Ecommerce

More Business Buyers using Amazon

In a recent survey by B2BecNews, it was discovered that nearly 8 out of 10 business buyers were using Amazon to purchase and you would naturally think that it would be a place where manufacturers and distributors are planning to sell their products, if they are not doing so already.

Corporate buyers would love to see more sellers on the Amazon marketplace, but the survey revealed that the manufacturers and distributors surveyed had no future plans to sell on Amazon marketplace.

The survey, which covered corporate buyers from a range of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, industrial and healthcare products found that a staggering 78.4% of B2B buyers researched and made a purchase from Amazon Business, and it is possible that number would be even higher if more manufacturers made their products available on the B2B channel.

Only about 40% of manufacturers sell on either Amazon Business or Amazon.com, and nearly 50% of manufacturers that don’t sell on Amazon, did not have any plans to do so. 10% planned to do so in six months or less, just over 5% thought they would do so in six months to a year, another 13.5% had plans to sell in 1 to 2 years time, so many are ignoring the opportunity to tap into potential buyers who are seeking products that they may sell.

Corporate buyers, who are accustomed to buying online for their personal purchases, are looking for the same ease and simplicity when they make purchases for their business. Amazon B2B offers buyers a streamlined shopping experience which equals the ease with which buyers shop online for themselves.

Manufacturers and distributers who have a website or portal for buyers often believe that they don’t need to be on a marketplace, but research is showing that this is not the case. The opportunity to buy several types of products from different suppliers in one place is also attractive to busy executives.

The numbers below indicate where buyers are most likely to go for their purchases:

Amazon Business – 78.4%
Alibaba – 36.5%
ThomasNet – 28.4%
Global Sources – 24.3%
Wholesale Central – 16.6%

If you are interested in selling on a B2B portal, but not sure where to start, contact xocbox to learn how we can help. Tel 858-752-3803, or email info@xocbox.com.

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Extract Shipment Tracking Numbers from Multiple Dropship Suppliers

xocbox works with many retailers who rely on email to collect data from their suppliers and shipping providers, and all love the ease and simplicity of working with emails.  Emails offer infinite flexibility for the sender, but trying to extract uniform information from multiple providers is not as easy for the recipient.

One example of how xocbox is helping its customers is where an ecommerce store selling dropship products switched from using their own shipper to those of their suppliers, and asked for our help.

The retailer was receiving hundreds of emails throughout the day from all their suppliers’ shipping carriers, but the information varied from shipper to shipper making it difficult for the retailer to tie the tracking number to the order, as most of the notifications did not reference the order number, the main point of reference for the retailer.

xocbox was able to parse the information from the various emails and match the customer name to the order eliminating the need for an employee to go through every email and manually match it to the order.

xocbox can now parse data from incoming emails and, based on your requirements, process the data to integrate with other systems or applications that you work with in order to carry out specific tasks, thus eliminating hours of data entry.

If you love working with emails, but wish they could do just a little more without your help, contact xocbox today.  Call 858-752-3803 or email info@xocbox.com.

 

receiving emails
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A new way for furniture suppliers to onboard products

Furniture suppliers and retailers know that onboarding products to an ecommerce store can be a time-consuming task. Retailers often offer at least 50 to 100 different furniture manufacturers on their websites, and would gladly offer more, but to get started with a new supplier can often take weeks of data entry and mapping, and no two suppliers are ever exactly the same.

xocbox is now working with suppliers to catalog their products in order to provide aggregated content and images to retailers, and can support a variety of ecommerce platform APIs which eliminates the need for manual data entry.

If you are a furniture supplier looking for ways to assist retailers onboard your products in order to reach more sales outlets, read more here, or contact xocbox today at 858-752-3803.

dining room furniture
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More Online Stores add Bricks and Mortar Presence

 

All through 2017 and even into the beginning of this year we are learning of bricks and mortar stores closing.  Household names like Sears and Macy’s have seen many store closures and you could be forgiven for thinking that the long talked about demise of the bricks and mortar store is finally here.  Will 2018 be it?  No.

The numbers reported by Forrester and the National Retail Federation show a different picture, with more brands planning to open stores rather than close them this year. The best examples of these are stores that used to be ecommerce pure-play stores such as Warby Parker and Amazon.  These stores have realized that a physical presence helps to build their brand and increase market share both online and offline.

As retailers continue to evolve they are looking for ways to integrate both the digital and physical world and new ideas keep showing up in our in-store shopping experiences.  Self-checkout is becoming more and more common, and buy online and pick up in store is a great way to get people into the store to browse for more products.

Landlords are also taking notice, and realizing that many of the online stores that are just testing the waters in the bricks and mortar world will not want to sign a 10-year lease until they know they’ve got the selling formula right, have started to offer short-term leases or even pop-up store locations and the concept of the “anchor” tenant is probably long gone.

The list of etailers who have made the decision to go brick-and-mortar continues to grow – look out for these at your local mall – Bonobos, Casper, Untuckit… if they are not already  there, it’s just a matter of time.

pedestrians-and-shops
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EDI for Yahoo Stores Eliminates Data Entry

As ecommerce stores try to compete with Amazon and Walmart, they continue to seek ways to not only speed up the process from the time the customer places an order to actually receiving the product at their door, but also try to cut their own costs and become more efficient.

These two scenarios present a challenge because at first glance it appears that it is difficult to present the customer with a more efficient process from purchase right through to delivery, and lower administrative costs at the same time.

Yet xocbox has helped Yahoo Store Merchants do this by offering an EDI solution which enables them to eliminate some manual tasks, and frees up employees’ time so they can work on higher value projects.

Unlike some of the web-EDI solutions offered to online stores, the EDI solution that xocbox offers Yahoo stores is a fully integrated product which means that you do not have to re-key data into a third party product in order to pass the data on to the EDI trading partner.

A great benefit to Yahoo merchants is that this has allowed them to trade with suppliers who will only sell to them if they use EDI, enabling them to offer a much greater selection of products, and increase their sales revenue.

xocbox provided the back-end system required to achieve this, and worked with their suppliers to ensure that transactions were processed correctly. Once all testing was complete, they were up and running with a new supplier. No additional staff or training was required by the store to do this, and they were able to introduce a new line of products to their store.

With xocbox EDI Yahoo stores are able to manage their orders, and also product onboarding and inventory.

By transacting with your partners electronically you can save time, offer a greater range of products, and free up time to do other valuable tasks within your business.

If this sounds like something that would work for your store, learn more about the Benefits of xocbox EDI products here, or call xocbox at 858-752-3803.

For those looking to automate just about everything – from product onboarding, taking orders, and shipping products – read about the xocbox No Touch Store, where you literally don’t have to touch a thing.

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Google Shopping Ads No Longer Available on Some Platforms

Google Shopping ads have continued to grow over the past few years with retail marketers spending 36% more on these ads during the third quarter than they did in the same period a year earlier.

However, today is the day that Google will no longer make the Google Shopping ad integration available to Bigcommerce, Prestashop and Magento store merchants, and once again store owners are having to change their business practices to fit in with new rules introduced by Google.

Store owners for these platforms were sent an email in February advising them that their ecommerce platform API integration with Google Shopping ads would be ending on March 20.

The API integration is going away in order to focus on other integration solutions with the goal of offering a more seamless onboarding experience for Google Shopping ads. The API connected a merchant’s catalog of products with the Google Merchant Center in order to create the Shopping ads, whereas the new method involves retailers exporting their product data into a feed and then manipulating the feed to adhere to Google’s feed specifications.

The logic behind this is that Google is hoping to improve the data that is sent to the Google Merchant Center as the data will be more uniform as it conforms to Google’s specifications, whereas the data that merchants sent via the API was simply the data that merchants’ displayed on their own websites. The website data was not usually optimized for Google Shopping with titles, for example, excluding a great deal of the salient information that shoppers were searching for.

Those who were relying on the API integration will now have to find a new way to export their product data into a feed and this may, or may not, turn out to be a problem for retailers in the long run. There are also several free and third party apps that can fill this gap for merchants of these three platforms.

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