Starting a business from scratch! A REAL example….

sblogo…no get rich quick schemes here….more like get rich slowly with dedication & expertise! Sorry to burst that bubble but it actually takes years to build a successful multi-channel business.

Last year, I had the pleasure of starting a business from scratch for one of my clients. The brief was to set up a multichannel business using Channeladvisor which included eBay, Amazon & Tesco Marketplace.

The eBay & Amazon project with Channeladvisor launch cost £12000 over 11 months to produce a stable eBay, Amazon & Tesco marketplaces business from scratch. The client had no time or resource to dedicate to this start up so I set it up as though it was my own business. I was responsible for all tasks to set up the business.

The client is now adding new lines to further grow the business as the handover was in early January. I will be watching the success of this project closely!

This graph shows the progress of the account over the past 12 months. This client sells on Amazon, eBay & Tesco. Values omitted to protect client integrity.


I also managed the design project with a third party provider:


I am super excited to watch this business grow domestically in the hands of my client and then jump back in for international expansion in 2016. Over 3000 extra skus need to be added to this business so the second year of growth will be driven by product.

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Bespoke Channeladvisor Launch Services

I have been working with & creating successful businesses with the Channeladvisor Multichannel System for over 10 years. I now provide specific launch & support packages for Channeladvisor clients all over the globe.

It can be hard to integrate your business with a new system, but you can now take advantage of my expertise as a independent and experienced consultant.

Launch Packages
Tesco Marketplace Launch
Web Stores Launch (Shopify/BigCommerce)
Shopify/BigCommerce Design
Channeladvisor Digital Marketing
Channeladvisor International Expansion (English Speaking Marketplaces)

I also offer adhoc consultancy on the Channeladvisor system for £300 per day plus expenses. Let me help you succeed!

Drop me a line to discuss your business needs.

Phone: 07435 972407/01384 414770


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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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Help my sales are down and its CHRISTMAS DAMMIT!

This is a post in response to Dan’s post on Tamebay “Help! My sales are down” – 5 things to consider. I won’t cover his ground but I will cover some other observations:

Product Titles

On eBay, Amazon and in your own webstore the TITLE of your product is responsible for SO many things; from telling your customer what they are looking at to making sure they FIND you in the first place. When I search for something I normally use two words and this thought process:

“attribute + item name = search results”

If the search results are over 100 items I look at the titles of the first few items and redefine. This is where I get my ideas from when I am searching.

“attribute 1 + attribute 2 + item name = better search results”

But what are attributes?

A common but not exclusive list of attributes:

– Size
– Colour
– Brand
– Purpose
– Gender

Purpose for example is ‘rugby or football’ or an exact model/make of a car etc.

Things I look out for but don’t normally search for in titles include item condition statements. I also look for other sizing or expanded attribute information. I normally search for a size ’12’ for female clothing but if I am looking for jeans will also want the waist and length.

If someone else’s title tells me what the item is better than yours, I will click elsewhere.

Your titles DO also have to make some kind of sense for example:

‘NEW STYLISH GRIP SERIES LEATHER CASE COVER FOR IPHONE 4 4S FREE SCREEN PROTECTOR’ – I hate capitals and it is against eBay’s good title suggestions but looking at the wording this title has all the keywords I need and it tells me what I am clicking on.

‘Fits,iPhone 5 5G Case,Silicone Cover,Skin, For Apple,Royal Pig HOT PINK’ – All the keywords, no sense. A better title would be ‘New Hot Pink Royal Pig Silicone Cover Skin fits Apple iPhone 5 4G’ (As 5G doesn’t exist, no one in the UK would search for it).

However, both of these were top of the searches in eBay for ‘iPhone case’ proving that keywords and not sense gets you high up however this auction ended with no bids. None. Probably only at the top because it was a ‘minutes left’ auction. On refresh something with an equally bad title replaced it, again…no bids.


Don’t be lazy here. Your images tell me WHO you are and what kind of business I am dealing with especially in a raft of search results. I am either looking for a second hand something from a home/private seller or a new item from a professional seller. Photos on someones floor says ‘home seller’ to me and model photos/professional photos say ‘professional seller’.


OK, you have hooked me in now so don’t make me READ. Give me 3-5 reasons why I should buy and have done with it. Tell me what I get, what it is good for, something to make me trust you and trust that this item is fit for purpose. Something super technical? Tell me after the main reasons, because if I need to explore technical specifications I will now read on as I want to buy from you.


Don’t show me a random 90’s eBay image for a logo if you are a large seller with professional photos and make the effort to hook me in with good titles and descriptions! I won’t remember you. I might go back to that seller I used a while back in this category. I was happy with my purchase, let me search for the same item I purchased back then to see if they have the item I want. I didn’t add you to my watch list, I wasn’t engaged with the full experience and you can go back in the search lottery when I try again. I do this OFTEN if I can’t find a seller that I like from an eBay search.


I don’t always go for the cheapest, however I consider VALUE a lot when I purchase online. This item is more expensive BUT…

If you are NOT the cheapest, tell me why and show me why in your pictures.

Cross Sell

Hmmm…this isn’t exactly what I needed, what else do you have similar or in the same category? If I can’t do THIS within the item description, I go back to the main search either on Google or eBay. The search lottery starts again!


Easy on marketplaces to judge reputation, but on a website I will NOT buy from a badly designed, old looking, out of date website. I think you don’t check your orders. I feel you might not comply with current regulations for payments. I worry. I hit the back button.

All of these things persuade me to BUY or NOT. I love to shop, sell to me and help me find you.

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New business cards to say ‘I am open for business and I am a GEEK’

I love business cards. I have them for EVERYTHING! My hobby kimono styling business, my personal blog and now THIS blog which will also be my identity in the future.

hire me

These are mini cards and have 5 slightly different space raider designs on them. As I have decided not to really brand myself as a business, my business cards can reflect my personalty.

I shall be networking more in the next year, even though my time is starting to fill up for the new year already (1/3 already accounted for on an on-going basis) I will make time to network as I want to take on interesting and involved projects.

Want me to work for you? Contact me through this blog, or through twitter/facebook/linkedin and I will be happy to discuss how I can help you and showcase my previous work/projects I have been involved in.

Want me to join in your event? Invite me! I am interested in working on my public speaking in e-commerce (mostly kimono/Japanese culture related experience is all I have done in the last 12 months regularly) and can speak on a range of topics. I can also be involved in training days. Believe it or not I did a fair chunk of this type of work way back when!

Don’t be afraid of my appearance, I might seem gothic, or you might see me at events dressed in kimono however I can dress like a business woman too when needed. It’s only clothing. It does’t affect my work.

Types of events I have been involved with before:

– Channeladvisor Catalyst as a sponsor
– Various themed conventions speaking about kimono as well as practical workshops and seminars
– Selling at conventions which require background knowledge and expertise
– Corporate events involving kimono and Japanese culture
– Speaking at society events about my volunteer work in tsunami affected areas in Japan
– Training on e-business and software to various groups of people
– Speaking within companies regarding products and services

I have a wealth of experience speaking to, training and selling to a wide variety of people from different industries.

That’s me for today. I am finishing up a WIDshop eBay design this afternoon. It is going to be fab!

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