Featured News and Events (49)

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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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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3565675286?profile=RESIZE_710xThe long standing quesiton about whether or not Amazon will be happy collecting taxes on behave of 3rd party sellers is officially over. Today Amazon proactively announced they will be collecting taxes in 9 more state starting October 1st (AZ, CA, CO, ME, MD, MA, NV, ND, TX, UT)

 

That brings the total to 33 states that Amazon collects and remits taxes for 3rd party sellers.  (38 if you count the 5 states that don't charge sales tax) 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 competing marketplaces are…
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How to Empower Staff with Data

3294932885?profile=originalData, 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…

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What’s in a Name?

1060766792.png?width=250What’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. …

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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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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…

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1434258231?profile=RESIZE_710xName your favorite family rivalry; Hatfield’s vs McCoy’s, North vs South Korea, Cane vs Abel, Serena vs Venus.  Most end poorly but Amazon’s famous Vendor (aka 1P) vs Merchant (aka 3P) divisional competition is one of the core reasons for their amazing online success.  That rivalry has taken a major pivot this month and if your brand isn’t on top of it, you stand to lose out.

Over 10,000 accounts that had been selling to Amazon suddenly saw their PO’s dry up this month.  Many then received an email from the 1P team told them they may not buy from them anymore and recommend they consider selling on the 3P side!  Was this a secret coupe?  A digital détente? 

Many were left scratching their heads as to what was going on.  We’re not. 

The Back Story

As most people know, when you buy an item…

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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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3294931990?profile=RESIZE_320x320Yeoman 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…

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The product details page is the most critical component of a website, but it's often overlooked. But as the primary action point for almost every desired goal (offering options to buy direct, find a reseller, become a reseller, and get a quote) it needs to combine all the core content a visitor needs to make a purchase - from any channel. Product details pages can be broken into two core areas.
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3294933102?profile=RESIZE_480x480

Email is dead... long live email!  Here at Yeoman we handle quite a bit of email web operations for our clients as part of our Outsourced Web Operations services.  Part of that means applying our best practices to email newsletters and then tirelessly testing and tweaking our approach to maximize open rates and click-thrus.

That’s why I was tickled pink to find this infographic from Kissmetrics showing that industry research supports our key best practices for email marketing.  Some of the highlights include:

Format your emails for mobile. Not convinced you need to? Over 40% of consumers now open their emails on a device other than their desktop PC—a number that’s been skyrocketing in the…

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3294932558?profile=RESIZE_320x320According to a recent report put together by the Baymard Institute, an independent web research company, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That means that 67% of web shoppers looked around your site, picked out one or more things they liked enough to save into a cart, and then just...didn't buy them. Why not?

 

The four main reasons online browsers don't make that online purchase include:

1. Taxes and Shipping. Shipping just bumped a $29.99 purchase up to $41.50. The total price is too much. Bye-bye, customer.

2. Buyer’s Remorse. Shopping around and putting things in your cart is a guilt-free pleasure. But once you see everything you picked out, a sense of regret can…

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3294931451?profile=RESIZE_320x320Amazon had 900 million visits Christmas 2014,  1.3 Christmas 2015, and have regularly cracked the 1 billion visitor mark every month this year (as of May 2016). Let that number sink in. That’s 3x the population of the United States. The giant of retail, Wal-Mart only has 240 million visits a month. Target? 140 million. Grainger (for you B2B manufacturers)? 7 million. And Amazon visitors are buying. Amazon holiday sales will likely be up 20-25% over Q4 last year. That’s a decade of double digit YoY holiday sales growth (in case anyone’s counting :)  And its not just the US - we see this growth in UK, Europe, and Canada.

What's their secret?  They key for any manufacturer or publisher to understand, is that Amazon’s success IS NOT simply due to the products Amazon buys and sells online. That’s only one part of it.

They succeed because…

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Online price discrimination?

3294933205?profile=RESIZE_480x480 If you’re shopping from a Manhattan zip code or logging in with a Mac (avg. household income for Mac owners is 32% higher than Windows PC owners), Orbitz concedes that you’ll pay more for your hotel room.  Orbitz has rolled out what it calls a “predictive analytics” initiative in an attempt to increase revenues.  Indeed, it’s not hard to find examples of different people paying different prices based on their demographic checkboxes.

Orbitz isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices, but more luxurious rooms at higher prices to certain users.

The sort of targeting undertaken by Orbitz is likely to become more commonplace as online retailers scramble to identify new ways in which people’s browsing data can be used to increase online…

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3284397007?profile=RESIZE_320x320 The Yeoman team is pleased to announce the 7th update to its Website Best Practice Scorecard.  Now in it's seventh year, the scorecard let's manufacturer's and brands compare their websites against 121 Best Practices across multiple industries.

Manufacturers and publishers have a unique challenge with websites. Their sites have to combine sales, operations, marketing, support, and channel programs. These have to be organized and easy-to-follow for customers and partners. Plus they have to be 'consumer friendly' and keep up with the latest trends in devices and behavior. 

The scorecard was created by Yeoman Technology Group based on an extensive review of the top 500 websites of manufacturers, content/course providers, and publishers. This primary research was then combined with usability…

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If AI still sounds like science fiction to you, you might be in imminent danger of falling behind the competition. But it’s not too late to get up to speed and start using AI to advance your business. If you’d like to learn more, join me as I co-host the upcoming VentureBeat webinar: “AI-powered customer engagement isn’t optional anymore,” live online on Feb 27th, or on demand after that date.
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