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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E-commerce Tarot – What can marketplace sellers expect in 2015?

The third in the series of What is in store for marketplace sellers in 2015!

So the question today is:

‘What can sellers expect in 2015?’

My gut feeling is 2015 will be bigger than ever, but the policies tighter for marketplace sellers and the cost of doing business that little bit higher!

I have been a part of the e-commerce landscape for 14 years, and it just keeps growing. I don’t think it will stop. But what I DO think is ‘other people & organisations’ will try to take a bigger slice of sellers money.

The UK/EU government/s will start 2015 as it means to go on, by making sure you can’t sell electronic goods with out paying VAT on every penny by lowering the threshold to well….zero. If this is successful the cynic in me can see it rolled out to all ‘online purchases’ – the EU is broke….it wants our money. It wants it NOW.

eBay will also need more money, so sellers will see fee’s rise in 2015 to cover the losses caused by bad management and infrastructure at eBay.

But lets see if the cards are just as pessimistic about the drain on sellers finances!

Back to the Druid Craft Deck bought on eBay:

 

The Issue – Four of Cups *Reversed

It seems sellers need to be wary of staying in a relationship that should end in 2015, however there will be new opportunities for sellers to take hold of. The fear of security is there though. With the recent hacking of eBay, a lot of sellers are concerned moving forward.

Action to Avoid – The Lady *Reversed

Sellers need to avoid the blockages that prevent success. This might well pertain to VAT issues, ending that relationship that is holding you back or making that decision to unlock your potential.

Action to Take – Queen of Pentacles *Reversed

Obsessive materialism! This is what we like to hear. LOTS of people buying YOUR items. Get ready for the rush!

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In 2015 sellers need to shed their dead weight. Anything that is costing you too much, not making you money/saving time you need to ditch. There is massive opportunity ahead in 2015, the year of obsessive materialism commences. We have already seen the signs in the sales this Christmas.

So what to expect? BIG THINGS & BIG MONEY! You just have to take those opportunities, make sure of your return on investment STOP wasting money. Check who you are working with, consultants, experts, third party providers, financial services…are THEY making you money or solving your problems? Has the relationship broken down but you are too ‘busy’ to end it? STOP BEING A NINNY.

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

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Ecommerce Tarot – What’s in store for marketplace sellers in 2015? #2

Following on from this post I go onto the second part of the big question!

How should sellers prepare for 2015?

Preparation is all about learning from previous experience. One of my sellers today asked me to switch off their international listings because they needed to ease the pressure. What a GREAT problem to have. They have already grown 50% on the previous year with 4 weeks of selling left. So those 4 weeks will be from their UK listings only. I have already been thinking of ways to cope with the very ‘seasonal’ heavy sales of this client as there is a LOT of expansion to be had in 2015. However, this is a null point if the business infrastructure can’t keep up with sales growth.

I am going to use the Rider Waite Tarot deck today, this is the one you see in all the films associated with ‘witches’ and fortune telling. I am feeling very ‘New Orleans’ today so I chose this deck.

A three card pull from this deck signifies ‘Past, Present then Future’

1. Past

Ace of Pentacles – Reversed

Sellers need to be mindful of bad intelligence. What has worked in the past, might not be for the future. E-commerce is ever changing so you must evolve with it. Cast away old thinking and bad decisions.

2. Present

Queen of Wands – Reversed

A lot of what sellers have been focused on in 2014 is customer service. eBay & Amazon has tightened the grip here and those who have succeeded should continue this vein of providing golden service. This is what you can take from your present performance into 2015.

3. Future

Temperance – Reversed

Sellers need to be careful of conflicting interests in the future and unfortunate combinations. This is poignant for growing sellers who need to make sure their infrastructure can cope with the growing demand for products and marketplace expansion.

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Growth is great but also hard work. I can imagine this last weekend has made sellers larger then they planned for this year, but next year you need to be prepared.

Things you can think about as a growing company in 2015:

1. More efficient fulfillment processes – bring the cost of shipping out orders down.

2. Consolidated listing & channel management – look into software to manage your channels without growing your people.

3. Preparing correctly for new marketplaces – are there any gaps in your domestic channels? If not go INTERNATIONAL.

4. Increase depth and breadth of product ranges using intelligence sourcing and data.

 

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

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Ecommerce Tarot – What’s in store for marketplace sellers in 2015? #1

Andy from WebRetailer is joining in the fun and has asked ‘What’s in store for Marketplace sellers in 2015?’

That is a BIG question, and as Tarot in no way tells the future I shall break this down into several ‘pathway’ style questions. I do a LOT of business planning with my clients, normally with a 24 month growth plan. Clients that have followed the pathways I have put before them have achieved great success. Some others are now maturing and teetering on the edge of greatness too.

My first question is that of reflection. You should always look at lessons learnt in order to progress and not repeat mistakes.

What should marketplace sellers take from 2014, into the New Year?

1. The Issue – The Wanderer

The wheel of the year is beginning it’s great cycle and the wanderer (yes that’s you, the marketplace seller) is getting ready to take a leap into the unknown. All you require is faith. But you also need the wisdom to let go. This means sometimes leaving behind baggage of the past. You might have already started on this journey on an unconscious level. You may already know what it is you need to do.

2. Action to Avoid – Queen of Arrows * Swan

This card represents freedom after strife, however sellers need to avoid unnecessary separation to swim into waters new.

3. Action to Take – Three of Vessels * Joy

Don’t fear happiness. Give yourself permission to feel complete joy and free yourself from the fear of the void joy leaves behind once it is gone. It’s OK to be happy in what you do. Inject the magic back into marketplace selling. Grief is not a way of life.

2014 has been a difficult year, especially for eBay sellers. Hacking, fraud, site issues and security fears have sucked the joy out of selling on many levels. Then you add into that two sets of quite major changes making the hoops smaller for good sellers to jump through. I have heard sellers say they have doubled their sales on Amazon while eBay has become a very difficult marketplace to cope with.

Sellers are at a juncture…..do they say goodbye to eBay, swim into new waters and capitalise on Amazon together with channels they control?

Some sellers have released themselves from eBay as it was just making them miserable. YOU know in your heart how you want to run your business, for happiness, health and ultimately wealth. However, don’t think separating from your troublesome sales channel will bring you happiness. Being broke can make you pretty unhappy too! Proceed with caution.

tarot

After all that I think my next question for the pathway spread will be ‘How should sellers prepare for 2015?

and just for ‘kicks & giggles’ lets do a one card draw from the Druid Craft Tarot (What? It was going cheap on eBay so I bought another deck….)

What do marketplace sellers have in store for them in 2015?

Reverse Meaning – The Tower

Some disruption or change may be afoot, which will eventually prove beneficial. Sellers find themselves unable to break free from a limiting situation.

Oh…err…ominous with a positive ending? Does this mean we will see more disruption with our beloved marketplaces in 2015?

reverse-tower

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

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Should eBay design be responsive? Ecommerce Tarot – Let the Cards Decide!

We have another question for the cards today! I mean this question is a big ‘hell yeah’ from me – however lets see what the cards have to say about this one!

I shall keep on the pathway spread as it is easier to digest and explain than the other spreads with more cards, and more in-depth than just a one card draw.

So lets shuffle and ask away!

Question: Does responsive eBay design drive more sales?

1. The Issue – Page of Stones * Lynx

Be aware of the effects of everything you do. The Lynx is swift and cunning and so must you be. It is time to be a little more of a predator and protect your business.

2. Action to Avoid – Page of Vessels * Otter

You need to avoid past loyalties and a williness to serve others. You serve yourself and your own business. Your eBay designer can’t do responsive design? They have been your designer for years? Not a time to hang around and play fair.

3. Action to Take – Seven of Vessels * Mourning

Mourning begins the progress of recovery after failure. It is time to shed the skin of the past and look to the future. See potential where others only see barriers. Apply all you have learned through past experiences and put that to good use. You know your customers, you know how they shop – break away and reap the rewards of the future.

Well in short, forget those faithful old designers who try to tell YOU what your customers need. Don’t let them tell you ‘nobody shops with their mobile on eBay’ because we know that over 50% of transactions are touched by mobile. I personally have not made a transaction on the eBay desktop site for 4 years….not a single flipping one. If you ARE going down the design route you need to keep with the times. Don’t invest in old tech!!

In addition, make sure you use ALL the item specifics available to you with eBay’s values, filters mean more on mobile and don’t end up as ‘not specified’. Use your 12 free picture slots, they look great in the app and answer 99.9% of questions.

ecommerce-tarot

Like this series? Think I am bonkers? Have a question for the cards? Use twitter! @kidsontalks

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E-commerce Tarot – Shall we let the cards decide?

Well, I have a Tarot deck. I bought it from eBay after having my first Tarot reading for £3 at a Halloween event locally. The woman behind me was like ‘Only £3? Hell yeah, I pay £35 for readings normally!!’

£35?

Well, the artwork in the deck my reader used was pretty nice so I thought I would buy that one and investigate this ‘£35 a reading’ pandemonium.

I bought myself the ‘Wildwood Tarot’ and started investigating to see if it was all horoscopes & fortune telling. It is for some, but more seasoned readers seem to view the cards as a pathway to your unconscious. More of a psychological tool than a spiritual one. However, the seeker can deduce what they feel like from the reading.

So for a bit of fun I thought I would ask the cards E-COMMERCE questions, in a simple pathway spread (3 cards) and maybe the musing of my unconscious mind would benefit.

I shall ask the cards popular questions about eBay, Amazon and other e-commerce reporting and events…lets see if the cards are RIGHT!

My first question:

How can sellers prevent fraud through eBay’s managed returns process?

First Card: The Issue
Five of Bows * Empowerment

Sellers need to evolve a grounded & assertive mindset. They need to utllise this self empowerment for growth and change, not just personally but for the whole eBay community.

Second Card: Action to Avoid
Two of Vessels * Attraction

Sellers need to avoid the millions of subliminal messages from the community. They need to avoid emotional responses to the subject.

Third Card: Action to Take
Three of Stones * Creativity

Sellers need to channel their creative energies into a positive outcome and meaningful achievement.

In real terms, when it comes to suspected fraud through the managed returns process, don’t panic. eBay has put into place *some* conditions where you can appeal the return but it can be a slow process, especially if you need to contact eBay customer service. You need to keep your emotions out of it, and deal with FACTS only. Emotions slow down the process, and also turn a good day into a crappy one because of one dodgy return. Communicate with buyers about the returns process in your listings if you are getting frequent problematic returns. Remember, buyers are human too – they don’t want to pay for the returns process and a little creativity on their part is not criminal. But it is against policy, and eBay will try and do something about it for you. Managed returns will improve, and improve the reputation of eBay as a safe place to buy.

Ecommerce Tarot Reading

Just remember, that was £35* worth of reading….*But I don’t charge!

Do you have a question for the cards? Tweet me https://twitter.com/kidsontalks

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