Building a Successful Online Business


With my millions of years of experience I have put together few important things to consider to build a successful On-line Business:

1. Strategic Planning 

  • Go back to Pen and Paper and Carry Out long term planning
  • Work things out in periods of three months, put targets, put tools to achieve it and measure
  • Give space for U-turn in case things don’t go right 

2. Multi Channel Operations 

  • Allow Sales channels like eBay, Amazon, PlayTrade along with your own operations
  • They  help to pay your bills
  • Use them as new Customer Acquisition tool

 3. Reputation Management 

  • Incorporate Customer Reviews & show them on the first point of contact
  • Use independent Review sites like Review Centre & Trust Pilot ( FREE with limited privilege)

 4. Usable Website  

  • Get some one good to create a website which is user friendly
  • Get some folks you know together and test the website from START  to FINISH of buying cycle
  • Plan a periodic website Audit

 5. Customer Service  

  • Keep customers happy no matter what it takes
  • Losing one customer means

 # of Lost Customer x Avg Order Value x Order Recurrence/month x 10 years ( for example)

  • Even if you lose few pounds to put things right do it, your customer will pay it back with repeat orders

6. Operation Management  

  • Keep some important Records like # of Customer Complaints, # of Returns, Order Dispatch Time that helps you to better understand how your operations is going on and correct them in time
  • Get yourself involved at least twice a month even if it packing orders. A successful boss is the one who understands every aspect of business.


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Amazon Strategies eBay Strategies

Do you Care about Packaging your Orders ?

Packaging your order betterI love on-line shopping and don’t like going around shops. I believe there are quite a few millions like me ! I know , I can buy anything I need on-line  and do so. If things are not available in the UK I can even import it without hassle. On-line Shopping is truly Global now-a-days.

Recently, I bought a Christmas present for my other half. The order was with FREE postage and arrived safely. To be honest, I bought quite a few things same time and I din’t know what it was until I opened the box. When I opened it, I was amazed how safe my present was inside. 

how to pack your order

This is something I admire about Good On-line Retailers. They always pack orders to the highest standard. Does this make be buy again with this Retailer even if price is bit higher ? The answer is…Oh Yes !

It is your responsibility to get orders safely to the customer. If you  have been ignoring this aspect of your business, NOW it is time to correct. It is good to go on the ground and put it right. 

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Amazon Strategies eBay Strategies

How to increase value of the basket ?

Image Source: Flickr

We all know postage cost is one of the factor that put buyers OFF during shopping. In order to tackle this problem, it is very wise to give your customers value for money with multi-buy options.

Most of the time postage for one and two items are same. It does not cost you more to send and it is good 
value for money to the customer who need your product regularly. Result, increase in the value of the basket. Simple !

Here are few simple steps to carry this out on eBay / Amazon:

– Replicate the single listing
– Suffix title with x 5 ( for example ). This shows multi-buy at first glance.
– Add x 5 to the image (for example).
– Create a Multi-Buy category and assign your listing to this category as second shop category. This will help buyers to find the product in relevant category and helps you analyse your category sales
– Remember to enter EAN in this listing. Most of the products have pack EAN which is separate to single product EAN. This will allow you to list your multi-buy product on Amazon.

Experiment this and don’t be afraid to change the quantity, some products may sell better in 5s and others in 2s.  Leave a comment below how you got on.

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eBay Strategies

EAN that most forget to include on eBay Listings

Image Source – Tamebay

Google has brought quite a lot of changes in its Google shopping recently. One of them is product EAN. Basically products with EAN will be be visible in Google shopping page.

You must have seen the option to add EAN in your listing but can’t be bothered to fill it.
STOP ignoring it. If your eBay products don’t have EANs, they will not appear in Google
shopping search result minimising chances of being found.

You can easily add EAN in the listings you currently have by revising the listing in live eBay site or inventory software you are using. If you got 3000 products, don’t panic. Start today and work your way through. It has to be done  in order to increase traffic to you product. 

Recently, I met founders of  SPORTTAPE   for a  Free Assessment and advised them about this. They were unaware of this fact and were quite happy for me to do the job. I did it and their products are now visible in Google shopping.

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Amazon Strategies

Amazon Price Parity Policy – Can you work around this ?

Image – Last Drop of Ink

I stumbled in an article on “Amazon Price Parity Policy”  by LastDropofInk this morning. It was a good read and recommend you to go through comments section. You will find real juice there !

I am not surprised most sellers are going on with what has been dictated by their Godly Amazon and why not? At the end of the day if no has done anything with their tax issue, I very much doubt anything will be done against this policy. At the end of the day, you would not want to get suspended from one of the most popular sales channel that is helping you to buy bread and butter. Would you?

Suddenly I got the feeling of “ DICTATORSHIP” here without any option than saying “YES SIR”.

I am aware that quite a few experts have given various options however; it is waste of time and a BIG RISK not following their policy. If they have spent time on finding out your price in other sales channel they will certainly find this and suspend you. Then what?

Simply, say “YES SIR” and change your prices. This is very simple do by uploading product inventory file. One thing you could try with few hundred products – Try hike postage price. We all know Amazon Customers are affluent and they don’t mind paying bit extra. Additionally, Amazon Checkout process is setup in such a way that it does not highlight the postage price that often unlike any other checkout process and they have got popular One Click Checkout technology which enable quick checkout taking postage price into consideration.  You can change shipping for your experimental product with “Shipping Overrides” file. See what happens and do the same for the rest. Good luck and please comment your result in this post.

Amazon got a good e-Commerce technology and you got low price products. These TWO gives you optimum shopping experience to the buyers. One thing definitely happens with Amazon’s Price Parity – Sales Growth.

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How eBay and Amazon can help your business ?

With the general growth of the e-commerce industry, more and more entrepreneurs are moving only. Setting up a web-shop is quite a simple process and it’s never been easier to implement on-line payment systems. Unfortunately some on-line sellers get lost in a sea of competition with many struggling to market themselves.

Luckily on-line marketplaces with millions of users allow anyone to list products and can even be a useful marketing channel to drive traffic to their your own website. There are plenty of reasons why any business selling on their own website (or thinking about starting) should also be on eBay and Amazon.

First it’s easy to start out on eBay or Amazon so you can use these marketplaces to check demand for your product and investigate competition. That will save spending money building your own website only to find the business opportunity is not big enough.

If you find sufficient demand and establish a business model you can look to expand the business to your own website. On your eBay ‘about me’ page you can put links to your site and in time, with some persuasion, your most loyal customers will make purchases directly through you. This saves eBay or Amazon fees and can increase sales. Building a website can require a lot of cash up front but you will reap the rewards. You may want to consider making taking a short term business loan to help our in this period and having Amazon or eBay trading history can help you get the best deal.

If you’re new to the e-commerce industry selling on existing platforms is a good way to understand the world of selling on-line. It gets you familiar with on-line payment services and helps you to understand the way on-line buyers behave. This basic knowledge really comes in handy once your business begins to grow. 

Trading on eBay and Amazon is not always a bed of roses but it makes you visible to millions of buyers and can be a great way to start up and promote your business. 

This post is provided by iwoca , the first company in the UK to provide small business loans to eBay and Amazon sellers.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with Multi-Channel Sales

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with...

Are you struggling to sell in your shop? Do you want to grow your online sales? 

This is a right event for you!

Reputed sales channels like eBay, Amazon, PlayTrade and Pixmania are popular eCommerce platforms. These are the marketplaces where customers go because they are easy to use and secure. 

These enjoy high traffic that no other eCommerce sites do and you can take advantage of this simply by opening your store with as little as £14.99. Simply list your item and let them worry about selling. You can have your shop ready with a week and most importantly it will sell!

You can sell from Christmas Crackers to Chicken Pens online. So, come with an open mind and learn how you can grow you business online.  This seminar will enable you to make informed decision and move your business forward.

When –  13th November 2012      6:00 pm to  8:00 pm

Where  –  ICE – Britannia House –

                   Caerphilly Business Park –

                   CF83 3GG


Please book online or by telephone on 02920 140040.

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Grow Your Business with Multi-Channel Sales
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6 Important factors for your Mobile Success – Learn from Amazon

[slideshare id=14810001&w=530&h=400]

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eBay Strategies eCommerce

Grow your online Sales with eBay and Amazon Stores

Online retail sales increase by 14% last year to more than £50bn, according to a new report.[1] If your business is struggling to sell in your shop or if you want to grow your business this is the way forward. You will get new audience to your business.

Easy said than done! Not always true. It is not necessary to create your own online store when you are starting, as it brings complications of marketing along with huge cost which you really don’t want. Ideally, you want to sell online with as less cost as possible. A simple way to do this is to open your own eBay store or Amazon store. It is only £14.99 for eBay store and £28.75 for Amazon store. Simply list your product and let they will do the trick.

eBay and Amazon enjoys millions of unique visitors. Here’s a graph from Google Trends to show eBay and Amazon past 12moth traffic.

{Source: Google Trends}

          This is what you need to take advantage. There is already brand awareness and trust on eBay and Amazon which you get instantly when you start your store. I very much doubt you will get this with your own store. Mobile shopping is another important thing you need to consider which increasing in the UK. 59% of UK consumers own a Smartphone and 19% of those have shopped online. Currently there are two most popular shopping apps, Amazon and eBay. With eBay and Amazon store your products are available to mobile shoppers with not additional cost. 

The message is – there is no harm in trying out these stores. We brought this message among 50 local businesses at Welsh Ice event recently. I am very much sure you business growth is waiting for you. Simply give it a go !

[slideshare id=14327898&w=514&h=422&sc=no]

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eBay Strategies

Is eCommerce going really Global?

I recently bought a pair of “Sink Drain Snake Brush” on eBay for £1.29. You must be thinking I am a crazy buying this online rather than going down to my local hardware store which has 100 years of family history. The thing is, like me there are thousands & probably millions now a days do not hesitate to buy anything online as long as  there is relevant delivery charges.

 I was expecting it to be delivered within 3 days as normally it does. However this one took a week! To my surprise the parcel came all the way from the manufacturing hub of the world, yes ! that’s right, China.

How can someone sell something for £1.29 and get it delivered abroad making profit. This is something that bewildered me.

We are really going global in terms of eCommerce!

We are aware that cross border trade is increasing in eBay to Europe, America and Australia. If a firm in China could do so why can’t small firm in the UK do it?  If you have not thought about it, perhaps it is time now for you to go Global. The platform is already there guys – eBay, Amazon and Play with a week setup time. Simply give it a go, you don’t lose anything but if it goes success you have found a new growing market. 


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