Amazon webstores have been around for some time now, but I recently went over to take a look around and see if it was something I might be interested. This made me wonder if any of you have decided to open a store on Amazon. I wonder if “branding” is important enough to make the extra cost worthwhile. So, I did some research.
The main page of Amazon webstores says “Your brand, Amazon’s expertise. Build your own customized ecommerce site, on your own domain-backed by Amazon technology and expertise. They go on to say that the sites offer complete integration with selling on Amazon, Amazon FBA and your site. Shopping carts, payment processing and hosting are all built in. There are no upfront costs, no long-term contracts and no equipment to buy. They also offer full fraud protection for your site. There are two options for the sites. You can have your own domain/storefront and sell on Amazon for $39.99 a month, or you can simply have your own website for the same price. The features mentioned above are included in both plans. Both options have unlimited bandwidth, storage and SKUs. In fact, the only difference between the two plans seems to be the fees. If you are already selling on Amazon, the fees per transaction are only 1% (on top of the regular Amazon fees) and if you opt just for the storefront, the fees are 2% (plus the regular Amazon fees.)
What a great idea! Now, if I had to venture a guess, I would say that most of us already have our own domains set up and running. But for newcomers, I believe this is an excellent opportunity! You get the distinct advantage of having the hosting, payment processing and shopping cart all built in, as well as the security of being backed by Amazon. The fees aren’t bad at all and they offer unlimited bandwidth. If I didn’t already have my site up and running, I might be tempted to open up shop on Amazon. What about you? Is it important enough to keep your brand recognition throughout your sales on Amazon and beyond? Is this something you would be interested in? I highly recommend checking it out!
In this episode of That Kat Radio, we discussed wholesale sourcing and SKUVault
Today, Kat spoke with Ryan Reger about wholesale sourcing and to and Andy Eastes and Danny Shaw about their product, SKUVault.
First, Kat spoke with Ryan Reger from RyanReger.com about his new book, entitled Real Wholesale Sourcing.
Questions that were asked were:
- Please tell us you got started finding and buying from wholesale companies?
- Do you think all online sellers should add wholesale buying to their inventory acquisition methods?
- How do you suggest they get started?
- Why did you write your book giving away your wholesale sources?
Ryan discussed how he came to discover wholesale sourcing and how it changed his business. Then, Kat and Ryan discussed why he would be so generous as to name his sources for others to find. His new book, Real Wholesale Sourcing, discusses wholesale sourcing in depth and he shares several online companies you can purchase inventory from. Most online entrepreneurs highly value their sources and will not share them. Ryan says that he couldn’t even begin to purchase all of the inventory from these suppliers, and felt he should share these sources so that everyone could benefit from them. Kat and Ryan declared that they would be giving away a free copy of his new book to one person who signed up for his email list today at his site or emailed him to join the list at Ryan@ryanreger.com
After speaking with Ryan, Kat was joined by Andy Eastes and Danny Shaw of SKUVault.
Questions that were asked were:
- How did SKUVault come about?
- What does SKU Vault do for eCommerce Sellers?
- What kind and size of eCommerce seller is SKU Vault helpful for?
- Are there parts of SKU Vault that are available separately or is it a package deal?
- What is the cost of SKU Vault and is there a free trial?
- What else should we know about SKU Vault?
Kat, Andy and Danny discussed the men’s backgrounds and how it directly impacted the creation of SKUVault. They discussed how and why their product came about. They discussed how beneficial it would be to sellers to have SKUs for each of their items across multiple platforms so that inventory management became easier. They discussed how this program is changing the way sellers do business and making their lives much easier. They discussed how very cheap their product is. Kat said that she is using this product and is a big time fan!
Kat wrapped up the show by talking about the ecommerce events coming up. She is in charge of the Seabay cruise and is very excited about it. She is also delighted to be taking part in the More Fun Bigger Profits conference this year. Also, they have opened up registration for the eBay Radio Party in March!
Links from the show:
Big Kat Kombo:
There are those of us who are budget conscious. It seems as though the number of us who are grows by the day. In these days of tough economic times, people are more inclined to try harder for a “good deal.” This extends from shopping in your local store with coupons to shopping online with the use of sites such as Ebates. But were you aware that you could shop this way on eBay as well? There is a site out there that has gained recognition rapidly online lately. It is CheckBestCoupons. They offer…you guessed it, coupons! But they have a special page devoted just to eBay. You can find the page here. It features coupon codes, links to free samples and more.
Through the Check Best Coupons main page, I clicked a link to “free samples and coupons from eBay.com” and was taken to an eBay Extras page with $273 worth of free items! Not only are the coupon codes valid, but this extras page is pretty amazing too. I can’t believe I never knew about this feature of eBay before! Have you taken advantage of any of the offers? I knew that in the past, you could purchase coupons on eBay, but as of recently, they have curtailed those sales because of forgeries and the like. But the coupons on the extras page are completely free, you don’t have to have them shipped to you, and they offer about 20 free samples. I imagine that in order to attain the samples, you must complete a questionnaire, such is the norm for “free samples” these days, but in the end I believe it’s totally worth it! Who knew that eBay had such great things for us!
My favorite thing about the Check Best Coupons page is that you don’t have to fill out a bunch of information to get the discounts, like you have to with most sites. You simply click on the “deals” and are taken to the correct code or page. If you want to comment on a link, you simply have to give your email. How easy is that? According to PSSmarketing, an online publication for “marketing, branding, sales and advertising specialists,” online couponing is on the rise. “Digital couponing has been growing in leaps and bounds recently, a trend that is expected to persist for the next few years,” said their mobile marketing division. They also cited an emarketer survey that indicated that over 92 million people have redeemed online coupons in the year 2012. By 2014, the number has soared to well over 100 million!
Which begs that I ask the next question…what types of discounts are you offering your customers to make them repeat customers? I have recently started including a business card in all of my eBay packages that says that if the customer would like to save $5 on their next order, they should email me before ordering. I have had 4/5 people come back and order another item! This is a time when people are desperate to believe that they are saving money, even if it’s on an item they wouldn’t regularly purchase. So, head over and check out the sites above, and use the ideas you get from them to dream up ways to offer your customers discounts, whether from running a monthly or bi-monthly sale or sending coupons or even generating a coupon code of some sort for return customers. Help your customers save money and you can guarantee that they will be back! What are your thoughts?
Randye Spina is a leading small business marketing expert and author of the book “Affordable Marketing Solutions: Proven Techniques to Profitably Market Your Small Business.” Here are some highlights from a long conversation we had recently about the 12 marketing tools most small businesses use, but seldom get right.
Business Cards. RANDYE: This is the most frequently used of all small business marketing tools. First, print on the back on the card. You get 100% more space for just 25% more print cost. Also, use the same font and colors as much as possible on all your marketing materials. This will give you a consistent business identity and help with brand recognition.
CLIFF: “Bullets” describing the goods or services you provide, or five key marketing messages you want your customers to remember, make excellent content for the back of the card.
Display Advertising. RANDYE: Frequency is everything. Too many times I hear clients complain that “my ad didn’t bring in one new customer.” Well, one ad won’t do anything. A small ad run six times at two-month intervals is far more effective than a large ad run once or twice.
Print publications are losing readership, and even those readers are “skimming” rather than reading, but if you’re targeting older people then print will still work. Online display ads are less expensive, but there’s tons of competition, so be sure they are graphically eye-catching. Try using dotted lines like a coupon to get more attention.
Direct Mail. RANDYE: I live on the sixth floor of a high-rise condo, yet I can’t tell you how many direct mail pieces I get for swimming pools, gutter cleaning and other goods and services that I can never use. When buying address lists from commercial brokers you should make sure they are sorted to include only the most likely prospects for your specific business.
CLIFF: Also, watch your timing. Soon after I had my house power-washed last year, I got a blizzard of post cards from power-wash companies. Too late! The time to advertise for snow removal services is in September or October, not January.
Trade Shows. RANDYE: Trade shows are all about eye appeal. Use professionally designed booth materials and do proper pre-show marketing so your market will know you’re there. You should also have some means of collecting attendees’ business cards so you can send them a follow-up promotion within two weeks. For example, give someone a free iPod® if you pick their business card from a goldfish bowl.
CLIFF: You should try to spend as little time at your booth as possible. Get a couple of extremely attractive young people to manage your booth, hand out giveaway items, and answer basic customer questions (just be sure they can track you down fast on your mobile phone if a journalist or other important person shows up at your booth). You should be walking the floor yourself, looking for potential new business partners and customers, sizing up competitors, schmoozing with industry “players,” and learning about some of the new developments that may make your business obsolete. That’s what trade shows are all about
The less your “booth people” know about your business, the less likely they will give away sensitive information to someone who seems to be a highly motivated customer but is really a competitor in disguise.
Stenciling Your Car or Truck. RANDYE: You would be amazed how many people hire plumbers and other contractors after seeing the stenciling on their trucks in the neighborhood. Remember that the stenciling needs to be large enough to see, and graphically interesting so it creates a visual impression. Your company name and telephone number should also be easy to remember: people with both hands on the steering wheel will not be able to write them down for later reference.
CLIFF: You should stencil the hood, trunk and both sides of your vehicle. The hood stenciling should be “reverse image” so people ahead of you can read your message in their rear-view mirrors.
Brochures. RANDYE: It’s best if you create these as “self-mailers” – with space for the recipient’s address and postage so you don’t have to use a separate envelope. Professionals, especially, should have a brochure describing their services, credentials, testimonials from clients and others, and fee schedule.
CLIFF: Brochures are expensive to write, design and print so you will need to spent lots of time getting the details right. Also, proofread them carefully: once you print thousands of brochures, it’s embarrassing (and credibility killing) to correct typographical errors and make changes by hand.
Many of the benefits of a marketing brochure can be achieved by a killer small business website. They are much cheaper to create, and you can update them in “real time” to correct mistakes, make changes and give your customers new and timely information.
More about those next week.
Cliff Ennico is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’. This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state. To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2014 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
In this episode of That Kat Radio, we discussed goal setting and eBay mobile
Today, Kat spoke on goal setting and spoke to Kenric Russell of eBay mobile
First up was Kat, speaking about goal setting and why it is so very important to your business.
Questions that Kat answered were:
Why is goal setting important to your business?
What are the statistics of people who set goals for their business versus those who don’t?
What is the best way to begin setting goals?
When should I check on my goals and update my goals sheet?
What is a goals sheet?
Where can I find a goal sheet?
Kat discussed that setting goals can really make or break your business. She talked about why most people fail at achieving their business goals and why it is so important to set them. She went on to show several statistics on people who set goals versus people who didn’t. Then, she showed us how to find a very easy to follow goal setting setup. By visiting the sites below, you can find several pages worth of goal-setting worksheets. If you print them out and fill them up, you are already 10% more likely to achieve some of your business goals. These goals worksheets will also be shared in the That Kat group, so head on over and check them out!
Kat then got Kenric Russell on the line and they discussed eBay mobile and how it can make your business more profitable!
Questions that Kenric answered were:
How did you end up working at eBay mobile?
How many different Mobile Apps does eBay have and why so many?
Can you tell us a little about the different Apps?
Why should an eBay seller get familiar with the eBay Mobile Apps?
How can the Apps help an eBay seller be more profitable?
How can an eBay seller learn more about the App and how to use it?
Kenric discussed how the eBay mobile app has changed and evolved over time. He pointed out that you can use the mobile app to do a ton of different things. Kat and Kenric exchanged success stories involving eBay mobile listings. Kenric shared with the group why he loves his job so much. He told us about all of the different apps and how there could possibly be more in the near future. He then showed everyone how to use the app to their best advantage and shared that by using the app, your business could become more profitable, with less work from you!
After a great and stimulating couple of interviews, Kat wrapped up the show by sharing that she is now in charge of helping to organize the Seabay Cruise coming up soon, February 8-13, 2014. She will also be attending the TES conference in Tucson, AZ, March 21-22, 2014 and she will be attending the More Fun Bigger Profits conference hosted by Danni Ackerman of the Danni App, May 2-3, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV!
Links for the show:
Big Kat Kombo: