It seems that the overly unnecessary re-branding of Marketworks has now happened. Marketworks is now MarketplaceAdvisor so I am now wondering if MarketplaceAdvisor will follow the same flow as ChannelAdvisor Merchant some time in the future? No functionality has changed as far as I can see, but I am hoping for the imminent release of a bulk upload/assign function for eBay attributes as it is very tiresome in its current state.
Well, it will be something I will be asking at ChannelAdvisor Catalyst in April, in which Mathias and I will be manning the createyourtemplate booth (shameless link to the UK site, as that’s my bit)
I have not written much this month as I have been working with a large construction company (currently part of the Olympics Stadium carnage) on the second stage of their employee review Intranet database driven site. Lots of usability studies (so how DO you get an ageing foreman to use a computer, let alone submit and on-line review after their appraisal?) data analysis, support and communicating with their developers from Spain.
February marks the start of my Open University course, which I am very excited about as I have been doing some hands on development work recently!
Once my life has slowed down again a bit, I shall be back commenting on the e-commerce world in as dry a manner as possible, as well as new theories and probably lots of code snippets from my course!
Marketworks is not for the faint hearted or easily confused. Its array of dependant quirks can drive a person mad.
Top Marketworks Tip:
Once you are halfway though setting up your account and inventory go back to settings>accounts> ‘ebay account’ and take a look though those setting again. The choices are far too wide for when you first set up your account, but mid way, once you have fathomed exactly what you want to do go back and suddenly it all makes sense.
Marketworks is a better system than it was 12 months ago but still not a patch off the functionality of Channeladvisor. If the Channeladvisor pricing works for your business then don’t delay, but if it doesn’t….a little time and patience with Marketworks and you can get it to do your bidding.
I have taken on a freelance eBay Managment, a mid range client who was with another management company and used ChannelAdvisor. Channeladvisor is not suitable for this client as they are not big enough, once they hit £30K the ChannelAdvisor fee makes sense.
So they still have 300 items, and with the $29.95 a month cost and 3% GMS fee from Marketworks is viable. On assurances that the stability has significantly improved since my last experience with Marketworks I advised the client to sign up.
Marketworks is still the most unnecessarily complex system, but luckily complexity does not phase me, just reliability of functions. Once set up I shall review the Marketworks system as it stands now as it is the only software localised in the UK (apart from eBay tools) that has the functionality to expand an eBay business by automation.
I have been in Berlin, and busy expanding my own future to blog of late but I will have some interesting blogs on persuasive writing and ebay education soon enough. I am currently in cahoots with a company called createyourtemplate.
There are many opportunities within business to move products and services on line. The internet gives you a better reach, both nationally and internationally at a low cost compared to bricks and mortar. The internet has a richness about it. You find more detailed information on products and prices from many companies and you need your business to show up against your competitors. You might have the better product at cheaper price, but without the knowledge your customers will continue to buy elsewhere.
Moving a service or product on line enables interactivity and customisation to engage your customers, as we know very well the impact of social media on today’s adult population, with the myspace and facebook generation.
Affiliation should not be shunned by an e-business. An organisation with rich links to other compatible companies or organisations will be able to gain a larger reach and influence.
Encouraging your customers to use on line services will reduce costs while providing a new, convenient channel for purchase and customer service. On line your customers are only a mouse click away from your competitors so you need to make sure you build last relationships with your customers. This statement can be a generalisation in some cases as customers or suppliers will generally lock themselves in after learning to use a system or website as the switching costs can be high.
Take the Marketworks and ChannelAdvisor example. Both are on line auction and e-commerce management systems. Marketworks has the poorer product, which was less reliable but high end retailers were locked in because of the cost of switching from one system to another.
This is now however not a problem for Marketworks Customers wishing to switch!
There are some limitations to your e-business and problems will arise. For example in customer service, emails need to go directly to the person concerned within your business and not just ignored. This can damage a companies reputation as your customers will share their experiences on-line in forums and message boards.
Your services are limited by bandwidth, the amount of information that can be presented to the customer at any one time. A website can become unreliable at peak traffic times, and after certain events such as the Olympics and the World Cup if you products are relevant. Your information has to be accurate and reliable, constantly updated to meet the customer needs and changes within the marketplace. No e-business can rest on its laurels.
Security and protection of customer data is an on going problem which you will have to keep on top of.
The two titans in the eBay auction management and e-commerce total solutions world collide:
ChannelAdvisor Acquires Marketworks – Combination cements ChannelAdvisor as top e-commerce channel management solution provider..
The press release says:
Richmond, UK – September 12, 2007 – ChannelAdvisor, the leading provider of e-commerce channel management solutions, announced today it has acquired Marketworks, a leader in marketplace management software and services.
“Acquiring Marketworks solidifies our leadership position and reinforces our commitment to the marketplace segment,” says Scot Wingo, Chief Executive Officer of ChannelAdvisor. “We will continue to evaluate other opportunities in this and other e-commerce channel segments as they arise.”
“Marketworks is excited to join forces with ChannelAdvisor,” says Doug Hadaway, Chief Executive Officer of Marketworks. “This partnership will lead to great things for both company’s customers and partners.”
So as the two giants in the UK have become one they should become an enormous force for eBay traders in the UK. I hope to see a mid range eBay automation solution which sits under ChannelAdvisor Merchant, on a more Marketworks level of pricing with the fantastic functionality and reliability (and simplicity, Marketworks does crazy things to your vision) of ChannelAdvisor.
More news here: Channeladvisor buys Marketworks and on AuctionBytes