Merchant Voice

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    January Blues

    January 24, 2012 •

    It's January and Christmas is over. The huge rush of orders has been picked, packed and dispatched. The first week or two of January is also busy with the customers spending their Christmas money. Then the credit card bills come in, the orders dry up, and the problems start. What separ...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    How we achieved 99% accuracy in order fulfillment

    December 21, 2011 •

    No matter how much time, effort, and money you put into promoting your business and converting visitors into buyers, you’ll never create repeat customers if you screw up fulfillment. This is partly why I hate out-sourced fulfillment and drop-shipping. Once you lose control over this mo...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    No Video is (far) better than a bad video

    November 6, 2011 •

    I know a few things about video. While my formal schooling taught me computer science, my father is a professional cinematographer. He taught me how to take photographs and eventually how to shoot and create video. Before I got involved in e-commerce, my business (for about 7 years) wa...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    10 Web Analytics Solutions for Ecommerce Merchants

    September 26, 2011 •

    Web analytics tools seek to monitor and report on the interaction between Internet users and specific websites or marketing initiatives for the purpose of improving those interactions. This definition is a ...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    The Death of Free Shipping

    September 21, 2011 •

    My highschool economics teacher preached, “There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch”. This holds true for shipping costs. In fact, the costs of shipping are rising faster than inflation. I see our shipping rates rising much faster than increases in the cost of our products. So, if you...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    How to Make Your Customer Service Shine

    August 19, 2011 •

    As a small e-commerce store, you can’t compete against the big boys in many arenas. However, one arena where you can outduel them in is customer service. By definition, you are a specialist in your product category and therefore should be an expert in all things that you sell. You can...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Mistakes I Wish I Had Never Made

    July 20, 2011 •

    We all know the saying, “If I knew then what I know now, I’d be much better off”. I was thinking about that the other day and decided to put together a list of mistakes I’ve made during my e-commerce life. I had to shorten the list to just 6 items because there’s only so much room on th...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Top 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Outsource Fulfillment

    June 10, 2011 •

    The allure of outsourced fulfillment (such as Amazon’s FBA program) is strong. But, don’t get sucked in by the hype! In any business, you never outsource anything that you can do better or more efficiently yourself. If you don’t think you can make your fulfillment operation more effic...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    8 ways to uncover hidden money in your business

    May 18, 2011 •

    Increasing the “top line” of your business is always critical, especially for small businesses that might still be struggling to reach that magical break even point. But even if you’re making a nice profit, cutting expenses or finding ways to save money should be a monthly exercise. S...

  • Checkout Tactics > Merchant Voice

    Pros and Cons of Checkout by Amazon’s Inline Checkout

    April 19, 2011 •

    Checkout by Amazon allows your customers to use their Amazon login credentials to make purchases on your site. There are several different ways to integrate this into your store. The best “experience”, in my opinion, is their inline offering. In this method, your customers never leave...

  • Fraud Prevention > Merchant Voice

    How to Detect Online Fraud

    March 22, 2011 •

    Every online retailer will, at some point, be faced with fraud. It is as inevitable as taxes, but far more sinister! Your credit card processor is going to give you two pieces of information to help combat fraud: the 3 or 4-digit “security code” and an AVS response. The CSC code shoul...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Stop obsessing over your search engine rankings

    February 15, 2011 •

    As the owner of an e-commerce store, my number one piece of advice to anyone with an online store is to stop obsessing over your search engine rankings. Instead, focus your attention on building your brand. In the real world, we buy stuff from people that we like. The “better” car sale...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    You’re backing up more than your data, right?

    January 12, 2011 •

    Every website owner should be backing up their website and database on a daily basis. If you’re not, set that up immediately. However, this is not what I’m referring to when it comes to backups. I’m referring to all of the critical aspects of your business. Here are some questions to as...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    You Gotta Have Something to Sell

    October 31, 2010 •

    Happy Halloween! Before the ghosts & goblins and droves of trick-or-treaters descend upon our neighborhood, I've managed to find some quiet time to write. I recently returned from the 2010 iHobby Expo in Chicago, which is the largest trade show in the radio control and model hobby...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Back on the Front Line

    August 31, 2010 •

    As a business owner, there are many times when you have to do it all: hire, fire, answer phones, solve UPS problems, pick & pack orders...you name it! Some of the most challenging parts of my job is not the business aspect of running the company but instead the people aspect of it....

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Highlights from the Internet Retailer Conference

    June 24, 2010 •

    I recently attended the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago and it was a terrific show. If you are able to attend only one show per year, I highly recommend going to this one and if you are not able to get to any shows because you are too involved in your business you need to find ...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Why Free Shipping Works

    February 5, 2010 •

    There has been alot written on Practical eCommerce and elsewhere regarding free shipping and whether or not it makes sense for merchants to offer. I'd like to share my experience with it and tell you why it makes sense for eHobbies. For years, we rarely offered free shipping promotions...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Hello 2010

    January 1, 2010 •

    The holiday orders have all been delivered and hopefully we have made thousands of children and adults happy with their gifts of toys and hobbies. Whether it was an RC car, train set, model kit, model rocket set or slot car set, hours of fun were spent together with friends and family ...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    UPS vs. FedEx vs. USPS. Which is best?

    November 20, 2009 •

    The holiday craziness begins a week from today. But long before the anticipated ramp up in sales takes place, experienced merchants have already taken a look at an important component ...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Goal Setting with our Teams

    October 7, 2009 •

    As merchants, entrepreneurs and business drivers we all wear various hats during the course of the day, week or month that sometimes are not part of any job description. One of my principle responsibilities is to set the overall direction and strategy for our company, both long term an...

  • Business > Merchant Voice

    Prioritizing for the Holidays

    September 1, 2009 •

    I'm a merchant at heart. I love merchandise. It probably goes back to over 20 years ago when I was an assistant buyer for May Company department stores. Part of our responsibility was to work out in the stores during sale periods in November and December. It gave me a chance to get ...