- Get to know, understand & learn parameters of seller evaluation
- Work religiously to get 5 point or 100% rating on evaluation parameters
- Fix responsibilities and accountability on individuals, in system & process
- Have build in audit for deviations, auditor is a coach to help people adhere to process
- Ensure things are done correct the first time, photography, description & packaging
- Cutting corners, discount help no one, entire industry bleeds
- Offer innovative products & innovative descriptions
- Engage with your customer
- Stretch yourself, go beyond the boundaries
- Network well in your industry & get to know best practices, what is excellent today, will be norm tomorrow
- Attend trade meet & networking events with other sellers & buyers
Thursday, January 30, 2014
- Write vision, why your enterprise exist, how will it help others. Help means solutions to problem & adding value to daily life
- Then comes brief history, year of incorporation & how it started. Building a story is good
- 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
- Images of shop front (actual retail store) & images of all sections/categories or perhaps images of unique products
- Last image is usually of logo, meaning of logo, photo(s) of founder & top management
- In case there is celebrity endorsements or their visit, we can use these images as a collage.
- It is advisable to take permission before using image of person
- GIF animation & Videos can also be used, they should be small
- 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
- Feedback & testimonial links can also be given over here. Link to terms & conditions can also be embedded at bottom
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
- 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
- Preferably single colour or at the most 2 colour should be used for entire listing, using multiple colour should be avoided
- 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
- Use multiple images, shot from various angles, images are description in themselves & silent sales person as well
- We can also modify images to illustrate a point
- Use Scrolling Gallery
- Show images/graphic representation of how product is packed, multilayered packaging to ensure safety
- Clearly mention address requirements, landmark/mobile/telephone requirement, exclusions & reasons there-off
- 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
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
- Many books (hard copies) & eBooks can be also searched on basis of content/description/summary keywords as well
- 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
- 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
- Isn't it strange?
- Do they recover money to nullify at least operational expense?
- How do they sustain?
- How do they earn profit?
- 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.
- Self regulation to ensure the industry survives & grows with healthy margin
- Encourage Indian publishers to invest in editorial content & churn out exceptional quality products
- 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
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Part3 Penultimate Success secret revealed how we collaborated & competed with Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam & others.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Thou shall always; do follow up of orders & update/respond buyers within 2 hours
- Respond to all emails, communications in 2 hours
- Dispatch all orders received before 4PM, on same business/working day
- Ensure, all Mondays have 100% staff attendance
- Invest on relations, human touch with vendors, suppliers & staff
- Always package items in non smoking environment
- Think of ways, items can be damaged in transit & package accordingly in multilayer
- Think, how buyer will feel, when he opens the courier
- Always give positive surprise, gifts with all orders, ex, book mark, stickers, stationery, anything so that buyer remembers your shop
- Always be authentic for whatsoever reason for delay, buyers love to be kept informed & deal with helpful seller
- Ask for positive feedback
- Think of situations in which customers can give negative feedback, act to prevent these from happening
- Invest in training of yourself first & employees. Employees are first customer
- Love yourself & others will love you & your products
- Always have positive attitude, How can I help buyer, add value & solve the problem
Sunday, January 26, 2014
LIST-Method; on How to Remove Negative Feedback on eCommerce Marketplaces & How to get Better Rating by Buyers
- If you ever receive negative feedback or low rating, remember customer is always right
- 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.
- Customer trusts you, understand & knows that you can solve the problem & hence negative feedback
- Always be humble, keep all communication channels open & seek ways to delight customer
- How & what went wrong is something to be deliberated internally later on
- Never ever be rude or threaten the customer
- Always remember customer is a human being & all humans often react emotionally, perhaps negative feedback is influenced by some one else
- Always give multiple options to resolve a issue, perhaps more than what customer expects
- Always remember, buyers like to return for repeat purchase & trust seller who can solve the issues
- Proactively think, check & audit, process adherence to your systems
- Empower your staff
- Most important, please do not operate on wafer thin margins, account for 2% losses for unforeseen reason & spread your risk.
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
Exhibit both, masculine & feminine behavior, women brain thinks like many Christmas lights & men think like single high watt bulb....energy is the same either 10*6W OR 60W
We empowered our staff, all were authorized to;
- Gift Freebie
- Refund for non receipt within 4 working days of courier dispatch/no tracking information available
- Exception for postal orders delivery; within 6 days national delivery & 15 days international delivery
- Educate international customer about shipping options; standard, economy & expedited. We always charged reasonably for expedited international shipping.
- More on how we used these techniques practically at our workplace, in next blog... you can also subscribe or mail me at email@example.com
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
- Concept clarity for themselves? Write down on a piece of paper all your thoughts.
- Why you want to be eCommerce Entrepreneur? Create your profile, about us page.
- How will I sustain & earn profits? Do reverse costing [(Selling Price-Payment gateway-Selling fees-Packaging-Courier-Sourcing) > Costing] to start with
- Identify products? Research Google & eCommerce Sites
- Photography, How do I do professional photography? Use mobile camera & innovative ideas/backgrounds
- How do I describe product? Close your eyes, imagine from owners view point & write
- How do I do technical stuff, configuration, HTML basics, integration? Learn yourself, hire us for training
- How do I get sale? Practice "Law of Attraction"
- How do I fulfill the order, packaging & dispatch? use plastic+acrylic+wood wool+cardboard for packaging
- How do I get more sales & scale up?.... Please keep on reading this blog to learn more