A bill has passed in the Senate that should be a closely followed news story for anyone interested in e-Commerce. On May 6th, the Internet Sales Tax Bill aka the ‘Marketplace Fairness Act’ passed the Senate with a vote of 69 – 27 in favor of the bill.
The new bill allows 45 states and the District of Columbia to collect sales tax from large online retailers who make more than 1 Million USD from residents of states where they have no physical presence. eBay is lobbying to raise this to 10 Million USD but the message is clear: tax free sales on the internet are being regulated.
This has some interesting implications for small businesses as well as the industry on the whole. Smaller VARs who offer competitive pricing may find themselves winning sales over the larger retailers if they don’t have to charge tax. The larger the item the better chance they have of converting a website user since their potential savings would increase.
The Marketplace Fairness Act could stimulate competition and increase sales for smaller businesses, but only to the point where they would not be subjected to the new law. In any case, the House of Representatives vote will determine the next chapter of the story.
Read the full article here.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words…which means a recent blog post from Yopto.com is worth over 12,000.
In their post Yopto.com, a plug and play social review solution for e-Commerce websites, provides various infographics on the current state of e-Commerce.
Interested in eTail projections for 2016? US is expected to grow 44%. The number of projected number of US shoppers in 2016? More than 192 Million…
Head on over to Yopto.com’s blog to look at a snapshot of the e-Commerce industry.
Full article available here.
Whether or not to show cross-sells or upsells in the cart is a long standing debate.” – Lina Bustos, getelastic.com.
How can you have upsell/cross –sell “work” in the checkout section? There are three ways, or “P”s to implement cross selling within the checkout section to “beef up” the final sale, Presentation, Population & Persuasion.
The first is presentation, which includes design and placement. Important design features include tabbed content, shopping cart items that “bounce”, and even having a carousel layout instead of having tabs all together.
Second is population, and in the article, there is an emphasis on what you are cross-selling is more important than how you present them.
Third and lastly is persuasion and how persuasive marketing keeps customers exploring your online shop.
For more in-depth explanations on the three “P”s of Cross-selling in the virtual shopping cart, read Bustos’ article here.
Gone are the days where you need to have a brick and mortar store in order to run a successful retail business” – Nicole McCullum, Resource Nation.
It can never be emphasized enough how important the look and feel of an online store is. Having an aesthetically pleasing user interface with intuitive usability will bring more visitors to your online retail store and increase sales. There are many best practices to follow along with two common tips can will help you in the e-Commerce world.
Product Images. Imagery is paramount. Making customers familiar with your products can be difficult if the customer does not see them in person. This is where product images come into play. Hi-Res photos are even better, because they help the viewer see what the product looks in great detail. To make customers really feel comfortable buying the product, they will want to see what the product looks like from all angles (you don’t need to limit the product to just one image). A step-up from 2-D images are videos and 3-D models.
Easy Usability. Customers should be able to navigate with ease. Being able to find other categories, comparing products, and seeing related products should only be a click away. Putting an item in the shopping cart shouldn’t take their attention away from the online catalog; it should feel seamless and encourage them to keep browsing.
In an environment where your first and only impression is digital, accurate representation of your products and services is of the utmost importance. Engaging your customers correctly the first time is the key to repeat business.
For further reading on e-Commerce design check out the following:
As the internet and tech devices saturate more and more of our day-to-day lives, advertisers have done their best to keep pace with the latest innovations. In order to cater to online advertisers looking to reach users on all devices, Google has revamped their paid search to allow day-parting and automated device-specific ad serving.
Previously Google has allowed device-specific targeting via Adwords but each ad combination needed to be entered separately. Google’s latest updates now allow mobile targeting as well as Desktop & Tablet targeting, whereas previously all three could be turned on or off.
What do these changes mean for your average advertiser? In addition to new ways to target potential customers, Google’s updates will likely create more revenue for themselves. Their decision to bundle Desktops & Tablets, despite supporting conversion data that indicates differently, means advertisers won’t get the ROI they could have previously with targeted campaigns.
Read the full article here.
As of January 1st, 2013 Etilize, Inc. has officially transitioned our name to GfK Etilize. A number of branding updates will be seen in 2013 and will better align Etilize with our parent company’s product portfolio.
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies with more than 12,000 employees globally in more than 100 markets. The transition will bring changes to our Branding, Websites, Communications, and Partner Programs throughout the year.
For more information about these changes planned for 2013, please feel free to read our press release on etilize.com or call us at 1.888.608.1212.
Holiday shoppers are on the prowl. It’s the time of year where every online retailer should be optimizing their offering as well as their offers. Many businesses have found great success offering free shipping or at least shipping incentives to drive sales.
A recent InternetRetailer.com article recounts existing offers and speculates on what ‘Free Shipping’ trends we’ll see this year. At the current count 64 of the top 100 Retailers currently have offers for some sort of free shipping offer where a minimum order must be met. These range from a $25 minimum all the way up to $175 for J. Crew.
Interestingly enough, for every two top 100 Retailers offering free shipping, there is one who is not. This would indicate that while it may help create a temporary sales push for some, the products that businesses offering no free shipping sell may already be competitively priced or unavailable elsewhere. Competitive retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot appear to be mimicking the others’ strategy.
Holiday incentives can be a great tactic to entice undecided customers, but if top 100 Retailers are any example, not mandatory.
Read the full article here.
InternetRetailer.com recently published an article about e-Commerce employee turnover and retention. The article highlights a case study for an online business who was having trouble with its talent pool and keeping valuable employees in the right positions. As a result of their woes, they ended up moving to New York City where they could find the talent they were lacking.
Once they were located in a hub where they could source the right employees, their business has continued to grow and expects to reach 100 Million USD in sales by the end of the year.
NoMoreRack.com’s problems are not an isolated incident. Wanted Technologies Corp., a recruiting business intelligence firm, says that e-Commerce turn-over is on the rise, up 2% from last year. As the proliferation of online selling continues, demand for employees with an e-Commerce skill-set has increased 31%. Talented employees are being plucked from smaller businesses with promises of increased compensation which is contributing to the increase.
There are many businesses who manage their inefficiencies. Understanding these shortcomings and making the correct (but possibly drastic) business decisions to improve them is what separates profitable businesses from those who never reach their full potential.
Read the full article here.
The Journal of Consumer Research recently published an article relating to a series of experiments that were run regarding Consumer Advertisement Retention. The research found that varying the ad in subtle ways can be as effective as a completely separate ad variation.
The new research has very interesting implications for online, print and outdoor advertisers. As consumers are exposed to an advertisement multiple times they recall, often subconsciously, seeing the ad and start to form a preference one way or the other. As preferences are developed, continued exposure and a change in message are traditional ways to increase adoption. The research conducted by the Journal indicates that a message need not change in any drastic way to catch the already-interested consumer’s eye.
Ultimately, the findings will help advertisers reach additional consumers interested in their products instead of spending time and money on advertisements that fall upon deaf ears.
Read the article summary here.