Category — Week in Review
Business Trends 2011
More consumer spending will be done via social network consensus this year. Friends tend to Twitter friends about what to buy, and this trend applies to community shopping sites as well.
Mobile device owners say that what they want now are payment and search options, rather than spammy pleas to buy. Gowalla and Foursquare are the next big thing in social networking.
Look for both preventive medicine and health social networking to surge in 2011. Mobile bodily function monitoring is already big, and will get even bigger. And it looks like the medical establishment will have to get sexy when marketing to monied and discerning consumer.
The catchphrase “trusted network” will be even more meaningful. Content providers’ choice of mobile apps will become more important. Consumers want zero hassle, practical apps, and will pay the right provider to get them.
Frugal CEOs are going green! Eco-businesses that can save small business owners hard, cold cash will themselves be in the green this year.
As part of a full circle movement from the cold, impersonal institutional norm, companies will have to become consumer centric and even warm and fuzzy to nab new business. http://blog.dhgate.com/biz-trends-2011.html
The Best Wedding Trends of 2011
According to Koyal Wholesale, the biggest overall trends will be:
• Personalized services
• Hair adornments: feathers, flowers and headbands
• Cupcakes in boutique wrappings
• LED floralytes
• Dresses: corset top and dropped waists
• Inexpensive jewelry
• Bright color combinations: coral/navy, honeysuckle/lime green
• Birdcage veils
The wedding color of the year is honeysuckle pink. Big themes are eco-weddings, diamonds, damask and monograms. If one is having a diamond-themed celebration, one can decorate with diamond mesh ribbons, sparkly confetti and all things crystal.
For a special accent piece to attend a wedding or other special event, why not some unique ear bling: rhinestone disco ball earrings?
Purchasing fashion jewelry can brighten up any woman’s wardrobe without a strain on the budget. Multicolored fashion jewelry is a great conversation starter, and is sure to draw compliments.
Shower curtain options from Hutter Wholesale
When it comes to bathroom décor, Homedit claims that the humble shower curtain gives the most bang for one’s buck, hands down. For just a few dollars, one can express individuality, and change their mind several times a year if they like. What other decorating feature can make that claim?
Of the four possible material options (vinyl/plastic, nylon and fabric), plastic is the least expensive. It’s easy to clean and lasts a long time. If one prefers a beach or water design, plastic is the best choice.
If one has a big, messy brood or lives in a humid climate, nylon is the material of choice. If the curtain will need frequent washings, nylon stands up to the challenge.
Poly/cotton shower curtains are also washable, repel moisture and don’t adhere to surfaces. They can be waterproofed if desired
January 28, 2011 No Comments
Spike In Wholesale Food Prices
Biggest news coming out of the wholesale sector this week is the rise in the wholesale food prices, driven by the cold spell that hit Florida late last year. The freezing temperatures hit just before many truck vegetable crops were due to be harvested. Some tomato growers lost as much 50% of their crop; other farmers reported devastating losses to green beans, cucumbers, sweet corn and squash harvests. Consumers can expect to see this reflected in supermarket price hikes: In December 2010, the wholesale price of vegetables was a whopping 22.8% higher than it was one year earlier, while the price of fruit was up 15.4%.
Fruit and vegetables are not the only comestibles whose costs have spiked. According to a recent Department of Labor Producer Price Index report, the wholesale cost of meat is rising too though as yet these costs have not been passed along to the consumer. The price of beef a rose 2.7% in December 2010 – that’s 15% higher than it was the year before. Pork, fish and turkey are all up around 20% over last year at this time.
Coupled with the escalating cost of gasoline (pump prices rose 5% in December 2010) the rise in wholesale food prices have some economists whispering the dreaded I word – inflation. Not to worry, say other economists, pointing out that apart from food and gasoline, most consumer goods prices have held steady. [From The Christian Science Monitor]
Egg In Your Face
It’s not just the prices of fruits and vegetables that are soaring, it’s also the cost of eggs. But not legitimately, claim a Kansas City organization called Associated Wholesale Grocers who say the price hikes are part of price fixing scheme on the part of a “cartel” of egg producers.
The suit filed in Kansas City’s US District Court, charging that egg producers violated antitrust laws, is the latest in a series of similar litigations filed nationwide by wholesalers and grocers. The price fixing scheme began in 1999, Associated Wholesale Grocers claims; by 2008, the price of a dozen eggs in Kansas City at $2.20 had more than doubled in price from what it was six years before at $1.00.
Egg industry trade groups counter that the increase in egg prices is due to an Animal Care Certified Program that has reduced the number of laying hens per cage.
Two settlements have already been made in comparable lawsuits. Land O’ Lakes has agreed to pay $25 million though it is admitting no culpability, and smaller, Minnesota-based Sparboe Farms Inc. has agreed to provide information about the alleged price fixing to federal authorities. [Kansas City Star]
Wholesale Inventories Decline Unexpectedly
In other wholesale-related news, November 2010 wholesale inventories declined on average .2% throughout the US while wholesale sales climbed 1.9%. The inventory drop was the biggest in almost a year.
Many economists, who’d had been expecting a modest increase in wholesale inventories, see this as a sign that the modest economic recovery that buoyed 2010 has stalled since unchanging inventory levels are often indicators of a stagnant economy. Other economists, however, point to the decline as a positive sign that means supply is outpacing demand. [Marketwatch]
The iPhone’s Role In the Trade Deficit
Finally out of China comes the news that iPhone may be playing a part in the Sino-American trade deficit – at least on paper. While iPhones are assembled in China, only one of the iPhone’s parts is actually manufactured there. Nevertheless, because the iPhone ships from within China, the entire $178.96 wholesale value of the gets added into the trade figures on the Chinese side, leading to a $2 billion trade surplus on paper. A more accurate figure, analysts say, would be $73 million. [TUAW: the Unofficial Apple Weblog.]
Rising food prices: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2011/0113/Inflation-rate-headed-up-The-impact-of-higher-food-energy-prices
Decrease in wholesale inventories: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wholesale-us-inventories-decline-02-in-novmber-2011-01-11?reflink=MW_news_stmp iPhone: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/01/15/iphone-increases-us-china-trade-deficit-by-2-billion/
January 21, 2011 No Comments
Large retailers are following the trend to go green, and wholesalers may want to take advantage of this opportunity by accumulating goods that major retailers will no longer keep in stock. It is suggested that wholesalers interested in capitalizing on this opportunity keep an eye on a couple of vertical sites that lean towards green technology. When prices begin to drop on non-green items that the retailer will no longer carry, it would be beneficial to the wholesaler to make a move before too many other bids are offered.
As 2010 comes to a close, Drop Ship Access offers five tax tips for those new to the dropship business. These tips include: do not incorporate; consider all possible allowable expenses, such as mortgage, internet, and office supplies; keep in mind that private health insurance is an allowable expense; likewise, a self retirement plan may be deductable; and vehicle expenses may be deducted if the vehicle is used in conjunction to the business.
It is worth the effort to put time into your business’s website in order to assist in your online search engine rank. Ten tips to assist you in taking advantage of SEO include using appropriate keywords, making sure URL’s are simple, updating content on a regular basis, having a site map, creating multiple domain names, connecting with other sites, and monitoring the traffic on your site.
With the joy of the holiday season also comes the hassle of holiday returns. Online retailers need to be sure to have an efficient, customer-oriented return policy in order to ensure holiday, as well as future, business success. That return policy needs to be in place and posted for all customers to see prior to a customer’s purchase. If and when returns do occur, be sure that any employees you may have are able to process returns and refunds while remaining friendly and not interrogating the customer in regards to the reason for the return.
December 24, 2010 No Comments
Dropship Tips: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Ecommerce
For those new to dropshipping, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and, in short, allows search engines to find a specific website. Keywords are essential for SEO, and it is recommended that good keywords that point directly to a product or type of product being sold be used in the title, URL, and 5-7% of the content of a retail site.
Google is modifying the way retailers appear on searches. In the past, retailers appeared based on relevance; however, Google is now taking into account customer reviews, with those businesses receiving negative reviews falling to the bottom of the list. Google claims that they will monitor reviews to be sure that authentic comments are being made. This should be a reminder to all e-retailers to place an emphasis on good customer service.
Online sales are up 12% from this time last year. This is most largely attributed to free shipping offers. There was a 20.8% increase on free shipping orders the last week of November from the same week in 2009. Retailers continue to have success offering free shipping as the average order with free shipping is 30% higher than an order that does not include free shipping.
In a survey asking consumers to consider fraud protection, product search availability, and a website’s ease of use, 30% stated that fraud protection is the most important attribute. The three sites consumers were to focus on included eBay, Overstock.com, and Zappos.com. 78% of those surveyed considered eBay to have the best fraud protection as well as the most attractive site layout and least amount of glitches.
Google Instant shows search results as the searcher is typing. Online retailers need to adapt SEO in order to be seen with this new search enhancement, and the following four suggestions are offered to assist with this adaptation. Make sure the website is up-to-date and will catch a viewer’s attention, include well-written meta-descriptions, write descriptive alt tags, and compose enticing header tags.
December 17, 2010 No Comments
Etsy: An Online Business Alternative – November 8, 2010
Etsy.com is an alternative to eBay and other auction sites for those who wish to start an online business. Etsy is specifically for those with handmade or unique products. Etsy collects a fee for each listing and receives a percentage of the final selling price of each item. Like other online retail sites, Etsy offers multiple product search options so that customers can locate items. For those new to online retail and trying to sell unique merchandise, Etsy can be an easy way to begin a business and promote a product.
Social Media Marketing: Get AddThis FREE for Your Dropship Business! – November 10, 2010
AddThis is a tool available that can allow online retailers to know which social sites customers are using to share the retailer’s content. This then assists retailers in knowing which social media share buttons to incorporate on the site, keeping the site purposeful and less cluttered. AddThis is easy to install and is available free of charge.
E-commerce Emerges from the Recession with a Larger Share of Consumers’ Wallets – November 11, 2010
E-commerce sales are continuing to increase and now make up nearly 10% of all consumer spending, with the top 25 e-retailers claiming almost 70% of all online sales in the 3rd quarter of 2010. The largest increase in online spending was from middle income households, those making between $50,000 and $100,000. And the products that saw the most growth in sales were books and magazines, computers and personal electronics.
What Makes So Many Startups Fail – November 11, 2010
Only 30% of all new businesses see a ten-year anniversary. In order to ensure that a business is successful and can stand the test of time, it is essential to have a fully-developed business model that is able to be modified depending upon the needs of the business. In addition, it is critical to pay close attention to all expenditures as well as income. Finally, it is recommended to be constantly seeking outside advice and perhaps even instituting a board of directors for the business.
When Disaster Strikes, Customer Relationships Can Be Critical – November 11, 2010
Recently, Hannats, a British business, was susceptible to fraud as its credit card company’s security was breached. Hannats handled the incident very well and gained respect from its customers because of their appropriate response to the breach. All companies should keep the following in mind in the event of such a crisis: do not be deceptive, contact all customers and continue to update them until the situation is resolved, avoid placing blame, thank others for their patience as the matter is being handled, try to implement partial solutions until the full matter is resolved, and work to create relationships with customers prior to such an event so that they know to trust your word and your business.
November 12, 2010 No Comments
Don’t Let Your Holiday E-Marketing Plans Run Off the Rails – October 23, 2010
During the holidays, it is imperative to have a clear marketing strategy. E-Commerce Times suggests that timing, incentives, and learning from the past are all factors to consider in that marketing strategy. More specific suggestions are offered such as beginning holiday promotions early, reviewing databases of customers, and reviewing the creative aspects of the website and messages. In addition, e-retailers should remain positive in regards to holiday sales. It is important to look at the long term and focus on the customer, whether returning or new to the site.
News: 4 Sneaky Shopping Scams – October 26, 2010
When it comes to online retail experiences, both shoppers and sellers need to be aware of shopping scams. Four scams that are currently being used are smishing, the text message version of phishing; small charges, scammers only charge credit cards small amounts hoping that the cardholders remain oblivious; membership programs, often pop-ups that appear on retail sites hope to “enroll” you as a member or customer on another site; and counterfeit electronics, knock-offs of popular brands that are made at a lower standard.
5 Pages Every Website Should Have – October 27, 2010
Though it may seem time consuming and not essential as many people tend to skip over the fine print, every retail site should contain the following five pages to reassure customers: Terms of Service/Conditions, Privacy Policies, Contact Us, About Us, and Frequently Asked Questions/FAQ.
5 Tips To Maximize Online Sales – October 27, 2010
In order to ensure that an e-commerce site is among the best, Top Ten Wholesale Blog offers five tips. Be sure that the site is attractive and easy to navigate. Create a simple checkout process. Offer more than one method for customer contact. Push to make the site visible on a Google or similar search engine search. Provide coupons or other offers to persuade customers to return to the site. Continually update the site to be sure it is seasonally accurate.
Gallup Predicts Flat Holiday Spending – October 28, 2010
A recent Gallup Poll found that consumers plan to spend an average of $715 on holiday gifts. This is only down slightly from last year’s average of $740. In addition 27% of consumers anticipate spending less this season while 11% intend to spend more and 59% intend to spend roughly the same as in years past. While these figures are not alarming, there has still not been a substantial increase since larger drops in previous years.
October 29, 2010 No Comments
New Confirmed Dates for Fashion Week OFFPRICE Shows Announced – October 18, 2010
The OFFPRICE Show featured during Fashion Week in Las Vegas is to be held February 11-14, 2010 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. This is a change from the original dates. The OFFPRICE show is a unique opportunity for wholesale sellers as apparel, shoes, and other accessories can be found for 20% to 70% below wholesale cost. With over 450 vendors to be in attendance, this is a show you may not be able to afford to miss.
10 Tips For EBay Auction Optimization – October 19, 2010
As usual, eBay sellers can expect a higher level of competition during the holiday season than throughout the rest of the year. WholesaleMatch offers ten tips on ensuring your auction listings rise to the occassion. A few of these suggestions include: offer combined shipping, schedule auctions to end in one or two days as opposed to a week, use simple and accurate keywords to ensure buyers can locate your items, start auction prices low, and create descriptive and readable auction listings.
10 Tips For EBay Auction Optimization – October 19, 2010
As has become a trend, electronics are sure to be popular this holiday season. If you are interested in tapping into this market, the following items are predicted to be top sellers for 2010: E-Readers, the iPad being the most popular; Tablets and Notebooks, again with the iPad being at the top of the list; Gaming, Microsoft’s Kinect XBox 360 should be a hot seller; 3D, this includes televisions, video games, and cameras; and Digital Cameras.
5 Products To Reconsider Before Adding As a Niche – October 21, 2010
In order to have a successful online business, it is helpful to have a product niche. When deciding what your niche might be, you may want to consider avoiding five product categories. Car parts, while popular, can be costly in regards to shipping due to their size and weight. Books and textbooks drop quickly in value as new editions are released. Swimsuits are one of the most commonly returned items due to sizing difficulties. Electronics can be challenging as many brand-name items are not available to resellers. Restricted products may only be available to licenced sellers and have few suppliers.
Updates to eBay Feedback Policies May Impact Your Dropship Business – October 21, 2010
EBay has recently updated its feedback policy. Sellers will automatically receive a five-star DSR rating when they offer and provide fast and free shipping. While this may indeed help sellers to receive five-star ratings, it can be a hinderance as shipping costs must be factored into the price of an item in order to ensure the apporpriate profit margin. Therefore, sellers who offer free shipping may have their items listed at a higher cost than the competition and will pay higher Final Value Fees as items will be set at higher prices than if charging for shipping.
October 22, 2010 No Comments
Advertising Made Easy for Your Wholesale Business – October 4, 2010
For those new to the internet wholesale business, three advertising tips are offered to help bring a particular business to the forefront. Be sure to use 21st Century advertising techniques as opposed to a more antiquated technique like cold-calling. Consider using paid search advertising such as banner ads to reach a wider population. Join a trade or industry organization to learn from more experienced business owners and operators as well as to circulate your name and business.
E-retailers Capture More than a Third of All Halloween Consumers – October 5, 2010
Internet Retailer recently conducted a poll and found that 35% of all consumers who purchase Halloween merchandise will do so online, with the average shopper spending between $25 and $100. The largest consumer demographic, at 46%, is 18-34 year olds. Shoppers are attracted to online sellers for convenience, selection, lower prices, and the ability to comparison shop. The largest incentive to purchase from a particular seller is a free shipping offer.
The Secret to Setting Great Prices… and Still Making Money – October 6, 2010
Appropriate and competitive pricing is essential to running a profitable business. A variety of pricing options are offered for consideration depending upon the business and its inventory. Cost-based pricing is a simple method for small internet retailers while competition-based pricing may be more effective if time to research is not an issue. Penetration pricing may be an option for some new sellers, and price bundling can be a way to move slow-selling inventory.
Ebay has recently streamlined its buyer protection and customer service process in order to provide greater assurance to both buyers and sellers. If an issue between buyer and seller arises, the first step is to contact the other party and try to keep the issue between the two parties. If a resolution is not achieved in a timely fashion, ebay customer service should be contacted so as to act as a mediator between the two parties. If the issue is not resolved but the item is covered under buyer protection, ebay will refund the full purchase price. Though there are a few exceptions, the buyer protection plan covers all items purchased through an approved online credit card processing company.
Social Media Marketing Tips for your Dropship Business – October 7, 2010
Social media marketing is an efficient and fairly simple way to market a business; however, tips are offered to ensure that it is being used correctly. The seller should have a goal/purpose for using social media marketing, compose informative and engaging posts or tweets, be aware of the target audience, be authentic, and comment on other posts by tactfully offering advice in areas of expertise.
October 8, 2010 No Comments
Simple Ways to Get a Five-Star DSR Rating for Your EBay Business – September 27, 2010
Achieving a five-star descriptive seller rating should be a priority to any ebay business owner. Ratings are awarded in four categories: items as described, communication, ship time, and shipping and handling. Three suggestions on how to achieve five-star ratings and the incentive discount on Final Value Fees that can accompany them are to communicate with buyers, avoid trying to make money on shipping, and thank customers for their business.
Helpful E-Commerce Tips – Selling Tips Online – September 27, 2010
The goal of any online business should be to create a positive shopping experience for the buyer. Tips for selling online products include providing enticing images of new and featured products, avoiding unnecessary animation that slows down the site, utilizing a strong search engine, offering multiple payment options, and keeping clicks to a minimum so that customers do not have to browse through more than four pages in order to find or buy an item.
Twitter Social Networking Success Stories For Small Business – September 29, 2010
Twitter, also thought of as “digital-word-of-mouth,” can be a simple, inexpensive and effective method of enticing and communicating with potential buyers. To begin, one only needs to set up a free Twitter account and have friends become a part of his following. A business owner that can build a Twitter following can create a poll to better understand customers or advertise a special promotion in seconds. And as positive relationships are formed with current customers, a larger following and greater success is sure to follow.
Home Dropship Business Start-Up Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make – September 29, 2010
Though a dropship business can be started rather quickly and inexpensively, there are three common mistakes that new buisness owners are prone to make. To save time and money when starting a dropship business, be sure to have a thorough plan in regards to the website, products, and advertising; mark up items from the wholesale cost in order to make a worthwhile profit and not just a lot of sales; and, only do what is necessary to start the business so as to avoid excess stress by trying to accomlish too much as a new business owner.
Why You Should Use Email Marketing for Your Dropship Business – September 30, 2010
Statistics show that email marketing yields the largest return on a seller’s investment. To start an email marketing strategy for a dropship business, the seller should first provide a subscription form on the website as well as an incentive for a buyer to subscribe. Once a satisfactory subscription list has been compiled, the seller can begin to send out newsletters and promotional emails to bring buyers back to the site. It is highly recommended to send out promotions around holidays, not forgetting the more minor holidays as they too can be money-making opportunities.
October 1, 2010 No Comments
Does Free Shipping Pay Off? – September 15, 2010
Customers can shop numerous retail sites that offer free shipping; however, sellers need to know whether that free shipping offer is worth it. To know whether free shipping really does improve a site’s business, retailers who have already found success with free shipping promotions suggest experimenting with different product categories and pricing strategies. The goal is to get the customer to purchase more. This may be achieved by only extending free shipping to higher-margin products or by setting a minimum-purchase threshold.
7 Tips for Tapping Into the Product Video Sales Bonanza – September 15, 2010
As the holiday season approaches, on-line retailers will be rushing to upload more videos to their sites. The reason is that on-line videos are proving to be quite effective in showcasing products as they engage potential buyers and ultimately increase sales. Seven suggestions on how to increase sales with the use of video are provided, including: select the best video production format for the site – full production video or the more cost-effective automated video; create videos of best-selling products first; embed current marketing messages and incorporate product reviews in the video; and ensure the video will be viewed by uploading to a popular website.
Work From Home As an eBay Dropshipper – September 13, 2010
eBay is the premier online auction venue, and an opportunity for a home business is to become an eBay dropshipper. Dropshippers simply select items of interest from a wholesale dropship product source and list them. It is suggested to write product descriptions and provide personal photographs for each item. There is no need to house any inventory. An eBay dropshipper is only responsible to sell product while the wholesale product source stores, packages, and ships all items.
September 17, 2010 No Comments