Google Ups Its Game in eCommerce with a New Deep Shopify Connection

As Amazon continues its quest to strong-arm eCommerce retailers into submission, another online giant has decided not to roll over. Google, which holds a commanding 90 percent of the search engine market, has joined forces with top eCommerce platform Shopify to challenge Amazon’s dominance.

Google Takes on Amazon

While Google has so far been only peripherally involved in online retailing, Amazon has been encroaching on Google Ads, which was the recipient of more than 50 percent of digital ad revenues in 2020. However, Amazon grew their own advertising market share from 13.3 percent to 19 percent during the same time.

With more than half of online shopping excursions beginning at Amazon, advertising was a logical extension of their other services. Similarly, Google recognized the opportunity to leverage their own robust ad business into providing an alternative for small and mid-sized eCommerce retailers who feel stifled by the lack of options.

The Changing Focus at Google

The new venture is the brainchild of Bill Ready, who joined Google in January 2020 as the company’s President of Commerce and Payments. Ready had previously served as COO of PayPal and CEO of Venmo and Braintree.

Ready’s arrival at Google coincided with the onset of the unprecedented global pandemic, which in turn triggered a seismic leap in the already robust eCommerce industry. Shortly thereafter, Ready took the first step in shifting Google’s strategy by offering online retailers free listings in Google Shopping.

So, what exactly is the new Google Shopping? What it’s not, according to Ready, is an eCommerce retailer or marketplace. In a blog post sent to Forbes in early May, Ready referred to it as a platform for consumers to discover a wide range of products across a spectrum of sellers, from national big-box stores to small independent retailers.

Days later came Google’s I/O Developer conference, during which Ready officially announced the company’s partnership with Shopify. He expounded on his vision of the venture as part of an overall plan to “democratize” eCommerce with a “free and open” system for consumers and retailers alike.

Why Google Shopping?

Here’s a look at what to expect from Google Shopping now and in the future:

• With just a few clicks, merchants in Shopify’s network of 1.7 million+ retailers can install the platform’s Google channel to auto sync their inventory. They can also link a new or existing Google Ads account, and the free listings policy will continue.

• Shopify sellers can feature their products on heavily trafficked Google platforms, including Maps, Images, Search, Lens and YouTube. More than 1 billion “shopping journeys” occur on these platforms daily, making them fertile sites for new customers.

• Google’s powerful access to comprehensive sets of data will power Shopping Graph, an AI-generated model that makes connections between products, sellers and brands. In an example of this synergy, when a shopper views images of products in Photos, it will trigger a suggestion to search for places to buy the items via Lens.

• Amazon isn’t the only online presence in Google’s crosshairs. The company is testing a program that allows YouTube users to shop for products they discover through their favorite content creators. This is in response to the growing presence of TikTok and Facebook in the eCommerce arena.

Coast-to-Coast Fulfillment Services to Fit Your Needs

How do you set yourself apart in the competitive eCommerce field? Sophisticated shoppers insist on exceptional service, rapid delivery, and complete responsiveness. Let Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics handle your storage and shipping needs while you focus on growing your business.

Our scalable, cost-effective solutions include our Amazon replenishment program. Contact us today to learn more.

Not All Website Traffic is Equal – How to Get More High Quality Traffic

Important News and Reminders for January

Are you confusing high website traffic counts with high-quality website traffic? If you take a look at the numbers from your ecommerce website, you’ll quickly see all traffic is not created equal. You need the right people – the right demographic, the right segment – to do more than take a Sunday drive through your site – you need them to buy-in.

How Can You Attract More High-Quality Website Traffic to your Online Store?

There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, each targeting a specific genre of people. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and well-known options.

• Blogs

Blogs pull-in traffic via educational material, FAQs, and industry trends. 409-million browsers view more than 22-billion blog pages monthly, generating an average of 76-million posts and 42-million comments on WordPress alone.

How many do you need? Those blogging 16-times+ monthly generate 3.5-times more traffic than those blogging 4-times or less. But you’ll need a strategic plan. Pro-Advice: Don’t waste precious time and energy if this isn’t your wheelhouse; enlist the help of content marketing professionals who understands the ever-changing dynamics of SEO.

• Social Media

Social media channels are endless. The biggest? Facebook, with over 2-billion active monthly users, and Twitter, with 286.3-million. Facebook encompasses a broader segment, where by-and-large, Twitter is more popular with young adults. Like blogging, targeting quality traffic here takes time, research, and effort. Pick 1-2 channels that make the most sense.

The goal? It’s not attracting users waiting around for a “flash-sale” – but providing a virtual hangout for your target demographic. Don’t get it? Checkout this Twitter page to understand more.

• Video

Video is exploding, with YouTube dominating the market (1-billion+ users). All-ages use it – and it reaches 95% of online adults 35+ per month. With such a massive audience, choosing keywords that send you to the top of search results (getting you to your key demographic) is mission-critical – so do your homework!

• Podcasts

Podcasting opens you up to a wide variety of end-users, but is isn’t necessarily optimized to net traffic. There’s no call-to-action – its corresponding show notes, blogging and social posts that drive marketing, with the end goal of building brand awareness and loyalty (regular listeners/customers).

Remarkable Content Generates a Remarkable Link to Consumers

Key to getting items from cyberspace to your fulfillment warehouse is content quality that appeals to relevant consumers. Content that simply fills digital space won’t rise to the top. You must strive to help buyers through their journey, exploring issues they’ll encounter in the research process, promoting the nurturing relationship they crave and winning them over as to why doing business with you is in their best interest.

Spending money and time on ho-hum, keyword-focused content won’t get you there. Work backwards, providing content that confronts issues customers face – or problems your products solve, standing-out by providing insight/solutions others don’t.

Things picking up? From drawing customers in to getting product out the door, Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics has you covered. Discover more about our versatile fulfillment warehouse solutions today.

How to Take Product Photos for Your Store Like a Pro But on the Cheap

As online shopping continues to grow market share, the sense of touch has been removed from the buying process, making visual appeal more important than ever. According to ecommerce consultant BigCommerce, two-thirds of consumers rate image quality as “very important” when it comes to online purchases.

Before you rush out and hire a pricey photographer, check out these great tips for cost-effective and professional-looking DIY photos.

1. Technique Is More Important than Equipment

Don’t let anyone talk you into dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art camera. If you can afford it, then by all means, but modestly priced cameras and even smart phones are capable of producing high-quality photos. Decisions such as lighting, staging and processing play a more significant role.

2. Create Your “Studio”

• Set up a table as close to a window as possible without getting into the shadow cast by the windowsill.

• Use poster board or mats to create a generic white background, “sweeping” it from the horizontal tabletop to the vertical wall to provide a seamless look.

• You’ll need at least two lights. Clamp-style is preferable as they stay in place but can be easily moved around. Make sure to use identical light bulbs with a cooler shade.

3. Include Action Shots When Appropriate

In many cases the white background will be sufficient, but some products have more appeal when shown in use. For instance, a picture of a person wearing sunglasses can be more attractive to potential customers.

4. Don’t Stop at One

Take a number of pictures of your product from a variety of sides and angles. Multiple views are the best way to overcome the two-dimensional aspect of online images.

5. Keep It RAW

For best results you should shoot in RAW format, which captures all of the visual data and gives you greater latitude in editing. In addition, changes don’t affect the original file so you won’t have to worry about losing data.

6. Evaluate and Adjust

After every session, review your work with a critical eye to see what worked and what didn’t, and then apply your findings to future photo shoots.

Ecommerce Fulfillment Services for the Busy Entrepreneur

Are inventory, order processing and logistics taking valuable time away from the business of driving sales? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn more about our comprehensive ecommerce fulfillment services.

The Amazon Effect: Considerations for eCommerce and Brick and Mortar Store Owners

In the increasingly crowded and competitive world of eCommerce, Amazon remains the gold standard. The impact of the online retailing behemoth has been so primal and far-reaching that marketing experts have coined a term for it: “Amazon Effect.”

As the leader in California fulfillment services, we work to stay on top of trends and innovations influencing the industry. Here’s what you need to know about the Amazon Effect and how it applies to your business.

Shifting Buyer Expectations

Amazon’s principal effect has come in the area of buyer expectations. Consumers are demanding a buyer’s journey be “frictionless and immediate,” and these expectations cut across the digital arena to goods and services purchased in brick-and-mortar locations.

These three benefits top the list of what retailers are expected to provide today:

• Free shipping, which is most prominently featured in Amazon’s Prime membership program. While shipping costs can be steep, Amazon has found that it’s paid off in powerful customer loyalty and add-on sales.

• Speedy turnaround time, where customers receive orders in days rather than weeks. Amazon Prime’s free shipping takes only two days, and same-day delivery is available in more than 10,000 locations.

• Easy access, with a variety of options for ordering and delivery. For example, Amazon offers delivery or pick-up for grocery orders and certain items are eligible for subscriptions where orders are entered and delivered automatically.

Generational Differences and the Millennial Mindset

Not surprisingly, younger consumers who have spent their entire lives with technology are more demanding when it comes to eCommerce fulfillment and delivery. A 2018 survey of online shoppers in the U.S., Canada and U.K. found that less than 50 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were fully satisfied with their orders.

Other studies have uncovered the “Millennial Mindset,” which Amazon has embraced with great success. The Millennial Mindset is a group of six brand values that buyers from 18-34 rate highly in their shopping experience:

• Social Circle: Is a brand popular within a buyer’s circle of family and friends?

• Self: Does a brand generate an emotional connection?

• Innovative: Does a brand lead its field in creative advancements?

• Trusted: Does a brand have consumers’ best interests at heart?

• Purposeful: Does a brand contribute to the greater good?

• Accessible: Is a brand easily assimilated into a buyer’s lifestyle?

While this mindset originated with Millennials, it’s having a ripple effect through other generations. At this point, Generation X has adopted the mindset nearly as completely as Millennials have.

Countering the Amazon Effect in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

• Use locations to complement eCommerce, not duplicate or compete with it.

• Engage high-tech solutions to track in-store behavior

• Leverage mobile apps with mPos, location-aware coupons and personalized service.

California Fulfillment Services that Exceed Customer Expectations

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics provides a comprehensive set of eCommerce services that scale to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn more about why we should be your first choice in cost-effective and efficient California fulfillment services.

Don’t Let Your Business Suffer Due to Amazon’s Policies, You Have Options!

Grow Your Business by Thinking of More Resources than Amazon

We’re all about solutions here at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics. The coronavirus pandemic demands that we think outside the box to keep businesses growing and homebound customers satisfied.

Amazon froze shipments from March 17th to April 5th, and stated the following on their website:

“While we will continue prioritizing the products we can receive beyond April 5, we are now able to broaden the list. Given our constrained capacity, we are doing this on an item-by-item basis. We have updated the Restock Inventory page and Restock report in Seller Central so you can check which products are eligible for shipment creation. We consider many factors when determining eligibility, including high-demand products customers need now; current inventory levels and inventory in transit; fulfillment center capacity; and our ability to adhere to the latest health guidelines.” Read the full article at Amazon Seller Central.

What we are continuing to hearing from Amazon sellers even as recently as this week, is that Amazon is still restricting or refusing incoming stock replenishment shipments.

To solve problems many sellers are having with Amazon, we have developed a special program called FBM (Fulfillment by Medallion). The FBM program allows you to ship product to both or either of our East Coast or West Coast warehouses, and gets you back shipping goods to customers the day after we receive your products.

This redundancy with FBA lets you be proactive to the current business and virus situation. And, our FBM allows you to leverage sales to homebound workers; who may be shopping to pass the time, or who are buying items for family members to stay entertained with while home from school. With no shipping or stock restrictions, our program can get you back in business fast!

You can easily select to move to Fulfillment by Seller within the Amazon Seller Central and not be held hostage or be affected by Amazon’s changing policies and shipping problems.

With a growing dissatisfied Amazon warehouse staff that has expressed fears of contagion requiring management to provide temperature checks and masks in warehouses, FBA now seems a less stable option for businesses in the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how our FBM (Fulfillment by Medallion) program works:

1. Ship your goods, or a selection of goods, to our East Coast or West Coast warehouses or to both.

2. Our special dedicated FBM On-Boarding Team fast tracks processing and works with you to implement your ordering and shipping fast. We can start shipping orders the day after we receive your products in our warehouse.

3. There are no long term contracts and you can even get a formal and affordable price quote today.

4. Get back in business – shipping to homebound and internet-connected potential customers in one day after receipt of your products in our facility. Don’t miss a beat and make your sales projections this quarter, even with communities and workers on lockdown.

If you are shipping from Amazon Fulfillment and having trouble getting your orders fulfilled due to the coronavirus disruption, please consider Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics for your shipping needs.

• We Provide Fulfillment By Merchant for Amazon & Replenishing FBA

• We Support Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Ebay and all other e-commerce platforms

• We Offer Same Day Shipping

• We Have Competitive Pricing

• 37 Years of Family Owned & Operated Services

Fulfillment Centers in Los Angeles and Boston for East/West Coast shipping.

We are here to help. Give us a call today and let us show you how we can get you back in business fast.