Foolproof Hacks for Small Marketing Teams, Part 1

Foolproof Hacks for Small Marketing Teams, Part 15 Simple solutions for managers who haven’t got time for the pain

At the risk of stating the obvious, when retailers first launch, they’re usually not able to expand their marketing team at the rate that they might like. In the meantime, they assess their team and resources and try to figure out how to fill the gaps. I’ve worked with marketing teams as large as 50 and as small as two, and have learned that running a department efficiently comes down to a simple set of best practices.

  1. Be transparent. Create a list of both short-term and long-term goals and share them frequently with your department, sales team, and executive management. Set the parameters of the terms and make sure your goals are in alignment with the company and all relevant departments. This sets both individual and company-wide expectations, gets everyone on the same page, and confirms that your group is moving in the right direction.In setting goals it’s important to know your perspective relative to the size of your company, whether you’re just one person or a team of five or 10. Seeing your team in this context will help you prioritize, keep a realistic balance of tasks that are both easily achievable and professionally challenging, and adjust the lists as tasks are completed, lagging behind schedule, or no longer feasible. This ensures that everyone stays busy but no one becomes overwhelmed, and if a team member does become overwhelmed, you’ll have the freedom and visibility to adjust resources and goals accordingly. Maintain a “no surprises” policy by keeping open and friendly dialogue about team and individual goals at your regular meetings.Foolproof Hacks for Small #Marketing Teams: 5 Simple solutions for managers who haven’t got time for… Click To Tweet Continue reading

We’re blowing our tech stack at Shoptalk 2017

We're blowing our tech stack at Shoptalk 2017Join us to party, play, win, and earn $50!

It’s time to hit the road again! We’re thrilled to sponsor and exhibit at this year’s ShopTalk 2017, on March 19-22 in Las Vegas. That’s right, Vegas, baby. We’ll also co-host a cocktail party with our trusted partner ShipStation. At the shindig, SMBs can learn how to build their own “virtual ERP”—a technology stack that is simple, smart, and scalable. If you’re in the area, RSVP for the party, which will be held at the Double Barrel Roadhouse on Monday, March 20, from 7-9 p.m. PT, please visit http://go.webgility.com/shoptalk-blow-your-tech-stack-register.html.

As an antidote to the “app fatigue” that plagues today’s online sellers, our virtual ERP will bring efficiency and order to otherwise chaotic workflows and business operations. Made up of the optimum tech stack for e-commerce ease and success, the virtual ERP will empower retailers to focus on doing the things they love—remember that?—while expanding their business with far less effort. 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.

ShopTalk is all about next-gen e-commerce, so it’s the perfect place for us to share our virtual ERP. With this new technology stack, we’ll work with trusted partners like ShipStation to bring scale and simplicity to online retailers, letting them focus on business aspirations rather than operational headaches. We look forward to seeing you all in Vegas.

Here are the deets: Join us at Booth #642 to enter their LEGO game “Build a Better Business” and win big. To schedule an on-site 15-minute demo with our sales team and earn a $50 gift card, go to calendly.com/michael-webgility/shoptalk, or email the sales team to schedule a live demo over the phone: sales@webgility.com. For interviews with Webgility leadership, contact Eileen Conway at eileen@zealotcommunications.com or (650) 245-9015. See you there!

Dropship your way to financial freedom

Dropship your way to financial freedomOne of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make as an e-commerce business owner is also the one that could make or break your financial freedom.

How you control and distribute the products you sell through your site is a critical choice you have to make during the outset of your business development. In this post, we’re going to find out if the dropshipping method can help you attain financial freedom, or if managing the ebb and flow of supply and demand would be better handled internally.

Managing a profitable e-commerce business is a process that requires strategy, resilience, and a fair bit of trial and error. The day-to-day logistics of your business could change dramatically in the first year, depending on how much you learn and how quickly you learn it. Making changes is scary but necessary—and the more you understand about your options, the fewer changes you’ll need to make.#Dropship your way to financial freedom by guest blogger Patrick Foster from @myecommercetips #Unify Click To Tweet

For some creative e-commerce business owners such as artists, musicians, and carpenters— dropshipping doesn’t come into play. If you make the product you sell in house, you never need to consider wholesalers. However, if you create digital designs for your products but don’t manufacture them, a big decision will be how to cost-effectively manage the manufacture and shipping of your orders. Continue reading

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.