Multichannel selling – beyond the a to z of Amazon

There is one thing sure in business – more sales is always a good thing. OK, that might make life a bit stressful and maybe it puts your supply chain under a bit of pressure, but more sales is what everyone is chasing.

We’ve found that almost all retailers who come to us are looking for more in the way of sales, and more in the way of profit. For many the answer is simple enough – extend your reach beyond the markets that you are already selling on. Many retailers start of on Amazon.co.uk – the relatively simple process of listing because of the underlying catalogue, means that it is a sensible first step.

So where after Amazon.co.uk? Well first port of call is the other Amazons. USA, Canada, Germany etc are all easy enough options, and again, because of the underlying catalogue, you don’t have as much work as you would otherwise. There are 8 Amazons that third party sellers can sell on – USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Japan. Only the Japan Amazon can be problematic – and only then because you’ll need a Japanese bank account to keep the locals happy. A look at where online shopping is well established indicates, that beyond the UK, Germany and the USA are favourite. But the other Amazons are so easy to list on that the question has to be why not? Any incremental review must be a good idea. And with online shopping growing at around 16% on average it’s clear that a small market today will be a big market tomorrow.

Beyond the various Amazons there is also the three dozen or so ebay sites. ebay requires a bit more work because it does not have a catologue system (well not a terribly comprehensive one). That means your listings need to be translated at least at the title level to increase your chances of sales. But with so many ebays and so many ebayers it makes sense to get on ebay. Starting of on ebay.co.uk or ebay.com makes sense of course if you are english speaking. Beyond that, simply pick you territory and roll things out.

ebay listing quality is all important.The interesting thing about ebay is that its the quality of your listing that makes the difference – not the price, unlike Amazon. So it’s a place where extra effort can mean extra sales.

And the markets doon’t stop at Amazon and ebay. Seller Dynamics also lists and manages your Play and fnac listings. Another two key markets that have a catalogie system to ensure the amount of work needing done by the retailer is minimised.

Go beyond the a to z. Reprice on Amazon, ebay, Play and fnac.We’ve covered all the bases for repricing – our repricer is an Amazon Repricer, ebay Repricer, Play Repricer and fnac Repricer all roped into one easy to use system to reduce workload while maximising sales opportunities. So if your looking to sell beyond the “a to z” world look at the other markets that are out there and look at Seller Dynamics to make it a reality.

Managing stock on ebay – easy peasy

“Be careful what you wish for” – a wise man once said to me. Or have I got myself confused with the story of Aladdin and the Genie? But yeah – be careful what you wish for. In the world of marketplaces where Seller Dynamics lives we sometimes see that retailer’s wishes can go wrong.

We all want to sell more, sell more profitably and then buy the yacht, Aston Martin, local football team (delete as appropriate). But for some retailers who have started to enjoy increased sales, things can very suddenly go wrong.

Stock control is simple – isn’t it. Buy some stuff, sell it, reorder it. Easy as lemon squeezy (why is lemon squeezy easy peasy?).
Stock Control is as easy as lemon squeezy.
Except for online retailers it’s a little bit more awkward than that. With stock being offered in multiple locations – ebay, amazon, play, fnac for instance – if you don’t have the correct stock control systems in place it’s easy to get out of control.

Unified Stock Management is what we call it at Seller Dynamics – admittedly a bit of a mouthful – but I guess it says it well enough.

For bulk listing on ebay it’s not just enough to find a tool that can list your stuff – it has to be a system that can adjust your stock levels as you sell – wherever you sell. Retailers who have ended up overselling know exactly what I mean – it’s a painful situation to recover from. And then there is the added difficultly of fulfilment – some of your stock is in hand, some at a fulfilment centre and some only held virtually (ie with a distributor).

Ebay listing tools come in various shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to consider if they can really make your wishes come true. Some listing tools simply re-enforce the saying – “be careful what you wish for”.
Be careful what you wish for.
For us it was never just enough to simply list stuff on ebay – so we also manage stock, descriptions, orders and prices. And we do that across all the ebays – as well as Amazon, Play and fnac. To help describe that, we refer to ourselves as multiple marketplace management providers. Now that I’ve said all that…. Go ahead and make your wish.

Regular “60 seconds” of no nonsense online sales advice

At Seller Dynamics we thought it was a good idea to start releasing “How To” articles to explain things that an online retailer really ought to know about. Not just about what we do – but the other stuff that is important to help online sales.

But we are all time pressed – and retailers more than most. So we needed a quick way to pass on the stuff we thought was important.

We looked around and realised that an awful lot of retail consultants are taking an awful long time to explain one thing. We’ve seen videos on YouTube that take 15 minutes to tell you one thing – and to tell you that one thing badly – it can be a couple of minutes before they stop telling you who they are and why they are the most wonderful person/business/expert in the world. We didn’t like that, so we set ourself a challenge….

“For every topic that we think is worth giving the heads up on we would limit the explanation to just 60 seconds and avoid all the BS (boring stuff).”

Thats just enough time to say why the info is important and give two or three quick pointers. If folks want to know more then we’ll give them enough info to let them explore elsewhere on the web. And if we’re not telling the viewer anything new – then we’ve not wasted 15 minutes of their time.

60 fast seconds on as many things as we think might be useful such as the returns policy or the Amazon Buy Box. Here is the “How To” playlist…

Canny Media – now that’s a reet great name for a business

Occasionally you come across a cracker of a name for a business and at Seller Dynamics we’ve found one! Latest clients Canny Media!

Now at first the name only appealed to our Geordie Account manager (H’way the Lads)- in fact we deliberately tricked him into saying Canny Media at the Monday Sales Meetings without him noticing that we were playing Canny Media bingo. The record was 21 mentions in 75 minutes. I’m sure Paul must have wondered why we started to snigger at 10. Richard won the fiver prize for getting the closest guess with 23.

But as the team got to know the business the name became much more that just a reet good laugh.

Canny Media are a media on demand business. They do magic when you order stuff from them (and now because of the magic that Seller Dynamics does they do it on Play.com as well).

Heres what their web site says…

“Content is digitised and stored on company servers. No physical Inventory is held.
Customer orders are received via a large number of internet retailers including Canny Store, Amazon.co.uk, all Amazon Market Place sites and many others (now inc Play.com Ed….). So distribution channels are wide open and sales maximised.

Upon receipt of order, Canny systems automatically manufacture the disc, print the sleeve / jacket, and generates a dispatch note. This happens completely automatically 24/7/365.”

Now if that isn’t a canny thing to do then I’ll go to the foot of our stairs (and other up north sayings).

ps in researching this in depth blog post we’d like to thank http://www.geordie.org.uk for the English to Geordie translator. I’m sure we’ll be able to use it a lot more when we can’t understand Paul. 🙂

Our full article on Canny Media joining Play.com with Seller Dynamics.

London Calling – Seller Dynamics prepare to head south for the Tamebay E-commerce Football Tournament

While the 25th of May sees the Champions League Final coming to Wembley, the real match of the day will take place three days later on the 28th when Seller Dynamics head to London to participate in the Tamebay E-commerce Cup 5-a-side football tournament. As London prepares to welcome stars such as Lewandowski, Schweinsteiger, and Gotze for UEFA’s showpiece event, up in Stirling we believe this event to simply be a warm up for the football event that REALLY matters.

Another Scottish invasion of Wembley

Another Scottish invasion of Wembley

A selection of our office’s finest “athletes” will head south to a venue in the shadowed by Wembley Stadium and do battle with five opponents in Group D with the aim of securing a top two position to qualify for the knockout rounds. As Scotland’s only representative we can only hope to have the same success as the last Scottish team to play at Wembley back in 1999, although we promise not to break the crossbar like our compatriots of yesteryear!

Each group game will just last five minutes so the guys will have to be quick out the blocks if there’s any chance of us coming home with the trophy. Our Monday night football sessions will hopefully get us into some sort of shape and in no time at all it will be match day. Despite all the fighting talk and Fergie-style “mind games”, we’ll be going down to have a good time and to enjoy meeting other people working in e-commerce. You can follow the tournament build up and post-match analysis on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so get supporting our marketplace management experts turned football stars.

Group D 

Inspired by West Germany of 1990 or Derby County?

Our kit. Inspired by West Germany of 1990 or Derby County?

Metapack
Brightpearl
RAZsor
SELLER DYNAMICS
Just Giving
Ford

 

HMV – The day the music died

Music and entertainment retailer HMV has been plunged into administration after racking up debts of £176.1 million, making it yet another high street casualty to yield to the current economic climate. The grim news will have a profound impact on the 4,350 individuals employed by the company and for music fans around the UK who are bracing themselves for the loss of yet another iconic music outlet.

As Deloitte prepare to conduct the administration process, analysts are already questioning the impact that e-commerce has had on this high-street giant and how the change in the consumption of music has affected not only HMV but all retailers in this particular sector. Despite having an online store in addition to the 239 stores that HMV operate in the UK, the surge in digital music and video content sold mainly through Apple iTunes has been cited as the main reason for HMV’s gradual decline over the years. The company have already been downsizing for some time after selling its live entertainment arm and Waterstones book store. However, competing with digital downloads, online marketplaces and supermarkets selling the same goods at loss leader prices has proved to be too much with consumers now offered cheaper and easier ways of shopping for entertainment. No longer accepting gift vouchers from customers, (buyers can claim the money back from debit/credit card issuer using chargeback) Deloitte have stated their intention to keep all the HMV outlets open while seeking potential buyers

Famed for its association with the music industry, HMV is also renowned for being a DVD retailer although this area of the business has also come under threat from these same competitors not to mention the emergence of on demand broadcasting services. Lovefilm, Netflix, and Sky On Demand again offer consumers an instant product at a cheaper price than a hard copy, and once more undercuts HMV’s business model by giving consumers instant purchases at lower rates.

The face of entertainment consumption has changed and while this may be for the better in terms of technology, price and instant availability of music and films, it has come at a cost in terms of jobs and the layout of high streets and shopping centres. Whether this is the beginning of the end for large entertainment stores is yet to be seen although it is yet another indication of the importance of incorporating digital and e-commerce in a modern retail business plan.

Amazon look to build link with Scotch distilleries

In the latest move to increase its range of marketplace offerings, Amazon.co.uk has announced plans to approach Scottish whisky distillers with the aim of selling their malts on the Amazon Grocery marketplace. Scotland Food & Drink is hosting an event on the 31st of January which will enable whisky bosses to meet directly with the Amazon Grocery team in order to discuss plans that could see premium whiskies and spirits being sold on the UK’s number one online marketplace.

Amazon’s decision to develop its spirits and whisky offers is one that will surely be looked upon with great interest in the whisky industry, although it has also raised a few eyebrows among the Seller Dynamics team after we very recently experienced for ourselves the impact of selling whisky on Amazon

We launched Ealain Gallery’s Amazon store at the end of November and since then we have been delighted to witness a huge surge in online sales as a result of this. After selling primarily to an audience of locals and tourists through their company website and store located on the banks of Loch Lomond, Ealain Gallery are now reaping the rewards of selling to an audience of millions of whisky enthusiasts around the globe.

However, selling on Amazon does not simply guarantee success. There is the chance that some high-end brands may feel that trading on Amazon dilutes the exclusivity of their product. There must be a strategic fit between the aims of a trader, the product they are selling, and the marketplace they are selling on, although an opportunity to sell a popular brand of malt whisky on a marketplace the size of Amazon.co.uk cannot be ignored.

“Amazon.co.uk is looking for a broad range of whisky and spirits to strengthen their current range, but is particularly interested in meeting distillers who are able to offer high-end products including premium spirits and malt whisky.” – Amazon spokesperson

Whisky companies have until the 18th of January to register their interest to Scotland Food & Drink before attending the Buying Briefing on the 31st of January where Amazon will conduct one-on-one meetings with representatives from the whisky industry. We will continue to follow this story with great interest and I’m sure this will not be the last blog entry you will read about it.