Marketplaces as a platform to increase your sales

As we draw to the end of another year, those of you retailing online will be thinking about the path forward for 2016 and the best Return on Investment (ROI) for you.

If you’ve not done so already, listing your products on marketing platforms can be a good way to test your market both in Singapore and International markets. Examples of marketing platforms include companies like eBay and Amazon (global) as well as Lazada and Zalora (SE Asia orientated).marketplaces

Market-places offer a communal retail space for sellers to list their products online without the need to worry about overall operations – which remain in the control of the marketplace. In countries like the US and UK, market-places are one of the most popular shopping destinations with 44% of the Americans turning first to Amazon for their goods.

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The importance of API’s in scaling e-commerce

Whether it is marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Rakuten and Lazada or ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and BigCommerce; all offer an API to integrate into their services.

But why are APIs so important?

An API is a way for two systems to communicate with each other to access each others services and data. A merchant using an inventory management system would typically connect that system to the webstore. Once connected, orders generated by customers purchasing a product, will immediately appear in the inventory system. The communication between these systems is done via an API.

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Successfully Displaying your Products on 3rd party websites

For most retailers, promoting your products on 3rd party websites is a necessary demand generation tool. Find it, and they will come! But the reality is that making your products searchable and attractive vs. the competition is easier said than done. The quantity and quality of your leads are heavily reliant on the quality of your product data and the relevance to the 3rd party site.

The good news is that you will find success if you follow these 4 stages:

1. The ‘Get’ Stage

getting-product-infoThis involves procuring high quality, automated data. During my 14 years in online retail, I have seen all
sorts of data sources; the bigger and older the company, the more legacy systems and dependencies a marketer is faced with. Many marketers put the process of sourcing a feed into the ‘too hard’ basket simply because of the no. of systems and teams they need to work around. A younger company benefits from being more dynamic, yet may lack the IT or financial resources to be able to create the feed themselves.

At CrescoData, we have implemented solutions to support all ends of the spectrum – from integration of multiple, disparate data sources to simple website crawling. The key for you to know is that, done the right way, this stage can be quick, cost effective and scalable.

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Facebook launches dynamic product ads

Facebook recently launched their dynamic product ads. Dynamic Product ads are a new type of ad specifically designed for retailers and enable them to promote their entire product catalogue to the Facebook audience.

The ads look the same as the current image ads on Facebook. They also appear in the same place, in the news feed and on the right hand side. The difference lies in the set up. The ads are feed based and rather than having to create individual product ads, the new programme generates ads for your entire inventory based on a dynamic template. Facebook will automatically draw the relevant product information from your product data feed to dynamically service ads to specific audiences. If your products are marked out of stock in your feed they will not be displayed.

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Who’s doing Omni-channel retailing well?

Omni-Channel Retailing

omni-channel-MarketingWe read a lot about omni-channel retailing in 2014 but is 2015 the ‘year that omni-channel comes of age’?

What is omni-channel retailing? In its purest form it means reaching customers with a seamless experience regardless of channel, device or location.

Shifting to an omni-channel approach requires a huge leap. This disruption to the retailing world requires rethinking the customer retail experience from scratch.

One of the keys to success is a ubiquitous experience across all of the channels. This requires a huge investment and structural change to enable communication and data to flow seamlessly between IT, marketing and sales.
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data feed optimization

What are the challenges to provide high-quality data feeds via data feed optimisation?

Any company working within the retail space uses data feeds. Not everyone might be aware of the term but a data feed is simply a list of product attributes. When products are published on a local marketplace with only a smaller webpage, these data feeds can often be in varying formats. Anything from text files or Excel files to fully fledged APIs are used. As long as these products live inside the small marketplace or inside a single platform, the format, provided details and consistency is not as relevant.

However, when these feeds are published to marketplaces or comparison shopping websites, then they need to be a certain standard to ensure all details are provided and that the product is displayed as expected. This will provide the best user experience to end users and therefore ensure the most traffic is sent back to the retailer or smaller marketplace.

DFO (data feed optimisation) is used to ensure that the feed follows all the rules and contains all required data for the marketplace to accept and display the products correctly.
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