. Why do they put up with it?

Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

We have been selling smartphones, tablets and accessories on our website, eBay and Amazon for almost 3 years now. Our sales were very good last year but now they have almost halved. We are also opening our first outlet store in about a week’s time.

Let’s begin with eBay, where some buyers abuse loopholes in the money back guarantee to return damaged items which were delivered in full working order.

Now we come to Amazon which is an even bigger problem. We have four main issues:

  1. Other sellers on our listings keep changing the product details, meaning that the listing no longer matches our product. We only find out when buyers complain.
  2. Buyers are allowed to open A-Z claims up to 90 days after purchasing an item, but can also do it after 6 months and get a full refund!
  3. Amazon penalizes small sellers for a few invalid returns, negative feedback and A-Z claims when there are hundreds of other orders without any problem.
  4. Unlike eBay, buyers do not bother to leave feedback. The only time they will leave feedback is when they are angry.

What can we do to tackle the issues mentioned above and increase our sales on eBay and Amazon?

– Salma G., Surrey

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How to Buy and Sell Websites Like a Professional Flipper

Finding, fixing and “flipping” web-based businesses can be a profitable strategy, says Victoria Duff. Here’s how the professionals do it.

This post is by Victoria Duff, a web business mergers and acquisitions broker with WebPropertyInvestor.com. Victoria works with both institutional and individual buyers and sellers of established and profitable online businesses, including ecommerce, SaaS providers and blogs.

My job, brokering web-businesses at WebPropertyInvestor.com, means I work with a lot of website flippers. I sell them small web businesses and I broker the sale of their completed projects – hopefully, large and profitable ones.

I see a fairly even split between the number of professional flippers looking for their next projects and the inexperienced wannabes who have been lured by tales of huge profits. The number of wannabe website flippers grows yearly. Most have no practical experience in flipping of any kind and need some detailed advice – which is why I am writing this article.

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