Relaxed Toy shopping online with Kerrison Toys and Seller Dynamics

Shopping online for toys is a revelation – if you’re looking for a present for the kids or for a niece or nephew it makes the whole thing so much more relaxing. One of the problems I have on the high street is not really knowing if I’m buying something they would like or in the case of buying for a nephew or niece whether they already have it or not.

But online that issue goes away – you’re only a quick PM or DM away from an answer. So no more toys that miss the mark or which the parents wish you had asked about first.

So we’re always glad in the Seller Dynamics team when we sign up an online toy retailer – and it always gives us an excuse to browse through the latest Lego Technic construction sets or check out the latest Scaletrix cars. So we were chuffed to bits when Kerrison Toys came aboard to sell Toys using Seller Dynamics – cool.

The UK Toy industry might surprise you – it’s not as seasonal as you might think. Our love of toys at Seller Dynamics is shared by the Great British public all year round. Theres a great set of statistics here on the Toy World site – December accounts for 23% of Toy sales – not as high as you might have first thought. But that said almost a quarter of your business in one month means you have to be stocked up and ready to man the sleighs.

Anyway must dash I’m off to buy a Train Set for errmm…. me?

Our full post on Kerrsion Toys joining Seller Dynamics here.

A festive treat for online retailers as e-commerce records are broken over Christmas

The UK e-commerce industry is celebrating its most successful Christmas ever after millions flocked to online to take advantage of the numerous great savings on offer over the festive period. Boxing Day proved to be the busiest day EVER for UK e-commerce with a record 113 million visits to online retail sites. What made this stat all the more incredible was that the Boxing Day surge followed two huge online shopping days with e-retailers receiving 84 million visits on Christmas Eve and 107 million visits on Christmas Day respectively!

From a Seller Dynamics perspective, this can only be seen as good news. With more and more consumers partaking in internet shopping, this changing behaviour indicates that more and more organisations will look to make a stronger presence in the e-commerce market. This is where we can help out by placing merchants on multiple marketplaces and reducing their workload through our automated dynamic pricing and stock features. By the time that Christmas comes again business owners can have the best of both worlds by closing their high street stores in order to spend time with their loved ones yet not miss out on any sales opportunities by selling online to millions of bargain hunters.

Looking for bargains over Christmas has become something of a cultural norm and again online sales over this time increased heavily on the previous year the following stats indicate:

Christmas Eve online visits: +86%

Christmas Day online visits: +71%

Boxing Day online visits: +17%

What can be assessed from this figure is that while Boxing Day has traditionally been regarded as a big shopping day, e-commerce has changed purchasing habits on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; traditionally dates when most businesses would close. E-commerce has enabled retailers to start their “Boxing Day Sales” earlier than in the years of only brick & mortar shopping. The window of opportunity for bargain hunters has grown significantly and it’s no secret that the internet has changed Christmas. While Christmas is seen as a time for family and friends to be together, the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet devices present more opportunity for people to shop on Christmas Day. Ironically enough, these devices are the very things that proved to be the best selling items over the holidays, which suggests that we will see an even greater surge in online shoppers over the coming 12 months. John Lewis almost proved to be as popular as St Nicholas this Christmas after its impressive e-commerce strategy contributed to sales growing by 44% over a five week period. Seller Dynamics’ partner Amazon was able to boast about receiving the most visitors on Christmas Day with eBay –another partner of Seller Dynamics- coming a close second. Big businesses weren’t the only winners as Amazon Marketplace traders saw holiday sales on a whole rise by a whopping 40%!

From everyone at Seller Dynamics, we hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year and if you haven’t already listed your business on an online marketplace, please get in touch and we’ll make sure that you’re fully prepared to reap the rewards of the online shopping rush next Christmas!

Free Shipping Day

While there may not be the same fuss and media as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day in its own right is a day where online shoppers can make savings by purchasing goods online without having to pay any shipping costs. Created by Luke and Maisie Knowles in 2008, Free Shipping Day was made as a one-off annual event to give consumers an extra incentive to buy online with just over a week till Christmas. For merchants this was an opportunity to extend the online holiday spending boom by giving consumers a reason to purchase online without having to compete with competitors selling at knockdown rates like what occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Give consumers what they want in a timely, convenient and affordable fashion” 

The concept was originally created when Luke Knowles was trying to solve the issue of making the online Christmas spending sum peak beyond the dates of December 10-12. Targeting Christmas shopping procrastinators and last-minute present hunters the idea was born and Knowles swiftly put his plan into action. After creating the website www.freeshippingday.com and distributing a press release which described the idea, 13 days later 250 merchants had signed up to free shipping day and December 18th 2008 was the birth of a day which has consistently grown in popularity. This year sees 1,687 merchants take part in Free Shipping Day including Walmart, Toys ‘R’ Us, Adidas and Lacoste. Somewhat surprisingly, the US market in 2011 saw more money spent on Free Shipping Day than on Black Friday. Online retailers will be hoping to see a similar spike in online spend today and make sure that they see out the Christmas shopping season in a flurry before it’s all over for 2012.

Data provided by ComScore

Data provided by ComScore

UK e-commerce sales set to reach record figures as Mega Monday gets underway

After the American population embarked in a flurry of online spending over last weekend’s Thanksgiving holiday, today is the UK’s turn to experience a mammoth day of internet shopping.  Dubbed “Mega Monday,” Monday December 3rd is expected to be the busiest UK online shopping day in history with online retailers expecting to generate a huge £465 million in revenue.

As a result of online retail giants such as Seller Dynamics’ partners Amazon and eBay offering one-off sales to attract shoppers, another e-commerce record will be again smashed as the industry continues to grow in Britain. With 115 million visits to retail websites expected on Mega Monday, this would mean there would be a staggering 36% increase in online consumers from the corresponding day last year.  The year-on-year increase in internet shopping in the UK suggests that e-commerce is fast becoming a cultural norm for British consumers and offers a faster and cheaper way to complete Christmas shopping. A higher proportion of the population living with broadband internet, improved internet speed, and the increase of smartphones and tablet devices being used by consumers are all important factors to why online shopping has become so popular with a UK audience and why days like Mega Monday have been born into existence.

However, one man’s loss is another man’s gain and while online retailers are preparing themselves for a December where £5bn will be spent online, high street spending has been suffering in the run-up to Christmas with sales to date down 0.2% on last year. With retail giants such as Comet and JJB Sports recently going into liquidation, online retailers are more likely to take a greater share of the Christmas market. Amazon – who have incidentally chosen Mega Monday to launch their new fashion store – have prepared for what could be the busiest day in the history of Amazon.co.uk by hiring an additional 10,000 seasonal employees in order to cope with the surge in demand which will see UK online marketplaces operate on a scale that has never before been witnessed.

Whisky on Amazon? I’ll drink to that!

Seller Dynamics is delighted to announce that our newest client Ealain Gallery has launched their very own online store on Amazon. The upmarket whisky specialist is located next to the spectacular surroundings of Loch Lomond and offers customers a wide range of fine Scotch whisky. While the winter weather in Scotland may affect the stream of visitors to the remote Loch Lomond area, Ealain Gallery’s Amazon outlet is the perfect way for whisky lovers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their own armchair.

High quality Scotch whisky is a popular gift in Scotland and beyond so having their online store fully operational in time for Christmas is an added bonus. As our previous blog posts have noted, this time of year sees a huge spike in internet shopping with many consumers looking to buy gifts quickly and without the strains of fighting through heavy crowds. We were thrilled to hear that after just a few days of being listed on Amazon, Ealain Gallery was receiving numerous online orders and had even found themselves short of packing tape due to the high demand for their whisky! We hope that they will continue to enjoy the benefits of their new online store for a long time to come and can capitalise on a forecasted UK e-commerce spend of £13.4bn over the festive season.

In the case of Ealain Gallery, Seller Dynamics assisted in ensuring that our client had met every requirement for selling alcohol online before creating their listing on Amazon. Our marketplace management software however is not industry specific and it can be used by any retail business regardless of what field they specialise in. In addition to Amazon, Seller Dynamics is able to provide client listings in multiple marketplaces such as eBay, Play.com, and French retail giant Fnac. As the global e-commerce market continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, Seller Dynamics aims to play a key role in assisting numerous retailers develop their online offerings on the biggest marketplaces in the hope that they will be able to boost their sales figures and reach a wider audience than they could ever imagine.