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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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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Kidsonworks…more information

I have been working in the e-commerce sector since May 2000 starting with my own e-commerce business while I was a mere 20. My first major market was the USA. As a retailer I have sold personally from my own enterprise on eBay, Amazon and Website (I built the website myself) successfully but then in 2005 I switched my main career as a chemist to helping others sell online. It has been my passion and addiction ever since.

So what can I help you with?

eBay Design
Amazon Webstore Design and Integration
Shopping cart system design and integration (Magento/Vendio/Big Commerce etc)
Multichannel/Multi Marketplace Listing Strategy and Implementation
Marketing Advice, consultancy and implimentation
E-Business management

and anything else relating to e-business you can think of, but these are my key areas. However, I am open to your ideas and projects you may have.

You will see the content grow as well as showcases in the coming weeks and I will update this post with links.

Of course, ‘how much?’ is the key questions. Well my rates are simple and I base the work on the time the projects will take. All quotes are final, I will not add on ‘extras’ if something takes more time than I anticipated. That’s my fault, however new requests outside the original agreement will be quoted for and charged on an individual basis.

Rates for my time:

£25ph plus expenses if needed (If I need to travel to you or stay in a hotel etc) for consultancy, marketing, management and all other tasks that don’t include coding, development and high end integration.

£40ph for coding, development and high end integration which I normally conduct not on site. If I need to consult and plan a coding project with you the consultancy and development time will be charged at the lower rate.

I do discount for very large projects though which stretch over 6 weeks or more, or regular maintenance agreements.

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Confidence is higher than expected? No..so far behind…

Intershop have just released a report suggesting that confidence is higher in e-commerce than traditional retail with, quoting UK statistics 52% of UK retailers feel an online presence is key for growth…

ONLY 52%? Is the British retail consortium this far behind? It is better than France and Germany but still, with our weak economy more British retailers should see the advantage of online retailing to expand into a global market!

However, banks are still far to wary about lending to online business. Even business’s that are booming and growing globally struggle to get finance to expand. So with the fast turnover of stock keeping cash flow at a minimum how can retailers expand without a little help from the banks?

In this report 48% of retailers struggle to manage their brand and marketing over many channels and devices.This is where investment is needed but with confidence in the markets still very low (with major retailers struggling doesn’t help) banks won’t lend. Slows down expansion and economic recovery.

Catch 22.


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New eBay Design Offering for 2012 and Girl Geeks in Birmingham!

On Saturday I decided to go to the launch party for Birmingham Girl Geeks.

It was a unique experience as you are immersed  in a room filled with people JUST LIKE YOU.

On my table were business women, photographers working in e-commerce, web designers, social media experts, mobile web designers and even people who had just started at technology companies.

Girl geek meetings are not just for us to let our inner feminist out (men do come too along with their girl geeks) but to understand and provide support, stories and mentoring to each other in a typically male dominated industry.

Denise Jacobs was our first speaker and told a story about her rise to becoming a public speaker, writing a technical book and basically becoming a web diva of extraordinary proportions.

She reminded us to stop beating ourselves up for being female and thinking we can’t progress in this world. She indicated that actually, most of the barriers we feel are self generated and no one will stop us…however male dominated we think the technology industry is.

Us girls of a geek nature also need to shout about what we do. If we are too understated (I suffer from this affliction) and don’t say ‘ Hey, I can do that’ we will never get where we want to be.

We know more than we think we do 🙂

Want to feel inspired? Pop over to youtube: http://youtu.be/FTTj7DWABes

Second up was Karen Strunks from the 4am project – She detailed about using social media to promote her photography at 4am from a insomniacs walk about to a global photography project showing our world at this unique time.

This is Karen’s video (shot by me as I was sitting there): http://youtu.be/v1B18U_KgiY and see our world at 4am on flickr!

Our final speaker was Rachel McCollin taking about mobile web and how she got into the industry from working with the environmental agency.

Her video is here:  http://youtu.be/ZzWFCSV365o

So all in all it has inspired me to become more active again, on this blog (and meeting with my fellow girl geeks will give me more content to write again) and also is public speaking. Hey I may even offer to speak at a girl geek event.

IN OTHER NEWS >>>>> (shameless self promotion segment)

A new eBay design offering is hitting the web-o-sphere. A smart phone optimised solution for the SME market with dynamic navigation to die for. Full details will be in the new Tamebay Tools and services guide coming out on the 31st of Jan.

Want a sneak peek of new clients taking advantage of this?

Check out: http://stores.ebay.de/outdoorsportshop24 (still updating hislisting templates), http://stores.ebay.de/HHV-MUSIC (still updating his listing templates) and http://stores.ebay.at/123boerse (who has actually updated his item templates!!)

With a set up fee of 1500 Euros (plus monthly subscription based on volume) this is an ideal solution for eBay sellers.

More info to come of course but if you want to get in touch about this product please contact us via info@widshop.com.

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