Why 2023 Will Be The Year of Influencer Marketing And How to Maximize It
Can you guess how long the average person spends on social media?
145 minutes per day. That’s over a month each year (36.75 days, to be exact!).
With people increasingly glued to their influencer marketing’s meteoric rise was inevitable.
Creator collaborations play a huge role in driving leads and sales for many businesses, especially eCommerce and retail brands. So much so that 80% of shoppers have made a purchase after an influencer recommended the product.
Like social media apps, the influencer marketing world is constantly changing. Therefore to run engaging and profitable campaigns, you’ll need to keep a keen eye on the trends shaping the industry and use them to adjust your strategy.
To help you get a head start, we’ve compiled the hottest trends set to brace 2023 and some expert tips to hit a home run with your influencer marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in.
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Top influencer marketing trends to watch for 2023
To set your brand up for success with creator collaborations, it’s essential to study the road ahead to create a fitting strategy. Let’s run through the most significant influencer marketing trends for 2023:
Customer acquisition costs continue to rise
Thanks to rising costs, you now need to pay more to play and even more to win in ad channels like pay-per-click. This is clearly bad news for eCommerce brands that use such marketing strategies as their bread and butter for customer acquisition.
Luckily, the influencer marketing industry is not only cost-effective but is still growing and is expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. Also, the vast size and variety of the influencer marketing industry can fit any budget. These characteristics make influencer marketing an excellent alternative to get more eyeballs on your products and acquire new customers.
Consumer trust in traditional ads will continue to wane
Fatigue and distrust towards traditional ad channels like celebrity endorsement is fast becoming the norm. Why? People value authenticity and trust suggestions from those they like and trust, which happens to be their friends, family, and influencers.
To put this into perspective, 70% of teens place more trust in creators than in TV personalities and celebrities. To succeed in 2023, you’ll need to pick influencers with great reputations and engaged audiences.
eCommerce platforms get involved in influencer marketing action
We aren’t the only ones who noticed the rise of influencer marketing; leading eCommerce solution providers have caught on too. Shopify and Walmart Marketplace have created influencer connection platforms to make finding and working with the right influencer simpler.
So, if the potential workload had you postponing giving influencer marketing a try, there’s never been a better time to get involved.
Learn more about how to leverage Shopify Collabs to boost your marketing.
Video promotion goes viral
With apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube gaining a global reach with innovative video-led content, creators are finding new ways to bring products to life through video. From short and engaging inspirational reels to engaging and informative unboxing videos, the options for developing a strong brand and showcasing offers are plentiful.
60% of millennials are more inclined to take advice from a YouTuber than a traditional media personality. So tap into different video formats and channels to capture your target customer’s attention in 2023.
Social commerce is on the up and up
More shoppers have started to interact with social shopping opportunities, with avenues such as live shopping and social stores gaining ground fast. As a result, social commerce rakes in $89.4 billion each year worldwide. Brands that can blend their social selling initiatives with influencer marketing will fare well in 2023. Put the social selling trend to the test in 2023 with social selling features on your pages or setting up events and stores with influencers.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing for eCommerce brands?
When you’ve seen success with tried and tested marketing options like pay-per-click ads and email marketing, you may wonder whether you really need to give influencer marketing a try. But influencer is in a league of its own and is a worthwhile investment when executed correctly. Here are some benefits you can look forward to:
- Accelerated sales: Influencer content’s viral potential allows you to turn clicks and likes into sales fast. And with the right strategy, you can produce profitable campaigns time after time.
- Maximize your ad budget: The diverse range of influencers available means you can split your ad budget among different creators, from micro-influencers to celebrities, allowing your cash to go further. This means more cash left over for other campaigns and projects too.
- Make your products more discoverable: 86% of shoppers flock to Instagram to find new products. Influencer marketing campaigns can explode your brand’s reach and give you more chances to convert.
- Unearth new profitable audiences and niches: Influencers cover many niches, industries, and topics. As you work with different influencers, you can find lucrative sub-niches to scale your business.
- Access more user-generated content (UGC): UGC is huge for winning buyers’ trust and building. Influencer marketing provides the ultimate opportunity to build a portfolio.
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How to dominate the checkout with influencer marketing?
To succeed at influencer marketing, you’ll need a realistic budget, some creativity, and a curious spirit. Once you’ve checked these off your list, it’s time to put together a winning strategy. Let’s cover some steps to take:
Choose your social media channels and influencers wisely
If you want to hit it big with influencer marketing, you must get two things right: your platform options and influencer selections.
But don’t stop at Instagram. Research other platforms your target customer spends time on and test them with small campaigns. Double down on the niches, audiences, and stories that work and cull those that don’t resonate. Some social media platforms you can experiment with include:
Who you work with will play a huge role in determining whether your influencer campaigns are a hit or miss. Some areas to ensure you and the creator are the right fit are:
- Brand look and feel
- Mission and beliefs
- Audience members
Tell great stories to increase engagement
People learn and connect through stories. So, naturally, the best influencer campaign has a captivating storyline that hooks viewers in and encourages them to learn more. To craft your own scroll-stopping storylines, use your product’s unique value proposition as a guide and expand from there.
For example, say you own a vegan, celiac-friendly snack line. You could share your customers’ stories on how their quality of life has improved by having access to more delicious snacks that won’t harm their health. You could also use any charitable initiatives you’re involved with to share how your products are making a positive impact.
Repurpose influencer and UGC content into ads
Mixing influencer and customer-generated content from your campaigns into a PPC ad is a fantastic way to increase your reach. It also maximizes your influencer content utilization to help you squeeze more conversion out of them. There are many content formats you can request from customers and influencers. For best results, start with:
- Videos (Short, Reels, and long-form)
- Testimonials and reviews
Test collaborations with micro-influencers
When it comes to who makes up influencer marketing space, micro-influencers take the top spot, with their market share hitting 91% in 2021 and still growing. So, take this opportunity to find creators that match each of the customer personas you target.
You can also find micro-influencers in niches you’re eager to break into or have products launching in soon. For instance, if you have a fitness brand but hope to break into swimwear, you can find micro-influencers in these niches and test them simultaneously.
Mesh influencer marketing content into your social stores
Social stores are growing in popularity and are the perfect place to house some of your well-crafted influencer content. You can even take things up a notch by working with creators to be the cover of a collection or item in your portfolio and share the news via the influencers page to drive even more eyeballs to your social shop.
Leverage influencer marketing tools
Whether you aim to stay local or want to deliver multi-territory campaigns, there are tools available that help you find and monitor the influencer partners, store contracts and agreements organized, payouts, and more.
Examine what areas you need help with and use tech solutions to fill the gaps. Here are a few to help set up and run your first campaigns:
- Discovery and collaboration platforms: Shopify Collabs, Pixlee, Phlanx
- Campaign design and management: Grin, CreatorIQ, AspireIQ
Make the cash register ring with influencer marketing
In 2023, a new breed of influencer marketing is coming to a screen near you. To ensure your campaigns are relevant and engaging, get up to speed on developing trends now, tweak your tactics, and start testing.
Remember, people flock to social media to engage with their network and find new and interesting things. Keep these reasons at the forefront of your mind when planning campaigns, so they feel authentic and people-centered rather than sales-y.
Finally, involve your target customer in your influencer campaigns to drive reach and engagement and make it easy for potential buyers to take the next step, whether it’s signing up for an email list or buying your products.
Soon you’ll have another profitable marketing strategy you can depend on to scale your business to new heights.
A new year is approaching. Get a fresh start in your fulfillment with MyFBAPrep.
Value-added services from MyFBAPrep
Do you know how many stores are on Shopify?
As the online selling world becomes increasingly crowded, some brands have learned a hack that gives them a much-needed edge. Efficient fulfillment.
But as a scaling brand, completing all the fulfillment-related tasks to a high standard consistently can be challenging. That’s where an experienced prep and pack service provider like MyFBAPrep takes the load off your shoulders and builds an optimized fulfillment process.
Many services fall under the “fulfillment” umbrella that can take your prep process and customer experience from good to great. In this post, we’ll cover why partnering with a fulfillment provider to secure value-added services is a worthwhile investment. We’ll also share some of the most impactful services for growing eCommerce brands and the rewards you stand to reap by using them.
Struggling to manage fulfillment in-house? Learn how MyFBAPrep makes outsourcing easy.
Why invest in fulfillment services?
From prep and pack services to prep to 3PL and 4PL solutions, investing in your fulfillment processes can pay huge dividends for years to come. Let’s take a look at some benefits you can get when you pick the right provider:
Enhance your end-to-end fulfillment with the perfect details
Whether you need items securely shrink-wrapped for transporting to your retail stores or want some finishing touches added to your show-stopping bundles, the right value-added service provider will be right on hand. As you polish your fulfillment, you can expect lightning-speed efficiency and productivity that’ll upgrade your eCommerce selling results.
Make your resources count
Time and money are two of the most important resources you can have as a growing eCommerce brand. Using fulfillment services will not only help you maximize your budget but it’ll also make your processes more streamlined and profitable.
Set a high bar for customer happiness to accelerate growth
One of the great things about using value-added services is that phenomenal customer experience will become your standard. As swift fulfillment becomes your signature and you can attract even more business into your store, boosting its growth.
Feeling overwhelmed by your fulfillment duties? Let MyFBAPrep do the heavy lifting.
Value-added services: Top picks for eCommerce brands
When it comes to value-added services, the world is your oyster. You can pick and choose from a wide variety of services whether you have a fixed or flexible logistics setup. As an eCommerce store, there are some core fulfillment services you should consider. Let’s break them down:
Re-labeling at scale
Relabelling involves taking products with premade labels, e.g., barcodes or printed packaging, and attaching new labels in line with the requirements of your sales channel.
If you have unlabelled goods from manufacturers and suppliers, you can also use this service to attach labels such as QR codes, Stock Keeping Units (SKU), or product name tags to your goods.
The perks of relabelling services
- Create compliant labels without exploding your workload: Sticking labels onto boxes may seem manageable, but as your order volumes and SKUs increase, it’s easy for things to go haywire. A relabelling service will ensure labels are accurate, organized, and uniform.
- Keep costs low: Relabelling can be a time-consuming and intricate process. If you depend on an eCommerce marketplace’s fulfillment service to carry out this task, you could be left with an eyewatering bill. Outsourcing this task to a 3PL will help keep your costs in check.
- Consistent labels no matter where your goods come from: When you use multiple manufacturers or suppliers, maintaining consistency in your labeling can be costly and get any safety or branded stickers added at scale.
How it’s done:
- MyFBAPrep works with brands to develop labeling and sticker guidelines to ensure uniformity in your labels every single time.
- Staff execute the labeling service based on the guidelines
- Relabelling work is inspected for quality and consistency before sign-off.
Co-packing involves taking goods from their raw and packaging them into finished products. While often used in the food industry, co-packing is also great for eCommerce brands with multiple SKUs and sales channels. Co-packing services can also include inventory management, packaging design and production, product assembly and warehousing, and distribution.
The perks of co-packing services
- Increase your supply chain output: Taking an item from freshly made to packaged products can be a messy labor of love, requiring expertise and space to get the job done efficiently. A co-packing service will help you access the necessary tools, space, and workers to maximize productivity.
- Prep goods fast no matter what: When you’ve got a small team working on everything from customer service to prep and fulfillment, it’s easy for important tasks like prep to get bumped down your to-do list. By using sorting and segregation, you can prep and send goods quickly no matter what your team’s obligations look like
- Slicken your prep process: By taking the prep and shipping off your hands, a co-packing service can help you gain more flow in your fulfillment process while executing multiple packaging specs. This will help you avoid issues like stockouts and non-compliant goods.
How’s it done:
- MyFBAPrep will work with you to craft product and shipment outer packaging guidelines for every product and sales channel.
- We will receive your goods in any state.
- We brief and assign team members to a station and task to speed up workflow.
For example, At MyFBAPrep, we recently received 50,000 dog bones that we needed to put on individual J-Hooks and hang tags. We made custom plywood tools to accelerate work output and keep our workstations and product handling hygienic.
Within 24 hours, we got the bones ready for sale with the right labels and packaging. We also boxed and palletized them to keep the shipment organized.
Bundling is when you batch similar products together to an offer. You can use them for promotions, holidays, and even as a way to shake up your existing product without creating new items.
The perks of bundling services
- Increase average order value: Bundling is one of the few services that can visibly impact your bottom line. Since you can earn more per order, bundling is a fantastic way to boost your store’s return and make your marketing campaigns more cost-effective.
- Optimize your items’ perceived value: Be it saving time, creating a memorable gift, or an easy kit, shoppers love bundles and the value they provide. For instance, by putting together products your customers often buy together at a discount, your offer can become more appealing despite not offering new products.
- Save space and simplify replenishment: With rising costs and continuing supply chain chaos, warehouse space is precious, and filling it with your most important goods is essential. Bundling helps you get goods into stock more easily and can even serve as backups for single product purchases by tearing them down when necessary.
How it’s done:
- MyFBAPrep can take individual items and package them as one unit.
- Alternatively, we can prep singular products into one order at the fulfillment stage.
Pallet bag packing
Pallet bag packing allows you to bundle and attach outbound shipments to a pallet in one swoop. Choose from different-sized bags and purchase in bulk to fit your need.
The perks of pallet bag packing
- Give your goods a safe ride to their destination: Pallet bag packing allows you to you lock the goods into one solid unit for transportation. This improves the pallet density and stability so you can ship them worry-free.
- Reduce inventory loss: With pallets secured using pallet bags, you can reduce the risk of product damage from things like mobile goods, dust, and moisture during transit and unloading and so protect your investment.
- Quick, easy, and cost-effective prep: If you’re looking for a fuss-free solution for your outbound shipments, pallet bag packing is the answer. You will add the finishing touches to your outbound shipments fast and easily without breaking the bank.
How’s it done:
A variety pack service allows you to package individual items into one unit. You can vary the assortment by size, product, or quantity.
The perks of variety pack services
- Switch up your offers to skyrocket sales: From assorted chips to face mask multiple packs, variety packs are a staple in the retail and eCommerce worlds. Using a variety pack service can help offer more choices to shoppers and increase conversions.
- Keep inventory costs manageable: As a growing business, it can be challenging to cover inventory costs with variety packs alongside your regular stock needs. Using a variety pack service will give you the option of creating variety packs on demand from one inventory pool.
- Hit the gas peddle on laggard items: Variety packs services offer you a great way to reposition slow-moving products to clear your inventory quickly and get higher margins per sale.
How’s it done:
Shrink wrap involves tightly wrapping boxes or products with a polymer plastic film that “shrinks” around the object.
The perks of shrink-wrapping services
- Save on product packaging: Not every product needs a box or a tag, sometimes shrink wrap will do the job. Using a shrink wrap service will help you keep costs packaging, storage, and shipping costs lower.
- Add an extra security layer to your shipments: Got a shipment of valuable goods? Shrink wrap can offer a layer of protection by making it harder to access its contents.
- Make your pallets more: As the saying goes, “there’s strength in numbers”. A shrink-wrapping service will help you tie boxes together, wrap shipments to pallets for more, and put individual items into one bundle for more sturdiness.
How’s it done:
Sort and segregation
Sort and segregation, a.k.a. sort and seg, involves your fulfillment provider handling unloading and sifting through shipments. This involves stock counting, quality inspection, packaging, and repacking.
The perks of sort and segregation services
- Get goods ready from sale easily: Purchased a liquidation pallet you want to rebrand? No problem! A sort and segregation service can help you prep goods for sale with minimal fuss.
- Get faster prep: Since you can send goods exactly as they are from your suppliers, you can speed up your prep and pack for faster restocking and fulfillment processes.
- Access specialized skills no matter your budget: Things like quality assurance and packaging take specific skills to execute, and with limited resources, it can be difficult to maintain high standards. A sort and segregation service will allow you to tap into these skills without needing to develop them in-house or sign up for lengthy contracts.
How’s it done:
- MyFBAPrep can handle the entire process from receiving goods from manufacturers to sorting and segregation of your SKUs according to your spec.
Get ahead with optimized fulfillment
Value-added services offer an excellent opportunity to streamline back-end processes and make your fulfillment hassle-free and cost-effective.
No matter your budget, product portfolio size, or packing requirements, there’s a service out there for you. So pick the areas you need help with the most now and get started.
The sooner you sharpen your fulfillment process, the faster you can start seeing results in your customer satisfaction and sales.
If you’re looking for a prep and pack partner, MyFBAPrep is ready and waiting with the services and tools needed to set your brand apart. Get in touch to learn more.
9 eCommerce trends to expect in 2023
If there’s anything you can expect from the Commerce world, its evolution, improvement, and growth. And 2023 is set to continue this pattern.
By 2023, global retail eCommerce sales could reach $6.169 trillion and make up a 22.3% share of total retail sales, up from $3.351 trillion and 13.8% in 2019.
As shoppers and the global market grow more accustomed to the post-pandemic world, there are notable upcoming changes (some of which have already started!) that’ll impact your online store.
To give you a head start, we’ve pulled together a quick sheet of 2023 eCommerce trends and some action points to implement for more leads, sales, and growth.
Don’t let your competitors get the upper hand. Level up your fulfillment to stay on top of your customer’s minds.
Vying for the top spot in 2023? Trend watching is a must. Here’s why…
If you’ve never considered trend watching for your eCommerce business, it can seem like a non-essential task. But looks can be deceiving. Let’s zoom in on some ways trend-watching can make your eCommerce brand the top dog:
Swoop in ahead of your competitors
As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” Trend watching allows you to get a head start on areas your competitors are yet to dominate the growing trend. By the time they catch up, you could be already established in the SERPs, have a fan base, and a glowing review to match.
Uncover profitable initiatives and products to test
Whether it’s a sub-niche you’ve never considered or a new twist on the way eCommerce goods are marketed, keeping a close eye on trends and then implementing them can lead to bigger paydays. You can unearth new customer groups and items to experiment with to freshen up your offers and marketing campaigns.
Drive customer loyalty
One of the best ways to get more customers and keep them coming back is to give them what they’re looking for. The more products you have that resonate with your target customer will have a positive impact on key metrics like customer lifetime value, retention, and even average order value (AOV) when done correctly (more of this later). So, trends act as a cheat sheet on shoppers’ current wants, needs, and preferences.
Ready to level up your eCommerce business? Let MyFBAPrep show you how.
9 Top eCommerce trends to watch in 2023
Now you know how valuable trends can be to your business, it’s time to strategize. Let’s zoom in on some of the most prevalent trends set to hit the eCommerce market in 2023 and some ways you can take advantage of each:
1. Brands wipe their slate clean as sustainability rises
Even back in 2019, sustainability was a priority for 65% of shoppers, and this sentiment is only going to strengthen in 2023.
After wildfires, global warming talks, and rising polluted seas caused fuelled by consumerism and waste, shoppers are taking a long, hard look at how their shopping choices impact the globe.
It’s why Recommerce (the sale of preloved items) has started to gain more ground and could prove to be a popular shopping option in 2023. To maintain consumer confidence going forwards, you’ll need to display support and action toward sustainability projects.
How to make your brand more sustainable in 2023
- Partner with a charitable cause centered around a sustainability topic, e.g., reforestation or pollution, and start an initiative, e.g., donating a portion of profits from a particular collection.
- Work with suppliers who care about waste minimization and ethical business practices.
2. Metaverse, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality mesh with the real world
Coming off the back of a $478.78 billion valuation in 2020, experts anticipate the metaverse to be worth $800 billion valuation by 2024. The metaverse is also increasing in popularity every year, with 74% of adults now thinking about joining.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are tenets of the metaverse, and in 2023 we’ll see retailers and e-tailers ramp up and implement them to enhance the shopping experience. This could look like helping shoppers pick goods more accurately by using their data or tools to help them visualize the product in their lives. Follow suit to capture buyers’ attention.
How to explore the Metaverse VR and AR as an eCommerce business in 2023
- Experiment with live ads, interactive shopping, and live events centered around your products fuelled by VR or AR. E.g., live in-person dress fitting using VR.
- Look for opportunities to enhance your website, marketing, and AR and VR. E.g., you could gamify competitions and giveaways with VR and AR.
3. Omnichannel selling takes a more prominent role in the post-pandemic market
Omnichannel eCommerce has exploded in recent years and its shows in the market’s projected growth stats which estimate an $11.01 billion market capitalization by 2023 and $16.9 billion by 2027.
As the world starts to shake off the pandemic shopping habits, shopping in physical stores is set to make a resurgence and join forces with eCommerce for more tailored shopping experiences. For example, shopping models like Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BIPOS) have increased in popularity, and stores allow shoppers to order in-store for home delivery.
To execute this trend, you’ll need to mix eCommerce with in-person shopping experiences.
How to execute a successful omnichannel selling strategy in 2023
- If you have a retail arm, use it to get more sales buying, offering in-store pickup as a delivery option. Alternatively, if you’re an online-only brand, partner with companies that will allow you to use their space for pickup and drop-off hubs or work with a fulfillment provider with these connections.
- Work with omnichannel experts to bring your sales channels and marketing platforms into unison, so shoppers get the same message and experience wherever they start and finish their buying journey.
- Enable mobile and online payment for all orders.
4. Cross-border eCommerce ramps up
Goods from further afield have always sparked shoppers’ interest, providing an exciting, never-ending treasure hunt. In 2023 this trend will reach a new peak.
Making shoppers feel comfortable on your sales and social media platforms, no matter where they’re based will be critical to converting leads and growing your international following. Addressing your fulfillment will also be critical for long-term profitability.
How to nail cross-border eCommerce in 2023
- Localize your website content.
- Get a digital wallet to manage multiple currencies and make paying your suppliers fast and easy.
- Establish relationships with suppliers and manufacturers in countries you get the most overseas sales from.
Top tip: To make this trend sustainable long-term, work with a fulfillment provider that can fulfill goods across multiple sales channels and locations efficiently and affordably. MyFBAPrep can do just that and more.
5. Mobile shopping reaches boiling point
People are glued to their screens more than ever before, with the average person racking up 4.8 hours on their devices daily, one-third of their waking hours!
So it’s no surprise mobile sales, a.k.a. eCommerce sales, topped $359.32 billion in 2021. This figure is set for a meteoric rise and could hit $728.28 billion by 2025.
To maximize this trend, you’ll need to make it easy for shoppers to find and buy the goods they want from the comfort of their mobile phones.
How to win at eCommerce in 2023
- Optimize sales channels for the small screen, e.g., for mobile and tablets
- Invest in a mobile app.
- Make payments on mobile painless e.g., provide a one-click purchase option and multiple options which allow shoppers to store credit card details for future use, e.g., Alipay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay.
- Create a mobile-specific community using mobile-only deals, promos, and events.
6. Brands get personal
Ever since brands and marketers learned about the power of personalization, the focus has been on websites to eCommerce brands and shoppers’ detriment. To give you an idea, 75% of shoppers say brands don’t understand their shopping behaviors.
But the tables are about to turn. In 2023, we’ll see brands step their personalization up a notch by focusing on their entire sales and marketing ecosystem.
To ensure no one is left out, you’ll need to find ways to enrich the shopping experiences of every visitor and help shoppers make informed decisions.
How to do personalization right in 2023:
- Use eCommerce personalization software to study each buyer’s behavior across your entire selling ecosystem. Then provide timely product suggestions, discounts, and promotions (with permission, of course). This includes apps, email, and in-store.
- Experiment with proximity marketing (selling to your audience based on their location, e.g., buyers that are within a 5km radius of your flagship store or a specific town.
7. Brands do a double take on the subscription model
It’s no secret advertising eCommerce brands has become more expensive, and this growing bill is causing eCommerce brands to reassess how they engage with customers once they enter their ecosystem. Enter subscriptions.
Subscriptions have long been a favorite among shoppers, with the average buyer spending $219 per month on them. But in a market with endless options and a pending recession, it’s easy for your subscription to be forgotten or, worse, canceled. In 2023, you need to find ways to make your subscriptions stand out from the rest, whether it’s by pricing, content, or bundling options.
How to develop smash-hit subscriptions in 2023
- Ask your audience what they would like to see in your bundles, study competitors’ bundles, then find ways to outdo them
- Present multiple tiers to capture your customers’ varying budgets and needs
- To keep your subscriptions relevant, weak your offers in line with sales data and customer feedback.
8. Social selling goes mainstream
The evolution of social media continues as more brands turn their loyal following and eye-catching snaps into full-blown social shops. Forecasts predict $30.73 billion in sales in 2023, tallying up to 20% of total retail eCommerce sales. This figure is expected to be $2.6 trillion by 2026.
Its clear shopping on the platforms on social media platforms has now become a viable alternative to buying on websites and marketplaces. To win with social stores, you’ll need to position your content and offers in a way that’s native to the platform and make it easy to purchase, preferably in-app.
How to develop a social commerce strategy for 2023
- Create stores on social stores the social media platforms your target customer uses the most.
- Use scroll-stopping images and videos
- Repurpose user-generated content and influencer content into your social store to increase its trust factor.
- Equip your store with easy payment solutions.
Top tip: If you’re going to sell a trending product that is similar to or can be used with your existing products, create a bundle offer to up the value of your offer, freshen up your products and boost AOV.
9. Customer expectations grow even further
These days, customers know what they want; transparent pricing, quality goods, fast (preferably free) shipping, and efficient customer support, just to name a few.
To keep your buyers happy in 2023, you’ll need to provide a phenomenal customer experience from start to finish for every order.
How to “wow” shoppers in 2023
- Create social shops on the platforms your target spends the most time on. Remove redundancies from your buying process to make it seamless.
- Provide clear information about your delivery times and customer support hours in multiple locations on your website and social media.
- Work with trustworthy, reliable, and experienced fulfillment providers and manufacturers.
Make 2023 A business year to remember
With a plethora of business-altering trends on their way, 2023 is going to be a big year for eCommerce. The best part is you get to decide whether 2023 will be a hit or a miss based on how you interpret the trends, study the market, and execute your trend and data-led strategies.
So don’t miss out. Create memorable products that make your brand irreplaceable. Also, use the trend information and tasks we’ve shared to craft killer strategies across marketing, sales, customer service, and operations. Soon your store will be getting noticed, and sales pouring in.
Got a messy fulfillment process? Learn how MyFBAPrep can get you seamless fulfillment.
Understanding and Reducing Your Amazon FBA Fees (Updated for 2022)
Are you looking to take your eCommerce business to the next level? Whether you are already selling on Amazon or planning to, you have to look at FBA and what it can do for your business. This article will show you what FBA is, how the fees work, and how you can reduce your overall cost of using the service. Read on to get started.
What FBA is and why you should use it
Let’s start with the basics. To begin, FBA is an acronym for Fulfillment by Amazon and represents a service that Amazon offers to let you quickly and efficiently fulfill online orders.
As anyone with an eCommerce business knows, picking and packing customer orders takes significant time, effort, and money. FBA allows you to outsource this work to Amazon. Instead of sending out every single package, you send your inventory in bulk to Amazon warehouses. Then, when a customer makes an order, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the items.
Using FBA gives you, as the seller, several significant benefits:
Access to Prime and Amazon’s logistics network
The first thing FBA allows you to do is offload your fulfillment capabilities to Amazon, a dedicated solution to your business that knows how to do fulfillment right. In addition, FBA lets you take advantage of Amazon’s vast warehouse and delivery network.
Amazon’s fulfillment capabilities are remarkable since the company is as much a master of logistics as it is of eCommerce. By tapping into FBA, you tap into Amazon’s entire logistics infrastructure — a network of hundreds of warehouses located strategically throughout the United States and interconnected by a whole fleet of trailers, rail cars, and planes.
Easy flat-fee structure
Traditional carriers like FedEx or UPS often rely on zone-based pricing. This pricing model means the cost of sending a package can vary widely, depending on the destination. Unfortunately, this structure also makes it challenging for sellers to forecast their fulfillment costs accurately.
FBA takes much guesswork out of the equation by charging a flat fee, regardless of where the item is now and its final delivery point. Whether the product is going from New Jersey to Oklahoma or Florida to Montana, you, as the seller, will pay the same fulfillment cost. This pricing structure makes it much easier to understand and estimate your costs.
Better visibility on Amazon’s website
Using FBA also boosts your ability to sell on Amazon. Sellers who use FBA will rank better in Amazon’s search results than sellers who fulfill the items themselves.
Why does Amazon give sellers who use FBA an advantage? Many customers who shop on Amazon like to take advantage of Amazon Prime’s two-day (or sooner) shipping service. Thus, to cater to those customers, items delivered through Amazon are shown first — while items from sellers who ship from other warehouses are pushed farther down on the results page. If you’re using FBA, the products you sell are more likely to be seen first and, as a result, bought first.
Now that you know the benefits of FBA let’s get into the practical details of how to use it for your business.
Getting your products into Amazon warehouses
To start using FBA, you have to get your inventory to Amazon. Whether your products are currently at your manufacturer, co-packer, 3PL, prep partner, or logistics partner, you need to send them to Amazon’s network of warehouses.
That generally means choosing a delivery service to move your items. Here are the main options you have to pick from:
Small parcel versus LTL/FTL
When deciding how to send your products to Amazon, you need to consider three key factors:
- How much space do your products take up?
- How long are you willing to wait before your items start selling?
- How much do you need to send in?
If your products are light and don’t take up much room, shipping them via small parcel carriers like UPS might be the best option. This method will get your items over to Amazon quickly — and checked in quickly on Amazon’s end too.
However, if your products are heavier or more voluminous, you’ll save on delivery costs by selecting the LTL (less than truckload) or FTL (full truckload) option. With this method, your products must be palletized and loaded onto a trailer that eventually makes its way to an Amazon warehouse. If you have a significant quantity of items, this option will be more cost-efficient than sending them in small parcels. It will, however, also be the slower option, sometimes taking a week or two for delivery and check-in at the destination.
The best scenario is for you to calculate the higher costs of sending by small parcel against the longer timeline required for an LTL or FTL shipment. If you are already selling at scale and are consistently replenishing inventory at Amazon, LTL or FTL is your best long-term option. However, if your inventory levels are getting dangerously low at Amazon, it may be worth paying more to send in a limited quantity via the small parcel service for replenishment and send larger LTL or FTL shipments simultaneously.
Independent carrier vs. Amazon partnered carrier
Whether you opt for small parcel delivery or LTL/FTL, you’ll need to decide if you want to go with an Amazon-partnered carrier or a carrier unaffiliated with Amazon.
Choosing an Amazon-partnered carrier can streamline the process of getting your products to Amazon and often lower the costs. This is because Amazon’s partnered carrier network has existing relationships with the company and offers you negotiated rates that help reduce your costs.
In the case of small parcels, Amazon’s partnered carrier is UPS, which offers competitive, pre-negotiated rates to ship to Amazon warehouses. On the FTL or LTL side, Amazon works with many freight carriers that offer competitive rates. An additional benefit of working with an Amazon-partnered carrier is that you don’t have to worry about setting up delivery appointments because partners have pre-set appointments with Amazon. I recommend sticking with Amazon’s partnered carriers when going the FTL or LTL route because this makes the process much smoother for all involved.
Once your products are in Amazon’s warehouses, it’s time to start selling. So next, we’ll discuss clever tips for keeping your FBA fees as low as possible.
How Amazon determines an item’s FBA fees
Amazon determines the FBA cost of an item based on size and weight. This means the length, height, and width of your product — as well as its weight and dimensional weight. Knowing how to minimize these can keep fees low.
Be strategic about package design
Standardizing your packaging across all channels is the norm if you run a retail business in addition to an eCommerce one. However, optimizing your packaging for eCommerce could save you quite a lot on fulfillment costs. The same product with a different packaging that’s smaller or weighs less could end up putting your item in a less expensive size tier in terms of FBA fees, making a significant difference on your bottom line.
Thus, it pays to check your product’s dimensions and weights against the size tiers listed on Amazon’s website. If Amazon is a significant channel for you, consider these size tiers in every part of your business process, from product design and development to packaging materials.
Consider multipacks and bundles
A strategy is essential when building multipacks and bundles for your products too. Using Amazon’s FBA size guidelines, ensure you put your items together in the most size-efficient way, taking up as little room as possible. Resist the urge to throw your products in a larger box, but instead pack them in a perfectly-sized box or poly bag that takes up less space, reducing your FBA fees.
Auditing your FBA fees
You must conduct a regular audit to keep your FBA fees in check. Luckily, Amazon Seller Central makes this process relatively simple. Here’s how to get started.
Check the Amazon reports
The first step to auditing your FBA fees is downloading your report from Amazon. In Amazon Seller Central, head to the “Reports” section, then select “Fulfillment.” Once you get there, look under the “Payments” section on the left-hand side and click on the “Fee Preview” report.
The Fee Preview report is one that Amazon typically automatically runs for you every day. I recommend downloading the latest one as a CSV file, so you can easily pull it up using Excel or Google Sheets. Once you open the file, you’ll be able to see all the products you sell through Amazon. You’ll also be able to see what Amazon has on record as the weight and measurements of each item.
Now it’s time to audit your products. Verify that Amazon’s record of each product reflects your actual product weight and dimensions. While the measurements don’t have to be exact, they should be close to your records. Once in a while, Amazon mismeasures the length of a product or miscalculates the weight. If this has happened to any of your products, take note of it and go on to the next step.
Ask Amazon to remeasure and reweigh the item
If you determine from the “Fee Preview” report that Amazon’s record of your product’s weight and dimensions is incorrect, take the necessary steps to correct it.
First, navigate to the “Help” tab on Amazon, scroll to the bottom, click “Get Support,” and then “Selling on Amazon.” Once you get to that page, you’ll be able to describe the issue you’re having. Typing in a phrase like “FBA fee” will prompt Amazon to ask if you’re having a problem with FBA product weights and dimensions. Confirm this is indeed your issue.
At this point, type in the ASIN or FNSKU of your item into the search box and hit “Next.” Amazon will then restate the package dimensions and weight and your current fulfillment fees. You’ll then be able to request product remeasurement and reimbursement for incorrect order fees.
Amazon limits the number of times you can request remeasurements due to sellers abusing this service in the past, so ensure your product has been weighed or mismeasured before asking Amazon to remeasure. Once you submit the request, Amazon will have a worker remeasure and reweigh your item on a Cubiscan machine.
If Amazon determines that the previous measurements were incorrect, they will change your FBA fee to reflect the correct weight and dimensions. Sometimes, Amazon will automatically reimburse you for overcharged fees; other times, you’ll need to take an extra step to ask for a reimbursement. The timeline for how quickly such issues get resolved can vary, but I recommend auditing your fees monthly to ensure they are correct.
How to reduce your FBA fees
After you’ve audited your FBA fees, you still have two opportunities to continue reducing them:
Optimize inbound deliveries
Lower your cost of selling by optimizing the products you send to Amazon’s warehouses. Determine how to make your shipments to Amazon as dense as possible while still staying within Amazon’s requirements: 50 pounds max per box on small parcel shipments through UPS ground and 1,500 pounds for an LTL/FTL pallet that’s no more than 72 inches high.
You can also save money by changing your seller settings to let Amazon decide where to send your inventory instead of the location closest to the source. In Seller Central, under “Settings,” go to “Fulfillment” settings, then “Fulfillment by Amazon.” Once there, go under inbound settings and ensure the “Inventory Placement Option” is “Distributed Inventory Placement.” Choosing this option will prevent you from paying added fees per item.
Ensure prep is done perfectly
A second way to reduce FBA fees is by prepping your items correctly before they arrive at Amazon. While Amazon can do prep work, that extra work comes at an additional cost. Have your manufacturer or a dedicated prep center take care of this to save money and time.
Because Amazon has a vast logistics network, they have a standardized prep process for different types of items. Make sure you follow these to a tee. If you prep your items incorrectly, they will not pass the break test or may need to be sent back for adjustments — in which case your inventory will become unfulfillable, requiring you to remove, re-prep, then return the items at Amazon, all at your cost.
Increased fees in 2022
Amazon isn’t immune to inflation and rising fuel costs, which means FBA fees have gone up this year. Here’s the latest on what you can expect:
On April 28, 2022, Amazon implemented a new fuel inflation surcharge of 5% on top of the current FBA fulfillment fee per unit rates. Up to this point, there has not been any news about whether and when Amazon will remove this surcharge.
In August 2022, Amazon announced an additional fee called a “Holiday Surcharge” that will apply to items sold between October 15, 2022, to January 14, 2023. The surcharge varies depending on the size and weight of the product, but on average, it is an increase of about 35 cents on each item sold.
A retailer passing off additional costs to sellers is nothing new, but remember that you, as the seller, absorb these increased costs, so make sure you take them into account when using FBA. Use the revenue calculator on Amazon Seller Central for a complete breakdown of your fees and subsequent margins. If your margins are diminishing, you may need to adjust the cost of your products accordingly.
Ready for FBA
If you’ve been considering FBA for your business, there is much to understand. The sooner you take advantage of FBA’s many benefits, the faster you can remove some of the burden and headaches caused by fulfilling products yourself. With some prep and planning, you can optimize your selling experience on Amazon for better efficiency and profit.
About the Author
Ryan Flynn is the founder and CEO of Charmac, a digital marketing agency that helps retail-focused brands reach more customers on Amazon. Charmac provides content creation and done-for-you account management solutions to help you succeed in the Amazon marketplace. Whether you need a new or refreshed product page or are ready to outsource the day-to-day of Amazon, the experts at Charmac can help. They specialize in creating high-converting content that matches your brand and can strategically manage advertising, reviews, inventory forecasting, and more. To learn more, visit Charmac.com.
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter For eCommerce
But when it comes to driving eCommerce sales, Twitter is still a relatively untapped opportunity. This is fantastic news if you’re scaling an online store, especially as the eCommerce market becomes more competitive.
So, what’s Twitter for eCommerce all about?
In this post, we’ll explore what using Twitter for online selling looks like and how to use this bustling channel to catapult your eCommerce business to new heights.
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3 unmatched ways Twitter can help you exceed business goals
Every ambitious eCommerce brand has huge goals, whether it’s making your brand a household name or building a mega product portfolio. Chances are you’re one of them and searching for the next idea to give your business a competitive edge. Twitter may be the undercover opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Let’s run through some ways Twitter can help you crush targets:
1. Drive more engagement
Getting more leads is essential for improving your close rate. It all starts with healthy engagement rates on your marketing content to spur shoppers to learn more. As prospects and customers talk about your brand, it extends your business’ reach. As a result, you’ll create a continuous loop of brand discovery and have more people kickstarting their buyer’s journey.
2. Expand to new customer bases
Few things compare to the thrill of finding a new, profitable audience to market to. You can not only skyrocket growth but can also find your next winning product and increase your business’ market share. Also, if you partner with influencers, you can tap into even more sub-niches. For example, if you’re selling direct to consumers, you can look out for more B2B clients working with influencers in the space since 82% of B2B content creators use Twitter.
3. Build a noticeable brand voice
One of the great things about Twitter is that it allows you to have a say on topics like no other social media site. As you share your brand personality, knowledge, and advice, you can become the go-to authority in your niche statement and attract your tribe.
Take Walmart, for example. Scroll through their Twitter profile, and you’ll instantly notice their fun, upbeat branding. Walmart also positions itself as a customer-centric brand by highlighting its customer support in its bio and sharing details on panel discussions about areas like Fashion and baby care.
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How to use Twitter to explode eCommerce growth
To use Twitter for your eCommerce business successfully, it’s vital you have the know-how, resources, and creativity. We’ve got you covered on the knowledge front. Let’s dive into some steps you can take to make Twitter marketing a winner:
Polish your profile
Your profile is your business’ online real estate, and the first thing potential customers will land, so make it count. Implement the following pointers to optimize your profile:
- Profile picture: Use your company logo or photo of your most popular item to make your brand instantly recognizable.
- Bio: Write a killer brand description highlighting your USP, shout out your current product drops, or let customers know about exciting initiatives you have coming.
- Relevant link: Add a link to your bestselling item, about us page, or top-performing landing page. Split test and change your link according to your running promos and ads.
- Community: Invest time in building a following of your target audience. Reach out to people that fit your target customer personas, be active in your comments sections, and follow influential figures to build a network.
- Competitor analysis: Check out who your competitors are following for guidance on who to follow, engage with, and topics to cover.
Research relevant keywords and hashtags
Hashtags will be critical in getting more eyeballs on your Twitter content. Create a list of broad keywords to start your search, and use a hashtag research tool like Hashtagify, Sprout Social, or Agorapulse to find more specific hashtags. Some things you can use to generate hashtag ideas include:
- Trending topics and pop culture
- Words shoppers use to describe your products
- Words customers use when explaining the issues your products solve
Also, if you want to drive a sense of community, support a cause, or create a buzz around a launch, use a branded hashtag. For example, the makeup brand Nars Cosmetics uses a clever play on words to build a community under the hashtag #NARSissist.
Develop engaging content
Your Twitter feed offers the opportunity to stand out and shine. Use it to entertain, educate, and inspire your audience. Make your content the star of the show, by creating a content calendar and scheduling posts to stay consistent and build momentum with the algorithms. Here are some tips to fill your timeline with awe-inspiring content:
- Give out useful tips and tricks, and make bold statements. Most Twitter users appreciate brands that stand for something and don’t sit on the fence.
- Blend fun content with inspiring imagery – take ASOS’s lead, who share memes and jokes alongside crisp snaps of their latest fashion drops.
- Share user-generated content to show off your product’s best features and how they have benefitted your customers.
- Mix in images, videos, and links from other content creators.
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose content from other social channels.
- Work with influencers to drive awareness. Test different storylines, influencer audience sizes, and styles to branch out into new markets and attract different customer types.
Work the Twitter Chat for more conversions
Use Twitter’s direct messaging feature to get to know your audience and build rapport. For example, if you get a new follower, you could thank them by offering a discount code and share you appreciate their support. Keep your communications light, short and relevant to avoid coming across as a spammer, sales-y, or intrusive.
Take advantage of Twitter shopping features
Twitter has a few eCommerce functions you can experiment with to find the best fit for your brand. Check out each one’s features below and select a tool or two to kickstart your selling journey on the Twitter platform:
Shop Spotlight (previously the Shop Module)
Use this dedicated carousel to showcase up to 5 products on your Twitter profile. Shoppers can scroll through the content, and the photos are clickable, allowing you to “spotlight” and drive traffic to specific items.
Build a mobile-optimized storefront for free with up to 50 items and draw prospects towards it with the enticing “View Shop” button that’ll appear on your Twitter Profile. Note, Shoppers will have to pay for items off Twitter on a separate payment portal, but it’s an exciting start to social commerce on Twitter.
Get real and raw with your shopping experience by hosting a live shopping event like the late-night shopping shows of the early nineties. Twitter will house the photos, details, and links to the showcased products under the video to access shoppers easily. Twitter also has engagement-boosting features like a live tweet discussion feed, a “Shop” banner and tab, and a “latest” product tab.
Get shoppers excited about your upcoming product launches with this hype-generating feature. Your images and videos will appear in your audience member’s Twitter feed, and they can set product alerts to get notified when your items are available for sale.
Tip: Don’t forget to optimize your fulfillment process to accommodate sales from your Twitter marketing. If you don’t have the resources to complete this in-house, get help from a reliable 3PL.
Implement Sponsored Tweets
While generating organic leads on Twitter is great for keeping margins high, building a stable flow can take a while. Use sponsored tweets to boost your content’s reach and accelerate lead generation.
Since Twitter will charge you every 1000 impressions, it’s vital you’re strategic in your ad setup. Use sponsored ads to drive awareness and engagement, luring funnel shoppers into a sequence of Twitter like an email marketing campaign. This approach will be a more affordable way to build connections with your target and drive conversions.
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Turn Twitter into a goldmine
As Twitter’s eCommerce initiatives lurk behind the shadows of uber-popular Instagram, Tiktok, and Pinterest shops, it’s easy to overlook this fantastic opportunity. eCommerce businesses that have taken a chance on Twitter have exploded their customer base, strengthened their brands, diversified their marketing streams, and boosted sales. So with some creativity, experimentation, and strategic hashtagging, there’s no telling what 280-character tweets can do for your eCommerce business.
Due to the nature of Twitter, being successful on this social channel as an eCommerce business will take some work. Study your market, learn how your target customers operate on Twitter and test various content styles and topics to build a winning strategy. Soon you’ll have a successful Twitter marketing strategy that keeps shoppers coming through your online doors, card in hand.
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Transparency Barcodes: What They Are And How To Use Them To Protect Your Brand
Amazon selling is often touted as one of the biggest opportunities of the century, pulling in 98 million monthly mobile users and $1.29 billion in sales daily.
But not even Amazon is perfect. In 2020 alone, Amazon “seized and destroyed” over 2 million counterfeit items sent to its FBA warehouses.
Despite Amazon’s best efforts, counterfeiting still threatens Amazon sellers and the platform. In a bid to eradicate fake goods on the platform, Amazon launched the Transparency Program. One of its most notable features is the Transparency Barcode.
Like many, you may be wondering what it is and how the barcodes work. And, more importantly, where can you get your hands on some?
These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer in this post. If you want the full scoop on Transparency barcodes, stick around.
What is the Amazon Transparency Program?
The Transparency Program is a product sterilization service launched by Amazon.
What started out as a bid to curb fake goods infiltrating their ecosystem in 2017, has now transformed into a full-scale security initiative.
The Transparency Program now also has platform procedures to stop harmful actions by criminals, like blocking and removing hijackers, and solutions to drive customer engagement and supply chain optimization while keeping goods safe.
Transparency is currently available in India, the UK, the US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Australia, but Amazon aims to expand this list in the future.
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What are Transparency Barcodes?
In the Amazon Brand Protection Report, Amazon shared more details on one of its most recent security measures on the platform; Transparency Barcodes.
Transparency Barcodes are 2D QR codes designed to help authenticate a product before shipping to customers.
How do Transparency Barcodes work?
Once enrolled in the Amazon Transparency program, the product protection measures begin. Here are some typical steps you’ll encounter:
- Amazon provides you with T-shaped 2D QR code stickers which go on Transparency enabled products.
- FBA and FBM sellers can take advantage of Transparency barcodes, the difference being that the latter will need to provide a unique Transparency code for each of their Transparency-enabled listings.
- This code will be provided to you by Amazon beforehand, acting as an additional verification to ensure the goods are real.
- Whether you’re an FBM or FBA seller, each barcode you get is unique to the SKU.
- You (or your fulfillment provider or Amazon’s prep service) will attach the barcode to your product packaging.
- For FBA orders, Amazon’s operatives use a purpose-built app to scan an item to check its authenticity before shipping it.
- Amazon scans the barcode to verify the product’s authenticity before fulfillment.
- If the goods register as authentic, Amazon preps them for shipping. If they don’t register as authentic or don’t have a barcode, they are earmarked for further investigation and set aside as a potential counterfeit item.
- Amazon has also empowered shoppers with a mobile app that shoppers can use to scan items to check if the product is the real deal. The app will show a green tick for authentic goods and a red cross for fakes.
How much do Transparency Barcodes cost, and what’s the catch?
Amazon hasn’t given any hard figures on the cost of Transparency barcodes. However, word on Amazon selling streets suggests you could pay $0.01-$0.05 per label.
While there’s no “catch” with Transparency Barcodes, there are some strict rules to follow. For example:
- Use the Transparency barcodes on all the SKUs with active listings on Amazon.
- Print the barcodes at home, with a supplier or manufacturer, in-house, via Amazon prep services, or via your 3PL.
- Sell or give your Transparency barcodes to another brand.
- Get Transparency barcodes from anywhere other than Amazon.
Qualify for Transparency Barcodes: The enrolment requirements
It’s a simple to process to get on to the Transparency Program and gain access to the Transparency Barcodes. Here’s what you need to get the green light:
- Possess a registered trademark.
- Have a valid Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), e.g., EAN, UPC, or ISBN.
- Have the capacity to attach Transparency Barcodes to every product you manufacture, whether it’s sold or not.
You can apply via Amazon online application portal.
3 Solid reasons why using Transparency Barcodes is a must
Like most growing brands, you’ve probably got a lengthy list of projects you’d like to invest in. But there aren’t enough resources to go around, so you must choose wisely. With this, you may question whether investing in Transparency Barcodes is worth it. In short, yes, it is! Here are a few reasons why:
1. Protect your brand reputation
A lot of time, money, and effort goes into establishing a brand and building rankings on Amazon’s SERPs. So, it’s essential you’re proactive in safeguarding your assets which includes your goods, sales, and reputation. Transparency Barcodes are a great starting point and can kickstart your journey to more sophisticated security for your Amazon business.
2. Deter counterfeiters to boost revenue
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” While there’s no way for you to stop criminals, the rationale behind Transparency Barcodes is if you make it hard for counterfeiters to ambush your goods, they will move on. This approach prevents losing sales to bad actors, increasing your revenue by default.
3. Instill confidence in customers
The sinking feeling you get upon opening a package and realizing you’ve bought knock-off items is unforgettable. It creates a poor customer experience and can make shoppers reluctant to buy from your brand again. By adding an extra layer of protection through Transparency Barcodes, you can reassure buyers that their money and time are safe with you. This is especially important if you sell high-ticket items or goods known for being targets for fake goods.
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How to stay safe when selling on Amazon
One thing is for sure, Amazon’s security initiatives work. So much so that just 0.01% of goods sold on Amazon are flagged by customers as fakes. But while the protections Amazon Transparency barcodes offer are game-changing, keeping your goods safe from counterfeiting takes a concerted effort. With this said, Transparency Barcodes should form part of your security measures on Amazon, not all. Let’s break down some steps you can take:
Set up alerts for problematic actions on the platform
To keep your brand, listings, and products safe, you’ll need to battle counterfeiting 24/7. As a growing brand, it can be unrealistic to monitor your eCommerce ecosystem around the clock. So lean tech tools from brands like Helium 10 or Sellersapp to spot cloned listings, hijacking, and intellectual property infringements.
Also, make it a habit to report suspicious activity via Amazon’s “Report A Violation” tool you get access to with Brand Registry. This approach will help you eliminate issues sooner to limit the damage.
Get trustworthy prep, pack, and fulfillment
Believe it or not, your fulfillment process can make your goods vulnerable to counterfeiting. All it takes is a shady fulfillment company to swap out your authentic goods for cheaper items and send them to your customers. Then rub salt into the wound by selling your proper goods on the black market. But with some due diligence, it doesn’t have to be this way.
To point you in the right direction, here are some traits to look for in your 3PL:
- Be strategic when labeling goods, especially if you have a large product portfolio. For example, they start with products that have been targeted in the past or are in a category that is regularly targeted by criminals.
- Have internal security measures in place to shield the goods they store for you from tampering and theft.
- Have experience in adding security seals to a range of product types.
Top tip: Remember to price the cost of Transparency Barcodes and the labeling service into your products to keep the operation profitable.
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Stay updated on the latest security measures and anti-counterfeiting news
There are always innovative security moves being made in the Amazon and in the anti-counterfeiting worlds, and it’s vital to stay updated on them to inform your strategy.
Read blogs about online selling security, watch webinars, and attend seminars to sharpen your knowledge and refine processes to catch and block current counterfeiting tricks.
Also, if you sell goods that are commonly targeted, invest in expert help to create solutions to protect your goods even further.
The secret to safe selling on Amazon
Amazon’s Transparency program offers a great starting point to uplevel your product authentication and brand security.
When used in tandem with other security-boosting measures, Transparency Barcodes can help you stay steps ahead of the criminals to keep your brand, sales, and customers safe.
But your work doesn’t stop at implementing Transparency Barcodes. As your sales and product portfolio grows, you’ll need to implement the initiative on and off the Amazon platform.
So use tech tools solutions to monitor product, listing, and IP infractions on your behalf. Study security measures for eCommerce businesses and continuously improve your approach.
There will always be more you can do in the fight against counterfeits, so develop an enduring spirit, get started on your security optimizations today, and so you can rest easy as your eCommerce business scales unhindered.
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5 Awesome eCommerce Advertising Agencies You Should Know About
To get a bigger slice of the eCommerce pie, it’s wise to launch engaging pay-per-click (PPC) ads to complement your organic and social media marketing. Nowadays, there are more PPC options available than ever to get the word out about your business. One of the simplest ways to get started is to call in experts from an eCommerce advertising agency.
Before you take the leap, it’s critical to assess whether collaborating with an ad agency makes sense for your business. In this post, we’ll cover the instances when partnering with an eCommerce advertising agency is a good call and some essential traits for a successful run. Plus, we’ll share our top picks for eCommerce ad agencies to slash your research time.
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What is an eCommerce advertising agency? And what do they do?
An eCommerce ad agency specializes in using pay-per-click ads to improve product visibility, engagement, brand awareness, and sales. An agency can craft an effective PPC strategy based on your goals which could entail a blend of PPC ad types from different platforms and sales channels. For example:
- Google Ads (e.g., Search, Display, and Shopping)
- Social media ads (e.g., TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook)
- Online marketplace ads (e.g., Amazon ads and eBay promoted listings)
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5 signs you need an eCommerce advertising agency
It seems everywhere you turn online, there are stories of businesses going from $0-$98K per month or more with PPC ads. Naturally, these inspiring case studies can cause you to examine your PPC campaign’s effectiveness and question whether it’s time to call in reinforcements. But is teaming up with an eCommerce advertising agency right for your business? Here are some ways to know:
1) Too many tasks, too little time
Perhaps your team is swamped with other important tasks like launch prep and product development. Or maybe you want to focus on other business scaling tasks like going cross-border. Handing over time-consuming tasks like PPC management can help you reclaim precious time and grow faster.
2) You’re out of your advertising depths
If advertising isn’t your strong point, or your stores’ PPC needs exceed your skillset, this scenario is holding your business back. So, it could be time to hand over the reins to an ad agency to maximize your Return on Ad Spend and lower your Average Cost of Sales.
3) Product launches are fast approaching
So much goes into a successful product launch and PPC ads play a leading role. If you’re launching multiple products simultaneously, it can be tempting to cut corners in your research or leave campaign builds to the last minute, impacting your result. Joining forces with an ad agency can help you get a head in your launch task list and ensure your products hit the market with a bang.
4) PPC costs are out of control
With rising PPC costs and increasing competition in the online selling market, getting a handle on your ad spend has never been more critical. To give you an idea, Amazon PPC costs stood at $0.71 pre-2020, by Jan 2021 this figure was at $0.88 and $1.20 by June 2021. Without expert knowledge, it’s easy for product advertising to become unprofitable, so a partnership with an ad agency could keep your ad project afloat.
5) You want to expand your PPC horizons
Perhaps you’ve taken your business to the next level with multichannel selling and need to expand your PPC beyond social media channels to marketplace ads. A PPC agency can help you make the jump smoother without compromising your progress.
Must haves for a successful PPC agency partnership
Working with an ad agency is a partnership in every sense of the word. Not only will you need to provide the right access privileges, but you’ll also need a solid store and mindset to match. Some key characteristics to exhibit before you:
Outsourcing marketing to an eCommerce advertising agency can get expensive, so it’s vital your store’s numbers make sense.
This includes having healthy profit margins, strong sales, an upward growth trajectory, and the budget to allocate to testing and scaling campaigns.
A great product
Well-crafted ads can amplify a product but can’t be its saving grace. So your items should already be road tested, with stellar reviews and regular customers to help improve ad engagement, customer trust, and sales.
As entrepreneurs, we have a reputation for being dreamers with huge goals we’re hellbent on achieving. While aiming high is great for business, it’s important to understand what your chosen agency can and can’t do for you.
Think of it this way, ad launches and PPC optimization probably can’t help you revive a product that’s been dead for 5+ years, or sell a product with a poor-market fit.
To hit it big in PPC advertising, patience is critical. In other words, you can’t expect to rake in cash from day 1. Finding the best fit can take time, and you will need to hold the fort in your existing campaigns while searching for an ad agency.
Also, it can take a while to test and find your stride. You must be ready to give the project time to mature and set realistic goals.
This next requirement relates to the ad agency you choose. They should have a solid track record in scaling PPC campaigns for eCommerce brands. Extra points if your chosen agency has experience scaling your product type.
Also, look for testimonials and case studies to get actual numbers and insight into their processes.
Pulling in sales at record rates? Level up your fulfillment strategy to match.
5 eCommerce advertising agencies to help you scale
When it comes to eCommerce advertising agencies, no two are the same. So, for best results, you’ve got 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 advertising agencies on the market:
Best known for: Paid search on marketplaces and search engines, Shopping and Feed ads
Tinuiti is a big player in the performance marketing space, with more than $3 billion in digital media under its management and prestigious awards under its belt. Its expert knowledge across search, social media, and marketplaces allow its clients to have their pick in the channels they advertise on and how.
With a data-driven approach and custom-built strategy, Tinuiti optimizes ads for every stage of the customer journey for maximum impact.
Tinuiti also has an expansive portfolio spanning various niches such as beauty, jewelry, technology, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, and wellness.
Best known for: Full funnel Facebook marketing, Google AdWords, cross-channel campaigns
With nearly 10 years in the eCommerce ad agency sector, MuteSix has built a name for itself as an expert in customer acquisition for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. Combining its knack for paid search with award-winning creatives, razor-sharp execution, and top-notch data analytics, MuteSix keeps conversions coming in for its clients.
Alongside Facebook’s advertising expertise, MuteSix has added channels like Amazon, Google, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to its repertoire. And something tells us this is just the beginning.
Best known for: AI-driven Amazon and Walmart Ad Optimization
Recognized for its expertise in Amazon and Walmart advertising, Teikametrics merges its extensive PPC knowledge with AI and innovative technology to drive results for eCommerce brands.
Teikametrics’ holistic, KPI-centered approach to PPC advertising equips it to optimize campaigns piece by piece to maximize returns. So, it’s not surprising that Teikametrics boasts an impressive clientele list across industries. This includes brands like NutriBullet, Clarks, e.l.f., and Splenda.
When Teikametrics isn’t serving its agency clients, you’ll find them educating eCommerce entrepreneurs and ad enthusiasts on how to uplevel their marketplace results with much-anticipated reports, webinars, articles, and more.
Best known for: Full-scale Amazon advertising
ChannelKey is an ROI-focused and data-driven Amazon ad agency on a mission to help brands drive growth on Amazon and beyond. With more than 15+ years on Amazon, it’s safe to say ChannelKey has seen it all. From the newer ad types like Amazon DSP to changing rules and strict requirements.
ChannelKey uses its deep knowledge of PPC ads to craft innovative growth strategies and creatives that help businesses scale. The result? More than $750 million in sales generated, 150,000 managed SKUs, and 167% client growth compared to the national average.
Best known for: Google ads management and optimization
Named a Top 3% PPC Agency by Google, LoudMouth Media is a multi-award-winning performance marketing agency with a stellar track record.
Specializing in PPC advertising, this Google Premier Partner uses effective digital strategies, ad optimization techniques, and data analysis to drive conversions for its clients.
Their dedication has paid off. 2,559% increase in PPC-generated revenue, 281% year-on-year upshoot in purchases from Facebook Ads, and 927% uptick in online transactions are just a few of their big wins that keeps clients coming back.
Get ahead with top-class PPC
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer looking for your next big break online, or an up-and-coming eCommerce store hoping to expand your digital territory, now is the time to uplevel your ad strategy.
To know whether joining forces with an eCommerce ad agency is a good idea, it’s critical to understand where your business is and where you want to take it.
But deciding to go ahead with hiring a PPC agency is only half the job. You’ve got to work with an ad agency with a solid track record of success, excellent communication, eCommerce experience, and fair rates. Combine your capital with the right eCommerce advertising agency, and watch your business reach new heights.
Gearing up for accelerated growth? Get your fulfillment process ready for the win.
Wish Fulfillment Fees, Rules, and Requirements
Over 107 million monthly users in 2020, $2.54 billion in sales, and more than 2.4 million daily orders. These stats represent just a few of the impressive wins the online shopping behemoth Wish has achieved.
As Wish’s momentum gathers pace, the exciting growth opportunities it offers to eCommerce businesses are undeniable. The best part is, that success is for the taking on this platform for brands who understand the lay of Wish’s fulfillment land. But with access to information on Wish’s fulfillment operations being limited for non-sellers makes it challenging to know what your responsibilities will be.
Don’t fret. In this post, we’ll uncover the essential details on Wish’s fulfillment fees, rules, and requirements to ensure your eCommerce business can build a profitable and compliant strategy. We’ll also share our no-nonsense tips for thriving on Wish.
Thinking about selling on Wish? Get your fulfillment process ready for the journey.
Shipping rules and requirements on Wish: The lowdown
If there’s one area that decides whether your brand gets and stays in Wish’s good books, it’s fulfillment. Wish goes as far as to rank fulfilling orders “promptly and accurately” as a merchant’s “number one priority” once they’ve secured a sale.
Therefore, it’s crucial you stay updated on the terms of service, especially those relating to your shipping duties as a seller. Why? Customer experience. Wish cares about how shoppers feel about its brand, from the products sold on its platform to returns.
On Wish, you can choose to self-fulfill in-house or partner with a Wish fulfillment provider. But if you opt to take on fulfillment, you’ll have some shipping rules to observe.
If you trip up in following any of these rules, you’ll get what Wish calls an “infraction” recorded on your account. One too many can lead to Wish suspending or even terminating your account. Here are a few key rules you’ll need to observe. You must:
- Fulfill orders within 5 calendar days.
- Confirm orders within a set time (with 168 hours for orders under $100.00 and 336 hours for orders over this amount (Shipping costs included).
- Use authentic tracking numbers only.
- Use WishPost as your carrier if you fulfill orders from Mainland China.
- Not cancel or refund an order before confirming fulfillment.
Need a fulfillment provider that “gets” Wish? MyFBAPrep has got you covered.
Outsourced vs in-house Wish fulfillment
If you aren’t sure whether you want to outsource your Wish fulfillment or handle orders in-house, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.
In-house fulfillment benefits:
- Lower storage fees: If you have an in-house warehouse, you control your storage fees. This means you don’t have to pay 3PL warehousing or long-term storage fees, which can quickly add up.
- More control: Since you have full control over your in-house fulfillment operations, you can oversee every step of the process; from order tracking to prep, all the way to last mile-shipping.
Outsourced fulfillment benefits:
- Hassle-free fulfillment that helps you scale: Outsourcing fulfillment can make selling on the Wish marketplace swift and simple when used correctly. You’ll then be free to dedicate your time to other important tasks that’ll grow your business.
- Gain a competitive edge with Wish Express benefits: The right fulfillment partner can help ensure fast shipping. Once your business qualifies for Wish Express, a 2-day shipping guarantee, your listings will get a conversion-boosting orange truck symbol that alerts shoppers that your product is on the Wish Express program.
- Leverage fulfillment across multiple marketplaces: Your fulfillment partner can support you as you expand your business to different sales channels, such as Amazon and a direct-to-consumer store. Using a trusted 3PL can help you manage your inventory for services such as Fulfillment by Amazon and more.
Don’t wait for the right time. Set your store up for the win with top-notch fulfillment now.
Straight talking tips for a successful selling journey on Wish
To hit it big on Wish, you’ll need a rockstar plan and flawless execution to stand out from the crowd. But you’re likely wondering how and where to get started.
Partner with an experienced fulfillment service
Joining forces with a reliable fulfillment solution is vital. You’ll not only gain more flexibility in your business operations but also peace of mind knowing the most critical task on your Wish to-do list is in safe hands.
However, it’s important to remember that Wish has many rules with costly consequences for non-compliance. So, your chosen fulfillment provider should:
- Have significant experience in managing Wish orders
- Integrate their tech with your Wish store seamlessly
- Make speed and accuracy a priority in your fulfillment process
- Have a deep understanding of Wish’s rules and requirements for fulfillment
- Handle shipping and returns efficiently
Optimize your inventory
Keeping your inventory organized on the shelves and digitally is a must to ensure your Wish store maintains optimal stock levels, dodges inventory-related issues, and delivers a great customer experience. Optimizing inventory should be an ongoing task. Here are some areas you can tackle to get started:
- Assign stock-keeping units (SKUs) to every product and variation for swift identification.
- Arrange stock strategically so they are easy to pick and pack (if fulfilling internally).
- Use inventory forecasting tools to predict demand more accurately.
- Have backup units to avoid stockouts.
- Stay on top of stock counts to avoid errors.
Turn your product listings into sales-generating machines
Your store will need a healthy conversion rate to make selling on Wish worthwhile. Luckily, product listings are your 24-7 sales vehicles that go to bat for your store in the ultra-competitive online market. Invest in your listing to ensure they shine. Some areas to improve include:
- SEO: Conduct thorough keyword research periodically to discover new keywords to test in your product listings and ads to drive conversions.
- Headline copy: Your headlines should be simple to understand, optimized with relevant keywords your target customer is searching for and used to describe your product.
- Product descriptions: Sell the benefits your item provides the buyer to help them justify the purchase and reduce buyer’s remorse later on.
- Photos: Get your image sizing right to catch shoppers’ attention. For example, use 100 x 100 pixels aspect ratio for your hero image. Also, mix in lifestyle images, highlight key features, and show off product variations to help shoppers picture how the product will fit into their lives.
- Video: Utilizing video can help increase product engagement and stats. 94% of marketers say video helped them increase dwell time on their product or service. So, create engaging explainer videos to increase the perceived value of your products.
- Product branding (packaging and labeling): Your branding should be attractive, exude quality, and breed confidence and trust.
- Reviews: Encourage honest reviews and photos from your customer to breed trust in site visitors and drive more sales. 79% of consumers say user-generated content affects their buying decisions.
- Pricing: Competitive pricing is a must on Wish. So, conduct competitor research and use it to guide your pricing.
- Product availability: On Wish, you can sell to more than 78 countries, opening huge doors for building your brand, sales, and customer base on a global scale. So work with your fulfillment provider to create a shipping strategy for each product category in your Wish store and update your listing to include the international shipping options you offer.
Wrapping up — Wish fulfillment fees and requirements
With a growing customer base and ironclad brand, Wish is a force to be reckoned with. But the kicker, with the right fulfillment strategy, a can-do attitude, and a willingness to pivot according to market needs, your store can piggyback off Wish’s success to win big. Combine this approach with great products, optimized listings, and enticing ads, and you’ll be well on your way to scaling your Wish store to new heights.
Looking for a way to stand out on Wish? Learn how MyFBAPrep can help.