Welcome to 2016 Ecommerce Tarot Predictions

It has been a while, but Happy New Year regardless.

Last year I contributed to the Webretailer Predictions for 2015 and I was pretty close. This years predictions has 50 expert ecommerce voices!!

My words of wisdom were:

More Traditional Retailers Will Turn to Ecommerce

In 2016 I expect a large migration to ecommerce from smaller more traditional retailers, due to consumers abandoning bricks-and-mortar shops for online stores on Black Friday. Successful business will rely more and more on user research and user experience to stay ahead of the game. I think we will see quite big improvements in how we shop online.

In the spirit of fun I will draw again to the mysterious art of Tarot, as I did last year to reach into the depths of my eCommerce psyche…

Question: What is on the cards for ecommerce in 2016?

1. The Issue – The Stag

One reaps what one has sewn. Balance will be restored (to the force ) and we as ecommerce players must take responsibility. An adjustment has occurred, for instance the Black Friday sales moving mostly online and controlling the flow of business over the peak period. A realignment of our perceptions is due. Face the coming season with honesty and integrity.

2. Action to Avoid – Ten of Vessels * Happiness

Don’t get comfortable, things are changing and in order for you to be effective and productive you need to take action on lessons from 2015. Patience and wisdom will be key to success and emotional ecommerce happiness in 2016.

3. Action to Take – Eight of Bows * Hearthfire

Success will be defined by gathering tested and loyal companions (employees and business partners) towards a common goal. Safety is found within a place of common business significance. Forge those relationships and be thankful of the help they bring.

The cards in general suggest a changing 2016 based on the patterns we have witnessed in 2015. (“witness me” – you can tell what films I have watched over Christmas) The more successful businesses will use partners to drive their success or invest in their current employees.

I have seen a shift towards user testing and user research as a basis for apps and new eCommerce development. Build for the users and never assume.

ecommer5ce tarot

*Please remember this is just for fun, insight and a way to get myself blogging. Tweet your questions to @Kidsontalks – It’s free!

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Sportsbubble Building A Business from Scratch Interview

Recently I did an interview with Andy from Webretailer about the Sportsbubble Project and it has now gone live:

Not Just Clearance: How UK Sports Warehouse Built SportsBubble

So I caught up with Elizabeth Hitchins, an experienced ecommerce consultant who has been working with UKSW for a number of years. Elizabeth had the job of building a whole new sports brand for UKSW. This is the story of how she created SportsBubble, and the ups and downs of launching it as a new business on multiple online marketplaces.

Start your business today! It can be done!

I can also help:01384 414770 or work@kidsontalks.com

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Going to Meet Ups – Beware of Bad Advice on Ecommerce

This year I have been going to a lot of meet ups and conferences. At these things there is good advice, great advice but also terrible advice.

People that give you bad advice are not necessarily bad people. Mostly they are ill informed or don’t have enough experience. A lot of people in eCommerce learn what is good advice by making mistakes. This is a natural process and if you do it with YOUR OWN business operation, you are only hurting yourself.

What I fear is good people giving bad advice to OTHER companies. I see a lot of this.

Here is a recent example of bad advice given at a meet up:

You can use the email addresses from eBay/Paypal to re-market to your customers.

Lets check the paypal user agreement first under Restricted Activities:

You must NOT:

u.Disclose or distribute another User’s Information to a third party, or use the Information for marketing purposes unless you receive the User’s express consent to do so;

Using guidance from The ICO:

There is no restriction on sending solicited marketing – that is, marketing material that the person has specifically requested.

A customer submits an online form requesting a double glazing quote. Sending this quote to the customer is solicited marketing, but any further contact would be unsolicited.

If the marketing has not been specifically requested, it will be unsolicited.

When he requested the quote, the customer also ticked a box opting in to receiving information about future home improvement offers. A few months later, the company sends an email with details of a new promotion. This is unsolicited marketing, because the customer did not contact the company to specifically request information about current offers.

Want more advice on building up you email lists & email marketing? Check these links:

The benefits of building genuine opt in email lists

Common Rookie Mistakes

As a final warning on the matter, this is what a good friend did when HE got unsolicited email:

How I won £35 from a junk mail company

What else can happen if you are found in breach of these laws?

1. A fine of up to £5000
2. Civil liability to anyone who suffers damage as a result of the breach
3. Your Internet Service Provider can pull the plug
4. Your website hosting company can refuses service
5. Black listed and blocked by major internet companies inc search engines (yes, this means the mighty Googly will hate on you)

It is not worth it, build up your email list the real way!

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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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The importance of training & research in ecommerce!

More often than not I am the *second* consultant. Most of my clients come to me broken & burnt looking for a solution to turn their business around or save their position. I do a LOT of rescue missions.

A lot of my clients wish they had known about me before they used XYZ ‘expert’ consultant. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so is training.

When I want to develop a new skill I train. I find the BEST person in the industry and learn from them. I am currently training in advanced nail art from someone who has competed internationally at over 50 competitions, 12 x UK champion and 15 years experience. Why would I choose from the plethora of other educators when I could learn from the best?

E-commerce & marketplaces are funny though, only experience of running an eCommerce business can give you the skills you need. There are a lot of people out there who claim to be an expert, to the detriment of your business if you let them loose.

I contributed to this article by Web Retailer:

How to Choose an eBay Store and Listing Designer which outlines the process of choosing an eBay designer. You need to be just an thorough with choosing a consultant.

Some tips on choosing your consultant:

1. Did they ever run an ecommerce retail operation?

A good consultant in this industry learnt from the ground up. You need to have run the machine to know the machine.

2. Do they have over 5 years experience helping OTHER businesses online?

Running your own business is one thing, but setting up a different business for success is another. Businesses are NOT the same.

3. Do they have reviews? Like this: http://www.webretailer.com/forum/3698-simply-the-best.asp?

Reviews and case studies are vital. I am going to spend this year building my up my case studies as I have done far too many ‘secret’ projects!!

4. Did you find then just via google or a personal recommendation?

I work with other third party providers, and most give a personal recommendation of my services. I am also present at many networking events & expositions so you can get to know me. I have been here a while and well known to many.

5. Are they telling you they can help you make easy money?

Making money is not easy. Get rich schemes are still very popular and mostly fail. One client I helped raise their game 97% in their first year & 60% in their second year took a lot of effort and time from both sides.

Last year I set up an eBay business from scratch, and it took 1 year with 153 listings (1000 skus) to produce a stable eBay business with an average selling price of £13. Businesses grow, they do not just appear.

Choose your consultant wisely, they can make or break your biz!

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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

Email: work@kidsontalks.com

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