Product Bundling- What does it mean for sellers?

With an increasing number of sellers on a daily basis, consumers across the globe have multiple options for purchasing their daily needs. Considering the competition, start-up and small business may still be struggling to attract consumers, and even worst end up wasting hundreds of dollars in their marketing efforts with lesser returns.

I’m sure as a growing seller you may experiment with multiple product promotional strategies. Apart from focusing on costly marketing tactics, inventory management software can help you attract consumers in the most reasonable ways.

Confused?

You may consider inventory management software to manage your daily stock tasks, however, the ones that are offering product bundling feature may get an idea about we are going to discuss below in this article.

Product bundling feature

Product bundling is allowing a competitive advantage over sellers who don’t have this feature in their inventory management software.

With this feature, sellers are able to list more than one or a group of products as a package helping consumers to make multiple purchases at a single price.

This strategy is not new but at the same time, I’m sure many sellers who have yet not adopted product bundling may be losing many potential opportunities in the most cost-effective ways.

Product bundling example

McDonald’s- the world’s largest hamburger and fast food restaurant  can offer a good example of product bundling strategy in their combo deals.

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Allowing consumers an ability to purchase the whole meal as a single order can encourage more and more people to take advantage of combo deals, instead of making multiple single purchases.

How does product bundling benefit consumers?

a- Pay less for more

Product bundling strategy allows sellers to list multiple products at a complimentary price- which means considering the overall price of each product separately consumers can end up paying less and receiving more via the product bundle offers.

For example: If you are dealing with clothing, offering a matching pair of trouser and shirt with a pair of branded shoes at a special price will make consumers feel the worth of receiving  a branded item in their bundle product purchase.

b- Access to relevant products in one purchase

Consumers who are looking to make multiple product purchases may find your bundling package attractive rather than purchasing them individually from separate stores.

For example: If you are dealing with computer and computer accessories, clubbing laptop with headphones and speakers can ensure potential consumers gain access to primary items that are related to the usage of a laptop.

c- Enhanced purchase decisions

Offering multiple product bundles, chances of consumers gaining access to a mix of products including their favorite items can increase.

For example: If you are dealing with pet products, offering a bundle of pet food along with pet care products like pet shampoo can encourage them to purchase your product bundle for taking an advantage of receiving their other pet’s needs at a competitive price.

How does product bundling benefit sellers?

a- Awareness of new product line

Having an ability to bundle multiple products, automatically allows you with promotional opportunities for your new product launch.

For example: If you are dealing with branded clothing, combining your latest products with relevant fast-selling products can act as a cost-effective marketing tactic, as well as, help you spread visibility for your new product line.

b- Get rid of slow moving stock  

Another effective advantage is to include your slow-moving products in your product bundling strategy.

For example: If you are dealing with mobile phones, can help you get rid of those outdated phones by including best-selling accessories in your product bundling strategies.

c- New opportunities to attract potential customers

Offering bundle product combinations can always help you divert all those potential consumers who won’t mind making multiple products purchases if offered at a better price.

For example: If you are dealing with grocery, bundling products can help garner consumers who are looking to purchase their multiple daily necessities in-one-go for a single price.

What are effective types of product bundling tactics that sellers can adopt?

aRelevant product bundling 

This is where you offer multiple products that can complete a consumer’s need. For example, sofa with matching pillows.

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b- Mix-match product bundling

This is where you offer a combination of multiple options for the same product. For example, watch with matching straps and bezels.

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c- Mixed product bundling

This is where you offer a combination of multiple products from the same brand. For example, eyeliner with mascara, eye cream, lip balm etc.Woman things

 

d- Mixed brand product bundling

This is where you offer a combination of products from different brands. For example, differently flavored wine.

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Tips to run an exclusive product bundling strategy

Product bundling is surely a cost-effective and revenue-generating strategy, hence asking yourself the below questions can help you make the most out of this strategy.

Q1- Does your software include product bundling feature?

Having an in-built feature product bundling feature in your inventory management software will help you automate stock tasks and eliminate the risks of overselling.

Q2- Does your product line have a profitable marginal rate?

Product bundling strategy is offered at a special price, but if the margins of each product are low, may not allow you to offer a competitive pricing.

Q3- Do you have a marketing strategy in place?

You may offer the best product combinations in your bundling strategy; however, not making

them visible in front of the potential audience may not attract buyers.

Q4- Do you have a measuring tool?

Not all your product bundles would work on the first go; therefore, having a tool to track performance can allow you experiment and perform profitable bundling strategies with time.

Wrapping up

Bundling products together or allowing product pair selection, can be an excellent way to complement consumer’s purchase decisions, however, offering the correct mix of products can help you differentiate your brand from your competitors while delivering a better shopping experience.

 

Migrating from Magento to Shopify? Here’s what you need to know

Magento to shopify migrationMagento was officially announced in the year 2007, and within the very next six months, its first public beta version was released.

Considered to be one of the oldest software, Magento has surely won hearts of thousands of sellers who are running their multiple stores across the popular eCommerce platform.

Magento has already been ranked as Top platforms for Fastest Growing retailers in the Internet Retailer 500 Guide Demonstrating Tremendous Annual Growth, therefore, the number of information for developers and users are increasing too.

Switching over marketplace can be challenge

Small sellers dealing with few products can easily experiment with multiple ecommerce platforms to run their eCommerce business.

The problem of migrating may be a nightmare for medium and large sellers who deal with hundreds and thousands of orders- because it can bring a stop to their sales process and revenue coming from their multiple online stores.

No site migration is without frustration; however, switching to hosted solution Shopify allows a wizard mode to help non-technical sellers set up their stores with no hassle.

About Shopify

With more than 11,000 successfully migration since 2009, Shopify is considered to be a one-stop platform that is allowing sellers to design, set-up, and manage their stores over the web, social media, and brick-and-mortar and pop-up shops too.

Shopify currently powers 300,000 business in approximately 150 countries and trusted by big names that include Red Bull, Budweiser, and New York Stock Exchange.

Direct voice from existing customers

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Major reasons what sellers can expect from this migration

Every eCommerce marketplace will have its own pros and cons, however, switching to Shopify, one can ensure:

Considering Back-end

– Easy migration

Unable to have complete control on your store management (that allows you to edit the raw HTML/CSS code) to manage run your store can lead to frustration of running your online selling business.

Shopify being hosted solution eliminates the hassle of delay in migration process as sellers can easily gain access to migration steps in the simplest and menu-driven method.

What makes Shopify different from other eCommerce platforms?

Not having to depend on external developers to understand the technicalities involved in migration, Shopify is surely helping sellers save time and cost used over a non-hosted eCommerce platform.

– Uptime

Experiencing a downtime in performing daily tasks, or even worse, not being able to use a feature or functionality can directly hamper your customer’s experience when shopping from your eCommerce store.

Many eCommerce platforms may limit bandwidth speed as per the plan chosen by the sellers, however, Shopify does not charge extra and offering full uptime ensuring your daily process is up and running, even during the migration process.

What makes Shopify different from other eCommerce platforms?

Upgrading for a higher subscription to avail benefits of features and functionalities can be helpful, however, switching over to a different plan just to ensure speed may not be affordable to many at the growing stage. All Shopify plans include unlimited bandwidth for free.

Considering Front end

– Responsive checkout

As per Statista, 42% of mobile visits to retail sites were generated via smartphones. Therefore, unable to allow multi-channel consumers to easily checkout on your online selling website will automatically lose you potential opportunities who are already interested in your brand.

Shopify’s responsive checkout ensures sellers are able to offer their consumers a quick purchase transaction over their smartphones or even larger screens.

What makes Shopify different from other eCommerce platforms?

Offering consumers a square-cropped product image view, with Shopify’s responsive checkout they are also able to make changes to shipping address on-the-go.

-Marketing

Sellers across multiple marketplaces usually run costly promotional tactics over social media sites to direct traffic to their eCommerce stores.

Shopify’s offers sellers an in-built marketing app to attract traffic from popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo too. Not only that, this feature makes it easy to track your consumer’s website behaviour.

What makes Shopify different from other eCommerce platforms?

Being able to know what your consumers like and targeting them in a correct way, Shopify’s in-built marketing tool can prove to be great to optimize marketing costs over time.

Useful resources to get your Shopify store up-and-running

Go through the Shopify Introduction

It becomes easy to migrate if you know how does the eCommerce platform work? Going thoroughly to Introduction to Shopify will give you insights about the key features, ways to sell, pricing plan and much more information those are required to make take migration decision.

Then, consider Shopify Theme Store

You need to create a store for listing your products, and Shopify Theme Store will make it easy for you to gain access to a number of themes to best match your online selling needs.

Look up Shopify App Store for migrating apps

Magento to Shopify app will be the one you are looking for in case of this migration, however, via Shopify App store you can look up for other apps that will make it easy to migrate other channels that include shipping service, marketplaces and bookkeeping too.

View Shopify migration video to setup your store

Shopify is surely allowing an easy cart2cart migration, however, before you do that accessing their Getting started with your store migration guide can ensure you don’t stuck and set up your store in one go.

Last, Sign-up for a 14-day trial

In the end, when you are set to migrate your Magento store to Shopify, don’t forget to opt for its promotional 14 day free trial that will make you get the hang of the giant market
place, Shopify.

Happy Migration🙂

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Product information management for your multi-channel selling business

Content has always been an integral part of any retail business owners, as it allows them to complements their products in the online world and encourages consumers to take actions on-the-go.

Today, eCommerce transactions are totally dependent on the content and information triggered by brands that allow them to make informed purchase decisions.

If you running an eCommerce business, you would be probably selling across multiple channels to expand your product presence, however, offering poor product descriptions or even, infusing the same information offered by manufacturers may not impact a consumer’s purchase decision.

Therefore, I have decided to come up with this article that will highlight important areas that sellers can focus on their product information and improve sales opportunities for their multi-channel selling business.

Let’s begin:

I- When selling via your online store

Like any other eCommerce seller, you would like to populate your eCommerce website with promotional content and information to attract the audience and improve SEO ranking for your brand and products. Among the many areas of the website, sellers should focus on:

A – Website banner

This is one of the areas that can directly attract consumer’s eye when landing on your eCommerce page for the first time. You can display any of your product offerings here, but, the information your offer will determine whether the consumer will engage with your brand, or not.

Good example from a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Offering simple content in your website banner may make consumers feel that your website is out there only to sell. Educating them with additional information about the benefits of your products can surely encourage customers to browse further and get to know more about your brand.

B – Announcement of new products

Promoting the launch of new products on your online selling website can offer potential consumers an excellent purchasing ability by allowing them to shop for their favourite products from one place. However, poor product information in such promotional activities may not make your offering look new, avoiding consumers to show further interest.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Creating a need in the consumer’s mind for your new product announcements can make them curious to take actions, or, be there during the mentioned time and date. Relating your latest collections as a value for their time and money will automatically trigger consumers take actions and shop for their favourite products that you announce.

C- Best selling products

An effective method for eCommerce sellers to increase sales opportunities is by promoting their fast-moving products on their selling website.

However, not showing urgency may not create an excitement among consumers and may consider it to be one of your clearance promotional tactics.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Promoting your fast-moving products can help you attract consumers; however, not being to showcase a want for it, may make them feel your offers will be there for long and increases the chances of having a second thought in their mind.

II- Selling via social media

Social media being one of the most influential platforms for online shoppers to gain information about their favourite products and brands, today, mostly every retailer will have their presence over leading social media platforms like Facebook, and Instagram.

Areas that you should focus on:

A- Customer reviews

Sellers should keep a track of their product offerings mentioned in the customer’s reviews. Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to make any changes but ensure they have those required keywords or hashtags to make it easy for other consumers engage with your products and brand.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Offering customer reviews in front of the right audience at the correct time is important for any sellers who perform social media campaigns, however, ensuring proper tags and keywords in your product information, can quickly spread a word about your products offerings across the web.

B- Featuring products

Running regular promotional campaigns to promote your products can help you garner visibility in the social networking world. However, focusing on your product information across all your social promotional tactics can increase chances for consumers to directly look up for your selling website, online.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Infusing personalization in your product information that you share across your social media campaigns can help you allow consumers relate your products with their needs, encouraging them to instantly browse your products and make instant purchases.

C- Featuring Image

This is the area that will directly capture consumer’s attention; therefore the way you allow consumers get to know about your products can boost further engagement and sales opportunities from your social media selling channels.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Relating your product information with their daily routines can automatically make potential customers be curious to know more about your offering, improving their chances of purchasing your products on-the-go.

III- Selling via online marketplaces

Popular marketplaces like Amazon, eBay are surely helping online sellers an opportunity to improve their product visibility in front of a large ready-made customer base. However, with competition increasing over such selling channels, your products may get lost in the crowd.

A- Featuring products

Every online marketplace will have their own rules of product ranking visibility, and with hundreds of sellers selling identical products on the same platform, may make it difficult to attract audience despite having a large customer-base.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Simply offering your product name as a description, may not involve the keywords that are needed to compete in product listing rankings while selling across multiple social media channels. Look-up for the most searchable keyword relevant to your product and brand and keep optimizing your product information to settle with the ones that are helping you improve visibility.

B-Checkout page

You have managed to attract customers for your eCommerce brand and they click on your product, which will automatically divert them to the purchase page. This is the most important section for consumers to complete their purchase, however, not being able to offer required information can increase cart abandonment rates for your eCommerce business.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Ensure you make it easy for them to access other product information like size, color, etc. that is important for a shopper’s purchase decision.

C- Up selling/Cross-selling section

Selling on social media channels also allows eCommerce business owners ability to promote their other products on the checkout page, which means increasing the opportunity of up-selling and cross-selling. However, if your offering does not match your consumer’s needs, can lose you multiple potential consumers who have already shown interest in your products.

Good example for a leading eCommerce brand

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What you can do?

Focusing on relevant products in your up/cross-selling campaigns will help you attract eyes towards them, however, infusing a value for making a purchase in your product information can automatically encourage consumers to increase their order value to gain additional benefits of using the product.                    

Ending note

Landing with different product information has been a challenge for multi-channel sellers. If you still stitching over different accounts to manage inventory, a centralized inventory management software can help you sync all your selling channel’s product information at one place, making it easy and quick to spot wrong information and make changes on-the-go.

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Cons of Social “Buy Button” and tip to overcome them

Rewind a decade, the evolution of social media channel made it easy for people to stay in touch with friends and family anytime, from anywhere. All they needed was a device that allowed internet connectivity. Today, many such platforms have come a long way!

From making it easy for people, from across the globe to connect with their loved ones; social media sites are helping business owners to promote, as well as, sell their products online.

Evolution of Social “Buy Button”

With the increasing popularity of people acceptance towards social networking, today, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram are ranked as the leading social media sites in the United States, as of May 2016.

And, with the rise of mobile technology, sellers get an advantage over their eCommerce stores to engage with online shoppers.

No later with increasing usage of social media platforms among online shoppers from across the globe, popular sites that include Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram had integrated a “Buy Button” that allowed sellers an opportunity to convert many, on-the-go.

What do you mean by Social “Buy Button”?

Social Buy Button

A tool integrated within social media sites that allow online shoppers to reduce purchasing steps from the convenience of the platform domain, and, even if users make a purchase via different ecommerce brands; their payment details get stored allowing them to make a two-click purchase process.

Considering this to be a valuable opportunity to get consumers spending more on online products, many sellers should not mind adapting it for their eCommerce stores.  However, not many realize the drawback of a social “Buy Button.”

In this article we will highlight the loopholes of a Social “Buy Button” and how online sellers can deal with them:

First- No exposure for your other products

Irrelevant to the social media platforms, sellers who are taking an advantage of the “Buy Button” may overlook the importance of losing exposure for their other product offerings listed in their eCommerce stores, as well as, other marketplaces.

Unable to insert a clickable link for your eCommerce store, social media “Buy Button” strategy eliminates the ability for many potential online shoppers to know about your other offerings.

What you can do?

Highlighting your eCommerce store’s logo and name, especially for start-ups and small sellers, can create an impact of your brand in their mind, increasing chances of them directly visiting your eCommerce site for their future purchases.

Second- Unable to upsell

Social “Buy Button” is surely helping online shoppers to make purchases for their favorite products in the simplest way; however, unlike your eCommerce store you are unable to upsell.

Many online shoppers who are interested in your products, or, have already made purchases via social “Buy Button” may not mind adding multiple products to their cart. However, unable to insert more than one product on the social media “Buy Button” page, sellers often lose revenue for their eCommerce business.

What you can do?

Your product image can do the game!

Meaning, ensuring clear and attractive images for your product on your social “Buy Button” page can create a longing in your customer’s mind, who in turn, may jump to your eCommerce site for finding a match, or, relevant products to fulfil their day-to-day needs.

Third- No performance measurement

Despite offering great products on your social “Buy Button” page, many potential customers may abandon their purchases. However, not being aware of the bounce rates will not give you an idea about the performance of this effective social media selling strategy.

Unable to track results for your social “Buy Buttons” can lose you many potential customers who have already shown interest in your products.

So why let them go?

What you can do?

Adopting social media monitoring tool can help you analyze customer’s behavior using your “Buy Button”, making it easy to figure out where your customers get stuck and take immediate actions to improve engagement and sales, both.

Fourth- Less of content information to convert

Content is the key that determines engagement and conversion rates for any eCommerce business. Simply adding products name in your social “Buy Button” strategy may make it look uninteresting, even if the online shoppers is interested in your offering.

Instead of directly copy pasting the same product information used by others sellers across the web, coming up with a name that offers a value can eliminate the risks of losing sales opportunities via your social “Buy Button” strategy.

What you can do?

Infusing personalization in your product name that can describe the actual usage will surely impact the online shopper’s mind, who in turn, won’t take a second thought and make purchases, always.

Fifth- No security information

One of the most important concerns to online shoppers is the security on returns, in the case of wrong or damaged products delivered.

Unable to showcase security information on the social “Buy Button” page can stop many online shoppers to take action, unless you are one among the recognized brand over the web.

What you can do?

The only way to overcome such situations is to ensure in-time product delivery for every customer’s orders you fulfil. Doing so will automatically develop a trust in the customer’s mind, who in turn, may not be so concerned about the purchase security on your social “Buy Button” page in future.

But, processing each order manually can hamper fulfilment performance and delay in delivering your customer’s orders.

Cloud-based inventory and order management software are allowing sellers an easy way to bring all their products and sales order coming from multiple channels at one place, making it quick  to fulfil multiple customer’s orders in real-time.

Last- Slow returns on investments

Social networking sites may surely have a ready-made customer base, but with hundreds and thousands of sellers adopting social “Buy Button” strategy for their eCommerce stores; may take time to churn results

Unable to attract sales from your social “Buy Button” can be a costly idea for your eCommerce business.

What you can do?

Encourage engagement via “likes,” “comments” and “shares” in your social “Buy Button” strategy will improve brand awareness and increase its visibility among other online shoppers who are in the same network of consumers who have engaged with your brand.

Focusing on the above four can help you overcome this last, but one the most important disadvantage of a having a social “Buy Button” strategy for your eCommerce store.

All the Best🙂

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How does Amazon Fresh works: All you need to know

Amazon Fresh

Buying from Amazon has always been a wonderful experience for us. Whether you pick books, apparels, gadgets, electronic appliances or household items, the gigantic e-store has given us the option to choose from a broad assortment of products making our purchase easy.

Considering the global ranking, Amazon stands 6th and is best known for offering quick services and amazing products.

  • Amazon Kindle (ebooks reader/ tablets)
  • Amazon Prime (Instant shipping service)
  • Amazon Prime Music & Amazon Instant Video (Instant streaming sites)
  • Amazon Fresh

Amazon started Amazon Fresh program just after 5 years of its inception in Seattle. This online grocery program was under testing in the hometown itself and later in the year 2013, this service was finally opened to other cities of USA including Philadelphia, New York and parts of California.

Growing Industry

Online grocery is the $10.9 million dollar industry in U.S and it is expected to grow by $9.6 million dollars by 2019 according to the market research report by IBISWorld.

Peapod is the leading online grocery store with 5.8 percent of the market followed by Fresh Direct at 4.8 percent and Amazon which also now delivers online grocery at 4.7 percent according to IbisWorld report..

What products you can buy from Amazon Fresh?

On Amazon Fresh, you can shop for a variety of products you need daily. Beverages, Bakery items, Fruits, Vegetables, Canned Food, Condiments, Salads, Oil, Toiletries, Household items, name it and you will get.

For instance you would want to shop for tomatoes, you will get a wide options to pick from which you may not find in any online grocery store.

Take a look

Amazon fresh products

What else can you get from Amazon Fresh?

Amazon Fresh caters a separate recipe section Creative Kitchen where you may find various kitchen tips and recipes of exotic dishes and sauces. You may get a lot of recipe varieties here which can add flavours to your meal and make your day refreshing.

Take a look

amazon fresh creative kitchen

The quality Amazon Fresh maintains

Shopping from brick-and mortar stores become easy where you make sure about the product quality with a touch. Many individuals have their own preference to choose what they want to buy. Some may like to buy riped fruits or some may prefer canned or jarred fruits.

In stores, you also find fresh food items which you think you may not get it online. That’s the reason why companies are struggling to gain more from the expensive picking, packing and delivering fresh foods to their customers.

Despite of such a strong competition where grocery stores like Walmart, Instacart, etc. sell groceries to customers with the picking services to the nearest stores at cheap rates, Amazon Fresh’s main concern is to deliver fresh food items to its customers as per their preference which is similar to purchasing from brick- and mortar stores.

Amazon Fresh carefully controls the condition in which the products are stored, right up until the moment customers receive them, so that fresh items stay fresh & chilled and frozen items remain frozen.

How does Amazon Fresh works?

The working of Amazon Fresh is pretty straightforward. If you place your order by morning 10, you may receive it by 6 pm. Whereas orders placed later in the day will be delivered to you before your breakfast time.

Most items are available for same-day or next day delivery. Shopping from restaurants or neighborhood shops alongside Amazon Fresh products can help you in avoiding making trips often and minimize your to-do-list. And, if you are doing so you need to place an order in advance to enjoy on-time delivery.

Amazon Fresh offers free attended or unattended delivery on the order of or beyond $50 with Prime Membership.

You can also choose your delivery time and schedule your order on the day you want.

Take a look at the below Delivery Option Page

Delivery Option Page

The negative point of Amazon Fresh is, it provides its services to Prime users only. Once you are completed with your 30-day trial, $299 will be charged as an annual fee on top of the products you purchase.

How sellers can sell their products on Amazon Fresh?

It has never been easy for sellers to sell their grocery or perishable goods online because consumers expect the same services alike physical stores. If at all, sellers start selling things online they have to maintain their own delivery system which may not be beneficial to them.

With Amazon Fresh, sellers can easily sell perishable goods or groceries to consumers ensuring that whatever they sell are fresh and of good quality.

Restaurants or neighboring shops too which have experience in delivering fresh and hot meals can enroll in Amazon Fresh and get connected with millions of consumers.

Ending Note:

Amazon has always been the choice for consumers who look for unique and creative things online. It has shelved almost every brand and every product in the  store which can attract people. With an impressive collection and delivery services, it seemed inevitable that Amazon would add grocery too in it’s shelf.

Thus, growing its Amazon Fresh service in various cities suggests that Amazon has a long haul in grocery.

Sources: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/amazon-offers-cheapest-grocery-delivery-in-new-york-study-finds

https://fresh.amazon.com/help

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/052015/how-amazon-fresh-works.asp

http://millennialmagazine.com/does-amazon-fresh-work-in-the-real-world/
http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-04-08/amazon-fresh-prime-now-aim-to-kill-your-local-grocer

Easy tips to manage warehouses across different locations

Warehouse is the commercial building where goods are stored in bulk. Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, exporters, shipping companies, almost every business group takes the service of a warehouse because they know that warehouse plays an important role in streamlining the process of logistics and supply chain. Apart from that, it saves a lot of time and helps in increasing productivity.

multi location werehouse
Challenges faced by the retailers

Retail business is growing like a weed. Daily millions of orders are placed and processed to ship. Logistics, supply chain, inventory control, all these processes are getting more complex. Further, retailers are looking for more opportunities to ship the orders faster. That’s why retailers are in need of multi-location warehouses.

But the fact is, managing multiple warehouses can be painful if not managed properly.

Take a look at the actual problem

The first major problem is related to inventory:

If retailers have more than one warehouse, splitting up the product quantities per variant becomes cumbersome. Second, it is found that retailers mix all the SKU’s in a single bin and sometimes, the software they use to manage multi-location warehouse does not best fit their business nature.

The second major problem is related to warehouse:

Warehouse is an important asset of any retail business so, if retailers know this, do they consider each and every aspect before selecting the warehouse location? And after selecting the location, do they follow suitable principles for designing proper warehouse layout?

These are the two major problems faced by the retailers which can be solved with some easy tips.

Let’s begin:

  • Properly divide the product quantity per warehouse:

The biggest mistake retailers do is, not maintaining proper quantity across different locations. They equally divide the count of SKUs and later they face problems in getting accurate results of sales and product quantity.

Splitting up the product quantity properly between the warehouse act as a bonus point to the retailers.

How?

For example:

You have 3 warehouses, one in Florida, second in Texas and third in California. The one located at Florida looks after the processing of online orders and the rest two looks after the processing of local orders and immediate sales.

Now an order is placed from the online store but in the main warehouse, there isn’t enough stock available. Therefore, you can easily transfer the order to any of the two warehouses. But remember to record or log those transfers to ensure an accuracy of the sales and stock availability.

Second example:

You have kept separate count of SKUs in different warehouses. Therefore, at the time of evaluating the sales and stock count, you will get accurate results which will be helpful in gaining useful insights on improving online selling.

  • Don’t mix all SKU’s in single bin:

Every warehouse contains a small separate space known as a bin. It helps retailers in tracking, loading/unloading and spotting the SKUs of different product variants in quick time.

The mistake which retailers do is they mix all the SKUs in a single bin which consumes a lot of labour time. Mixing of SKUs only makes sense for same type or average sized products and not for different product variants.

However, if the need may arise, it is best to create separate bins for multiple SKUs to find them quickly.

  • Keep the best-selling product near shipping area:

Picking the product from different warehouses that too located at distant places becomes quite frustrating and expensive.

If a retailer is managing multiple warehouses then he may know about this problem very well. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the best-selling product more accessible in order to avoid the treasure hunt which may lead to the slowdown of shipping process.

  • Keep your warehouse green with lean inventory:

Lean inventory is a systematic approach to enhance the value of the store’s inventory. Lean inventory management system helps retailers to identify and remove the waste from the warehouse and make it spacious for other processes like logistic and supply chain to function smoothly.

It basically follows five principles:

  1. Value: Before making any major changes in your store, determine whether applying lean inventory management will generate value to your business.
  2. Flow: Analyse the flow of your inventory from the warehouse. Later, apply Lean 5s principles i.e Sort,Straighten, Shine, Standardise and Sustain to streamline the other processes taking place in your warehouse.
  3. Pull: Roll out the stock quantity on customer’s demand.
  4. Responsiveness: Be flexible enough to adopt new changes.
  5. Perfection: Refine your inventory continuously in order to improve the quality, cycle time and productivity.
  • Set the product limit for stock-out:

Setting the product limit for stock-out is the safest way to escape from the headache of excessive expenditure.

For example:

Your store of international brand of watches sees a heavy sale and therefore, you receive an alert of limited stock. As you had set the stock limit earlier, it became easy for you to replenish the stock on time and continue with the sale.

  • Product Selling Analysis:

If retailers see that certain products are getting shipped in combination then it’s better to analyze the pattern and make a deep study to make the picking process quick.

For example:

If iPhone 6s and Apple watch are getting shipped together, it’s better to place them in one warehouse location in order to save the picking time.

A few expert tips:
  • Promote the stock availability company-wide:

There are many ways to escape from the hassles of stock-out or overstock in the warehouse. One of the best ways is to update the staff members with the availability of stock. By doing so, retailer and everyone at the store can become alert while receiving the new order.

For example:

Your gadget store is the only one across the country to have the latest gadgets. Daily you see a heavy sale of gadgets and therefore you keep on updating the stock count to your staff members.

Now you receive a big order from your eStore. The stock wasn’t available in that quantity, still you were able to ship the order on time and got escaped from the trouble of overhead cost.

  • Select appropriate location for your warehouse:

Location plays an important role in promoting sales. Retailers study the location and analyse it from the business viewpoint which includes,

 – Consumer pattern
– Consumer demand
– Local showrooms dealing in the same market &
– Nearby shipping companies.

Because if retailers don’t analyse from the business viewpoint, though the warehouse is within the budget, it may give negative impact on sales.

  • Principles to design the warehouse:

It is a broader term which needs to be discussed separately in detail considering different aspects of the warehouse and business nature. But still, we have tried to give a gist of  how retailers can plan the warehouse layout design.

There are many principles to design the layout which can help retailers in running effective distribution center.  But first, retailers have to scrutinize the basic necessity then proceed with the layout.

Therefore, it starts with:

  • Business requirement and its nature.
  • The daily activities taking place in the warehouse for order placing, packing, shipping and inventory count.
  • The movement of vehicles for loading and unloading of inventory (cross docking).
  • Storage space requirement.
  • Space to perform fulfillment tasks.

Though, analysing the basic requirement takes a lot of time but this helps retailers in selecting suitable principle to optimize the warehouse functions and improve efficiency.

Wrapping Up

Managing multi-location warehouse is a tough task and to make the task smooth and easy, retailers need a customized warehouse management software or inventory management software that best fits in their shoes.

Orderhive, the smartest multi-channel inventory management software has all the features wrapped in it helping retailers manage multi-location warehouse easily and efficiently.

Thinking to sell on Sears? Here’s what you need to know

Sears is a marketplace where a large community of sellers can sell anything they find unique. That’s why shoppers find a wide range of products in Sears pocket which includes Home appliances, gardening tools, baby products (furniture, gears, clothing, and toys), beauty products, home living, fitness, outdoor tools and supplies and more.

Sears

Behind the Screens

Like other famous brands, Sears opens up it’s eCommerce store to a large group of sellers who want to directly sell their products to millions of customers. Interesting point of this marketplace is, the sellers can be from any business group, be it a manufacturer, retailer or buyer himself.

Despite recent financial loss, Sears is still one of the most popular brands in United States.  Every month, Sears gets an average increase of 16 million unique visitors which is really an extraordinary achievement in the ecommerce world.

(Source: nChannel)

Why is Sears the most popular brand of US?

Consumers get all these benefits when they shop from Sears:

  • Earn points: Consumers earn points when they shop from any Sears stores and can redeem those points in the next purchase.
  • Enjoy convenience: They can track their orders and communicate with the sellers online.
  • Secure shopping: Sears does not share customer details with any third party seller. Only contact information and shipping address is shared to the seller to fulfill the order.Sears.com basically wants that consumers should build up trust while they shop from the marketplace. Plus, they focus more on customer satisfaction. The customer can contact Sears anytime through Order Center if they are not satisfied with the services or seller’s product.

    One more thing, “Have you heard about U.S shipping?” This is the recent buzzword on the Sears.com. Being an international brand, it’s more focused on how to benefit  international consumers that don’t live in USA because it is quite difficult for them to take the advantage of the best offers going in the USA marketplace. With USBuyGo, now it’s possible. They can shop for any product at discount price from Sears website, get the US address from USBuyGo and enjoy the shipping for free.

Rules and Regulations of Sears.com

Sears works more or less like Amazon. It provides similar kind of selling and shipping facility. Sellers sell their products alongside Sears products. Sellers who do not have resources to process the orders, Sears does for them.

Sears follows the same procedure like Amazon for charging the seller. It takes a percentage from a seller’s transaction and a small monthly fee for enrolling in the website.

The Cost levied by Sears.com

Below is just a summary, other costing details can be found here.

  • $39.99 per month to sell on Sears
  • An additional amount of $39.99 per month to process the orders.
  • Surplus commission fee for fulfilling process.
  • $39.99 monthly fee will be waived if the sales do not reach to $400 for the month.

The negative aspect

No negative aspect is seen which can stop the sellers from exploring Sears. It’s just that a small transaction fee is waived if the sellers fail to reach the target. No overhead cost… Sellers can easily experiment with Sears as it provides better facilities stated below:

  • Customers can shop for the products on Sears.com, Sears mobile and Sears Kiosks located in Sears stores
  • Seller’s product will appear alongside Sears items
  • Access to millions of Sears.com customers who are ready to buy
  • 20 major product categories
  • Easy to use online order management interface
  • Comprehensive seller analytics and reporting designed to help sellers sell more
  • Pay-for-performance. A simple and straightforward fee structure
  • No long term commitment. Cancel anytime

The positive aspect

There are other marketplaces as well bigger than Sears. Then, why sellers will choose Sears as a selling platform? Why not Walmart or Etsy? Walmart follows strict rules in selecting their sellers. It selects the sellers based on their fame, sales projection, and alignment with Walmart’s values. Etsy, on the other side, has a broad assortment of handmade products and its niche is totally different. So if you are thinking to sell handmade items, Etsy can be the best option.

Sears gives more opportunities to the sellers in terms of marketing, selling and shipping. Sellers can bring their own unique products to sell which even Sears may not be aware of. Plus, the rules and regulations are pretty straightforward. Sellers need not worry about the risks while starting their business with Sears.

In Closing

If you are thinking to start your business with Sears then it’s the best marketplace. You can get more opportunities to expand your business and take it to the next level because you are exposed to millions of unique users every month.

Further, for customers also it is the best place to shop. The reason is, it provides the best services to its customers. If a customer is facing a problem with the product or a seller is not responding properly then Sears steps in to solve the problem. While visiting the website you may have seen the tagline which says “Shop Your Way”. Sears actually means it because it gives consumers those benefits which they look for when they shop. If you want to know about it in detail, take a look at their marketplace section.