Restaurants can succeed by balancing profitability and occupancy.

Restaurants can succeed by balancing profitability and occupancy.

DISCLAIMER – This content is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal, accounting, tax or HR advice. It is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations. For advice specific to your situation, you should consult your attorney or another relevant advisor.

New challenges are continuing to impact the restaurant industry after a turbulent two-year period for operators.

Managing food inflation and Continuing restaurant labor shortages have operators constantly putting out fires — but that’s only metaphorically.

Operators must contend with a dense tech ecosystem that includes apps, tools and services competing for their attention.

In an already Seated allows restaurants to manage their daily occupancy.

Restaurant operators now need to consider the new key metric of occupancy

Once you realize that you have complete control over increasing the restaurant’s occupancy, and maximising your current occupancy, this simple metric will become more important.

Your main asset is your tables. It is important to turn as many tables and serve as many guests as possible because of the high cost of opening your restaurant every day.

It can make a huge difference to increase occupancy by filling just one more empty seat each night.


Restaurant Marketing Plan

This interactive calendar and customizable marketing playbook template will help you create a marketing plan that will drive repeat business.



Seated operators can fill empty seats every day.

How can you get more from each seat and less butts?

How to maximize your restaurant’s occupancy

For decades, the restaurant industry relied on the same marketing strategies. Many of these strategies are neither practical nor efficient for most operators.

  • Paid Ads: Hard to track and requires substantial financial investment
  • Email marketing It is time-intensive and requires a large number of subscribers
  • Happy Hours: focuses on slow times, but doesn’t target new customers.

How can you get more people to your doors if you don’t have dedicated marketing staff with large budget?

Restaurant owners can use modern strategies to increase their seats in slower times.

1. Use an Occupancy Management tool like Seated

Seated is an Occupancy Management tool that allows operators to target empty tables and fill them with no operational changes, staff training or new technology.

These tools allow restaurant owners to quickly identify slow times and market empty tables to diners in the area.

To see the potential profits you are missing by not filling up your tables with food, use a tool such as the Restaurant Occupancy calculator. Then fill those empty tables with food and grow your profits using a tool such as Seated.

2. Remarketing: Capture guest data

It’s much easier to get someone back to dine with your restaurant than to gain a new customer. Therefore, it is crucial that you capture basic information such as email address and name for each guest who comes through your doors.

One of the most important developments in restaurant marketing is to know your customers and be able to market dynamically to them after they have left.

  • QR codes can be used for contactless ordering and menus. Guests can order from your menu and place orders. They can also opt in to receive marketing emails.
  • To collect emails from customers who did not opt in, use QR codes to pay at the end of your meal to collect more email addresses
  • You should ensure that your online ordering and reservations systems allow you to opt in for email notifications
  • To manage all guest email addresses in one place, you can use a simple CRM such as Toast.

3. Invest in a loyalty platform to market creatively

After you have started gathering guest data, use a simple marketing tool such as Toast Loyalty for automated email marketing campaigns that engage and reward customers.

Loyalty programs for restaurant customers are in high demand by all ages. It is therefore essential to create your.

  • To encourage people to book on slower days, schedule automated emails each week.
  • Targeted emails with incentives for online customers to dine-in at your restaurant will encourage them to do so.
  • Offer special deals (e.g., discounts, free menu items). Existing customers who return to dine with you on slower days will be eligible for special offers

4. Incentives to increase occupancy in slower times

Inflation is making it harder for consumers to eat out, so it is important to offer them an incentive to go out on those days.

  • For guests who are visiting on slow days, focus on time-specific deals like free drinks and special menus. These should be promoted heavily via social media and email.
  • Offer limited-time menus that can only be available on slower days (Toast Menus allows you to easily create time-specific menus. This could include anything from a vegetarian-focused menu to a high-margin prix fixede menu
  • Hosting special events that are entertaining enough to get people outside their homes on weekdays (live music, etc.


Revenue can be increased by using simple tools such as Toast and Seated to fill empty seats.

Here’s how you can maximize the value of each seat once you have filled all your tables.

How to optimize your restaurant’s occupancy

Two ways restaurant operators can maximize the value of each guest are available to them:

1. Each occupant earns more revenue

2. Reduce the cost of serving each occupant

You can increase your revenue by raising the menu price, increasing the average item per ticket and serving more customers.

Lowering your food and labor costs is the first step to reducing your costs. These are your prime costs, which are highly variable and easily controllable costs.

Let’s dive deeper into the strategies and systems that can be used to increase revenue and lower costs in restaurants.

Revenue boosting guest-driven experiences

Smartphones are everywhere. Restaurant workers aren’t…

This is why it would be a good idea for restaurant owners to:

1. Some staffing challenges can be overcome

2. Increase sales by giving guests more control over their dining experience and giving them more control.

It sounds too good to be true, until you get into Toast’s NEW STEPS of SERVICE. The New Steps of Service are simple in concept. Old steps of service don’t cut it.

It’s not necessary to make a server-centric experience too burdensome. A server must be physically present at every table, and each order or tab that is placed or tabs paid.

It’s archaic. It is difficult to staff. It may also be difficult to maximize revenue from each occupant.

The New Steps of Services allows guests to control their dining experience via:

  • QR codes to mobile ordering and payment
  • Kiosks available for self-service customizations and ordering (modifier upsells)
  • The power of a terminal in your pocket! Handhelds allow you to send orders, complete payments and take them wherever you are.

The New Steps of Service from a hospitality perspective can increase guest interaction.

Instead of trying to remember the orders, they are chatting about the specials and menu. Because they are on the ground, they can touch each table as many times as necessary without having to hustle back and forth to a computer terminal.

The guest can choose to pace their order, order more drinks, or close the door immediately. They have access to the entire menu, as well as the add-ons and modifiers that allow them to personalize their order and raise the bill.

Our new video course teaches you how to take a deeper dive into Toast’s New Steps of Service. Our New steps of Service ROI Calculator will help you quantify the potential impact on your labor costs as well as operational efficiency.

Increase margins by implementing consistent, data-driven cost control

Profits can be boosted by increasing overall revenue. But that’s only half the story. Nina Quincy is the director of operations at Underbelly Hospitality.

“Revenue buys forgiveness. A $6 million restaurant is a lot of forgiveness. But if you’re now $1.8 million, all your flaws will be glaring em>

Cost control is another lever that you have to increase your profits. We are primarily concerned with restaurant prime costs or food and labor cost. Here are some ways to control food costs.

Make sure you are precise and intentional about what’s on your plate

How do you determine the price of your menu items? What menu items drive the most profit?

Restaurant operators can zoom in on the cost and profit margins of individual menu items using Plate Cost Calculations . The plate costs are often the result of multiple recipe costing exercise, which provides a breakdown of each item on the plate. This makes it easier for restaurant operators to reach profit targets by balancing ingredients and portion.

Make the tough decisions to optimize your menu

Restaurant operators may face some difficult decisions as they continue to navigate the ongoing food inflation.

Underbelly Hotel was a huge success with their wings. They offer traditional buffalo wings as well as PB&J, tiger and nuoc cham chicken wings. Famous!

The wings became unsustainable due to rising food prices. Nina Quincy and UBH saw chicken prices fluctuate between 30-40 percent. The UBH team decided to remove the wings from the menu, rather than sacrificing wing size or quality.

We initially increased the price to $20 per dozen. The prices rose again and for a dozen we were charging upwards of $20.

Although it is possible to drill down into individual ingredient prices, this can be a time-consuming process that must be done manually and costly to outsource to bookkeepers. Restaurant invoice automation will cut down on manual data entry and reduce processing costs.

Invoice automation is an automated tool that digitizes important invoice line-item information . Restaurants can easily scan, snap, upload ingredient pricing data to enable actionable analysis via COGS, price fluctuations and ongoing restaurant costs breakdowns.

There are other similar actions and technologies that you can use to control labor costs:

Schedule more efficiently

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will receive better service if there are more employees.

Complacency can be caused by too many team members and too little work. This is dangerous for everyone: staff, their tips and employee engagement all go. Customers also lose great experiences and the labor costs are rising.

Restaurant scheduling software can be integrated with payroll software to help you manage your staff and associated costs.

Use granular reporting in your payroll software

A simple-to-use payroll software and team management program gives you visibility and transparency into fluctuations in weekly labor costs, tip pooling breakdowns and payroll taxes.

Your managers and you don’t have the time or patience to manually calculate payrolls. You also don’t know how to add it all up to figure your labor costs. This is an essential step to reducing your labor costs.


12 Things You Can Sell on Shopify (Also Physical Products).

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about selling online? You might think of physical products such as printed tshirtshandcrafted jewellery, and pet supplies. It is common to create or curate tangible goods for sale online. This business model is what defines Shopify.

When we refer to “product”, we don’t mean just products you can touch or feel. Shopify is being used by many entrepreneurs to sell just about anything and everything. Shopify offers many unique business ideas that go beyond the traditional path of selling physical goods.

Many service- and experience-based businesses were affected by the global pandemic. However, those that adapted to virtual alternatives survived. The latest consumer trends indicate that online experiences will be around for the long-term. This makes it easy to start a low budget business at home, and not have to maintain inventory. What products will you be selling on Shopify?

Shopify has 12 other ideas than physical products.

Expand your thinking beyond tangible goods if you are embarking on a new venture or looking to make a career change. We’ll show you what Shopify can do for you, with real examples and app suggestions.

  1. Service appointments
  2. Memberships
  3. Consultations
  4. Digital products
  5. Experiences
  6. Workshops and classes
  7. Rents
  8. Estimates, quotes, and assessments
  9. Donations
  10. Event tickets
  11. Digital gift cards
  12. Live streams

1. Service appointments

Online bookings can be made easy for both in-person and virtual business owners. Contractors and music schools can offer virtual consultation time slots as well as in-person services via an online store.

In addition to selling physical products, stores can add services (free or for a fee) to their website. Toufie is an online footwear company that offers custom-made shoes. They offer appointments to ensure the perfect fit. Meliza Salim, co-founder of Toufie, says that appointment bookings are an integral part of a hassle-free shopping experience for customers. We and our customers can book a fitting appointment in a matter of minutes thanks to an app.

How it works: Appointment-booking apps provide a dynamic calendar that allows customers to book their preferred times slots and has real-time availability. An app such as Appointly syncs to Google Calendar and automatically sends you and your customer confirmation emails.

2. Memberships


As a means to continue receiving financial support, many non-profit organizations depend on paid memberships. Creators can also use memberships to offer exclusive content to their most loyal fans. Selling memberships online is a great way to secure long-term commitments from customers than just selling one-off products.

While single-visit tickets are available at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens, it encourages visitors to purchase memberships that give them year-round access and exclusive perks.

These business types all have the ability to sell memberships through Shopify by simply downloading an app. Memberships function in the same way as subscription business. They rely on recurring payments functionality and customer account management tools.

How it works: An app such as Bold Members lets merchants sell one-time and recurring memberships online. It can also be used to manage members-only access on a website or for physical businesses, like a yoga studio.

3. Consultations


You can sell your expertise online. An online store can be used by anyone, from interior designers to trainers, to book or sell in-person consultations online.

Consultations can be a great addition to any brand that sells physical products, especially if you are an expert in the area. Healthy Habits sells nutritional products via its online store. Owner Carly Neubert also offers customized nutritional assessments that can be purchased on the website.

Consultations may be offered by brands that offer customization services or make-to-order products. Taryn Rodighiero, founder of Kaikini offers online consultations that help customers with the ordering and measuring process.

How it works: A app like BookedUp allows customers to book consultations on your website. It syncs with Calendly to prevent double-booking. Shopify’s invoice generation tool is also available. This allows you to bill custom services that are sold through consultation.

4. Digital products


Digital products are anything that you can sell in virtual form. These include course content, music files and fonts as well as other design elements. Note: We’ll be diving deeper into the topic of selling courses later in this article.

While Thread theory founders Matt Meredith and Morgan Meredith sell paper patterns and scissors, they also offer a cheaper option: digital sewing patterns that can be downloaded virtually. Others selling printed materials, such as magazines and journals, may offer digital versions that customers could print at home.

How it works:Apps such as Sky Pilot or Easy Digital Products instantly send files to customers following a purchase. Or, they can provide a link to download the files.

5. Experiences

Businesses that are experience-based can include adventure and travel providers, winery tastings, camps for children, and even kids’ camps. These businesses offer online scheduling and advance ticket purchase options to enhance the customer experience.

Aspen Expeditions Worldwide offers rock climbing, international guided trips and camping expeditions through their ecommerce store. Aspen Expeditions organizes information by adding tabs in the product description. To draw potential customers into the experience, Aspen Expeditions uses video content.

How it works: Experience-based or travel-based businesses might need additional information such as emergency contact numbers and medical concerns. To create flexible and robust forms, use Powr’s Form Builder. Use video to your advantage. Shopify’s online video maker is free and can help you create marketing videos by using footage taken from real experiences.

6. Workshops and classes


Independent fitness businesses suffered a huge blow during the pandemic. Many were forced to close their physical studios and stop programming. However, courses can be transferred to an online format easily. Online classes were popularized by boxing gyms and yoga studios. Participants could purchase class passes online and then attend classes.

If You Made is a course that creates creative content for industry professionals and distributes programming digitally to students. But it didn’t begin this way. Emily Newman, founder of Wedding Styling 101, says that it started as an in-person workshop curriculum. To make it more accessible and portable, we then brought that content online. Our courses include video, PDFs, worksheets and videos.

Nonna in Italy made the same decision. In response to the drop in tourism in 2020, she converted her pasta-making classes to an online format and delivered them worldwide through her Nonna Live website. You can also sell virtual or in-person classes through Shopify. This includes art, music and coding.

How it works:An application like Courses turns your Shopify store into an online course platform that allows you to create lessons for sale online. Shopify’s online video maker allows you to create course content and then sell it repeatedly. Bold memberships are a great choice for fitness studios that want to offer access to a series of courses.

7. Rents


Renting businesses provide physical products for customers for a set period of time. Customers pay for the convenience of having an item available for a short time without long-term storage costs or maintenance.

Mannequin Madness rents out temporary props and sells them to other shops via its online shop. Judi Henderson-Townsen, owner and accidental entrepreneur, says that he saw a mannequin for sale on Craigslist. He wanted to purchase it for an art project. “When I found out that the seller owned the only mannequin-rental company in town, and was leaving the state,” I purchased his entire inventory. While the rental catalog is online, Mannequin madness uses a contact form for customers to evaluate their needs before processing the rental.

Dress rental company The Fitzroy uses a self-serve model. Customers are asked to choose a rental period by using the date selector option on its product page. The app is simple and clear, with a FAQ page and clear instructions for customers. It also makes it easy for staff to return and rent the item.

How it works: HTMLzyRent: Rentals & Bookings This app is designed for rental stores. You can rent your items in one click on your website. An app like Powr’s Form Builder can help you collect additional information from your customers for rental requests. Shopify offers a free QR code generation tool that allows you to create QR codes for customers at pick-up.


Six Ways the Intelligent Engagement Platform Can Help Sales and Customer Success

Six Ways the Intelligent Engagement Platform Can Help Sales and Customer Success

If your CSAT score exceeds 60%, NPS score greater than 70, sales revenues are high, and you don’t want an engagement platform that maximizes customer success and sales, don’t read this.

You are now ready to discover how an intelligent customer engagement platform can increase your sales revenue, increase repeat purchases, provide great customer experiences, improve upsell/cross-sell opportunities and dissolve silos, and improve accountability.

Ten Tips You Must Know About Customer Relationships

Business success is directly related to customer satisfaction. Low customer satisfaction can also affect retention, engagement, and loyalty. This is a sign that you are not providing good customer service. It can cost consumer brands as much as $62 billion annually. Customers will have a delightful experience with your brand if you build and maintain good customer relationships with them.

Building customer relationships is important for a variety of reasons, including better Engagement and higher Retention rates.

What is Customer Relationship?

Customer relationship is the process by which a consumer brand develops a strong rapport with its customers. The process of planning and synchronizing interactions with current and future customers is known as customer relationship management (CRM).

Our goal is to achieve high customer engagement and business fulfillment. Customer satisfaction is an indicator of customer relationship success.

Communication is the foundation of all relationships. With the advent of social media and the internet, you have more ways than ever to communicate with your customers. Communication that is great goes beyond the words and creates a bond.

What strategies can consumers use to improve customer relationships?

Here are 10 ways to build strong customer relationships

1. 1.

Using a customer’s name when talking to them in person, by phone, by email, or when creating customer surveys is one of the best ways to have a more personalized customer experience. The friendlier, more humane approach to the customer-business relationship does not sound coercive.

If a customer purchases your product, sign up for a trial or makes an inquiry, contact them directly to see if you are able to help them. Even if they decline to assist, customers will still appreciate your gesture and be more positive about your business.

You shouldn’t spam customers and you shouldn’t send them messages too often. It is best to build a relationship with customers by sending them personalized messages that are based on their interests and delivered through their preferred medium.

2. Be realistic about your expectations and don’t lose sight of the prize!

Don’t rush or try to get too far too soon. Building a partnership takes time and commitment. Your customers won’t immediately believe you can deliver on your promises. They will be more likely to seek your guidance and input to help them grow their business.

Because customers are different from one person to another and their needs change over time, it is impossible to say that you know exactly what they need. So you can ensure you’re meeting your customers’ needs, it is important that you find out their priorities and why they choose to do business with you.

Customers will hold on to your promises and if you make promises they don’t keep, it is a sure way to disappoint them. They can also spread the information, which could jeopardize your company’s reputation. Promise what you can deliver.

3. To maintain healthy customer relationships, solicit feedback from customers

Build a stronger Customer Relationship by soliciting opinions on multiple channels

Ask for feedback from customers or use social media to solicit it. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets a company has. Customer feedback is a direct indicator of how satisfied customers feel with your brand, products, and services in general. It can also tell you a lot regarding your customer satisfaction levels.

Furthermore, customer reviews will aid in the improvement of your services and products, as well as provide data that helps you make better business decisions. Customers will appreciate your taking it seriously.

Do not wait for your clients to give feedback. Be proactive and ask whenever you can. Social media surveys can also be used to get feedback from consumers on the aspects they like most about their interaction with your brand and what they would like to change.

Conduct surveys whenever you are planning to launch a new product or service. This is a great way to build customer loyalty.

4. Self-help is possible

Modern customers prefer to solve their own problems and not have to deal with customer service representatives. Find the most common problems and questions, then respond with detailed articles and step-by–step tutorials.
You can combine the FAQ/Knowledge Base section and the auto-reply function.

It is easy for customers to check the link by adding it in their email body. They will be able to find the answer they seek.

5. Try out giveaways, discounts, and free shipping

Discounts are a great way to encourage customers to purchase from you. A first-time buyer discount code can be included on your website. You can also send emails to customers with information about the discounts.

Consider doing giveaways. This can work well if you offer a subscription-based service. For example, customers could be eligible to win a month of service for free or a subscription that they can share with friends. You can also encourage people to share giveaway-related posts via social media.

Customers consider free shipping to be a “discount” because it lowers overall prices.

Offer free shipping for returns. This is a common concern for retailers as they fear losing money if they have the to pay or reimburse shipping costs. Don’t be discouraged, you can give it a shot. It increases trust and loyalty.

6. 6.

If you want to improve customer service and loyalty, it is important to quickly respond to any complaints. Respond to both negative and positive reviews. Both positive and negative feedback should be acknowledged. If you receive negative feedback, apologize. It will increase customer loyalty beyond just compensating them.

Consistent action builds trust, which is particularly important since prospective customers can view the experiences of current customers via digital and social media.

7. 7.

A guarantee will make it easier for customers to feel secure about purchasing your product. If customers feel they can trust the product, they will be more inclined to like your brand.

Prospective buyers will be less worried about risky investments and buyer’s remorse since there is no upfront cost for a free trial. A well-executed free trial combined with a fair refund policy can be a powerful tool to encourage customers to try your products or services.

8. Offer prompt and efficient customer service

Prioritize customer support and provide prompt service

Communicate with your customers promptly and in a timely manner. Customers expect prompt and professional answers when they have questions about your products or services. Think about it: Most people don’t have much time these days. Customer satisfaction can be affected by even half an hour spent with customer service.

So, provide omnichannel support:

  • Personal communication with staff
  • Support via social media (platforms that your customers use);
  • Email support;
  • Telephone support
  • Chat support

Your customers should be able to reach you as easily as possible. You should list hours for any live chat or business phone service on your website. This will allow users to know when they can reach you. Customers who feel valued and satisfied will be more likely to use your customer service services.

9. Reward customer loyalty

Customers today need personalization. Personalization is key to customer retention and increased revenue. A loyalty program can be a great way to give customers a personalized experience. It makes it easier for you to get customer data. Programs that offer high levels of service are more popular with customers.

Recognize and reward loyal customers for their loyalty. You can offer them special deals, invite them to special events, and let them know about new products and services. Customers who are satisfied with your services and products become loyal advocates.

Remember that your business exists solely because of and for your customers. Customers will return for more if they receive exceptional customer service.

10. To build a better customer relationship, say ‘Thank you’

You can thank your customers in many ways, such as email, social media, phone call, formal receipts and handwritten notes. This is especially important in these digital age. A handwritten thank you note is appreciated even though it is not possible to send one electronically.

Thank you notes let customers know how much your company cares about them. They also show that they are valued as people, and not just as a source for revenue.

Remember that thank-you notes written well will generate positive word-of mouth publicity for your company. It’s simple: customers receive the thank-you notes and share a picture for their social media followers. You can also send holiday cards!

Building and maintaining relationships is the essence of business. Customers are your most valuable resource. Take care of your customers and pay attention to them. Keep in touch, not just communicate with customers.

Payday loans: What are they and what can you get from them?

Have you ever been in a situation in which you needed cash right between paydays? You spent the majority of your money on daily necessities like groceries and utility bills. This is a frustrating situation, especially if you need it urgently and can’t wait for the next payday. Payday loans will allow you to get the money you need.

This type of loan allows you to borrow money and the lender will pay you on your next payday. You don’t have to repay the entire loan on your next payday. However, the amount you borrow and the plan you choose will help you in financial emergencies.

Post-dated checks will be issued on this type of loan. The loan will be automatically paid off when the next payday arrives. This is like advancing cash to your job. How can this type loan help you?

It will provide the cash you require in times of financial crisis, as mentioned above. You can rest assured that you will get the cash you need as soon as possible, even if your next payday falls in two weeks.

Because it is easy to obtain approval, this type of loan is highly preferred by many people. This type of loan is available to anyone with good credit. Because the lender is confident that you can pay the loan back on your next payday, they will let you borrow the money you need and you won’t have to worry about getting it back.

This type of loan may also come with interest. You will need to pay interest and other fees in addition to the principal amount.

You should also remember that you don’t have to repay the entire loan in one payday. Many lenders offer different payment options. You can pay the loan off in as little as two paydays. You can rest assured that this loan will not be a burden if you choose a reliable lender and have a flexible payment schedule that you feel comfortable with.

You should choose the best payment plan for this type loan. You may find yourself in a financial bind and end up spending more than you borrowed due to interest.

Always remember to repay cash borrowed as quickly as possible.

This is the purpose of a payday loan and what it can do for you. Payday loans are a great option if you have a dire need for money that isn’t due until payday. Payday loans are easy to obtain approval for and easy to repay.

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Same-day Payday Loans

It is impossible to predict when an emergency might occur. You will need immediate cash in this type of situation. You may need urgent cash for medical attention, car repairs, or home repair. However, same-day payday loans can help you meet your immediate needs.

Individuals who need immediate cash in an emergency situation can get same-day payday loans. The lenders can be at risk because this type of loan is not secured. They charge high interest because of this. The loan can be accessed without collateral and you don’t need to have good credit. You can borrow amounts up to $1500 through same-day payday loans depending on your monthly income.

After you have been granted a loan, your next paycheck will be the due date. The loan terms may take between two and four weeks. Some applicants may try to extend their repayment terms, but this is discouraged as you will incur more interest.

It is important to know that payday loans can be repaid in as little as 24 hours. Due to the tight competition on the market, lenders now offer competitive interest rates. Customers have the advantage of getting instant cash at lower rates. Payday loans are also available to those with poor credit ratings. However, they must convince the lender that they can repay the loan.

Lenders of same-day payday loans may also ask you for certain documents. Before your application can be approved, they will require you to provide certain documents. You must first be a full-time employee. As proof, you will need to produce a job record. You must also have a minimum income of $1000 per month. The lender will approve your loan after you meet these requirements.

Do you need cash urgently? Check if you meet the above requirements. The loans can be deposited in your bank account within one day. Same-day payday loans are the best option if you have to pay your electricity, water, rental, or medical bills.

Payday loans are sometimes only taken out by people who have exhausted all other options. Some people borrow money from family and friends. If you don’t have any previous loans from them or you repay them promptly, this will work. You can apply for payday loans the next day if they are short of cash.

Have you ever wondered what the name of same-day payday loans is? The loans can be released in as little as 24 hours. There are times when loans are released in less than 24 hours. It is easy to submit an online application and get approval. You have a higher chance of receiving a loan amount if you borrow from the same lender frequently.

Remember to only apply for loans when you have an immediate need.

How to Apply for a Payday Loan

Did you ever need cash so badly that you didn’t know how to get it? Payday loans are a bad option. Payday loans are money borrowed from payday loan companies. These loans can be paid back in a matter of weeks with the appropriate interest rate. A payday loan can help you overcome any financial problems you may be facing.

Here are some helpful tips for applying for a payday loans. First, you will need to have a pay slip from your last job, photo identification, as well as a blank check.

Step #1 – Begin your search

The yellow pages of payday lenders in your area can be found by searching the yellow pages. For easy access, start with a nearby location. You can find the address of payday loans in your area by looking through your phone’s yellow pages.

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Step 2 – Provide basic requirements

Be sure to have everything you need before you go into a payday loan shop. All the above-mentioned items, such as your ID, pay stub, and blank check must be present. You’re now ready to go.

Step #3 – Get moving

This will give you an idea of how much money you are willing and able to accept. It is important to think about the reasons you are applying for this loan. You can visit as many payday lenders in your area as you like to find the best deal. There are many payday loans available. Payday loans with lower interest rates and fees are the best. You can fill out the application paper if you already have your location.

Step #4 – Wait for approval/denial

You should remember that not all requests for loans are approved. Based on your last pay stub, the business establishment will check if you can afford to pay the requested amount. If they find that you are unable to pay the requested amount, they may turn down your request or offer a lower amount. You will be notified by a representative about the outcome of your request for the requested amount.

Step 5 – Write a Check

After you and the other have agreed on the amount to be borrowed, you’ll be given the chance to write a check detailing the requested amount as well as the interest rate. After you have signed, please leave out the “pay to the ordered of” section. This will be completed by the representative on behalf of the company.

Step 6 – Explaining the rules of payday loans

Once you have handed the check in, a representative will explain the contract rules and regulations. The representative will then explain the contract rules and regulations to you. You will then be asked for your signature. The money will be sent to you. When you pay the loan, a due date will be set. Your financial problems will be solved at that point.

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How small retailers can do big business online

Ecommerce isn’t just for big retailers. However, it can be difficult to compete with them. Independent sellers selling products online must always strive to improve their websites to maximize conversions.

It is important to improve how products are presented online to lower consumers’ price elasticity and create a better shopping experience. Consumers are willing to pay more for more enjoyable shopping experiences. There are simple steps that retailers can take to increase search rankings, click-through rate, load times, and ultimately conversions. These tips can be used by even the smallest retailers to achieve big results.

These are the top five ways that independent retailers can improve their website content.

1. Improve product descriptions: The smartest way is to create templates that allow for automatic text filling. You can create templates for any broad category with placeholders for product-specific details. You only need to decide on a word count, and then create sentences with placeholders that correspond to standard attribute combinations. These templates are a great way to quickly create hundreds of descriptions, allowing you to increase your description coverage.

2 Refresh product descriptions and related material: Outdated content can result in lower search volumes (Google ranks refreshed information higher) and negatively impact conversions. Refreshing content can fix this. Rewriting can be costly, but it is possible to get the content rephrased. Infuse relevant keywords into the content. Keywords that reflect customer sentiment will perform better in organic search results. You can find out more.

HTML3_ Track the performance of your keywords. Search engines direct traffic to your website based on keywords. It is important to quickly take action if your site does not rank well in search engine results pages and has a low click-through ratio. Your site’s performance can be greatly affected by keywords. Meta-data, such as meta-titles or descriptions, are dynamic.

4) Improve your text-to code ratio. Internet surfers are short-attention span. Your site might not be performing well because it takes too long to load. Third-party tools can help you identify this problem. This problem can be fixed immediately with third-party tools. Flash applications and embedded videos increase page load times significantly. Instead, place an image on your homepage that users can click when they reach the site. You can use this method to have the video without slowing the loading time.

HTML5_ Simplify product taxonomy This will make it easier to navigate your website. Do not create too many layers. Instead, try to correctly classify products as people search for them. An analysis of search paths will show you the origin and intent of the search, as well as the landing page. When combined with your bounce-rate data, this will show you how poor your internal search terms and how many irrelevant searches are being generated, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction. These internal search analytics can be used to improve the performance of your site.

Retailers have increased their content analytics efforts over the last few years. This is due to the abundance of consumer demand data available, including product reviews and social media comments. It is possible to spot trends and position online product offerings accordingly.

Website content can influence price perception and increase margins. Even the smallest retailers should pay close attention to this aspect of their business.

Gift cards (certificates), when properly marketed, can increase online sales, encourage customer retention through repeat purchases, and help attract new clients. These are three essential elements to building a successful business. Every ecommerce store should have a healthy gift card program.

Gift cards facts

Shopatron conducted research that revealed interesting facts about gift cards’ impact on consumer behavior. Online retailers that create and market a gift card program correctly can expect an average increase of 10% in sales. It was also found that 31% of gift card recipients are more likely to buy items at full price (not on sales) than those who use other payment methods.

It found that gift card users spend 40% more on average per order than the gift card’s value. If you take this data one step further, and think about average order values, an online retailer looking to increase their average order value by $70 (for example), might market gift cards $50 or greater more aggressively than lower denominations.

Stores looking to increase their customer base will be pleased to learn that 40% of those who are given a gift card for a store will actually visit that store, regardless of whether or not they have previously visited the store.

While it is important to attract new customers, it is not the only aspect of success. Retention of customers is key to greater profits and long-lasting success. This is where gift cards can be of great help. According to data, 72% of people who have received gift cards will return to the place where they purchased them. These two facts show that gift cards programs are able to both attract new customers as well as keep existing customers coming back.

Marketing Gift Certificates

Gift Cards It is simple to market gift cards on holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day when gift-giving is top of mind for many customers. The data shows that around 81 percent adults will buy gift certificates during holidays. But what can a store do to keep sales up by selling gift cards throughout the year?

It is a smart idea to create a gift card category on your website. Make sure you promote the gift cards in different areas of your website, such as banners and calls outs to let customers know that they exist.

Promoting discount gift cards is another marketing strategy that works. A $50 gift card would be an example. It costs only $40. This is a great way to give a gift card to someone you love. It also gives customers $10 off their next order. Current customers know that gift cards can be used in conjunction with coupon codes, so they can double up with any coupon codes they have to save even more.

An online store can drive sales by marketing’special’ gift certificates to existing customers in the above manner. Another way to increase sales is to team up with complementary retailers and give gift cards to each other. This also helps to create a gift card program that generates revenue. One example is a store selling custom wine racks/storage solutions that offers a gift card with every purchase to a complimentary store that sells wine, and vice versa.

Both businesses, which are complementary but not competing, benefit from the partnership. As a part of their sale, store “A” automatically gives the customer a gift card to shop “B”. The customer then uses the gift card to make a purchase at store “B”. Both stores gain from the transaction with store B, picking up a new client along the way.

Facebook and other social media platforms are very popular. Stores might consider using apps that link to these platforms, allowing customers to gift cards to friends. Social media’s virality and ease-of-use can be a powerful combination to market gift card campaigns.

Another way to increase gift card sales is to offer to donate a portion to charity. A pet shop might offer to donate $10 to the rescue shelter of your choice for every $50 spent on a gift card.

To encourage gift card purchases, and to ensure customer loyalty in future stores, reward points might be offered on each gift certificate purchase. This could include double reward points. To supercharge both, this strategy combines customer loyalty programs with gift card programs.

Gift Cards

There are two types of gift cards. You can either print physical items (similar to a gift card or gift certificate) or send an electronic gift card number via email.

The customer receives the physical gift card / certificate via post. Or, they can be purchased at brick and mortar shops from racks (displays that include hundreds of gift cards from different retailers). These gift cards are more expensive to market (printing, manufacturing fees may apply), but customers often choose these types of gift certificates when they wish to include something tangible in their package.

The recipient receives electronic gift cards via email. They are usually less personal and not as tangible. They are free for the retailer and can be printed multiple times by the recipient. However, because they are impersonal, it is often a little more difficult to market them than their physical counterparts.

All gift cards, regardless of whether they are printed or electronic, work the same way to retain and attract customers. While the marketing effort to promote them to consumers is different, the overall effect on businesses remains the same.

Experiments can help you to grow in difficult times

Companies around the globe are having difficulty keeping up with the new norms imposed on us by the pandemic. Hong Kong’s lockdowns have forced businesses to rethink how they approach capturing attention from their target consumer segments.

We invited Terence Lam (general manager of Mentholatum), one of Asia’s most well-known FMCG brands, to join us for a fireside conversation with Leonie Valentine (Google Hong Kong’s managing direct of sales and operations), to discuss the company’s strategy to move forward in an uncertain economic environment.

Leonie – Many businesses are making major restructuring changes to improve their bottom lines. What strategy would you recommend for Mentholatum,

Terence: With most categories experiencing a steady decline in their consumption, marketers face the difficult choice of either drastically changing their marketing strategies to increase sales or drastically reducing marketing expenses to preserve bottom line.

Mentholatum was not easy. However, I believe we can overcome this. As always, our focus was on our business goals of increasing penetration and market share for brands.

We decided to speed up our digital experiments when we were trying to improve marketing efficiency.

During the lockdown there was a sharp rise in digital content consumption as well as the way they consumed it. We stayed close to each other and continued to evolve our digital marketing strategy. To ensure that we can generate good revenue even in difficult times, we had to optimize our money.

Leonie, It’s amazing that you stayed true to your digital marketing strategy even though most businesses would abandon it as a cost-saving measure. Why did you continue to bank on digital marketing and how can you optimize it?

Terence: First, I believe strongly in brand building, no matter what the circumstances. Digital marketing is a crucial element of today’s brand building efforts.

We didn’t stop marketing online. Instead, we altered the way that we interact with our audience.

We were ready to try new things. Every single thing was put to the test, and we optimized, optimized and optimized again and again.

To find the best approach to customer acquisition, sales conversion, and exceeding our target ROI, we tested various marketing content, target segments and reach models, media conversions and other factors.

Everything was digital so it was easy to quantify success and measure our efforts using data. A combination of qualitative consumer research and trend watching allowed us to maintain a growth mindset in a difficult situation.

Leonie: Digital marketing also allows you to get to know your audience. You would say that customer segmentation is an important tool for Mentholatum, given Hong Kong’s high level of digital literacy.

Terence: Yes. We could only obtain user data through direct sales or market surveys. Consumer segmentation was therefore limited to income, age, gender and maybe income. Digital opened up new possibilities to learn more about our customers. Segmentation leads to more effective and efficient media spending.


Digital switching opens up new possibilities.

Segmentation can be a difficult task. Segmentation can be a complex process that requires many experiments to identify the target segments. We have also had our fair share failures. All the experiments paid off for Mentholatum in the end, as we learned valuable lessons when segmenting customers more effectively.

It was much easier to target customers with relevant messages once we segmented them.

Leonie: Customer segmentation can only be a small part of digital marketing. What strategy did you use to reach your customers during the COVID-19 period, now that you have identified your customers?

Terence: Mentholatum relied on a combination of intuition, current trends, data and data to make it work. There is no one-size fits all solution. The best way to learn from past campaigns is by using the lessons learned. Digital marketing is not static. We must accept the fact that we won’t have the “best-in class model” or perfect answer. Marketers should instead be open to learning and pushing for better solutions by using smart hypotheses, faster experiments, and a positive mindset.

Many people immediately associate A/B testing with experiments when I mention the term. There are many combinations that can be used to create winning combinations.

Truth is, there are endless combinations for experimentation.

We combined industry insights with the experiments in the case of Mentholatum. Our consumer perceptions of our beauty and health products revealed some interesting insights. To be able to present shrewd and current in the beauty industry, it is necessary to stay on top of the latest trends and ingredients. We would be putting ourselves at risk if we tried the same thing for our healthcare products. It would damage our credibility as a trustworthy brand in healthcare product line lines, where consistency reflects safety for consumers.

Leonie: This really highlights the importance to know your customers. Mentholatum has a strong customer base and information to help it navigate the pandemic.

Terence: Unfortunately, I don’t have any idea of the future. The pandemic could last longer than we expected, but who knows? The most important thing to grow your business during a pandemic is to have a growth mindset. This is not the old-fashioned way of throwing ideas at the wind and hoping it goes viral.

It should be methodical. Establish a culture that encourages innovation. This includes testing new hypotheses, new ways of thinking, exploring new ideas, and so on.

People are increasingly using their smartphones as entertainment and distractions in a locked environment. We have the opportunity to fill this gap by creating content that is relevant to consumers’ lives right now.

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This allowed us to test and explore new ideas specifically for local customers.

Local consumers were the only source for data collection, as there were no tourists in the area. This enabled us to focus our communication efforts.

We realized that consumers are desperate for entertainment and fun at home, so we decided to let our guard down. 50 Megumi featured our spokesperson, Chinese-American actor Michael Wong and a local comedian Derek Wong. This hilarious episode was a welcome addition to the Hong Kong community. Although we may not have been brave enough to try comedy before, it is a part of our growth mindset. This risk paid off as the video performed far better than expected, and the business responded positively.

This is a sign of the uniqueness and importance of the current situation. It is possible that some of the old ways of working may no longer be relevant.

The potential lies in our ability to think digitally and create in a growth mindset. We can make small changes over time that focus on efficiency and exploration of new ideas to help move the needle.

Our instinct is to reduce marketing costs and preserve resources in times of crisis and chaos, to save money and protect our bottom line. What if this is not an ordinary time, and the new normal is here for at least a while?

The question is: How can we accept what’s happening faster, make the crisis a brand building opportunity and increase consumer penetration during this time?


How Retailers Can Service Wholesale Clients Without Losing B2C Clients

Selling both wholesale (B2B) and direct-to-consumer (D2C) is a balancing act. On one hand, you wish to earn your B2B customers happy with favorable pricing, but you do not need to B2C clients to feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick particularly when they have supported you at the early stages of your business.

But that does not mean that wholesale is not viable for brick-and-mortar brands.

There are ways that you can create your D2C clients feel valued while also helping your wholesale clients turn a profit. Let us look at why you need to consider it and ways to navigate this balancing act.

Opportunities for Retailers That Boost Wholesale

If you run the possibility of isolating the sales channel your brand was built on, why would it be worthwhile to expand to wholesale?

Instead of increasing the amount of clients you sell individual products to, retailers can sell a high number of products to a couple of wholesale buyers. The idea is simple enough, and based upon your company’s structure, you might already be knowledgeable about wholesale from the buyer’s perspective; but it is a fantastic choice to consider as a vendor, also.

“While B2C ecommerce is predicted to hit $2.4 trillion globally by the close of 2017, it is less than a third of B2B’s $7.6 trillion,” says Aaron Orendorff, editor of this Shopify Plus blog.

Simply put: Selling wholesale exposes broadly D2C brands to new growth opportunities, including:

  • Increased order quantity and average order value
  • accessibility to new audiences and much more visibility
  • Improved credibility
  • Benefiting from another brand’s success and experience
  • More assistance from a retail partner

Sarah Mitchell commented on this Shopify article about her work with Lux Fragrances, and the way they have used wholesale to increase earnings.

How to Not Shed B2C Customers

Sell Different Items/Product Exclusives

You will want to be certain your loyal D2C customers do not feel isolated and like they are getting a much better overall experience from you than from the wholesale customers. One method to achieve this would be to offer select products to your wholesale customers while providing more choices to your regular clients. By way of instance, if you have several color variants available for a particular solution, sell only a few to your wholesale customers and supply the whole range on your own stations.

Brick-and-mortar retailers may also sell exclusive products to their community market. Perhaps it’s a T-shirt comprising a nearby landmark or a product made with locally sourced materials.

You could even provide your D2C customers early access to goods, giving them an incentive to buy from you instead of the competition.

Create a Terrific Customer Loyalty Program

1 thing you may offer your wholesale clients might not is a excellent customer loyalty program. According to a 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, 34 percent of shoppers feel that loyalty programs are trustworthy, and almost three-quarters are more inclined to recommend brands with great loyalty programs.

In Boulder, Colorado, Helping Hands sells both B2B and B2C. The merchant has a customer loyalty program that rewards retail shoppers with store credit. It’s not tricky for repeat customers to stand up charge and use it for discounts or even free products — giving them an incentive to purchase direct.

Get some inspiration for your customer loyalty program:

Pricing Plan

When it comes to balancing B2B and B2C sales, you will want to approach pricing on both endings. Needless to say, wholesale customers will expect to pay lower prices. However, you can offer B2C clients with exclusive promotions that wholesale customers do not get.

Dropship Your Products on Behalf of Wholesale Clients

Dropshipping can be a terrific way for retailers to cultivate their B2B sales. Basically, dropshipping in a B2B context is when a customer buys your merchandise from another site (your wholesale customer’s ) and you handle the transport.

This a terrific way for local retailers to reach international audiences that would otherwise be inaccessible.

We have put together a few tools to help you determine if dropshipping is the way to go:

Grow Slowly to Maintain Consistent Customer Service

One thing to always remember: Do not forfeit the support you provide to your D2C sales. If clients notice a downturn in the level of support, you will begin to lose their confidence. At some point, you could lose their sales too.

Grow your wholesale channels gradually and establish the infrastructure that is able to allow you to reach the next stage of expansion. While rapid growth might be the immediate aim, sustainable expansion is what forward-thinking retailers concentrate on.

1 key area to focus on to encourage sustainable growth is the team. And this is not just your sales associates that are helping customers on the ground. You serve an entirely different customer base, so you will need employees to encourage those new clients.

By way of instance, you will need sales associates that are dedicated to serving your B2B clients. They are not greeting customers who walk in your store; they are selling products to assist those wholesale clients create their own earnings and profits. Wholesale customers also probably need more customer service, so you will need a service team dedicated to supplying that as well.

But do not throw your D2C clients to the wayside. While they spend less per purchase, they are the lifeline of your company. Plus they have different expectations.

“To guarantee a high level of customer support for both wholesale and consumer accounts, make certain that you’re staffed to support each satisfactorily,” says Kristina Libby, founder of Lohm and professor at New York University. “At the end of the day, your customers take precedent. They demand faster customer care than a standard wholesale account and are much less lenient.”

Consider two important phases when constructing your team: launch the wholesale side of your organization, and then keeping it after launching. You will need more hands on deck for the first part, and you may also need to look to existing staff on the D2C aspect of things to chip in and help. Once setup, make sure your team can keep things running smoothly on either side of the company.

Logistically, you will want to also look at expanding to a warehouse area (if you have not already or do not have space in your store) to adapt wholesale orders. This requires staffing up your retail operations staff to have the ability to arrange and meet large orders. And in case you haven’t already, invest in stock management software which can centralize your data and sync it over multiple channels.

Can New Ecommerce Sellers Squeeze Present Merchants?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced some brick-and-mortar companies to concentrate on ecommerce, but this change in focus is unlikely to prevent many permanent closures.

“If this is not the retail apocalypse, I do not know what could be,” said Sarah Wyeth, the lead writer for restaurants and retail in S&P Global Ratings, according to a Wall Street Journal article on May 14, 2020.

Wyeth has estimated that 19 big retail companies are a coin toss away from going out of business due to mandatory shutdowns and Covid-19 general financial effect.

What is more, some 100,000 retail stores could close in the next five decades, according to The Wall Street Journal, as a consequence of customer interest in ecommerce as well as the pandemic-induced recession.

One could say that there’s a parallel between the virus and its economic impact: physicians and companies which are already in poor health are far more likely to die from the disease.

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Ecommerce Impact

As brick-and-mortar chains, shops, and boutiques function to survive (or, sometimes, flourish ) post-coronavirus, they might be focusing on ecommerce and its near cousin click-and-collect trade or, as it may be called, buy-online-pick-up-in-store.

The coronavirus pandemic and its affiliated shop closures have driven several brick-and-mortar companies to refocus their attention on ecommerce. Photo: Charles Deluvio.

When asked if he believed some brick-and-mortar companies that hadn’t had a strong ecommerce existence prior to the Covid-19 pandemic were more likely to invest more in online selling, eCommerceFuel creator Andrew Youderian, responded,”Absolutely, 100 percent.”

“I chatted with several neighborhood retail sellers last few weeks that are scrambling to pivot to internet as best they could. This will be ideal for SaaS companies and people helping sellers function as well as for clients who will have more boutique choices on the web. If a significant number of those merchants pivot online efficiently, it may also result in a more competitive market, particularly in the short term,” Youderian stated.

Data from some ecommerce platforms support Youderian’s assertion.

By way of instance, in a May 6, 2020 press release, Shopify said new shop creations on its own platform grew 62 percent between March 13, 2020, and April 24, 2020. At exactly the exact same time, the business reported $470 million in first-quarter earnings, up 47 percent in the exact same 2019 quarter.

Likewise 3dcart, another SaaS ecommerce platform supplier, saw new account activations increase 34 percent in April compared to first-quarter 2020 averages, based on Jimmy Rodriguez, the corporation’s chief operating officer.

“We are seeing a combination of brick-and-mortars just beginning to research ecommerce and retailers who currently had an ecommerce presence changing resources in order for this to become their chief source of earnings,” Rodriguez said.

“In most cases, we are seeing the need to rapidly serve their existing customer bases more than investing in online marketing to capture new clients, so it would be difficult for all these’newer’ companies to catch up with more experienced ecommerce retailers.”

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Small Retailers

A vital question is whether heightened interest in ecommerce, especially if it comes from recognized brick-and-mortar merchants, will pose a substantial competitive threat to existing ecommerce vendors.

There are numerous possible scenarios.

Room for everybody. Ecommerce could flourish in the”new normal” after the pandemic, making room for everybody — or many — merchants to sell online.

This is the best-case scenario. But it may also be the least likely. BigCommerce, by way of instance, reported on May 12, 2020, that”pandemic panic-buying is leveling out, and people have started to return to a lot of the normal spending habits.”

Gross merchandise volume on the BigCommerce ecommerce platform needed, as of May 12, climbed only 1 percent from the previous week. Earlier in the pandemic shutdown, BigCommerce merchants experienced substantial week-over-week GMV gains in transactions. And some business segments saw triple-digit year-over-year increases.

Weak brick-and-mortar efforts. In a different scenario, many smaller brick-and-mortar retail companies will create significant and new investments in ecommerce, but only in the short term.

“While some [brick-and-mortar SMBs] will use this as a springboard to internet success, I’d guess the vast majority of them don’t wind up with a meaningful online presence longterm,” stated eCommerceFuel’s Youderian.

“Success online requires a whole lot of deliberate time, effort, and research and is a very different company from [bodily ] retail. I’d guess many smaller merchants will go back to focusing on the retail side as soon as they open back up to the general public, though there will undoubtedly be a little halo effect from merchants who will be doing .”

If this were the case, little pure-play ecommerce vendors, especially established ones, would not believe much of an impact from new competitors. Those pure-play companies would still must take care of the coronavirus’s influence on the market as well as their business — but not with inexperienced competitors.

Small shops become squeezed. Finally, a substantial number of conventional brick-and-mortar retailers migrating online might squeeze little ecommerce operations.

Asked if smaller brick-and-mortar retailers that hadn’t paid much attention to ecommerce prior to the outbreak posed a possible threat to smaller, pure-play ecommerce company, 3dcart’s Rodriguez stated,”It will definitively have an effect since among the new requirements is the ability to give in-store pickup inside the ecommerce site, and for shoppers preferring this shipping method over conventional shipping the new brick-and-mortar-ecommerce-hybrid version would win over shops offering ecommerce-only.”

Scenarios, Just

Will a heightened interest in ecommerce pose a substantial competitive threat to the smaller ecommerce vendors? Maybe. It may be a variant of one of the three situations above. Or it might be that none of them come to fruition.

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The Nike-Amazon break up and what brands can (and Can Not ) do to Handle Amazon

The late George Carlin said, “if you can not beat them have them organized to be defeated.”

For manufacturers and brands struggling against the growth of counterfeit goods, unauthorized reselling and MAP policy violations on Amazon, providing Amazon directly through Vendor Central and engaging in Brand Registry provides hope Amazon may play enforcer on behalf of trademark owners.

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However, the recent statement that Nike is finishing its two-year partnership with the market shines light on a tough fact: protecting your brand on Amazon remains a challenge — even if you’ve got the clout of Nike.

“The deal was that Nike would sell direct to Amazon in return for Amazon eliminating fake Nike items and stopping unauthorized third-party vendors from selling Nike goods on its website.”

While Amazon doesn’t measure up to play enforcer directly (and obviously fell short of Nike’s expectations), it’s made many tools available to manufacturers seeking to win back some control over the market. But are they enough? What do manufacturers and brands will need to know about protecting trademarks, enforcing MAP pricing, combating counterfeits and plugging leaks in the distribution chain?

How manufacturers lost control

Bullet-tight wholesale and supply contracts have not prevented branded merchandise from popping up on online marketplaces. Normally, Amazon permits third party (3P) vendors to attach their stock to ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) product pages provided that the products are authentic.

The frustration for brands is a lot of Amazon seller accounts are unidentifiable, with mysterious seller names such as Time for Bargains and ECommerce Distributors. They can not readily be identified as authorized retailers, nor can their wholesale or supply sources be tracked by brand owners.

A snapshot of some of those third party vendors list men’s Nike running shoes on Amazon

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The Issue of”leaky supply”

Although some sellers acquire goods through retail arbitrage (purchasing through retail channels or outlets and reselling online), 3P sellers can obtain product through”grey market” distributors who purchase closeouts from legitimate retailers and wholesalers. Per Amazon policy, such wholesalers must list these items as”Employed” (legal by first-sale philosophy ), but many will record as”New” for greater visibility and a opportunity to win the Purchase Box.

Distributors may wittingly or unwittingly provide 3P sellers. Authorized retailers may set up an Amazon account to move or transparent stock faster than they could sell in shop, using vague handles and different bill-to/ship-to addresses than their licensed accounts. Some view this strategy as”fair game” once merchandise from a given manufacturer is already listed on Amazon — particularly if it’s selling below MAP (Minimum Advertised Price).

Why Amazon won’t apply MAP

MAP agreements are created between manufacturers and licensed sellers. Since Amazon isn’t party to such agreements, it won’t intervene or apply MAP pricing on third party sellers. Likewise resellers who buy goods through grey market sellers or outlet shops and haven’t signed MAP agreements with producers aren’t bound to adhere to minimum advertised pricing policies.

For first-party vendors (brands and producers providing Amazon directly through Vendor Central), Amazon will not stick to MAP unless it is mentioned in the contract. Allegedly, getting Amazon to contractually agree to MAP is near impossible. Instead, Amazon imposes a reverse MAP, requiring 1P vendors to keep price parity rather than promote a price lower than available on Amazon. And it is no secret Amazon uses bots to track prices throughout the net and routinely reprices its listings to always match or beat them.

What about the Brand Registry?

Joining the Brand Registry as a producer or trademark owner provides you greater influence on your brand’s content and how it’s presented on ASIN pages.

Prior to”Brand Registry 2.0,” both 3P sellers and brand owners can make edits to ASIN content, with brands’ edits weighted higher and approved at Amazon’s discretion. Third-party sellers may even reassign ASINs to various categories. The most recent iteration of this program gives brands only admin rights over content and categorization.

But, ASIN pages belong to Amazon, and Brand Registry doesn’t give control over which vendors attach their stock to ASIN webpages, pricing or the Purchase Box.

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Brand gating

In 2016, Amazon started restricting the ability to record certain brands and ASINs as”New” for new third party sellers (brand gating). To become ungated for these things, sellers need to pay around $1500 per trade and submit statements proving they obtained product from legitimate distributors or the maker itself.

Brand gating isn’t meant to safeguard brands from unscrupulous sellers (nor do brands get some of the charges ). Amazon’s objective is to maintain counterfeits away from the site and maintain consumer confidence with the platform. Amazon does not involve brands in the approval procedure for new vendors that apply, and as long as their origin is valid, it matters not whether an ungated freelancer is blessed with the manufacturer.

Because brand gating only applies to new vendors, tens of thousands of grandfathered sellers remain exempt from these policies.

While today brands are able to apply for gating via Brand Registry, approval is at Amazon’s discretion and the process can take a long time. If your application is successful, it is no guarantee every one of your brand’s ASINs will be gated, and you might just be gated in the”offered as New” level.

Amazon may additionally gate a new or ASIN without a brand’s understanding if it receives sufficient counterfeit complaints or speculation.

Project Zero

Project Zero is Amazon’s new(ish) counter-counterfeit program. It uses machine learning how to scan over 5 billion daily listing updates and match back to brands’ trademarks, logos, images and more (supplied through Brand Registry). Additionally, it gives brands the self-serve capability to eliminate counterfeit sellers from their ASIN pages via their Brand Registry accounts.

Before Project Zero, manufacturers needed to continually monitor and report possible infringement for example sellers utilizing brand marks in names or branded merchandise pictures for their private label items (for which sellers could be contacted and requested to supply invoices and other signs. To establish counterfeit claims, Amazon required manufacturers to put a”test buy” from each vendor in question, submitting photographic and other evidence when a product was found to be a knock-off. This process was slow, and it was never guaranteed Amazon would eliminate reported listings.

While this self-serve privilege is meant to authorities only counterfeit listings, many manufacturers and manufacturers use it as a way to gate their ASINs and kick off anonymous or unscrupulous sellers — especially when the brand is a 1P seller competing with 3P merchants. This tactic isn’t without danger, if vendors appeal and can offer the required documentation to prove authenticity, the brand can face consequences if it is found to be abusing the program.

Only brands using a registered trademark are eligible for Project Zero.

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A subset of Project Zero, Transparency is Amazon’s product serialization service which brands and producers can use to confirm product is authentic and protect against 3P sellers from listing ASINs enrolled in the program.

Transparency offers unique QR codes for each unit manufactured, and the newest puts 2D stickers on its product as part of their production procedure. (Amazon creates the codes, and producers must buy them from approved label providers like Avery).

For each ASIN enrolled in Transparency, Amazon will scan incoming stock to its FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) warehouses and reject components with no labels (even when it comes direct from the manufacturer). Soon after registration, present unlabeled FBA stock is pulled with corresponding sellers eliminated from ASIN pages. Affected sellers get notice they have to acquire codes from the manufacturer to be re-listed or must remember their stock and stop selling on the market, even as Used. If they don’t offer the codes and continue to market following the warning mails, vendor accounts are suspended.

Sellers who meet themselves (FBM or Fulfillment By Merchant) must supply codes for every unit of affected stock through its Seller Central account before Transparency-enabled items can be sent or the orders will be canceled.

Like Project Zero, some manufacturers visit Transparency as another way to brand gate their ASINs and control that vendors can list on Amazon. However, involvement in Transparency requires a producer to go all in — codes have to be generated for each unit manufactured of each registered UPC, regardless of what channel it’ll be sold through, such as physical retail. This will not allow a brand to clear ASIN pages of rivalry or restrict authorized sellers from listing stickered goods obtained through licensed distributors or the grey market. Transparency only serves to confirm a product’s authenticity, not to handle a new supply chain.

Having said that, Transparency or any item serialization solution helps manufacturers identify where merchandise came from and can help identify rogue retailers or retail partners violating policy and contractual arrangements.

For many producers, using Transparency serialization provides Amazon too much visibility into its supply chain and supply data. In light of major brands like Allbirds calling Amazon outside for private labeling its knock-offs, this concern is legitimate. Stickering each unit with Amazon’s QR codes also indicates to retail and channel partners that you are closely connected with Amazon, which might exacerbate present channel conflict.

Amazon personal label. Allirds – can you tell the difference?

If you decide to use your own serialization service over Transparency, you may still use this as evidence for”May be counterfeit” or”Used as fresh, no factory warranty” complaints filed via Brand Registry, however you’ll have to place a test purchase and proceed through the normal claims process.

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Are Brand Registry tools ?

It’s apparent that Amazon’s objective is protecting Amazon. Brand Registry exists to guarantee product content precision and fight counterfeit goods — not to resolve supply chain problems or give manufacturers a direct procedure to gate vendors it does not approve of.

Amazon protects and values 3P vendors with long sales histories and positive reviews, and worth its customer even more.

No brand will get special treatment on Amazon.

Though third party listings for Nike products dropped 46 percent between February and September 2018, the match of whack-a-mole never ceased, with grandfathered sellers continuing unchecked and new sellers finding workarounds like generating new ASIN pages for limited products. Additionally, brand performance dropped 15 percent as Nike’s own listings (with fewer reviews and sell-through background ) competed for visibility and”Amazon Choice” standing in categories and search.

The fantastic news is smaller brands and manufacturers will probably be more satisfied than Nike with Registry and its tools. The high-scale requirement for brands like Nike creates higher-scale problems with unauthorized selling and counterfeits than the normal business. Now’s Brand Registry 2.0 could be adequate for manufacturers who want a more compact method to report IP infringement, ASIN hijackers and counterfeit products, and protect the accuracy of product descriptions and other content.

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How can composable commerce support performance for cross-sell, up-sell and substitutions?

Whatever you use for your backend, all the numerous automatic user interfaced will require coding. However, the important element to take into account is how closely coupled or controlledwill your front-ends be into the backend. If you’re not using composable commerce for a service, it is going to like quite tightly control and couple and will limit your abilities or make execution harder.

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What exactly does that mean?

Platform limitations will be the largest cost of most traditional execution. Whether you use a SaaS established or on-premise variant of a legacy platform, minor changes like adding a cross-sell connection to your products catalogue, in addition to bigger changes like extending customer information, will require custom development and database modifications. These kinds of customizations raise your technical debt and slow future advancement.

But for a Composable Commerce structure, to execute cross-sell, substitutions or other merchandise relationships, all that’s required is a simple API call to bring the relationship. Similarly, for more complicated customizations, it is simply a few more API calls to configure the data structure changes.

Cross-Sell Example Request

Elastic Path Commerce Cloud is your first composable commerce platform. To execute cross-sell from a brand-new example of an Elastic Path shop, there are 3 steps.

Step 1: Enable the goods extended data container

The response of the request includes the ID for this container. That ID is going to be used in Step 2.

Step 2: Insert the Cross-Sell connection to the goods"stream" ("flow" is the is the name of the instrument used to produce the container)

as soon as you’ve got the container created, the next step is to add the area. Below is the payload used to make the Cross Sell area. They key takeaways from this section is to ensure:

  • “field type” is set to”relationship”
  • the validation rules say”type” is set to”one-to-many” relationship
  • the validation rules say”into” is set to the”product”

The remaining fields are rather self-explanatory. Therefore, in this instance you’re about products to other goods. These kinds of relationships can be leveraged for numerous use cases.

Step 3: Start adding products to the connection

Now that your Cross-sell relationship area is set up, you just have to begin adding products to the area. This is achieved by calling the connection end-point created when you made the cross-sell field.

POST the collection of product IDs into the next endpoint where undefined equals the product you’re updating.


The origin of those product references may come from your merchandising group, 3rd party tools or analytics or where you choose.

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Contain the information when you want it

When the connection is set it can be recovered with the normal products API call. To regain the cross sell products, simply add “include=cross_sell_ids” into the query string of the merchandise endpoint to add product information for all the related goods in one request to the API.

Example: Include=cross_sell_ids

The answer: The figure below shows the response that has the cross_sell solutions. The response comprises two different relationship types. The first is”main_image” that is an integrated relationship between the item and its principal image. The second is that the one we just created and populated.

From the”data” array, the initial object is the product we’re requesting. Towards the end of the answer is another thing named”included” at which the details of the products listed above in the relationships item”cross_sell_id” that is the listing of product_ids which are cross sell things. These are sample products composed of information from placeholder content websites from around the net. My favourite is for producing creative paragraphs of text for descriptions. However, I digress.

This is solely a single case of adding a cross sell connection with Elastic Path. If you would like to add connection like “Substitutions”, all you’ll have to do is repeat steps 2 and 3. The same thing goes for adding an”Up-Sell” connection also. For each extra area, you create a single API call to the platform.

To extend different items such as Customers or Orders or Carts, the routine is exactly the same. Step 1, make the container, step two add the fields and step 3, insert the information. No other platform is much easier to extend the information or APIs.

Why is this so significant?

The resulting changes are instantaneous. They become a part of the API and don’t need any coding to make. Objects can be linked to themselves or to other items. Another typical example is a customer wishlist. To create a client”wishlist”, you’d create a connection field on the Client object that’s a one-to-many connection to products. The choices this approach creates is almost infinite.

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Feature or Capability

If you asked me if”Wishlists” were an”Out-Of-The-Box” characteristic of Elastic Path we’d say”No”. But, Elastic Path is more than capable of simply implementing wishlists or other kinds of relationship functions with some API calls.

Inversely, consider how many features that come as an out-of-the-box attribute in different platforms you don’t use but still need to maintain the code around. By maintaining the platform clean and simple, and using API calls for just the functionality you would like, we empower extension without complications.

How Composable Commerce Can Help Deliver a Best-in-Class Client Experience

Originally posted on MMT Digital’s blog

The global pandemic has quickened long-term customer experience tendencies with customers increasingly shifting from physical to electronic stations and changing their shopping behaviors:

  • The flight to electronic and omnichannel is very likely to last, with an increase in intent to invest online up to 40%, even post-pandemic.
  • Consumers have become more loyal, with 61 percent * trying a new brand or buying technique.
  • Of consumers who attempted a new electronic shopping strategy, 83%* want to continue to integrate it into their routines long term. ​

*Source: McKinsey & Company – Survey: UK consumer opinion during the coronavirus catastrophe (December 2020)

Brands will need to quickly adapt to changes so as to acquire new customers and keep their current base. With such frequent changes in the environment and customer behaviours, we recommend that manufacturers adopt these six principles:

  • Cater to the needs of native buyers supporting varied traditional and electronic touchpoints. Including retail, web and mobile shops, social networking, call centers, augmented and virtual reality, connected devices and much more.
  • Breakaway from the competition by producing differentiated customer experiences that communicate the brand’s unique selling proposition.
  • Maximize conversion rates with personalized, contextual experiences that target the right customers with the perfect content and offerings (proposition through to services and products ), at the ideal time.
  • Increase average order size with contextual cross-sell and up-sell offerings combined with personalized promotions and loyalty programs.
  • Ensure constant journeys across all accessible touchpoints, with clients having the ability to jump between touchpoints throughout their buyer travel.
  • Rapidly adapt to changing customer tastes by giving brands with complete unlimited control over the customer experience.

By following these principles, manufacturers will increase conversion rates across all phases of the customer journey, reinforce brand loyalty, improve customer lifetime value and outpace the competition – ultimately leading to long-term revenue growth.

Build a trade solution to support your business requirements and provide a better customer experience

There are several general concerns for brands on how to build a trade solution prepared to support all the business requirements mentioned previously:

#1 Move for best of demand

With one of the core business needs to get a new being differentiation, it’s implausible that one, all-encompassing solution will enable eCommerce teams to fulfill unique requirements. These solutions are appropriate to quickly begin a new shop using customized templates and out-of-the-box capabilities. But they fall short when a new should tailor their experiences since it’s usually either impossible to perform or requires too much time and energy. With the best of demand approach, manufacturers possess the freedom to decide on the ideal applications for their business and deliver a special experience.

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#2 Avoid”big-bang” jobs

Most large-scale transformation projects aren’t delivered on time and on budget. And the bigger the project, the greater the danger of this happening. These jobs are subject to a lack of clarity on first requirements, a disconnect from the overarching digital eyesight, and the inability to adapt to changing market requirements. Therefore, brands must be able to start small alongside the present implementation and evolve their solution iteratively, including changes as they emerge. This provides businesses with complete control over their digital initiative so that possible budget and time risks are mitigated.

#3 Immediately optimize

Among the most common challenges for brands with conventional trade platforms is the lack of business agility. Traditional commerce platforms are famous for their rigidity, which leads to customization being extremely costly and taking a very long time to implement. Brands should try for a solution that offers superior extensibility and adopts a quick, pragmatic approach to experimentation.

MMT Digital and Elastic Path

To help solve challenges that customers are now facing with eCommerce, we’ve partnered with Elastic Path, leaders in headless commerce microservices and known as a visionary in Gartner’s Digital Commerce Magic Quadrant. We feel that whatever solution you’re building, the client always comes first. Technology is an enabler as opposed to the star of the series. By pushing technology behind the scenes and leveraging its own power, we can provide the exceptional experiences audiences anticipate and a greater return on investment to our customers.

Our strategic partnership with Elastic Path means we could unite our deep technical experience with a top Headless Commerce solution. Using a Composable Commerce approach, we could integrate with a broad assortment of systems to provide an integrated, high standard eCommerce experience fast and economically.

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Can COVID Steal Christmas? A Prediction for Online Retailers.

The nightmare before Christmas or pleasure to the world for online retailers? It’s difficult to say with certainty what online retailers should expect from this year’s holiday buying period. Data from the immediate wake of Amazon’s postponed Prime Day implies that the biggest winners were, in actuality, non-Amazon vendors . COVID has turned so much of our world upside down. Can ecommerce Santa be stuffing your stockings with coal this year?

Or are they filled with presents come December? Here are four questions that each and every business that sells online ought to be asking themselves:Why does past sales performance imply anything for this year’s vacation season?As you might have accumulated up is down and down is up this holiday season. That means that traditionally very good advice — like to forecast this year’s earnings, look at last year’s earnings — is simply not very good advice anymore. In summary, past sales performance may not mean much for this year’s holiday season. The longer answer is that shopping patterns are completely disrupted. The luxury goods and apparel industry took a big hit this year, with global luxury spending plunging 35 percent from last year’s numbers. Other businesses, like essential goods, toys and games, and home and garden, have experienced massive growth.

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  1. Shopify point of sale
  2. woocommerce point of sale
  3. commercetools point of sale
  4. MSI multi source inventory management system
  5. magento point of sale
  6. bigcommerce point of sale
  7. bigcommerce automation
  8. backorder management
  9. shopify automation app

If you are an online merchant in a place that has taken a significant hit from this past year, those numbers are not likely to be very valuable for you. But if you are in one of the blessed booming industries, this year may be better than ever. Along with the amounts varying by industry. Online sales are skyrocketing, with US online sales rising 43 percent in September over last year’s numbers. People are clearly flocking to online retailers, which could bode well for the holiday season. In the long run, your numbers from this year will be far more useful than last year’s holiday numbers.

Online retailers are expected to do well generally. But take cues from the business’s growth to forecast precisely how well.How much stock should online retailers maintain stock this holiday season?It’s clich é d, but the answer depends on a number of aspects. Demand forecasting models can take into account how you’ve performed in the past, but it is clear if you play it safe this season. You might choose to prioritize having as little surplus inventory as possible rather than trying to prevent exercising. If you are still having difficulty planning, consider getting a feeling for it today by implementing several creative approaches, like conducting a pre-order sale to understand how much appetite there is for your goods. When there’s a resounding response from your audience, you will sacrifice a small amount of your profit margins to the safety of guaranteed orders. When it is a little too quiet, you can purchase less stock and concentrate on your marketing approach to get the most from the season.What type of changes should online retailers make to shipping cutoff times this season? The golden guideline is to be upfront, clear, and insistent about your vacation order date deadline. This year it’ll be more important than ever — and sooner than ever.

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As the years have gone and clients have gotten used to shorter processing and transport times, the cutoff for ordering has crept nearer to Christmas. But this year, we are going to see a major jump backwards. The United States Postal Service just released its 2020 Holiday Shipping Guidelines .

The cutoff dates (estimated delivery before December 25th) appear surprisingly normal on their face. December 15th is recorded as the deadline for ground transport, which looks like a great conservative estimate (approximately seven business days as it would normally take three). December 19th is recorded as the priority mail date cutoff, which leaves around four business days. But, tread with caution . When placing your dates, remember: the more conservative, the better. Consider that by the time mid-December rolls around, you will (hopefully) be up to your ears orders and your processing time might be longer than normal. The postal office (or UPS/Fedex) will likely be having similar experiences. So use the USPS dates as a general guide, add in your processing time, a bit more processing time on their end, and then however much more you need to throw in for good measure.

With USPS delays already happening this summer, it will not be surprising to see online retailers with cutoffs in early December for guaranteed Christmas delivery, merely to play with it safe.What should your company do to create customer returns simpler after the holidays?A great returns procedure can make or break your company. It is beneficial year-round, but particularly important during the hectic holiday season. In actuality, online retailers have a much higher rate of returns compared to brick-and-mortar shops, so the post-Christmas yield rush is actual. To nail this, place clear yields guidelines from the start. How long do clients have to return a product? Do you provide free returns, or do you charge a restocking fee? Are you sending out orders in a bundle which may be used for the returns procedure?

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Having all this figured out and clearly communicated to your clients will save a great deal of headaches. If you are working with a third party logistics ( 3PL ) provider to manage your returns, be certain to have your policies cleared through them as well. By way of instance, will they inspect, photograph, and restock the items?Online retailers can and should be prepared for whatever abnormalities that this holiday season throws at them.This winter, it is very likely that we’ll see a continuation of a few of the trends that have defined 2020 because COVID started. How online retailers manage the challenges sure to come their way in November and December will mostly depend on how they’ve adapted their inventory management methods. 1 place sellers might wish to consider placing their trust is cloud-based POS software systems. Having the ideal tech stack set up will be more important than ever for retailers this holiday season. others.