Walmart is changing their ecommerce shipping policies. They are testing ground shipping to see if they can deliver more items in less time via ground shipping. The retail giant started telling online shoppers that some products in its warehouses were “out of stock” in August. This was in response to the 2-day delivery window.Wall Street Journal. Some companies that sell products online have seen a drop in sales. We spoke withMike WilliamsCEO ofUShipA shipping and logistics platform that connects ecommerce sellers and transporters. We got great advice from him about his new strategy and how it will impact both the company’s sellers and the company in the coming months.
Q. Q. How will this new ecommerce shipping policy affect Walmart and other companies selling through them in the coming months?
The Amazon Effect is clearly at work here. Walmart recognizes that customers expect fast, free or almost free delivery when they shop online for ecommerce. Walmart is aware of this and shifting logistics to its suppliers and sellers on its site to ensure that items reach buyers faster.
Q. Q. Do you think Walmart’s new strategy was smart?
Walmart is short-term sacrificing customer experience by not stocking certain items. Are these would-be customers likely to return? Given the number of choices available to them today, it’s unlikely. The new strategy shows how crucial final mile delivery is to the company’s overall picture. Therefore, it’s likely a smart, long-term decision.
Q. Q. Do you think consumers are more likely than others to use an ecommerce platform other than Walmart to purchase a product that is not in stock?
They will most likely lose customers if they send out the “out of stock” message. We live in an age of instant gratification. If an item isn’t available in one place, it’s likely to be available elsewhere – most likely for less and with free shipping.
“It’s not known, but Walmart supplier executives say that the move caused some sales declines so far.”
“Good, fast and cheap is the old saying. Two of these are no longer sufficient. To win and retain a customer’s loyalty and trust, you must provide all three: a reliable, fast, affordable, and free shipping experience.
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The holiday sales will increase by 4.5 percent compared to last year and reach $720 billion in total in the United States. Mobile shopping and social media continue to play an increasingly important role in the buying journey of shoppers of all ages. Here are some strategies and ideas to help you make the most of your social media presence during this holiday season.
Get a Giveaway
Giveaways and contests are a great way to increase brand awareness and attract new customers via social media. This strategy can be used by creating a gift basket with sample products or choosing one product that is really special. Share it on social media. Invite your followers to follow you and to share the post. One winner will receive a product. You will gain many new followers, and all friends who shared your post will see it.
Online retaileriHeartRavesThis strategy is used a lot by iHeartRaves, who currently have 416k Instagram fans. Brandon Chopp, digital manager at iHeartRaves, says that they enjoy using giveaways and contests during holidays. To be eligible to win, you must follow our Facebook page, like our posts and tag a minimum of three friends. This helps to spread awareness about our brand and creates a lot of buzz. Our brand is still being used by users until they win the prize. We notice that even after the prize is awarded, users continue to interact with us. This is because we create great content that captivates their attention and is relevant for their interests. It is one thing to gain new followers but another is to keep them engaged.
Sales to the Medical
RetailWire recently started a discussion about “Why shouldn’t retailers focus more on the Christmas spirit” According to BazaarVoice’s study, 59% of shoppers shop on high-profile days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 35% of those surveyed said they shop online to feel festive. Shoppers expect retailers to assist them in getting into the holiday spirit, both in-store as well as online. One way to promote Christmas spirit is to create holiday-themed sales.
Jeff Moriarty ofMoriarty’s Gem ArtTheir company holds a 25 Day Christmas themed sale each year. We offer one incredible deal every day and tie our content to the holidays. These posts have a higher engagement rate than the rest of the year. Customers even call us before asking if we will do it again. It has been a great experience for our company.”
Make gift guides
Each shopper has a special loved one who is difficult to buy for. Many shoppers look to social media and retailers for ideas. Create gift guides to inspire customers to shop at your store. Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp DigitalAccording to her, holiday shoppers are mostly searching for inspiration and social media is a great place to find it. Posts that offer unique and specific gift ideas will help your audience navigate the holiday season. This list of 10 Gifts Dad Will Love (And Never Think to Ask For) is a great one. Major retailers such as Amazon and Target are adding gift guides sections to their websites. They know that buying the right gift can be more difficult than simply purchasing it. Share your ideas with customers to help them.
After you’ve created your guides, make sure you share them everywhere. You might even consider running a promotion with your holiday gift guide. Experts in ecommerce softwareVolusionTo maximize exposure, we recommend using descriptive title tags and meta description, as well as a product image.
Make your Feed Shoppable
Many social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, allow you to sell products directly from the app. Matt Erickson is the marketing director atNational PositionsAll retailers should take advantage of Instagram shopping during holiday season. First, create a Facebook shop. This process can be automated by many ecommerce point of sale systems.
Matt explains that after you’ve set up your Facebook shop, “You can tag the products on your Instagram posts,” which allows customers to shop from both your Instagram account and your Facebook page. You can’t link in comments or captions to Instagram, so this is one of the best ways you can drive sales through your Instagram account.
Tell a story
They are looking for companies with great stories, just like Christmas spirit. Emily Clark, content marketer and developer.Clutch, suggests: “People are always searching for stories. I would launch a campaign featuring photos and posts from holiday wearers or users of your product. The caption should include a short story that tells a story about the photo, and a snap of a memorable moment. A photo contest could be opened to the public, where participants can submit photos showing their product in a fun and festive manner.
Customers can tell stories about your products by getting involved. If you create your own products, this can also be a great storytelling moment for the holidays. Emily suggests that you make a video showing how much effort and time went into crafting your product. People give gifts to their loved ones. They want to see the same care that went into creating your product. It is possible to add a personal touch by interviewing employees about holiday traditions or activities and posting it online. You can make it lighthearted and funny. Your followers will find your company more personal.”Video posts have higher engagement ratesIt generates more revenue than text and photo posts.
Get Ready Now
You won’t be able to edit your social media copy or take great product photos once the holiday selling season has begun. To promote your products later, take as many product shots as possible. Samantha Rupert is Volusion’s social media expert. She says that images should be focused on the primary product and placed on a white background. You should use the best quality image that distinguishes your product.
Make sure to create a social media calendar. This will help you plan what posts to make on which days. Next, create the calendar and set the posts up to go live during the holiday season. Facebook allows you to schedule posts through their app. You can schedule Instagram posts using a free tool called Buffer. You can schedule posts now, even though you may not be able to post as often as you would like in real-time.
Amazon Storefronts: Friend or Foe?
Amazon StorefrontsAmazon’s microsite that showcases independent retailers who make or handcraft unique products. This subset of Amazon’s ecommerce platform was launched in September. It was accompanied by a TV commercial featuring The Little Flower Soap. The advert featured an independent retailer that used Amazon to expand their business nationally.
Shoppers can shop exclusively at small- and medium-sized businesses through the Storefronts microsite. Amazon highlights the independent business owners through “Storefront of the Week”, videos, “Artisan,” Family-Focused Businesses,” Women-Owned Businesses, and “Innovator Makers,” sections that highlight a few businesses that fall within each category.
In apress releasesAmazon stated that they have opened Storefronts to offer customers an easy way for them to purchase from small and medium-sized business in all 50 States through the trusted Amazon experience. Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President, said “Amazon invited businesses to sell on Amazon almost two decades ago. Today, small and mid-sized businesses are vital to Amazon’s vast selection and commitment to customers.”
Amazon Storefronts is a way for Amazon shoppers to discover independent businesses that they may not have otherwise found. Amazon shoppers who shop online for convenience now have the option to shop from a small selection of businesses. Amazon Storefronts is a great way for your business to reach a wider audience than you might otherwise.
Amazon is being investigated by the EU on a darker level.Using data from third-party vendorsTo track product sales and profitability. Amazon will notice if a third-party seller has a product that is selling well and duplicate it.
Tobi Lutke, Shopify’s CEOsaidCode Commerce said that “in a few years, merchants decide that giving all of their business’s information to Amazon… didn’t work out as a good idea, then then I wouldn’t be surprised.” He said that both consumers and factories matter. Jeff refers to Jeff Bezos who is Amazon’s CEO.
Amazon’s new Storefront initiative may be in response a complaints that Amazon is causing harm to Main Street retail. Amazon published a recent “How Amazon is Helping Main Street Retailers” document.Small Business Impact ReportAccording to Amazon, half of all Amazon products are purchased by small and medium businesses. These small and medium-sized businesses have created more than 900,000.
For the first time, Amazon’s third-party sellers outsold Amazon’s sales in 2017. Amazon can be a great way for businesses to get lots of exposure. We recommend that Amazon be used by retailers as an additional storefront and not as their sole source of revenue.
Will Clarke, SVP and head of creative at ShoptologyTellsIndependent retailerAccording to Amazon, more than half of Americans have a Prime membership today, so most of your customers are already Amazon shoppers. This is where storefronts can be a great idea. A storefront on Amazon could be a great way to sell products that are rare or hard to find.
Amazon Storefronts are currently available at no additional cost to qualified Amazon sellers. You may be featured as an Amazon Storefront seller. Amazon Storefronts sellers must have a registered trademark. They also need to sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry. You can register for your Amazon storefront once you have become a registered brand.
Will Clarke says, “If you were an independent retailer, you’d first look at ecommerce platforms that allow me to compete with Amazon like Shopify.” I would investigate Shopify’s 2-hour delivery option with Post-Mates. I would also learn how their Facebook/Instagram shopping plugins work and what their buyable Pinterest pins are. I would invest in Google Adwords to ensure that my store is visible on Google maps for the right audience. Then and only then would I consider getting in bed with an enemy like Amazon Storefronts.