What the FRICK is a multichannel system?

This is the birth of a new series explaining what the hell a multichannel system is, why you need it and why “I want a website, I sell on eBay & Amazon and want to smush everything together” opens up a can of whoop-ass on your world.


Here is how our story starts:

In the beginning….you sold on eBay, then you thought Amazon would be cool too. Now you want a website.

So before I design you the best website in the world we need some do organisation and planning to future proof this set up for obvious world domination.


Multiflannel what?

Multi-CHANNEL systems are consolidated inventory and sales order processing systems that link to marketplaces such as eBay & Amazon. The really cool ones can link to an ecommerce website system as well as cope with international localisation and multiple languages. Hence the world domination.

Again please?

Lets break it down to what you need:

1. One inventory system to control stock quantities across your website, eBay & Amazon.

2. One sales order processing system so you do ONE invoice run to cover sales from eBay, Amazon & your website.

3. One time creation of your product and launch it to eBay, Amazon & your website.

4. Ability to update stuff in bulk like pricing, details & inventory.

5. Do it all in French, German & Chinese and multiple currencies.

It is really hard to get your head around how a multichannel online business is set up unless you do it every day like I do.


In this series I will try to break it down so you have the basic tools to decide how your multichannel set up is going to look and how you achieve this.


Part 1 - To host or not to host, choosing between owning your system & subscribing

Part 2 – Standalone multichannel systems & what they do

Part 3 –  A multichannel system essentials shopping list

Part 4 – Choosing your webstore

Part 5 – Complete end to end solutions

Part 6 – Integration into a live business

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Need help with your eBay or Amazon Business? Self Serving Post!

Hey, we all have to work! I have been having exciting conversations with potential clients about their expansion plans and where I can help them and I can’t get enough of it!

I love e-commerce, eBay, Amazon and the new marketplaces that my clients are expanding into this year.

I have been part of the success of many wonderful e-commerce businesses in the past year and want to continue that buzz!

Let me work with you….

KidsonTalks - eBay, Amazon, Ecommerce Consultant

Name: Elizabeth Hitchins

Title: Freelance E-commerce Consultant and Developer

Phone: 07435 972407/01384 412958

Email: work@kidsontalks.com

Freelance e-commerce and marketplace consultant based in the UK, specialising in e-business management which includes e-commerce site management and marketplace management such as eBay and Amazon. Domestically and internationally.

Main services include:

  • Inventory management
  • Sales management
  • Pay per click management
  • Design contracting including eBay design
  • Search engine optimisation
  • eBay business management
  • Website content and maintenance
  • Web development
  • E-commerce implementation, advice and strategy
  • Third party tool implementation for multichannel trade
  • Project co-ordination and management (including design and solution development)
  • Recruitment and trade fairs
  • Project development
  • Event organisation and delivery
  • Business support and administration
  • E-commerce training online and in person

Over  12 years experience in the e-commerce industry working with SME and enterprise online retailers, in Europe and America. References and examples of work available on request. Rates quoted per hour, small and large projects considered. No minimum spend or contract length.

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Responsive eBay Design Features & Functionality Requests 2014

Last year I had a really good response to the Responsive eBay Design framework blog series I posted.

This year I shall open up the floor to feature requests. I can’t PROMISE anything but it will be very interesting to spend some time adding to this series based on requests.

How can you ask me?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kidsontalks
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KIDSONTALKS

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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 http://kidsontalks.com/good-data-takes-you-nice-places-introduction/

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Cassini, eBay & the back button of death!

We love silly named updates. We have the Android Kitkat update and we have had Google Panda. eBay felt left out so we have the…

CASSINI update

They decided to completely re-write the search functionality to suit buyers needs. The development uses all the data available to eBay to meet the immediate needs of the shopper. This makes the buying experience better, and helps us sell more.

But enough of that, what do we need to watch for?

Four major factors will drive eBay search going forward, Relevance, Value, Trust & Convenience. M’kay?

The back button of death

eBay are now weighing listings on the impressions they receive, as well as how well they do on holding the buyers attention and if the deal is closed. You need to make sure buyers click on YOUR listings in search results and then your listing holds their attention to close the deal.

Lets look at this process:

1. Buyer shops for “Maxi Dress’ – if you sell maxi dresses this needs to be in your TITLE.

2. Then they will move onto filters to find the size, style, colour and brand. This information is pulled from your ATTRIBUTES/ITEM SPECIFICS and eBay specified ones at that. Unspecified is -1 Cassini point (please note you don’t really get negative points, or any points it is just easier to think this way….well I don’t THINK you get points…)

3. They click on YOUR listing for a black size 8 maxi dress.

4. Your listing is SO fantastic with all the info clear that they buy from you. <–INSERT EBAY DESIGN HERE

One Cassini point achieved. You can now move onto the next level.

5. If hit they BACK button on their browser, you suck.

Don’t give them a reason to hit back!

Good luck!

If you want to read a really good post on Cassini go here: http://www.terapeak.com/blog/2013/06/11/terapeak-how-to-crucial-factors-in-ebay-search-for-the-new-cassini-platform#.UjhJu8ZvCco


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