5 Ecommerce Predictions for 2018

5 Ecommerce Predictions for 2018Plus tips on how online sellers can adopt, adapt, and win in the coming months

A wise young man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” That’s doubly true for ecommerce, which reaches warp speed during the holidays and skids to a stop in January as sellers breathlessly scurry around returns and clearance sales. Traditionally this is when I review my predictions for the previous year and look ahead to what we can expect in the coming months. Here are this year’s predictions, plus my take on how ecommerce SMBs canadapt and adopt to win in 2018.#Ecommerce predictions worth reading, plus real-world tips for smart sellers. #Unify Click To Tweet

1. To the surprise of no one, Amazon will continue to knock down new and interesting categories. Over the last decade, ecommerce and Amazon have both become synonymous as great disruptors. We’ve seen this coming and it’s nowhere close to an end. Same-day delivery? Of course. Fashion? Certainly. Groceries? Been there, done that. There has even been talk about Amazon entering the healthcare industry—popcorn’s on me for that price war watch party.

If your industry hasn’t yet been touched by ecommerce or Amazon, reach for technology for protection and then brace for impact. To further grow and compete, move from single channel to a multichannel model and sell on a big marketplace. Doing so will give you better exposure, SEO value, more options for moving inventory, and the ability to adjust profit margins based on the market. If you don’t have the stomach for Amazon, consider Walmart. If you can’t stomach Walmart, go with eBay or Etsy—just go with something.

READ MORE 

NEW: Major upgrades to Unify

NEW: Major upgrades to UnifyIt’s been a minute since we’ve made big changes to Unify, so please take a look

Today’s news is big. In fact, our product team has been hard at work for months developing enhanced features specifically aimed at making business easier for online sellers. Because that means something different to each of our customers, this list of enhancements covers a lot of territory. Read on to find out more, and click the hyperlinks to see a detailed description and instructions for using each feature. 

Inventory management made easier 

  • Automatic Inventory Sync: You can now automatically keep inventory synced in your accounting across sales channels. This feature can be scheduled to run hourly or nightly. Now managing your inventory will take even less effort.
  • Product Returns Sync: When merchandise is returned to your store, you can now sync and adjust your inventory across sales channels to reflect that item. To help your bottom line, this returned merchandise can promptly re-enter your inventory and be sold again.Hey #sellers: Now #Unify by @Webgility makes #ecommerce even easier. #Upgrades Click To Tweet
  • Warehouse Inventory Tracking: QuickBooks Desktop users who fulfill orders from multiple warehouses can now track inventory by location. This is helpful for those who’d like to scale their business and stay sane at the same time.
  • Real-time Assembly Build: Unify can now post assembled products in QuickBooks Desktop as orders are received in real-time. This feature allows you to still make a sale even when quantity of an assembled product falls to or below 0.

 

TRY WEBGILITY FOR FREE

Continue reading

New! Free white paper and resource kit

New! Free white paper and resource kitLearn how to bring organization and control to your online business

Today, the second day of IRCE, we’re pleased to announce a new white paper and resource kit outlining the Virtual ERP for e-Commerce. The kit includes:

  • White Paper: Survival for Online Sellers
  • Infographic: How does your online business stack up?
  • On-Demand Webinar: Introduction to the Virtual ERP
  • Guide: The Essential e-Commerce Tech Stack
  • Case Studies: Stories of growth and scale from 4 e-Commerce SMB

DOWNLOAD NOW

 Free Download: Virtual ERP for #eCommerce resource kit! #BuildaBetterBusiness #Unify Click To Tweet

For the first time ever, industry leaders in storefront technology, accounting, inventory, shipping, and integration are joining forces to simplify operations and streamline data for e-commerce sellers. The result is the Virtual ERP for e-Commerce, a unified network of best-of-breed systems that gives independent sellers the same business intelligence, operational stamina, and competitive edge enjoyed by the massive alpha retailers. The Virtual ERP for e-Commerce offers both security and freedom from which to build a business that is profitable, sustainable, and scalable. Continue reading

Your Guide to Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank

Your Guide to Amazon’s Best Sellers RankUnderstanding how it works
Also known as ‘sales rank,’ Amazon ranks products on an hourly basis according to how much time has elapsed since one was last sold. So if an item has just been sold, it’ll have a pretty high ranking, as opposed to something that’s been languishing for a whole hour. Here’s an example showing the best sellers rank on Amazon for Joe Wick’s book, Lean in 15, which is currently ranked at number 12.@Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank. What you need to know about this mysterious number. @RepricerExpress Click To Tweetlean-15-bsr

What does it really mean?
What many buyers get confused about is what exactly the sales rank signifies. While it does speak to, and we quote Amazon here, “how well a product is selling overall, it doesn’t always indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items.” It’s a rather isolated measurement, as opposed to being able to compare it within and across categories. Also, the short time-frame during which the best sellers rank is calculated means that it’s an extremely small sample pool. Say you’ve got a very small sales rank number (i.e. as close to 1 as possible) — to assume it’s a hot seller may be incorrect, as the buyer, could simply be looking at something that’s been sold just a few seconds or minutes ago. Continue reading

Beyond Amazon: The Rise of the Niche Economy

Beyond Amazon: The Rise of the Niche EconomyAn 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