Top 2022 resources on online
Best online resource in 2022.
Learn more about online to improve your e-commerce strategy.
10 Best Online Payment Methods for Businesses
Online payment solutions are essential for just about any type of business. Booking and making payments online is convenient for many consumers, so it’s important to make sure your business is keeping up.
Topics: online, payment, business, pay, best, payments, stripe, methods, businesses, platform, offers.
100ms secures $20M to power next generation of live video apps
Live video conferencing infrastructure startup 100ms, based in India and the U.S., has raised $20 million in Series A funding to power the next generation of live video apps, coming barely five months after closing a seed round. This latest round was led by Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation, with participation from Matrix Partners India […]
Topics: startup, infrastructure, online, platforms, techcrunch, live, 20m, apps, secures, 100ms, power, video, generation, months, product, build.
11 Grand Opening (and Reopening) Ideas for Any Business
Your new business’s grand opening isn’t just a one-day event—it includes a buildup to your big moment. Whether you’re opening your first business or your 10th, a launch is cause for celebration. Here, we’ll look at real examples of virtual grand openings, in-store events, grand reopenings, and other grand opening ideas to inspire your own.More
Topics: ideas, business, event, store, online, host, live, social, grand, opening, customers, reopening.
14 Free Personality Tests You Can Take Online Today
Personality tests are a great way to explore different aspects of who you are, and uncover layers you perhaps hadn't recognized about yourself before.
Topics: test, youre, intelligence, skills, today, career, tests, know, online, free, emotional, work, personality.
14 Marketplaces to Buy and Sell Websites
Buyers and sellers of websites and other digital assets have plenty of marketplaces to facilitate transactions. Here's a rundown of 14 options ranging from full-service merger-and-acquisition providers to bare-bones listing services.
Topics: business, websites, sell, valuation, marketplaces, million, sellers, marketplace, online, sale, businesses, buy, selling.
14 New and Updated Online Video Tools
Video allows merchants to engage customers and prospects. Here is a list of new and updated video tools, including shoppable videos, live streaming, video podcasts, and more.
Topics: videos, available, media, users, video, online, creators, tools, content, updated, live, shopping.
16 Leadership Resources for Any Stage of Your Career [+ 9 Extra Tools]
When you think of leadership resources, terms like ROI, budget, and management might come to mind. But the data is in.
There's a new way to think about leadership. It's time to focus on the relationships that are essential to business success.
Topics: business, offers, courses, great, learning, extra, leadership, resources, help, stage, tools, podcast, career, online.
17 Podcasts for Online Merchants in 2022
Since 2011 we've published a periodic rundown of helpful podcasts for ecommerce merchants. Our 2022 update includes shows for new entrepreneurs, seasoned owners, executives, and more.
Topics: podcasts, companies, episodes, hosted, online, merchants, business, podcast, weekly, interviews, explores, marketing.
25 Home Based Business Ideas That Let You Work From Home
When you think of owning and operating a business, you might think about renting commercial real estate, commuting to an office, or managing employees. But there are plenty of ways you can pursue entrepreneurship with your headquarters at home.More
Topics: based, start, selling, business, sell, online, let, ideas, homebased, products, youre, work, create, social.
3 Mistakes to Avoid With Your First E-Commerce Store
As a flood of entrepreneurs moves online, many are getting caught in the same traps.
Topics: website, avoid, thats, dont, ecommerce, store, think, getting, thing, work, online, mistakes.
3 Sure-Fire Ways to Drive More Online Demand for Your Products
Use these three levers to drive the best online traffic to your product pages.
Topics: products, conversion, surefire, quality, need, product, consumers, digital, demand, brands, content, traffic, online, ways, destiny, drive.
3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Tailor Their Ecommerce Strategy for Maximum Growth
Ecommerce continues to grow. Here are three things that entrepreneurs need to do in order to find success with it.
Topics: free, strategy, sellers, tailor, growth, ecommerce, online, smbs, consumers, maximum, customers, platforms, shipping, entrepreneurs, shopping, ways.
46 Best Free Online Courses For Whatever You Want to Learn
Whether you want that job promotion or to sidestep into a new field, you'll need to commit to learning new skills. One of the best ways you can do that is by taking free online courses.
Topics: social, media, business, sales, online, learn, course, free, need, strategy, youll, best, courses, marketing.
47 of the Best Affiliate Programs That Pay the Highest Commission
Every day, thousands of publishers benefit from a recurring cash inflow by partnering up with other companies via affiliate programs.
Topics: website, earn, commission, affiliate, programs, program, products, life, marketing, highest, pay, online, best.
5 Ways to Provide a Positive Customer Experience in Ecommerce
Today, consumers have many online shopping options to choose from, making the customer experience a key competitive differentiator for ecommerce companies.
Topics: provide, customer, shopping, service, ways, mobile, experience, shoppers, online, ecommerce, positive, companies, consumers.
A Complete Sana Commerce Review
B2B eCommerce and B2C businesses acting as manufacturers, distributors, or wholesalers face many challenges, the most important of which is ensuring their customers are happy. To help leave a smile on your customer's face, using the right eCommerce software platform…
Continue reading A Complete Sana Commerce Review
Topics: order, customers, ecommerce, customer, review, erp, commerce, online, management, complete, product, sana.
A Plain English Guide to Real Time Bidding
Because of its efficiency and cost-effectiveness, real-time bidding (RTB) has become one of the most popular ways to purchase ad inventory online.
Topics: guide, ads, real, english, online, inventory, platform, bidding, demandside, plain, ad, publishers, realtime, supplyside.
Amazon is Primed for online domination
We talk about bulls in china shops, but what about bulls running through the streets of entire shopping districts, or other neighborhoods? This morning, Amazon unveiled a new feature that will test just how much of a bull it can be online — beyond its own china shop, so to speak. Prime — its membership-based […]
Topics: shopping, domination, primed, amazons, thirdparty, prime, merchants, free, techcrunch, pay, amazon, online, products.
Amazon launches Smart Commerce in India to help offline stores launch digital storefronts
Amazon said it will help neighborhood stores across India launch their own digital storefronts to better serve their customers, the latest effort by the e-commerce giant as it attempts to leverage the dense network of offline stores in the key overseas market. Amazon on Wednesday launched Smart Commerce, a new offering that will allow stores […]
Topics: help, storefronts, india, neighborhood, smart, amazon, techcrunch, offer, offline, online, digital, stores, launch, serve, commerce, launches.
Amazon to close 68 physical retail locations, including Amazon Books and 4-star stores
Amazon’s physical retail business is suffering a major blow as the company today confirmed to Reuters it will close 68 brick-and-mortar retail stores across the U.S. and U.K. This includes its Amazon Books bookstores, its pop-up shops in various markets and its 4-star stores, where customers could shop popular and highly rated products across Amazon.com. […]
Topics: techcrunch, books, amazon, locations, brickandmortar, close, physical, stores, company, workers, retail, business, including, online.
Amazon, Walmart and the Epic Battle for Consumer Spending
Amazon is adding brick-and-mortar locations. Walmart is beefing up its online tools. It's a massive battle of two retail titans. We compare their operations and strategies in the historic competition for consumer spending.
Topics: workers, service, walmart, amazon, battle, consumer, delivery, hourly, epic, stores, spending, online, customers.
An In-depth Rewind Review – Everything You Need to Know
Welcome to our in-depth Rewind review. Have you ever thought about what you would do in the event that your store data, blog posts, and product listings were accidentally or maliciously deleted at this moment? While this may look like…
Continue reading An In-depth Rewind Review – Everything You Need to Know
Topics: rewind, need, shopify, backups, know, month, indepth, data, backup, online, bigcommerce, store, review, plan.
Arive raises $20M for an instant delivery service beyond groceries and essentials
Instant purchase and delivery of food and other essentials was one of the big bubbles of opportunity in the world of e-commerce in the last year, with dozens of startups big and small emerging and scooping up funding to build out businesses to bring items like groceries, toilet paper and Tylenol to people’s doors in […]
Topics: capital, startups, raises, model, groceries, 20m, delivery, items, company, essentials, online, service, techcrunch, instant, arive.
Arrow saves online shopping carts in Southeast Asia
Even in markets where credit card penetration is high, shopping cart abandonment is still a major source of concern for online vendors. Now imagine the situation in Southeast Asia, where many countries have scores of e-wallets, buy now, pay later services and other forms of payment. Bank transfers are also popular option for online purchases, […]
Topics: asia, major, arrow, online, abandonment, payment, checkout, merchants, saves, shopping, cart, liat, southeast, techcrunch, neo, carts.
As EU’s VAT reform ramps up, marketplaces must focus on compliance to avoid tax risk
On July 1, 2021 there was a big change in the European Union’s Value Added Tax (VAT) law, impacting online retailers, marketplaces and their e-commerce businesses across the EU.
Topics: sales, vat, thirdparty, online, regulations, focus, merchants, ecommerce, marketplaces, tax, eu, risk, reform, ramps, compliance, eus, techcrunch.
Barbell Logic Rides Shift to Online Fitness
The pandemic has upended the fitness industry. Having no access to public gyms, millions of folks turned to at-home workouts. According to Matt Reynolds, the founder of Barbell Logic, an online strength coaching company, the shift is permanent.
Topics: rides, fitness, coaching, online, barbell, shift, role, clients, gyms, logic, professional, position, theyre, access.
Best Ecommerce Platform for Artists in 2022
Choosing the best ecommerce platform for artists is one of the most important initial steps you’ll take as a creator to sell your work online. The digital landscape, with its host of easy-to-use website builders and sales tools, has opened…
Continue reading Best Ecommerce Platform for Artists in 2022
Topics: artists, online, website, access, best, sell, ecommerce, platform, month, selling, package, products.
Bloomreach, now valued at $2.2B, continues to plant seeds of customer personalization
Bloomreach powers hundreds of billions of dollars in gross merchandise value by enabling businesses to personalize customer journeys.
Topics: bloomreach, plant, trillion, datta, 22b, used, online, seeds, techcrunch, grew, ecommerce, valued, personalization, experience, million, continues, customer.
Cash in on Your Expertise: 10 Steps to Create an Online Course That Sells
Learn how to create an online course that sells—from choosing a topic with high market demand to launching your digital product.
Topics: cash, customers, market, creating, expertise, course, need, content, sells, marketing, online, create, steps, topic.
Charts: B2B Buyers Prefer Ecommerce
Observers sometimes claim B2B buyers prefer in-person purchases to online. Recent surveys, however, dispel that notion resoundingly. We explain in four charts.
Topics: survey, mckinsey, inperson, stated, prefer, online, sales, respondents, b2b, charts, ecommerce, buyers.
Charts: Online Grocery Sales in the U.S.
Ecommerce will account for over 20% of U.S. grocery sales by 2025.
That’s according to a new report from Incisiv, a research firm, and Mercātus, digital-focused grocery consultants.
The study, “eGrocery’s New ...
Topics: online, delivery, grocery, shoppers, charts, study, sales, curbside, pickup, shopper, preferred.
Charts: U.S. Retail Ecommerce Sales Q4 2021
Fourth-quarter 2021 U.S. retail ecommerce sales increased but at a lower percentage than in-store growth. Thus the percentage of ecommerce to total U.S. retail sales decreased in Q4. We explain in three charts.
Topics: total, department, ecommerce, charts, grew, electronic, retail, q4, sales, online.
Cococart sweetens the process for e-commerce companies to take orders immediately
Cococart's tools enable merchants to set up an online store in minutes with no code, no design and no app downloads.
Topics: business, cococart, process, merchants, low, immediately, businesses, techcrunch, orders, selling, ecommerce, companies, started, running, sweetens, online.
Constant Contact Email Marketing Review (Dec 2021) – Everything You Need to Know
Whether you are a current ecommerce store owner or a budding online seller looking to make a start, you should hopefully be aware of the value that email marketing can bring your business. The process of choosing the right email…
Continue reading Constant Contact Email Marketing Review (Dec 2021) – Everything You Need to Know
Topics: marketing, email, dec, need, constant, options, available, know, contact, plus, tools, emails, review, online.
Cyber Week online spending down 1.4% to $33.9 billion as U.S. consumers shopped earlier this year
Consumer awareness of supply chain shortages and even earlier deals may have contributed to a slight decline in U.S. e-commerce sales during Cyber Week — the kickoff to the holiday shopping season that runs from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Last year, U.S. consumers spent a record $34.4 billion during Cyber Week, up 20.7% from […]
Topics: record, shopping, holiday, week, consumers, yearoveryear, online, sales, cyber, billion, shopped, spending, earlier, techcrunch, adobe.
Deliverect raises $150M at a $1.4B+ valuation to streamline online and offline food orders
As we have started to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, food delivery has shaped up to continue to be a major business. In England, for example, some 76% of people order at least one takeaway a week, whereas it was 60% pre-pandemic. Now, a startup called Deliverect that has built a […]
Topics: techcrunch, orders, restaurants, offline, number, business, streamline, food, company, valuation, restaurant, raises, online, xu, round, pandemic, 150m, delivery, deliverect.
EU’s digital rule-book reboot could fumble dark patterns ban and trader checks, warns BEUC
When the European Commission presented its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal in December 2020, it listed beefed up consumer protections as a headline goal for the flagship update to the bloc’s rules for digital services. But now, as negotiations over the draft law are in the final stretch, where EU co-legislators hash out the detail […]
Topics: rulebook, council, eu, warns, platforms, online, trader, patterns, marketplaces, fumble, eus, data, techcrunch, dark, dsa, reboot, digital, presidency.
EcoCart Review (Apr 2022): Offsetting Carbon Emissions
In today’s EcoCart review, we’re looking at a new start-up introducing intelligent ways of offsetting carbon emissions, and helping businesses go green. Currently, we’re living in a world where customers are increasingly looking to purchase from companies who care. Around…
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Topics: apr, shopping, offset, review, online, emissions, offsetting, impact, carbon, customers, companies, ecocart, company.
FTC orders online shop to pay $4M for hiding reviews below 4 stars
We all know online reviews must be taken with a grain of salt, but generally you’d like to think that a product with a 4.5-star average is better than one with a 3.5-star average. You might be wrong, since the site you’re looking at might not even permit bad reviews to appear — like Fashion […]
Topics: pay, online, reviews, ftc, review, hiding, shop, orders, fashion, appear, stars, million, 4m, site, nova, techcrunch.
Fresh round of $355M lifts online checkout company Bolt into decacorn territory
This newest raise comes just three months after Bolt took in a sizable $393 million in Series D funding.
Topics: company, lifts, decacorn, checkout, shoppers, territory, bolts, round, fresh, bolt, technology, network, online, breslow, series, funding, techcrunch.
Here’s how JOKR became gross-profit positive amid a cutthroat grocery delivery industry
Founder and CEO Ralf Wenzel, discussed, according to him, why his company’s grocery delivery model is doing better than most.
Topics: heres, company, grocery, type, amid, million, customers, techcrunch, business, industry, jokr, positive, grossprofit, online, weve, delivery, inventory, cutthroat.
Holiday Shopping Fails – 2021 Sales Fall Short
Another holiday shopping cycle bites the dust, and the results are in: nothing for the record books. AdWeek reported lower projections, with the biggest returns projected for Cyber Monday.
Amid supply chain issues and a national labor shortage, it seems shoppers made the bulk of purchases earlier in the season to ensure no disappointments on Christmas morning, as retailers offered deep deals as early as October to get a jump on the season.
Not surprisingly the most sought-after items include high-definition TVs, next gen smartphones, devices, gaming systems, household appliances, and the latest toys for the kid, or the kid-at-heart, who has everything.
A few key numbers and findings:
Online sales reached $8.9 billion on Black Friday, slightly below last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics
Physical store traffic rose from last year, but still well below pre-pandemic levels
Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services are on the rise, and in recent months several major retailers now offer the option at point-of-sales both in-store and online
Curbside pickup remains steady since the pandemic began, while other shopping behaviors have waned. According to Adobe, curbside services were used in 20% of all online orders placed on Black Friday. For the month of November, curbside services were up 78% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019
And now on with the show… Holiday shopping woes abound in the Twittersphere and among the TikTok nation, with pain points ranging from no inventory to coupon missteps, and overall lackluster shopping experiences.
Here are snapshots of a few #fails:
When the deal is really anything but:
No availability for highly anticipated new product launches on the busiest shopping day of the year is in this shopper’s mind not just a fail, but one of epic proportions:
While some retailers do accept expired paper coupons, in the case of online codes for an on-demand service, it requires an extra step to chat with customer service when the code fails – or when you don’t even get to redemption because the offer is marked with an expired date.
Inconsistency on sale models and pricing, whether intended or triggered by a glitch in your inventory system, damages the trust you work so hard to build with your customers.
And when you do find that unicorn of a deal, your size seems to be the only dreaded out of stock:
While this instance could be chalked up to tough luck, or maybe this shopper has niche taste beyond a 4K Ultra HD TV, a deeper dive could suggest you aren’t listening to what your customers want.
Again, glitches can ruin the experience; especially when you’ve been led to believe you are “next in line”…
Despite all the inevitable #fails along the way, many shoppers found they got exactly what they were looking for at the right price, either in person or online. I shopped Small Business Saturday by purchasing handmade items from some of my favorite local artists.
But even if you didn’t have the best experience, some shoppers dug deep and found a certain amount of humor in the situation:
And brutal self-awareness:
We can’t forget our Black Friday shoppers who braved the in-store experience, only to find curious merchandizing decisions:
And well, at least you aren’t this guy:
That’s a wrap on holiday shopping 2021…it turned out to be more of a bear than a bull, one could say. Stay tuned for more insights and trends as we continue to navigate shopping habits in these unprecedented times.
Topics: holiday, shopping, fall, prepandemic, service, fails, shoppers, sales, black, retailers, online, experience, services, short.
How Consumers Responded to Black Friday Ads in 2021 [+Trends to Watch]
After 2020, there were big expectations for what 2021 could bring. Some predicted lower Black Friday sales as supply chains struggle to meet demand. Others said 2021 would bring record numbers.
Topics: shopping, brands, social, watch, consumers, ads, black, responded, online, video, ad, trends, media.
How Do You Pick the Best Theme For Your Online Store? Take Our Quiz
Your website design and layout could win—or lose—a customer for life. That’s why it’s an important step in launching a new brand or rebranding an existing one. Most businesses start with a website theme and tweak it to suit the brand’s needs. How do you choose the right one for you? Start with our interactive quiz, then read on to get the most from your theme.More
Topics: fit, themes, online, product, pick, quiz, store, shopify, website, best, right, theme, brand, try.
How Ecommerce Is Helping Those Facing the Great Resignation (Become Your Own Boss in 5 Steps)
Topics: social, resignation, great, business, easy, start, helping, ecommerce, online, steps, facing, shipping, consumers, boss, product, store.
How Miss Excel Makes $100k Each Day Selling Courses
Miss Excel is her name, or at least how people know her on TikTok. The now popular TikToker and Instagram influencer,Kat Norton, promotes her courses through social media and leads users to online training courses for Excel and other Microsoft…
Continue reading How Miss Excel Makes $100k Each Day Selling Courses
Topics: course, excel, day, views, makes, courses, selling, 100k, norton, online, videos, video, tiktok, miss, kat.
How to Build a Sales Channel Strategy Around Your Online Store Without Losing Customers
We take a deep look into the different types of sales channels and how you can set your business up to be more resilient in the long term.More
Topics: customers, strategy, channels, business, store, build, marketplaces, brand, sales, online, channel, losing, shopify.
How to Get Bitcoins: 6 Tried-and-True Methods
The conversation around Bitcoin has been brewing for years but it exploded in 2017 when the stock reached $19,000. It dipped back down for a few more years until it surged in 2020 and reached new peaks in 2021.
Topics: cryptocurrency, investors, store, methods, earn, bitcoins, wallet, exchange, online, buy, triedandtrue, bitcoin.
How to Grow and Scale Your Ecommerce Brand in 2022
Learn how to harness recent trends and shifts in consumer shopping to propel your sales and scale in 2022.
Topics: customers, brand, customer, online, grow, need, scale, social, shopping, experience, ecommerce, trends.
How to Sell CBD Online
The CBD market is booming, and the growth of eCommerce will only amplify it. Now is the time to build and launch a CBD online store. Learn how to build your website and get the top tips for boosting your CBD sales.
Why you Should Look to Start a CBD Online Store?
1. The CBD Market is Growing
CBD is a budding business.The cannabidiol (CBD) market is booming but starting this post with a pun was unavoidable.
In a report released from the Brightfield Group, a company specializing in predictive consumer and market intelligence for the CBD and cannabis industries, they noted CBD sales are expected to reach $20 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 147%. While forecasts aren’t set in stone, historical numbers can’t lie.
Ninety-seven percent of cannabis users primarily took CBD for chronic pain relief, while 50% of 100 respondents said they used CBD to reduce stress or anxiety. Looking at the same CBD usage statistics, 45% stated they took CBD to improve a sleep disorder, most commonly insomnia.
Numbers aside, it’s hard to miss the explosive growth and use of CBD products. People of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles seem to be avid consumers and it feels like almost everyone has experimented with various forms of CBD for one reason or another. It is truly becoming a mainstream component of today’s culture, which means there is a huge market opportunity for business owners.
Whether you’re already in the CBD business, or looking to break in, now is the time to launch your online store. For those with brick-and-mortar shops who might be wondering whether to expand, you honestly don’t have a choice. Taking an omni-channel approach to your CBD business will be the key driver behind continued success and growth, because if you don’t, your competitors will.
2. ECommerce in General is Exploding
In the United States, sales of CBD in the e-commerce channel are forecast to increase from approximately two billion U.S. dollars in 2021 to more than six billion U.S. dollars by 2026.
The new shopping mindset of the consumer is pushing more companies than ever to turn their sights to the internet, and you don’t want to get left behind.
3. The Constraints around CBD Have Loosened
The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp in the U.S., the plant where CBD derives. Legislation helped facilitate explosive growth in CBD products by reclassifying CBD and disassociating the compound from its cousin, THC, giving growers and businesses the ability to legally manufacture, sell, and ship hemp-derived products. This in turn gave consumers easier access to CBD, and as we know today, convenience in shopping is everything.
Positive public perception surrounding weed in general is on the rise with legislators on both sides of the aisle looking to support the full legalization of cannabis.
More than two in three Americans (68%) support legalizing marijuana, maintaining the record high level, according to a Gallup poll. The same research shows Democrats (83%) in support of full legalization, with Independents coming in at 71%, and Republicans on the fence at 50% supporting full legalization.
4. Consumer Demand is High
From recreational use to treating everyday anxiety and stress, or even alleviating the symptoms of more serious medical conditions like Parkinson’s or PTSD, the reasons for consuming CBD are expanding, and just as with any product, consumers like having options.
You can find CBD coffee shops as well as established spas offering CBD massages. Companies even sell CBD pet products. From CBD oil to gummies, chocolates, creams, supplements, vapes, or even chap stick and nasal spray, manufacturers and distributors are getting more creative with what products they’re infusing with CBD.
The Bottom Line is Consumers Want CBD. The Demand is There.
Nine million people started using CBD for the first time due to the pandemic; on average Americans spend an average of $20–$80 per month on CBD.
One in three American adults have used CBD oil, and over 66% of the population is familiar with the product. Moreover, about 40% are using it for chronic pain relief.
What does the average CBD oil user look like? 20% of U.S. adults aged 18-29 personally use CBD products, with the percentages decreasing as the age groups progress.
An expanded customer base means more potential sales and opportunities for your CBD business, but it also means you need to find and define your ideal customer and product. The first step, however, is making sure your business is legal.
Ensuring you Sell CBD Online Legally
The answer to the question, “is it legal to sell CBD online?” is yes and no. If you’re looking to expand your existing company or are interested in starting an online CBD business, I’m sure we don’t have to tell you this, but we’ll restate it anyways – selling CBD oil or other products, online or in-store, is not the same as selling marijuana. They are different; marijuana is in fact still federally classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
A Quick Overview: CBD vs. THC
Without getting into the weeds, the high-level differentiation between the two is that the compound CBD is typically extracted from the hemp plant, while tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD contains minimal to no traces of THC and is non-psychoactive, so it does not affect the brain the same way that THC does (also, if you caught that last pun, I promise there are only one or two more).
While federally legal, CBD is still highly regulated both nationally and at the state level. The Farm Bill shifted oversight from the DEA to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means there is a whole array of testing that needs to be done and labeling regulations that must be meticulously followed.
States also have the final say as to whether it’s legal to buy, possess, manufacture, or sell CBD products within their borders. Using hemp-based CBD for recreational or medicinal purposes remains illegal in in Idaho and Nebraska.
Do’s and Don’ts of Selling CBD
Know your state-by-state laws. CBD sellers and buyers should know where CBD is legal. This is a two-way street. As a business owner however, you need to ensure that your online CBD store is built to handle the varying regulations.
To legally sell CBD, all products must be within the THC limit of 0.3%. You need to be 100% positive the products you're selling, or if you’re manufacturing and providing wholesale options, that your CBD products follow this guideline and don’t surpass the legal limit.
Do not make health claims. The FDA has issued warning letters against making health claims. While both marijuana and CBD have documented health benefits, there is only one FDA-approved drug that contains CBD at the moment, the epilepsy medication Epidiolex.
Some states have legalized medical marijuana and the grip on CBD is loosening, so the opportunities for researching cannabis and running studies to understand marijuana and CBD benefits are expanding. Until it’s been thoroughly vetted however, it’s best to steer clear of making health claims.
Finally, your products must be labeled correctly. Your label has to say CBD (among other things). This is essential for you to not only ensure your FDA compliant, but for shipping carriers to acknowledge and mail your products.
Finding a CBD distributor whose products comply with FDA regulations is vital, and just like your customers would expect to trust you as a business, you need to know you can trust your source. There are many components to a CBD business, and your distributor is just one piece of the puzzle.
Starting a CBD Online Business
So you’ve decided to dive in. You’ve researched how to sell CBD oil (or other CBD products), sculpted a business plan, and are now ready to build and launch your brand. There are several pieces you need in place to start selling and making revenue.
1. Finding a Reputable CBD Supplier
If you already own a CBD shop, you can skip ahead to part 2. If you’re just getting started and are looking at reselling CBD products that have already been manufactured or are interested in creating your own, you need a high-quality CBD supplier. There are a number in the market today, both U.S.-based and international that you can choose from.
Many wholesalers in the U.S. have been sourcing their CBD from Europe, where farmers have had years more experience in growing hemp, so sourcing from abroad is an option. With the 2018 Farm Bill in place, I would expect the national options to be on the rise.
Regardless, there are two key documents you’ll want to make sure any distributor has - the cGMP and COA.
Certificate of Analysis (COA). Make this mandatory and make sure you know how to read a COA report. It is essential for you to vet the quality of the products or CBD extract you’re purchasing and ensure you’re running a legal business. The COA is a report that provides the test results and analytics (usually run by a separate 3rd party lab), of the supplier’s CBD goods. It will confirm what plant species the CBD was extracted from, the levels of CBD and THC, and verify you’re within your legal 0.3% limit.
The COA will also give you a detailed analysis and the percentage breakdown of the other components that might be found in the CBD, including heavy metals, pesticides used on the plant (sample below), and terpenes, an aromatic oil that is secreted from the plants (it’s what gives off that skunky or sweet smell). If you’re ever in doubt, you can always get a test run yourself. Neither you nor your customers should be surprised by what’s in your products and you don’t want to be responsible for health risks.
Current Goods Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). GMP is set of rules and regulations set forth by administrations, like the FDA, to ensure that products are safe for human consumption by outlining standards for how they’re manufactured, cleaned, packaged, and handed. Manufacturing facilities that meet these standards will be given a certificate, which is a good indicator for you that their practices conform to FDA and individual state guidelines.
2. Building and Launching CBD Websites
Your online store will be your most powerful tool for driving revenue, so you’re going to want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. Ecommerce platforms come in many shapes and offer a myriad of capabilities and features. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll want to pick one that meets your business requirements.
Option 1: Pre-Built Templates
If you find yourself short of a web developer and need a solution that provides front-end themes, store templates, and other UI components out-of-the-box, companies like Shopify and BigCommerce might be a good choice. Platforms like these will also include other business critical features like shopping carts, but often provide flexibility when it comes to customizing.
Option 2: Custom Stores
If you want to provide a unique shopping experience tailored to your brand and consumer and have decided to go with a custom front-end, you will need an ecommerce solution that provides core services and features like shopping carts, checkout processes, and catalogue management. These pieces will have to tie seamlessly into your website and companies like Elastic Path or Commerce Tools will offer the type of solutions you’ll need.
Either way, an attractive website with easy-to-understand navigation and fast loading times will make your users’ journey convenient and frictionless, the key to a higher conversion for you.
Due to the nature of the CBD and marijuana industry, insurance companies, merchant account providers, and payment processors consider CBD businesses ‘high-risk.’ Many won’t take you on as a customer.
Payment gateways and payment processors are no different, but there are a number that specialize in helping high-risk CDB businesses such as Payment Cloud or Easy Pay Direct. Make sure that whichever provider you choose, you can seamlessly integrate it with your full eCommerce platform or cart and checkout process. Without the ability to accept credit cards and process payments, an online store is pointless.
A note on cannabis-focused cryptocurrency
You can accept payment types outside of the typical credit card payment. For example, CBD companies like BlueBird Botanicals accept cryptocurrency on their website. Accepting and processing cryptocurrency payments gives you a broader array of payment pathways you can give your customers, many of whom may be trading cryptocurrencies.
From household names like BitCoin, to industry specific options like HempCoin, there are a number you can look at. There is some concern that cryptocurrency will fail soon and that this link between industries will flop by association. However, it hasn’t yet and there seem to be close cultural ties between Cryptocurrency providers and CBD supporters, which is why many speculate the two industries have looked to each other for support.
4. Shipping Carriers
With CBD being federally legal, you won’t face a lot of restrictions here, if you make sure you follow the guidelines of whoever you decide on using. The United States Postal Service has guidelines on shipping hemp-based products. UPS will carry your CBD products, just make sure you’re keeping tabs on what’s required.
Top Challenges with Selling CBD Online & Suggested Solutions
Everything we’ve discussed so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve guaranteed your CBD products are legal, built your website, and found funding, the real eCommerce challenges begin.
1. Banking and Payment Processing
We just walked through a short overview of why these are important but finding a payment processor and merchant account for your company is probably one of the most frustrating parts of bringing your CBD business plan to life. Providers that specialize in helping ‘high-risk’ merchants usually have higher processing fees, more restrictions, and will give you less time to solve chargeback issues.
If you’re only selling CBD products online, you’ll have to choose a 3rd-party provider that will process payments for CBD goods out of the gate. If you sell other goods and have decided to expand your product catalogue to include CBD, you already have these systems and providers in place.
This means you may need more than one, and your back-end website logic will have to treat CBD products differently. You’ll have to handle any payment restrictions or limitations at the product-level. This will add a lot of complexity to your site architecture and will require a higher degree of customization in the back end.
Resources for Finding online CBD Payment Processors or a Merchant Account for CBD
The Best CBD Merchant Account Providers
CBD Payment Gateways
2. Risk of Losing Access to your 3-party Providers
You’re at the mercy of whichever merchant account provider, eCommerce solution, or payment gateway you choose. It’s not unheard of for these companies to update their acceptable use policies on a whim and add new limitations to what their platforms can be used for. With CBD still a gray area legally, you’re pretty much always at risk of losing access.
Tip for Reducing Risk: Build a website that decouples your front end, or what the customer sees, from the back end and take a component-based approach to building your eCommerce experience. This is a technical tip but taking these steps will give you the flexibility you need to switch vendors quickly if needed and will give you complete control over your website.
What we mean by this is, don’t lock yourself into a single vendor that offers everything ‘out-of-the-box’ with a particular list of integrations they suggest using. Giving yourself options and flexibility will reduce the risk of you losing the ability to keep your business running.
3. Tying State Regulations into your Cart and Checkout Process
If you’re selling a mix of products that aren’t just CBD-based, you need to make sure your online store can implement product-based shipping rules that will guarantee you stay within safe shipping zones depending on what’s in your customer’s cart.
Different taxes may also apply to different goods and depending on the state, so your shopping cart will need to be able to access the right data and apply it accordingly.
4. Competition and Differentiating your Business
Earlier in this post, we talked a lot about the extensive market opportunity that CBD provides business owners and how the rise of ecommerce is geared up to support the continued growth of the industry.
Unfortunately, with opportunity like this, comes great competition. The ‘green-rush’ is very real. Everyone, from your next-door neighbor to your local coffee shop, gas station, and even multi-national organizations are looking to take advantage of this increase in market demand. Many pharmacies and retailers now carry CBD products. The good news is, it’s still not a reality to sell CBD products on major platforms like Amazon and eBay.
Tips for Beating the Competition: This is why it’s vital you build a trustworthy brand that consumers will love and follow. This starts with you providing a custom, customer-centric online experience. It’s like that saying where you have seven seconds to make a first impression. In this case, your website will have to do that for you.
5. Marketing CBD: Advertising and Promotions
Anyone’s initial thoughts on how to build awareness and beat the competition would be jump on the online advertising bandwagon. Sorry again, but you’ll face huge limitations here as well. Google and Facebook Ads will not run CBD ads. This means you can’t leverage some of today’s biggest consumer platforms to market your products, like Instagram, in the same way other retailers can.
This is a key reason you see brands vying for the attention and support of influencers, which, is a great tactic to explore. However, short of getting the Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski to partner with you and publicly back your business and product, you’ll have to get a little more creative in how you advertise your business.
Tips for Advertising your CBD Business
Focus on increasing website traffic with an SEO strategy and blog posts. We can’t state this enough, but your website is really the heart of your business. Build and implement a solid SEO strategy around CBD keywords and your products. Start a blog and publish regular, educational, and informational content.
The goal here is to establish yourself and your business as an industry leader, or at the very least, as a knowledgeable and trustworthy brand. Blogs are also a powerful tool to connect to other 3rd party CBD companies or industry publications. Offering to link to them in exchange for a mention on their site will increase your backlinks and make you more favorable in Google’s eyes.
Leverage industry publications. Speaking of publications, there are several marijuana and CBD magazines and sites with both print and digital editions, all of which offer advertising in one form or another and have Facebook and twitter followers in the thousands. Take a look at some of our favorites:
Cannabis Culture Magazine
Marijuana Business Daily
Emails. Seems basic but drive site visitors and blog readers to subscribe or leave their email so you can continue to send them information.
Tradeshows. This is huge. Due to limitations surrounding online advertising, you may want to place a higher priority on making it to in-person events. There are several shows globally, multiple times a year - and they’re expanding rapidly.
Tradeshows are not only a great place to meet potential customers and other CBD business owners (if you’re B2B) but also CBD suppliers, growers, manufacturers, labs for testing and analytics, flavor suppliers, and distributors. You might even meet a law firm or eCommerce platform that specializes in CBD.
Top Features to Look For in an eCommerce Solution for CBD
We’ve talked a lot about how your website will be the key to success for your CBD business. All aspects of your business will flow through that online portal and because you’re selling regulated goods, some aspects will be more difficult to manage. Here’s the three key attributes you should look for when building your eCommerce site:
Scalability. Whether it’s handling a larger volume of traffic and order placements, to a growing product catalogue, your site, and primarily your cart and checkout process, should be able to grow with you as your business scales.
Flexibility. You need to seamlessly integrate with a multitude of 3rd party providers that address steps across the entire customer journey to keep the engine running. Just as you should be able to easily weave one into your architecture, should you be able to replace one.
When your payment processor decides to stop handling payments for CBD products you don’t want to be stuck and risk losing the ability to accept credit card info. If you’ve decided to accept bitcoin payments for your products, you ecommerce site will need to be able to handle multiple payment types. Long term, as you expand, you might want to start using multiple languages and accepting foreign currency.
You will also need to implement a variety of tax specifications and shipping regulations by state. If you decide to include an age-verification step in your checkout process, your site will need to be able to accept and process this data.
Speed. You lose revenue for every millisecond your site doesn’t load. We’re not kidding. Amazon did a whole study on it. Your site’s architecture and the tech stack that supports it will directly impact your site performance.
Building your eCommerce Experience with Elastic Path
You only get the true flexibility you need from an eCommerce site that has an API-based architecture that decouples your front-end from your back end. Yes, I’m talking about headless, but merely picking a headless solution isn’t enough - you need a headless approach that is also ‘services based’ (meaning each part of your eCommerce journey is a separate microservice component that can be assembled together).
We’re not talking about using a platform like BigCommerce, Salesforce, or Shopify that offer a form of ‘headless,’ where the APIs are bolted onto the infrastructure already in place, but about building CBD websites with a natively microservices-based back end completely built on APIs. This will enable you to create an eCommerce site with fit-for-purpose components and provide only the features you need.
You can learn more here, about why a headless approach to ecommerce is the best option for regulated or high-risk businesses. With Elastic Path you can easily manage complex back-end logic and alleviate many of the challenges you’ll have to face when building and launching your online CBD store.
Let us know if you want to learn more about how Elastic Path can help you launch and manage your CBD business.
Topics: business, products, need, youre, cbd, sell, payment, ecommerce, marijuana, online, site.
How to Sell Home Decor Online: The Ultimate Guide
Home is no longer just the place we relax or sleep. The concept of homes as we know them has shifted—and consumers have adapted to it.
Topics: guide, consumers, sales, sell, ultimate, brands, website, furniture, omnichannel, product, brand, décor, online.
How to Sell Jewelry Online and Build a Store That Shoppers Love
Jewelry is a timeless and powerful part of the human experience. According to the International Gem Society (IGS), the earliest…
Topics: practical, build, customer, need, business, jewelry, sell, ecommerce, brand, guide, marketing, online, shoppers, successfully.
How to Start an Ecommerce Business: Build an Ecommerce Store
Starting an ecommerce business is as exciting as it is challenging. To help, we've put together a list of essential advice, compiled from Shopify's most popular guides and videos, on all the steps involved in getting a new online business off the ground.More
Topics: products, marketing, need, ecommerce, store, search, product, build, start, online, business.
In the Race Between Amazon and Google, Who Will Be Victorious?
Consumers are shifting from search-engine-based purchasing journeys to online marketplaces and other options.
Topics: amazon, digital, google, commerce, victorious, consumers, search, purchase, retailer, race, significant, shoppers, online.
Indian logistics firm Xpressbees becomes unicorn with $300 million fresh funding
Xpressbees, an Indian logistics startup that works with several e-commerce firms in the country, has more than tripled its valuation to $1.2 billion in a new financing round. The Pune-headquartered startup said on Wednesday it has raised $300 million — $100 million in primary and $200 million in secondary (to give partial exit to Alibaba […]
Topics: xpressbees, funding, firms, blackstone, unicorn, logistics, indian, firm, growth, fresh, online, valuation, techcrunch, ecommerce, million, startup.
Introducing the BigCommerce 2021 Partner Awards Finalists
It’s time for the BigCommerce 2021 Partner Awards! Marking the fourth year of the program, the BigCommerce Partner Awards is…
Topics: finalists, awards, solutions, bigcommerce, customer, design, clients, partner, ecommerce, online, introducing, experience, business, digital.
Jumia reports 30% growth in value of goods sold on its platform during Black Friday season this year
E-commerce in Africa is growing fast and its potential remains enormous as more people get connected to the internet. Across sub-Saharan Africa 303 million people, about 28% of the population, are connected to the mobile internet, according to the 2021 GSMA mobile economy report, and this number is expected to rise to 40% in three […]
Topics: goods, sold, reports, percentage, online, black, season, ecommerce, points, million, jumia, africa, number, growth, value, platform, techcrunch.
Kindle’s China future in doubt after disappearing from online shelves
Since Kindle began shipping in China nearly nine years ago, the e-book giant has garnered a loyal following in the country. The journey has never been easy, thanks to regulatory hurdles around digital content. Recently, there are signs that the Amazon-owned e-book business is scaling back some of its operations in China. Kindle’s official store […]
Topics: china, shelves, techcrunch, doubt, amazon, books, official, disappearing, kindle, versions, store, online, chinese, future, ebook, kindles.
La Belle Vie raises $28 million to build an online supermarket from scratch
French startup La Belle Vie announced that it has raised a $28.2 million (€25 million) Series B round led by Left Lane and Quadrille Capital, with existing investor Capagro also participating. The company operates an online grocery store in the Paris area. Online grocery delivery services and so-called quick-commerce startups are quite trendy. In fact, […]
Topics: supermarket, order, round, million, belle, paris, online, techcrunch, company, build, products, vie, scratch, raises, la.
Lucky is bringing brands, retailers together with its take on product merchandising
Lucky's plug-and-play API gives e-commerce brands visibility of its products on retailer store shelves to offer local fulfillment options.
Topics: inventory, techcrunch, online, retailers, company, target, bringing, brands, nordstrom, product, merchandising, lucky, store.
Lula’s delivery tool gives convenience stores, pharmacies second sales channel
Lula helps convenience stores, pharmacies and consumer packaged goods brands use its zero-commission tools to establish a second sales channel and third-party delivery companies.
Topics: lulas, tool, gives, gupta, delivery, online, sales, companies, convenience, ripple, second, stores, techcrunch, lula, ventures, store, pharmacies.
Make it Big Podcast: The Current and Future State of B2B Ecommerce
Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce. In this episode,…
Topics: ecommerce, future, podcast, custom, online, experience, state, b2b, seeing, buyers, shopping, headless, digital, current, big.
Merchandising for Today's Omnichannel Shopper
In today’s digital world, merchandisers must take full advantage of the omnichannel space to influence and guide the shopper through the decision-making process. It’s all about the right place, the right price, and the right product to optimize the sale. When you consider there is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience, it’s critical to leverage all the tools in the box to guide the experience.
Enter online eCommerce merchandising; what was once solely focused on end caps and unique displays, audio/visual, in-store demos, and amply stocked shelves has now transitioned to the digital world. How do we create the same engaging content online to drive the customer through the buying process? Today’s shopper is now demanding an omnichannel experience; so the journey must seamlessly integrate a mix of the in-store and online components.
Eye-Catching Homepages to Mirror the Buyer
Think of your favorite retailers and what you like about their online presence; do they provide quality imagery, engaging color schemes, great copy, or drive offers front and center to the homepage so you don’t miss the deal? Does this same look and feel weave through their in-store and social media experience? In the case of luxury jeweler, Teilor, they sought to provide what is traditionally an in-store buying experience to their growing population of online shoppers.
Through original, curated content they made the online experience a reality. High-quality, detailed imagery of their precious gemstones and diamonds, along with photography to match and attract their target buying persona is set off by product copy; not a standard description full of dimensions and care instructions, but something that reads more like prose to effectively convey the very personal investment of jewelry purchases.
This tactic is used to bring a more personalized experience to buyers either one-on-one by appointment or through live streaming. In the case of Teilor as mentioned above, video clienteling gives the opportunity for customers to see the product and ask questions in real time. With such a personal and significant investment like jewelry, it’s well worth the time to ensure the customer is completely satisfied and more likely to return for repeat purchases. While this tactic is not new to in-person retail experiences, video capabilities and live streaming make it possible in today’s commerce.
Use banners in a variety of ways to call out promotions, sales, best-sellers, etc. Best practices when using banners: keep it simple. While the ad should stand out to attract the shopper’s line of sight, don’t make it so large that it’s distracting or worse yet takes too long to load. Attract not detract. Always keep banners towards the top of the page, and make sure your related content is nearby. Is it a Back-to-School supplies sale? Place the banner close to your product category navigation where the inventory normally lives. The shopper can either click on the banner ad or navigate over to that category link for the same results.
Word of mouth is fire. Shoppers rely heavily on the experiences of others from product performance to customer service. Customer reviews are a key component to this tactic. Invite your customers to review and post those reviews by their corresponding product. If the response is less than favorable, reach out personally and find out why. (Poor quality, shipping issues, incorrect size, product details not true to imagery). The frontrunner of digital notepads, reMarkable uses social proof by asking customers to share their experiences with the product through a common hashtag. This brings authenticity to the brand with assets that can be used throughout future marketing campaigns. A two-fold win: your customers engage with your product and feel heard, and you have relatable content to support the brand that is best case scenario repurpose-ready.
Personalized Offers/Sales Events
You don’t need a federal holiday or a gifting season to create a viable offer. While the most popular sales seasons are winter holidays, consider creating offers based on less popular holidays or even an everyday offer. Valentines’ Day, Easter, or President’s Day sale events, or a Treat Yourself-type event can be created with special pricing designed for your loyalty customers. If the inventory can support the event, be creative with your offerings and let your customers shopping behaviors inform them. Know your customers are tea lovers? Create a special event to commemorate National Hot Tea Day. (Yes, it’s a real day, and it’s January 12).
See Catalog Composer In Action
Check out our on-demand demo to see how Elastic Path Commerce Cloud makes it easy to manage unlimited unique catalogs for any business.
Bundling is a common merchandising tactic with many variations. You may use common variations to support a new product launch in the health and beauty category by bundling a more well-known brand with a new to market product. You may also see opportunities with sporting goods to bundle equipment and upsell/cross-sell accessories. When merchandising next gen skis or snowboards, a bundle variation may include an equipment upgrade for the next skill level plus accessories like bindings or boots. If your margins can support bundling it’s a proven tactic for value creation.
Visual hierarchy is well covered territory when it comes to in-store merchandising sets, but similar rules apply to your online store or app. When viewing online content, the natural sight line is from the top down, left to right. When refreshing product information you may also consider placing the content you want your customers to engage with the most to be placed in the direct line of sight. As mentioned above, banners should be towards the top of the page with the related content nearby.
Similarly, consider elements that guide the customer down the page; this may include a chat bot feature as the customer scrolls that is not intrusive or distracting. A proven tactic to reduce cart abandonment rates is to keep the cart icon in direct line of sight throughout the session.
See what’s new from Elastic Path in product variation support to power up your merchandising strategy.
Topics: todays, merchandising, experience, online, content, tactic, instore, customers, customer, support, shopper, product, omnichannel.
Muni gives Latin American communities buying power through shopping app
Community leaders centralize the orders, suppliers drop off the orders with Muni, which picks and packs them for the community leaders to manage the last-mile delivery and collect payments.
Topics: gomez, communities, gives, muni, venture, technology, techcrunch, american, latin, community, online, buying, funding, app, leaders, company, power, shopping.
No plastic clamshells here: Zero Grocery aims to eliminate unnecessary plastic in grocery delivery
Even small changes made by individuals to reduce plastic waste can add up to a big positive impact on the environment, founder and CEO Zuleyka Strasner said.
Topics: sustainable, company, service, grocery, eliminate, clamshells, delivery, online, zero, strasner, plastic, techcrunch, unnecessary, aims, million.
Online Shopping Has Shifted to the Edge
In a bygone era, shoppers entered an ecommerce site directly or via a search engine. No more. In 2022 it's social media that increasingly starts the process, creating opportunities and challenges for merchants.
Topics: shopping, edge, brand, product, shifted, revenue, traffic, products, social, shoppers, prefer, consumers, online, site.
Online Shopping Statistics Marketers Should Care About in 2022
Just because we're marketers doesn't mean we really know the science behind what drives consumers to purchase. But marketing without that information is like walking outside with a blindfold on – it's going to be very hard to end up at your destination without a scratch.
Topics: brand, likely, purchase, statistics, online, consumers, marketers, care, stackla, shopping, report, social, say.
Papier inks $50M Series C to in a run to lead the online stationery market
Papier, a startup leveraging technology to bring very non-tech products into the world, has raised some funding to continue expanding its business on the heels of strong demand for its personalized notebooks, planners, cards and other paper-based stationery that it sells online. The London startup has raised $50 million, a Series C that it will […]
Topics: brand, atighetchi, papier, online, technology, digital, today, way, series, stationery, run, products, startup, consumers, techcrunch, inks, market, c, lead.
Picking a Processor: How Security Leads to Success in the CBD Industry
In the year 2022, if you’re in the business of, well, business, setting up an ecommerce platform on your website…
Topics: online, business, industry, help, ecommerce, payments, processor, success, cbd, security, picking, payment, leads, merchant, processing.
Returns Take a Toll on Online Retailers
Many merchants that have softened return policies during the pandemic are starting to feel the financial pain. Some have pulled back entirely.
Topics: sellers, returns, return, toll, average, holiday, billion, merchants, retailers, online.
Sales Report: 2021 Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Sales for the three big U.S. shopping days were flat or slightly lower from last year. It's not surprising since retailers encouraged consumers to shop earlier due to expected product shortages and shipping delays. Buyers heeded the suggestion.
Topics: cyber, thanksgiving, billion, day, sales, black, online, spent, consumers, according, report.
Sellfy Review (Dec 2021): An Affordable and Beautiful Storefront for Selling to an Established Audience
Creators need ways to monetize their work. Whether you’re a musician, YouTuber, streamer, artist, or writer, the ultimate goal is to make money from your creativity, whether that means selling content subscriptions, merchandise, videos, or graphics. Unfortunately, it’s not always…
Continue reading Sellfy Review (Dec 2021): An Affordable and Beautiful Storefront for Selling to an Established Audience
Topics: sellfy, affordable, review, email, storefront, online, marketing, add, audience, beautiful, product, products, sell, store, digital, selling, dec, established.
Selling online, key for entrepreneurs at the end of the year?
According to data from the Mexican Association for Online Sales (AMVO), 5 out of 10 companies in Mexico are doubling their growth on the internet.
Topics: key, sales, online, ecommerce, web, world, store, entrepreneurs, business, end, stores, mexico, high, selling.
Sendcloud Review: Is It the Right Shipping Platform for Your Online Store?
Shipping is a necessity for ecommerce stores, but it shouldn't be confusing, overly expensive, or limited to only a few carriers. That's why we like to recommend partnering with shipping providers: companies that offer premium shipping software, partnerships with multiple…
Continue reading Sendcloud Review: Is It the Right Shipping Platform for Your Online Store?
Topics: returns, support, sendcloud, shipping, review, platform, online, branded, api, right, return, tracking, store, plan, rates.
ShipBots Review: A Family-owned, Highly-flexible Ecommerce Fulfillment Company
ShipBots is an order fulfillment service for ecommerce stores with standard storage and shipping needs. It also offers unique fulfillment options for subscription boxes, retail, Amazon FBA prep, merchandise, and apparel. In the booming industry of 3PL (3rd-party logistics), is…
Continue reading ShipBots Review: A Family-owned, Highly-flexible Ecommerce Fulfillment Company
Topics: customer, storage, shipping, warehouse, ecommerce, shipbots, familyowned, inventory, fulfillment, highlyflexible, review, online, company, order.
Shopify POS vs Clover POS (Apr 2022): Which is Best?
The debate of Shopify POS vs Clover POS can be more complex than it seems. Both of these tools have a lot of benefits to offer the average ecommerce seller. With both Clover and Shopify, you can sell products online…
Continue reading Shopify POS vs Clover POS (Apr 2022): Which is Best?
Topics: need, store, pos, best, plus, shopify, tools, payments, online, offline, apr, clover, vs.
Shopify POS vs Square POS: Which is Best?
Making the right choice between Shopify POS vs Square POS isn’t always easy. Shopify and Square stand among some of the better-known all-in-one merchant solutions for business leaders today. These tools can both support business leaders in taking payments offline,…
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Topics: best, features, square, tools, range, online, need, solutions, vs, payments, shopify, pos.
Shopify Strikes a Deal with Chinese Ecommerce Giant JD.com to Unlock the Trillion-Dollar Market
Following an announcement on 18 January, JD.com has officially become Shopify‘s first Chinese strategic partner. In this collaboration, JD has offered a particular boarding channel, JD Marketplace, simplifying entry to the Chinese market for Shopify merchants. In return, Shopify will…
Continue reading Shopify Strikes a Deal with Chinese Ecommerce Giant JD.com to Unlock the Trillion-Dollar Market
Topics: market, online, jdcom, ecommerce, strikes, jd, giant, product, unlock, trilliondollar, chinese, merchants, shopify, business, deal, channel.
Shopware, an e-commerce platform that powers 100K brands, raises its first outside funding: $100M from PayPal and Carlyle
The e-commerce boom that started with the COVID-19 pandemic shows little sign of slowing down, and today a company called Shopware, which provides a set of open source tools to power online shopping experiences for some 100,000 mid-sized and larger brands, is announcing $100 million in funding to capture the opportunity. The money is notable […]
Topics: brands, techcrunch, shopping, online, shopware, tools, paypal, companies, powers, outside, raises, funding, ecommerce, carlyle, business, platform.
Statrys Review (Apr 2022): How it Works, Fees, Pros & Cons
When launching an online business, you need to consider where your funds will go once you start making sales. To keep compliant with taxes and receive a clear overview of your cash flow, creating a separate business account is advisable.…
Continue reading Statrys Review (Apr 2022): How it Works, Fees, Pros & Cons
Topics: apr, works, fees, kong, statrys, cons, online, business, hong, fee, payments, support, review, pros, account.
Swiftly quickly gets brick-and-mortar stores set up to cater to online customers
Swiftly provides the technology tools that democratize the technology lead, enjoyed by Amazon and Walmart, to the rest of the industry.
Topics: customers, cater, techcrunch, store, brickandmortar, set, gets, online, swiftly, million, quickly, retailers, digital, kim, grocery, ecommerce, technology, company, stores.
Taxdoo raises $64M to expand from tax compliance to a wider set of financial tools for e-commerce companies
With e-commerce becoming increasingly globalized, a company called Taxdoo, which builds API-based tools to help e-commerce companies with tax compliance and other accounting needs, is announcing a round of funding: $64 million, a Series B that the Hamburg-based startup will be using to expand further across Europe and to build what it describes as the […]
Topics: set, expand, wider, ecommerce, sales, customers, financial, techcrunch, taxdoo, accounting, online, vat, tax, raises, tools.
The Best POS System for Small Business (Apr 2022)
The best POS system for small business is a simple, affordable, and reliable tool for managing sales and in-person transactions. A point-of-sale system empowers businesses to take payments from consumers in-store and track the movement of inventory. With a leading…
Continue reading The Best POS System for Small Business (Apr 2022)
Topics: small, shopify, apr, online, sales, range, solution, tools, system, best, business, features, pos.
The Complete Systeme.io Review and Pricing Guide
When it comes to selling online, automation is key. Rapidly scaling businesses often seek out all-in-one platforms to run and automate everything from email marketing to website building, membership site sales and landing pages. Systeme.io seems to have all of…
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Topics: marketing, complete, review, automation, pricing, guide, sales, funnels, email, month, ecommerce, support, systemeio, online.
The Creator Economy Draws Entrepreneurs
Is attracting an audience via content a better way to start and build an ecommerce business? The creator economy appeals to many would-be entrepreneurs.
Topics: online, creators, selling, retail, economy, products, ecommerce, audience, store, creator, sell, draws, entrepreneurs.
The Must-Have Product Characteristics for E-Commerce Domination in 2022
To be successful, you'll need these to stand out from the competition.
Topics: domination, product, need, characteristics, ecommerce, usp, products, feel, brand, demand, musthave, mental, online.
The No. 1 Question Every Business Leader Should Be Asking
Employees have the power to make or break brands, and encouraging their engagement is mission critical.
Topics: question, business, online, brand, engagement, asking, leader, employees, care, leaders, engaged, social, company.
The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing [Data + Expert Tips]
Internet use is still increasing worldwide every day — in fact, over 4.95 billion people around the world use the internet, as of 2022.
Topics: data, internet, media, social, website, online, search, guide, ultimate, tips, marketing, customers, content, email, expert.
The Ultimate Sezzle Review (Dec 2021): A Pay Later Service for Online Shopping
Welcome to our ultimate Sezzle review. If you run an online business you know how crucial it is to offer your customers the right payment solutions at checkout. Imagine offering only Sripe as the payment option for shoppers on your…
Continue reading The Ultimate Sezzle Review (Dec 2021): A Pay Later Service for Online Shopping
Topics: online, dec, customers, customer, product, ecommerce, pay, shopping, later, credit, solution, sezzle, review, ultimate, payment, service.
The growth of ecommerce in Mexico and the case of Redlemon
Redlemon's success is a reminder of the importance of e-commerce in business success.
Topics: redlemon, growth, company, electronic, ecommerce, sales, online, technological, case, mexico, commerce.
Three Areas to Focus on Customer Service in 2022 and Win Online
A headline recently caught my eye, which highlighted the rising cost of delivering an ecommerce experience and how the days of going online for better deals may be shifting as retailers and branded manufactures start to raise prices online to improve margins.
Working for a company that sells an ecommerce platform, it got me thinking about how this reality might impact online customer experiences. While there was almost a blind rush to get 100% online during the pandemic, businesses will no doubt be evaluating how they invest in ecommerce to support permanent shifts in buying habits.
In 2021, buyers started to go in store/in person or continued embrace a hybrid approach like buy online and return in store, this had created more data that shows profits are better when buyers use brick and mortar commerce.
The corporate bean counters that analyze spreadsheets will be pressing the business to push buyers down a more profitable path and likely begin question the value of ecommerce investments in favor of seeing recovery from more traditional channels. Others might view ecommerce as a risk mitigation approach for when the next pandemic hits and make sure there is something viable in place.
And some may focus on how to cut costs across the ecommerce supply chain, with little thought on the impact to the buyer – hey it’s the new normal as we wait 6 months for a couch, right?
However, real winners in all this will be the companies that look at ecommerce as part of a multi-channel customer service experience. Instead of grouping buyers into those that buy online and those that don’t, businesses will need to consider the following three segments:
Those that prefer to buy online
Those that prefer in person buying experiences
Those that move almost equally between both experiences.
Add to that a deep layer of buyer complexity for the hybrid buyer is how they move from online direct-to-consumer vs. online marketplace sites vs. in person buying.
The following are three areas that companies should consider pulling in your customer success/customer service team to input on design ideas and optimize across multiple channels where ecommerce is involved.
Always a hot topic around the holidays and certainly driving the discussion around the rising cost of ecommerce in 2021 is returns and exchanges. The impact of returned merchandize is having major cost impacts on businesses, but also some are seeing it as an environmental impact.
“According to research firm Statista, the delivery car fleet could reach 7.2 million vehicles by the end of this decade, and total emissions caused by parcel and freight shipping are forecast to generate 25 million tons of CO2. In addition, the average commute time, including last-mile delivery, is expected to increase from 53 minutes in 2019 to 64 minutes in 2030.” (Source)
“Approximately 30% of e-commerce sales are returned compared to 10% of brick-and-mortar sales, according to CBRE.” (Source)
Data shows that consumers return more things bought online and if you think about the deliver chain for returns, the environmental impact of delivery is 2x and if you exchange something it is 3x – deliver the item, return the item, and deliver the new item.
While companies focus on fuel efficient modes of transportation, it likely will take decades to offset the rapid rise in transportation required to support rising online buying behaviors.
However, there is a customer service opportunity that elevates your brand, cuts cost and maybe even adds to an upselling model when enticing buyers into the store when returning an item.
Providing incentive to take items ordered online to a branded store or reseller location can accomplish this task – but it can’t just be a reward model, brands can use this to connect ethical environment issues with buyers that find this more and more important.
Buyers are choosing loyalty not just based on convenience, but also how the brand aligns with their personal values.
Having the buyer bring back the merchandize themselves while on their way home from work or out grocery shopping will reduce the use of less fuel-efficient vehicles and packaging waste required to return an item.
2. Online Search
The great thing about selling your goods and services online is your entire inventory is online for the buyer to find. The bad thing about selling your goods and services online is your entire inventory is online for the buy to find.
Companies that are using outdated search tools (many of which are packaged with an “all-in-one” ecommerce platform) are missing an opportunity to provide a customer experience critical to generating that first sale and generating loyalty and referrals.
By now, it's not a secret that search can drive revenue, but the experience needs to be optimized using more best-in-class tools (part of the composable commerce movement) and consider evolving buying stages when searching.
Research circa 2013 showed that search was aligned to late-stage buyers coming to your site and driving higher conversions as a result. But that motion is dependent on the buyer already knowing your brand when they used the search function.
With more and more buyers engaging with your brand online as a first experience, your search needs to be an experience versus just a means to an end – it needs to be fast; it needs to understand natural language and type tolerance, it needs to be able to pull in promotions and suggestions in a more engaging format, it needs to align with your catalog management layer to create dynamic and engaging filters to help refine how buyers find products.
Give customers a better experience with an Omnichannnel approach
An Omnichannel approach to your commerce strategy will help you deliver a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, at every stage of the buyer's journey. Learn more with our complete guide.
Read our Omnichannel Guide
3. Be proactive when there are delays
One of my biggest pet peeves buying online is getting to the cart, or even worse, submitting an order to only to be informed that what you want is out of stock or will be delayed due to back-logs.
This has become an even hotter topic in 2021 as the supply chain crisis has impacted so many buyers across all industries.
Every online seller should make it their mission to create transparency on availability of items and when the buyer has accepted the terms that there will be a delay, proactively update them on status – even if the status is we are still working to get a delivery date.
I can speak to this personally having recently ordered a new living room set. We were told it would take up to 10 weeks to get our living room set and we were okay that because it was the “new normal” for 2021. However, that timeline has moved out several times and the only way we know is we (my wife and I) had to call up the company for a status.
It is frustrating to think that this company has banked thousands of dollars of our money and we are waiting on product with little to no communication – at least pretend that someone has eyes on our order and is working to get it fulfilled.
Not to mention it is possible an alternative may have come up that is in stock and depending on our personal preferences, we might have upgraded to a more expensive set just to get it faster.
Not only are there opportunities to improve the customer service experience, but companies could be leaving an upsell opportunity on the table. This will require orchestration across in-store, online, manufacturing and delivery – but knowing that is an area that needs optimization to cut costs, makes sense to include the customer support team into the project to find ways to integrate the buyer communication experience as well.
What is interesting is this concept of helping the buy is nothing new.
I worked at Herb’s Sport Shop in Hartford, CT back in the 90’s to help pay for college expenses. We had a very small retail floor – so we were limited in the merchandize we would have for customer to browse.
The owner required that every customer that came in the door was greeted within seconds of entering – it was the owners only mandate. Most customer loved it as they could describe what they wanted and we help them find it in seconds and we would also upsell in a conversational way, “we have some new team apparel that would match the color on these Air Jordan’s perfectly”.
We focused on making sure the customer got value from stepping into our store, we did not have the mall traffic as we were selling on “Main Street USA” – but we knew that every person that came into the store had value and we needed to maximize that experience and this is the principal that needs to be applied across every customer interaction if you want to win in a world of endless online options.
Topics: win, delivery, areas, needs, ecommerce, customer, store, search, online, focus, buyer, service, buyers, experience.
TikTok’s newest app lets sellers manage their online stores via their smartphone
TikTok has launched a new app for its seller community taking advantage of its suite of TikTok Shopping features, but the app is only available in Indonesia at present. TikTok Seller, as the app is called, allows TikTok’s seller community to run all aspects of their TikTok shop from their mobile device, from initially registering […]
Topics: newest, tiktoks, tiktok, online, product, lets, smartphone, manage, app, shopping, techcrunch, videos, test, sellers, seller, community, suite, stores.
Trend Report: This is What Will Matter for Small Businesses in 2022
Our Future of Commerce report has invaluable insights into what you should be focussing on in 2022 as a small business owner. Plus, find out what customers will be looking for as they shop. We have the data to future-proof your small business. More
Topics: trend, businesses, data, plan, business, valuable, shipping, matter, small, report, online, invest, customers.
Voila raises $6M for its AI-powered storefronts for online creators
Voila, a startup building infrastructure for social commerce, is bringing concepts from China’s e-commerce market to the U.S. The company offers an alternative to the “link in bio” solutions used today by creators, like Linktree and Beacons, which direct followers to creators’ social profiles, personal websites and other recommendations. Instead of a link list or […]
Topics: aipowered, voila, social, raises, online, products, product, storefronts, shang, million, techcrunch, links, 6m, creators, items.
Walmart launches AI-powered virtual clothing try-on technology for online shoppers
Last May, Walmart announced its acquisition of the virtual clothing try-on startup Zeekit, which leveraged a combination of real-time image processing, computer vision, deep learning and other AI technologies to show shoppers how they would look in an item by way of a simulation that takes into account body dimensions, fit, size and even the […]
Topics: walmart, model, techcrunch, shopping, customer, clothing, aipowered, shoppers, feature, tryon, virtual, technology, launches, choose, online.
What Are Local Citations [+ 4 Steps to Build Them for Your Business]
If you’re not sure what local citations are, don’t worry — you’ve probably come across them while looking for a new service-provider, brand, or company.
For example, a few weeks ago, my sister came to town and wanted to take me out to dinner. She’s unfamiliar with the area’s local spots, so my sister took to Yelp to find a restaurant we’d both love. After scrolling through Yelp, she found a Black-owned restaurant called 7th + Grove that had rave reviews.
Topics: search, directories, online, citations, steps, websites, submit, business, nap, build, local, information.
What is MyShopify? Everything You Need to Know
What is MyShopify? And MyShopify.com? How is it different from any Shopify online store? In this article, we explain the exact purpose of MyShopify to ensure all store owners are clear about its functionality, what to do if you encounter…
Continue reading What is MyShopify? Everything You Need to Know
Topics: online, domain, myshopify, subdomain, need, shopify, youre, myshopifycom, custom, site, website, know.
Wish Standards Raises the Bar to Reward Merchants
A new genre of YouTube video took the Internet by storm in the late twenty-teens: the Wish unboxing. Through a…
Topics: products, online, download, wish, bigcommerce, wishs, visibility, raises, pdf, merchants, bar, reward, standards.
Yami bags $50M Series B to boost its online Asian marketplace
When Alex Zhou, founder and CEO of Yami, moved to the Midwest for college in 2007, he had limited access to Asian groceries and products. Zhou had to drive two hours to purchase his favorite Asian products at the nearest local Asian market. The experience inspired him to launch Yami, a direct-to-consumer marketplace for Asian […]
Topics: bags, americans, products, boost, 50m, asian, b, data, marketplace, zhou, told, techcrunch, technology, yami, series, million, online.
eCommerce Landscape 2022
We’ve put together sixteen quadrants of top eCommerce vendors in these categories: eCommerce platforms, Search, Payment, Loyalty/Rewards, CMS, CRM, PIM, Conversational Commerce/Chatbots, ERP, Email Marketing, Social Media, System Integrators, Tax, Analytics, & OMS.
What’s Driving Innovation?
Using AI to cross and upsell, and visualize purchases (virtual dressing/show rooms)
Buying behavior influenced by a strong sustainability practice
Multichannel customer support
Growing B2B segment with enabled automation
Growing D2C segment
How to Stay Competitive:
If you sell everything, you’ll end up selling nothing. Carve out your niche by knowing your customer. Successful brands create demand for their products by speaking to customers shared beliefs, lifestyles, and goals
Map the customer’s buying journey from end-to-end with specific touchpoints
Monitor customer data and respond to it with testing and engagement
Optimize the experience for all devices
Barriers to Entry:
Cybercrime, security issues
Intellectual property issues
Why Do People Shop Online?
Broader access to brands
With So Many Pros to the Online Shopping Experience, What is a Major Drawback?
Not being able to touch, feel, or try a product prior to purchase (51%) followed by possible breakage, no physical store experience, no interaction, fraud, and delivery issues.
Source: 50 Consumers Online Shopping Behavior Trends [Survey] 2022 (brizfeel.com)
With the experience of online shopping driving its popularity and growth, brands must optimize the journey every step of the way. By removing friction points (simplified checkout, diverse payment options, quick loading pages, advanced search, mobile optimization), the path to purchase is easy. Leveraging loyalty programs, AI-powered technology to predict behavior, and merchandising options are crucial tools to conversion and retention.
How Are Customers Finding Brands?
In the initial brand awareness period, retail websites and physical stores (see showrooming), influence a customer’s first pass at a product; however when the buying journey heats up it shifts to more word-of-mouth (product reviews) and social media (social proof) impacts.
What Are People Buying Online?
It may not be surprising to find that electronics and tech top the list for the most popular items purchased online, however, with a saturated market, niche items have emerged in popularity such as shapewear, travel accessories, and health and beauty products.
Source: 50 Top Trending Products To Sell Online in 2022 for High Profits (cloudways.com)
See How Elastic Path Delivers Unique Customer Experiences
The Elastic Path Demo Library features multiple demos that showcase the power and scale of our products.
Go to Demo Library
Adobe Commerce Cloud (Magento)
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
SAP Commerce Cloud
Handshake by Perficient
Preferred Patron Loyalty
Salesforce Experience Cloud
White Label Loyalty
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
SAP Business One
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
TA Digital (Formerly TechAspect)
Sirius Computer Solutions
CCH Sure Tax
Thomson Reuters Onesource
Topics: landscape, product, customer, experience, path, customers, marketing, products, social, online, ecommerce, shopping.