Online Selling Tips for Promoting Your Products on Google Shopping

Important News and Reminders for January

With platforms dedicated to product feed and promotions, Google Shopping aims to simplify business for online merchants. The program is also tightly integrated with Shopify, a hugely popular e-commerce platform.

But don’t expect to set up Google Shopping and sit back while orders flow into your fulfillment warehouse. You’re at the mercy of Google Shopping’s control unless you take some proactive steps to optimize results.

Here are six expert tips for ways to get the most bang out of your Google Shopping buck and truly keep your fulfillment warehouse busy filling orders.

Optimize Your Website

• Are your product titles consistent with manufacturer listings?

• Does your own brand use titles with high search volume keywords?

• Is your page content unique, or do you simply copy-and-paste from other websites?

Add Negative Keywords

The word “negative” automatically sounds counterproductive, but this is an essential factor in your promotional strategy. When you enter negative keywords into Google Ads Shopping Campaigns, they keep your ad from showing for untargeted traffic you do not want.

Clicks without conversions do nothing but cost you money. Proper use of negative keywords helps assure that your ads will get in front of people who have a genuine interest in your product or service.

Segment Your Google Shopping Campaigns

Your products don’t all sell at the same rate, so why should they all get equal amounts of your promotional budget? If everything goes in the same bucket, it’s difficult to tell which items are the most profitable.

When you segment campaigns, you get more specific data that lets you compare the individual performance of different items. Suggested categories include:

• Price

• Brand

• Best sellers

• Seasonality

Bid Strategically for Activity

Cost per click, or CPC, is another factor that should not be cookie-cutter. A good rule of thumb is to divide the price of a product by its profit margin, then multiply that number by the standard conversion rate. (According to SmartInsights, average conversion rates are 3.73 percent for traditional devices and 1.14 percent for mobile devices.)

Make Sure to Adjust Bids for Mobile Devices

As noted in the previous tip, there’s a significant spread between conversion rates for desktop and mobile. Google Shopping does allow you to set separate bids for mobile so that your budget is concentrated in the area that’s most productive.

Understand as you set your bid, that sometimes the first clicks you get during a path to a sale may be on a mobile device and the conversion may be on a desktop. Bid down mobile too far and you may cut your conversion activity.

Set Up Remarketing Campaigns

Based on the average conversion rate, it’s clear that even the best campaigns capture only a minority of shoppers. What’s more, only two percent of those conversions are captured on the first visit! When visitors drop off, re targeting these visitors with a remarketing campaign keeps your message in front of those prospects for up to 30 days.

Medallion: Your Full-Service Fulfillment Warehouse

Just as online marketing campaigns are not one-size-fits-all, a great fulfillment warehouse should be able to accommodate your individual specifications.

At Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics, we consider ourselves a partner in your success. Our services are flexible enough to scale up or down to fit your requirements.

Contact us today to learn why Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics is the right solution for your fulfillment warehouse needs.

Machine Learning – What You Need to Know and Leverage for Your E-commerce Store

Machine Learning – What You Need to Know and Leverage for Your E-commerce Store

Your e-commerce store has access to more data than retail businesses have had at any time in the past. But the truth is that the most detailed set of data means nothing on its own. It’s the interpretation and use of that data that makes the difference.

Although machine learning is an emerging technology, many providers are already starting to prepare service offerings to allow you to use machine learning to your benefit. Google AdWords is leading the way with Smart Bidding and enhanced bidding algorithms to boost conversions. Expect to see more providers embrace machine learning to help you manage your business more effectively this year.

Machine learning is a powerful tool that processes data far more efficiently than you or your employees could on your own, but you need to prioritize applications for maximum effectiveness.

Which of these technologies would have the greatest impact on your e-commerce store and fulfillment warehouse?

Personalizing the Customer Experience

oday’s technology is amazing, but it hasn’t reached the point of allowing you to provide virtual 3D salespeople for your customers. Without that personal contact, you lose valuable input from body language and other visual cues.

Machine learning can help you recapture that advantage by using data to create customer segments. This lets you target your approach based on specific factors that drive the buying decision for each segment.

Search Engine Ranking

It’s a basic concept: before your prospects can buy from you, they have to find you. How do you get your name out in front of customers before those of your competitors? Machine learning drills down beyond keywords into the nuts and bolts of searches that end with purchases. Google AdWords clients can use Google’s machine learning to provide ad exposure based on demographics and potential actions to improve visits and conversions.

Pricing

The downside of e-commerce is that customers can comparison shop from the comfort of their own home. With machine learning, you can set pricing that’s sensitive to a number of vital factors including competitors’ prices, type of customer and even time of day. Check with your shopping cart software to see how they will be implementing machine learning to assist you in being price sensitive.

Fraud Detection and Prevention

E-commerce companies are more vulnerable to fraud than brick-and-mortar stores are, and the negative effects can remain long after the transactions. Manual safeguards are inadequate, but machine learning can rapidly “spot” potential problems.

Customer Support

How do you maintain effective customer support at scale? The answer lies in machine learning technology such as chatbots, which give your customers the freedom of self-service combined with a high level of support.

Accurate Supply and Demand Prediction

Supply and demand forecasting has long been a staple of retail operations, but machine learning can perform this process with a greater degree of precision thanks to its ability to make discoveries and connections that are beyond the scope of humans.

Product Recommendations

Product recommendations are the best way to generate add-on and repeat sales. But where employees are limited to their own knowledge, machine learning technology can infinitely process and cross-reference buying behavior to discover previously unseen trends.

Elite Fulfillment Warehouse Services for Your E-commerce Business

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics provides scalable services that grow with your business over time. With advanced technology tools that interface with most major shopping carts, Medallion makes it easy to manage your store at scale.

Is your e-commerce company prepared to handle order-filling and logistics for your growing sales? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn how our fulfillment warehouse services provide scalable services that accommodate the specific needs of your business.

Switch Fulfillment Houses Smoothly

How to Switch to Medallion Fulfillment Warehouse Smoothly

This article focuses on the issues and steps involved in moving your fulfillment operation. You may be starting from the point where you’ve outgrown your in-house capabilities or have chosen to move your operation from one fulfillment provider to another.

In either case, what’s at stake is the ability of your business to meet its delivery commitments to customers, and we don’t have to tell you what an interruption in service can mean to your company.

Unfortunately, transition planning isn’t a cookie cutter process. Each company has some unique requirements and special relationships with fulfillment providers and/or suppliers.

What follows are some points to consider before, during and after the transition.

Understanding the Logistics Profile

Both you and your new fulfillment company should have planning sessions so that your fulfillment company both understands your requirements and understands how to support those requirements through their operations processes.

Expect that your fulfillment company will have some different approaches in handling fulfillment than that which you are used to. Here are some points to discuss to help understand those differences:

  • Service levels required
  • Sources of inventory and replenishment lead times
  • Special product handling requirements
    • Environmental requirements
    • Fragile, liquid, hazmat
    • Weights and dimensions
    • Lot or serial number control
    • Subscription handling
  • Channel support
    • Eg. Selling on multiple channels – Amazon, Ebay etc.
    • Big box selling (EDI and routing guides)
    • Small box retail (invoicing and pre-stickering)
    • Controlling inventory availability across channels
  • The more obvious discussions
    • Order volumes, line item volumes
    • # of SKU’s and SKU churn
    • Who will handle customer service and returns
    • Packaging and assembly requirements
    • International shipping

Make sure that your requirements are understood and that you understand how your new fulfillment company will handle those requirements.

Systems Integration

Before transitioning any product into the new warehouse, you need to be certain that your systems and those of your fulfillment partner can communicate flawlessly. At the very least, you should be able to connect your ERP and/or shopping cart to your fulfillment provider’s system in order to be able to send orders and ASN’s.

You should also test the capability of sending acknowledgement information back into your operations – example; inventory status, tracking information and receipts. You should become familiar with your fulfillment company’s reporting capabilities and be certain that they meet your analytical requirements.

Your product database should be established on your fulfillment provider’s systems, and an audit conducted to make sure that the SKU’s are in sync and key product information has been passed. Having a methodology for adding and deleting SKU’s is also important.

Shipping strategy should also be discussed and incorporated into your fulfillment partner’s systems. The strategy should include what carriers will be used under what circumstances. What are the strategies for ground, 2-3 day, overnight and international shipments?

When you are very certain that your systems are properly integrated and your requirements understood it’s now time to start the transition.

Communication

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s important to communicate the new warehouse location and cut over dates to your customers, carriers, vendors and suppliers.

Location Mapping

When practical, if the receiving warehouse can map the locations for incoming stock in advance, a good deal of time can be saved in the initial receiving and put-away process.

Moving Day

A helpful technique in moving product is to move half of the product to the new location while continuing to ship from the old location, once that process is complete, cut over to the new location for shipping and subsequently move the remaining stock.

This 2-stage movement of product will give you a level of insurance in case some key aspect of the transition has a glitch. Once shipping is successful in the new location, the remaining stock can be transitioned.

Date sensitive stock may present some complications depending on the speed at which the stock is moving and the lot size. If it can be done, we suggest using the same strategy of splitting stock by expiration date.

A good transition starts with first contact with Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics or with Sprocket Express. We work hard to make transitioning to our warehouses fast and easy. We look forward to help you experience an improvement in logistics and fulfillment warehouse performance.

Today’s Networking – Our Tips on Moving Beyond the Digital Scene

Medallion is a California Based Fulfillment Company

Successful networking has always been the foundation of creating avenues to fulfill both personal and professional goals. While digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter make it easier to connect, forging a genuine relationship is still at the heart of building your network. This means making sure you add face-to-face networking opportunities to your schedule too.

So, do you have to be an extrovert or create a phony persona to make these connections? More importantly, once a relationship has been started, how do you nurture it to the fullest extent? Here are some of our favorite tips for effective networking in a digital world.

Good Networking Is a Win-Win Proposition

Networking is intended to open new doors to you, but look at it from the other person’s perspective. He or she is also pursuing potential opportunities. As legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar put it, you’ll get what you want once you help enough other people get what they want.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote about the concept of reciprocity, which means people tend to give back to those who give to them. Even a simple gesture like buying someone a cup of coffee can inspire them to return the favor.

Share Your Network

As with many other concepts, networking is about quality, not quantity. According to evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, 150 is the approximate ceiling of the number of meaningful relationships we can maintain at any given time.

Forming quality relationships is the key to maximizing your network. For example, you may not have a social media specialist in your network, but your connections have well-rounded networks of their own, so they can make referrals when needed.

Branch Out

Branding is no longer just for corporations. Creating and growing your personal brand makes you stand out by establishing your unique value and skills.

Multifaceted people are more compelling than one-dimensional individuals. The more you become involved in “extracurricular” activities such as blogging or running a side business, the more others will be drawn to you.

Meet Face-to-Face

As deeply entrenched as social media has become, it still can’t take the place of personal interaction. Make it a point to attend offline networking events that are focused on your interests in order to create local connections in addition to your online connections.

• While the events may occur in real time, online sites such as Meetup and Facebook Events are a great way to discover what’s going on in your area.

• Get the most out of your time by attending workshops, seminars and talks where you can learn something in addition to networking with others.

• Business cards may seem old-school, but they’re still a more personal and memorable way to exchange information when you do meet face-to-face.

Save Time and Money with Ecommerce Fulfillment Services

Do you have your hands full trying to network and also coordinate inventory levels, order processing and logistics? Contact Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to learn how we can give you back more hours in your day so you’ll have time to make networking work for you.

Don’t Burn Up Profits Using Discounts & Specials

Don't Burn Money

Using discounts and specials to drive traffic to your site can be a double-edged sword. Used properly, such sales offers are a powerful tool for boosting conversions. Used haphazardly, however, they can eat-up profits and burn your brand. Effectively utilizing discounts and specials without damaging your brand takes a bit of finesse.

Step-1: Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is essential in choosing the best type of sales offer(s) for your biz. For brands boasting deep discounts and healthy margins, daily or weekly sales may be better for boosting sales. Higher-end brands with slimmer margins, however, do better with customer loyalty-type offers. (This prevents driving in non-loyal/price-driven shoppers.)

Step-2: Selecting a Discount-Type

Popular options include:

  • Percentage off.
    Most common with sub-$100 sales, these range from overall, small 5-20% discounts to larger 50%+ single-item liquidations.
  • Dollar value discounts.
    Most commonly used with sales over $100, pair these with a minimum purchase.
  • Free shipping with minimum purchase.
    Shipping is the #1 reason for cart abandonment!
  • Free gift.
    A great incentive – and a way to rid product that’s not moving.

Step-3: Determining Timing

  • Go weekly or monthly to drive sales and help meet revenue goals.
  • Use pre launch offers to drive traffic and boost interest in new items/businesses.
  • Take advantage of holidays and seasonal milestones to stretch revenue.

Step-4: Converting Missed Opportunities

Sales offers can also help you nab looky loos.

  • Abandoned cart emails bearing free shipping/discount offers are a powerful conversion tool.
  • Social, email, & newsletter subscriptions offers help you broaden your customer base.
  • “Like”, “follow”, “share” & other referral promos are a wonderful way to widen word-of-mouth.
  • First-time shopper offers are a great nudge.
  • Customer loyalty offers keep shoppers coming back for more.

Struggling to keep up with packaging and shipping needs after using discounts and specials? Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics can help. Contact us today.