Good data takes you nice places – What is missing?

When you deal with marketplaces such as eBay, or want search filters on your website you need to HAVE this data to hand. Most suppliers don’t add this additional data, you are lucky if you get colour and size!

In a data feed you would normally get:

1. Title
2. Description
3. Price
4. Quantity
5. Image name
6. Product Code
7. Size & Colour but these could be tacked into the title field and NOT separate.

The best way to figure out what is missing is by looking at eBay. eBay does so much research on how shoppers BUY stuff and they use an ever evolving filter system based on item specifics. This is typically the model I use for extra data.

So, if I was working with a fashion retailer, I would go to the women dresses category and see what filters eBay uses.

1. Size

2. Brand

3. Occasion

are the top 3 that eBay feel are the MOST important, then you have…

4. Main Colour (not so important because people will search for ‘Red Dress’ more often than not)

5. Style

6. Material

7. Size type (Petite/Tall etc)

These are all things people want to know about a dress. Shopping for dresses is a fine art, hence the number of specifics. Looking at these you can also start to construct a TITLE for your item, that will be found better.

An example of good title for a dress with multiple sizes would be:

ASOS Long Black Maxi Silk Party Dress Petite & Tall Sizes Available

(I assume here that with your size variations in dropdown that they are searchable by whatever system/marketplace this is used for)

Your supplier will probably give you ‘Black Maxi Dress’ and this could apply to many different dress styles with different codes. This is rubbish, and you will find you spend MOST of your time with this part of the data.

So now we have sorted the attributes we are missing in our data which gives us better titles, but how about description data?

A classic good ‘supplier’ description of an item is:

Beach dress by ASOS Collection

  • Made from a silky fabric
  • Plunging neckline
  • Halterneck design
  • Keyhole detail to back

However, a full description would include material, washing instructions and what the fit was ‘Regular, Tall or Petite’. A snip-it about the collection would also help sell this item.

This is probably the data you will find you can standarise over large proportions of data. If your supplier descriptions are NOT so good. This could take a while.

Next is the all important IMAGES!

Typical supplier image:


Images you ACTUALLY need:

image1xl image2xl image3xl image4xl

You need images around the 1200px x 1200px mark for zoom functionality and detail. Consider this a minimum.

So, wow a lot of data needed to sell an item! A lot of this data CAN be standardised in an excel sheet, however you need to be careful of mistakes.

Anyone want this dress? It’s here and cheap too!

This is the FIRST point from the good data series

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Interest Only Business Loans from EZBOB

Within business cash flow is key. You can be making a lot of profit year on year but sometimes the cash flow, especially after a large stock purchase puts you on the back foot. EZBOB have listened to this and now have a new product available to online retailers AND have increased the amount they can loan to £40,000!

EZBOB are offering 90 day interest only repayments on business loans up to 6 months. You pay the same interest as before but this product gives you the flexibility when it comes to getting purchased product to market and start realising your return on investment.

At any time you can repay the loan in part or in full and there are NO early repayment charges.

The independent finance sector specialising in online retailers is a god send as the ‘funding for lending’ scheme is yet to work for business. It seems to be obsessed with the housing sector. I might be simple when it comes to the economy however to me business means jobs. Jobs pay for mortgages and deposits on houses….but I don’t think on the level of our illustrious MP’s and finance bods so I am probably wrong.

Example of a repayment schedule

Loan Amount: £5,000 Duration: 6 Months Interest: 3%
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6
Capital Repayment £0 £0 £0 £1,667 £1,667 £1,667
Interest Charges £150 £150 £150 £150 £100 £50
Monthly Payment £150 £150 £150 £1,817 £1,767 £1,717
Payment Schedule
Total Amount: £5,000 Total Interest: £750 Total Repayment: £5,750

*EZBOB charges between 2%-7% interest per month depending on your online sales and credit quality.
We charge a minimum of £30 as a completion fee.

  • EZBOB only charge interest on your outstanding balance.
  • Re-payments are automatically deducted from your debit card on a monthly billing cycle
  • You can choose to pay the loan early without a penalty and save money.

So if you want a fast business loan check out Ezbob today!


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Have shoppers dodged the tax dodgers?

The channeladvisor blog released some figures comparing 2011 and 2012 with respects to Mega Monday (first Monday in December) showing eBay preforming better than Amazon.

Amazon: +14.3%
eBay: +21.9%

*based on Channeladvisors UK customer base.

Money is still super tight in the UK with confidence in ANYTHING seemingly dire, but these results show growth for UK business on marketplaces.

However, Amazon has been all over the news together with Starbucks and Google as evil tax dodgers robbing the UK economy of money, even though eBay does the SAME by being based in Luxembourg. You know when you buy off eBay you buy off a SELLER, who pays their tax (we assume). eBay doesn’t sell anything.

Amazon does… and it is sometimes confusing about who you are buying off when you shop on Amazon. This can be a good thing, but it can also hinder when the company itself it at the middle of a scandal.

Lets not forget the 15,000 people Amazon employs in the UK who pay ALL their tax. It is just corporation tax they are NOT paying a lot of.

The damage hasn’t been that great for Amazon, sales still grew 37% over November as a whole for UK sellers and a lot of my clients sell the same on eBay and Amazon at this time of year.

But these figure do suggest marketplace trade is GROWING first and foremost, and if you are not on eBay/Amazon you are missing out, or simply don’t exist for most shoppers.

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