Magento has officially announced that support for version 1 will end in June of 2020. This means, if you don’t migrate from Magento 1 to 2 after this date, you won’t receive continuing support. As a result, Magento will stop working and there won’t be any new features released.
To help ease the often complex and time-consuming process of migrating, we’re hosting our very first webinar on July 24, 1 pm GMT. Hosted by 247 Commerce sales manager Dino Manoli & Magento channel sales manager Stephanie Kershaw the webinar will cover:
- Delivering an improved shopping experience
- Growing sales and setting up promotions
- Enabling smarter & faster operations
- Implementing improved performance at scale
- Securing your eCommerce operations
Migrating from Magento 1 to 2 is a hot topic with and we’ve carried out extensive research to ensure we include everything you need to know. With input from two industry experts, this is one not to be missed.
B2C Merchant, Business-to-Business (B2B), Magento Customer, Small Business Merchant (SMB).
Register here to reserve your spot
Can’t make it? no problem, register anyway and we will send a recording of the webinar to your email address.
Quick Tips to Boost Sales on Amazon
Rewrite your Listings
It may sound obvious, but it’s all too easy to lose a sale to sloppy copy. Take the time to proofread your text so that it’s free of grammatical and spelling errors, while ensuring the message is informative yet concise.
There are other things often overlooked which you can do to improve your listings: by cutting down on additional text like seller policies, requirements for returns, you can simplify your listing to make it much easier to read. Don’t let the desire to place well in search results dictate your description length: if it turns your customers off it could potentially result in a lost sale; the traffic’s not worth it.
Bonus Tip: use a single colour font, preferably black. Ensure you left-align text (best for mobile shoppers). Also: use a font big enough to read on a mobile device.
Humans are social animals. If the majority like something, there is a strong tendency for others to flock to it. Statistics bear this out: according to a survey by BrightLocal, 92% of website visitors now read reviews online before making a purchase. What other people think of a product massively affects the likelihood of a purchase. Frustratingly, however, roughly the same amount of people (90%) fail to leave feedback on Amazon – a clear disparity what people expect and what they do themselves.
To remedy this, there are a number of methods you can employ: using programs like Feedback Five can help increase the volume of feedback submitted by sending out feedback requests. Alternatively, including a message on your packing slip (bright visible colours like red seem to work best) which state: “Please remember to leave Seller Feedback & a Product Review” has been known to work according to sellers over at Seller Central.
Bonus Tip: an Amazon buyer can adjust/remove their feedback up to 60 days after they post it. If you do receive any negative or neutral reviews, reaching out to the buyer can result in these reviews being removed.
Give it away for free
Although it may sound counter intuitive, giving away products can dramatically increase your sales. As mentioned before, buyers love to buy products which have been reviewed positively by other people. In the early days, where you are still trying to improve your ratings, giving away products for free is a quick and easy shortcut to building your seller rating: offer customers a one off 99%, discount code (Amazon doesn’t allow discounts of 100%), in exchange for a review.
But there’s extra incentive here: if you have a ‘stale’ inventory that’s proving hard to shift, one way to get rid of it is to give it away using the same method. Even if this doesn’t lead to positive feedback, it will almost certainly generate goodwill; meaning they will be more likely to revisit your store. Linking your Amazon Seller Central account with your other sales channels allows you to identify items appropriate to ‘gift’ to your customers and also helps you manage your inventory.
Bonus Tip: attaching a coupon to the bottom of your packing slip is another effective way of establishing customer retention. Flash deals, one time promotions and free shipping are all effective ways of getting people to reorder.
Don’t Just Sell Products, Offer “Intangibles”
It’s an often heard phrase in marketing, but what are “intangibles”? Put simply, they are all the indirect, taken-for-granted things you expect when purchasing from a business, in addition to the main product or service. Intangibles can include: trust, security, convenience and speed of communication. In order to become a reputable seller, as opposed to a seller who sells lots of products, you should then focus on these positives as well as the items you’re selling.
You can actually define your intangibles by stating in your profile things like 1. Shipping times, 2. Response time for returned products and 3. Ensure you are always operating with your stated stock levels.
How to Sell Intangibles
Peace of Mind
As on the eBay platform, buyers want to be assured that the product they’re purchasing will be as stated, and that it will arrive on time. On the first point, assuming you have a good supplier, make sure that your stock flow is consistent to ensure there are no gaps in your fulfilment. Failing to fulfil an order, or having to send it late, will both negatively impact your buyer’s perception.
Secondly, to create a sense of reassurance from the outset, you will want to make it clear on your seller channel how long it takes for you to ship your items, plus any guarantees you can make. The more you can pledge as a business – so long of course as it’s something you can deliver – the better.
The best way to establish trust is via reviews. We’ve already covered a number of ways to earn positive reviews, but there are a number of things you can focus on in the worst case scenario, that is, if you get negative feedback. In this instance, you should examine if it’s against Amazon’s guidelines. Amazon will remove feedback where it contains “obscene language” or any “personally identifiable information”.
To fix the issue: So long as you are accommodating and reasonable in approaching the issue, Amazon should be willing to remove or adjust the feedback on your behalf. Just remember that you have a maximum of 60 days to do so.
Following on from trust, establishing credibility means being as comprehensive as possible in your listings. Firstly, if you have images you have created yourself, in high resolution, from a multiple of angles, with the option to zoom in, this will obviously make you appear much more credible than someone re-uploading low res thumbnails from other people’s listings.
On a similar point, although it’s important to keep your listings snappy and concise, if you are selling high-cost items it’s essential to append tech specs at the footer of your description. If, for instance, you are selling items like TVs or ovens (i.e. products with a large number of components/features) you will want to create a list bullet-pointing all the tech specs. You can usually take this information directly from the product manual.
Protect Yourself: Avoid Scams
One thing often overlooked by Amazon sellers new to the platform is how easy it is become a victim of fraud. Though not widespread, it is unfortunately not that uncommon either: it should therefore be factored into your business plan as something to look out for. Here are the top 3 types of fraud Amazon sellers should look out for:
Also known as Chargeback Fraud, this is where a customer makes a purchase and then claims their credit card has been stolen. The fraudster then asks for a chargeback – via their bank – despite having in actuality received the goods or services. Although there is little you can do it prevent this, it is worth bearing in mind as something that can happen – it’s much less likely to throw you off course that way, if or when it does occur.
A less common but still typical form of fraud, Refund Fraud is where a fraudster uses a stolen credit card to make an overpayment. Having done this, the fraudster contacts the merchant to inform them of an accidental overpayment and request a reimbursement. Typically, after the merchant has refunded the excess amount, the fraudster will claim their credit card is closed and that they will send the money using an alternative method. This will then make the merchant, rather than the buyer, responsible to the card owner for the full amount.
The Forwarding Address Fraud
This particular scam works like this: when you opt to fulfil an order yourself (via merchant fulfilled), Amazon requires that you must ship to the address provided by Amazon. Yet this opens up a loophole the fraudulent buyer can exploit: the customer can purchase an item, wait until you’ve shipped it out and then contact you to request a change in address claiming that they have moved. The fraudster can then complain and/or file a charge back that the item was never received and as a result Amazon will issue a refund.
Bonus Tip: where possible, study the buyer’s profile before sending an item, and request a signature to confirm receipt of the delivery for transactions over £750. This should give you suitable recourse if you do get stung with a fraudulent charge back.
Unsure whether to sell on eBay or Amazon? Weigh up the options of these two giant ecommerce marketplaces here.
B2B selling is one of the fastest growing areas of ecommerce, with growth expected to overtake B2C ecommerce by 2020. The increasing importance of B2B, in fact, is one of the reasons Magento has been consistently adding new B2B features with each release. Such change has not gone unnoticed. A recent Forrester Wave report cited Magento as the “Best fit for mid-sized B2B companies that want an open, feature-rich solution that can be extended easily and inexpensively.” Their evaluation criteria also awarded Magento the highest possible score in the report in a total of 14 categories. As one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world, with unique insights from annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers and business leaders, Forrester’s analysis adds a voice of reputation to Magento’s many trusted clients.
In this article, we’ll explore Magneto’s more important B2B functions. To begin with, it’s worth looking over the features Magento includes. These are the most common B2B functions we implement in our projects:
- Implementing list of verified contractors
- Individual or collective negotiation of discounts / price lists
- Wholesale ordering systems with advanced functionality; e.g. ordering files or offering creation
- Saving and sharing shopping cart content
- Common B2B payment methods (e.g. trade credit)
In the cases like this one, all the dedicated functions are implemented as extra Magento modules. That way, you are still able to update your Magento, which is crucial for safety reasons.
With Magento Commerce you have the ability to run separate accounts on a single installation. By running separate admin accounts in this way, you can create user hierarchies and assign different user roles and permissions between team members and company divisions. Meanwhile, the company admin can control user activity including payment methods, pricing levels, negotiate prices, requisition lists and custom catalogs. B2B customers also have access to shared account controls and shared catalog. Historically, customers have had a single purchaser account for making purchases. But now, Magento allows multiple buyers to share an account as a native feature. Account owners and webstore admins can define account roles and adjust buyer permissions for individual users for a variety of scenarios e.g. where orders are submitted by one account user while final order approval is granted to another user from a different department.
Quote Request Form
In the past, if a B2B webstore wanted to offer a quote request form, it had to use a third-party extension or plugin; likewise for similar ecommerce platforms like Shopify. Magento 2 saw the addition of quote requests where B2B customers can submit a request for a quote from within their shopping cart. That quote request form includes the ability to add documentation or additional comments with the submission. This native function is more than a form submission tool. On the admin side, Magento store owners have a quote management panel that provides access to: Quote details Historical logs Communications data Quote negotiations. These negotiations features are a huge step forward for B2B on Magento, enhancing buyer relations and building relationships. Through the management interface, a merchant can offer price changes and shipping offers, recommendations for alternative products, and set expiration dates for quotes that apply a sense of urgency to any proposal.
Order Fulfilment & Invoicing
Magento has a comprehensive order management system. It allows you to view all orders in one view and click on each separate order. The order system in Magento 2 also allows you to completely customise the status of your order fulfilment so that it is specific to your business. You can invoice and send updates to customers regarding their order shipping status. Additionally, you can set up additional processes within the quoting process, like quote expiration: this allows you to set a period within which the quote is active and create a sense of urgency around the pricing. Ultimately, Magento gives you the control and flexibility to provide a strong customer experience for B2B online orders. With the Magento order management system you can deliver seamless functionality – fulfilling orders from PC, PoS or tablet, providing an “endless aisle” of product to consumers.
Advanced User Account Management
Magento offers a refined user management system. Within this part of the platform, you can associate company accounts. This allows you to segment by team, division or region. Each company (and buyer) can assign their own set of roles and permissions in the system. New self-service tools also allow corporate accounts with multiple buyers and layered organisational structures to interface with the system according to their allocated access.
Pricing is undoubtedly one of the key components of any successful ecommerce website strategy. It is especially important in B2B where you are often selling products in large volumes. Within Magento 2, price can be managed using customer group pricing so that certain customer groups get different tiered price point breaks. In this way, tiered pricing makes it possible to offer set prices to customer groups based on the quantity purchased.
50% of B2B searches are now made on smartphones. It therefore makes sense to put mobile optimisation at the heart of any B2B business. Introduced in Magento 2, RWD (Responsive web design) allows customers and sales staff to place orders on any device (e.g. smart phone, tablet) in varying screen resolutions. This ensures that your customers can access your site, however they connect.
As we hope we’ve made clear, business to business is an area of ecommerce under rapid growth, expected to overtake business to consumer by 2020. Thankfully, Magento is well ahead of the curve when it comes to its B2B functionality. With all the features we’ve highlighted here and more, you should be ready to begin your excursion into the expanding territory of B2B.
To find out more about what Magento 2 can do, please see our complete Magento ecommerce guide.