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Have you had success building eCommerce businesses using remote/virtual staff?

I've had a lot of success building my businesses using remote/virtual staff based in the UK (where I am based and where I have set up my businesses).

I've recently launched a business called Virtually Colleagues (www.virtuallycolleagues.com), I'm looking to use my network of great virtual colleagues and experience setting up hassle-free and efficient online businesses to support others to do the same, giving them space to concentrate on growth.

I would love to hear your experiences of using virtual staff, good and bad, what made you chose the VA/company you use(d) etc. I also welcome any feedback on our website.

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looking for a eshop in the style of deliveroo

hi. i was looking for an wordpress desing/plug-in for an e-shop that has a plain desing. nothing special or fancy. just order your food etc.

i found ton of stuff but everything was to much, nothing plain and simple. hope there is someone out there who can help me.

so long

edit: im experienced with wordpress and editing to extended level.

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5 Content Marketing Ideas for April 2021

Content marketing opportunities abound in April 2021, with topics as diverse as the Pony Express, National Beer Day, Arbor Day, and TikTok.

Content marketing is the act of creating (or curating) content, publishing it, and promoting it to attract, engage, and retain an audience of customers and prospects.

What follows are five content marketing ideas for your company in April 2021.

Pony Express Founding: April 3

History can be a source of content marketing ideas. It helps us understand the world today.

With this in mind, consider including the creation of the Pony Express in your company’s April 2021 content marketing.

Image of an original letter carried via the Pony Express

This letter postmarked from the first Pony Express run in 1860 shows that it took 10 days to get from California to Missouri.

The Pony Express debuted on April 3, 1860, when horsemen simultaneously left St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, on a 1,800-mile relay ride. The mail from Sacramento arrived in St. Joseph in 10 days.

Let your company’s brand and content marketing goals dictate how you can integrate the Pony Express story.

For example, a retailer that sells cowboy boots, western apparel, or even equine tack could tell the historical facts, focusing on the wild west experience, since that may well be engaging for the business’s customers.

Another retailer could write about the Pony Express in the context of transportation.

National Beer Day: April 7

National Beer Day is a relatively new holiday in the United States. It was first celebrated in 2009 when Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia, created a Facebook page describing the celebration, which was said to honor the day the Cullen–Harrison Act was enacted in 1933, making it legal to sell beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent or less in the United States. The act was the beginning of the end of prohibition.

Photo of two pints of beer on a table

Celebrate National Beer Day in writing and, perhaps, with a pint or two. Photo: Radovan.

Smith’s National Beer Day was covered in the media and was officially recognized in Virginia in 2017.

Your company’s April content marketing could include beer-related articles, such as:

  • “10 Ways to Solve any Problem with Beer,”
  • “5 Fun Facts about Beer and Power Tools,”
  • “7 Secrets about Beer That No One Will Tell You,”
  • “How to Pick the Perfect Beer for Any Meal.”

For more inspiration, consider that apparel company Mr. Porter has published dozens of articles about beer, including:

Arbor Day: April 30

Photo of leafy trees

Arbor Day reminds us to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. Photo: D. Jameson Rage.

Arbor Day started in Nebraska in 1874. It is celebrated on various dates throughout the United States, with the last Friday of April (the 30th in 2021) being the most common.

Arbor Day is meant to encourage folks to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. For your company’s April content marketing, you could convey these ideas in articles, videos, and podcasts.

Here are some examples:

  • Garden store: Publish tree-planting tutorials.
  • Running-shoe retailer: Publish an article about forest trail running.
  • Power tool merchant: Produce a podcast about sustainable lumber.
  • Furniture seller: Describe hardwoods and how consumers can keep them available.

TikTok

If you can quickly describe your product or service, consider creating TikTok videos.

For example, Jon Shanahan, co-founder of Stryx, a men’s skincare company, has generated roughly 1.8 million likes for his company’s TikTok page.

Screenshot of Jon Shanahan on a TikTok video

Jon Shanahan has helped Stryx develop an audience on TikTok. That audience has also contributed to the company’s sales and profit.

TikTok content should feature an individual that represents the brand. The content should be TikTok native, meaning that it is made for TikTok and follows its conventions.

TikTok doesn’t restrict your content to followers. It puts the videos in front of, potentially, all users. According to Shanahan, who participated in a live interview for CommerceCo by Practical Ecommerce, his first TikTok video was seen more than 300,000 times.

Lifestyle Videos

Consider producing videos that affirm the lifestyle your brand promotes.

For example, Maverick Car Company in Boise, Idaho, sells trucks and sport utility vehicles. Many of the company’s customers enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle, so the company creates videos focused on those activities. Examples include videos on snowshoeing, skate skiing, and rock climbing.

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Social Commerce Is Changing How Brands Sell Online

For brands that haven't yet tried social selling, 2021 is the time to start. Social commerce offers brands the ability to reach new audiences on platforms consumers already use and trust. Moreover, because it streamlines the sales process by allowing people to discover your brand and make purchases without leaving the platform, social commerce can boost revenue.

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What is the correct terminology for Apple’s multi-step purchases? E.g pick phone, colour, upgrades?

I'm looking to build a store for a limited variety of products that would for example be tiered by Main Item>Color>Upgrade>Extras purchasing experience similar to when you choose a computer or phone on the Apple website.

For reference, when you choose your item it scrolls you down to the next category and so on.

https://imgur.com/a/Oxd7Ibc

I just can't seem to figure out the correct terminology for this or how to find it, hoping somebody might have a solution for me.

Thanks in advance!

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Jungle Scout raises $110M, acquires Downstream Impact to help 3rd parties sell on marketplaces like Amazon

There has been a rapid proliferation of roll-up companies armed with wallets full of money to consolidate promising smaller merchants that sell on Amazon and other marketplaces, the idea being to create economies of scale to help them sell more effectively and grow. Today, a company that is somewhat doing the opposite — building tools to help Amazon sellers work better on their own — is announcing significant funding to keep growing its business.

Jungle Scout, an Austin-based company that builds tools covering services like search and market analytics, inventory management, and sales intelligence for companies selling on Amazon, has raised $110 million in equity that it is using in part to make an acquisition — Downstream Impact, a specialist in Amazon advertising founded by two ex-Amazon execs who did early work on Amazon's in-house advertising efforts — and in part to continue growing its business.

You may not know the name but Jungle Scout it is quietly huge. It says that its tools impact some $8 billion in Amazon revenue with around 500,000 brands and entrepreneurs already using it. Its data engine ingests search, purchasing, and other information for some 500 million Amazon products, which it then turns into data to help customers sell on Amazon better.

Jungle Scout began life in 2015 focusing primarily on providing optimizing search tools for sellers solely on Amazon — if you didn't guess that already by the “Jungle” and “Scout” in its name. Tools for improving business on Amazon still make up the bulk of its business, with its functionality covering not just Amazon.com but nine other regional Amazons. But now, the startup is slowly starting to expand its services beyond that. That could include Google Shopping, Facebook's many social platforms, and more — whichever marketplace platforms consumers happen to be using.

“We are starting with Walmart.com, which will be live in near future,” CEO Greg Mercer said in an interview, “and the vision is to expand beyond that. We’re bullish on the future of Amazon, but if we think beyond that, my prediction would be that besides those platforms where people primarily go to purchase things, there are places where consumers spend their time — such as Google or social channels like Instagram — that could be other areas where we could provide tools to sell through.”

The startup is also building out its business on the ground in China, he said. The country represents one of the fastest growing source countries not just for goods, but merchants, too.

Summit Partners, the venture capital and private equity firm, is the primary investor in this funding round, with Mercer himself also contributing. It's not clear how much Jungle Scout has raised to date: PitchBook notes that Summit had backed it previously, in 2017, at an undisclosed sum and valuation. I've confirmed that the $110 million being disclosed today is the first time that Jungle Scout has revealed how much money it has raised over the years, although it's still not disclosing its valuation.

You might notice that in the first paragraph of this story I mentioned that Jungle Scout is “somewhat” taking a different approach to the roll-up companies, companies like Thrasio, SellerX, Branded, HeydayHeroesPerch, Berlin Brands Group, and doubtless others that are raising giant sums of money to source, and then partner with or buy up, third party sellers.

Jungle Scout does indeed provide a valuable service to Amazon retailers who are leveraging the giant's FBA platform to manage a range of services like inventory, shipping and marketing (in the form of appearing on Amazon to sell things), and who want to remain independent and not be “rolled up.”

However, that's not actually the full story. Mercer tells me that his company also provides its technology as a white label service to most of the big roll-up players — which of these, he did not note — and so you might also say that even if third-party merchants are not working directly with Jungle Scout, they might well end up doing so indirectly.

The opportunity for building out more tools to address the Amazon economy is a massive one. As we've pointed out before, it is estimated that the number of third-party sellers on Amazon currently stands around 5 million, a number that appears to be growing exponentially at the moment, with more than 1 million sellers joining the platform last year. That includes not just smaller retailers who are looking to extend their consumer touch-points, but also increasingly a number of big brands that are now looking at how they can leverage Amazon better to sell directly to consumers on the platform, rather than via third-party merchants.

Within that, advertising remains a huge and growing part of the equation.

If you are an Amazon user, you'll notice that ads search pages have been growing in number over the years (these are the sponsored results that come up at the top of searches you might make for a product), and so you will be unsurprised to know that advertising, as a result, is really growing fast for Amazon itself.

Ads alone accounted for $21.5 billion in annual revenue for Amazon in 2020, up 66% year-over-year.

Connor Folley, Downstream's CEO who co-founded the company with another ex-Amazonian, Salim Hamed (who is Downstream's CTO), told me that ads “within the walls of Amazon itself” still make up the majority of that figure, although it will continue to invest in areas like its DSP to expand beyond its own ecosystem. That makes it somewhat of a dark horse in the world of advertising, which up to now has been more concerned with the rise of Facebook among “new” players.

“The explosive growth of Amazon advertising over the last five years has surpassed many people's expectations,” he said. “It might be a $50 billion dollar platform by 2023 — and much bigger than Facebook.”

While there are a lot of companies out there building tools and alternatives for sellers to get a better grip to sell on Amazon, the attraction here has been in part the size of Jungle Scout and its prescience in building this market in the first place.

“Jungle Scout was one of the first companies to identify the opportunity to provide SaaS-based tools to help businesses and brands expand their ecommerce footprints on Amazon and beyond, and the company has built on this leadership position over the last several years,” said Neil Roseman, Technologist-in-Residence at Summit Partners and Jungle Scout Board Director, in a statement.

It's a strong vote of confidence when you consider that Roseman himself is also an ex-Amazonian, having been its VP of technology between 1998 and 2007 working on marketplace technology among other things. “We believe Jungle Scout’s technology is robust and highly scalable, designed to help a company to grow as the Amazon third-party selling ecosystem has expanded. We believe the addition of Downstream Impact will add to this product and engineering strength, and we are thrilled to be a part of the company’s growth journey.”

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WordPress woocommerce or shopify?

I need your suggestionswhich platform should I choose for my eshop. We are planning to have about 10-20 different items. I’m begginer in eshop wolrd, however I’ve had some experience with wordpress, but it was blog not eshop. I would like to know which of these platforms are easier to use, have better funcionality, etc. I’ve heard that wordpress is more editable than shopify, is this true?

Also which of these platforms offers better themes for eshop?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

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Centra aims for further expansion

Centra, a direct-to-consumer and wholesale platform for global brands, has been growing significantly during the pandemic last year. The Swedish company is now aiming for an aggressive, international expansion this year. It has made several new recruitments to achieve this goal.

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Chase Chappell – Fb Ads Mastery Course

Is anyone interested in it? Made a group buy with two friends, I can share it.

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Amazon Launchpad Innovation Awards launched

Amazon has launched the first edition of the Amazon Launchpad Innovation Awards. This is a European competition designed to support innovative startups. The best company will win the ‘Startup of the year' prize of 100,000 euros.