Posts Tagged ‘ebay’

Romance and Winter Deals Attract Shoppers

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing, Dydacomp

At this point consumers have received their holiday bills and they’re paying them off, just in time for the next popular gift giving occasion –Valentine’s Day.  For retailers, Valentine’s Day has become more than just a holiday to celebrate love, it’s an important part of retail’s winter season. Consumer spending on Valentine’s Day gifts results in notable retail sales, so much so that many businesses see it in their bottom line each year.

Valentine’s Day has become a global holiday celebrating love and romance that often includes gifts from chocolate and flowers to over-spending on lavish gifts.  Men reportedly outspend their female counterparts by two to one.  Fat Wallet, a growing resource for online shoppers, is predicting Valentine’s Day Sales to reach $19 billion this year and is ready with special deals and coupon offers.  In 2013 CNN reported that 40.7% of people used their smart phone to make a Valentine’s Day purchase.

So how can your customers show their love and affection while still trying to save some money?  And what about other good deals typically found in February?  We turn to Jeanette Pavini, MarketWatch columnist to help us navigate Valentine’s Day opportunities and beyond. Online and multi-channel retailers can take advantage of Jeanette’s insight and plan promotions to attract online shoppers for everything from romantic gifts to tax preparation software and more.

Here are Jeanette’s recommendations to shoppers:

  • The more than 23,000 jewelry stores in the U.S. sold an estimated $2.8 billion of merchandise in February 2013, thanks to Valentine’s Day. Engagement rings and diamonds are a good buy in February and this year the halo setting (a small circle of diamonds around a center stone) is the trendy design.  In addition, earrings and bracelets are popular and many retailers will be offering good deals to showcase their products and move their inventory.  One note of caution – be sure to keep the store tags on any jewelry that you buy until you are sure the person wants to keep the item.  Returning jewelry can sometimes be tricky.
  • Perfume is a popular Valentine’s Day gift and many retailers opt to promote fragrances by offering a gift with purchase.  Some of the best gift with purchase deals can be found in February.  Check the sizes and prices carefully; you typically pay less per ounce when buying the larger size.
  • Tax preparation software companies are getting more creative in selling their once a year products. TurboTax has teamed up with Amazon to offer special incentives on their products, offering a $50 upgrade to TurboTax Deluxe users who opt to put $500 of their refund toward an Amazon gift card.  Items that can help people get organized for tax preparation will be welcome at this time of year also.
  • Travel to Europe is a bargain because it is cold there which tends to keep people away.  Cities like London or Paris have plenty of indoor attractions and airlines are offering good deals (with the exception of President’s Day – February 17).  Europe’s Carnival season has been slow in recent years and prices are expected to remain low all winter.  Hawaii’s peak season doesn’t get underway until mid-March so if you’ve got the time, you can book before airfare and hotel rates rise. Travel accessories and off-season clothing would play well with these travelers.
  • February is Canned Food Month and you can stock up and save especially with the family-sized options.  Just keep an eye on the expiration dates and be sure to buy only what you know you’ll use.  This is a good time to buy canned goods to donate to food pantries – the items are on sale and the need is high as the holiday donation season has ended. If you have a disaster supply kit (and if you don’t now’s a good time to think about creating one), swap out your close to expiration canned goods and replace with the sale items you can pick up in February.

Take advantage of historical sales and shopper patterns to see which of your customers could use some ideas for Valentine’s Day.  Be the online retailer to offer specials, sales and promotions to attract your best, repeat customers.  Get your offers out early and often to capture shoppers’ attention and be ready to fill last minute orders for procrastinators.  Keep your audience informed and be sure you are visible across all platforms.


Happy Valentine’s Day and happy selling!

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Posted in Ecommerce, Freestyle Commerce, Industry News, Inventory & Order Management, Multichannel Order Manager | No Comments »

Attracting Shoppers Is Critical to a Successful Holiday Shopping Season

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing

Facing the shortest holiday selling season in quite some time, many U.S. retailers are already well into their holiday promotions and special offers to get shoppers into their stores and placing their online orders as early as possible. Traditionally, U.S. merchants have focused on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, to get their holiday sales season underway. Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday when the best online deals are typically

Kimberly Greenberger, an analyst with Morgan Stanley predicts this year’s holiday season to be the most promotional-oriented and discounted since 2008 with eCommerce sales accounting for between 12 and 13% of overall retail sales.  Last year’s eCommerce figure was 11% of total sales.

This year, Black Friday is November 28th and Cyber Monday is December 2nd, which are both late in the holiday shopping game.  Hanukkah is early this year and all of this has prompted many retailers to get a big jump start on this critical selling season.  Wal-Mart has already kicked off its online deals, starting with an online sales event on November 1st – a full month earlier than usual.  They offered some of the lowest prices to be found this season along with free shipping on 99% of online items – more typically the type of promotions that were previously reserved for Cyber Monday.

Wal-Mart isn’t the only major retailer to get an early start.  Toys R Us started their holiday ads earlier than ever before and even offered cash back incentives to loyalty rewards customers who purchased specific toys by October 31 – Halloween.  They’ve added another incentive and are offering their Black Friday deals to their loyalty rewards members on the day before Thanksgiving.  Target is also spending more on holiday advertising, extending its price-match policy and expanding its buy online/pick up in store service.  Best Buy has run Holiday Kickoff sales via email and in the stores while L.L. Bean and Lands End are offering early discounts as well, both online and in store to attract this year’s budget conscious shoppers. Many retailers have even opted to open on Thanksgiving this year to give shoppers more time for their holiday shopping.

So how can you as an SMB retailer attract customers to your site to do their holiday shopping? Follow the lead of the big box retailers and get out there early and often.  Look to promote your products in the online and social media places where you know your customers will be congregating.  Take advantage of social media channels that your shoppers will likely be visiting this season and become highly visible. This could be the time for Our Staff’s Holiday Picks Pinterest page.

Use third party sites to feature your items and associated promos.  Many customers time their purchases according to coupons and other promos that you can easily distribute.  Keep in mind that mobile device usage for product and gift research as well as actual ordering is growing rapidly so be sure to make your offers attractive and easy to read on all platforms.  The larger retailers will continue to use Free Shipping, often with a minimum purchase, to entice customers which means you should too, if at all possible.  After a decade of offering free shipping on orders of $25.00, Amazon has raised their limit to $35.00 for orders to receive free shipping.  If free shipping isn’t possible for you, link your order management and fulfillment system directly to your carrier so that you can provide the lowest shipping price options.

Higher visibility helps lead to higher sales and there are ways to attract large numbers of motivated and ready-to-spend holiday shoppers.  Incorporate a third-party service, such as buySAFE, to verify that you are a reputable merchant and all information shared over your site is guaranteed secure. According to buySAFE, displaying this seal has resulted in a six-percent increase in conversion rates.

Study shopping abandonment data on an ongoing basis and reach out to those shoppers.  Consider running targeted campaigns to drive consumers back to your site to complete their orders – sweeten the deal, if needed with additional incentives.  Come up with catchy headlines and text to cut through the deluge of holiday promotions out there.  Help your shoppers by counting down the shopping days and devise promotions that tie into time, such as a gift a day promotion, featuring different items each week, or play off the 8 Days of Hanukkah or 12 Days of Christmas. Consider a Wrap It Up Early theme or ‘Tis the Season to Be Shopping with special items and prices offered.

For additional tips to help you have a great holiday selling season, access our on-demand webinar, “The Top 5 Insights to Help Prepare for Seasonal and Holiday Rushes”.  There’s no such thing as over reaching your customers this holiday season, especially with targeted and enticing promotions and offers.

Happy Holiday Selling!

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Posted in CEO, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Spotlight, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Search Marketing, Shipping, SiteLINK News,, Webinar | No Comments »

Latest API Update Now Available

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Posted by: Michael Nardini, VP of Customer Satisfaction Michael Nardini, VP of Client Satisfaction

The latest update for the Multichannel Order Manager v8 API is now available on the support section of our website. The M.O.M. v8 API enables your business to integrate M.O.M. with your eCommerce provider of choice to improve your  inventory managementorder management, order fulfillment and order processing capabilities.

These API updates incremental feature enhancements to M.O.M’s API to expand the capacity of the API and to ensure it meets your business needs.  To ensure the success of the update, each release will include documentation and some sample codes to demonstrate how to use the API.

The April API Update enhancements include:

  • Enable M.O.M Ebay functionalities in API.   You will now be able to use the M.O.M. API in conjunction with the Ebay API :
    • Download all new orders from Ebay
    • Upload M.O.M. order information and status to Ebay
    • Synchronize inventory with warehouse management system.
    • Publish new product information for auction to Ebay
  • New API property to determine how stock is pulled from inventory.
  • New function to update “Other Info.” Or Order Line Item’s alternate.
  • Modified functions to ensure output encrypted credit card and E-Check data will be masked.  Credit card data will be masked showing only the last four digits.  E-check data will be masked entirely.
  • New function to output all or selected stock fields and to update stock memo fields.
  • New function to output feed manager info.

For more information, download the latest M.O.M. API User Guide in the Support section of the Dydacomp website.

If you have any questions or trouble updating, the Dydacomp Support team is available Mon – Thurs 9am – 6:45pm EST and Fri 9 AM – 4:45pm EST by calling 973-237-0300. You can also contact Support via the online ticketing system by clicking here.

Please remember to backup your M.O.M. system daily.


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Posted in Multichannel Order Manager, Support | No Comments »

Big Retail is Winning Online

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Posted by John Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

According to a recent report from Comscore, a research company that tracks a consumer’s online advertising and purchasing patterns, there has been a significant upswing in the last year in overall ecommerce sales to the top 25 retailers.  Check it out:

Some of that number is misleading.  For instance on a ton of small business ecommerce happens through their Seller’s Central channel but gets counted as Amazon sales, the same is true for eBay.  These marketplaces are so important to most of our clients that we have build integrations to Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) to work more efficiently with them.

Expect Amazon to have aggressive, increased competition from the top 25 retailers because other big multichannel players are catching on.  Both Wal Mart and Sears have created marketplaces for small merchants that have unique product lines.  So the good news is you’ll have more channels, but the bad news is you won’t be in control when there is a rule change and these marketplaces will change the rules on you often just like eBay Power Sellers have found out.

Our advice to clients is to take a more balanced marketing approach than ever before.  One potential strategy is to:

1) sell on your website using SEO and PPC tactics to drive inbound traffic (with an appropriate ROI)

2) merchandise certain items on the big marketplaces like Amazon

3) liquidate seasonal/old stock on eBay

4) insert your catalog in the orders shipped to Amazon and eBay customers (all marketplaces actually)

5) email weekly to your customer file and try to segment it as best you can

6) stay in or get back in the mail to distribute a catalog or promotional materials for acquisition, continuity and reactivation

A lot of folks might think I am off base recommending mailings.  It is my heritage so I have a bias, but, you are not going to be on page 4 of a Google search in a mailbox that belongs to a past customer or a high potential prospect.  Plus, “Big Retail” can’t out PPC you on every keyword term imaginable in the mail.  Finally, there is no solution online that lets a consumer look at 300 different items from you in a manner of minutes like a 48 page catalog.  Never mind the fact, that consumers will usually keep your catalog around for a little while and refer back to it more than once.  Yes, in all likelihood they will put the order in online at your SiteLINK store or other shopping cart, but the attention, interest and desire for your product will come from their experience with your catalog.

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Do You Remember When it Was All About Your Catalog?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

John Healy, Dydacomp CEO

Posted by John V. Healy, CEO of Dydacomp

So you just put up your company’s new Facebook page and you have even started to Tweet about an item you are selling, all while working non-stop to get your SEO rankings up. You are even thinking about trying PPC to see if you can make that work profitably. You have (or should have) done major changes to your website so prospects will convert more easily: features like product reviews, cross-sell, up-sell, and product recommendations to name just a few. You email more often to your existing customers to bring them back to your franchise. You are selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to expand your reach. You are so totally wired now you might even be a source of electricity for a small community.

How are you doing with what got you here? You remember….Direct Mail and, more specifically, your catalog. Now the US Post Office has made it almost impossible for you to mail profitably but there are still many ways to make the mail work… even for prospecting.  Smart multi-channel merchants that I’ve talked to recently are telling me that they are going back into the mail, very selectively, but still they are mailing.  In fact, in Q4 of last year the USPS was down 18% on Standard Mail Flat mailings as compared to 21% in Q3 – a slight improvement. I suspect when the Q1 numbers come out we will see more encouraging news.

So it’s time to get back to the basics.  Try the mail again and get some help, especially for prospecting from companies like Abacus or i-Behavior.  Use the Mail Order Manager List Management Module (LMM)  more aggressively to find customers in your housefile that you might be able to mail more often.  Here is a link to give you a refresher on LMM:

Good luck and good mailing!

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