Artists and Amazon: How E-Commerce Demands Customer Loyalty

Artists and Amazon: How E-Commerce Demands Customer Loyalty

In early October, Amazon launched a marketplace for handmade goods. This market has so far been dominated by Etsy, a platform for artists and handlers of vintage items to exchange their products. An Amazon press release announced Handmade at Amazon as, “a new store featuring genuinely handmade items crafted and sold directly from artisans.” Etsy’s handicrafts marketplace has grown to $2 billion a year in sales since 2005. In light of their success, Amazon has been waiting for the right time to release their own similar product. Now that Etsy stock is down 43% with a net loss of 84 cents per share, Amazon strategized the release of Handmade this October to appeal to dedicated online artisans and new ones. Amazon is considered to be the king of e-commerce with $75 billion in annual sales with third-party sellers from around the world. Peter Faricy, the Amazon vice president is overseeing Handmade. He is confident about the integrity of the site and its future, telling the New York Times, “You can think of it as a factory-free zone, a mass-produced-free zone.” Amazon seems to be taking some notes from Etsy. The ten-year old company has quite a passionate following, with 1.5 million active sellers and 22.6 buyers engaging in their success. Etsy’s relationship to its audience of forward-thinking, kitsch-inclined individuals contributes to a sort of integrity throughout the brand. Etsy users fear that Amazon will treat sellers unfairly and misrepresent the source of the products. Amazon Handmade has invited Etsy sellers to the site with a special first look. Products are available in four distinct categories: home products, stationery, party...
Cultivating Longevity from Social Influence in E-Commerce

Cultivating Longevity from Social Influence in E-Commerce

Many people dive into e-commerce world because it is convenient and easy, as long as you know how to navigate your way on the computer. But there are some helpful strategies to keep in mind. You have to stay organized, follow a plan, and stay educated on the best social commerce techniques.   Social media moves communities, and it also moves wallets.  People are influenced by the products they see being purchased by friends, so through the power of Google, they can now found anything they’d like to buy on the internet.  Social media can fuel eCommerce revenue.  That being said, the general social structure of communication and commerce has not changed drastically because of social media. Shoppers still want to feel connected to their sellers as if they could walk down the street in their hometown and browse their shelves.   Before you think of your business as an online business, imagine how you would manage the organization before the dawn of the internet. Business strategy has existed for hundreds of years without the recent influx of social marketing influence. In theory, digital social marketing is just reflection of the success of organic (non-digital) social relationships.   Your online business plan is going to require online marketing.This is obvious. But as Lawson emphasizes, online marketing often overlooks its customers in exchange for trending techniques and shortcuts. The best online business plans integrate their mission throughout thoughtful social interactions on Facebook, Google+, and Youtube.   Before you hit the ground running with your company, think about how you would explain your product. How would you engage with your products,...
Selling on Amazon: Professional vs. Individual Sellers

Selling on Amazon: Professional vs. Individual Sellers

Congratulations!  You’re ready to sell on Amazon. When you first get started, you may feel overwhelmed with some of the logistics. Luckily, Amazon provides a wealth of resources to guide you through the selling and shipping process; Seller Central.  All of the information you need is available on  Sellercentral.amazon.com. Once you are registered, you must specify what type of seller you will be: a Professional seller or an Individual seller. There are some clear perks if you decide to start out with a Professional account. Professional sellers tend to list a large quantity of products and ship frequently while Individual sellers only have a handful of products and may not be active for long term. A good example of an individual seller would be a person who found some unopened DVDs they received as a gift a few years ago, and figured there may be some collectors searching for them online.  Or, think of a college graduate trying to liquidate their excessive textbook collection when moving into their new small apartment.   Here are five critical differences between selecting a Professional Seller and an Individual Seller account: Monthly fee: Professional sellers pay a $39.99 monthly fee for their accounts to stay active; Individual sellers don’t have to pay a hosting fee. Shipping rates: Professional sellers set their own shipping rates. Listing fees: An Individual Seller avoids the monthly fee but must pay a per-item $0.99 fee on each sale in additional to the usual Amazon referral fees. The Professional account does not charge this fee.  This is something to keep in mind if you plant to list over forty items. Listing...
EBay Announces More Leniency Towards Seller Ratings

EBay Announces More Leniency Towards Seller Ratings

As the Prosper Show nears its colossal February 8-9, 2016 event, experts have already begun revealing third-party seller news, stories and tips, one being Hendrik Laubscher, an ecommerce wunderkind and Development Strategist at PriceCheck. Laubscher will also be one of the parties providing Amazon sellers business-focused e-commerce industry news at the show. One piece of good news that has been circulating the industry is that EBay is planning to give friendlier nods to sellers through seller ratings. Announced at EBay’s “Seller Summit” in San Jose, California, the news would mean that retailers selling for EBay will stop being penalized in ratings for returns, exchanges and late shipments (that beyond their control). Starting on February 20th, more control will be given to sellers according to current President & CEO Devin Wenig — who may be trying to win some nods and good ratings himself since coming on at EBay. Wenig, who took over as CEO from John Donahoe in July, said the changes reflect his new intention for EBay, which celebrated its 20th birthday earlier this month. Since taking over, Wenig has intended to increase EBay’s image as a people-centered tech company, as opposed to companies that work with drones, a possible reference to Amazon’s experiment with the machines. Amazon, EBay’s competitor is currently No. 1 Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide. With this move, Wenig may be attempting to inch EBay’s way up towards the competition. Addressing the rapt crowd who undoubtedly had complaints about the former stringent rating system, Wenig promised to offer consumers and sellers a uniquely human experience. “Our experiences have got to be simple, engaging...
10 Pitfalls Of Building A Private Product Label On Amazon

10 Pitfalls Of Building A Private Product Label On Amazon

Customer demand, no competition, large margins. Every seller strives for those things, but with the positive comes the work, and the work includes getting to know what you should do and most importantly, what you should not do. While building your own private label brand has appeal for lots of reasons, DIY product label-building may not be the best course of action. The private label product business can be steeped with risk. An effective system to use while building a private label product business should include: product evaluation, proper legal vetting, identification to the right manufacturer partners overseas, small minimum order quantities (MOQ) on a wide range of products and all the hard work necessary to get your products launched on Amazon. If you are committed to the investments of time and money needed to be successful in the private label product space, that determination will lead you halfway there. But take note: the most important piece of advice a new seller should head is to always stay informed. It will increase your chances for successfully creating a private label business properly and lucratively. Trademark & Patent Infringement Sometimes, sellers will ‘borrow’ too heavily on products coming dangerously close to violating someone else’s trademark or patent. Maybe you consider your product friendly or innocent competition? Regardless of the intention, if you are borrowing another’s private label product too closely, you could get hit with a huge legal bill when the product grows in sales and gets some notice. The legal teams of the infringed brand and Amazon are best left as far from your operation as possible. Important Delays...
3 Tips & Tactics In Business Accounting Reports for Amazon Sellers

3 Tips & Tactics In Business Accounting Reports for Amazon Sellers

As a proviso to this article, Amazon Sellers have found success in employing these tips and tactics for straightforward business accounting reports, but this should not be taken as advice on specific accounting practices. You should already be well-versed in Amazon accounting information. For definitive tax, accounting and legal advice, please engage the services of a CPA or Tax Attorney to provide you with the most efficient information on business accounting reports protocol. With that said, there are three main business accounting reports that sellers have used which take about an hour each to generate. They remain crucial for efficiently generating accurate bookkeeping records, and are useful for management purposes. Payment Reports Of the three main reports, this one is the most straightforward and easy to navigate. To open the Payments report in Seller Central, click Reports and then click Payments, then from the Payments report you can view: Recent balances, orders and refunds information Orders and transactions with all associated credits, adjustments and fees (View) and export a report with total transactions from the last period To provide customer service, investigate past orders or refund customers, use the Manage Orders page. All Payment Transaction Detail pages provide a link to the Orders Details page for easy navigation between the two features. Bottom line: These reports either summarize or breakdown the sales you made, fees you incurred, and the money Amazon paid you. Inventory Reports If you use your own accounting software instead of the rough data provided by Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), consider that the inventory data in your books may not take into account what is inbound...