The things you buy on Amazon are more likely to come from the US than China

Don’t automatically assume that the off-brand case for your new iPhone 11 or the generic Halloween costume you just ordered from Amazon is being shipped from China. A new study by e-commerce analytics firm MarketPlace Pulse of the top 10,000 third-party sellers on Amazon.com revealed that US companies still dominate, though Chinese sellers account for more than a third of the marketplace. Just under half, or 47%, of the top Amazon.com sellers are based in the US, while 38% are based in China.

The success of Chinese sellers on Amazon can largely be attributed to the e-commerce giant’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, which allows China-based merchants to use Amazon to pack and ship their products around the world using the same two-day Prime shipping as US sellers. China’s membership in the Universal Postal Union (UPU) also allows it ship packages globally at subsidized rates. Even if a Chinese seller elects not to use Amazon’s fulfillment service, they can still opt for a special category of first-class mail known as “ePacket” that allows them to ship to US customers at less costly rates.

The Trump administration had previously threatened to put an end to cheap China-to-US shipping by leaving the UPU, but last week the US reached an agreement with the international body that would allow it to remain in exchange for setting its own inbound postage rates. The US Postal Service was scheduled to leave the UPU on Oct. 17,  which would have effectively ended the agreement that allowed Chinese businesses to ship items to the US at very little cost.

Percentage of China sellers on Amazon

Outside of the US, China has an even tighter grip on the e-commerce giant, where it accounts for 40% of the top merchants. China makes up 34% of top sellers in the UK, 47% in France, 45% in Italy, and 52% in Spain according to a MarketPlace Pulse study from May. Even if business in the US were to grind to a halt, it’s unlikely China’s dominance of global e-commerce will be threatened any time soon.

That being said, more Amazon marketplace products were shipped from one zipcode in Brooklyn, New York, than any other single place, MarketPlace Pulse found. The 11219 zip code in the Borough Park neighborhood took top billing, and is home to a group of Orthodox Jews who have built a small empire selling products through Amazon, BuzzFeed recently reported.

Article from qz.com by Amrita Khalid

8 Keys For Great UX Design For Online Businesses

The main aim for great UX (User Experience) is to make each user feel as though the site was made just for them. In order to do this, UX designers need to know who are their target audience BEFORE having the site designed or built for clients.

It’s not just the design that plays the main role but also the site content. The aim is to wow the user and convince them to take the desired action. In order to do that, there’s 8 keys for great UX design for online businesses which needs to pass the test.

5 Second Rule

Anyone landing on the desired site be it from referral, organic search or paid search should find the answers to what they’re looking for. Visitors should know what your site is all about within the first 5 seconds of landing there. All your visuals, content, information, call to action, purpose of your site should be clear and convincing.

5 seconds. That’s when users form their first impression and decide whether they want to continue exploring your site further or just plain leave. If your site’s message is not clear or the content wasn’t convincing enough, that’s the end of the journey for the user – 5 seconds. Remember that.

Clear Communication

Most users land on your site from outside links like search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo or social media based on recommendations. Hence many users have a particular goal when they choose to visit your site.

Your site needs to meet their goal by offering engaging, relevant and valuable info through an easy to use interface which shows clear communication.

ALL your website pages need to be UX designed to clearly communicate the information that users will be looking for when they land there. Because if they can’t find what they’re looking for or if they don’t even know what your site is all about, that’s going to contribute to high bounce rates.

Minimalist Look

The information presented to users on your site needs to be clean and simple to understand. If there’s any element of the page that does not need to be there, please get rid of it.

When it comes to clear copy, communicating key information in fewer words is more effective than writing long paragraphs of text that users will not be bothered to read.

Stay away from clutter. If you have a lot of info to present, keep them in point form and arrange them neatly. Do not distract users with unnecessary decorative elements as people these days want to find what they’re looking for fast.

Design Consistency

Keeping design consistency across all your pages will enable users to find information easily instead of having to look all over the entire site. Important information should be easily accessible no matter which page you browse to.

Main menu, side bars or footers need to be consistent. Same thing when a user clicks on a link, it needs to open a new window. Consistency helps users learn how to navigate through your site quickly and effectively.

Cross Platform Standard

Your site needs to look consistent across all platforms be it from desktop to tablets to mobiles.

Being mobile friendly and responsive is one of the main criteria search engines like Google look for when they rank sites.

Some of the best ways to learn what elements to maintain and show is to look for time and tested proven sites who have spent a fair amount of money testing their design out.

You’ll also need to ensure that your site looks consistent across different types of browsers as well.

Organized Information

The information you put on your website needs to be arranged and grouped into different pages. These pages will be linked to your main menu. In each page, you’ll need to organize the information.

When users land on any page, they should see all the main information at one glance which should be concise and straight to the point instead of having to scroll down to look for it.

Targeted Audience

The type of content you place on your site and on different pages need to have the ability to influence and convince users of your site’s credibility.

Your entire site needs to be designed to target your audience group with the aim to get them to take the desired action.

Different age groups have different attention span along with their preferred browsing device which is now mostly geared towards mobile. Design your site according to the needs of your target audience.

Clear Action Steps

Your site needs to have clear call to action for users. Your site’s purpose is to provide the information that users are looking for when they land there and to get them to take the appropriate action. That can be in the form of making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or contacting you for further information depending on what your site’s all about.

What is the desired action that you want users to take when they land on your site? Your UX design needs be like a smooth runway for them to easily know where you want them to go and to take the action you want them to take when they’re there.

Does Your Current Site Meet These UX Criteria?

Follow these 8 keys to creating great UX design that will delight users. At Logo Design Studio, our professional designers offer UX design services to help businesses reach their target audience. These design services ranges from logo design creation to website design to marketing materials and social media complementing any business.

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills

Many brick and mortar today are struggling with bad sales and the endless rising of rents. Why? E-commerce is why. E-commerce is both the cause and solution. With online sales increasing everyday, there is a rising demand for e-commerce skills all around the world. Everything from retail stores trying to bulk up their online presences to big companies and startups looking to increase revenue. However, to help these businesses stay ahead in this very competitive digital marketplace, business are looking for employees who obtain e-commerce skills.

Software Development

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills (Software Development)

A software developer will help your business success in the e-commerce world. The e-commerce solution ocean is filled with endless possibilities, with capabilities such as automation, customer relationship management (CRM), web designing, customer service, marketing related functionality and so much more. This just means that companies need to hire a software developer that is fluent in the solution and will guarantee to provide the best ROI for their business.

Magento, Sitecore and InstanteStore are three of many e-commerce solutions that amoungst the growing enterprise of e-commerce business. There has been a rise in demand for software developers who specializes in these solutions. Fluency in these solutions is the key to identifying the best uses of them based on your specific business needs. As long as e-commerce companies are looking for different ways to sand out and up their game in online offerings, there will always be a demand for development talent.

SEO

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills (SEO)

Trying to get as many traffic and clicks to your e-commerce page is not an easy task. Of course, the top few companies that come up on the google search engine have the best SEO specialists. Those are also the one’s that most people click on. SEO (search engine optimization) encompass multiple marketing skills, such as copy writting, data analytics, A/B testing and of course an in-depth knowledge and understand of how to properly use keywords and content marketing.

There is no easy way to boost the SEO of an e-commerce business. It takes quite a lot of brain power, careful planning, data analysis and reporting, varied areas of marketing expertise and tons of patience to see all your hard work pay off. It will usually take some time for Google or other search engines to account for the changes you have made to your e-commerce page. As more and more e-commerce sites are created thanks to solutions that allow us to create an online store as easily as creating an e mail address, SEO will continue to be an important revenue driver for e-commerce sites. SEO will continue to be an in demand skill in the e-commerce future.

Data Analytics

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills (Data Analytics)

E-commerce business owners need to know who their customers are and how to reach them personally in this very crowded marketplace. Companies have to optimize their supply chain, improve operations and manage various facilities to gain more profit. This is where data analytics come in play.

Many businesses today struggle with an overwhelming sea of data and they do not know what to do with it. Data analytics experts will be able to take all that information and uncover the actionable information the business is missing. More and more companies today, rely heavily on data to inform them of their next business decisions. The demand for data analytics specialists have definitely increased tremendously. Data analytics will be one of the most if not the most in demand e-commerce skills in the coming years of technology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

4 Of The Most In Demand E-Commerce Skills (Artificial Intelligence)

Everyone seems to be talking about artificial intelligence being the next big thing. Also, e-commerce being one of the industries that will be the most effected by the AI technology. Unfortunately, the truth is, AI will only continue to disrupt the way e-commerce companies do their business. An example would be the rise of chatbots in the industry. These types of technology will slowly come to replace certain e-commerce roles, especially the ones in the customer service line. Also, at the same time they provide new roles for exerts that specialize in how to best apply and utilize them.

In the near future, AI solutions will only become more refined and more uses for it will be discovered. The e-commerce industry will only continue to be one of the earliest to adopt the AI technology. This will cause a high demand for AI based skills.

The conclusion is, with e-commerce growing bigger and bigger, proving to be a major revenue generator of business, there will always be a demand for digital professionals with specific e-commerce skills.

 

Article originally by CIO, written by Gianna Scorsone on the 20th September 2017

 

 

Social Media Tips: 6 Ways To Help Grow Your Brand and Business

Social media is a great way to help grow a business and build a brand. Whether if you’re just starting out your business or you’ve already established a company of your own, you’ll need the help of social media. Here are some social media tips that you can follow to optimize your business. It will also help you take advantage of everything social media has to offer.

Consistency

Come up with a schedule for all your postings. Posting up one tweet per day isn’t enough. Be smart about where you post your content for the best results. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are highly used by many people, so that is where you should be posting most of your content. Also, if you do not have accounts on those platforms, what are you waiting for? It is also very important to be consistent with the posting every week.

Questions you should think of before creating your posting schedule:

  • How often should you be posting?

 

  • What will the content be?

 

  • Where you should be posting (which social media platform)

Post MORE Images

Pictures are worth a thousand words, or so they say. Use more images in your social media posts so you do not have to use too many words to get your point across. Sometimes having a lengthy post can be a disadvantage to you. People often ignore posts with too many words as it can get boring. Besides that, an interesting image can also capture the attention of a viewer. For example platforms like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest and primarily picture driven. It is no wonder these three social media platforms gained so much success compared to the others.

Don’t worry about the images as you can easily create your own. Tools like Canva can help you create images for all your social media channels, your images will also come out the perfect size for that particular social media platform.

Interactivity

Don’t be that company that only puts out content twice or three times everyday. The word “social” is in “social media” for a reason. Engage with your followers/customers when they have questions or give feedback. It is important to check your posts everyday to see if any of your followers have replied to them. Also, check to see if your company has been mentioned in any of your followers posts. A quick reply to their comments, retweeting and liking a positive post about your business will make a difference to your followers. Lets also not forget about the unhappy customers. Every company is bound to have a few of those. You should never neglect unhappy customers, always try to ask them if there is anyway you or your company can help them turn that frown upside down! Or apologize if a customer is unhappy with the service they have received. This will make them feel like the company is making an effort to interact with its customers and accepting feedback from its customers too.

Give People a Reason To Follow Your Social Media Platforms

You should always ask yourself this question, “Why would people follow you?”

Put yourself in your consumers shoes. There are so many other companies out there that they can follow, so why you? Think about what makes you different from your other competitors. Create value in your content, don’t just put out content for the sake of it. Most importantly, do not post content that you yourself do not find interesting!

Examples of content to share:

  • Behind the scenes of what happens in the office (Instagram or Twitter)

 

  • Share discount codes (Facebook or Twitter)

 

  • Share interesting facts about your business industry (Facebook)

Content that you put out on your social media platforms have to contain value and exclusivity. If you are constantly blasting out the same information everywhere then your social media posts will loose its value. An example that you could potentially do is, post up discount codes on Twitter and Twitter ONLY. This way users know to follow you on Twitter to watch out for discount codes.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the best ways to expand your reach on social media. Start including hashtags into your post if you wish to expand your reach and gain more followers and likes on your social media platforms and posts. However, there is a strategic approach to using hashtags to your advantage. Using random words as hashtags that has nothing to do with your business industry or company will lead you no where. Do research on the trending hashtags that are relevant to your industry and incorporate them into your postings. You could also use more generic and widely used hashtags as more people tend to search for those hashtags. But, the problem with generic hashtags are that because there are so many people using it as well, your content might be pushed to the bottom quickly. Viewers might not get the chance to see your post before thousands of other posts push it down.

Keep A Close Eye On Your Competitors

Watch your competitors who have a high number of followers, likes, retweets and interaction. See what they are posting and what their followers are interested in. You could also mimic their postings on your social media platforms. We do not advice that you copy their postings 100% but you could post similar content if both your businesses are in the same industry. Your customers will want to see unique and original content from you. Ripping off your competitors might just put your customers off.

Analyze what they are doing and what you are not.

Look at things like:

  • Content they are posting

 

  • People they follow

 

  • Who follows them

 

  • Posting schedule

 

  • Their popular posts

This will give you an idea on why your competitor has successful social media channels and why yours might not be doing as well compared.

 

Other blog posts related to social media marketing

Social Media Marketing Tips (Infographic)

How Instagram Can Help Online Selling 

 

Ecommerce Apparel Stores Offering Something New!

Ecommerce Apparel Stores Offering Something New!

In the very competitive ecommerce world, business owners and entrepreneurs need to embrace innovation and uniqueness in order to succeed. New business plans are constantly emerging, making it very hard and competitive.

The fashion sector is particularly interesting! Amazon recently just launched Amazon Prime Wardrobe. It is a service where it allows consumers to pick three or more items across shoes, clothing and accessories. Amazon will then send it over to its consumers door step (which is completely free by the way). The customer will then have 7 days to decide whether they would like to keep the items they have picked. Here comes the best part, the customer only pays for the items AFTER they decide which of the items they would like to keep! Besides that, Amazon provides its customers with a free and easy return service.

Other businesses today have taken inspiration from Amazon and and have started businesses which are similar. These innovative businesses are taking ecommerce fashion to a whole new level.

Crisp Clothing 

Crisp Clothing was founded by Swapnil and Prakash Kamble, a father and son duo. What Crisp Clothing does is it can tailor the perfect shirt for you according to your height and weight. The company uses what they all 3D measuring to achieve the perfect shirt for your body. I mean isn’t it a pain to find a perfect shirt to fit your body type? The company uses 100% Egyptian Giza cotton to make their handmaid tailored shirts. Customers have a wide array of colour, textures and patters to choose from. Not only that, customers can also pick the fit, collar, cuff, sleeve, pocket and more that they would like.

Crisp Clothing recently started a Kickstarted campaign to fund its project. This does not come to a surprise at all, but the cost of a shit is not cheap at all! However, pledging to the company’s campaign at the $78 level will get you one of their shirt.

What makes Crisp Clothing the innovative company that it is, is the approach it takes into crafting the perfect shirt. Besides that, the technology that they use gives the company a futuristic way to producing shirts that look and feel fantastic.

Trunk Club 

Trunk Club‘s concept is quite similar to Amazon Prime Wardrobe. However, Trunk Club has been around for a longer time than Amazon Prime has. Oh! It is also owned by big retailer Nordstrom.

How Trunk Club works is first, new customers has to answer a series of question about their preferred style, how the clothing should fit and the budget they are willing to pay. The customer will then be redirected to a personal stylist who will chat with the customer more to get a more in depth understanding of what the customer wants. However, talking to a stylist is not a must on the website.

When the customer approves of what is in the trunk, it will be delivered to the customer free of charge. The customer will then have 5 days to decide if they would like to keep the items or send them back. Customers can also either reorder according to his or her own schedule or set up a fixed delivery schedule.

What is great about the company is that it helps consumers save time! Consumers no longer have to go to a store to get what they want, it can be sent to them. Time can be a commodity in today’s busy world. With the rise of ecommerce fashion consumers do not HAVE to go to the mall that often anymore. Nordstrom’s Trunk club is a convenient way for busy people who still want to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Bonobos

Bonobos is an ecommerce fashion company that makes tailored trousers. Just like shirts, it is difficult to find the perfect pair of trousers that fit you perfectly. To conquer this issue, Bonobos has developed a signature curved waistband that will help fit naturally around the waist. On top of that, the company offers free shipping and painless returns and exchanges.

Bonobos offers a service where customers can schedule a one hour appointment at one of their available Guideshop’s. Customers can also try on something from the store and find clothes that fit them perfectly with the help of a Guide. Get this, customers do not have to carry the items home themselves because Bonobos will send it to you!

The company is going a few noteworthy things to separate them from its competitors. Firstly, they came up with a solution to make wearing pants more comfortable. Second, the company creates a unique in store experience for its customers. A personalized experience its customers are sure to remember.

Everlane

Entrepreneurs Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas decided to start an ecommerce fashion business based on transparency. Which is exactly what customers today want and love.

Transparency is where this ecommerce business stands out. Both the founders are very open about any and all information on the business. They offer a detailed breakdown of their products (e.g material, hardware, labor, duties and transport). Not to mention, they are also honest about the cost of their products! They also let customers know the reason they are selling it for.

Customers do not have to worry where their money is going with Everlane because they tell you everything. The reason why customers love transparency is because they feel like they can trust the brand. Though, transparency can not be adopted by all business it may be something to consider adding to your company.

 

Article originally written by the Entrepreneur on 28th June 2017. Contributed by Thomas Smale.

 

 

 

 

 

Ecommerce Strategy: 5 Ways To Improve Your Business

ecommerce strategy

To all the entrepreneurs and businesses who are looking to break into the ecommerce world, the process might be a bit overwhelming. The ecommerce sector presents itself with endless opportunities for retailers and brands. For all the business who are seeking to take advantage of this every growing sector, there maybe some tough decisions you have to make. In the crowded ecommerce sector, every business is struggling to get the smallest opportunity with today’s tough  competition. Here are 5 ecommerce marketing tips to help improve your business growth.

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How A Shopping Cart Host Works

How A Shopping Cart Host Works

In today’s digital driven world, it is important that your business has an online presence. This is especially important if you are looking to expend and enter new markets. What today’s customers want is easy and instant access to products and services. The right shopping cart software can help you build and customize a website for your business and host an online store. Shopping carts also accept payments through a variety of gateways your company’s website, making it much easier for both you and your customer.

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