Online Marketplaces in North America

Online Marketplaces in North AmericaAs published in Internet Retailer

This holiday season, some of the biggest online retailers are ready to give Amazon a run for its money. Giants like Wal-Mart, Jet.com, and Costco, along with Facebook Inc. and other social media platforms have created alternative channels for marketplace sellers. These new channels are not only creating more avenues for listing products, amd pushing promotional offerings, but also an expansive marketplace to get more exposure.

“Online sellers should be selling on at least one online marketplace to increase reach,” says Parag Mamnani, CEO of Webgility, a provider of ecommerce automation software for multichannel ecommerce companies. “But in order to compete, merchants really must be selling on several different channels at once.”

According to Mamnani, online retailers are often intimidated by the prospect of selling on these different channels. But he says there are several steps they can take to fully leverage the different channels available to them. First, they should firm up their entire technology stack. “Stress test your operational workflows, make sure you don’t have any break-points in your orders management, inventory tracking, shipping or bookkeeping,” he says.Solid advice for multichannel sellers this holiday season. #ecommerce #unify Click To Tweet

Then, Mamnani recommends, online retailers and their teams should discuss replacing any inefficient tools or processes. “Now’s the time to clean up that inventory spreadsheet and create a better system to organize it,” he adds. “Is someone doing full-on forensic research every time there’s a return or exchange? Examine your return system and do a bit of research on return optimization and automation. I promise, trimming those inefficiencies now will pay off during peak selling season.” Continue reading

Enter ShipStation’s Holiday Sweepstakes

Enter ShipStation's Holiday SweepstakesA busy holiday season is quickly approaching and there’s no better time to get ahead of your shipping strategy than right now! ShipStation strongly values the success of small business owners and entrepreneurs—and wants to help you stay as efficient as possible.

With holiday productivity in mind, ShipStation is excited to announce a Holiday Sweepstakes. They are rewarding ONE lucky winner to a dream workstation valued at $4,500, and four additional runner-ups to prizes that will help you become more successful!

One GRAND PRIZE winner receives:

  • ShipStation FREE for 1 year
  • 256gb Pro Tablet
  • Thermal Printer + Labels
  • $100 gift card
  • Industrial Shipping Scale
  • Barcode Scanner
  • Hand Truck Dolly
  • Tape Gun + Stickers + Branded Tape
  • Support Visit from ShipStation + feature within our social community
  • Weekly Prizes

Four (weekly) runner-up winners receive:

  • $40 ShipStation swag
  • $25 American Express gift card

It’s simple to enter AND you can earn up to five entries! Get started on the ShipStation Holiday Sweepstakes page. Sweepstakes starts on Sept. 28 and ends Oct. 25.

Enter the ShipStation Sweepstakes at shipstation.com/sweepstakes

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchasing does not improve your chances of winning. The ShipStation Holiday Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C., 18 or older, and businesses that are located within the 50 U.S. or D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec). Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, outside the U.S. and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 AM ET on 09/28/17 and ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 10/25/17. Click here for entry details and Official Rules. Sponsor: ShipStation, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd #220, Austin, TX 78756.

Holiday Planning: Your November Checklist

Holiday Planning: Your November ChecklistIt’s go time!

November is already here, which means two of this biggest shopping days of the year are quickly approaching: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now’s the time to take your planning from September and October and put it all into action. This month, focus on launching some key campaigns to prepare your customers for the holiday season and get them to your checkout!

Read on for more tips about the campaigns that will make the most out of your holiday shoppers. Continue reading

Severe Weather Alert: How to Prep for the Holiday Storm

Severe Weather Alert: How to Prep for the Holiday StormHere’s how to stay centered in the midst of the chaos

It’s September, which means it’s time to batten down the hatches for holiday sales. But if you’re like most e-tailers, you might never be fully ready. Truth is, busy small businesses just don’t have time to project and plan for additional holiday inventory and fulfillment or even streamline workflows and minimize shipping costs. At best, sellers are just guessing at the expected velocity of sales. It’s no wonder that, although online retail continues to grow at an exponential rate, profits continue to diminish. Why? Because selling on multiple channels online is inefficient without the right tools. Retailers try desperately to increase order volume, but quickly become overwhelmed by confusion around both finances and logistics when sales do surge. And there’s a price to be paid for all that incongruity—for every dollar made, businesses could be spending more than a $1 on shipping and fulfillment.#eCommerce weather alert: How to prep for the #holiday storm @ShipStation #Shipping #Unify #Inventory Click To Tweet

Imagine an online retail world where all of your stores, marketplaces, and business applications actually work together to optimize workflows and profit margins. An order—or even a whole batch of orders—comes in from a store or marketplace and syncs directly with a central shipping hub like ShipStation. You instantly compare and choose a carrier based on price and delivery date, seconds later, you click to print a branded shipping label, then confirm and send the customer tracking information. Meanwhile, all that sales data—including customer and product information—syncs with your accounting software, so you don’t have to type in jack diddly squat. Your inventory quantities update accordingly, all fees, expenses, and sales tax are recorded, and you go enjoy some coffee and a glazed donut.

Taking into account time limitations, there are four simple things you can do right away to get ready for the coming surge. Continue reading

3 Tips for Smooth Shipping This Holiday Season

Only you can prevent logistical headaches for your business. Getting your mind around three essential holiday shipping strategies can help keep the migraine medicine in the closet where it belongs.

1. Know your deadlines
When your customers place their holiday orders, they’re expecting to play Santa and get them under the tree before Christmas morning. Make sure you know your shipping carriers’ holiday schedules and deadlines, and set expectations with your customers around those dates, or risk ending up on the naughty list. Continue reading