amazon (18)

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 on board by next Black Friday, you’re kissing a good portion of potential holiday sales good-bye.
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Top 5 Holiday Prep Items Most Manufacturers Forget

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, so it’s time for manufacturers to do a prep-double check.  Most manufacturers are thinking "my job is done, it's all up to retail and my partners".  Think again.  Today original manufacturers can make a major impact on holiday sales - regardless of whether you sell direct or not.

It’s not too late! There are still a few key things you can do to help boost holiday sales.

1. Make sure your main website is ready for prime time

A recent study found that 65% of shoppers visit a manufacturer's direct website to research a product prior to purchase. Your website needs to present your products in a clear, salable, format—whether you…

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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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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 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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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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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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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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Amazon Tries for B2B Again

If at first you don’t succeed try, try, again…

Amazon this week announced its "new" Amazon business. The service offers B2B level ecommerce to any qualified business. If that's sounds vaguely familiar it is. Amazonsupply.com was launched back in 2006 after the acquisition of smallparts.com. That was Amazon’s initial entrance into the world of B2B ecommerce.

Unfortunately, the specialty site never really gained traction as a true B2B site when compared to its primary competitors, Grainger, ULine, Global Industrial, etc.

To put these numbers in context, Amazon.com had 2.4 billion visits during this same time period. Therein lies the problem.

It's important…

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March 20, 2015:  This week was a very rough one for manufacturers and their relationship with Amazon.  Amazon announced they will be ending the 'Amazon Webstore' service in July 2016.  Many people may not realize that Amazon offered a private label web hosting, but Yeoman estimates they host almost 2,000 sites.  Many of these sites are original manufacturers like Fiskars, Cuda, Black and Decker, Eclipse, Lacoste, Remmington, Sesame Street, and Isaac Mizrahi to name a few.

For a manufacturer, the appeal was clear:  A world class hosting platform that uses the exact same product data they have to create to be successful on Amazon.  Amazon…

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Amazon Re-positions for B2B

Amazon wants more B2B and used their holiday boost to try and jumpstart the program.  Many Amazon visitors (mostly businesses users) started seeing new ads for Amazon for Business service.  This is a re-labled version of their existing Amazon Supply (www.amazonsupply.com) service that has been around for a few years.  The Company has seen some of its fast growth in traditionally B2B categories - industrial supplies, office equipment, basic medical supplies, etc.  The issue for Amazon has always been their inability to support what a business wants - purchase orders, multiple users, and a phone number to call.

Enter Amazon Supply.  Launched back in 2012 it was positioned as a 'Grainger killer' and would woe the industrial world. The separate site even has a phone…

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2013 was a big year for ecommerce as mobile ads got monetized and social commerce took a big hit - both at the hands of the same company (hint: Facebook).

What's on tap for next year? And what should you be doing with your online channel initiatives so that you can hit the ground running on 1/1/14?

Join us for our popular ‘look ahead’ at what will be trending in online sales and distribution next year. We'll talk about such hot topics as:

 

  • Will tablet growth…
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How Does Technology Speed up Production?

Ask yourself this:  What if your distribution center couldn’t support changes in volume, product assortment or delivery timelines? How much would you lose in opportunity costs?

 

As multi-channel businesses look to expand product and business lines quickly as a key competitive advantage, the speed to deploy a material handling solution becomes a critical…

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OK, we don't like to brag. But back in 2009 we talked about "Why There Will Never Be a Walmart of the Web" we predicted that more and more retailers will adopt the Amazon open market model. So its no surprise that Sears has followed Walmart's lead and opened up their online system to a whole range of products. Why? They need to keep up with Amazon online. Their model helped them post a 27% quarter of quarter growth in late 2009. In this economy?!?

While Sears' new program is not as open as Amazon's, manufacturers, publishers, and tech firms that sell in the consumer space need to take a hard look at how this changes their sales channel strategy. If you weren't selling through Sears before - get on it. Fees are low and the process is straightforward (Contact Yeoman if you need guidance of course). If you were already working with…
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Amazon.com started out primarily as an online bookseller. But they're not just selling books anymore. Amazon now has its own ePublishing division, and they made headlines recently when CIA-operative turned thriller writer Barry Eisler turned down a half million advance from what he terms "Legacy" publishing house St. Martin's Press to ePublish with Amazon.

 

Originally planning to self-publish electronically, Amazon wooed Eisler with a "hybrid deal" that was too sweet for the author to pass up. He would get the control over the creative and business aspects of his books that self publishing would have given him, while benefitting from the Amazon ePublishing platform and their "marketing juggernaut" to boost sales.

 

The books are also cheaper for consumers, and Eisler reports he has sold more of this book than any of his previous titles. And that's saying a lot for a NYT best-selling author.

 

For its…

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