The Top Three Things You Can do to Enhance your eBay listings

The new normal, is anything but normal. We hope that you are all finding a path through this peculiar time and that you are managing to keep your eCommerce business going one way or another.

At StoreFeeder we are trying to help you navigate the pandemic and one idea we had was to ask some professionals for some advice to help with trading through this challenging time.

Enter Clare Haines, who is the owner of Network Executives, a company that specialises in consulting with eCommerce companies to help them grow the business.

Clare’s track record in this arena is excellent, having founded an online lingerie company in 2009 that went on to turnover more £7m per annum.

So, in order to give you grasp on getting the best from eBay, Clare has kindly shared with us the top three things you need to be considering with regards to your eBay listings. And they are as follows:

Tip 1
Check your item specifics – Most people create their listings then leave them to bring in the sales. However, eBay are constantly updating item specifics and to ensure that they are performing correctly and mapped correctly in the listing, you need to keep up to date with eBay’s changes. Creating the listing and not updating it and revising it, is one of the sure-fire ways to reduce that listings capacity to generate your sales.

Tip 2
Check your Titles – Again as with item specifics, people create a title and never look at it again. Creating titles for your listings is very important and generally people do not think, but when you scan some listings you will see some very basic information is missing. My advice is to create uniformed listings that contain the following: Name of item, type of item, specific keywords and flow. The first four words are the most important. So, for example of one my listings would be: ‘Panache Emily Balconette Bra‘  Try to use as much language as possible to ensure that you are really covering the item and leaving no doubts with someone searching as to what the item is.

Tip 3
Photography – Use manufacturer images if possible but be aware of model rights. If you take your own images you may need to invest in a small back drop – white is the best, in order to professionally present your products. Your product pictures need to be the absolute best that they can be – clear images showing the product, and its uses if possible. You are allowed up to 12 images per SKU, it would therefore be silly to not take full advantage of this. Your product in situ is always a good idea too. We need to remember that a lot of customers do not have natural visualisation skills, therefore the more you can demonstrate and show them, the closer you are to getting a sale. 

Things are going to change and the culture of online purchasing is going to grow exponentially, people who would not have used the internet to buy before will be using it now and that will be set to continue into the future.

One of our customers told us that listing and ensuring all of the data is presented as it should be to work in harmony with the market place and search algorithms is the most essential part of his business.

Try out the points above and let us know how you get on.

Network Executives helps customers get the best sales and growth out of their eBay channels and Clare can be contacted on: 07920424163.

COVID-19 – What are the Marketplaces doing for sellers?

It is an uncertain time in the eCommerce world. Some sellers are seeing big spikes in orders as Self Isolation boredom kicks in, while others have seen sales virtually disappear or they have taken the decision to shut their online business for the short term.

For the latter, this is a tough period, so what are the marketplaces like eBay and Amazon doing to support their sellers?

We took a look around their support pages and various news feeds to try and gather some information.

Unlike Amazon, eBay are reliant on their sellers in order to make money themselves (advertising aside), so you would expect them to be a little more “customer focussed” than their main rival.

eBay has a good support page for sellers to access information on a variety of questions. The support page can be accessed here

They also have a dedicated page for advice to sellers during the COVID-19 period which can be found here

Here are a few articles and help pages that we found:

Refunds on Shop Subscriptions if you close your eBay shop

For April and May (either or both), if you hide all your fixed price listings for the full month using the “holiday settings”, eBay will credit back your shop subscription fee for that month.

If you do the same for part of a month (13 days or more between the 1st and 25th of a month) then eBay will credit 50% of the subscription fee.

You need to “opt in” to be eligible for this and details on how to do this are found in the eBay statement in the link below.

You can see the full statement here

Payment holidays

eBay has announced a 30-day payment holiday for 300,000 business sellers registered on its site.

“We want to relieve some of the pressure you’re telling us you’re facing and give you the flexibility needed to sustain your business.”

More details on this can be found here

Fair Pricing

eBay has seen a tiny minority of sellers attempting to exploit other users at this difficult time by listing items at unreasonably inflated prices. eBay are clear that they do not support this activity and have been quick to remove such listings and have suspended some seller accounts.

“Our teams are working around the clock to ensure our site remains a safe and fair place to buy and sell, and so far we have removed over 350,000 Coronavirus related items and suspended hundreds of rogue accounts.”

The full article is available here

Changes to the out-of-stock duration

This is an uncertain time as suppliers face their own struggles to supply goods to eBay sellers. To allow for this, eBay have announced changes to the time period you can have your listing “out of stock”.

You can currently have your “Good ‘Til Cancelled” listings that have 0 inventory hidden from search results for 90 days before they will end and you lose sales history.

eBay have now doubled this period to 180 days to allow for increased supply issues during this period.

More information can be found here

Unlike eBay, Amazon sell and ship their own range of goods so the impact to them of reduced seller performance is not as great as it is for eBay.

We have already seen FBA inbound shipments greatly reduced except for items that are classed as “essential”.

That said, Amazon have offered greater assistance, more lenience and guidance to its sellers to still fulfill orders through SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime) and Merchant Fulfilled orders. More information on this can be found here

Relaxed Policies for Shipping Related Performance Metrics

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on sellers, Amazon have taken steps to reduce the impact on the “health” of your Seller Account.

They have relaxed current policies for shipping related performance metrics, specifically those relating to late shipping or canceling orders.

In the help article, Amazon have specifically answered the following questions:

1. What should I do if I am unable to fulfill any orders?
2. How do I cancel an order that I accepted, but I am suddenly unable to fulfill?
3. What do I do if a buyer requests that I cancel an order?

The full help article can be seen here

Amazon (Europe) Referral and FBA Fee changes

Amazon have just announced that referral and FBA fee changes go into effect on April 1, 2020, except where otherwise noted. For complete details, visit 2020 Referral and Fulfilment by Amazon fee changes summary (Europe) 

Temporary pause in removal orders and long-term storage fee waiver

To continue to be able to support the FBA operations for essential items, Amazon have temporarily paused removal operations in some of their fulfilment centres. This could mean that sellers stock is now “locked” in an FBA centre and unable to be sold.

You can continue to create removal orders, but there will be delays in completing the requests.

To compensate for this, Amazon are waiving the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in theUnited Kingdom FBA centres.

Further information can be found here

Temporary return window extension

To give customers more time to return items during this period, Amazon have temporarily extended the return window of their returns policy.

For orders on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.nl, and Amazon.com.tr, most items ordered on any of these websites between 15 February 2020 and 30 April 2020 can now be returned until 31 May 2020.

More details can be found here


In these unprecedented times it is good to see the marketplaces doing their bit to help their sellers.

Each marketplace is offering good advice but some of the help needs you to be proactive and register, so please look at all the advice and take the necessary actions to help your business through this period.

One again, the links to the main help pages for each marketplace can be found by clicking the links below:

Amazon
eBay

Stay safe and take care.

COVID-19 and Carriers

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to develop around the world, the carriers’ ability to deliver your orders is also changing.

As a helpful guide to keep you up to date, we have the links below to all the major UK carriers so you can get the latest information on shipments:

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

The latest information can be found here

Some tips for running your Warehouse during Coronavirus Lockdown period

The current Government advice is clear that online retail is open and encouraged. This, of course, means that the warehouses and logistic infrastructures behind the online sales also must remain open. That, in most cases, requires people to be at work.

Each online business should evaluate if they should remain operational or make the difficult decision to close for the foreseeable future.

If you decide to continue, it goes without saying that to get through this period, changes to working practices need to be maintained, people should work from home where possible, face to face meetings should be done via video or conference calls.

But a warehouse picker or a packer cannot work from home and the latest Government guidelines allow people to travel to and from work if they cannot work from home.

It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that we do all we can to keep up our duty of care to staff who are in the workplace.

These include:

Hand Washing

Giving all staff the facility to wash their hands, or use hand sanitiser, on entry into the building, and when leaving. This should be as close as possible to the entrance without the need to open and close internal doors if possible.

Making sure there are opportunities for staff to wash their hands and/or sanitise regularly throughout the day is also important.

Workstations

Many staff will have a workstation of their own anyway, but where staff share stations, say at the end of a shift etc, then extra care should be taken to make sure all areas of the workstation are wiped down with disinfectant before the station is passed over. Allowing extra time at the end of shifts to do this is important

Work Tools

It is easy to forget in normal circumstances that many people handle various tools throughout the working day “Lend me your knife”, “pass me that tape gun” etc are commonly heard throughout the day.

Provision to provide individuals with their own personal equipment should be made to minimise the sharing culture. And if items do need to be shared or handed over at the end of a shift, they to should be wiped down and sanitised.

As warehouses have more and more technology inside of them, with PDA’s, keyboards, touch screens and computer mice common items in today’s warehouses. The same rules apply, keep to your own personal items through your shift and ensure that devices etc are sanitised before they are handed over at the end of a shift.

PPE

Where possible, employers should try and provide disposable gloves, face masks etc to ensure that they are minimising the possible spread through hand and face contact.

Above all common sense is the key and ensuring that your staff adhere to the increased cleaning.

Employees

Of course, the health and safety of staff is the priority and of utmost importance. But warehouses still need to operate.

There are a few things we can consider to help our staff be as safe as possible:

  • Encourage staff to avoid public transport where possible. Allow them more flexible start and finish times to allow increased travel time.
  • Offer longer or shorter days. This could minimise crowding in the warehouse,
  • Rearrange packing benches etc to ensure staff remain the recommended 2m apart as much as possible in line with recommended social distancing.
  • Look at splitting your operation into multiple shifts. This will lower the number of staff in the warehouse at any time enabling you to continue operations but minimise staff contact.

Flexibility during this unprecedented period is the key to doing all you can to minimise the risks to your staff and offer the duty of care that you owe them.

The country as a whole is working together to get through this, and consumers are more realistic with their demands and understand that deliveries may be delayed or take longer during this time.

Warehouses, carriers and delivery operatives are all working very hard, but all with reduced staff numbers of operating hours so is not unreasonable to inform customers that orders may take slightly longer than normal.

Contingency Planning for Businesses

This is great advice anyway, but even more prevalent in this uncertain time.

Should you need to close your eBay or Amazon stores temporarily, be this for holidays or for other business suspension reasons, there are some useful tools available to help you suspend sales without losing stock and data information from StoreFeeder.

In the event that you need to cease dispatching orders due to the coronavirus, or a break in business activities, we’d recommend for eBay and Amazon that you enable Holiday Mode as this will be the quickest way to stop receiving new orders.

Amazon has a knowledge base for this help:
https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/G200135620

eBay has a knowledge base for this here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/selling/ebay-stores/managing-ebay-shop?id=4090

Some web stores will let you put your store into “Maintenance Mode” but for all other channels and web stores that do not provide this function, we’d recommend importing a Max inventory of 0 against all of your listings to ensure the listings cannot be bought but that your inventory stays correct.

BigCommerce has a knowledge base for this here:
https://support.bigcommerce.com/s/article/Maintenance-Mode

Shopify allows you to pause your site, their knowledgebase is here:
https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/your-account/pause-close-store

Magento2 has a guide for this here:
https://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.3/install-gde/install/cli/install-cli-subcommands-maint.html

WooCommerce lets you set up a coming soon page, guide here:
https://woocommerce.com/posts/how-to-set-up-a-coming-soon-page-for-woocommerce/#

The Support Team at StoreFeeder will be happy to talk you through these options if you need to activate them.

Latest Release Updates – 30th July 2019


Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post.

From record breaking temperatures in the UK last week to needing the heating on this week, who doesn’t love a British summer!!

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background but there have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:


Upgrade to our BluePark integration

We now import “Product Additions” on orders from BluePark.

Additions are used for personalising options by customers, for things such as “Engraving”

So at checkout customers can choose the addition and add detail to there order. So they choose “Engraving” and type in what they want it to be. This then comes through on the order as a “Item Option” on the order line


Enhanced filtering options when creating a Royal Mail manifest

We have added some filtering within the Royal Mail manifesting page

Although not strictly necessary to create an accurate manifest, you can now filter and select the items to manifest by the Royal Mail Packaging Size. i.e. Letter, Large Letter, Parcel etc

This means that you can create individual manifests for each filtered size should you wish to do so

It is important to note that not filtering orders like this will still result in the correct information being sent to Royal Mail OBA, but some customers have requested the ability to filter at this point and create individual manifests, so we listened!


Better visibility of Supplier Inventory

Many of our customers utilise feeds from suppliers to see the inventory that their suppliers are holding of a SKU

This information is available on the individual product pages, but we thought that better visibility was required

So now you can hover over the “Supplier Inventory” figure on the main Product Page and see a breakdown of all the suppliers and the stock available at that point, just like you can see stock location information when hovering over the “Inventory” figure

Just another small change to make life easier


Finally….

Please don’t forget that we have staff training coming up this Friday afternoon (2nd August). This means that the Support Team will not be available via the phone from 1.30pm. We will be monitoring tickets for urgent issues but any non essentials issues raised via ticket will be picked up on the morning of the 5th August as soon as possible.

Thanks for your understanding

There’s been some great new features and fixes implemented this release and we hope you find them useful in one way or another.

As always we’ll keep working hard to provide you with the best service we can.

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team

Important information about the StoreFeeder App

 

Important Information about the StoreFeeder App

With new devices coming out each year, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the speed at which technology advances.

Google stopped supporting any KitKat OS (4.4.*) version of Android in 2017, so we will soon be unable to continue releasing new versions of the StoreFeeder App on devices that run this Android version

From the end of June, we’ll no longer be able to update the StoreFeeder App on devices running any KitKat OS (4.4.*) or lower

Why are you stopping app updates for lower Android versions?

Google, the company looking after the Android operating system, stopped offering support for any KitKat OS (4.4.*) in 2017.

This means that there have been no updates for this version of the operating system, including some critical security fixes. So, in order to protect our Android users, we’ve decided to stop providing updates for these versions

When are you discontinuing it?

We’ll stop updating the App on Android devices running any KitKat OS (4.4.*) from the 30th June 2019

For security reasons, we advise all our Android users running any KitKat OS (4.4.*) to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system. By doing this you’ll help to protect your account and also gain access to all the latest updates and features of the StoreFeeder App – giving you the best experience

What will be the new minimum supported Android OS?

As of 1st July 2019, the minimum requirement for Android devices supported by the StoreFeeder App is Lollipop OS version 5.0.

What if my device doesn’t support Lollipop OS?

There won’t be an immediate effect on StoreFeeder App users on any KitKat OS (4.4.*) versions, you will still be able to run the current version of the StoreFeeder App.

However, we will no longer be releasing updated versions of the app to those devices, so we recommend upgrading to a newer version of the Android operating system

How do I check which version of Android I am running?

You can go to the settings on your device and click the “About Device” option and then “Software Information”. Under “Android Version” you will see a number. If this is 5.0 or above, then you are running a compatible version of Android on the device

 

Thanks

The StoreFeeder App Team

New – StoreFeeder Status Page

We have launched a great new page for you all to keep up to date with how StoreFeeder is operating.

The new StoreFeeder Status Page can be found at

https://status.storefeeder.com/

This page will show current operational statuses of a variety of aspects of the software and keep you up to date with any issues you may need to know about

You can also subscribe to this page and receive email notifications if any of the statuses change

Latest Release Updates – 4th February 2019

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post

Christmas seems a distant memory, Dry January has been and gone and the winter weather certainly seems to have arrived, but a little snow and frost does not stop StoreFeeder from bringing you some great new updates this month

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background but there have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:

OnBuy is now fully live

We have had an OnBuy integration for a few months now, but it only allowed you to download orders and send despatch notifications. Well, after some hard work, we can now offer the full OnBuy Package!

You can now manage inventory and list out to OnBuy providing that the products already exist in the OnBuy catalogue of products. If you want to list a product that is not currently in the OnBuy catalogue you have to add this product through the OnBuy portal for approval, but once it is active, you can list to it through StoreFeeder

You can now refund eBay orders through PayPal directly from StoreFeeder

           

We are particularly pleased with this update. You can now click straight through to the PayPal transaction for eBay orders and action the refund there and then. No need to log in to different portals, copy order numbers etc. Just click and refund!

This video explains a little more about the process.

 

To use this function you need to have PayPal set up as a Payment Gateway on StoreFeeder. You can see the KnowledgeBase Guide on how to do this here

As this is a new feature you also need to complete the section below, which is not detailed in the KnowledgeBase Guide

You can now edit Pending Transfers

We heard from a few users that on occasions it was necessary to adjust a pending transfer. You may have put 800 on a pending transfer and a pallet contains 820 units

It would be good if you could amend the pending transfer before it is actioned. Well now you can! On the Pending Transfer page on the main system, you can now see an edit button on each transfer

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This will pop up a new box where the transfer can be amended

Improvements to the Barcode Despatch function

When multiple products are required for an order, it was reported that some users were finding it hard to identify the other products required as the products did not show SKU or name on them.

So we have added both MPN and EAN on the area that shows which additional items the packer needs to find and scan to despatch the order.

Shopify Listings can now be “Unpublished”

Previously, StoreFeeder sending a zero qty to Shopify would mark the product as OUT OF STOCK. You can now choose to have these listing not show when stock reaches zero.

There is a new setting on the Shopify integration page. Switching this to ON will remove the listings on Shopify when inventory is zero

Coming Soon….

Keep your eyes out for a blog post around our new Quarantined Stock Feature

Finally….

As always, if you have any suggestions for improvements or further ways in which we can benefit your business, we would love to hear from you.

https://storefeeder.uservoice.com/

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team

Latest Release Updates – 29th November 2018

Welcome to the latest Release Update blog post

We hope you all had a successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, we have been hearing some very positive reports of increased orders and how well customers handled this increase using StoreFeeder, which is great to hear!

As always, there has been a lot of work in the background, notably our new Amazon Business integration which you may have seen on a previous blog post.

Amazon Business has arrived…

There have been some great updates and new features released this month, the highlights of which are below:

 

DPD labels through Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime

We have been able to produce Royal Mail Tracked labels through StoreFeeder from Amazon Shipping for Seller Fulfilled Prime orders for some time, but Amazon have struggled to get DPD labels approved when these labels are produced through Amazon Shipping from StoreFeeder.

Well, we are happy to let you know that we now have DPD labels signed off!!

This means you can now despatch Seller Fulfilled Prime orders through StoreFeeder and utilise the DPD shipping options

StoreFeeder now supports Magento 2 multiple stores

One instance of the Magento software can enable you to start multiple websites or store views that use, for example, different:

  • Default languages
  • Domain names
  • Categories

This flexible solution enables one Magento codebase and Magento Admin to administer and display different stores.

StoreFeeder now supports this functionality to give you greater selling options when using the Magento ecommerce platform

For more information on how to use this, please contact the StoreFeeder Support Team who will be happy to help

Electronic Customs Pre-Advice

The eagle eyed among you will spot a new section in the left menu on a Product page

This new Shipping & Handling section is a dedicated page for information regarding the shipping of the product in question. This will include Packaging Size & Packaging Quantity and Hazardous Goods Information and (all previously on the Additional Information tab)

There is also a new section on this page for information relating to the new Electronic Customs and Pre-Advice data being introduced globally.

You will be aware that from 1 January 2019, couriers will require you to provide electronic customs data, similar to that on a CN22 and CN23 when using Royal Mail. This is when sending items (excluding items of correspondence) to destinations outside the EU.

The process of electronically transmitting that data is done through StoreFeeder and there is no change in process for our users

However, there is certain information that the couriers will require for this and users will need to make sure that this information is correct within StoreFeeder.

These include:

  • Country of Origin
  • Harmonised System (HS) Trade Tariff code
  • Item details (it is important to provide an accurate and concise description of goods, quantity, weight and value)

More information on this can be found here

Changes to Exchange Rates

StoreFeeder currently uses a link to a currency feed to calculate prices when converting from other currencies back to £GBP. 

Feedback from customers has been that a number of companies buy currency in blocks and have a set exchange rate for a period of time so they needed the ability to now set an exchange rate to cover this

So you can now set an exchange rate in StoreFeeder that is used for currency conversions and will remain constant, regardless of market fluctuations, until it is amended within StoreFeeder

Improved functionality to Pre-Despatch

StoreFeeder currently allows you to select orders for pre-despacth (produces label and marks order as despatched on channel)

Feedback suggested that doing this on the orders grid was not user friendly, so we have now extended this functionality to allow you to pre-despatch the shipping labels when you create a pickwave.

To use this function, you need to generate the pickwave as normal and then enter the pickwave by clicking the Pickwave ID number. At teh top right you will now see a new button called “Pre-despatch Actions”

Clicking the “Pre-despatch Pickwave” button will carry out the Pre-despatch fuction for the orders on the pickwave

The real benefit to this option is that that the courier labels are generated in the background while the orders are being picked and the labels are simply reprinted when the order is despatched, thus speeding up the despatch process.

Improvements to the Suggested Stock Transfers

Following on from the improvements to the functionality of Suggested Transfers last month, we have made a couple of further improvements

We heard from a number of clients that there needed to be better search options for finding products, so we acted and we have added columns detailing Product Name, Manufacturers Part Number (MPN)  and Supplier SKU

These will be “hidden” columns by default but you can show them on the main grid by clicking the filters icon and activating the columns

 

 

For users of the StoreFeeder App only

Next Pick Location

We have made some changes to the Picking functionality to show the next pick bin on the picking page, so that users can see where they are going next before they click the “Next” button

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New End of Picking Process

When a picker has picked all the items on the pickwave, clicking “Next” will now take them to a new “end of picking” screen. This will give the picker options to add notes, print the pickwave summary and finish the pickwave

Improved Search functionality

When searching for a product on the app, on either the “Inventory” or “Transfers” pages, if there is no EAN (barcode) on the product, then users could only previously search by SKU as an alternative. We realise that not everyone knows the SKU of every product, so we have added the ability to search for products using both name as well

A little change that will really help people out!

 

Coming Soon….

Fedex Integration

We are very close to launching our Fedex integration, so keep an eye out for a blog announcing its release!

DHL Integration

And the big name links keep coming with the addition of DHL to our integrated carriers that users can use to ship their orders through StoreFeeder. We are a matter of days away from this going live, so keep an eye out on the blog for further information

If you have a DHL account and want to start using this through StoreFeeder, contact the Support Team who will discuss available services and advise when you will be able to use DHL services

Retrospective Stock Reports

This one has been asked for by numerous clients, so we listened! You will be able to input a date and time from the past and StoreFeeder will email you a .CSV file with the inventory stock levels at that point in the past.

So put the calculators down and close the spreadsheets, the data is right there for you.

Keep an eye on the blog page for updates on all these upcoming features!

Finally….

As always, if you have any suggestions for improvements or further ways in which we can benefit your business, we would love to hear from you.

https://storefeeder.uservoice.com/

From all of us here at StoreFeeder, happy selling.

The StoreFeeder Team