Featured News and Events (32)

A 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…
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Amazon has just rolled out the full version of Brand Central to all sellers in North America, but with very little fanfare and even less information. Yeoman has already enrolled several brands. Here's why this should be a priority for your team.
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Yeoman 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…

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Groupon may have started life as an online coupon site, but most of its growth and revenue is due to their discount goods business, which launched in 2011. Five years and nearly $2 billion USD in goods revenue later, the company is ready to take on the world of ecommerce mega giants like Amazon, eBay, Sears, Buy.com and Jet—just to name a few.
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How to Empower Staff with Data

Data, 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.…

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Can You Feel It?

Haptics (touch) technology has been around for a while (think about how you can "feel" the buttons vibrate when you tap on your smartphone), but now is being developed with more real time control and feedback between fingertip and touchscreen. Companies like Tanvas are finding new uses for this technology. Tanvas Touch allows the user to "feel" different textures - such as grainy, silky, wavy and more - on a smart screen. It has also been used to simulate different fabrics, wood, stone and grass. Users have reacted differently to this - with some being very impressed and others "not feeling it" as much. Haptics technology could have a lot of really neat applications - it could allow users to "feel" fabrics before they purchase clothing online, it could be used in immersion gaming, and it could also be used to help the visually impaired when they use smart technology. It will be interesting to see how this technology develops over time and what new applications people create for…

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What’s in a Name?

What’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…

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Amazon 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…

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Nixie is the brain child of a Google Alumna and a PhD in experimental physics. This small camera-equipped drone is worn around your wrist, and can be quickly deployed to capture you and your besties at your best. When activated, Nixie unfolds into a quadcopter, that flies away from you (in one of its pre-programmed modes) to take photos or video and then returns to you when it's finished.

Even though this is a high-tech gizmo the likes of which neither Dick Tracy nor Jean-Luc Picard ever dreamed of, the company is going with a classic/throwback venture capital fundraising model to get it to market.

It will be interesting to see if they change it up and opt for a pre-order scheme to raise money when they are closer to launch.

If you were going to launch a new product, would you go for…

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According 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…

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Should a B2B Manufacturer Tweet?

 Tweeting may be darlings of retail, music, and news junkies everywhere, but should it be part of a B2B manufacturers' plan?

Sometime in 2014, social networking (including micro-blogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr) quietly surpassed all other online activities, accounting for 41% of time spent online (GlobalWebIndex).

If you looked back at Twitter in 2010, they had only 105 million users and 55 million tweets per day. Twitter now boasts ”about a billion” registered users who post  500 million tweets per day.  …

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Is Amazon Launchpad Right for a Start-up?

Amazon recently 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…

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What if, as a manufacturer, publisher or IT company, you could predict the future? You’d probably start off by predicting how much inventory you need to carry, followed closely by predicting the next products your customers are going to want to buy, so you can have them ready and waiting the next time they hit “search.”

 

Magic? Not really. Impossible? No. Mining the data you already have access to about your customers and web visitors can give you amazing insight into their future behavior and preferences – but only if you capture it and use it.

 

Case in point: Netflix cashes in on their…

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, so most manufacturers have 'checked out' on the holiday season.  If you walk around a manufacturer's or publisher's office this time of year, you wouldn't think it's the busiest time of the year. Most organizations are focused on 2016 budgets, new product plans, and 2016 forecasts, with the occasional glance at the POS reports. 

To quote one manufacturer: "all of our heavy activity is leading up to the holidays; our partners take it from there. We don't sell direct." That may have been true in years, past, but original manufacturers have a major impact on holiday sales - regardless of whether or not you sell direct.

A recent study of 5,000 shoppers found that 65% of have visited a manufacturer's website as part of…

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Thanksgiving comes extra late this year (on the 27th) which means there are only 26 shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. That’s almost an entire week less than 2013, when retailers had a luxurious 31 days to woo shoppers. Now, harried holiday shoppers will have to accomplish all their gift buying in 4 weekends instead of 5.

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…

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Sometimes even Big Data needs a hand. The latest release of Google analytics has added some great new options for data analysis that every manufacturer and publisher should configure.   For those living in the 80s Google analytics is the #1 web analysis tool used by almost every major manufacturer and ecommerce site.  The product is part of Google's 'suite' of 'free' products designed to bolster their paid search revenue; every tool makes it easier to spend on paid search...

The main benefit to every organization is Google makes this tool available no matter how small your paid search program is.  When properly configured web analytics is truly a window into the behavior of your online visitor.  If configured correctly it can even give statistically relevant insights…

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Google has confirmed it - a Buy Button is “imminent.”  The button is expected to be rolled out on mobile devices, and will enable people who click on product ads in search results to buy those products without navigating to a third-party site.  The button, following similar moves by Facebook and Twitter, are a significant departure for the search giant, which has built its business based on ads that link to other websites.

"The rationale is to reduce friction for customers'" said Omid Kordestani, Google’s Chief Business Officer, "making it simpler to complete online purchases."  Trust us, there's another reason - Google is facing significant competition from Amazon and others when it comes to people searching for products and has been steadily moving to be more…

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The Yeoman team is pleased to announce the 2nd update to the 2015 Best Practices Scorecard for manufacturer and publisher websites.  Now in it's sixth year, the scorecard let's Companies compare their brand websites against 117 Best Practices for manufacturers and publishers 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…

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