Beyond Amazon: The Rise of the Niche Economy

Beyond Amazon: The Rise of the Niche EconomyAnd interview with Webgility CEO Parag Mamnani by Ina Steiner for EcommerceBytes 411

Amazon is an important marketplace, but online merchants should not limit themselves to a single channel, according to Parag Mamnani, the founder and CEO Webgility (pictured). He also notes that as Amazon is bringing about commoditization, there is a side effect: The desire on the part of shoppers for quality, unique, and crafted goods. Mamnani says sellers should find creative ways to use Amazon and other marketplaces: “My advice is to sell products on multiple channels, including Amazon,” he told EcommerceBytes. “Some retailers break down their inventory and sell just a specialized sub-section on Amazon to move larger amounts at lower margins. And some sell in bulk on their own website versus moving a single product on Amazon.”

Giants such as Walmart, Jet, Target, Costco, and Rakuten are expanding their footprints, as the Facebook marketplace, the inevitable Google marketplace, and Pinterest Buy It buttons mean social media selling also looms on the horizon. “This gradual disruption will give small businesses more choices from which to sell their products and that will lead to improved experiences for both the buyer and the seller,” according to Mamnani.

That provides not only opportunities, but challenges as well: “That increase in choice will also mean there will be more systems for online merchants to figure out and integrate.” So what are the lessons for merchants – should they be content to rely on Amazon for a majority of sales, or should they be diversifying – and if so, how? “In 2017 there will be plenty of folks who don’t want everything they own to be found on Amazon, and that is why marketplaces like Etsy are booming and custom Shopify stores are being launched every day. The niche economy will be sustained and grow internationally as entrepreneurs are more educated, supported, and empowered by the larger global ecommerce infrastructure that’s found on marketplaces and platforms.”

Where should smaller sellers be focusing their efforts – commodities or niche? “In the coming year, niche products, crafts, and small-batch merchandise are going to continue to accelerate in popularity. In fact, the very commoditization of most goods will cause individuality and quality to rise in value and importance. And since consumers are all buying the same commodity items, those costs will be driven even further down.”

Mamnani’s company services merchants with a wide range of revenue, between $250K to $50M each year. “Their revenue growth usually increases quickly once they add infrastructure efficiencies like automating sales data, inventory, shipping, and accounting,” he said. “We find that ecommerce owners who take steps to get out of the day-to-day minutia of operations and begin to focus on growth and data analysis see very quick returns on their investment in technology.” Continue reading

Get your tech stack on at SXSW

Get your tech stack on at SXSWCalling all SXSW SMBs! We’re thrilled to be co-hosting an e-commerce industry cocktail party with fellow e-commerce leader ShippingEasy at this year’s SXSW Conference and Festivals. The free event will occur on Monday, March 13, from 6:30-9:30 PDT at Salty Sow. Registration is now open.

At the party, we’ll serve up hearty business-building sustenance along with delicious food and drink. We’ll offer advice for SMBs looking to tap into the revolutionary tech stack, which will bring together best-of-breed software and systems to help SMB retailers build their own “virtual ERP.”

Createad an antidote to the “app fatigue” plaguing today’s online sellers, the tech stack that makes up our e-Commerce Ecosystem will bring efficiency and order to otherwise chaotic workflows and business operations. The tech stack, or virtual ERP, will empower retailers to focus on doing the things they love while scaling more easily than ever. In addition, until businesses reach revenue of $50 million, the virtual ERP will provide all the business intelligence, financial insight, and operational stamina of a larger, complex, and costlier integrated system.

Our executive team is looking forward to enlightening businesses about the future of e-commerce and—aided by some great food and cocktails—explaining how the virtual ERP can help cut their costs so they can grow. We hope to see you at SXSW, which is always one of our favorite stops in our spring travels. To schedule interviews or conference appointments with the Webgility team, please contact Eileen Conway at eileen@zealotcommunications.com.

Come learn how to build a better business

Come learn how to build a better businessOur CEO Parag Mamnani and his stellar executive team are looking forward to hitting the road in 2017 to help retailers build a better business. In fact, today we officially announced our spring lineup of e-commerce events and conferences. The Webgility team will be traveling across the nation to share customer and partner success stories while showcasing its market-leading Unify software and revealing the blueprints for building the e-commerce store of the future.

You can hear more about us and meet the team in person at the following spring events:

We look forward to meeting prospects, customers, and partners as we hit the road for the spring show season. We’re all excited to hear your ideas for building the e-commerce ecosystem of the future.

Introducing Unify for ShippingEasy

Remove the hassle of e-commerce bookkeeping by integrating shipping and accounting

Introducing Unify for ShippingEasyToday we’re thrilled to introduce Unify for ShippingEasy! This new offering will free online retailers from the hassle of bookkeeping for a multi-channel shipping operation by automating sales data and integrating it into their accounting solutions. Webgility’s industry-leading Unify software already makes it easy for sellers to build their business on any shopping cart or marketplace by connecting all revenue streams, expenses, and systems to have better perspective, make smarter decisions, lower costs, and simplify bookkeeping. Now, with Unify for ShippingEasy, e-commerce sellers can also vastly simplify shipping, even in their busiest seasons.Unify for ShippingEasy integrates #shipping and #accounting: Hassle-free!… Click To Tweet

We think CEO of ShippingEasy Katie May put it best when she said, “Like ShippingEasy, Webgility is focused on streamlining e-commerce operations, and we are pleased to partner with them to take the accounting pain point out of shipping. Together, we will help online stores reach new levels of operational efficiency to help them increase profits.”

There are three main features of the new Unify for ShippingEasy:

  • Accounting Sync: Unify for ShippingEasy allows businesses to achieve timely, accurate, and tax-compliant accounting. Stores can schedule and post all of their e-commerce sales and shipping information from ShippingEasy directly into QuickBooks or Xero. Users can choose to post individual sales or daily summaries while instantly closing the loop on their accounting activities by recording sales revenue, product costs, and shipping expenses within their accounting system for easy, complete reconciliation.
  • Shipping Automation: Online stores can use Unify for ShippingEasy to consolidate orders from multiple sales channels, including all major marketplaces and platforms. This allows them to streamline workflows for accounting, order management, fulfillment, shipping, and inventory management, and enables instant cost comparisons between carriers based on type of product, weight, and geography.
  • Multi-channel Selling: Unify for ShippingEasy helps companies easily increase their profits by having the opportunity to consider different marketplaces, sales channels, and platforms. The solution gives them confidence that their entire multi-channel business is seamlessly integrated with timely, accurate, and organized accounting. This unified perspective brings companies unprecedented control of their financial data and profit margins.

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