Month: October 2022

6 Unique Strategies to Retain Top Talent in eCommerce

This is a guest post from Payro, a short-term loan for businesses specifically to cover payroll on time, even when cash flow is thin. Payro secures funds instantly, so they are available for weekly, biweekly or monthly payroll.

Every business is trying to find that competitive edge that will help them crush the competition, scale, and become more profitable. In this article, we’re going to explore 6 unique strategies to retain top talent in eCommerce, helping your business to hire better and keep the good ones for longer.

Some of it might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised to discover many companies fail in that regard.

Are you optimizing your employee retention?

Why Retain Hires Rather Than Just Replace Them?

For starters, people are not commodities. Just because you need someone for your position, doesn’t mean you’re going to find a good fit right away, or at all. It’s always easier and more profitable to be good to the staff you have and train them to grow to your expectations, if possible.

Here are the major driving factors for keeping good employees.

Cost

It takes money to search, recruit, hire, and train a good employee. Meanwhile, you’re losing the function of having that good employee in place to make your company money, which is an added cost over time.

Time

Related to cost, your ideal fit may take months (or years) to find. Meanwhile, your other employees may burn out if they’re covering extra hours or workloads because you’re understaffed. The longer your good employees stay with you, the more you reduce this extended talent gap.

Limited Talent Pool

With the advent of remote work becoming the new normal, many talented employees have gone on to hop into higher echelons and take on new positions. This mass exodus of talent from job-seekers often leaves companies scrambling to find a good fit in training and skills for their open positions.

Ripple Down Effect

Your other employees are always watching, learning, and reflecting on your company culture. If you don’t show that you value your employees, they will in turn not value your customers. Additionally, in-house conflict leads to hindered productivity across the board.

How to retain good hires?

If you’re on board with why you should make extra efforts to keep your good employees, here are six strategies you can implement today, on how to achieve that goal.

Start With the Right Hire For Your Team

Competence is something that you want to look for in an employee, but it’s not the only trait that makes someone successful for your company. On paper, you can look at someone’s skills and training, plus their proven success, and imagine that they will be a great fit for what you do.

However, if you step back and look at the bigger picture, this person will also be working collaboratively with your team. That means that no matter how good they are at any given task, if they don’t play well with others, they are not a good fit.

This can be an especially difficult deal breaker when you do find someone that has a rare talent. Your first inclination may be to jump out of your seat and hire them on the spot. Hold that excitement for a moment as you consider this: do you really want to be responsible for training that person to be kind to others, to listen, and to say thank you?

Unless you’re an empty-nester parent or a former kindergarten teacher, it’s likely that you expect people to come to your team as a professional.

Conversely, when you do find someone who has an exceptional interview and epic soft skills who would easily mesh well with your team – do they have the skills to pull off complex tasks? A little on-the-job training is expected for any position, but that’s more about company culture and not the skills demanded every day at work.

Finding the uncommon blend of talent with people skills in an applicant is a rare find, but it’s the ultimate goal in hiring.

A Company Culture of Psychological Safety

In our cutting-edge world of business, the paradigm of how we accomplish anything frequently shifts. Employees who feel like they’re allowed to make mistakes will speak up and voice their opinions, offering unique insight and different perspectives to anyone willing to listen.

Beyond that, they will feel seen and heard. Employees who feel like they’re making an impact at work have a sense of value and importance, making the work more important to them. Tap into this powerful psychological effect by letting your team members know that you’re listening and open to their ideas and feedback.

Value Your Employees

In an ever-growing less personal and digital world in which the metaverse is taking over real life, it’s essential to see your employees as real people. This means honoring their commitments outside of work, which could include a partner, kids, sick relatives they’re taking care of, or anything that’s important to them. As long as they’re a contributing member of the team and able to hit their deadlines with quality work performed, try to remain flexible for them.

Making an employee choose between their family and their job is a sure-fire way to get them to either quit the position or resent being there when they show up to work. You can proactively come up with a model that works for both you and them so that your needs are being met as well.

Be Transparent

Honesty is still the best policy. As companies proudly puff out their chests and brag about numbers while their infrastructure is collapsing, it’s important for your employees to know they’re on the inside along with you. If there’s risk ahead, let them know. If finances are falling, show them the stats and have them brainstorm ways to improve KPIs.

Being clear is always the best option. Set reasonable and clear expectations, while being clear on your feedback about what you like about their performance and what you think can be improved on for next time – with the gentle nudge and encouragement for them to improve.

Aim For Exceptional

Another way to say this is “Lead by Example” as long as the example your setting is for excellence. Whatever your vision is, share that vision until your team can see it too. Let them add to the vision. Always ask yourself and the team, “what more can we do to improve this?”.

Start small and work your way through every offer and touchpoint you have with your customers. Or start big and rethink your mission vision, then trickle that down to affect everyone in the company. Regardless of how you go about it, don’t settle for just “good.” A comfortable job that pays the bills is the death of creativity, and your talented employees will jump ship at the next port.

Ensure They Always Get Paid

Perhaps the most obvious of all of these strategies is to pay your employees. Don’t laugh this one off, because many companies fall on hard times, or quite the opposite. They are expanding so rapidly that they hire a number of new employees. Cash flow can easily become a problem for most businesses at some point.

Not having the cash on hand to make payroll means you will not pay your employees on time. This will shake their foundation and belief in the company being able to provide for them, eroding trust and any vision for a long-term future.

There are options to always make sure your employees get paid. Companies like Payro offer low-cost business loans to cover that narrow gap in timing, which will ensure you’re able to pay all of your employees – on time.

Managing Your Company Cash Flow

The money is coming, it’s just not where you need it to be right at this moment.

It’s a common problem that affects all businesses to varying degrees. Especially small to medium companies and Amazon businesses that can see their sales charts, but are not able to collect on the money they’ve earned until they’re paid by Amazon.

Add to that, there are constant expenses to stock physical products and goods.

The beauty of accessing money for a short time period when you need it is that you can pay invoices without getting fined, and always ensure your employees are paid on time. A company like Payro offers attractive options, like:

  • 48-hour approval and same-day funding once approved
  • Financing up to $500k
  • Rates as low as 1.5%
  • 28 days to pay back the loan

Knowing you have money on demand if and when you need it will also help decrease your own stress levels, so you can retain your joy for your business.

Summary

Nurturing your employees is an essential skill to learn, and goes a long way in recruiting and retaining the top talent in your industry. It’s much less expensive (and more humane) to treat your team right and keep them around for the long haul.

The six strategies to retain them include:

  • Start With the Right Hire For Your Team
  • A Company Culture of Psychological Safety
  • Value Your Employees
  • Be Transparent
  • Aim For Exceptional
  • Ensure They Always Get Paid

If your company is experiencing a temporary cash flow issue, it’s easy to find a company like Payro that can get you a low-cost, same-day business loan, specifically designed to cover payroll, for up to $500k. Making sure your employees are taken care of is the most important way you can put your money where your mouth is and show them you value them.

3 Simple Strategies For Show Stopping eCommerce Product Listings

2.14 billion people shopped online in 2021. That’s 27.6% of the global population who came across a product listing, liked what they saw, and hit “buy”.

Product listings are one of the few areas in your eCommerce funnel that all potential customers will see before spending and play a massive role in influencing what consumers purchase.

In this post, we’ll cover why investing in product listings is always time and money well spent. We’ll also explore what goes into a fantastic product listing and some tips to help you craft winning listings of your own.

You are looking for a way to upgrade your eCommerce business? Start your fulfillment optimization journey with MyFBAPrep. 

Why investing in product listings pays off

With 63% of shopping journeys beginning online, most consumers encounter product listings early in the customer journey. As a result, product listings carry a lot of weight in the buying process, making upgrading product listings enticing. Let’s examine some reasons why you can’t go wrong with making improvements to your product listings:

Show products in the best light

In a world where website visitors decide whether they’re staying or going within 0.05 seconds, first impressions count. A well-crafted listing allows your products to stand out in the sea of competing offers, especially on marketplaces like Amazon, which has 12 million products vying for shoppers’ attention. Put another way; your product listing quality is so critical it can be the difference between whether a shopper takes a chance on your brand or opts for a competitor.

Accelerate sales around the clock

Sometimes the product listing is the first encounter shoppers have with your items, so a rockstar product listing is essential to highlight the pros of buying the item to get more clicks and sales. Product listings act like your 24-7 sales team, pitching your wares, convincing shoppers, and closing deals.

Improve consumer confidence

Unlike shopping in-store, customers can’t experience your products physically. They rely on your images, videos, and descriptions to aid their purchase decisions to make educated guesses on what using your product will be like. But no one likes to be wrong when buying goods, and taking a chance on a brand can be scary (especially for high-priced items) so there can be friction in the online buying journey.

A great product listing addresses this problem by incorporating different elements to put shoppers’ minds at ease by giving shoppers a relevant, well-optimized spot to land on. You can also reduce ad bounce rate, improve time on page, and lower buyer’s remorse. In turn, you can look forward to increased sales velocity, reduced customer returns, and improved store ROI.

Products gaining traction? Stay on shoppers’ radar for the right reasons with MyFBAPrep.

8 Building blocks of a high-quality product listing

Now that we know the value of a killer product listing, the next question is what goes into one? To get up to speed, let’s breakdown the makeup of a top-performing product listing:

1) High-quality images and videos

First up on the list are high-quality images and videos. With shoppers’ lives busier than ever, crisp images and videos are essential to grab their attention and help them get the information quickly. When done correctly, your efforts are bound to pay off. Not only can videos increase conversion rates by up to 80%, but shoppers that watch a video are also 144% more likely to add an item to their cart than consumers that don’t. Also, 50% of shoppers say photos helped them make online buying decisions.

2) Benefit-driven product descriptions

A great product listing answers the question on every shopper’s mind, “what’s in it for me?”. They should highlight your products’ USP and what gives your items a competitive edge to help shoppers understand why your product is the best choice. For example, shoe brand TOMS lets its site visitors know they make their items from sustainable materials, and a portion of the profits goes to charity.

3) User-generated content (UGC)

Candid reviews, honest testimonials, and creative snaps from customers show off the results your products have given your customers. They also provide prospects with ideas on how to use your goods, breed trust, and humanize your brand. Encourage and incentivize your customers to share their experience with your brand and products for easy access to UGC at scale.

4) SEO

SEO is the backbone of every listing that succeeds long-term. Use relevant keywords and optimized placements to attract customers to your products organically. This strategy lowers your required ad spend over time and boosts your ROI. SEO works whether you have listings on a marketplace like Amazon or your website.

5) Great products

Never underestimate the power of a phenomenal product on a listing’s selling potential. Winning products add a spark to listings like no ad or social media post can. To increase your odds of closing sales, your products should:

  • Be made using quality materials
  • Have a differentiating characteristic to separate it from competing items
  • Provide high perceived value

6) A compelling offer

In eCommerce, you’re only as good as your last offer. You should constantly be trialing new ways to give shoppers value for their money and enjoyment in the buying process. So, whether you ask shoppers what they want to see in your store, rejig past successful offers, or test different bundles, make your shopping experience exciting by keeping shoppers guessing about what’s next.

7) Trust boosting assets

A high-quality listing screams “you can count on us.” Using a mix of money-back guarantees, details on freebies, logos for reputable payment options (PayPal, Visa, Stripe), and information on any support services the customer will receive from your business will help to instill trust.

8) Recommendations for similar items

Make your listings more valuable to busy shoppers and boost average order value by adding suggestions for similar or complementary items. You can also highlight new and upcoming offers to gain more interest. Test different placements on the listing to find your optimal spot.

How to craft a show-stopping product listing

If you’re stuck on how to optimize your product listings for better results, don’t fret. Use the following tips to get started, put your work out into the market, reiterate, and before long; you’ll have a listing you can be proud of:

Conduct market research to find winning product listing elements

A great product listing starts with research. Investigate what’s on offer in your space and brainstorm creative spins on them to make your mark. Also, look for what images, messaging, colors, navigation, and layouts resonate with your target online audience. Don’t be afraid to search outside your niche at brands your target shopper frequents for ideas you can spin. This approach will help you build a strong foundation for a high-converting listing.

Implement conversion rate optimization techniques

Split test different page elements from the add-to-cart button color to the text placement to find the best fit for your brand. Also, use heatmaps to understand how shoppers navigate in your store and adjust based on your finding to upgrade listing conversions. You’ll improve user experience and improve conversions by finding optimal combinations. Some tools you can use are:

Upgrade your product description copy and imagery:

Want to have shoppers rushing to buy your items? Then it’s time to revamp your listing copy and visuals. Here are some areas to focus on:

  • Craft a compelling title: Explain your product and how it works succinctly. Don’t forget to include 1-2 keywords towards the beginning of the title. For example, if you sell a utensil sharpener set, your listing title could look something like this:

3PCS Utensil Sharpener Set, Knife Sharpener, Perfect for Kitchen, Cutlery, and Tools.

  • Use bullet points and short sentences: Keep the text snappy and focus on what the product does for the customers.
  • Apply persuasive language techniques: Blend in terms the target customer uses or understands as well as urgency and scarcity-focused words to encourage shoppers to take action sooner.

Top tip: you can use plugins to assist with persuasive triggers like countdown timers and popups indicating how many units are left and what shoppers bought recently.

  • Amp up your visual quality: Lifestyle images, video reels of the product in action, and close-ups are just some of the ways fantastic visuals bring the product to life. Avoid the stock content suppliers provide, making your brand appear amateur.
  • Include essential details: Ensure shoppers don’t have to search for information by clarifying vital information on your listing. For example, you can:
    • Highlight shipping terms
    • Create an FAQ tab
    • Clarify any crucial terms and conditions

 The secret to listings that sell

With growing competition online, up-leveling your product listing quality has never been more critical. Product listings offer an effective way to establish reliability, trust, and authority with your target audience. As the landing page, all shoppers encounter before buying, product listings are essential to the effectiveness of every marketing strategy you launch. So, put your best foot forward. Create scrolling-stopping images and videos, implement SEO best practices, and answer shoppers burning questions. Soon you’ll have product listings that rank well, attracts buyers in droves, and rakes in cash.

The time to get serious about your fulfillment processes is now. Discover how MyFBAPrep can help.

18 eCommerce Events to Attend in 2023

If you’ve ever attended an eCommerce event, you’ll know how incredible and insightful they can be.

eCommerce events, conferences, and summits are bound to be overflowing with value and innovative insights. After attending an event, be it online or in-person, you’ll walk away with a newfound love for your business.

Hear about the latest innovations, trends, and insights from experts in the eCommerce space, network with like-minded retailers, and learn how to grow your store to new heights.

Keep reading to discover the best eCommerce events to attend in 2023.

18 eCommerce events to attend in 2023

Hero Conf

Hero Conf is an international eCommerce event that can be found in both Austin, Texas and London, UK. Leading eCommerce brands, agencies, and SaaS companies come together at Hero Conf to learn how to enhance the future of their business.

Hero Conf is predominantly aimed at digital marketers. Attendees of Hero Conf can expect to attend talks and workshops covering topics such as YouTube advertising, machine learning, multi-channel strategies, and audience research.

If you prefer to attend events for their networking potential, then Hero Conf could be a perfect choice. They recognize the value of networking. Carving out dedicated time slots for informal or organized networking events, Hero Conf will help you strengthen your little black book of eCommerce friends.

The 2022 Hero Conf saw speakers such as Frederick Valleys from Optmyzr, John Lee from Microsoft, and Stephanie Alston from Black Girl Group sharing actionable pay-per-click (PPC) insights and learnings.

CXL Live

On a normal day, CXL brings people valuable in-depth marketing, analytics, and optimization content through their blogs. Once a year, however, CXL bring those insights to you in person at their CXL Live event. Held in Austin, TX, CXL Live is a B2B growth and experimentation event.

CXL Live is always buzzing with exciting conversations around experimentation, conversion optimization, demand generation, and growth marketing. Attend the CXL Live conference to learn how to futureproof your eCommerce brand with smart growth marketing strategies.

Past CXL Live speakers have included Casandra Campbell from Shopify, Chris Walker from Refine Labs, and Ben Labay from Speero. CXL Live takes networking one step further by matching you up with the exact people you need to meet. They’ll match you up based on goals, organize dedicated roundtables, and put you in touch with the people who could drive your eCommerce business forward.

eTail: The eCommerce & omnichannel conference

Held in Boston, eTail is a three-day-long conference that aims to help you increase your bottom line. Thousands of retailers will come together to gain hundreds of new eCommerce insights, connect with other businesses, and leave feeling revitalized.

eTail uniquely puts profits at the heart of their conference. They put together an agenda of no-nonsense, no-fluff sessions as they dive into actionable growth and transformation strategies.

Attendees of the 2022 eTail summit got to hear leading eCommerce brands Abercrombie & Fitch and Lowes as they discussed the future of retail in a keynote panel. Other sessions explored topics of diversity and inclusion initiatives, influencer marketing, and building brand communities. You’ll find a range of discussions to get involved in at eTail.

INBOUND

If an event is powered by HubSpot, it’s set to be good. INBOUND lives up to that expectation. Hosted annually, INBOUND unites thought leaders from over 161 countries. Together, they bring you the latest marketing, sales, customer success, and revenue operations insights and innovations.

As of 2022, INBOUND is a hybrid event so you can join up without having to travel the distance. If in-person events are more your style, keep an eye out for their 2023 dates for their Boston conference.

2022 attendees were treated to inspiring and impactful sessions delivered by the likes of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the US, and Jimmy O. Yang, an actor and stand-up comedian — proving that INBOUND is an eCommerce event that isn’t afraid to disrupt the norm.

ANA Brand Masters Conference

Held in Carlsbad, California and virtually, ANA Brand Masters is a hybrid conference. As its name suggests, ANA Brand Masters hones in on branding with a particular focus on brand management, purpose, activation, and experience.

ANA Brand Masters delivers a series of talks and workshops to help eCommerce businesses leverage their brand and use it as a way to drive innovative experiences for their customers.

Add this conference to your 2023 eCommerce events list if you want to dive into the power behind branding and make your brand stand out from the crowd. Past events have been graced with talks from TOMS, Mastercard, Mattel, and Twitter. You’ll get to hear stories and insights from leading eCommerce brands, SaaS companies, and service providers ensuring you absorb all aspects of the eCommerce world.

eCommerce Fuel Live

Refuel your passion for eCommerce at eCommerce Fuel Live. This 3-day conference brings together keynote sessions, breakouts, networking, games, afternoon adventures, and a closing party. When it comes to balancing invigorating sessions with revitalizing fun, eCommerceFuel Live has thought of everything.

But there’s just one catch. You need to be a vetted member of eCommerce Fuel’s private community if you want to attend. This community is only open to 7- and 8-figure store owners. As such, you can expect their events to be filled with innovative and experienced eCommerce entrepreneurs.

The 2022 eCommerceFuel Live took place in Norfolk, Virginia. Some eCommerce entrepreneurs you could expect to see at eCommerce Fuel events include Bill D’Alessandro, Ezra Firestone, and Miracle Wanzo.

B2B Online

B2B Online is the leading eCommerce and digital marketing conference for manufacturers and distributors. Taking place in Chicago, B2B Online offers attendees a chance to connect with other B2B eCommerce leaders.

eCommerce manufacturers and distributors will benefit greatly from B2B Online’s agenda of innovative digital, eCommerce, and omnichannel content. B2B Online is confident that anyone attending this event will walk away with laser-focused insights, a network of impactful B2B contacts, and the knowledge to build their business and profit.

Retail Summits

From Chicago to Dallas, Retail Summits organize eCommerce conferences throughout the US. They even have a summit in England for eCommerce brands wanting to attend events overseas.

Retail Summits collection of eCommerce conferences is aimed at retailers of all sizes —independent, SMB, and enterprise— from local markets across the US. Consultants and retail solution providers are also invited to attend as Retail Summits partners.

Retail Summits program of events covers everything from acquisition through to fulfillment, payment, shipping, and fraud. During a series of talks, panels, and sessions, attendees will uncover valuable strategies for growing their retail business.

EnvisionB2B Marketplace Summit

Premiering in October 2022, EnvisionB2B Marketplace Summit is the newest kid on the eCommerce event block. EnvisionB2B Marketplace Summit aims to disrupt the current eCommerce event space as a progressive event that helps manufacturers, distributors, marketplace operators, and other B2B businesses prosper on digital marketplaces.

Embracing an intimate environment, this summit dives into B2B marketplace strategies while providing networking opportunities with marketplace experts. Attendees can tap into marketplace experts to gain valuable knowledge, best practice advice, and solutions to common challenges.

Mobile Payment Conference (MPC)

Mobile Payment Conference (MPC) is the must-attend event for all things fintech, mobile payments, and digital technology.

MPC is an opportunity for eCommerce leaders to discuss the future of commerce and financial services while hearing about emerging trends in fintech, digital technology, security, and regulatory landscapes. Networking sessions create space for deep discussions with commerce and financial experts and peers.

MPC will mostly benefit B2B commerce businesses wanting to capitalize on the benefits of mobile payments, fintech, and digital technology. Types of business executives attending span industries of banking and finance, payment technology, security, international business, marketing, and more.

Speakers come from a variety of industries—from Microsoft to GoCart—as they share the latest technology trends and insights into the future of digital commerce.

Scaling Up Summit

Hosted in more than 40 cities worldwide, Scaling Up Summit offers businesses an insight into Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up principles.

While the Scaling Up Summit isn’t reserved for eCommerce businesses, it’s an event that could benefit many eCommerce and direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailers. eCommerce businesses and retailers looking to overcome stagnation and scale their future growth will find innovative frameworks at the Scaling Up Summit.

This event is presented as an interactive workshop that combines assessments with learning, software, and coaching to help business leaders learn how to effectively scale. The summit runs through a series of key principles. Attendees will learn everything from designing employee journeys to identifying their brand strategy, executing systems, and managing cash flow.

Sellers Summit

Sellers Summit takes place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and shares actionable strategies for selling on Amazon or through your own store.

The Sellers Summit welcomes individuals wanting to start a physical products-based eCommerce business and existing eCommerce retailers. Delivered in a workshop format, this summit walks attendees through practical and actionable eCommerce strategies for selling online. Attendees get to test the strategies and ask questions, rather than listening to talks and absorbing information.

Retailers looking to break through on Amazon will benefit from the Amazon track. Meanwhile, those wanting to develop an owned eCommerce store can learn strategies for selling beyond the marketplace.

Experienced retailers grossing at least $250,000 in revenue can attend an exclusive mastermind meeting to help them overcome limitations and keep their profits on an upward trajectory.

Attendees can hear inspiring stories and learn useful sales strategies from experienced retailers and eCommerce service providers. The 2022 Sellers Summit saw the founder of Bear Brand share his blog-to-eCommerce-business story alongside many other speakers including TikTok Consultants, 7-figure store owners, former Amazon employees, and live selling experts.

Prosper Show

Hosted in Las Vegas, Prosper Show tailors its agenda to established Amazon sellers. Prosper Show is an exhibition-style event offering impactful keynotes and talks.

Prosper Show focuses on helping Amazon sellers scale their businesses more efficiently. This eCommerce event aims to be education-led by giving attendees access to over 100 leading solution and service providers in Amazon’s ecosystem in the exhibition center.

On the conference side of Prosper Show, keynotes and talks will feature reliable best practices, actionable strategies, and up-to-date insights into selling on Amazon.

Structured and informal networking opportunities also offer attendees a chance to speak with like-minded Amazon sellers, meet leading Amazon marketplace solution providers, and chat with former Amazon insiders.

If you want to learn how to increase profits for your Amazon store, this event is sure to provide plenty of effective strategies and insights.

ShopTalk

ShopTalk hosts a series of retail events throughout the year. Their main event, ShopTalk, happens in Spring and is followed by a European event, a meetup for women, and a fall meetup.

In 2023, the main ShopTalk event is held in Las Vegas on 26 – 29 March. This event allows retailers and retail service providers to come together and explore the future of retail. ShopTalk aims to deliver perspectives that won’t be heard at any other retail event.

Combining a conference with an exhibition, ShopTalk brings together thousands of attendees and hundreds of retail exhibitors to connect over the retail ecosystem. Past event speakers include the likes of Uber, 7-Eleven, Alibaba, and McKinsey & Company. You’ll be surrounded by many retail giants and solutions providers at ShopTalk.

White Label World Expo

White Label World Expo takes place on 3-4 May 2023 in Las Vegas. This two-day exhibition offers retailers a chance to discover new product lines while allowing manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their products to industry-leading retailers.

eCommerce retailers, suppliers, and buyers will all benefit from attending White Label World Expo. At this event, you’ll gain access to leading suppliers as you get to discover the latest product lines and find innovative additions to your inventory.

Seminars, panels, and keynote sessions will offer inspiring insights, trends, and tips that you can feed into your business. Whether you’re a start-up looking for advice on getting started or you’re an established retailer wanting to level up, you’ll gain thought-provoking insights at White Label World Expo.

Sell and Scale Summit

Uncover future eCommerce trends at Sell and Scale Summit in Las Vegas.

Sell and Scale gives private-label sellers and brand builders a chance to break through barriers as they learn skills and strategies for building a successful eCommerce business. At Sell and Scale Summit you’ll be able to embark on educational tracks to improving eCommerce foundations, scaling your business, and achieving market domination. By the end of the three-day summit, you’ll leave with newfound ideas, inspiration, and connections.

Alongside an exhibition, keynote talks, and educational tracks, Sell and Scale Summit also offers a teaching lounge and breakout sessions. The teaching lounge presents 10-minute long Ask Me Anything-style sessions with retail experts while the breakout sessions provide in-depth coverage on targeted retail topics.

If that’s not enough, they even have Zumba, yoga, and a pancake party. Variety is the spice of life at Sell and Scale Summit.

Speakers at Sell and Scale Summit cover cutting-edge topics into the latest retail growth hacks, trends, and technologies. Past event attendees have heard from Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media and Steve Chou from My Wife Quit Her Job.

Product-Led Summit

The Product-Led Summit is held at numerous locations worldwide. Product-Led Summit travels the globe sharing insights into positioning your product as your primary growth engine.

This summit brings you the fastest-growing community of experienced product-led sellers, growth experts, industry founders, and thought leaders. If you want to learn how to put your product at the center of your eCommerce growth, this is an unmissable event.

Product-Led Summit appeals to both new eCommerce retailers and established product-led growth experts. At this summit, you’ll hear insights from pioneering product-led leaders through interactive sessions, keynotes, and discussions. Every aspect of the Product-Led Summit is geared toward providing retailers with the solutions to facilitate high-level growth in fast-moving markets.

Retail solutions providers that can be found at the Product-Led Summit include Amazon, Meta, Slack, Shopify, and WeWork. Speakers at past events include the Senior Product Manager from Klaviyo, The Senior Manager of Indeed, and the VP of Marketing at Reprise.

MRC Conferences

The Merchant Risk Council (MRC) hosts numerous events and conferences every year. At these events, MRC aims to bring together industry-leading professionals across the digital space.

MRC is committed to helping people online make the most of payment solutions while minimizing the risks of fraudulent activity. At the MRC conferences, expect to see fresh content and ideas from industry thought leaders. Topics could cover anything from fraud case studies to 3D Secure insights, machine learning solutions, payment innovations, and more.

In 2023, MRC will be heading to Las Vegas for their MRC Vegas Conference between 8-9 March. Throughout 2023, they will also be hosting smaller MRC Connects events and virtual summits and events.

5 eCommerce Marketing Agencies For Scaling Brands

We’ve all been there before.

Growth figures are strong, customers are happy, and it seems like your business can’t get any better. Then you’re blindsided by a problem that threatens to wipe away everything you’ve worked for.

Whether it’s a marketing platform suspension, costly stockouts, or a new sales platform you can’t understand, the outlook isn’t inspiring. Suddenly, all of your attention turns to firefighting. You only have to look at the brands on the other side of the 2 billion out-of-stock messages in 2021 and 66% of surveyed companies anticipating delays from Chinese New Year for recent examples.

Before long, crucial tasks like marketing and sales get tossed by the wayside. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can keep your marketing on track by outsourcing to an eCommerce marketing agency.

What is an eCommerce marketing agency? And what do they do?

An eCommerce marketing agency is a business designed to help online stores create and execute effective customer acquisition strategies to scale effectively and sustainably. Some of these agencies offer include:

  • eCommerce website audits
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Ad optimization
  • SEO
  • Social media advertising
  • Launch marketing
  • Product listing optimization
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Checkout optimization
  • User experience optimization

5 Signs you need an eCommerce marketing agency

The right eCommerce marketing agency can help get your brand noticed and unlock new levels of success without doubling your team’s task load. To set the stage up for success, it’s important to know whether partnering with an eCommerce agency is right for your business. Let’s run through some ways to know:

1) The workload seems endless

If your team is swamped with growth-focused tasks like product launches and portfolio development, working with an eCommerce marketing agency can help you get ahead. The agency can handle the marketing tasks to release your time and energy for other essential tasks.

2) Marketing skills don’t match your store’s development

Perhaps your store’s social media pages have gone viral, and it’s challenging to keep up with audience comments. Alternatively, maybe you’ve got multiple PPC ads that need a more trained eye to optimize them. If marketing isn’t your strong point or your store’s marketing needs exceed your skillset, it’s holding your business back. So, it could be time to hand over the reins.

3) Product portfolio growth is outpacing your marketing capacity

Your product portfolio is growing rapidly, and you can’t keep up with the marketing demands for items, it could be a sign to hand over some responsibility to an eCommerce marketing agency. This way, you can scale more products without compromising the work you’ve already put in.

4) Your intuition says it’s to test new marketing styles and channels

So you’ve built a strong social media following and have profitable PPC campaigns. Now you’ve got an inkling that your store could benefit from another type of marketing you don’t specialize in, like influencer marketing, TV ads, and transport commercials, calling in the experts could be a good shout.

5) You’re going cross-border

Thinking about cross-border expansion? Partnering with an agency for your chosen region could be a wise move. Especially if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of the language, culture, marketing rules, and consumers’ expectations in that location. Working with an agency can help you overcome the hurdles to selling profitably and building an audience.

5 Essentials for a successful agency partnership

Whether you’re a new eCommerce brand or established enterprise, there are some vital characteristics and resources to have in place to boost your partnership’s odds of success. Before working together, let’s explore some traits you and your agency partner should have:

1) A healthy budget

Even in business, it can be a little awkward to talk money. But you’ll need a solid budget to ensure you can pass over the most important tasks to the pros. If you’re tempted to cut corners for lower fees, keep in mind the saying “you get what you pay for” and the fact that rookie mistakes can hold back your business.

There are many payment options available if you don’t have all the cash upfront. For example, you can save up profits over time, work out a payment plan with the agency, or negotiate an upfront fee and performance-based commission.

2) Products that sell

It’s vital you have products with strong sales history for your eCommerce marketing to optimize. You can also choose to launch new products but double-check the numbers to ensure they have winning potential. When selling on marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart, tools like Helium 10 and Jungle Scout can help you calculate product ROI more accurately.

 3) Well-rounded expertise

Your chosen agency should not only have expertise in your sales channels, but the social channels you use and the growth stage you’re in. A breadth of knowledge is essential since the best marketing strategies are diversified.

For example, if you use google ads, you can seek out a Google Partner. Extra points if they specialize in your product category or niche. If you operate on a subscription model, the agency you work with should know how to generate conversions for this sales strategy.

4) A track record of success

Set your store up for major wins by working with an agency that has been to battle and won trophies. They should have thoroughly tested strategies, know the pitfalls and roadblocks you may encounter in your next growth stage, and documented ways around them.

5) Management and communication skills

You should be willing to share details necessary for an agency partnership, like access to analytics, sales figures, and marketing channel logins. You should also communicate any changes that may impact your sales or brand, like a public relations faux pau or shift in branding, packaging, or materials used in your items.

In the same light, it’s essential that the agency you pick has an organized way of managing projects, whether its key deliverables are outlined and tracked in a spreadsheet or project management tool. They should also be able to share things like:

  • Current case studies
  • How they monitor progress
  • Strategies they intend to use
  • Profitability of your campaigns

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5 Awesome eCommerce marketing agencies

One of the easiest ways to secure a profit-driving agency partnership is to choose the right one for your current growth stage and long-term goals. To help your search, we’ve compiled some of the top performing eCommerce marketing agencies on the market:

1) Stryde

Best known for: AI-backed analytics, SEO, CRO, Paid ads, creative

Need help with a few marketing avenues? Stryde has got you covered. Its expansive service list to its experience in 4+ industries allow you to pick solutions for a winning strategy. Stryde’s analytical approach to eCommerce marketing ensures its clients’ brands level up continually. With glowing testimonials and returns on ad spend as high as 6.6, Stryde results speak for themselves.

2) Shopping Signals

Best known for: eCommerce SEO, creative, content marketing

Armed with a knack for content marketing and SEO expertise, Shopping Signals knows how to drive traffic and sales with optimized creatives. Shopping Signals also offers services like CRO and strategy to keep your brand profitable throughout the twists and turns in the eCommerce journey. Plus, you can join Shopping Signals’ growing community of online sellers on Facebook to share tips and ask questions on all things eCommerce.

3) 1Digital Agency

Best known for: SEO, PPC, Social media eCommerce audits, content marketing

1Digital sees eCommerce as an art. Combining skills in PPC, SEO, social media, and more, this agency knows how to get results around the clock. As a client, you can also access eCommerce audits, ongoing support, and consultations to boost your online leads and sales while your business matures. 1Digital is also a partner with brands like Shopify, BigCommerce, CallRail, and Bing and was named of the Top eCommerce agencies by Neil Patel.

4) Trellis

Best known for: Full-scale eCommerce marketing, Data-focused approach

On a mission to simplify eCommerce, Trellis combines data-driven strategies with marketing, design, integrations, and store development to drive conversions for its clients. With skills in B2B and B2C eCommerce marketing, Trellis provides brands with the ultimate flexibility in marketing whichever route they take in business.

This digital agency believes in constant improvement, so you can count on them to tweak your strategy, website, and marketing for more revenue, ROI, and customer satisfaction.

5) WebFX

Best known for: PPC, Amazon, B2B eCommerce, Design, SEO, lead generation

With over $3.2 billion in revenue generated for clients and counting, it’s safe to say WebFX knows how to get cash flowing in eCommerce businesses.

Whether you need help with an Amazon listing, want to launch a B2B eCommerce store, or improve the customer experience on your website, WebFX will make it happen.

Choose WebFX as your eCommerce marketing agency, and you’ll be in great company. Some of its clients include Cleveland Brothers, Bar’s Leaks, and Net Friends.

Usher in a new era with eCommerce marketing

Working with a reputable eCommerce marketing agency is a sure-fire way to improve your store’s conversion rates, customer experiences, and profitability.

It’s essential to vet potential agency partners vigorously, keeping your eyes peeled for those with a stellar track record of success, excellent communication, solid eCommerce experience, and fair rates.

Be prepared to stick through the initial bumps you may encounter as the optimizations get underway, and it won’t be long before your leads and sales take off.

Predicting massive growth? Level up your fulfillment strategy to match.

5 Holiday Trends to Guide Your Q4 eCommerce Strategy

The eCommerce industry is ever-changing. Things move fast and trends come and go. In an industry that’s always evolving, you need to stay on your toes.

Jump on a trend too late and you may have to stand on the shorelines as your competitors (and customers) sail on by. If you want to improve your product sales, you need to stay informed of the seasonal trends throughout the year.

Meet customers where they are by keeping on top of the current and upcoming trends. Let’s look at some of the biggest eCommerce holiday trends to be aware of this Q4.

5 holiday trends to be aware of this Q4

There is a never-ending list of eCommerce strategies you can leverage throughout the year to boost your business. From bundle strategies to free shipping offers and post-purchase surveys, it can be difficult to know which ones to pick up and leverage for your store.

While some strategies can be used day in and day out, others will only be here for a fleeting moment in time. Move too slow and you might miss the next big thing before it’s even happened.

To help you stay ahead of competitors this Q4, here are five of the biggest eCommerce holiday trends to be aware of.

Marketplace sales set to increase due to inflation

All around the world, inflation has been creeping higher and higher. The US inflation rate has reached new heights since the early 1980s. Consumers are being hit by price increases at every angle and their wallets are sure to feel the pinch.

Many shoppers will cope with record-high inflation records by putting a halt on spending. Meanwhile, other shoppers will move toward “thrifty” shopping styles as they try to be more cost-conscious.

Marketplaces such as Amazon make it easy for customers to shop around. They can easily search for a wide range of products to try to get the best deal.

The top three spots for the leading eCommerce sites in the US were all held by marketplaces. In 2021, Amazon recorded 2.45 billion monthly visits as it soared into the top spot. Marketplace competitor, eBay ranked second with over 885 million visits, and Walmart came in third.

As inflation rates rise, it pays to be active on marketplaces. Embrace a marketplace model to give your store a greater chance of getting in front of your customers.

Consumers value marketplaces for convenience and value for money. As a retailer, you too can benefit from listing products on marketplaces. Marketplace selling lets you keep a close eye on competitor pricing strategies. Use a competitor price tracking tool to monitor competitor product price changes and automatically adjust your product prices. By doing this, your products will remain competitively priced during the holiday season and you’ll be the preferred seller for consumers looking to make thrifty online purchases.

Wondering which marketplace is best for you? Check out our guide on Walmart vs. Amazon here.

Party supplies are on the rise

COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures over the past couple of years meant many people missed out on holiday celebrations and in-person events. The holiday season the time to get together with loved ones. We expect to see an increase in party supply purchases as people start planning their holiday gatherings.

An ongoing survey by Numerator highlights that 49% of consumers are planning to get together to celebrate holidays throughout 2022. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve are set to be the biggest holidays for gathering with friends and family in Q4.

In their survey, Numerator found that 90% of consumers intend to buy something for their celebrations. So, party supply retailers should look to stock the (virtual) shelves in anticipation of more holiday parties compared to last year.

Don’t forget to invest in your marketing strategy and plan campaigns around party supplies too. Increased awareness will help further boost your sales while consumers are on the hunt for the best party supplies they can find.

Welcoming the live shopping era

Live shopping has been on our radar for the past few years now. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen social media giants Meta experiment with live shopping and TikTok trialing live shopping in the UK.

Whether it’s here to stay for the long-term or it’s just a short-term fad, we expect to see more live shopping as we head into the Q4 holiday season. Live shopping is a widely popular sales strategy in China. We assume the Western market is just trying to find its feet in the world of live commerce.

As we move toward the Q4 holiday season, consumers will be overloaded with a paradox of choice. Hosting fun, immersive live shopping events will offer an enticing edge over competitor retailers. Live shopping can positively influence shopping habits through gamification, FOMO (fear of missing out), and other immersive shopping strategies.

Seeing to the needs of sustainable shoppers

Sustainable lifestyles are on the rise as more people commit to doing their part to help the world around them.

With sustainable lifestyles and attitudes comes sustainable shopping habits. Consumers are aware of the impact consumerism has on the environment. They value retailers with sustainable shopping practices and transparent brand values.

But, brand values need to go beyond a sustainability mission statement on your about page. Consumers want to shop with brands that actively live their sustainable values. Research by Amazon found that 62% of consumers actively sought brands with sustainable business practices. They care about the environmental and social impact of the brands they shop with.

For other consumers, Q4 sustainability choices are driven by COVID-19 lifestyle changes and 2022 inflation concerns. The global pandemic caused customers to shop more locally and seasonally, causing many consumers to adopt sustainable shopping habits inadvertently.

Meanwhile, the rising cost of living means customers are looking for new ways to reduce impulsive spending habits. Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and buying long-standing, durable goods is one way they can ensure they’re getting their money’s worth from their purchases.

Incorporate sustainable practices into your retail model to accommodate sustainable shoppers. Explore sustainable materials for products and packaging. Set up a recycling scheme that makes it easy for customers to return old goods for reuse. Develop a range of sustainable gifts and be loud and proud about your ethical values.

Whatever you do, make sure you walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Consumers will be able to see through dishonest practices.

Rise in research online, purchase offline (ROPO) shopping behavior

The 2020 global pandemic meant online sales surged. Local shopping malls were closed, people stayed home, and online shopping was a convenient solution. But, what does that mean for Q4 of 2022?

Shopping malls are open, brick-and-mortar stores are back in action, and people’s lives are returning to a degree of normalcy. As brick-and-mortar stores reopen, we expect to see a rise in research online, and purchase offline (ROPO) shopping behavior.

Consumers will blend the convenience of shopping online with the experience of in-person shopping. Take click-and-collect, for example. Consumers can shop from the comfort of their homes and then collect their goods in person, rather than having to wait for delivery.

Richard Brassey, Head of Business Partnerships at Barclays Partner Finance, commented on the impact of click-and-collect on the UK retail market:

“A year of uncertainty has accelerated many retail trends and created some new ones. Retailers have had to adapt to ensure they remain competitive, and the service could offer retailers a great opportunity as shoppers may browse more online and purchase additional items when picking up their orders. A win-win for customer and retailer alike.”

Curbside collections

Curbside collections don’t seem to be slowing down. Perceived as being faster and cheaper, click-and-collect is a ROPO shopping tactic many customers will continue to use. Consumers are busy during the holiday season so we suspect many will find comfort in the convenience of ROPO shopping behaviors.

With holiday events and parties on the horizon, many shoppers may want to reduce their exposure to strangers to minimize the passing of germs, infections, and viruses.

Leverage ROPO

So, how can you leverage ROPO strategies for your online store? Lean into the online research element of ROPO by offering information online that helps customers make purchase decisions. From informative product guides to online reviews, and events, you can offer helpful insights to aid purchase decisions. Investing in influencer campaigns, online events, and loyalty schemes also helps build your online visibility and positions you as the go-to retailer.

Holiday seasons tend to go hand-in-hand with gifting seasons. Develop an omnichannel strategy that spans online and offline store experiences for your customers, helping them seamlessly move from online browsing to in-person shopping. You could create online wishlists or reward schemes for shoppers.

Wrapping up — eCommerce holiday trends to incorporate into your Q4 retail strategy

Move too slow and you might miss the next big thing before it’s even happened. If you want your Q4 to be a success, invest in upcoming holiday trends.

Many of this year’s Q4 trends will be influenced by last year’s global pandemic and emerging concerns around inflation.

Therefore, take care when choosing holiday trends to implement. Test performance and don’t be afraid to switch tactics if something isn’t working.

Additionally, data is your friend when testing trends. What works for one retailer may not necessarily work for your brand, so don’t be too hasty. Make sure you do your research, test performance, and tweak strategies as you go along.

Above all else, have fun and embrace the holiday shopping season.

How to Generate And Use Social Proof in Your eCommerce Marketing

Need a way for your eCommerce brand to stand out? Turn your attention to acquiring and sharing social proof. From glowing product reviews to heartfelt customer shoutouts, social proof is one of the most effective ways to get your target customer’s attention, build trust and close more sales.

82% of consumers have purchased, researched, or thought about buying after seeing friends, family, or influencers post about something. To help you take advantage of this underutilized hack, in this post, we’ll dive into what social proof is and what it’s not. We’ll also highlight why getting social proof should be a priority when scaling and share some ways to secure attention-grabbing social proof.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Place your brand in the right light with MyFBAPrep.  

What is social proof exactly?

Social proof is a term born from the idea social influence impacts the way people behave, swaying their beliefs and breeding conformity. In action, this could look like getting a recommendation from a friend for a coffee brand you’ve never heard of and taking a chance on them by purchasing.

Social proof comes in many shapes and forms, which brands mix and match. Some formats useful for eCommerce marketing include:

  • Reviews
  • Word of mouth referral
  • Video and text testimonials
  • Professional recommendations, e.g., A doctor’s sign off

Each type of social proof will carry different authority levels depending on whether a third party generated it and who your target is. For instance, recommendations from an employee on your website will be met with less enthusiasm than a review from a fellow shopper on a regulated review site. Telling the world about your product’s benefits isn’t social proof and falls more into the broader marketing category.

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3 Reasons why social proof is a must-have for eCommerce brands

Perhaps your products have viral status, and more people are hearing about your brand each day or you may have mature sales and marketing strategies that have sales pouring in. Either way, it can be challenging to see the value of social proof as anything more than an acknowledgment of your hard work. But social proof can help your brand in many ways. Let’s run through a few:

1) Gain new shopper’s trust

Want to know one of the top things social proof generates for your brand?

Confidence.

Knowing a product has been tested and approved by peers reduces the perceived risk factor of buying, making shoppers more open to learning about your brand and completing the checkout process pause-free.

Recommendations and reviews can also reduce buyers’ remorse when shared as part of your post-sale marketing. These are just some of the reasons reviews play a critical role in a product’s success on a marketplace and why platforms like Amazon have had early reviewer programs and now the Vine program.

2) Improve conversions

Reviews don’t just make your brand look good; they make its bank balance, Average Order Value, and Customer Lifetime Value healthier. For example, Social proof can increase conversions by as much as 270%, and higher-priced products can benefit from a jump of up to 380%. Also, shoppers are likely to spend 31% more when a brand has fantastic reviews.

3) Boost brand authority

Social proof from the right people and in the correct quantity can take a brand from an unknown newbie to a rising star. And, if you’re an established player in the eCommerce world, getting shoppers’ approval tells other consumers why you’ve stood the test of time. In other words, the more social proof your brand acquires, its brand authority becomes stronger.

How to generate social proof on autopilot

No matter what audience size you have, you can garner social proof to drive more leads and sales. You’ll need a well-thought-out game plan to acquire different types of social proof. To get started, here are some ways you can gather reviews, shoutouts, recommendations, and more:

Run giveaways and contests

Giveaways aren’t just great ways to build your email list; they’re also a great way to garner social proof. For example, say you have a teeth whitening line, you could create a competition for your customers, offering 6 month’s worth of products for the best:

  • Before and after pics
  • Selfies with and displays of your products
  • Answers on why they love a particular item

Partner with influencers

Social proof produces the best result when you take a blended approach. So break away from the norm and trial different content types to create social proof with influencer marketing:

  • Q&A sessions
  • Diary style/day-in-the-life content
  • Inspirational images and short video clips (e.g., for social media reels)
  • Social media takeovers
  • Meetups for your most loyal followers to meet their favorite content creators
  • Share seals of approval from regulated bodies and industry experts (e.g., FDA, doctors)

Top tip: Not sure how to execute an influencer campaign? Check out brands in different niches with a winning strategy like Showpo, GymShark, and Frank Body.

Incentivize customer content creation from customers

Despite 9 out of 10 consumers reading reviews before making a purchase, on average, just 10% leave reviews. So sometimes, even your loyal customers need a little nudge to get talking. Give shoppers a reason to leave honest reviews by giving perks that they’ll be interested in. For example, you could offer a discount code, unlock a special deal on their next purchase or offer loyalty points.

Are customers complaining about your delivery processes? Discover how MyFBAPrep can help you win them over again. 

5 simple ways to drive conversions with social proof

Now that you know how to create different forms of social proof, the next step is to position them to supercharge conversions. Here are some ways you can fill your sales funnels and pockets with social proof:

1) Embed social proof into your web design

A fantastic way to get social proof in front of your potential customers is to mix it into your web design. Examine other brands’ social proof strategies for inspiration on how to present it in a way that’s native to the sales platform. For example, if you have a website, you could:

  • Have a page dedicated to reviews and testimonials.
  • Add a widget to product description pages to list reviews for the associated product.
  • Place reviews on your landing page and in email designs.

 2) Blend social proof into your social media strategy

Give your reviews, recommendations, and testimonials the shine they deserve by displaying them on your social channels. Test different formats like video, star ratings, and text to find which style resonates the best. Don’t forget to add a call to action for shoppers to buy the item and a link to the product in your bio to increase conversions.

Look through comments sections for shoutouts and impromptu testimonials your fans may leave on product posts and request permission from them too. Also, take note of how shoppers display their social proof for more ideas to trial.

3) Use case studies for wholesale account outreach

Whether it’s a sell-out launch, a 3-month long wait list, or increased profits, sharing case studies from your wholesale and corporate accounts can help you attract more customers.  Zoom in on crucial stats representing the positive changes your brand has brought other businesses and include positive quotes from customers to provide additional context and validity. You can also include snapshots from case studies in your outreach and adverts to up your meeting booking rate and account sign-ups.

 4) Highlight key numbers

There are some instances where tooting your own horn is entirely acceptable, and sharing your store’s most impressive milestones is one of them. So if you’ve secured 0 to $1 million in 60 days, 100,000 customers, 5 years in business, or something similar, it’s time to let the world know. This tactic will uplevel your brand value in consumers’ eyes, inspiring them to start their customer journey. Some other achievements you can share include:

  • Amount of positive reviews
  • Units sold
  • Units remaining

5) Get social media verified

Something about that little blue ticket on a social media profile makes people stop and pay attention. Yet verification is an overlooked way to showcase brand notoriety. So, research which social platforms your ideal shoppers spend the most time on and take action to get your brand verified on them. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to this task, hire a social media marketing agency to help you achieve the respected verified status.

Be the brand shoppers rave about

Gone are the days when shoppers formed their buying habits solely on word of mouth; social proof has gone digital. From online reviews to influencer mentions and expert recommendations, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the online vetting of products and brands.

With the right approach for gathering and distributing social proof, you can get more eyes on your stores, improve your product’s perceived value, and upgrade your brand’s reputation.

So start today. Collect and share notes, pictures, and videos from happy customers and share them with the world. Soon your products will be selling themselves with a trail of satisfied customers in tow.

 Don’t let archaic processes dim your brand’s light. Learn how MyFBAPrep can help you craft an unforgettable shopping experience to match your raving product reviews

WordPress vs. Magento: An Overview of Two Powerful Business Platforms

This is a guest post from Muhammad Safeerullah. Muhammad is a professional digital marketer and content writer who is currently working for FME Addons. He likes to research and write about eCommerce, search engine optimization, and digital marketing trends. His goal is to help others use WordPress and WooCommerce in innovative ways.

The market is flush with eCommerce platforms designed for various business needs. Some are built specifically for eCommerce businesses, while others have multi-purpose functions. The two most popular platforms for eCommerce are WordPress and Magento, both of which have a vast range of tools and design options.

Each provides open-source and self-hosted platforms. Magento offers Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce, while WordPress has WordPress.org, a self-hosted platform, and WordPress.com, a premium hosting service.

Despite their similar natures, these platforms operate differently as eCommerce business solutions. Both WordPress and Magento have unique pros and cons that affect their suitability for an eCommerce business. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss each platform’s advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which one is right for you.

WordPress

Incorporating 37% of the websites on the internet, WordPress is one of the most embraced content management systems (CMS) for eCommerce and non-eCommerce websites alike. It’s user-friendly, with a quick installation process, and boasts hundreds of plugins for almost any functionality — at no cost.

WordPress boasts over 455 million active websites. The reason for such a high number is its ease of usability and eCommerce-friendly nature.

Pros of WordPress

  • WordPress is not a dedicated eCommerce platform, but you can easily set up an eCommerce store by downloading its WooCommerce plugin (one of its most popular extensions). Additionally, the process of installing a plugin is simple, requiring minimum technical knowledge.
  • It’s affordable and easy to run an online store on WordPress thanks to its user-friendly UI/UX that simplifies operations.
  • WordPress accommodates various website add-ons like WooCommerce conditional checkout fields, Facebook Messenger chatbot, and many more. In addition, the WooCommerce plugin allows you to add new products and categorize and manage them easily.
  • Users can customize their storefront and personalize themes without investing significant time.
  • WordPress lets users include various payment methods for their eCommerce business through plugins such as Paypal, Square, Stripe, and more.
  • It’s commonly used in small businesses with tighter budgets and requires the least technical knowledge.

Cons of WordPress

  • WordPress lacks built-in eCommerce functionality to run a business; you have to install a WooCommerce plugin to operate an online store.
  • For every functionality on WordPress, you have to install a new plugin on your website, and some plugins and themes may be incompatible with each other.
  • WordPress’ security isn’t robust, making it risky to run a large eCommerce business.

Magento

Magento (Adobe Commerce) is a dedicated eCommerce platform seeing increasing adoption. Its purpose is to help users build an eCommerce business, but it can also support blog posts and regular site pages (however, this capability requires a plugin).

Like WordPress, Magento offers Adobe Commerce (also known as Magento Commerce), a fully hosted website, and free open source for a self-hosted, developed website. Big companies like HP, Coca-Cola, and Ford have built robust eCommerce businesses using Magento.

Pros of Magento

  • Magento has built-in eCommerce functionality, making it a powerful and effective platform for online businesses.
  • It can support medium to large stores more easily than WordPress, and constructing a multi-vendor marketplace is also more convenient.
  • You can sell both physical and digital products on the platform, as well as manage multiple stores and catalogs.
  • Magento boasts a high level of customization and functionality, with users able to use almost 5,000 extensions and apps in the Magento Marketplace plugins to enrich their store’s functionality and boost sales.
  • Magento provides extensive user support through its dedicated help desk.
  • It’s a very secure platform with built-in features like a web application firewall and DDoS mitigation. (Note: Open source users are required to install a security plugin.)

Cons of Magento

  • Due to its vast, complex structure, businesses will likely need a team of experienced, professional developers dedicated to setting up a store on Magento. It can also be difficult to manage for those new to eCommerce platforms.
  • Launching a Magento site requires a large investment of both time and money, and the costs of premium Magento extensions are much higher than those of WordPress.
  • Magento’s functionalities are limited, as it only supports eCommerce extensions.

The final verdict

WordPress and Magento are popular open-source CMS options for eCommerce. Magento has the upper hand over WordPress in terms of running a large business, as it’s more stable and has robust security. However, WordPress offers many advantageous features and plugins that are less costly compared to Magento’s extensions.

Overall, WordPress is suitable for content-driven websites while Magento (Adobe Commerce) is ideal for building an eCommerce website (provided you have an expert development team and a large budget). If you’re an eCommerce merchant looking for a highly secure, eCommerce-focused platform, Magento is the better option. If you’re new to eCommerce and looking for an easy-to-use eCommerce platform, then WordPress would be your best bet.

What To Do About The Upcoming FBA Inventory Limitations (And Price Increases)

Holiday seller fees are increasing, but that doesn't have to mean lower revenue

Just when we thought selling on Amazon couldn’t get more expensive, it has.

Amazon delivered the blow that service fees will be increasing once again. This price hike now joins the inventory limits and rising ad costs sellers must contend with in the most critical selling season and beyond.

To give you an idea, third-party sellers in the US and Canada will have an extra $0.35 tacked on to their bill from the 15th of October 2022. This figure may not seem like much at a glance but can add up fast when selling large volumes and impact your store’s ROI.

So how can you build a profitable Amazon business while navigating the rising costs, reduced space in Amazon’s warehouses, and shaky global supply chain? In this post, we’ll show you how.

Need a way to reduce costs in your Amazon business? Build an efficient fulfillment process with MyFBAPrep. 

What’s happening to inventory limits and selling fees?

These days, everywhere you turn, there’s talk of change, and the same goes for selling on Amazon. Knowing what lies ahead for your business will be critical in keeping its growth on course. So let’s break down the two of the latest and most significant shifts on Amazon:

Selling fee rises

Not only are referral fee decreases missing from this year’s Amazon shakeup, but Amazon has also implemented price increases across the board for sellers. Stores on Amazon now have higher costs for services such as FBA, storage (off-peak and peak), labeling, FBA Prep, long-term storage, and removal and disposal solutions.

Some of the most notable changes include:

  • Nearly 10.5% price increase for standard and oversized products during the off-peak season (January – September). Prices will remain as is for peak season.
  • Small standard-size products have the most significant price hike at an average of 7.5%.
  • Small oversize items will pay 2.8% more.
  • Medium-sized products now have a 12.1% additional charge.
  • Large oversize items have a 7.8% uptick in price.
  • Standard-size goods have experienced a 4.8% uptick in selling fees.

Storage space restrictions

Inventory limits

Inventory limits have yoyoed in the last couple of years, with Amazon imposing a much-loathed 200-unit blanket restriction at the height of the pandemic. At present, you’ll receive a warehouse space allowed in cubic meters.

Your inventory limit allocation is Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score-influenced and also depends on the account type you have. Individual seller accounts have a 10 cubic meter cap, and professional sellers have a minimum 25 cubic meter allocation for standard-size, oversize products, clothing, and footwear items. No inventory limits exist for extra-large products, no matter the inventory age or your IPI.

You need an excellent IPI (currently above 400), or you could face restrictions and cuts to your space allowance. However, as mentioned above, there are no inventory limits for extra large products no matter the inventory age or your IPI.

Restock limits

In February 2022, Amazon also changed restock limits from the ASIN level to the storage level. This change means you can now share your restock allowance across ASINs. Your restock limit determines how many replenishment items you can send into Amazon FBA based on your past and predicted sales.

Inventory limits are IPI score-influenced, measured by cubic meters and not by unit. Your warehouse space allowance also depends on your account type (e.g., individual seller accounts have a 10 cubic meter cap, and professional sellers have a minimum 25 cubic meter allocation).

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What Amazon’s selling fee hikes and storage restrictions mean for sellers

With the Amazon selling cost hikes and storage adjustments in full swing, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about how they will impact your business. To give you the knowledge needed to come back swinging, let’s explore how the changes will alter your Amazon selling journey:

Product selection will take center stage

While it’s been a long time since sellers could launch average products into the market and make a killing, product selection will now play an even more prominent role.

You’ll need to assess your products based on their ability to deliver high profits and ROI with low competition, reasonable cost per click in ads, and customer satisfaction.

Robust logistics and restocking processes will be your secret weapon

Since you’ll have fewer products in Amazon’s warehouse, the odds of going out of stock will rise. You’ll need a solid system to monitor inventory levels and quickly send replenishments to Amazon’s warehouses.

Also, with the price increases for Amazon’s already costly prep services, you’ll need to rethink high volumes and how you prepare goods for sale.

Killer negotiation skills will be critical to keeping your budget in line

When you combine the Amazon cost increase with the looming recession and global supply chain chaos, every penny will count in the days ahead. Finding suppliers, manufacturers, vendors, and carriers that offer great deals and excellent service will help you keep costs low.

Boosting your revenue and liquidity will be vital to maintain options

Amazon is notorious for changing its requirements, rules, and privileges it gives to sellers. And if Amazon’s track record is anything to go by, these price and storage adjustments are just the beginning.

Therefore you will need to make your business as agile as possible. A great way to do this is by building more liquidity in your store’s finances to increase your speed in responding to Amazon’s changes.

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How to overcome Amazon’s changing landscape

Now we’ve set the record straight on the latest changes sweeping the Amazon world; the next question is “how do we tackle these shifts to build a thriving store?”. You’ll need to make a series of strategic moves in tandem. Let’s break them down.

Move your goods into Amazon, stat.

If you take one thing away from this blog post, it should be this; get your inventory into Amazon’s warehouse NOW. This hack will allow you to take advantage of your storage capacity before the changes come into effect. At MyFBAPrep, we’ve had some merchants send all the inventory they were storing with us into FBA to reserve that space.

Revaluate your product portfolio

To maintain healthy profits in the changing Amazon world, it’s essential to upgrade your product portfolio. Eliminate items with lackluster performance. For best results, decide which products you can keep in your portfolio based on factors like:

  • Amazon FBA cost
  • Product demand
  • Item size and weight

From here, implement offers to increase average order value and focus your product sourcing high-margin products. Also, be strategic about where you sell particular products to reduce costs. For example, you could fulfill heavy items from retail locations via customer pickup or ship goods in-house.

Top tip: Shift popular yet low-margin products to be Fulfilled by Merchant or sell on your own website with external fulfillment.

Go multichannel and unify your shipping

If Amazon FBA is proving too expensive,  don’t despair as you have options. Many selling sales channels come with their own fulfillment channels. Some viable alternatives to Amazon include:

However, an even better way to approach fulfillment is to pool stock into a fulfillment house and have them prep and ship goods across channels, according to each one’s requirements. This approach will help you circumvent Amazon’s inventory limits and high selling fees.

Get help from an Amazon fulfillment service

One of the simplest and fastest ways to overcome the rising Amazon selling fees is to take control of your shipping and partner with an experienced Amazon prep and pack service.

Your fulfillment provider should help you:

  • Organize and send goods to Amazon quickly
  • Distribute stock in key locations goods close to demand
  • Fulfill orders affordably
  • Store replenishment stock

To put this into perspective, MyFBAPrep has an extensive warehouse network with 50+ locations globally, and strategic partnerships with premium freight services.

Top tip: Have FBM and FBA stock for your most popular listings to avoid disruption if your Amazon stock runs out.

Maintain a healthy IPI score

To maintain your selling privileges and the perks that come with them, like warehouse space and restock limits, it’s vital to keep your IPI score in tip-top condition. Some ways you can improve your figure include to:

  • Pull excess stock from the Amazon warehouse
  • Address stranded inventory issues
  • Keep your popular ASINs in stock
  • Run polls on social media on which products you should launch next
  • Get rid of excess inventory in the Amazon warehouse
  • Address customer questions and complaints fast
  • Implement product upgrades based on reviews to encourage more sales and up your FBA-sell-through rate
  • Negotiate product prices so you can pass the saving on to customers

Make income generation a priority

“Money makes the world go around”, especially on Amazon. So look for ways to up cash flow, reduce expenses, and increase your access to liquid capital. There are many ways to make your store more financially stable, here are just a few:

  • Run promotions and offers to increase sales velocity
  • Save a portion of your profits into a rainy fund
  • Liquidate slow-moving and deadstock
  • Pay down business debts
  • Negotiate your contracts,
  • Put it into your agreements to renegotiate fees quarterly or after you hit a specific order volume
  • Use a digital wallet to save money on currency conversions
  • Get eCommerce funding such as a credit limit or cash advance for peak periods

Rise above challenges to scale your Amazon store

As we face rising Amazon selling costs and an uncertain global market, diligence will be paramount to building a profitable eCommerce business.

The bottom line is to take advantage of the privileges, be it more storage space or lower fees, for buying your store some more time.

Look for ways to increase your spending efficiency for backend tasks like stock buying and fulfillment. Additionally, use slow burner marketing tactics and assess products from a customer value perspective and ROI viewpoint.

Keep your foot on the selling gas pedal and as you start to see results from your optimizations, save, save, save!

Before you know it, you would have built an eCommerce business that succeeds regardless of the challenges that come its way.

 Don’t let clunky processes and fulfillment erase your margins. Optimize your Amazon store with MyFBAPrep.