The key to success on Amazon’s Marketplace is simple: you need to win the Buy Box.
But there’s only space for one seller in the Buy Box. And that’s decided by a complex algorithm, running constantly behind the scenes. All the other sellers competing on that particular product are much less obvious to the buyer.
There are many factors used in the Buy Box algorithm, but one is crucial: price. Not only does price have the strongest weighting, but it’s also the only Buy Box factor that sellers can change easily and immediately.
So finding the right price to win the Buy Box, without going lower than necessary, is absolutely vital to a successful business. That’s where automated repricing software comes in. Repricers have been around for a while, but in the last few years the industry has exploded. There are now dozens of repricing tools and, for many of them, it’s hard to see how they’re different to the rest.
But one that has always stood out to me, since their launch in 2011, is Feedvisor. This company has always gone against the grain. While other repricers tout the benefits of dozens of configuration options, Feedvisor boasts that it has none at all. Other repricers compete with low subscription fees, but with Feedvisor the fees start high and add on a percentage of sales.
Yet Feedvisor is successful, growing 200% in just the last year. The company now has almost 1,000 customers, who sell a total of $1 billion of products through the Amazon marketplace. On their behalf, Feedvisor makes 75 million pricing decisions daily. And their reputation is outstanding, with a five-star average rating in the Web Retailer directory.
Online sellers who ship orders internationally have several challenges: translation, delivery, taxes and returns often top the list.
But what about the fundamental issue of receiving the income from sales they’ve made? For many marketplace sellers, just getting their money back home is not a problem: Amazon and eBay (through PayPal) will send funds to a bank account in your own country, conveniently converting currencies along the way.
So why would sellers use a third-party company like World First to handle their foreign exchange needs? What do they have to gain from doing that?
World First, a fast-growing company with its headquarters in the UK, has won numerous awards and established an outstanding record of customer feedback here on Web Retailer. In the apparently simple business of changing money from one currency to another, what could it be that sets them apart?
To find out, I spoke with World First’s Chief Commercial Officer Alex Sullivan. We talked in-depth about the company and their services for online retailers.
Two things surprise me about xSellco.
First, their Chairman is a hugely successful Irish technology entrepreneur – Ray Nolan. His many ventures include the world’s top hostel-booking site Hostelworld.com, and flight comparison tool Skyscanner. But that’s not what surprised me. What’s unusual is that Nolan isn’t just a passive investor in xSellco, he’s the company’s founder, and has been hands-on in shaping their software for online sellers.
Second, xSellco acquired competing company ReplyManager earlier this year. Acquisitions aren’t exactly rare in this industry, but this case was unusual again: ReplyManager was the only direct competitor to xSellco’s Helpdesk, and the company will continue to provide both tools indefinitely.
So I caught up with Nolan and new xSellco CEO Victor Corcoran to talk about why the company was founded, what makes their tools different, and their plans for the future.
Ecommerce is driven by technology, but there’s still a lot of work that people have to do.
Someone has to write descriptions, take photos, create listings, dispatch orders, support customers, do bookkeeping, marketing and more. There’s no way to completely avoid these time-consuming, repetitive tasks. So what can you do to lessen the pain of that work?
Today outsourcing is the first choice for many businesses, from part-time sellers who still have day-jobs to the very largest enterprises.
I spoke recently with Carlo Silva, co-founder of outsourcing company 2nd Office. Carlo’s company is uniquely focused on ecommerce, particularly selling through online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Rakuten and others. That knowledge and experience is not easy to come by.
Not only that, 2nd Office has a great reputation. You can read reviews of 2nd Office in the Web Retailer directory.
I asked Carlo how he got into ecommerce, why he started an outsourcing company (and how sellers can outsource successfully), and what he sees as the next big trend in ecommerce.
Seller Labs are the company behind Feedback Genius, one of the highest rated products in our Feedback Tools category.
Despite the name, Feedback Genius does a lot more than help Amazon sellers build positive feedback. It’s actually an all-round email automation tool that can send messages to buyers when an item is ordered, dispatched or even received.
Seller Labs have two more innovative tools for Amazon sellers: Scope and Snagshout. Scope is an Amazon research tool, currently being redeveloped, and Snagshout helps sellers get sales and product reviews. All together they make an impressive line-up, particularly for a company that’s only two years old.
I caught up with Paul Johnson, the co-founder of Seller Labs, to ask how the business got started, what’s the story behind each of their tools, and what they’re working on right now.
* Scope and Snagshout are only compatible with Amazon.com, and will only appear in our listings for readers in the US. Feedback Genius has support for the UK, US and EU Amazon marketplaces.