Monday, 22 December 2014

How to win at selling on Amazon with these tips

Image of Amazon logo in front of a warehouse with a statement saying 'tips on how to streamline your amazon selling efforts.

Amazon is a big, baffling ecommerce site that can leave most businesses confused at the thought of selling on their global platform. The good thing to know is that if you’re in this predicament you’re not alone. Many small businesses want to jump at the opportunity to take advantage of selling to the many millions of customers that Amazon attracts daily. Amazon offers plenty of documentation that can walk you through the process of setting up your business on their virtual territory. However the amount of literature provided is great, but would be way too time consuming for anyone to digest. So that’s where this article comes in handy. Below you can feast your eyes upon simple tips that can streamline your Amazon business, saving you time and money. #WinningSituation

First- Choose your how you want to sell on Amazon
Sellers have two options when it comes to deciding how they want to partner with Amazon.
The first option is listing your products and you fulfil those orders. When you sell your products, you ship the product to the buyer. The buyer pays Amazon and Amazon pays you, after fees have been deducted. Should there be any customer service enquiries this would fall upon the seller to manage and resolve.

The second option is listing your products and having your orders fulfilled by Amazon (also known as FBA). In this partnership the seller sends products directly to Amazon’s fulfilment centres for storage. As orders come in, Amazon will use their distribution system to ship the item to the buyer and also handle the customer service if returns are necessary. But wait, this sounds groovy and all, but this services comes at a price. The fulfilment by Amazon comes with higher fees for selling.

I said you had to choose from two options. Well I lied. You actually have a third. Set up your business on Amazon, list your products and then outsource the rest to a fulfilment company. This way you have more control on your inventory, customer relationships, postal dispatch services to name a few.

Second- The Basics!
Sadly, there is no way around this bit. Buying on Amazon is a tad bit different than selling. So you will need to have a browse in the Amazon’s Seller’s Resources. My suggestion would be first to get your head around the lay of the land on the backend of their selling platform. Then take a peek at the FAQs. It’s amazing how much time anyone can save by just going directly to the FAQs.

Third- Research the Competition on Amazon
Before you start listing your products investigate what type of competition you’re up against on Amazon. Amazon attracts millions of customers which makes it a gold mine for sellers. So be sure to see if other sellers are selling your same products. Pay attention to the prices of those products and what kind of delivery options they offer. This way you will be armed and ready to take on your competitors without the stress and frustration. Keep in mind seller’s feedback scores are what make and break your competition, not just prices and delivery options.
Forth- Advertise and Market Your Goodies
Amazon hosts millions of sellers which makes it tough for beginning sellers to strike it rich at first. You will need to boost your presence and let the virtual communities know you exist. Don’t just think you can set up shop and expect to make it big. Yes, you may get a few sales here and there, but with advertising and marketing you can easily jump start your revenues. Thankfully Amazon offers an advertising program which is similar to the Pay Per Click strategy of Google Adwords. This service allows you to target specific customer types, leveraging Amazon’s high traffic volumes.
Other Options:
                • Google Adwords
-          Create ads that target your preferred audience, keywords and countries.
                • Social Media Activities
-          Build up your brand on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc… Use these channels to drive traffic to your products.
• Social Media Advertising
-          Use Facebook’s and Twitter’s advertising channels to broadcast your products to the masses instead of relying on hashtags and the slow drip feed of social visitors who happen to stumble upon your social activities. Let these advertising tools work for you.
Fifth- Inventory Management
Once your shop is off the ground and running, it will probably be one of the happiest moments in your virtual life. As every order comes in, you get excited, bells are ringing and the bank bells are buzzing. With all this excitement you can easily lose track of what you’re selling, where and what has been sold. The last thing you want to encounter is a disgruntled customer for having to wait longer than expected for his order to arrive, due to stock not being accounted for. Use a spreadsheet, use the Amazon inventory monitoring tool, or just let a fulfilment house take on that stress.

Sixth- Have a Rainy Day Fund
When things get moving you must be prepared for the unexpected. Setting aside additional funds will help ease the stress during these times.

Seventh- Photos and Product Copy
Prior Planning Promotes Proper Performance, Presentation, Passion, Peak Performance.
The nine P’s of success above will prove to be your guiding light if you allow them to be. Let’s face it, you’re thinking about joining the ranks of the other Amazon sellers. So why wait till the moment you wish to list your products to take photos, edit photos, write copy and such? Once you have finished your research that you’ve completed as stated in the third tip, start writing copy. Use your competitors as a benchmark. Take some photos of your products and keep in mind of the Amazon photo requirements. Be sure to keep comprehensive records of descriptions and images of your products. Organisation will be the key to your success!
                • Amazon allows you to post up to six photos as part of each listing.
                • Pure white backgrounds are preferred.
                • Photos are not permitted to contain additional test, graphics, or inset images.
                • Dimensions:
-          Minimum- 200 x 200 pixels
-          Maximum- 2000 x 2000 pixels
-          Image resolution: 72 pixels per inch
Eighth- Partner with a Fulfilment Provider           
Let’s paint a clear picture. Amazon is a beast, both as a shopping platform and fulfilment provider. If you disagree, did you catch in the news how they are testing drones to deliver orders? A part from TGIF restaurant group no other companies that I am aware of use drones. Now for the ‘but,’ Amazon fulfilment does look pretty easy as a one stop shop for sellers but it doesn’t come cheap. So don’t let Amazons fulfilment prevent you from being an Amazon selling success.
Start out small, by doing your own fulfilment processing. This way you will understand and really appreciate the process of filling your customer’s orders. Then once you’re to a point that you cannot succeed on your own, call up a Fulfilment House. Fulfilment houses are an extension of your business, operating under your terms and conditions. By utilising a fulfilment house for your order processing, storage, customer service services you can save on your overhead costs. 
Don’t let Amazon imprison your business to the confines of their business model. Like the saying goes ‘think outside the box,’ and partner with a fulfilment provider.

 Enquire today, and discover how we can help
Please Call 01483 20444

By Erik Miller
JEM Marketing & Fulfilment Services Ltd.

The Invisible Link- Between your business and its customers

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

18 Facts Proving Why Customer Service will either Make or Break Your Business

Today’s technology is making our world more and more transparent, giving consumers more power and control in our current market place.

The birth of Social Media has been an influential factor in this power switch. Today’s consumers are now fortified and armed with the latest mobile technology, assisting them in their shopping endeavours.

Our society is blessed with the ability to have access to a galaxy of intuitive applications from product price comparing, product reviews all the way to applications that allow you to purchase directly from the app without ever needing to leave your office or home. This technology is exciting and extremely useful for those of us who have little time between juggling home life and a chaotic work schedule. However, on the other than this technology makes it increasingly harder for businesses to stay competitive.

Below Erik Miller, JEM Marketing & Fulfilment Services Ltd. Web & Business Development Manager has scoured the internet and created an in-depth list of facts, to demonstrate why Customer Service is extremely important if a business wants to be successful.

Quick Facts:
-82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly (Survey: What Customers Expect When it Comes to Customer Service, LivePearson 2013).

-62% of organisations view customer experience provided through contact centres as a competitive differentiator (Global Contact Center Survey, Deloitte 2013).

-By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as they key brand differentiator (Customers 2020 Report, Walker 2014).

-83% of consumers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase (Survey: What Customers Expect When it Comes to Customer Service, LivePearson 2013).

-A Customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price or product related (Bain & Company, 2012).

-Companies that prioritise the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy).

-A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy).

-For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent (Lee Resource Inc.).

-91% of consumers expect to receive consistent information over multiple customer contact channels (Synthetix, “7 out of 10 people think online customer service will dominate over traditional call-centres within a decade,” 2012).

-1 in 5 consumers prefer online chat over any other communication method (LogMain and the e-tailing group, “Fourth Annual BoldChat Live Chat Effectiveness,” 2012).

-51% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a website if they could get answers via chat (Survey: What Customers Expect When it Comes to Customer Service, LivePearson 2013).

-71% of consumer are more satisfied with live chat compared to email and phone combine (61%) (Survey: What Customers Expect When it Comes to Customer Service, LivePearson 2013).

-37% of consumers abandon their shopping baskets due having a question and being unable to find the answer (Survey: What Customers Expect When it Comes to Customer Service, LivePearson 2013).

-50% of smartphone users want to resolve their issue on a smartphone app (SpeechCycle and Echo Research Study).

-According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes, 2013).

-More than 60% of consumers are influenced by other consumer’s comments (Social Media for Customer Service, ClickFox, 2011).

-It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience (Understanding Customers,” Ruby Newell-Legner).

 Enquire today, and discover how we can help
Please Call 01483 20444

Read how JEM can optimise your ecommerce success.

JEM Marketing & Fulfilment Services Ltd.
The Invisible Link- Between your business and its customers 

Fulfilment for The Developing Small Business

Let’s Meet Small Business Owner Tim

Tim is an ambitious entrepreneur. Eight months ago Tim decided to start a business on the side in his living room. He began an online shop selling board games. Not just any board games, but traditional children’s games made of wood. Tim sources these games from UK manufacturers.

To get things moving Tim bought a domain name and purchased a simple website builder package through the same company he bought his domain. Tim began selling four different games but as his business started to develop and the social chatter began to take place his product range grew from four games to now currently ten. When his range grew so did his stock quantities. His living room became his work shop and storage facility.

Within months Tim began to see his business take off. Tim was receiving 10-30 orders a day from his website. The growth of his business started to take a toll on his work and personal life. The volumes of orders began to eat his time outside of work. He was a one man band. Every order that came in, he personally processed, packed and shipped. Tim understood early on the seriousness of customer satisfaction. Tim made it a point to always respond to customer enquiries as soon as he can. This led him to slowly lose focus at work.

Tim was now in the crossroads. He started a business to make additional money on the side, but never considered it to be his main focus. However, now he is finding little to no time to manage his business, work priorities and his personal life effectively.

Out Growing Your Small Business Process

Tim is not the only victim of his success. When you run a small business, there are many factors that go into its growth. Being able to hold and manage stock as well as shipping your products are major catalysts for development, because it allows you to sell to so many more people. Processing orders efficiently will grow your customer base. In order to pack and ship successfully there are many variables to consider.

Scalable Fulfilment Services

JEM Marketing and Fulfilment has multiple onsite secure and modern storage facilities. Our storage facilities have the capacity to store your inventory which can be quickly picked, packed and shipped within minutes of an order being placed. Our staff picks, packs and ships thousands of customised orders a day to locations around the world.

JEM uses its very own bespoke fulfilment software that was developed and is maintained in house with our own programmers. This allows us to provide variety of bespoke solutions that most fulfilment companies cannot offer. We have the flexibility to customise reports, connect to ecommerce platforms, and customise inventory control options. JEM is able to offer traditional response fulfilment with tomorrow’s technology.

JEM also offers clients access to our post optimisation services so that clients can pick the most effective delivery method for their business. We’ve partnered with many top shipping companies to get our clients the best rates and services possible.

The Light For Tim

Tim can now relax and maintain his growing small business with the help of the services provided by JEM. Tim has now let go of his time consuming administrative duties and currently focuses on growth related activities. JEM currently manages Tim’s stock, order processing, ecommerce platform and customer support. Tim can now enjoy the fruits of his labours, enjoy his personal life and maintain his focus at work.

Does this story sound familiar?

 Enquire today, and discover how we can help
Please Call 01483 20444

Read how JEM can optimise your ecommerce success.

JEM Marketing & Fulfilment Services Ltd.
The Invisible Link- Between your business and its customers