Posts Tagged ‘SiteLINK eCommerce’

Advantages of Drop Shipping vs. Ship from Store

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Posted by: Laura Hills

Whether you’re managing an established or growing retail business, you know too well the challenges of processing orders in a timely manner and managing inventory efficiently.   Retailers of all sizes have found benefits in alternative order fulfillment strategies such as drop shipping.

Unlike direct order fulfillment or ship from store, drop shipping is an order fulfillment strategy that does not require a retailer to keep products on hand in inventory; rather it relies on fulfillment and distribution centers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers to ship orders directly to customers. One of the biggest benefits to the merchant is that a physical inventory storage location or warehouse is not needed.

Instead, online retailers focus on managing their webstore(s) and other sales channels to monitor inventory levels and order fulfillment processes. Retailers often supply their own shipping labels and packaging materials to their drop ship vendors so that their customers receive the items they ordered with the same packaging as if they received them directly from the retailer.

In addition to avoiding the upfront investment needed to buy and keep products in inventory, drop shipping offers additional advantages that make it attractive to online merchants. These include:

  • Offering more products for sale without the overhead of space or budget constraints
  • Sourcing products from a wider variety of vendors at competitive rates
  • Excess inventory concerns are minimized
  • Better shipping rates due to increased volume and shipments aligned with geography
  • Eliminating or reducing lead times by shipping orders directly to customers
  • Getting to market more quickly without having to wait for inventory
  • Offering a broader range of products that will help to attract more customers
  • Having more time to sell products – time is not needed to receive, store, pick, pack or ship products
  • Reducing the overall investment – eCommerce start-ups may not require significant investment to get up and selling

The drop shipping process is relatively straightforward; a customer places an order, the retailer receives the order and collects payment and then either manually or electronically alerts the distributor/shipper, issuing a purchase order for the item(s) and providing shipping instructions to deliver the items to the customer.

If the online retailer has not automated the order management and fulfillment process, they may face challenges with drop shipping.  For drop shipping to be a successful strategy, retailers should automate the order fulfillment process and keep the following information current for every item they sell:

  • Product descriptions
  • Product images
  • Price
  • Available inventory
  • Accurate shipping weights

This requires open and continual communications with your drop shipping vendors.  An inventory and order management system enables retailers to streamline transaction processing while reducing or eliminating manual data entry errors and multiple data entry requirements. Consider a system that offers electronic data interface (EDI) enabling the electronic exchange of data to allow process automation and efficiencies.

When using drop shipping for order fulfillment, retailers rely on the distributor or manufacturer to ship orders correctly, efficiently and on time.  Larger retailers are able to use their volume to compel their drop shipping vendors to comply with their shipping and customer service requirements but SMBs may not have the same leverage.  It becomes very important to check references on drop shipping vendors and track their performance once they have started to ship. Have procedures in place to respond in the event of order mix ups, out of stock situations, customer service challenges and product returns. Address issues as quickly as possible to keep your customers happy.

Drop shipping continues to grow in popularity as an order fulfillment strategy, especially with SMB eCommerce and multichannel merchants.  According to Jeremy Hanks, co-founder and CEO of Dropship.com, “The use of drop shipping to satisfy demand among ecommerce retailers has been one of the main advantages of doing business on the Internet.”

 

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

It’s time! Get Your eCommerce Site Ready for the Holidays

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing, Dydacomp

It’s that time of year – shoppers are starting their holiday shopping earlier and earlier and retailers need to be ready with timely offers, the right amount of inventory, and sufficient staff to handle the demand and to be ready to keep up with customer demand.  For a growing number of consumers, Back to School signals the start of the holiday shopping season.


When Consumers Begin Holiday Shopping

 

When consumers begin holiday shopping

Source: National Retail Federation (NRF) 2012
Following the lead of these early birds, well prepared retailers can begin holiday advertising and promotions to catch the almost 40% of shoppers who start shopping in September and October.  Help them to find the perfect gifts at the right prices early on.

Here are 5 Top Insights to help you prepare for the 2013 holiday shopping season.

  1. Free shipping increases online spending – but it must be managed appropriately. Take advantage of group shipping rates and “least-cost shipping” options to increase bottom line revenue.
  2. Manage stock levels to meet seasonal demand spikes and maintain inventory control. Be prepared for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday sales period.  Use last year’s sales as a benchmark for this year’s needs.
  3. Leverage best practices to ensure that you have visibility across all sales channels. Utilize cross channel online inventory control especially if you use third party eCommerce solutions and offsite fulfillment centers – have what you need so you don’t disappoint.
  4. Employ marketing and customer service approaches that work to engage and delight your shoppers. Use customer data to segment your site visitors and create targeted marketing for each segment. There’s no such thing as an over-satisfied customer.
  5. Optimize your existing operations to enable expansion into new marketplaces to uncover more buyers. Focus on the consumer experience and preferences that drive shopper’s choices. Don’t forget about Amazon, eBay and other online outlets for sales.

 

For additional information on how to be prepared for the upcoming holiday season access our on-demand webinar, “The Top 5 Insights to Help Prepare for Season and Holiday Rushes”.  You and your shoppers will be glad you did!

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Posted in CEO, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Payment Processing, PCI Compliance, Shipping, SiteLINK News, SMB Index, StoreFront.net, Webinar | No Comments »

Mobile Device Shoppers Taking the Lead in Online Spending – Are They Finding You?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing

In the second quarter of 2013, consumers using smartphones and tablets increased their online spending by 24% over 2012 reports comScore Inc., the global leader and preferred source for digital business analytics.  Internet Retailer estimates that total online sales increased 16.2% to $54.54 billion for the same time period.

comScore also reports that the 2013 second quarter sales marks the 15th consecutive positive quarter for eCommerce and the 11th consecutive quarter of double digit growth.   “Increased spending growth for the second quarter not only reflects the long term shift towards digital commerce, but also the near-term signals of sustained improvement in consumer sentiment,” says Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman.

This is definitely positive news for online retailers, but only if shoppers can easily find them online. Etailers need to be sure to focus on getting in front of their ideal customers and prospective customers through direct site, paid search and search engine access. It is easy to identify just how easy (or difficult) it is to find your business by doing your own searches to see where you are listed on the popular search engines.  And don’t hesitate to look for help if needed to boost your rankings – not everyone’s an SEO specialist.

With over 5 billion Google searches per day, more than half done on a mobile device, your business may be hard to find.  Know the keywords that people are using to find you, and be sure your site is optimized for SEO rankings.

About.com offers the top 10 factors that positively affect your search engine rankings: [1]

1.        Keyword Use in Title Tag

2.        Anchor Text of Inbound Links

3.        Global Link Popularity of Site

4.        Age of Site

5.        Link Popularity within the Site’s Internal Link Structure

6.        Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site

7.        Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community

8.        Keyword Use in Body Text

9.        Global Link Popularity of Linking Site

10.     Topical Relationship of Linking Page

In addition, be active on social networks where your customers are likely to be.  Update your site content and offer promotions and/or links that direct them to relevant content, giving visitors reasons to visit often while keeping the search engines running. Your site should be optimized to be displayed and function across all popular devices.  Make sure that there is no loss of integrity or functionality on mobile platforms as more and more shoppers are using them to making their online purchases.

For additional tips on managing your retail back office operations, read this white paper entitled:  “Is Your Back Office Keeping Up With Your Online Store?”


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Posted in CEO, Customer Satisfaction, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Industry News, PCI Compliance, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net | No Comments »

SMB Marketing Tactics Help Win and Retain Customers

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Posted by Laura Hills, VP Marketing, Dydacomp

SMB marketers share many of the same challenges as their larger counterparts and have the same desire to make their companies successful.  What is interesting, according to a recent study conducted by BtoB Magazine[1] is that SMB marketers are more active in social media marketing than marketers at larger companies and are also more likely to rely on content, email, search techniques and webinars than marketers overall.

This study found that email is the favored distribution channel for SMB marketers, with 71% citing this as their most important channel compared with 64% of marketers overall.   Content marketing was identified as the number one role for all marketers coming in ahead of branding, managing the website, company events and search marketing.  Seventy percent of SMB marketers see content marketing as their primary task compared with just 58% of marketers overall. Webinars and virtual events are used more often by SMBs at 35% versus 28% for marketers overall.

Another study that looked at marketing tactics used by SMBs found that 38% of small businesses offer customer loyalty programs.  BIA/Kelsey’s ongoing study of advertising behaviors, “Local Commerce Monitor” shows that SMBs use of loyalty programs has remained steady from 2012 to 2013 with 21% likely to add loyalty programs within the next 12 months.  Businesses are recognizing that these programs are important to customer retention and will help them to increase their sales.  SMBs tailor their loyalty program offerings and rewards to fit their frequent customer profile and target specific customer segments.   SMBs are taking advantage of transaction marketing tactics that include deals, coupons and loyalty programs to win and retain as many customers as possible.

For additional information on best practices for growing your business, we invite you to view our on demand webinar Tips, Tricks and Tools You Need to Drive Business Growth in 2013.



[1] “Defining the Modern Marketer: SMBs Driving Results.”  Sponsored by Eloqua. Conducted by BtoB Magazine, May – June 2013.

 

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Posted in Customer Satisfaction, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Search Marketing, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net, Webinar | No Comments »

Shorter Holiday Selling Season Calls for Creative Retailing

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Posted by: Laura Hills, VP Marketing

Retailers aren’t letting a shorter holiday selling season in 2013 [there were 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2012 but only 26 days this year] dampen their sales expectations as they gear up for this year’s holiday shopping.

As evidence of the optimistic outlook, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that the country’s retail container ports are anticipating a 5.1% increase in the number of cargo containers in September 2013 over September 2012.  Import volume at the New York and New Jersey ports is expected to rise 10.6% over 2012 in the fourth quarter of this year and first quarter 2014 deliveries are expected to increase 6.7% over 2013.  It looks like retailers are eager to stock up to be ready to meet customer demands.

Several factors are contributing to the positive outlook for holiday sales.  Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates who produced the NRF’s Global Port Tracker Report noted that “Second quarter GDP was well above expectations and surprised most forecasters, the unemployment picture is improving, and we believe consumer confidence will translate into increased sales during the fourth quarter.”  Despite ongoing concerns related to the shorter selling season, the consumer spending impact of a government shutdown, increased payroll taxes, unemployment levels, and small income gains, the National Retail Federation expects U.S. sales in November and December to rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion. That would surpass the 3.5 percent increase seen in 2012 and average growth of 3.3 percent over the past decade.  Retailers have already started the big holiday push and will keep this up to attract shoppers across all channels.

Retailers who don’t want to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up with creative ways to attract customers sooner.  Here are some suggestions to attract more people to your site this holiday season:

  • Be mobile optimized.  You can’t ignore the trend.  More and more shoppers are using smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices not only to browse, but also to shop and place orders.  There’s no telling when, where and on what device your shoppers will be accessing your site so it’s up to you to be sure everything looks great and works well across all devices and across all of your shopping channels.
  • Have real people available to respond to inquiries.  Help shoppers resolve any ordering issues that they encounter.  Don’t lose or frustrate customers by not being able to talk to a ‘live’ person during the holiday season.
  • Put together gift suggestion guides on your website and email the link to your loyal customers.  It’s not always easy coming up with just the right gift and shoppers will appreciate your help.
  • Attract early shoppers by starting now.  Twenty percent of shoppers will start their holiday shopping in October, so don’t wait for Black Friday to get their attention.  Time your promotions and let customers know that you’re fully stocked and ready to meet their holiday shopping needs.
  • Plan a holiday season contest.  Contests are a good way to drive business and get new customers for your brand.  According to Listrak, three to four percent of recipients of contest offers place orders from the registration confirmation email.  Contests such as name Santa’s newest elf will engage shoppers.  Encouraging your audience to vote for their favorite names enables you to widen your reach even more.

For additional information on how to be prepared for the upcoming holiday season, access our on demand webinar, “The Top 5 Insights to Help Prepare for Season and Holiday Rushes.”  Happy selling!

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Posted in CEO, Customer Satisfaction, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net, Webinar | No Comments »

Dydacomp Partners with buySAFE to Help Online Merchants Increase Conversion with Transactional Guarantees

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Posted by: Dydacomp Staff

(Parsippany, NJ and Arlington, VA)  Dydacomp, a leading provider of business technology platforms for small and mid-sized eCommerce and multichannel merchants, announced that buySAFE Guaranteed, the leading provider of third party guarantees for increased online retailer profitability and customer satisfaction, will be included as an integrated feature of SiteLINK 7, the newest release of its eCommerce store software. This integration will allow online merchants on the SiteLINK platform to easily enable buySAFE with one-click activation and try the solution for 30 days at no cost.

buySAFE transactional guarantees are used by thousands of online retailers to increase conversion and customer satisfaction. The buySAFE Guaranteed Program works by providing tangible benefits that address the three primary concerns of online shoppers — identity theft, transaction integrity and the assurance that they are getting the lowest price.

The buySAFE 3-in-1 Guarantee includes:

  • $10,000 Identity Theft Protection: comprehensive identity theft coverage
  • $1,000 Purchase Guarantee: full third party guarantee of the purchase terms of sale
  • $100 Lowest Price Guarantee: same store price drop protection, if the price drops, buySAFE pays the difference

“SiteLINK 7 reflects Dydacomp’s commitment to providing the complete end-to-end solution for small and mid-sized merchants. We designed the latest version to meet the expanding needs of today’s eCommerce marketplace and to provide the tools to drive revenue growth,” said Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. “One of the tools that we integrated into SiteLINK 7 is buySAFE. This gives our clients the opportunity to implement a solution that has been proven to increase conversions.”

“Increasing website conversion and keeping customers happy are two primary goals of every online retailer. buySAFE transactional guarantees are a proven way to accomplish both,” said Shane Lundy, VP of Business Development for buySAFE. “With a 30-day free trial and one-click activation, we’ve attempted to make it as easy as possible to demonstrate the positive impact that buySAFE will have for online retailers.”

About buySAFE
buySAFE, Inc. provides a transactional guarantee program for online retailers to increase profits and customer satisfaction. buySAFE is partnered with Liberty Mutual, Travelers and Assurant Specialty Property. With over 5 billion online impressions of buySAFE each year, 22 million guaranteed purchases and over 5,000 buySAFE Merchant websites, buySAFE is widely recognized as an industry leader in providing its unique guaranteed shopping programs. buySAFE’s investors include Grotech Ventures, Core Capital Partners, Symantec Corporation and The Hartford Financial Services Group.

For more information, visit: http://www.buysafe.com

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Customer Spotlight: Russell-Hampton Company

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Posted by: Molly Griffin, Marketing Associate

We are excited to announce a new feature in the Dydacomp Blog, Customer Spotlight. This is a chance for M.O.M. Users to showcase their businesses and eCommerce sites. This week’s blog features Russell-Hampton Company  in New Century, KS.

Russell-Hampton Company was founded in Chicago in 1920. This third-generation family business is the original licensed supplier of Rotary International and has been providing customized Rotary emblem merchandise to Rotarians around the world for over ninety years.

“We’re very proud of our SiteLINK stores!  And Sucheta (Sr. SiteLINK Programmer) has been a big part of that with all the excellent customization work she has done for us,” Tom Hansen, Russell-Hampton IT Director.

Russell-Hampton also provide corporate awards and clothing and can put your logo, slogan or event theme on over one million products. Customers can always expect a high quality product that is perfectly customized to  meet individual business needs.

They have  been a loyal Dydacomp customer since 2005 with their online stores operating on Dydacomp’s SiteLINK eCommerce platform.

Take a minute to check out their SiteLINK stores at: 

www.RotaryClubSupplies.com

www.CorporateAwardsAndClothing.com

If you’re a M.O.M. user and want to appear in Dydacomp’s Customer Spotlight Feature, please feel free to contact me at molly.g@dydacomp.com. We would love to hear and share your business story! 

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SiteLINK Store Harry Barker Shines on GMA!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Posted by: Al Pascale, SiteLINK eCommerce Manager

Congratulations to M.O.M. and SiteLINK customer, Harry Barker, who was showcased on Good Morning America this morning.  Harry Barker provides affordable and luxurious eco-friendly pet products that are sure to enhance your home environment, with everything from dog beds to pet shampoo.

Harry Barker has already seen some very impressive increases in online traffic and we hope for them to see more of that as a result. Thanks to some smart planning on their part in advance of the GMA broadcast, they were fully prepared to handle the spike in sales.  As part of their planning, they called Dydacomp to alert our SiteLINK and support teams of the possible increase in sales and to inquire into best practices. And while that may not have been necessary it was appreciated as it made sure that teams across both companies were fully aligned on making this day (and the ones that follow) successful for Harry Barker.

This most recent event and the precaution Harry Barker took by alerting Dydacomp services is a good reminder for all of our customers.  If your SiteLINK eCommerce site is expecting an increase in traffic (significantly more than an average day) due to a promotion or other big event please don’t hesitate to contact SiteLINK support to let us know. Our SiteLINK team is happy to work with you to prepare for such an event and our team is very knowledgeable about what is needed to ensure the stability and success of your SiteLINK site during special promotional periods.

From everyone here at Dydacomp, we are excited about Harry Barker’s success and are fully prepared to help other SiteLINK users prepare for high volume days.

Don’t forget to check out Harry Barker’s GMA deals today at: www.Harry Barker.com.

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Dydacomp Update from CEO Fred Lizza

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Posted by: Molly Griffin, Marketing Associate

To help our clients gain a better understanding of the important  changes  initiated  by Dydacomp over the past several months, CEO Fred Lizza released a brief update to M.O.M. users  this week.

Happy New Year, M.O.M. and SiteLINK customers! As we kick off 2012, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the changes we have made to improve processes as well as what new developments you can expect from the company in the year ahead.

To begin with, we have heard your concerns and frustrations as well as requests for product and service enhancements and have made it a priority to deliver improvements across the board. I learned a lot from speaking personally to many of you as I traveled around for the M.O.M.  8 seminar series, and we have also started increasing the frequency of customer advisory board meetings.  Let me begin by addressing customer support.

Since mid-2011, we have:

  • Increased support staff by 10 percent
  • Added a “customer service” layer to inbound support, designed to address more issues on the first call
  • Shifted answering of support calls during normal business hours back to our NJ-based support center
  • Implemented new escalation procedures that elevate emergency issues to our most senior support staff in real time
  • Introduced new internal monitoring tools and metrics

In the short term, this has resulted in over 30 percent of all inbound support issues being resolved in real time, with hold times averaging less than two minutes. This is a good start, with more progress to come, and we will continue to look for your feedback and implement new processes to improve support in the coming year.

2011 was also a significant turning point from a product perspective. We made a significant strategic shift by deciding to open the M.O.M. product.  The initial effort resulted in the release of M.O.M. Version 8 and its new API.  The response to it has been overwhelmingly positive. And we have made related improvements in our published release schedule for M.O.M. Version 8. We have a very full 2012 M.O.M. delivery schedule planned, featuring twice-monthly bug fix releases with documentation of each fix, quarterly M.O.M. enhancement releases and monthly releases to the API.

2012 will be an exciting year for SiteLINK eCommerce customers also, as we begin the year with the launch of SiteLINK 7, creating end-to-end compliance for merchants on PCI-certified versions of M.O.M. and adding a new template enabling the creation of mobile storefronts. We continue to establish new partnerships to help you grow your businesses, and we’re investing in new technologies for the longer term future.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all of you – our loyal Dydacomp customers who have helped to prioritize these changes and improvements and identify the highest-impact innovations and advancements in our solutions. Much of what you will see in M.O.M. and SiteLINK eCommerce in 2012 is a direct result of listening to what our customers want in their order management and eCommerce solutions. I am looking forward to working more closely with all of you in 2012 on the exciting developments to come. Here’s to a successful 2012!

Sincerely, 

Fred Lizza

Dydacomp CEO”

We look forward to an exciting 2012 and hope that we continue to provide M.O.M. users the tools  needed to compete to today’s competitive multichannel marketplaces.  Have you noticed any positive changes from Dydacomp recently? Let us know by commenting below!

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Posted in CEO, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Multichannel Order Manager, PCI Compliance, SiteLINK News | No Comments »

Dydacomp Announces New Vice President of Sales

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Posted By: Dydacomp Staff

Mark Brandwein brings over 25 years of successful sales experience in software.

(Parsippany, NJ) – Dydacomp, a leading provider of business technology platforms for eCommerce and multichannel merchants, today announced the appointment of Mark Brandwein as Vice President of Sales. He brings more than twenty-five years of successful sales experience in computer software and technology.

Mark is responsible for building Dydacomp’s sales organization in the U.S. and U.K. to drive new revenue growth for the company’s Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) and SiteLINK eCommerce management solutions. “This is a very exciting time to join the Dydacomp team and I’m looking forward to helping the organization grow even more. I know there’s a tremendous opportunity out there for small and mid-size merchants looking to increase efficiencies, boost productivity, and streamline and automate business-critical processes. In addition, as we explore on-demand initiatives, we will be able to revolutionize commerce management for these businesses,” said Mark.

“Mark joins Dydacomp with a very strong background in sales leadership to help build our world class team. We’re looking forward to his contributions as he takes advantage of our strong reputation and new partnerships to increase sales,” said Fred Lizza, Dydacomp CEO. “His experience selling both software and software-as-a-service solutions is a strong asset for us now, as we grow our sales team, and in the future.”

Prior to joining Dydacomp, Mark was the Director of Sales for the Americas for Infragistics, the world leader in software tools for user-interface development, where he was responsible for over $20 million in annual revenue. Prior to Infragistics, Mark held several sales leadership positions, including Sales Manager at PGI, Director of Sales at ALK Technologies, Sales Manager at Pitney Bowes, Regional Sales Manager at Sharp Systems, and Major Accounts Manager at Dell.

 

 

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