Do bricks-and-mortar have the edge over Amazon?

amazonThe debate rages about whether or not there is a future for retail outlets or will these be wiped out with the dominance of ecommerce retailers, especially Amazon and eBay? Looking at a recent article in Forbes I would believe that retail stores are still safe for some time. I think both have a time and a place and although establishments like Amazon will endeavor to get orders delivered within the hour in large cities there is still going to be the need for immediate purchases (“I spilt coffee on my shirt!”) or impulse buys while out browsing or just pure retail therapy that many of us feel we need after a hard day or a difficult meeting. Full article here

 

Spring Fair, NEC (1st – 5th Feb 2015) – Hall 4B35

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After the success of the Spring Fair last year it seemed an easy choice to come back again. Our main focus this time round is to meet with business owners in the B2B and B2C markets who are trading in a retail environment, specifically on the web (using Magento, eBay or Amazon (and other ecommerce solutions)). This platform also provides us with another opportunity to meet with many of our customers in the surrounding area. A good number of our customers also exhibit at this show.

 

The Spring Fair is well-attended by B2B and B2C customers who are a perfect fit for Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) users as M.O.M. manages both from within the same application at no extra cost . As this is the most vital buying event in any retailers calendar and because it is for Trade visitors only it gives us the opportunity to spend time with decision-makers, business owners and directors.

 

If you are looking for an order management solution that drives your business and you are looking for assistance in managing multiple channels while improving operational efficiencies and growing market share then come and see us in Hall 4 Stand B35 Find more information on the Spring Fair website

Britons are biggest online shoppers and other news

Management Today reported earlier this month that Brits are the biggest online spenders in the developed world, spending an average of £2,000 online per year. That’s quite a bit ahead of the second biggest spenders, Australians who spend an average of £1,356 a year online, and Americans, who spend £1,171. The Chinese and Russians are way behind only spending £214 and £128 respectively.   The article goes on to say what makes the UK such a lucrative market for ecommerce is our taste for cheap debt and good internet connectivity. Apparently two fifths of advertising spend is now on the internet, the highest proportion of any of the countries surveyed.   They also warn of devoting too much time and money to ‘traditional’ social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as the online world is changing and that 56% of Brits said they go on a social network at least once a week, compared to 65% last year, as people, led by teens, switch to apps like Whatsapp, Instagram and Snapchat. Full article here

 

Not surprising really as the growth in online shopping in the UK was published way back in 2012 by the Telegraph, which reported that the figures supplied by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Britain is the biggest online shopping nation in the developed world, with almost two-third of adults using the internet to buy goods or services. Full article here

 

While the MailOnline has reported that a “Website bug hits food deliveries”. Some supermarket websites had technical issues which caused some orders to disappear and some customers have had their Christmas delivery slot cancelled and rescheduled to after Christmas. Full article here

 

All this after the news reported on the MailOnline earlier this month where online retailers were struggling to deliver goods after Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Yodel had to delay delivering parcels by two days. Amazon also recorded delays after receiving 5.5 million orders on Black Friday. Yodel who handles more than 135 million items a year had failed to forecast the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush forcing them to stop accepting any new packages for two days to give them time to clear the backlog sitting on the back of its lorries. That decision could mean hold-ups for customers expecting deliveries from the firm, which serves thousands of retailers including Amazon, Argos and Tesco. Full article here

 

The Guardian reported at the beginning of the month that “Cyber Monday sales eclipsed by an estimated £810m spent by British Black Friday shoppers” according to the figures from IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group). While the predicted spend on Cyber Monday was only £650 million. This potentially means that Boxing Day has been usurped as the biggest shopping day of the year once store sales are taken in to account. Full article here

 

So it seems that it’s great news if you are an online retailer but not if you are still waiting for your Christmas food delivery.   If you don’t yet have an online store then you are missing out on your share of the money that is being spent in this country. We have several solutions that can help you get your share of the pie or should that be Christmas cake?

10 Best Businesses to be in for 2015

Some fantastic news for those of us who are still sending out mail order catalogues or in the mail order industry. While reading an article in Forbes magazine recently it was highlighted that should you be considering starting up a new business then look no further than the Electronic Shopping and Mail Order sector for the top performer!

 

10-best-industries-start-business-2015

Sageworks compiled a list of industries that have both above average revenue growth over the last year and low up-front investment requirements, as well as low barriers to entry.

 

 

An application like Multichannel Order Manager has its roots in the mail order industry and providing features such as catalogue square inch analysis as well as top and worst performing products in a catalogue as helped companies to achieve this top ranking.

 

The full story can be found here

Autumn Fair, NEC – 7 – 10 September 2014 (Hall 2 Stand C48)

After the success of the Spring Fair earlier this year it seemed an easy decision to attend the Autumn Fair this September at the same venue. The main attraction at this fair is to meet up with those we saw at the Spring Fair and gives is another opportunity to meet with many of our customers in the surrounding area. Fortunately a good number of our customers also exhibit at this show. Autumn Fair is well-attended by B2B and B2C customers which is a perfect fit for MOM users. As this is for Trade visitors only it gives us the opportunity to spend time with decision-makers, business owners and directors. If you are looking for an order management solution that drives your business and you are looking for assistance in managing multiple channels while improving operational efficiencies and growing market share then come and see us in Hall 2 Stand C48

Not On The High Street integration

NOTHSNot On The High Street (NOTHS) have recently provided a vehicle for  integration to their platform via API allowing partners and retailers to fulfil their orders automatically without manually downloading or entering orders each day.     Importing hundreds of Not on the High Street orders into M.O.M. takes minutes and from there (using M.O.M. as your stock control system) your stock quantity will be reduced and your pick tickets, packing slips and invoices for your NOTHS customers will be created. Processes that took you hours before will only take minutes now.

ECommerce Expo

This is proving to be a very worthwhile exhibition for multichannel retailers. Unfortunately the term is not fully understood by the vast majority of retailers and so the idea that if you retail on more than one platform (i.e. Web and eBay) that you are a multichannel retailer is stretching the truth slightly! Wikipedia refers to Multichannel Retailing as the ‘merging of retail operations in such a manner that enables the transacting of a customer via many connected channels. Channels include: retail stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile app stores, telephone sales and any other method of transacting with a customer.’

It continues that ‘Multichannel retailing is often said to be dictated by systems and processes when in fact it is the customer that dictates the route they take to transact. Systems and processes within retail simply facilitate the customer journey to transact and be served.’

What we have realised through this show is where M.O.M. stands out head and shoulders above the other multichannel retailers is in its warehouse management and fulfilment proposition. M.O.M.’s ability to allocate stock to orders as it is imported in and to set up business rules that moves orders through the process automatically without having to manually update the orders is a revelation and a blessing to some of the more astute retailers. The less astute user is oblivious to how long it takes and how cumbersome it is in any given working day to have to manually move orders through the order process.

Exhibition season

Having finished a disappointing ECMOD show (where their appeared to be more exhibitors than delegates) MailSolve is looking forward to the Ecommerce Expo this week where significantly larger numbers are expected. The Ecommerce Expo is dedicated to all things related to selling online and this is a market that Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) is well suited to. We are looking forward to meeting industry leaders and prospective customers during this two day event. We are on stand 1420 in the Grand Hall, Olympia (www.ecommerceexpo.co.uk), so come and visit us!

Tips for getting your business noticed online

MailSolve Limited is the sole U.K. distributor for Dydacomp’s M.O.M. and SiteLINK products with close to 40 years of experience in mail order, multichannel and ecommerce industries. Over the years we have gathered knowledge and expertise to help businesses grow, with a focus on ecommerce solutions.

 

We see hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that our customers have created and are using to promote their products. We’d like to share the following musts for getting your business noticed online.

 

1. Always optimise your website to improve rankings in the top search engines – on a regular basis revisit what words or phrases that are used to get to your site, then be sure to use them
2. Feature high quality, text-based content with an eye on video to profile top selling products
3. Give stuff away – shipping, products, services, if possible
4. Hold contests or competitions to get visitors involved
5. Upgrade your connections – increase the number of high-quality links on your site
6. Get noticed on the right hand side of the page with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns
7. Advertise on blogs or online magazines – these offer niche targets and generally lower costs
8. Make it easy to spread the word and encourage visitors to share your content – one click should be all that is needed
For some additional tips for growing your business, click here

M.O.M. SQL Express has arrived!

MailSolve is happy to announce the launch of the SQL Server Express Edition of Multichannel Order Manager version 8. This latest version allows current M.O.M. Standard Edition customers to take advantage of the speed, reliability and database stability of Microsoft’s Free SQL Server® Express Edition.

 

The SQL Server Express edition provides the power of a full-featured relational database on a smaller scale as well as the following benefits:

 

•Speed – Users experience enhanced performance over the current M.O.M. Standard Edition. Field testing results reveal notable performance improvements of up to 30 percent.

 

•Database Stability – Fail-safe procedures inherent in the SQL Server Express database minimize environmental instabilities.

 

•Incremental Back-ups – Customers have the ability to process incremental automatic backups throughout the day without users logging out of M.O.M.

 

•Improved Reporting Capabilities – Customers can take advantage of the additional reporting programs and options that are available to SQL databases.

 

•Affordability – No license fee for SQL Server Express makes relational database power more affordable.

 

“The latest version of M.O.M. will benefit customers who have smaller databases yet want to harness the power of SQL” said Fred Lizza, chief executive officer at Dydacomp. “M.O.M. on SQL Server Express provides an excellent, affordable option for those seeking the power of a full-featured relational database on a smaller scale to achieve the benefits of speed, reliability and stability in their order management processes.”