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Need some help with online retail inventory management

Hi. I’m planning to open up a e-commerce business that is selling athleisure wear made of recyclable material (ocean plastic waste and plastic waste). I am planning to sell locally to see if my business will kick off before expanding internationally. (I am from Singapore, the entrepreneurship is part of my school programme I enrolled in).

I have a good source and can manage the delivery. The only issue is that I am not sure how much quantity I should order from the manufacturer and how many per sizes. Does anyone have any rule of thumb or any advice they can give me as a startup?

I also need some other advice in some other areas but I would like to take care of the one above first 😅 Thank you!

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The ECF Benchmark: A Performance Index for Store Owners

How can we arm the “rebel force” or smaller merchants with the similar AI and data sets that Amazon has? In this episode, Jake Cook, co-owner of Tadpull.com, explains this and more. Listen in as we cover topics such as the benefit of creating an index, what metrics an index tracks, and how this can help the community going forward. Jake also shares what it was like cruising around the USA in a van over the summer during a pandemic.

You'll learn:

  • Why we built this index
  • What metrics the index tracks
  • How we are hoping this is going to help us and the community going forward

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Jake Cook of Tadpull.com)

What Was Mentioned

The post The ECF Benchmark: A Performance Index for Store Owners appeared first on eCommerceFuel.

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Im having trouble finding a winning product. PLZ help.

Ive bin on and off about trying to find a winning product, I've bin to so many paid and free websites that show trends and winning products but I just don't know on what to rely.

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YC-backed LemonBox raises $2.5M bringing vitamins to Chinese millennials

Like many overseas Chinese, Derek Weng gets shopping requests from his family and friends whenever he returns to China. Some of the most wanted imported products are maternity items, cosmetics, and vitamin supplements. Many in China still uphold the belief that “imported products are better.”

The demand gave Weng a business idea. In 2018, he founded LemonBox to sell American health supplements to Chinese millennials like himself via online channels. The company soon attracted seed funding from Y Combinator and just this week, it announced the completion of a pre-A round of $2.5 million led by Panda Capital and followed by Y Combinator .

LemonBox tries to differentiate itself from other import businesses on two levels — affordability and personalization. Weng, who previously worked at Walmart where he was involved in the retail giant's China import business, told TechCrunch that he's acquainted with a lot of American supplement manufacturers and is thus able to cut middleman costs.

“In China, most supplements are sold at a big markup through pharmacies or multi-level marketing companies like Amway,” Weng said. “But vitamins aren't that expensive to produce. Amway and the likes spend a lot on marketing and sales.”

Inside LemonBox's fulfillment center

LemonBox designed a WeChat-based lite app, where users receive product recommendations after taking a questionnaire about their health conditions. Instead of selling by the bottle, the company customizes user needs by offering daily packs of various supplements.

“If you are a vegetarian and travel a lot, and the other person smokes a lot, [your demands] are going to be very different. I wanted to customize user prescriptions using big data,” explained Weng, who studied artificial intelligence in business school.

A monthly basket of 30 B-complex tablets, for instance, costs 35 yuan ($5) on LemonBox. Amway's counterpart product, a bottle of 120 tablets, asks for 229 yuan on JD.com. That's about 57 yuan ($9) for 30 tablets.

Selling cheaper vitamins is just a means for LemonBox to attract consumers and gather health insights into Chinese millennials, with which the company hopes to widen its product range. Weng declined to disclose the company's customer size, but claimed that its user conversion rate is “higher than most e-commerce sites.”

With the new proceeds, LemonBox is opening a second fulfillment center in the Shenzhen free trade zone after its Silicon Valley-based one. That's to provide more stability to its supply chain as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts international flights and cross-border trade. Moreover, the startup will spend the money on securing health-related certificates and adding Japan to its sourcing regions.

Returnees adapt

Screenshot of Lemonbox's WeChat-based store

In the decade or so when Weng was living in the U.S., the Chinese internet saw drastic changes and gave rise to an industry largely in the grip of Alibaba and Tencent. Weng realized he couldn't simply replicate America's direct-to-customer playbook in China.

“In the U.S., you might build a website and maybe an app. You will embed your service into Google, Facebook, or Instagram to market your products. Every continent is connected with one other,” said Weng.

“In China, it's pretty significantly different. First off, not a lot of people use web browsers, but everyone is on mobile phones. Baidu is not as popular as Google, but everybody is using WeChat, and WeChat is isolated from other major traffic platforms.”

As such, LemonBox is looking to diversify beyond its WeChat store by launching a web version as well as a store through Alibaba's Tmall marketplace.

“There's a lot of learning to be done. It's a very humbling experience,” said Weng.

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The Advantages of Brand Licensing in a Different Country

Uri Weinberger, the owner of Milky Mama Canada.

Milky Mama is the maker of lactation treats and supplements created by Krystal Nicole Duhaney, a registered nurse and lactation consultant. After seeing the success of Milky Mama in the United States, Uri Weinberger licensed the business and brought it to Canada. In this episode of Shopify Masters, we chat with Uri on the process of licensing, marketing strategies, and scaling the business.

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i want learn a lot about seo and marketing

Hi everyone, my name is Ricardo and im starting in bussines, i have a mentor that teach me about Seo and marketing but i want learn to much, so in this post i want that everyone that can help me clarifying concepts, i had a idea about the concept of seo and marketing, but if someone can give me a explication about that, i will be very grateful, if you can give me and advice, tips, welcome, if you have an idea of something that you think that is important, welcome, everything can help me, if you have a youtube video that you think that can teach me a lot, share it, i know that seo is a strategy that is used to position you website in internet, that when you search something, your page or whatever appear first, this is a good way to grow up your bussines, because that should do that your bussines have mor visibility, and if more people see your thing, is more probable that they buy your thing, or use your services, that is my little idea of seo, comment, share information whit me and help to grow up, thanks and good night.

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Question about schmoozing suppliers

My business partner works more with our suppliers than I do and he’s a very friendly kind of guy. He likes to schmooze and that’s great because I’m not good at that at all.

My partner has occasionally taken one of our reps out golfing when he’s in town, sending wine to his table if he knows he’s out to dinner, etc. Now he’s thinking we should send our reps gifts for Christmas.

I have just been wondering if this is normal in other industries? We’re a young business and work with many brands but don’t have such large sales volume that we’re big fish by any means. So it makes sense I guess to schmooze if it got us better pricing, but the rep is always saying he’ll look into it and hasn’t delivered.

I’m curious what others think? It’s not the expense I’m worried about, I just wonder if we come off as strange doing this type of thing and I just want to be as professional as possible.

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Has anyone tried Livestream Shopping…

…And would you want to? I think it's the future. Covid changed everything, this year. We knew for sure that IRL stores were dead, that online was the way forward. But we also realized the need for personal connection. I think livestream shopping can fill the gap, remaking e-commerce into as personal and meaningful interaction, as expression of community. What do you think?

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5 Content Marketing Ideas for January 2021

January 2021 can represent a beginning for content marketers to build communities, stream live videos, write about national holidays, report industry news, or visually expose interesting industry data.

Content marketing is the act of curating or creating content such as articles, podcasts, videos, and graphics and then publishing and promoting that content to attract, engage, and retain an audience of customers and potential customers.

What follows are five content marketing ideas you can try this January.

1. Create a Content-driven Community

“In today’s highly digital and connected society, it’s funny to think people can still feel disconnected from others. With so many people who communicate online, behind screens, this connected world can actually feel rather lonely at times. This goes for personal relationships as well as business relationships — specifically between brands and their customers as well as brands and their employees,” wrote Kristen Baker, a HubSpot marketing manager, in the company’s “Ultimate Guide to Community Management.”

“So, what is it that has people feeling a disconnect to others and the companies they do business with?” asked Baker. “It’s a lack of community.”

Content marketing has always been a driver of community. Think about how Netflix and Mustache, a content marketing agency, created a “community” across several social media platforms using the @NetflixIsAJoke handle.

Publishing funny videos, memes, and posts, Netflix garnered almost 3.5 million followers, fans, and subscribers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Screenshot of Netflix Is a Joke

Netflix built a community of social media followers and fans across several platforms.

For your company’s January 2021 content marketing, consider taking this one step further and create a private, content-driven community for your customers.

You could use a Facebook Group, or, better still, start a community using Mighty Networks, Zapnito, Tribe, or similar platforms.

To attract members, invite each new customer to join your private community when she makes a purchase. Then fill your community with compelling content.

2. Start a Live Video Series

January is a time to try new things. For many of your customers, those new things might come in the form of a New Year’s resolution. So why not do something similar and resolve to provide a live stream video at least once per week for all of 2021?

Your weekly live stream could be focused on the products you sell. For example, the 44 East Boutique in Meridian, Idaho, live streams regularly — showing products or even helping customers shop via Facebook Live and Instagram TV.

Screenshot of 44 East Boutique's Instagram page

44 East Boutique started live streaming during the Covid shutdown but has continued after the store has reopened.

Kayloni Perry and her mother and business partner, Cheryl Jones, turned to live streaming in the midst of the coronavirus shutdown. They have since continued to live stream for as much as two hours at a time.

For your live stream, you could:

  • Promote products,
  • Interview customers or industry experts,
  • Teach skills related to the products you sell,
  • Offer up industry news,
  • Tell jokes (see Netflix community mentioned above).

3. Focus on National Holidays

The month of January is full of national holidays, including New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and lesser-known days, such as National Bloody Mary Day, National Science Fiction Day, and National Hat Day.

Image of a fireworks display

New Year’s Day, which is often celebrated with fireworks, is an example of a holiday you might write about.

For your company’s January 2021 content marketing, pick one or two of these holidays and create articles that describe the history of the event, offer suggestions of how to celebrate, or connect the holiday to your business or your products.

Here are a few examples.

  • An online Christian bookstore might publish “How Faith Impacted the Civil Rights Movement: An MLK Day Retrospective.”
  • A fitness equipment retailer might write, “The New Year’s Resolution Bootcamp Guide.”
  • An apparel store could create a video called, “How to Put a Lid on National Hat Day.”

If these topics seem too serious, you could always try National Belly Laugh Day on January 24. For this one, you might publish a few jokes.

4. Industry News Stories

In January 2021, ask yourself if your business has an opportunity to become a real news source for your industry.

This could be a challenge. It would require a relatively large investment in your content marketing, but it may be rewarding both in terms of audience engagement and search engine benefits.

As an example, look at this recent article from the blog of Keen footwear, “Kids In Costa Rica Want Their Rivers Back.”

Photo of a young boy by a river in, presumably, Costa Rica

A child works along the river. The image comes from Keen’s news-like coverage of a conservation program it helped to fund.

The article is consistent with Keen’s brand, which includes a strong focus on conservation. It is also similar to a feature in a traditional magazine.

Here are a couple of example paragraphs from the Keen article.

“Meet Natalie. She is 8 years old and lives in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Her school was canceled for two weeks, and instead of sleeping in or watching TV, she came out in the field with us every day at 7 a.m., always with a big smile and hug, to help plant native trees to reforest the river on her great-grandmother’s cattle farm. Her dream is to see the river healthy and clean again so she can swim and bathe in it, just like her grandmother did when she was a little girl…

“The idea to restore [the] river came about because Osa Conservation has been working since 2014 with a dedicated group of local citizen scientists and schoolchildren to monitor river water quality. We love it when kids raise their hands with curious faces to learn more about the great diversity of wildlife that exists in the rivers, excitedly ruffle through river rocks and leaves to find insect larvae, or debate the results of a water pH analysis.”

5. Chart of the Week/Month

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, perhaps, a chart of the week or month could be worth a few thousand.

Here the idea is to surface interesting or surprising facts related to the industry your business serves in the form of a chart.

Imagine that you are the content marketer for an online store specializing in educational toys and games for children. You could publish a chart like the one the Pew Research Center released in October 2020 titled “Most Parents of K-12 Students Learning Online Worry About Them Falling Behind.

Screenshot of a chart of survey results from parents

“Majorities of parents of K-12 students say that, compared with before the coronavirus outbreak, they are more concerned,” according to the Pew Research Center.

Your weekly or monthly chart might include curated data from any number of sources that you combine to create an interesting chart or original research drawn from your own surveys.

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Adspy groupsbuy for only $15 a month

Send me a message if you’re interested!

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