Thursday, January 30, 2014

11 ideas, How to become a Top Rated Seller on Ecommerce Marketplaces

  1. Get to know, understand  & learn parameters of seller evaluation
  2. Work religiously to get 5 point or 100% rating on evaluation parameters
  3. Fix responsibilities and accountability on individuals, in system & process
  4. Have build in audit for deviations, auditor is a coach to help people adhere to process
  5. Ensure things are done correct the first time, photography, description & packaging
  6. Cutting corners, discount help no one, entire industry bleeds
  7. Offer innovative products & innovative descriptions
  8. Engage with your customer
  9. Stretch yourself, go beyond the boundaries
  10. Network well in your industry & get to know best practices, what is excellent today, will be norm tomorrow
  11. Attend trade meet & networking events with other sellers & buyers 

How to Write an effective About Us page for online store?

  1. Write vision, why your enterprise exist, how will it help others. Help means solutions to problem & adding value to daily life
  2. Then comes brief history, year of incorporation & how it started. Building a story is good
  3. Then generalized 4-5 line description of all items in shop & unique attributes of your company. Comparison is avoided, this page is only about us
  4. Images of shop front (actual retail store) & images of all sections/categories or perhaps images of unique products
  5. Last image is usually of logo, meaning of logo, photo(s) of founder & top management
  6. In case there is celebrity endorsements or their visit, we can use these images as a collage.
  7. It is advisable to take permission before using image of person
  8. GIF animation & Videos can also be used, they should be small
  9. How to reach us/contact us is usually separate page, however it can also be merged with this as a separate header. It should contain mobile, email, skype as well
  10. Feedback & testimonial links can also be given over here. Link to terms & conditions can also be embedded at bottom

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 Important Tips. How to write Description? Components in ecommerce listings

  1. The title is most important & usually does not exceed 150 characters, 130 is considered optimum. Mention all important attributes clearly viz; MRP, Offer Price, colour, Material(s), source/country of origin, no child labour & EU compliant norms for US/UK. You can upload the same product in many ways by iterchanging the options amongst themselves; Title+Brand+Unique characteristic
  2. Preferably single colour or at the most 2 colour should be used for entire listing, using multiple colour should be avoided
  3. Title can be highlighted Bold & underlined, text should be simple usually Arial or any other font which is easily readable on mobile as well. Please note few fonts are not easy to read on mobile
  4. Use multiple images, shot from various angles, images are description in themselves & silent sales person as well
  5. We can also modify images to illustrate a point
  6. Use Scrolling Gallery
  7. Show images/graphic representation of how product is packed, multilayered packaging to ensure safety
  8. Clearly mention address requirements, landmark/mobile/telephone requirement, exclusions & reasons there-off
  9. Use graphical representation of all accepted modes of payment. Encourage & give reasons to give positive feedback
Happy Selling !!

Strange Revelations, Essential Strategy for High Traffic, actual pricing of books & How eCommerce companies play with pricing? Is it Ethical Market behaviour?

The basic foundation of high traffic & attraction of buyers to all eCommerce sites; eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam, Homeshop18, Snap Deal, Indiaplaza, Indiatimes, Junglee is the way they list & sell books. Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam are leader in their category because they all started off with books....this is the common uniting factor.

P.S. recent reports indicate, mobile/smartphone search exceeds book search

Publishing industry is well organised, all books/publications have 13 digit ISBN (International Standard Book Reference Number). The books/publications are searched (keywords are) on the basis of
  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Subject/Topic
  • ISBN 
  • Publisher
  • Many books (hard copies) & eBooks can be also searched on basis of content/description/summary keywords as well 
 Books Costing
  • The regular discounting by Indian publishers, Bulk distributors & subsidiary of foreign publishers is 33% of MRP, Bulk volume players get 37%-40% to the max & 30 days credit
  • The distributor gets 40% + 3 month credit, they maintain bulk warehouse, Office, Infra & a large team
eCommerce Operational Expense to Service Orders
  • Shipping expense is minimum 55/- per book/Kg & can reach upto 110/- per Kg, depending upon weight
  • Packaging & labeling cost is Rs5/- to 10/- per book
  • Payment gateway 1.5% to 3% of invoice value
  • Operational expenses; Staff/Sourcing/Salaries/Vehicle Petrol, Communication-Mobile&internet/Electricity is additional approx minimum 10-15 per order
Revelation: How can eCommerce portals exist when they give free shipping + 30-40% discount.
  • Isn't it strange? 
  • Do they recover money to nullify at least operational expense? 
  • How do they sustain? 
  • How do they earn profit?
To exist & sustain, few of the practices are 
  • Cross subside by selling other items/other revenue streams.
  • Jewelry, home decor, apparels profitability subsides this
  • Plan finances smartly/shrewdly, savvy financially management 
  • Perhaps dress accounts, classify loss as marketing affiliate expense to circumvent FDI rules & get more VC funding
  • Delay payments to distributors
  • Non standard, new brand products also subside this
  • Sell inferior quality other products
  • Lift stocks, maintain inventory in bulk at heavy discounting, this may create artificial scarcity & give minimal discount to buyer, collaborate back-end with distributor/publisher
  • Sell near look alike original, pirated copies (I have seen this being done by only 1 leading portal physically at retail outlet at Airport lounge in India, cannot comment on this being a standard practice)
  • Sell old editions at new edition price (standard practice), often new edition is either not listed till old stocks are cleared. Old editions are usually procured at throwaway prices
  • Foreign companies often launch medical & engineering books at special (highly subsidised) Indian Price, this is never revealed. the listing says US$ price,minus minimal discount & then Indian Price.... because there books are in limited supply
  • Foreign printed books (technical/engineering/medical) sometimes do not carry  any MRP (print price), this loophole is exploited by online retailers to fix their own pricing. I am shocked & surprised to see profiteering on this aspect by many portals.
Need of hour
  • Self regulation to ensure the industry survives & grows with healthy margin
  • Encourage Indian publishers to invest in editorial content & churn out exceptional quality products 
 My personal favourite book shopping sites are;
  • Infibeam for expensive international pre-used & rare/hard to find books, they collaborate with almost all major international distributors and Alibris as well. Infibeam helps me save money & 5-7 days international shipments delivery, despite committing 15 days
  • Snap deal for great discounts
  • Amazon for quick shipping

Top 20 reasons, why people buy on internet, online shopping

Monday, January 27, 2014

Top 44 reasons, why online shopping?

Is eBay torchbearer in raising the bar for buyer rights & seller convenience? My personal experiences

eCommerce Commandments for Positive Feedback

Thou shall always; do follow up of orders & update/respond buyers within 2 hours
  1. Respond to all emails, communications in 2 hours
  2. Dispatch all orders received before 4PM, on same business/working day
  3. Ensure, all Mondays have 100% staff attendance
  4. Invest on relations, human touch with vendors, suppliers & staff
  5. Always package items in non smoking environment
  6. Think of ways, items can be damaged in transit & package accordingly in multilayer
  7. Think, how buyer will feel, when he opens the courier
  8. Always give positive surprise, gifts with all orders, ex, book mark, stickers, stationery, anything so that buyer remembers your shop
  9. Always be authentic for whatsoever reason for delay, buyers love to be kept informed & deal with helpful seller
  10. Ask for positive feedback
  11. Think of situations in which customers can give negative feedback, act to prevent these from happening
  12. Invest in training of yourself first & employees. Employees are first customer
  13. Love yourself & others will love you & your products
  14. Always have positive attitude, How can I help buyer, add value & solve the problem 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CRT Credibility Referability Trust. Top 25 Reasons Why buyers are cautious about eCommerce

LIST-Method; on How to Remove Negative Feedback on eCommerce Marketplaces & How to get Better Rating by Buyers

  1. If you ever receive negative feedback or low rating, remember customer is always right
  2. Take a deep breath, hold on (inflated lungs & stomach have air like a balloon), imagine you are doctor & customer is giving you opportunity to solve the problem & you are problem solver/solution provider, then release your breath (deflated lungs & stomach) after loooooong pause.
  3. Customer trusts you, understand & knows that you can solve the problem & hence negative feedback
  4. Always be humble, keep all communication channels open  & seek ways to delight customer
  5. How & what went wrong is something to be deliberated internally later on
  6. Never ever be rude or threaten the customer
  7. Always remember customer is a human being & all humans often react emotionally, perhaps negative feedback is influenced by some one else
  8. Always give multiple options to resolve a issue, perhaps more than what customer expects
  9. Always remember, buyers like to return for repeat purchase & trust seller who can solve the issues
  10. Proactively think, check & audit, process adherence to your systems
  11. Empower your staff 
  12. Most important, please do not operate on wafer thin margins, account for 2% losses for unforeseen reason & spread your risk.
Simple Process: 
L-Listen & Understand Issues.....just Listen, Listen, Listen, God has given us 2 ears, use them :)
I-Isolate what is that pinching the customer, do not assume
S-Solve by giving options, Speed to implement whatever agreed to resolve
T-Take feedback/followup

Exhibit both, masculine & feminine behavior, women brain thinks like many Christmas lights & men think like single high watt is the same either 10*6W OR 60W

We empowered our staff, all were authorized to;
  1. Exchange
  2. Gift Freebie
  3. Refund for non receipt within 4 working days of courier dispatch/no tracking information available
  4. Exception for postal orders delivery; within 6 days national delivery & 15 days international delivery
  5. Educate international customer about shipping options; standard, economy & expedited. We always charged reasonably for expedited international shipping
  6. More on how we used these techniques practically at our workplace, in next blog... you can also subscribe or mail me at

Part1 How we collaborated & competed with Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam & others? Our untold story of triumph & struggles

Part2 Secrets Revealed How We Collaborated & Competed with Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam & Others. Our Untold Story of Triumph & Struggles

10 Challenges, Dilemas faced by eCommerce Entrepreneurs before they start; Simple Solutions/Tips

  1. Concept clarity for themselves? Write down on a piece of paper all your thoughts.
  2. Why you want to be eCommerce Entrepreneur? Create your profile, about us page.
  3. How will I sustain & earn profits? Do reverse costing [(Selling Price-Payment gateway-Selling fees-Packaging-Courier-Sourcing) > Costing] to start with
  4. Identify products? Research Google & eCommerce Sites
  5. Photography, How do I do professional photography? Use mobile camera & innovative ideas/backgrounds
  6. How do I describe product? Close your eyes, imagine from owners view point & write
  7. How do I do technical stuff, configuration, HTML basics, integration? Learn yourself, hire us for training
  8. How do I get sale? Practice "Law of Attraction"
  9. How do I fulfill the order, packaging & dispatch? use plastic+acrylic+wood wool+cardboard for packaging
  10. How do I get more sales & scale up?.... Please keep on reading this blog to learn more

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