Prime Your Profits

Prime Your ProfitsHow Amazon merchants can learn from Prime Day and prep for the holidays

It’s no secret that Amazon Prime Day 2017 set new records for both Amazon and its merchants. In fact, sales soared over 60% compared with last year’s Prime Day. Granted, all that exposure is great, but when merchants forfeit such significant portions of their margins to Amazon in fees alone, what other ROI can they glean from selling on the world’s largest marketplace on its biggest day of the year? At the very least, merchants can learn from their Prime Day data and adjust their strategies to fully maximize sales during the upcoming holiday season. Here’s a 5-step plan for priming those profits:

1. Get a sense for overall profit:

  • After deducting marketplace fees, shipping costs, and promotions, calculate the profits (or loss) of your top-selling items

2. Learn what the optimums were:

  • For each SKU you sold, plot out all your final selling prices and units sold at each price — the results should look like a cloudy curve.
  • Now, take those sales prices and remove all the costs associated with each product (cost of the product, shipping, marketplace fees, etc.) and you’ll get a new curve that shows profit per item and units sold.
  • Multiply the units by the price for each of the curves and you’ll be able to find price points that drove maximum revenue (first curve) and maximum profit (second curve). These should be your book-ends for future pricing of the SKU.

3. Fix issues before the holidays:

  • Check in with your logistics team or provider to figure out where things broke. Were there late shipments? Out of stock items? False alarms because data wasn’t updated between systems?
  • Understand what caused those problems. Maybe a disorganized warehouse, orders got lost, technical difficulties, system delays, under-staffing.
  • Find a solution and a backup before the holiday rush.

4. Be better prepared for the Holidays:

  • Take results from steps 1 and 2 and use them to update your projections for the 2017 holiday season.

5. Once you’ve optimized the third step, update again and enjoy feeling prepared for a great holiday season!

Originally published in eCommerceBytes. Learn how Webgility’s Unify platform can simplify your retail operations.

The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, Boomers

The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, BoomersIn a galaxy where the skills of our youngest and oldest generations peacefully co-exist, modern marketing will go where no man has gone before.

We’re at a very interesting crossroads in marketing—there are many Millennials  (hereinafter referred to as red shirts. Just kidding, we’ll call them Ensigns) coming into the profession but there are still plenty of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (hereinafter referred to as Admirals) who are still working. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough finger pointing about the contrasting styles of each generation. Endlessly debating about our differences gets us nowhere, and considering the pace at which we all must move today, there’s simply no time to waste. Instead, I’d rather explore the anomaly in the space-time continuum that occurs when we fuse the best marketing tools of the youngest working generation with those of the oldest. By melding all of our most efficient tools together and letting go of practices that don’t work, we can achieve a perfect age-blind blend, bringing forth a super-generation of successful marketers. So let’s explore this strange new world together, shall we?

Plan like an Admiral
If my 25-plus years in marketing (in case you were wondering which camp I fall into) has taught me one thing, it’s that Admirals know how to plan go-to-market strategies. In fact, it’s one of their strongest characteristics. Planning and goal-setting creates a sense of purpose and urgency that otherwise just going with your gut never will. Of course, an important part of planning is having a firm understanding of the metrics that are available to you, whether those come from Google Adwords, website traffic, number of leads, or conversion. Without having those metrics planning is fruitless, and without understanding those metrics, you’re shouting into the wind.Marketing Mind Meld: Fuse the best tools of Boomers with Millennials and win a galaxy of customers.… Click To Tweet

Step up to the tech
As adept at planning as Admirals are, they’re equally ineffective when it comes to understanding and embracing today’s social media platforms and technology. In fact, I often run into marketing professionals of my generation who say, “I don’t even have a Twitter account. I don’t need that.” Free social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram are the exact tools that enable all marketers to maximize their planned promotions, increase lead channels, and reach bigger audiences. To discount them as unnecessary is irresponsible marketing.

And when it comes to technology, there’s plenty more to choose from in the areas of marketing automation, artificial intelligence, predictive programs, targeting, segmentation, and personalization. No matter your age, if you’re not leveraging technology in your marketing plan, you’re leaving leads behind. Continue reading

Small Data With Big Impact on Your ROI

Small Data With Big Impact on Your ROIThe power-packed metrics that matter most

Data is a hot topic lately. If you sell online, you know that order information from your marketplace stores enables the massive big data feeds of Amazon and the like to predict broad consumer behavior and seasonality, manage prices and fees across the channel, and control their interests in the inventory and fulfillment industries globally. While you’re powering someone else’s data, it also seems like every day you’re told to climb aboard the big data bandwagon where you, too, can ride into the sunset of freedom and happiness of higher sales, profit, and success. #SmallData That Matters Most to Your #eCommerce #ROI: The power-packed metrics for your bottom line Click To Tweet

But when it comes to practical application of collecting data and understanding the insights they offer, you draw a blank. You’re not alone. Turns out, 94% of companies across all levels have experienced internal challenges when trying to improve their data quality. One could theorize that this dissatisfaction may stem from sheer size and that big data has just become too big. Case in point: The fact is, every second of every day we create new data. To understand the scale, 40,000 Google search queries are performed every second, which makes it 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Each of those, at a minimum, creates new keyword and search ranking data. On a more relevant note, while it’s wonderful that Amazon has 304 million active customer accounts worldwide, what can you learn about tapping into that fire hose, or more specifically, why does your store suddenly and inexplicable have a following from Stanley, Idaho? Continue reading