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7516322280?profile=RESIZE_400xUpdate:  The long standing quesiton about whether or not Amazon will be happy collecting taxes on behave of 3rd party sellers is officially over. On January 1st, Amazon started collecting in 4 more states (HI, IL, MI, and WI)  Last October they added 9  (AZ, CA, CO, ME, MD, MA, NV, ND, TX, UT)  Georgia and Alaska were added as of April 1st.  Mississippi , Tennessee, and Louisiana were added in Q4 of 2020

That brings the total to 44 states (including DC) that Amazon collects and remits taxes for 3rd party sellers.  (plus there are 4 states that don't charge sales tax) The leaves only Florida, Kansas, and Missouri.  The bulk of the other Marketplaces like Walmart and eBay have also complied with most of the rules, but not as fast as Amazon.  For Amazon, the logic is easy

  • They have a physical nexus in all 50 states already (so they pay taxes on items they sell direct)
  •  They already have an enterprise level merchant collection system that's been running for year
  • Walmart, EBay and other co
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USPS-Delays-2020-Amazon.jpgWe all saw it coming.  A surge in online demand, Covid workplace restrictions, and an unwillingness for the USPS to ramp up capacity during the pandemic.    Fedex and UPS were all over customers confirming schedules, max deliveries, and raising rates for the holidays.  USPS did raise rates, but is clearly overwhelmed at this point and its getting uglier by the day.

This does not just impact USPS shipments.  The Post Office is the “last mile” for some packages for every major carrier including UPS (Surepost), Fedex (Smartpost), and many Amazon orders.

How bad is it?  Yeoman estimates that 20-30% of USPS packages that were shipped from businesses last week are not even scanned into USPS system.  Worse, it appears that USPS is not scanning items as they move through the system.  We have confirmed multiple reports of items not showing as scanned, but arriving at the end customer address.

We recommend that you take the following steps immediately

  1. Stop shipping packages via USPS including o
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8042018063?profile=RESIZE_400xTired of hearing that the 2020 holiday season is “unprecedented,” “uncharted” and “uncertain”? We are too. The new reality of selling is here — and many businesses are playing catchup. We know there’s a shift to customer engagement through digital channels, but few have had bandwidth to improve their performance in that area. Rather, the majority of B2B and B2C businesses are just happy to see any growth at all.

That’s a mistake: There are at least five initiatives that, undertaken now, will put you in a strong position to wrap up the year. These are short-fuse, get-it-done today tasks that can make or break Q4. B2B or B2C, in doesn’t matter. Chances are, you’re leaving money on the table.

Join NetSuite and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, for practical advice on optimizing your digital sales strategies in Q4 — and what that means for fulfillment and logistics. We’ll also share new Brainyard insights on what to expect from the 2020 holiday season.  The webinar is part o

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7982891298?profile=RESIZE_710xWalmart's recent online growth has gotten brands of all size rethinking their marketplace strategy on Amazon.  In general Walmart marketplace sales are 2-4% of what comparable item sales are on Amazon (based upons Yeoman's exclusive cross platform brand analysis over the last 5 years.

However, the pandemic has brought a surge in volume on Walmart, especially in groceries and consumables.


So is Walmart worth it?  Commissions and fees are comparable to Amazon (10-15% range) but there are several differences brands should be aware of.  The first is shipping and perfomance.

Remember, Walmart really doesn't have a mature, active program like FBA. They do have a program through their partner Delivrr, but this is fairly new and not a large % of their shipments yet.

If you're doing the fulfillment, Walmart’s standard metrics are slightly tougher than Amazon in terms of late shipments and tracking but they tend to be more forgiving if you have performance issues.



Amazon Fulfilled by

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Blog Update:  Amazon officially confirmed 10/13 and 10/14 for Prime Day on Sunday September 27th.   Frustration among brands continues to grow as Amazon remains oddly silent and cryptic even to its biggest partners regarding Prime Day. The latest hints come from multiple sources including the Verge, CNBC, and even Amazon themselves.

The original October 5th placeholder is less than 12 days away so it's unlikely they'll try and hit that date. It's important to not that as of today, Amazon has not confirmed October 13th

The most recent evidence that it will be between October 12-15th:

- Amazon has restricted time off at the warehouses beginning the 13th (source CNBC and CNET)
- Lightning deals are blocked off after the 11th. Normally you can select multiple weeks out
- Internal Amazon sources have hinted to Yeoman that it will likely be this week (to avoid hitting Halloween)

So why all the secrecy? It's quite simple, they're not ready yet. Amazon's volume has exploded since the p

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7516151095?profile=RESIZE_400xThe last few weeks have been bad news for everyone who thought Amazon was going to stabilize after a few months of the pandemic.  Not only has Amazon's sales continued to grow, they've launched a flurry of new rules and requirements that are going to impact 100% of brands this holiday.

They likely have good intentions; they're trying to absorb the initial 50-60% growth in order volume that started in March in an environment that's made their operations 10-20% less efficient.  Now they're staring down the barrel of a huge surge during the holidays that requires some hard decisions that go against the core of their marketplace selling model that's made them so successful.


Join us for a detailed discussion of the current landscape and what your brand needs to do to succeed this holiday and into 2021.  Planned topics include:

  1. Traffic and activity trends - March to August
  2. Shifts in Amazon Marketing costs
  3. Amazon price monitoring changes and impact on brands
  4. Catalog restrictions and challe
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7515554499?profile=RESIZE_584xA recent Yeoman study of over 1,500 items sold on Amazon from a leading US manufacturer found a whopping 70% contained errors or did not follow Amazon’s best practice recommendations for providing product details. This study further showed the same level of inaccuracy on Google and Bing product searches. This is a maddening problem that plagues manufacturers in every industry. Once a product is “out there,” resellers, partners, distributors and reviewers end up shaping and revising the product details that your customers are going to use to make their purchase decision.


Products sold by Amazon definitely had better data quality, but less than 4% could be considered 'optimized' with the proven best practices for any item:

  • Descriptive title at least 50 characters long (including brand, purpose, color, and set/quantity info)
  • Multiple images of product
  • Bullet/summary list of product features
  • Complete description that includes product benefits, usage instructions, what's in the box, and
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Brands have a unique challenge with websites. They have to combine sales, operations, marketing, customer service and channel programs into one site. These have to be organized and easy-to-follow for customers as well as partners. Here at Yeoman, we’re rather famous for our website best practices review. In this blog series, we’re going to reveal our carefully honed criteria, so you can make sure your website is engaging and converting customers with the best of them.
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What’s in a Name?

7516247857?profile=RESIZE_400xWhat’s in a Name? In online merchandising just about everything.

Data quality online is one of the biggest problems manufacturers face. How good your product “looks” online (including not just clean photos, but also well-written product descriptions and titles) impacts everything from SEO rankings to customer preference to channel relations – so getting it right is important.

There’s a lot that goes into data quality. One critical element is the title. This is often the first and only information your prospect is going to see before making that all important decision to click or not to click. This snippet of text is also weighted heavily by the search engines, meaning a good title will get you in front of more prospects.


The biggest mistake we see manufacturers make is using their 'own' terms for items, assuming that everyone knows what they mean.  It's call the 'Curse of Knowledge' and can plague everyone from industrial manufacturers to beverage Companies that insist on calling the

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Update 4/27:  Amazon has slightly relaxed some of their FBA and PO restrictions, but we are seeing dramatically lower PO volumes for none essential items. In addition Yeoman estimates that 75% of FBA items have a 'limited stock' restriction placded on them. This means that Amazon will be restricting how many items you can send in.  All brands should do the following:

  1. Check vendor central for any new purchase orders (not just the normal Monday/Wednesday )
  2. For FBA sellers, check the 'inventory planning section of seller central' this is where any prioritized items will appear.  Send in inventory if its an option, we are seeing eligible inventory change daily.
  3. All brands should have a plan to fulfill via their own SFP (Seller Fulfilled Prime) or FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) programs or work with their existing partners.  

The priority for a brand is to make sure you have stock avaiable on Amazon (either via Amazon, your 3P account, or a partners)

Amazon is seeing unprecendented demand a

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Amazon has dramatically changed its operations in response to the pandemic up ending every single brands Amazon sales model. Every brand needs to review their current Amazon position and take steps to ensure their growth going forward.

Webinar is now available on demand:

Not only is Amazon experiencing unprecedented volume and demand related to the pandemic, but they also have to manage this new volume with a newly dispersed workforce and a delivery and supply chain that's breaking under the strain. Their current short-term changes to cope have included some major moves including:


  1. Amazon Purchase Orders: Dramatic backs for non-essential products
  2. FBA Sellers: Restriction on all non-essential inbound products
  3. Marketing Programs: Multiple restrictions including ending Coupons and Deals to help control volume
  4. Prime Shipping: 2 Day shipping is unavailable for the majority of products, with the average lead time of 7 days fo
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7516348055?profile=RESIZE_400xHard to believe it's been 4 years since Amazon announced Launchpad a custom program that helps start-ups “launch, market and distribute” new products on Amazon.  The program is really a re-skinned version of Amazon's Vendor Express, but it's goal is to let smaller manufacturers sell directly to Amazon.  The reason for the re-branding?  Simple - it's cooler and let's them position it as an option for business that were funded by Kickstarter, Circle up, or just an old fashion invention.

Their pitch is that you get to tap into Amazon's massive presence to quickly build your brand leveraging their platform to grow. They are correct - Amazon is the largest online retailer with over 1.4 billion sessions last Christmas.  A recent Forrester survey noted that 50% of American's search for product on Amazon regardless of whether or not they're going to buy on the site.

Any Company needs a presence there and Amazon is positioning Launchpad as the way to do it for start-ups. But is it worth it?   H

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7516370859?profile=RESIZE_400xYeoman is often asked by clients to help identify 'gaps' in their teams' abilities to be more digitally focused.  Most companies we work with often have great sales teams, a solid marketing group, and good business analysts but they still struggle with the best way to support their sales and distribution efforts online. 
Over the years, Yeoman has found most organizations have gaps in 3 key areas:

1. Online Product Merchandising:  The actual creation of product details online is often relegated to a junior buyer, marketing associate, (or worse) an intern. The thought of what product details will be often comes last and is rushed out as the product is shipping.  Big mistake.  Building up your internal content skills is one of the best ways to improve your overall footprint.  This includes everything from best practice titles, product details, images, specifications, categorization, etc.  This isn't a one time task; it needs to become part of someone's role for three reasons:

  • Optimi
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How to Empower Staff with Data

7516389060?profile=RESIZE_400xData, data everywhere, and nary a data scientist in sight. Or at least, not one you can afford. It's a classic Catch-22. To thrive, businesses need to pull financial, sales, predictive, social, and other data into a complete view of the customer. But big data practitioners with fancy degrees who can bring sophisticated analytics chops to bear on that effort start in the six figures, if you can even find one.

Academics and consultants pontificate on the crisis. McKinsey & Co. exclaims that advanced big data analytics, driven partly by the Internet of Things, could increase GDP in retailing and manufacturing by up to $325 billion annually and trim nearly as much from the cost of healthcare and government services by 2020. Too bad most organizations will never be able to hire that expertise. Yep, the world's got big data envy bad, and a data scientist is the silver bullet we all need.

Here's an alternative viewpoint: You don't need them. Instead, bring big data analytics down to earth, tr

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Amazon Brand Registry - It's Working

In our recent blog post, Amazon Brand Registry: What You Need to Know Right Now, we covered some of the advantages of signing up for the new Amazon Brand Registry. Of course the main benefit of the brand registry is that once you prove your brand belongs to you, Amazon will help you protect it against counterfeiters and unauthorized resellers. Well, it's working.
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Brands have a unique challenge with websites. They have to combine sales, operations, marketing, customer service and channel programs into one site. These have to be organized and easy-to-follow for customers as well as partners. Here at Yeoman, we’re rather famous for our website best practices review. In this blog series, we’re going to reveal our carefully honed criteria, so you can make sure your website is engaging and converting customers with the best of them.
Read more…

7516556500?profile=RESIZE_400xThanksgiving comes extra late this year (on the 28th) which means there are only 25 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. That’s almost an entire week less than last year, when retailers had a luxurious 30 days to woo shoppers. Now, harried holiday shoppers will have to accomplish all their gift buying in 4 weekends instead of 5.  Last time we had it this short?  2014

That time crunch will put extra pressure on manufacturers and publishers to get products into the pipeline early, and may prompt retailers to start running their holiday ads even earlier than usual. According to an Experian Marketing Services survey of marketing executives’ cross-channel marketing plans, 49% of retailers will launch their holiday campaigns before Halloween.

And this won’t just affect B2C sales. Fourth quarter is usually strong for B2B sales too, and now B2B purchasers will be rushed trying to get their orders in before year-end as well.

What does that mean for your Q4 planning? We predict

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Remember that good old, predictable Christmas sales curve you’ve built your forecasting around for the last five to ten years? Amazon has changed it for good. If you’re not adjusting your planning, you’re kissing a good portion of potential holiday sales good-bye.
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Is Amazon Go a Go?

Amazon opened its first retail storefront on Monday, January 22, 2018. The convenience store is located at 2131 7th Ave. in Seattle, and sells grocery items, ready-to-eat meals, and quick-meal kits – and of course features items from Whole Foods, who Amazon owns.

What makes this store so unique is that there are no checkout lines. You scan the Amazon Go app on your smart phone at the door, which will open the barrier gates to allow you into the store. (No app, no entrance.) Once inside, you shop by taking an item off the shelf and placing it in your bag. The item is automatically added to the cart in your online account.

How? Hundreds of cameras around the store and weight sensors on the shelves can see and identify which products you pick up. And if you decide you do not want an item you picked up, place it back on the shelf and the technology will remove the item from your online cart.

When you’re finished, “Just Walk Out” through the gates and you’re done. Amazon will send an electr

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