Retail

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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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.

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Predicted Retail Trends in 2018

Five  important retail trends to look out for in 2018 were outlined in a recent report by Synchrony using data from a consumer survey carried out in January 2018.

As you would expect technology and AI featured heavily in the list, and here are the highlights below:

1. Voice Technology – 51% Shop Using a Smart Speaker

The report shows that 30 percent of consumers now own a voice-controlled device, and this is good news for retailers as consumers are using these devices to shop.  51 percent of these owners are shopping using a smart speaker.  Many retailers are also looking into ways to use voice technology coupled with AI, such as using purchase data to automatically order regularly purchased items.

2. The Car as a Connected Shopping Channel

It is expected that by 2020, 75% of new cars will be connected to the internet.  This will mean that drivers will be able to make purchases in advance from their car.  This is an exciting opportunity for retailers and many are already investing in location technology and the connected car is a great way to use location marketing to drive additional sales.

3. Using AI to Create Customized Shopping Experiences

Many companies are already exploring this technology.  A Gartner survey of  IT and Business Leaders carried out in March 2017 found that over half of those taking part in the  study expect to be using machine learning within the next three years.

Retailers are exploring AI in connection with personalization, as studies have shown that 51% of shoppers said that receiving a relevant offer from a retailer would make them more likely to shop there more often.

Retailers are also exploring more ways to use machine learning for automating customer offers based on past behavior, managing stock and inventory levels, and personalizing offers, and gifts.

4. Retail Mobile Apps

The Synchrony Study revealed that 63 percent of those in the US, and 81 percent of Millennials, have downloaded a retailer mobile app and the time spent shopping with a retailer mobile app is on the rise.

Retailers have a perfect opportunity to find out more about customers shopping habits and preferences with an app, and are able to present further relevant information and offers through the app, and shoppers love apps because they have access to more offers and the ability to purchase items quickly.

5. Social Responsibility

Shoppers love shopping at retailers that share their values and some shoppers have said they will even stop shopping at a store that is at odds with their beliefs.  In response to this many retailers are donating to charities or disaster relief, or working with a group to help achieve their core beliefs.

So there are many considerations for retailers to take into account over the coming year, as consumers embrace technology and information in innovative ways to change the way they shop.

 

 

 

echo dot
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Pre-Orders for Woocommerce Stores

If you sell a product that is something your customers anticipate and can’t wait to purchase as soon as it hits the stores, then offering the ability to pre-order is a great way to attract new customers and entice existing customers back to your store.

The xocbox pre-order module was designed with your Woocommerce store in mind.  Unlike some of the pre-order plugins that are available, the xocbox module has the advantage of allowing customers to shop in the normal way and add items to their shopping cart, and also add pre-order items to the same cart.

When it’s time to checkout the whole amount of the cart is authorized, but only the available items are charged to the customer, and shipped.

When the pre-order items arrive in your store, funds are collected from those who have pre-ordered, and the items are shipped to them together with their tracking information.

This year  we worked with a publisher who added the pre-order module to their book store, and it has been a great hit with their customers.    They offer titles as ebooks, print books, or a combination of print and ebook.

As new titles are prepared for sale, they can keep in touch with customers and update them on pre-order dates and publication dates for both ebooks and print books, and their customers are then the first to receive new titles they are interested in.

xocbox worked with the publisher to create custom product pages and messages on their website, and also create custom email messages for each stage of the pre-order process.

Pre-orders are a great addition to any store that sells new and seasonal products where the store owner can predict the product arrival date in their store.

Books, games, electronics and fashion items are perfect products for pre-order, and enable you to keep in touch with past customers to let them know of new products they may like, and be the first to receive.

If you would like to learn more about the xocbox pre-order module, call 858-752-3803, or read more here.

xocbox Pre-Order Module

 

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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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