Posted by & filed under Content Strategy, ecommerce.

E-commerce Problems and SolutionsLike any business, e-commerce has its share of trials and tribulations, especially when it comes to content. For an online shopper, product descriptions must paint a picture and make up for the inability to touch feel the product – this makes content paramount. Obviously, when it comes to e-commerce, it’s content that impacts sales, drives traffic and creates brand loyalty.

So, while good content will give you a boost, bad content can jeopardize your online retail business. But what makes e-commerce content such a troublemaker? Here is a look:

Content is Exhaustive and Expensive to Create

Among the various issues in e-commerce, content is number one. Why you ask? Because content isn’t free and is writing that needs to be fresh, contextual and unique. It also needs to reflect the brand’s ideology and be accessible to search engine crawlers. This is why an effective content strategy needs writers, editors, keyword researchers, and quality analysts. This can be an expensive proposition, for example hiring a content writer can cost you from $400 up to even $20,000.

Content Needs Constant Refreshes and is Recurring in Nature

So you got your e-commerce content strategy ready, and you think that’s enough? Sorry but it’s not. Content is recurring in nature. It needs to be constantly tweaked and refreshed to stay up to date. You can’t just write a piece and forget about it. This means that you need someone to perform regular overview and research. This can be done by the internal staff, or you may need to hire a freelancer. For all these reasons content can’t be a one-time investment, it has to be constantly reviewed and edited.

Content has the Power to Ward the Customer Off

According to stats, 30-percent of consumers abandon the shopping cart due to poor product descriptions; 40-percent of consumers return due to poor content quality, and around 87-percent lose brand trust due to inaccurate information. This means that quality and veracity of content are key areas in e-commerce content marketing. While it’s obvious that the retailer would want to provide correct information about the product, sometimes even the best product content management, due to various management layers, can have a mix up that undermines the consistency and integrity of the data. This creates havoc that is unpredictable and something that is easy to resolve.

Content has to Change with Changing Communication Needs

With the ever-changing environment, the need for change in content strategy is vital. You might have 10 products to sell today, but tomorrow you may increase to 15. You may even feel the need to change your brand voice. These are some cases that require a change in content. This involves research and content writing that is niche writing and time-consuming. This means money and time.

As you can see, content is an important marketing tool. This is true for both retaining loyalty of existing customers and attracting new customers. While some e-commerce companies use existing staff, others onboard contractual or freelance writers. This is a tricky business and needs effort and money. Content is a problem for both big players and small retailers alike. While the former has to struggle with the volume of content regarding inventory and time, small players get crushed with the weight of time and budget. However, with training, readable URLs, unique headlines and careful research, content can be created in a structured manner and with fewer chances of duplication.

Posted by & filed under Business & Entrepreneurship, ecommerce, Marketplaces.

Reduce Paypal FeesThe fee structure for sellers at eBay continues to remain one of the top complaints. The following article includes some ways that can be easily implemented to lower these costs, thereby improving the profitability of the business.

1. PayPal Merchant Discount

Those who sell a high volume on eBay are most likely to get some merchant discount on PayPal fees. To see if you qualify for this, log onto your PayPal account and apply. You can do this from the PayPal’s fees page. Merchant discounts typically offer savings of up to 2 percent on every transaction.

If you are processing quite a good amount, as much as $3,000 or $5,000 per month via PayPal, you can reduce the Paypal fees against your account considerably. PayPal merchant rates, however, vary between countries

To Apply for Merchant Rates with Paypal

  1. Login to your PayPal account
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Click on Merchant fees
  4. Click the Apply button

2. Reclaim Non-Paying Bidder Fees

If a buyer does not make the payment for any item he or she has ordered, the seller can claim back the eBay final value fee for that item via eBay’s unpaid item process. This can be done up to 45 days after an item closes.

When any case gets opened for an unpaid item, the buyer is given four days to pay. After the payment is complete, the case closes automatically.

If the buyer doesn’t pay the bill after four days, the unpaid item gets recorded in the buyer’s account. The item can then be relisted. The seller and the buyer may mutually agree to cancel the transaction as well.

If the seller wishes to the fees refunded, they just begin the process and forget about it. eBay will credit the canceled final value fees back to the seller automatically.

3. Tweak the Starting Price

A small tweak in the starting price can drastically decrease listing fees. For example, a starting price of $49.99 incurs a fee of $1.20, and a starting price of $50.00 would cost $2.40. As you can see, adjusting the start price can save quite a lot in fees, especially when you have a bulk to sell.

4. Pay Suppliers with “Mass Payment”

In some countries, PayPal has a payment method known as mass payment, which is not widely advertised, and the merchants are not made aware of. This allows merchants to send money to the suppliers against a set fee, while the recipient doesn’t have to pay any fee at all. This is an effective way to reduce PayPal fees. A fixed fee of approx $0.30 is charged to the merchant. However, the charge varies according to the transaction volume and the country of registration.

5. Avoid eBay listing fees

eBay’s inbuilt “Listing Designer” adds themes to your eBay listing and costs $0.30 per listing. However, it doesn’t allow optimization for listing and sales. Though statistics show that custom designed eBay listings sell more, it is advisable to invest resources in the seller’s online presence as well as the eBay listing designs. CrewMachine can help the sellers with an effective listing process that’s professional and mobile optimized.

 

Posted by & filed under ecommerce, SEO Strategy.

Amazon Vs Google SEOGoogle has long enjoyed a monopoly in the space of search engine rankings, and SEO is as important today as it’s ever been. But, when it comes to eCommerce and online shopping, the search engine has some fierce competition. Do you know its main competitor?

Amazon is that competitor! How come? Well, more people (individuals and entities alike) now visit Amazon.com to either search, buy or sell products and services. The user base of the shopping giant is soaring and with numbers reaching into the millions.

In fact, if stats are taken into account, then Amazon is the new Google for product searches. After all, 38 percent of consumers trust it to start their search before purchasing a product in comparison to 35 percent who trust Google.

To understand how large Amazon has grown over the years and why it’s become the first choice for many online shoppers, you need to look at some numbers -

Ranking policies – Google vs. Amazon

It’d be wrong to treat Google and Amazon SEO in the same way for ranking purposes as they are very different. If you do not get things right, you could lose a lot of advertising revenue and loose traction when it comes to online sales. That’s why it’s important to understand what works for one won’t for the other and come up with two completely different SEO approaches.

Tips for Promoting Your Store on Google

1. Add Alt-Text to Your Product Images

Search engines only read text not images so every product image must use Alt-Text to be crawled, read and indexed to boost their appeal.

2. Make use of Internal links

Although external sites linking to your online store is vital, you can’t underestimate the value internal links bring. So, try adding separate links to each product category or link to some best selling products from the home page.

3. Get a Blog for Your Store

Using a store blog gives you the opportunity to add more optimized text about products, create internal links to pages and keep the site active or dynamic so it gains additional marketing benefits.

4. Be Sensible With Words and Keywords in Product Descriptions

Make sure every product is accurately described with relevant keywords to maximize Google SEO.

5. Stay Away From Recycled or Duplicate Content

Make each product description unique. Get as creative as you can when describing your products and avoid using words and phrases that have been used before. Search engines frown on duplicated content.

6. Get Customer Reviews

When you post customer reviews, you not only get more descriptions about your products, you also increase search engine rankings and visibility.

7. Optimize Product Categories Separately

By adding different SEO metadata to every product page, you can optimize each category separately, which also increases SEO rankings and visibility.

Tips For Promote Your Store on Amazon

  • Be sensible with the headline, use a product title that is descriptive and engaging and always use the most relevant keywords for the product
  • Use strong keywords logically in the title and then in product description (not more than three times 300-word word product description)
  • Analyze the product reviews of your competitors and ensure your items are competitively priced as this increasing both rank and sales prospects
  • Always use high-quality images for your products and when possible include a short video to describe the product better
  • Ask your customers to write product reviews
  • Try driving more traffic to your product page as increased traffic helps to improve ranking

 

In a nutshell, if you sell on Amazon, SEO is something you can’t avoid. So, give it a try and help your business realize its true potential.

Posted by & filed under ecommerce.

E-commerce JargonsIt’s never easy trying to decode what eCommerce professionals mean. Most of us face this problem as the words, terms and jargon they use are typically not what we are used to. So, we’re often left running for a dictionary.

 

Since eCommerce is still a relatively a new and evolving industry, average users are bound to face some confusion when trying to comprehend what industry professionals mean. They either come up with short abbreviations of pre-existing definitions or invent something entirely new.

Similarly, they often use fancy words to describe functionalities or basic business strategies. Not surprisingly, our heads start spinning, and we beg for an easy way to understand it all. The best way to achieve this is to learn some of more popular eCommerce jargon and become more acquainted with the industry.

Here we Explain Some of the More Common Terms

GMV: GMV stands for Gross Merchandise Value. It’s the total value of merchandise sold over a period of time through an eCommerce site. This term denotes the growth of the business, or more precisely, it indicates how useful the site is in selling merchandise.

NMV: NMV stands for Net Merchandise Value. This value is calculated after deducting all the expenses and fees from the GMV over a period of time. So, your total value of merchandise sold over a specified time (say, quarterly, half-yearly or annually) minus all expenses, including discounts, gateway payment and marketing costs, etc.

Valuation: This term denotes the total value of your eCommerce venture. It includes every aspect of your business, including products, services and the stock on hand, etc. to assess its total financial worth.

CLV / LTV: While CLV stands for Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), LTV denotes Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV). Both the terms are used interchangeably. Both indicate the prediction of future revenue, net profit and value a merchant will derive from a customer during their entire relationship.

Conversion Rate (CR): This term is a direct indicator of the health of your eCommerce business. To calculate the CR, you need to divide ‘total actions by total visits’ of a particular page or process.

CRO: CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s about improving your eCommerce website or store to boost its conversion rates. You can optimize anything, from the layout and content to the overall design.

Cross-selling: It denotes a marketing tactic where sellers offer some additional products to complement the main product they sell. A good example of cross-selling is offering a selfie stick with a mobile phone.

Upselling: Upselling is a sales techniques where sellers offer customers an opportunity to buy either upgrades or a more expensive version of the product. This is done to maximize the value of a purchase, and it could involve promoting better features, better specs, etc.

 

You can see how eCommerce jargon may look complicated at first, but they are actually not. So, begin to understand them and make rapid strides into the domain.

Posted by & filed under Content Strategy, SEO Strategy.

Mobile-optimization-bannerPhone users grows daily, and no business can afford to ignore a market that massive. As the web world turns towards mobile, your business has a chance to reach out to an ever-expanding pool of users. To understand the real benefits, take a look at a few key findings: Continue reading “Why Should You Optimize Your Website for Mobile (Infographic)” »