Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again, a time for reflection, action and improvement.

This is where I can come in as a consultant. I have helped MANY businesses in the online space with their expansion, technology integration & design projects to great effect.

Get in touch and see how I can help you dominate 2015 🙂

Phone: 07435 972407/01384 414770

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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Disneyland Paris – And what your business can learn from their mistakes!

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, or so it should be. I went for a 4 day trip to Disneyland Paris just before Christmas with a friend of mine who frequents the Florida Disney park every 2 years (ish).

Disneyland Paris has EVERYTHING it needs to become a great park. The rides are great, the park layout is good and well maintained as well as the detail is very much there. The park was DESIGNED to be fabulous, however the execution is lacking. Oh so lacking.

These are the main problems the park as a whole has that relate to the customer experience which I might add is EVERYTHING to a Disney park. You are supposed to be totally lost in the fantasy, it’s what you pay for. It’s what the kids want.

1. It’s not happy.

In fact, hardly any of the staff are happy and playing their role as ‘cast members’ at Disney. Most of the staff were reluctantly helpful or just plain rude. A few also complained and moaned in front of customers. We found TWO employees bar the staff dressed as ‘Characters’ who had any Disney spirit. Both loved the Florida parks and had bought back some of that sunshine in the way they worked.

2. It’s a French park for French people.

It used to be called ‘Euro Disney’ but maybe the name was changed as there is nothing European about it. It is a French park with a splattering of English and sometimes a weird mix of French and English as though at some point they tried then gave up. The car show was the best translated of all, but lets look at the example of the haunted house.

The haunted house story is supposed to be scary. However it is in French and only french – this means I had NO IDEA what was going on, neither did any other language speakers. This means despite the marvelous decor, the ride was lost on me. I can’t speak French.

It is a slow ride, so translation could be provided to make is scary for English, German, Italian & Spanish visitors as LEAST.

Quite a few workers spoke broken English – which is fine for me, but a family from Bahrain were VERY confused as they couldn’t find anyone to speak English and tell them what was going on. In fact my friend and I had to do a bit of that work for them on the Aerosmith ride (which is fabulous).

3. We couldn’t eat.

The food was horrendous in the parks. We tried to escape the pizza and burgers but it seems we should have just kept to the Disney Village where food was concerned. They kept trying to push you to expensive buffets, so we tried one to our dismay. All notion of hospitality was thrown out of the window and the food was horrid and a little stale at the end of the day.

The BBQ we had in Frontier-land was OK.  The hotel breakfast was bad pastries and bread. Bit of ham too if you were lucky.

4. Visible construction.

Parks need maintenance, but in Disney Florida it is done AFTER hours in the parks and any ‘scaffolding or workings’ are hidden by a themed facade as not to break the experience. We could totally see what was broken or being restored in Paris.

Disneyland Paris is rumoured not to be doing that well. I can see why!

So how can this relate to your online business?

Well, buying is a shopping EXPERIENCE. Just like Disney it is all about the experience. Think of giving your customer what they want by offering choice, be HAPPY when they contact you & don’t alienate foreign language speakers. The world is a big place, they are ALL your customers.

Happy New Year!

 

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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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