Saturday, October 17

Ecommerce

Square payments is not so square after all!
Ecommerce, Retail, Security, Small Business, Technology

Square payments is not so square after all!

Square payments made us rethink our payment processing. Our company has multiple online interests and occasionally and very rarely we get a chargeback.  Much like most of the retail population out there, chargebacks do happen and its a part of doing business.  Sometimes it is the mistake of the customer who placed the order but didn't recognize the transaction, other times it is outright fraud.  In that case, the merchant has the ability to dispute the chargeback and provide evidence supporting the charge. Square fails with chargebacks! We were fairly new to the Square experience, having used their service for just under a year for our credit card transactions.  And then it happened.  We received a chargeback and then another chargeback from an eerily similar customer.  The...
eBay will fail long term.
Ecommerce, Small Business, Technology, The Future

eBay will fail long term.

eBay will fail long term, and here is why. I used to be an eBay Powerseller and now I can't stand them.  Furthermore, I think that their current business strategies are destined to fail long-term. When eBay started, they embraced everyone and anyone selling products who were trying to meet the needs in the marketplace. The starting story of eBay is pretty fascinating.  Well I thought it was pretty fascinating story about how the owner started the site based on an interest in selling PEZ dispensers.  That is, until I learned later it was a completely fabricated story to help create interest in the website. Strike one. Dishonesty. If they cannot profit from it in a big way, they have very little interest. This is clear from their indications that they wil...
Competition: Good or Bad for a Small Business?
Ecommerce, Retail, Small Business

Competition: Good or Bad for a Small Business?

Many people have talked to me about business and offered a glimpse of what they focus on when it comes to running a small business.  With regards to competition, its usually framed in a way that sounds whiny, cry-babyish, like, “seriously, how do you survive out there with all the competition“.  Thankfully, I realize that its a natural protection mechanism that we all have built in.  People want to protect themselves from bad things, from bad experiences in life.  Where it appears there is even a little risk, its easy to [level-premier-free]reason away what could be a good thing by focusing on a factor like competition. Competition doesn't define you. OBJECTIVE:    To show the reader that while competition is something to be aware of, its nothing to be afraid of.  Competition is ...
Ecommerce, Retail, Technology

Should my website have the best prices?

     The past 15 years I've been selling online, focusing on what makes ecommerce work.  I studied the eye-path of the customer, great web design, and the things that generally make a website successful in the online marketplace. One of my focuses early on was pricing.  Originally, I thought like everyone else in ecommerce that having the best prices online was required.  It became clear that the larger companies and larger competition out there constantly beat the drum of traditional retail and traditional retail pricing schemes. And I must admit, early on I did to.   I kept up with the sales of competition and make the necessary discounts in order to secure sales from customers who focus on price.   And then it dawned on me. What if I hired a [level-premier-free]programmer to write...
One single supplier is best!
Ecommerce, Retail, Small Business, Technology

One single supplier is best!

One single supplier is the chosen way to handle your distribution chain. When you have more than one suppler, things become very complicated, very quickly. The objective of this post is to provide the e-commerce store owner the considerations of having more than one supplier. This is called your distributor/strategic alliance/partner or even your "warehouse". It will touch on the various layers of middlemen in a supplier/retailer relationship and outline questions to contemplate. To maximize your profits when selling online, it is essential that you understand this. Many companies online offer products for sale to customers - that is the easy part.  Fulfillment is the trick. The author of this article has been selling online for over 12 years utilizing a single distributor. The ...
Ecommerce, Retail

Is a Franchise a good investment?

Is a franchise the best business investment?  In the opinion of this 15 year veteran of online only sales, the answer is a resounding NO.  Here's what you must know if considering a franchise. Early on our family looked to start a business serving the local community, offering a shipping service.  Researched and reviewed all the different franchise opportunities,  the costs and weighed the benefits over the downside.  Here's what we found:   ADVANTAGES: The manual on how its done.  Most franchise opportunities will give you great deal of information on how the process works from beginning to end.  This includes start up procedures, planning, negotiating deals with vendors and landlords, etc. Network of discounted [level-premier-free]supplies or services. National or reg...
Is Drop-ship a Recipe for Failure?
Ecommerce, The Future

Is Drop-ship a Recipe for Failure?

 Is drop-ship a recipe for failure? This is a hot topic that I did not realize was so disputed until my concern was voiced in public about the drop shipping business model. Hundreds of people responded wanting to know why I felt personally that drop-ship is a recipe for failure without question.  Pretty strong statement by any standards and I struck a nerve. Here's why I know drop-ship business is a recipe for failure for the small business eCommerce owner.  That is, unless it is done a very specific way! Imagine this scenario:      The neighbor to the left of you shops at a drop-ship website, they receive the product only and are content. The right neighbor shops at a non-drop shipper and receives the same and coupons, brochures and a free surprise . You meet at the end of yo...
Ecommerce, Predictions, Retail, The Future

Is Traditional Retail dead and a rotting dinosaur?

 Can traditional retail really be a dead and rotting dinosaur, isn't that a bit harsh? The answer to this question is a resounding and unfortunate yes and yes it is.  Stores, chains and corporate executives would want to argue in the opposite direction and say that traditional retail is strong, but take a good look at history.  What reduced Circuit City, Tower Records and Linens and Things to a pile of steaming rubble?   Competition yes, but to a greater definition, online competition.   We are seeing behemoths like Blockbuster twist in the wind at the command of companies like Netflix, Hulu and online streaming presented by ATT's Uverse as well as other content providers.  The world is quickly turning digital and embracing the flexibility that that business model has at its core.  And su...