Pros And Cons Of Selling Digital Products Online

The Advent of Internet and popularity of E-commerce has opened the doors for many people and business owners to run a business over the web, by just having a website. Eliminating the need of huge workplace start-up costs, online selling is making big money for many entrepreneurs and housewives.

Selling Digital Products

Ecommerce is the up and coming way to run a business, mainly because of the investment costs. Of course not free, but compared to brick and mortar store it is cheaper. Physical products are highly sold over the web, however digital products that include-books, graphics, software, videos are also becoming a good source of making money for many people having unique skills. And, in the context of internet marketing digital products are real, unlike physical products that can’t touch or feel.

In this article, we will highlight the pros and cons of selling digital products online that will give you an overall picture of this trending business.

Selling Digital product: Pros

1- No storage space and cost

Digital products are intangible (products that cannot be touched), hence it does not require storage space. The only space it will utilize, is of your hard-drive.

2- No inventory shortage

You make hundreds or even thousands of sales, you’ll never experience the risk of stock issues. Also, you eliminate the hassle of updating stock when a sale is made.

3- No shipping hassle

Digital products does not include any tangible products, as customers will purchase products in the form of downloads. Therefore, it automatically eliminates the need to deal with shipping hassles.

4- Delivery on-the-fly

When an order is placed for your digital product, you need to share a link or file with the customer. The customers will then receive the product on download, hence it results for an instant delivery.

5- Unlimited source of income

Once you create your digital product line, it won’t cost you for selling online. Hence, you can make more than 100% of the sale price unless you sell it over marketplaces or selling platforms.

Selling Digital product: Cons

1- Maintenance

When you deal with digital products, you need to ensure that your server up and running, always. In case your server is down, your customer will have to wait until the system is up. Therefore, the concept of selling digital products will involve a huge server maintenance costs for opting a high bandwidth.

2- Competition

As discussed above, selling digital products is proving a good source of income, hence many are jumping into this business. And, with more competition digital business owners are seen to list their products at a lowest possible price to gain a competitive advantage. Hence, there are chances for your products to get lost into the crowd, unless you have a strong marketing structure in place.

3- Ideas can be copied
Your offering may be unique, not until when they are up on the web for sale. Whether it’s an e-book, video, or music file – the basic idea of the product can be copied easily. This again, can lead to more competition for your same product line over the web.

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5 Businesses You Can Run From Home

Businesses You Can run from Home

Home-based business is quickly gaining importance among business startups. Running a business from means you eliminate heavy upfront costs and gain flexibility that is difficult when renting or buying an office. Although working at home requires discipline, the benefit can be substantial.

Businesses You Can run from HomeThe advent of internet has opened the doors for many people, especially housewives, allowing them to work and earn from their home. But, When you think of starting a home-based business, the hardest part, is to come up with a successful business idea. If you are still having cold feet about what business to start, continue reading this article.

Below are easy-to-start, cost-effective business ideas, specifically the ones that you can start and run at home.

Graphic design

Mostly, all businesses create logos, images, sales brochures, business cards, advertisements, all in an effort to keep their products and services visible in front of people. Big companies have a team of experts, in-house. However, there are many startups and small companies who will always prefer to outsource their designing work to freelancers, either because they run a virtual business or they don’t have the budget for hiring permanent employees. And, if you are one of them who love to work in detail-oriented tasks, then web designing can be great career option for you.

Qualification: Good knowledge of HTML, or better yet the latest version, XHTML or ” Extensible Hypertext Markup Language”.

Freelance writing

With the advent of web-based businesses, content marketing is gaining immense popularity and the need for writers has grown exponentially over the last few years. Be it website writing, article writing, technical writing, you’ll have a variety of options. So, if you feel you can write, becoming a freelance editor could be an ideal business that you can run from home.

Qualification: Good command over English and grammar rules.

Consultant

Most of us, individually gain immense knowledge while working in a particular industry. Such expertise can be a good source of income and cost-effective for startups. For example, if you are into marketing or social media for years, you can use your experience to help others do similar things without repeating the same errors that you made along the way. Therefore, if you have an expertise in a particular field, you can market yourself as a consultant to others looking to work in that area.

Qualification: Knowledge in an industry that may be helpful to other people.

App developer

With the immense popularity of smartphones, today everyone can gain information and purchase for products or services using an app installed in their phones. Mobile apps are in high demand, and developers are in short supply. Most of the startups and small companies find it reasonable to outsource their mobile app projects to freelancers until they have a more pronounced need. So, with a few key tweaks to your skill set, you could be working in the hottest market, making you big money.

Qualification: Basic knowledge in programming

Sell online

Ecommerce has proved to be a great source of income for people having unique talent. If you have a good amount of knowledge and passion in creating something, that can include handicraft, fashion, women accessories , why not make it your source of income? And, the best part, there are many marketplaces that allow you a ready-made website theme to list your unique products for free. With no upfront investment, selling products online will never be a loss.

Amazon.com, eBay, Etsy are some of the leading platforms that will allow you to list products for free, and you will only have to pay them some percentage (nominal) when you get an order. Such platforms also offers free training programs that allow you effective selling tactics to help you make the most.

Qualification: Passion for the product you want to sell

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Top 5 customer feedback tools for your business

Creating a customer-focused culture will help you gain new business opportunities, that automatically reduces marketing costs for your business. It’s seen most of the businesses overlook the importance of a customer’s feedback, however receiving  direct voice from the customer about your products or services, can make you a strong competitor.

In today’s world, your customers will have plenty of options, and your rivals are always ready to find any possible way to steal them from you. Therefore, customers feedback will give you in-depth insights about their opinions for your brand, which can then be analyzed to offer better customer experience, as well as build stronger relationship with them.

This article will highlight top 5 customer feedback tools that you should consider for your business.

1- Kampyle

Kampyle

Overview

A web-based tool, Kampyle offers customer feedback solution that allow business owners to understand their customers, better. Offering an ability to gather feedback at every customer’s touchpoints – you can gain deeper understandings that can help you evaluate and optimize customer’s experience based on their objective insights.

Eliminate those guesswork and understand why your customers behave so, by adopting Kamplye customer feedback solution  for your business.

Website: www.kampyle.com

2- Feedbackify  

Feedbackify

Overview

A website widget, Feedbackify allows the quickest and easiest way to receive feedback from your customers. This way it enables you to engage your customers with content they like. Easy to integrate, you can create your own customized survey form, then copy and paste code into your site’s HTML, and finally start receiving valuable feedback from your customers. You can filter your feedback by “category” and “sub-category” that will help you deeply understand your customers and offer service that they like.

Website: www.feedbackify.com

3- CustomerSure  

Customer Feedback

Overview

A customer feedback software, CustomerSure will allow you to collect, manage and respond to your customers feedback, effectively. This tools automatically send simple surveys to encourage your customers provide opinions, without being pushy. One of their exciting feature, it allows you to track results over time allowing you to find and fix problems, instantly.

Website:www.customersure.com

4- Hively

Hively

Overview

Another great tool for generating and measuring customers feedback, Hively empowers customers to provide feedback in real-time. Easy to integrate, this effective solution also allows you to embed survey inside an email. This way, you can create a personalized email to encourage your customers provide their opinions, in an effort to offer experience relevant to the voice of your customer.

Website: www.teamhively.com

5- GetFeedback

GetFeedback

Overview

One of the most modern customer feedback software tool, GetFeedback allows you to create a visually engaging survey that automatically encourages your customers to participate in it. It automatically formats your survey for those who are taking it on their smartphones, tablets and any browser. You can also add rich media in an effort to get their feedback for your product videos.

Who says surveys aren’t fun? With GetFeedback, it’s always fun!

Website: www.getfeedback.com

Regardless to any of the above tools you opt for your business, knowing your customers feel and what they expect from your products or services, becomes crucial to gain a competitive edge in this modern world.

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Macy’s Inventory Strategies: What every retailer can learn?

In this modern world, an organized inventory flow becomes necessary to fulfill your customer’s need coming from multiple sources.

With the advent of technology, modern consumers have multiple ways (that include in-store, online, call-center, mobile, etc.) to browse and purchase products they like. However, there are many retailers who still find it a challenge to reach out every customer’s needs due to supply chain issues. This why retailers need to consider Inventory management best practices.

Retailers

Having a successful inventory management practice in place, you can eliminate the risk of out-of-stock situations, while at the same time you ensure that inventory costs does not affect the bottom line of the business. This means there should be a balance between demand and supply.

In this article we will discuss, how Macy’s – a successful mid-range chain of department stores (850 stores in total) manages their supply and meets the demand for all channels.

Macy’s has mastered inventory and you can, too!

Today, Macy’s is considered to be one of the biggest brick-and-mortar store offering some of the best deals. Now, that doesn’t mean the department store is obvious to the advantages of online retail. Their much thoughtful decision, to invest in omnichannel solutions is an effort to offer better, and seamless shopping experience.

Omni-channel is very much about “inventory optimization through technology,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc., in a talk delivered last week in Tucson. Inventory visibility across all stores and channels is the key enabler, he added.

Macy’s key inventory management practices that benefited shoppers and helped them as well, improve inventory optimization  

– Real-time visibility

In most cases, retailers display 80% products in their showroom. Hence, 20% of their inventory are left unsold, as they are not seen. And, product visibility has a major role for inventory optimization. However, adopting a real-time program has helped Macy’s improve their supply chain flow. They can now allow customers get an access to all their inventory with the help of technology, even if is not present in the showroom. This way customers can order for the product that is in the warehouse, which is then shipped to the them.

For example, you are selling footwear and one of your customer is looking for size 8, however, it is not present in-store, but you have it in your warehouse. In such cases, you can allow customers make a purchase for the size 8, which later can be procured and shipped to the customer.

– Omnichannel

Having a real-time visibility has no doubt helped Macy’s to manage inventory, however offering omnichannel solutions was their key to a successful inventory optimization.

Investing millions in an effort to allow customers an ability to purchase products whenever and however they want, has made Macy’s one of the leading department stores. Their omnichannel solutions included flexibility in order fulfillment for customers shopping in-store, online, or even a combination of both including in-store pickups and allow home delivery, too..

What can you learn?

Having a real-time software  for your inventory across all your stores and warehouses is a must to manage your supply chain. And, adopting a real-time inventory solution, you can come with unique inventory optimization tactics to improve omnichannel shopping experience. With more and more retailers experimenting different ways to offer omnichannel solutions, it’s time for you to seriously think about leveraging the above best inventory management practices to better serve your customers in this modern retail world.

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Top 5 Repricing Software for Amazon and eBay

If you are planning to sell your products on leading marketplace Amazon or eBay, you’ll have many advantages that include increased visibility and conversions. In order to gain those benefits, online retailers need to overcome few challenges inherent to marketplace selling. Among those, products pricing has always been a biggest challenge for Amazon and eBay sellers, regardless to the one  selling unique/antique products, having no competitors.

A common frustration amongst most of the sellers on Amazon and eBay, is not being able to have a competitive pricing pricing strategy in place. And, most of them overlook the importance of pricing strategy, when selling over marketplaces. Ignoring this very important aspect of marketplace selling, new sellers find its very difficult to compete with larger players selling on the same platform. In order to cope up with this dangerous challenge, adopting a repricing and inventory management software solution will be an ideal choice for managing products, when selling over Amazon and eBay.

In the article, we will highlight the top 5 repricing software that will help you automate your pricing structure, allowing you more time to focus on important matters, like providing superior customer service.

1 – Seller Dynamics

seller-dynamics

If you sell on variety of marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay, then take a look at Seller Dynamics. This software enables sellers to set their pricing structure on autopilot, it mean repricing will be set according to the principles of supply and demand. And, whenever you list a new product, it’s in-built inventory management software will update inventory levels and prices on-the-go. By adopting Seller Dynamics, you can ensure that your products will always sell on profitable rates based on Amazon and eBay rules.

Website:  www.sellerdynamics.com

2 – SolidCommerce

SolidCommerce

SolidCommerce is an Amazon and eBay repricing software that allow sellers to automate their pricing structure based on the competition. Allowing an ability to set different prices for the same products on multiple marketplaces, you can adjust your shipping offers as per the product and it’s demand. Offering a number of price and inventory management solution, SolidCommerce can run of your cost when selling over Amazon and eBay.

Website:  www.solidcommerce.com

3 – Repricer Express

repricerexpress

Repricer Express is another preferred repricing platform for Amazon and eBay sellers. This platform is considered to be an ideal, as it not only allows sellers to set customized pricing rules, but also gives them an ability to lock a minimum and maximum prices. This way sellers can ensure that their products are not selling too low or too high. Designed with the latest technology in mind, Repricer Express even takes competitors shipping rates into calculation. This way sellers are rest assured that their products are priced to win a profitable business.

Website:  www.repricerexpress.com

4 – Appleagle

Appleagle

Considered to be a multi-channel pricing software, Appleagle provides competitors product pricing that allows them to stay on top of others selling on Amazon and eBay. The most powerful feature, is it’s “Continous Repricing” tool that automatically updates product prices, allowing retailers to stay ahead of competition all time and increases their chances for winning the Amazon  Buy Box.

Website: www.appeagle.com

5- Teikametrics

teikametrics

Offering a team of experts to configure your repricing parameters, pre-test your results, as well as  provide unlimited ongoing pricing solution, Teikametrics is proving to be a dynamic repricing as well  inventory optimization software for Amazon and eBay sellers. This technology has an ability to spot trends before competitors and allow sellers to make real-time pricing adjustments to optimize profit.

Website:  www.teikametrics.com

Posted in Inventory Management Software

World’s Top 5 innovative retail companies

Innovation is the key for any successful retail business that keep it going on. With huge competition rising in the retail sector, today many retailers are try their level best to come up with unique innovations by leveraging modern business practices and technology, however only few prove to be successful.

In this article, we will discuss on the top 5 innovative retail companies, and their innovative contribution that automatically attracted millions and millions of consumers across the globe.

Top 5 Retail Companies

1 – Amazon.com

Overview

Founded in the year 1994, Amazon.com started off as an online book store and soon diversified to selling electronics, apparel, furniture, etc. Founder Jeff Bezos, is considered to the one of the most forward-thinking entrepreneur who constantly believed in not just attracting consumers with special offers and discounts, but also offers service that are valuable to them. Free two-day shipping, same-day delivery, are some of their great innovations till date. It’s next innovation, to use drones for small package deliveries, but still in talks.

Some figures

Recording a revenues of US$ 88.988 billion in 2014, Amazon has launched it’s first physical store in 2015.

Website: www.amazon.com (original U.S. site)

2 – Walmart

Overview

Founded in the year 1962, today Walmart is considered to the world’s largest company by revenue. Operating a chain of discounted department stores and warehouse stores, Walmart’s innovation was to focus more in smart mobile solution to make their consumer’s experience easy, quick and enjoyable. Allowing customers an ability to skip long-checkout lines and pay for the products using smartphones earned them a good brand value in the retail industry, and still continues till date.

Some figures

Recording a revenue of US$ 476.294 billion (2013), Walmart has above 2.2 million of employees across all their stores.

Website: www.walmart.com (commercial website)

3 – EBay

Overview

Founded in the year 1995, eBay started off as an online auction site, but today it is more than just an auction site. The business has evolved into a global ecommerce and payment platforms. Ebay’s RedLaser comparison app allows “showrooming”   – an innovative strategy that give customers an ability to scan product barcodes while in a store, and later search for the best deal on that product at that moment, whether in that store, online, or at another store nearby. Another innovative creation, is “eBay’s Connected Glass.” This is a kind of technology referred as “shoppable windows” or “digital storefronts” – allowed passersby an ability to order with the tap of a finger and pay for using the PayPal mobile express checkout. A benefit to both , this innovation did not only save customer’s time but also helped the company generate sales even after store-hours.

Some figures:

Recording a revenue US$16.05billion (2013), eBay has employed innovative people as it aims to be a leading platform for innovation.

Website: www.ebay.in (Official website)

4 – Zara

Overview

Founded in the year 1974, Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessory retailer which is now considered to be the world’s largest apparel retailer. Today, Zara is known as an innovative solution to both the style and marketing problem. What makes Zara unique, is it believes to get new styles in the market – and has a capacity to develop a new designs and get them to the stores, in just two weeks. It seems to be pretty impressive, compared to six month industry average. The brand produces about 11,000 unique designs annually which estimates thrice more than it’s key competitors. Offering a range of forward design to consumers in a short span of time, encourages Zara lovers to make repeat visits.

Some figures

With over 2000+ stores worldwide, Zara recorded a revenue of  €7.071 billion in 2009.

Website: www.zara.com (official website)

5 – Macy’s

Overview

Founded in the year 1858, Macy’s is a mid-range chain of departmental stores owned by American multinational corporation Macy’s Inc. Today, Macy’s with it’s innovation allow customers an ability to order and receive products from any of their stores (recording 850 department stores) and receive their order the same day. Focused in providing a seamless shopping experience and offering same day delivery is the best innovation of Macy’s, which is what encourages fashion lovers to make this brand one of their favorites.

Some figures:

Recording a revenue of $27.93 billion (2013), Macy’s has employed 172,500 skilled workers across their stores.

Website: www.macys.com (official website)

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Tips & Tricks: Selling better on online marketplaces in 2015

Online marketplaces have been around for quite a while now. Amazon that had launched its online marketplace back in 2000, today has proven to be the world’s largest and most successful marketplace. Another big name to the list, is EBay.

Looking at their success, encouraged many high street retailers to launch their marketplace. If your are one of them who thinks selling over marketplaces are only for large players, then you are still in the dark. It’s almost a no-brainer for any retailer to sell via a marketplace, and as per surveys – over six out of ten online shoppers prefer online marketplaces, so the opportunity is large.

Selling Online Marketplaces

This article will present effective tips and tricks that will help any retailer sell better on  online marketplaces(regardless of what online marketplace they opt for) in 2015.

– Be unique with your shop’s look

You may realize that many store’s listed on the online marketplaces have the same product line that you do. So, how can you stand out from the crowd? The first thing you should focus on, is your shop’s appearance. Online marketplaces allow retailers with a readymade theme, however some allow customization too. Ensure, you be unique with your shop’s appearance that can easily describe your brand and offerings in a very catchy way.

 Get the photograph right

Every online marketplace allow retailer an ability to upload an image for their store. However, the importance of it has been overlooked by many retailers, but it is the most strongest influential factor to divert traffic. Since online shopping does not allow customers to touch and feel the product, it becomes important to offset this by getting the photograph right. Ensure your store’s and product photograph are clear and of high quality, able to attract customer’s attention on-the-fly.

– Make use of the available widgets

Many online marketplaces allow easy integration with application that help retailers to divert more traffic to store. Some offer this service are for free, while others do charge a nominal fee – but adopting widgets that are provided by the online marketplace you sell on, will make it easy to bring in more customers. The best way is to incorporate the widget into your shop’s website which will help you showcase products from the storefront.

– Adopt storytelling format in your descriptions

Description in a sales pitch will not attract customers. Today, customers are more likely to shop from stores that allow engaging content. Therefore, offering content, as if you are narrating a story will make more and more customers engage and get engrossed with your brand.

– Involve the most searched keywords

You will want to make sure that you use the most-popular keywords in your descriptions, however at the same time your keywords need to be unique to stay on top in search engines. The best way is to look-up for the most-searched keywords relevant to your brand and products, create a list, and prepare some unique ones out of those and add them to your descriptions.

– Ensure your returns policy is highlighted

Online shoppers will always look-up for a store’s returns policy, no  matter what marketplace they are present on. And, you would not like to take a chance – hence display clear returns information in bullet points that will not only make it easy to read, but also avoid ugly scenarios and a potentially unhappy customer.

– Join their community

Most of the online marketplaces available out there have their own community. Obviously they will not bring in traffic to your store, but they have regular forums that offer tricks with practical information that will help you sell more. Join the community to build up network and get a thrust to a right start.

– Be loud on social networking sites

With billions of active users over social networking sites, it becomes a great source to divert online shoppers into your store. Adopt Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn to find appropriate audience and direct more and more buyers to your online shop.

– Have a blog page

Having a blog page is even more helpful to reach out potential buyers. Integrating social networking share buttons to your blog page will keep your content shared always, and at the same time pull in new customers into your online store.

 Implement an inventory management system 

Always remember! Inventory is the key to success while selling on online marketplaces. And, if you are unable to fulfil your customer’s order, it will create a first bad impression and they’ll never return to your store. The smart way, is to implement an inventory management system that will help you organize your inventory and keep levels up-to-date. Orderhive, an inventory management software is gaining immense popularity as it allows online marketplace store owners an ability to sync all their inventory (from multiple warehouses) into one centralized system. Allowing clear insights of  all your inventory in real-time, will make it easy to manage and maintain inventory levels, efficiently.

Wrapping up

Online marketplace are proving to be an ideal solution for retailers to gain maximum exposure. But if you are a newbie, carefully abide the above mentioned tips and tricks to make selling easy, enjoyable and profitable in this year 2015.

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