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Could Amazon Payments and Checkout become the NEW PayPal?

Since 2007, Amazon has entered the world of online payment services to compete with powerhouse PayPal with their own version called Amazon Payments. This service allows sellers and buyers to use payment methods for sending/requesting money, adding funds, and making purchases of goods, services, and even purchasing through third-party websites. Although PayPal still reigns supreme, Amazon is setting its sights on PayPal’s hold over alternative payment solutions and looking to become the #1 online payment services in the world.

Did you Know? Amazon.com originally invested in the popular instant credit service “Bill Me Later” before eBay (Owner of PayPal) acquired them.

Amazon Payments is a payment engine that allows users to make purchases from your website or storefront using their Amazon customer ID. Amazon Payments keeps all financial information private from sellers and Amazon Payments offers the same trusted payment experience that is currently available on Amazon.com. To use Amazon Payments you must first have an Amazon account, but once activated, you can make payments on any third-party website that accepts Amazon payments. Also, Amazon Payment offers users the flexibility to use credit cards associated with their Amazon account and even make payments and receive them through their bank account just like PayPal. Amazon Payments accepts verified U.S. bank accounts, credit cards, and transfers from your available Amazon Payments account balance. Credit cards currently accepted include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.

To tighten up the competition, Amazon has even created Amazon Checkout, which rivals with PayPal and Google Checkout, as being a one-stop shop for payment and checkout options on your retail website or storefront. You can also integrate Amazon Checkout and Payments with your own storefront and website that lets you automatically save your customer’s data for quick processing and one-click purchases. What makes Amazon Checkout so innovative and appealing is not only do they not charge any monthly or hidden fees (Fees are based on a percentage of the transaction amount plus a per-transaction fee), but they offer tons of seller protection! Yes, we said it– Seller Protection! So if you ship your product to the provided address from the customer and use a trackable method, you’re covered. Stop fighting off month old refunds and get the coverage you’ve been looking for. Although Amazon Checkout is currently only available to sellers in the U.S, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany, Amazon is working on creating the most efficient and powerful online payment service in the world.

What do you think of Amazon Payment and Checkout rivaling PayPal? Do you think Amazon can become the #1 online payment services for all online merchants? We want to hear your suggestions. Send emails to nick@e-commercegenius.com

 

Amazon Competition- How Sellers get a Leg Up

Amazon Competition- How Sellers Get A Leg Up

Becoming a seller on Amazon is not for the faint of heart, at least upon first inspection. With all the competition and rules and with all the low prices, it can seem almost impossible for anyone new or inexperienced to get a leg up on the competition offering similar wares. This is why it’s important to study the latest selling techniques and technologies in order to maintain a competitive advantage. One of the latest techniques to reach Amazon sellers and one of the most intriguing technologies is the Appeagle repricing tool. Appeagle’s repricer may be the answer sellers on Amazon have been searching for to get ahead.

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Online Haggling coming Soon? Amazon files for Patent for New System

October 10, 2012–Since the dawn of the internet, the sport of online shopping has worked in only two ways—Either you pay the listed price for an item and receive it, or you don’t and receive nothing. Unlike flea markets or garage sales, haggling has never played a major role with online shopping except for maybe the occasional Craigslist ad. That may soon be ending as Amazon’s new patent idea in the form of an online haggling system could soon be on its way.

Online haggling system? Amazon.com has filed for a patent that would create a first-of-its-kind system to allow buyers and sellers the ability to intermingle with one another and freely make offers and counteroffers on items until both parties agreed. Although eBay has a similar service called “Best Offer” where buyers can make their own offers, Amazon.com is looking to revolutionize the buying and selling experience online with their new patent. Along with their haggling system, Amazon would propose a rating system for both buyers and sellers based on flexibility, average closing prices, and how likely either side is to drop a deal before it’s done.

With the Holiday season rapidly closing in, this haggle feature could become a must-have for marketplace buyers as more and more people look to save money during this extremely expensive time of year.  

 

5 Black Friday Tips for Amazon Sellers

November 6, 2012–This is the time of year Amazon sellers are licking their chops. With Black Friday right around the corner and the holidays quickly approaching, this is the most lucrative time to be an Amazon seller. But Black Friday alone won’t garner you sales—You’ve got to know what you’re doing and do it well. Although everyone has their own method of preparing for this shopping bonanza, we at AmazonGenius have compiled a list of Black Friday tips every Amazon seller should utilize.

5.) Amazon Deals/Add-ons The first tip on the list for Black Friday is employing deals whenever possible. Although Amazon.com doesn’t offer sellers many options to create their own deals for the holidays, they do have one program that could significantly help sellers. Amazon’s “Add-on” program allows customers to add low-cost items to their shopping cart in order to qualify for free shipping. This is great for sellers as customers must buy more products to qualify for this offer. Normally Amazon contacts sellers directly with this opportunity but it doesn’t hurt to reach out and request permission for this program

4.) Social-Media Whether you like it or not, social-media plays a central part in online sales. Sure you can sell without it but using social-media on Black Friday can be the difference between a few sales or selling out your entire inventory! Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great sources of promoting products and getting people to your Amazon storefront. Pinterest, for example, allows users to pin photos with links to desire URLs. We recommend pinning all of your Amazon products to Pinterest with links directing viewers back to your storefront. Get a jump on the competition and start using social-media to your benefit!

3.) Repricing Just like in the housing market when sellers say “Location, location, location”, Amazon sellers say “Price, Price, Price.” Correctly pricing products is one of the most important and vital steps to successfully selling products on Amazon. Having the lowest price is crucial with Amazon because it boost sales by highlighting your storefront in a big blue and yellow box called “The Amazon Buy Box.” This box is the gateway to sales and money and every seller should use it to their advantage. Make sure to update and keep your entire product pricing competitive before the start of Black Friday to increase your chances of sales.

2.) Email Blast Email blasts can either help your business or drown it. While no one likes receiving junk mail, many sellers have refined the age-old concept of email blasts to use it to their advantage. Although Amazon encrypts email addresses so buyers and sellers cannot identify direct email addresses, there are ways around this. If you’re a pro merchant on Amazon you can retrieve the encrypted email addresses of buyers via your Order Report. Power sellers know email blasts can not only promote products and availability, but promote your storefront and customer service ability. We recommend short, quick emails that inform customers of not only your storefront, but your newest arrivals, promotions, or price cuts.

1.) FBA-Stock Inventory Because Fulfillment By Amazon offers so many advantages to sellers, it’s become our crown jewel and #1 Tip for Black Friday. First off, if you’re not using FBA during the holidays stop what you’re doing and sign up. Amazon’s FBA program offers sellers the opportunity to bypass packaging and shipping orders by having sellers ship their products directly to Amazon. When an item sells, Amazon quickly packages and ships it off to your customer. Also, using FBA allows your products to qualify for shipping rewards like Super-Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime, which allows customers to receive their purchase with little to no shipping cost. Nothing says “Buy Me” more than free 2-day shipping.

Compensation: How Much do Amazon and eBay Executives Bring Home

Ever wonder how much the big dogs over at Amazon and eBay make in a year? Although both companies have established themselves as the #1 and #2 powerhouse for marketplace selling, they each take a noticeably different approach to paying their executives. Sure both companies weigh compensation based on stock and company performance, but you might be a little surprised what the base salary for these CEOs actually is. Warning: If you’re unemployed you might want to turn away.

eBay’s John Donahoe

In 2011, then current CEO of eBay John Donahoe made a combined salary of $16, 456,528 which included his eIP payout and assorted stock holdings. eBay’s compensation structure, which is often referred to as the eBay Incentive Plan (eIP), aligns salaries with the performance of the company drawing primarily on non-GAPP net income as a basis. Basically what this means is executives will not receive financial-performance bonuses unless the company meets a baseline level of revenue and net income. eBay explains Donahoe’s compensation by citing strong revenue growth, global expansion of PayPal, and the added workload Mr. Donahoe took on when taking over CEO duties following the departure of Lorrie Norrington.

Honorable mentions: eBay’s CFO Bob Swan made a grand total of $7.7 million including base salary, stock, incentives, and other compensation while Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges made a whopping $9.7 million in 2011. That’s almost a $7 million increase from his measly $2.9 million salary the year before.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

In 2011, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos brought home $1,681,840 in compensation which included his base salary of $81,840. Similar to eBay’s pay structure, Amazon focuses its executive compensation on company stock with one exception–CEO Jeff Bezos does not take any of his compensation in the form of stock. When asked why the CEO of Amazon doesn’t receive any compensation from stocks the company responded by saying, “Due to Mr. Bezos’ substantial stock ownership (approximately 19%), he believes he is appropriately incentivized and his interests are appropriately aligned with shareholders’ interests. Mr. Bezos has never received any stock-based compensation from Amazon.com.” That’s pretty surprising for a guy whose company this year sold 306 items a second on Cyber Monday.

Honorable mentions: Amazon’s CFO and vice president Tom Szkutak took a base salary of $160,000 in 2011, while senior vice president of international consumer business Diego Piacentini took home $175,000. Both salaries remained unchanged from the previous two year.

“Consistent with our belief that total compensation should be tied to long-term shareholder value, base salaries for named executive officers are designed to provide a minimum level of cash compensation and to be significantly less than those paid by similarly situated companies,” Amazon said.

What do you think of the two salaries for both CEOs?


Amazon Crowned King of Mobile Shopping for July 2012

Do you remember a time long, long ago when cellphones were used primarily for talking? Yeah we don’t either as nearly 86 million people took to their smartphones for online shopping in July of 2012. Yes that’s right, 86 million people used their mobile devices to shop online and more than half of those shoppers went to Amazon sites.

According to a study conducted by comScore, an online analytics firm, Amazon drew major traffic in the month of July with 49.6 million visitors leaving eBay.com in their dust as they trailed with 32.5 million visitors. Following Amazon and eBay in comScore’s rankings was Apple.com with 17,684 million, Wal-Mart with 16,295 million, and Target with 10,041 million visitors. Also on the list were Best Buy, Ticketmaster, CVS, The Home Depot, Blockbuster, Barnes & Nobles, Walgreen, Limited Brands, Lowes, and Etsy.

The study by comScore noted that virtual shoppers using their smartphones varied in ages with about 70.7% in age ranges of 18-44. Male visitors encompassed 51% of unique retail visitors via smartphone, according to the study. Essentially 4 out of 5 smartphone users dialed up online retail shops on their phones.

All of these figures were measured by comScore and their Mobile Metrix 2.0 service.

Fulfillment By Amazon– Is it Right for You?

Appeagle.com–One of the many services offered to Amazon sellers is Fulfillment by Amazon. Primarily, FBA exists so that high volume, high inventory sellers can more easily manage their listings while Amazon handles the sales, shipping and customer support. This saves the seller a huge amount of time since really; all you have to do is ship your inventory to Amazon and let them worry about the rest. Amazon assumes this headache for a modest storage fee, but like any service, FBA has both pros and cons that any business should consider before they decide whether or not FBA is right for them

On the Pro side are items like being eligible for Free Super Saver and Prime Shipping. These options increase the chance of an FBA listing being chosen over a similar listing that can’t offer the same level of service. This also means that you can increase an item price exclusive of shipping and still have the lowest total price. Also, since Amazon assumes responsibility for customer services, buyers are given access to twenty four seven customer service, which is a feature that can make the difference in capturing a sale. This will also lead to an increase in Buy Boxes captured since with Amazon working to keep a high level of customer satisfaction you are likely to receive higher overall feedback scores. These scores play an important role in determining who gets the Buy Boxes. In addition if you are using a repricer, that gives you an even greater edge in capturing the Buy Box. Lastly, in the Pro column is the fact that FBA can save you an immense amount of time. Without having to pack, print and ship your items you can focus completely on managing your listings and working on the aspects of your business that impact your sales.

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The Pros and Cons of Using Third-Party Fulfillment Centers

Since it first started in 2007, Fulfillment By Amazon has helped thousands of sellers sell products with relative ease on Amazon. The way it works is, you send your inventory to one of Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers and when the item sells, Amazon packages and ships the product straight to your customer. The days of packaging thousands of items monthly are gone, and with this easy-to-use FBA program sellers are finding more efficient ways of selling online. Although this fulfillment service is extremely popular, it does have its fair share of disadvantages and complicated compliance rules. They say it saves time, money and hassle, but does it really? Depending on the items you sell, size of your business, and amount of inventory you have, using Fulfillment By Amazon may not be the best decision for you.

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