Monday, August 15, 2016

Did Walmart Overpay for Jet.com? No. Seller Cloud CEO Jeremy Greenberg Explains Why…

The basic laws of trading tell us not to let emotion play a part in our buying decisions.
Yet, on the big stage, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer has just made an acquisition that’s hailed as everything from revenge – after losing out on a bid over six years ago to rivals Amazon –  to a desperate attempt to make up lost ground.
It’s the largest acquisition in e-commerce history: $3 billion in cash plus up to $300 million in shares. And all for a 2-year-old company that’s just getting off the ground, burning away millions of dollars every month and nowhere near close to turning a profit. That’s one expensive tantrum.
As is the case when looking back on Walmart’s track record, there’s a lot more going on here than first meets the eye.
By purchasing Jet, Walmart’s biggest attempt to stick it to Amazon and take a share of the e-commerce pie, the offline retail giant has cunningly opened up an opportunity to slide in as one of the biggest go-to online retailers for customers and sellers alike.
And here’s how it’s going to do it.

What Walmart Buying Jet Means For The E-Commerce Market

Walmart has dominated the offline world of retail long before e-commerce ever existed – and it really shows.
Virtual marketplace leader and Walmart’s main rival Amazon has focused the past few years on expanding their online footprint, branching out around the world and building a vast network of buyers and sellers. Walmart, on the other hand, has stuck to what they know best: acquiring more and more square footage and physical establishments.
Walmart has tried to apply their traditional structure and legacy technology to the online model of commerce, but with little success. Back in 2013, Walmart set up a third party marketplace which has grown agonizingly slowly to around 100 sellers today – partly due to fear of diluting their reputation and party due to being held back by the limitations of their existing technology.
The promise Jet brings is grounded in its technology – specifically, the powerful AI software which Jet’s online platform is built on.
Unique to Jet, the proprietary algorithm pulls data from their vast marketplace of third party sellers, serving their customers with the best products, at the best price, by the best possible means of delivery.
Amazon remains the largest online retailer for two reasons: their ability to offer customers nearly every type of every product under the sun, and their huge network of fulfillment centers which can guarantee Prime customers delivery to their door in less than two days.
At a whopping 20 million, Amazon’s Prime customers are a growing band of loyal shoppers who buy everything they need from the online retailer. That sort of loyalty isn’t built on cost-cutting and bargain basement prices – what Walmart is widely known for – but rather high-quality and seamless user experiences.
By acquiring Jet, Walmart has made a huge step toward gaining that loyal customer base it so hungrily desires.
Jet will allow Walmart to take on Amazon’s immense logistical power as it functions as both an e-commerce and a distribution platform in one. Its unique AI finds sellers nearest to the customer’s locality and serves only the products they want at the lowest possible costs. For customers, this means they can leverage a diverse and competitive marketplace; for sellers, they can access an endless stream of new customers most likely from their own backyard.
Jet also gives Walmart a new and distinct brand to sell to customers. With a little help from their bottomless marketing and advertising budget, Walmart will use this brand to target the middle and upper end of the market and make serious inroads into the arena that has so loyally fuelled Amazon's growth.
To sell on Jet you must list your products using its API technology. In a cut above Amazon's customer experience, this automatically filters out small and unprofessional companies and favors sellers that promise good service and fast and reliable shipping.
The unique AI-driven platform can also be harnessed by sellers using a third party tool to connect listings such as SellerCloud. In doing so, you not only gain access to Jet’s online platform and rapidly growing customer base, but also Walmart’s existing online selling channel.

No, Walmart didn’t overpay for Jet. In fact, if they manage to pull it off, they may have just grabbed an absolute bargain. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Seller Cloud and the Four Bridges

Seller Cloud Multi-Channel E-Commerce Management System
We provide the business control center for inventory, product catalogs, order fulfillment, shipping, tracking, automated emails, customer feedback and marketplace accounts. 

ShipBridge imports paid orders from numerous channels such as Amazon, Ebay, Buy.com, Newegg, etc. into a single interface where they can all be fulfilled. Shipbridge allows users to set shipping rules based on package weight and other criteria while offering the flexibility to make changes to the number of packages, addresses and customs information of any given order. 

ReceiveBridge is our Purchase Order and RMA receiving module. ReceiveBridge installs on the user's desktop computer and access PO and RMA related information via SellerCloud's web services. Using ReceiveBridge will enable your receiving department to receive and update inventory without direct access to the rest of your SellerCloud platform. 

QuickBridge is a SellerCloud application that exports SellerCloud data automatically into QuickBooks. While manual data entry is cost prohibitive, time consuming, and prone to errors, QuickBridge exports data of purchase orders and shipped orders into QuickBooks with a single click of the mouse. QuickBridge supports QuickBooks reports including Profit and Loss by individual product.

ImageBridge is an image uploading tool that connects directly to SellerCloud using web services. It gives you the ability to drag and drop images from your desktop directly into a product in SellerCloud. It also has editing capabilities.

All bridges are included with the program.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Overselling Dilemmas

There are no magic hats to pull things out of.

That's why you need to have actual stock of products when you sell them online.

So let's say you have a product with an inventory stock of 25 pieces, and you want to sell the product on multiple market places. To prevent overselling, you don't list 25 pieces on all marketplaces. Instead, you set the stock quantities as 5 on Amazon, 5 on EBay,  5 on Rakuten, and 5 on your website. Being a smart business owner you also kept 5 in reserve, just in case a customer messages you to see if you have more in stock.

But wait a second. What are the chances that the customer will send you a message? If the customer needs 10 pieces, what's keeping them from looking for someone else who has 10 pieces in stock? You just lost a sale and a potential customer. In order to minimize overselling, you split your inventory. It's the great tug-of-war that online merchants deal with everyday.

But what if you had Seller Cloud! You could have 20 pieces in stock displayed on all the channels while still reserving 5 as a safety stock. And you won't oversell because when the item is sold on any of the channels it would automatically reduce the quantity on the other channels. Additionally, when your inventory falls to a low level, you can be alerted to generate a PO in order to replenish and maintain your inventory level.

With SellerCloud synchronizing your inventory, you'll have all 20 pieces in stock displayed on all channels without worrying about overselling. That customer who needs 10 pieces would buy from you without even knowing about the competition.

How's that for a neat magic trick.

Simply Better Selling
Roy Hercules
Director Sales & Marketing

Sellercloud

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Support for Multi-Channel E-Commerce Management Software

Simply Better Selling

You know the importance of diversifying your retirement portfolio. So take that concept and apply it to your business.

In the article “Why Multi-Channel Selling May Be Necessary for Business Survival,” Skip McGrath sheds some light on issues with selling on one channel. Bottom line - Multi-Channel is the way to go. While larger market places like Amazon, EBay, and Rakuten can give your products more exposure, there are also a number smaller ones Bonanza, Newegg,  and Sears, to name a but a few, that would be able to offer your products to a different market audience.

More exposure brings with it more challenges, like keeping up with the inventory in order to prevent overselling. Posting your catalog, fulfilling orders and the list goes on. This workload may be the reason why some may only have one channel. Others may be focusing very hard on becoming a Power Seller; to become a subject matter expert on all things Amazon or EBay and to know it like the back of your hand. 

Therein lies the problem. Confining yourself to one marketplace leaves you to whim of your one source. You risk being subjected to held up payments, account closure, difficulty defending yourself and a whole lot more too much to mention, with no other avenue to continue your business!

So why can’t you have the best of both worlds? Why can’t you sell on multiple channels but have one system to manage it? One place to update your catalogs, one place to control your inventory, one place to ship from, manage your warehouse, manage your orders, and give you your business reports so that you are aware of the status on the company.

That is why I am recommending SellerCloud as the business control center for inventory, product catalogs, order fulfillment, shipping, tracking, automated emails, customer management and marketplace accounts. This is an all-in-one solution that created a community of online businesses who have simplified and streamlined their operations in order to improve efficiency and productivity.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Selling Internationally


We all want more for less. So what about selling domestic products in international marketplaces? Do we need to do more by keeping designated inventory for those markets? Do we actually have to update the local currency price daily to the current conversion rate? Do we need to take out our old high-school French lessons and translate each product description?

Well, if you are a SellerCloud user the answer is NO! SellerCloud can configure your products to match many international environments with a few simple steps. The idea is to automatically create shadow SKUs of all products for international use in many major markets. Product descriptions are translated, and the product price is reset everyday automatically to the current conversion rate. And because they are shadow SKUs, the risk of overselling is almost nil.

So don't worry about any extra work. With the International Marketplace Preferences feature you'll be selling overseas from the comfort of your home country. You may even have some extra time to brush up your French language skills.

You can find this feature on SellerCloud under Company Settings > Toolbox > International Marketplace Preferences. To learn how to use this feature visit wiki.sellercloud.com

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Picklists Become Shipment Lists

How is it possible to limit the orders loaded in different shipping stations or even load a specific set of orders at a time for a specific shipper? Picklists of course!

By going to the Menu in ShipBridge and selecting "Customize Interface" and then "Filters" you can enable the picklist filter at the shippers computer. 

Essentially what this filter does is it populates ShipBridge with orders generated from a specific picklist. So, say you want a specific shipper to handle all orders from a certain marketplace for products made by a specific manufacturer, what would you do?

You would go to that Manage Orders pagein SellerCloud -> Filter by desired order criteria -> Select (all) results -> Select "Generate Picklist" from action menu -> 

Once the picklist is generated it will have a number assigned to it. That number can be entered into the Picklist filter in ShipBridge and all of the orders related to the picklist will be loaded into the ShipBridge grid. 

Use Exclusive Shipping Lock and Never Double Ship Again

One of the many benefits of ShipBridge is that it can support an unlimited number of shippers dispersed either within a warehouse or even internationally.

The downside (until now) was that without using picklists (that's a topic for another post) there is a risk of double shipping orders since any given order can populate at all ship stations.

That is where the new Exclusive Shipping Lock comes in. The way the lock works is that it blocks all other shippers from shipping an order that was either added to a batch or opened via the scan and ship method at any shipping station.

The duration of the lock on the orders is set on the shipping tab in the ShipBridge options and has a maximum value of 5 minutes.