Apr 17, 2014
Nicole Jue

New Amazon Webstore Customer and Cart Information APIs

Amazon Webstore is excited to announce the release of our new Customer and Cart Information APIs.  With these APIs, you can access customer information and shopping cart information for customers on your site.

The Customer Information API gives you access to information about your customers, including customers who have registered but have not yet placed orders and customers with guest accounts

The Cart Information API allows you to gather information about ‘saved for later’ items and items left in the cart, helping you gain better insight into cart abandonment.

These new APIs are part of the Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS). To get started, you will need to register for Amazon MWS to get your developer account IDs and credentials.

Learn more about Amazon Webstore’s new Customer and Cart Information APIs.

 

Apr 3, 2014
Nicole Jue

Amazon Webstore Review: Restorsea

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

It all started with “a hike, a hatchery and hands.” Patti Pao, skincare pioneer and founder of Restorsea, recognized an unmet consumer need for gentler anti-aging products that deliver real results, and in a rather unlikely manner. While on a tour of the country’s largest salmon hatchery in western Norway, Patty became transfixed with the youthfulness of the hatchery workers’ hands. Because the workers’ hands were consistently submerged in water, Patti knew where to look for the secret. This is how Patti found Aquabeautine XL®, which she quickly secured exclusive global rights to use in all of Restorsea’s products. Restorsea believes every woman (and man) deserves to have great skin and uses their eCommerce site to share their secret with the world.

Company Name: Restorsea

URL: http://www.restorsea.com/

Type of Products: Beauty, skincare and anti-aging products.

Solution Provider: V-Group

There are a few things we like about the new site:

How can we help you? With the pop-up chat feature offered on every page of their site, it’s clear that Restorsea takes a serious interest in the needs of their customers. If you’re browsing their site and have a question, you can simply click the pop-up chat feature at the bottom right-hand side and a skincare specialist will reply in moments. If it happens to be after their working hours, you can use the pop-up chat feature to submit your question via email.

Look who loves Restorsea. Restorsea has a dedicated page of customer reviews and testimonials including, quotes, videos, and profiles. Each video testimonial plays the full video right on the page as customers share the “what, why, and how” about each of the products they use. This company understands the power of a customer review or testimonial, and their eCommerce site is the perfect place to share them. Beyond the dedicated testimonials page, the site also includes testimonial videos on individual product pages which is a great way to show why customers love a certain product.

“We believe that when you educate, everything changes.” You’ll find this on Restorsea’s list of beliefs—and they sure hold themselves to this standard as they create their product detail pages. Each product page includes a plethora of information, including, a comprehensive overview, instructional videos on how to use the product, a full list of the product’s ingredients, and customer reviews. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop for a shopper who wants to know everything about a product before they make a purchase.

“Amazon Webstore was a great solution for a new brand with limited resources and expertise. We were pleased to find that Amazon Webstore leverages Amazon’s other leading services to be a quick solution for achieving speed-to-market—specifically the integration with Amazon Payments and Fulfillment by Amazon. The website build and launch process was new for us, and as such, posed some challenges, but Amazon Webstore helped us build a site with the design aesthetic we needed to fit our luxury brand. In leveraging a technology giant, we can scale with Amazon.” – Alexandria Pang, Business Strategy Manager, Restorsea.

 

Apr 3, 2014
Nicole Jue

How UNIONBAY Reached New Customers

UNIONBAY

We all recognize the name, but what you may not know about UNIONBAY is that the company operated as a strictly wholesale business for many years. When the company decided it was time to open a direct-to-consumer sales channel online, leaders didn’t know what to expect and were nervous.

By choosing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) eCommerce platform, with cloud hosting and payment processing included out-of-the box, UNIONBAY was able to take their products directly to the online consumer with minimal impact to their daily operations. Amazon Webstore helped UNIONBAY launch their new sales channel quickly and enabled the company to do it all without additional resources such as, warehousing, pick and pack fulfillment staffing, shipping, hardware, software, and support personnel to manage those processes.

“We’ve been able to launch and run eCommerce with no staff adds,” says IT Director of UNIONBAY Sportswear, Danna Ramberg. “We have not had to add staff in IT, or merchandising, or customer service. It gives us a chance to focus on the marketing end of it.”

Since their launch on the Amazon Webstore platform, UNIONBAY’s “sales have increased about 400%,” Ramberg adds, “and each month they continue to go up.” In addition to an increase in sales, the company has gained new insights into their customers’ buying behavior which in turn has helped them further customize their online presence to meet customer needs.

Learn more about how UNIONBAY made the jump.

Mar 18, 2014
Nicole Jue

Amazon Webstore’s New Website Customization APIs

Amazon Webstore just released a set of Website Customization APIs that provide you with the flexibility to integrate your Amazon Webstore site with 3rd party applications and systems. These Website Customization APIs support search, browse, product lookup, batch, and cart operations to help you create a unique customer experience on your site.

You can enable these APIs from a self-service interface in Seller Central.  First, log in to Seller Central. Click on “Settings”, then select “Control Panel.” Under “Developer Settings” you’ll see the “Webstore API Management” page. Once you select which of your marketplaces the APIs will be active on, the APIs will be enabled.

Want to learn more? Go here to see our comprehensive documentation page.

 

Feb 26, 2014
Nicole Jue

Webstore Review: Leyden & Sons Leather Bag Co.

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

“We love leather bags as leather bags should be, and with such high expectations, we decided to sell them ourselves.” Leyden & Sons Leather Bag Co. has a serious appreciation for quality leather bags and strives to offer just that, using only the highest quality leather they can find, combined with the sturdiest of hardware. From the business professional to the world traveler, Leyden & Sons has a bag for the occasion—one that will be amongst the highest of standards without the exorbitant price.

Company Name: Leyden & Sons Leather Bag Co.

URL: http://www.leydenandsons.com/

Type of Products: Leather messenger bags, satchels, and duffels.

There are a few things we like about the new site:

Product photography that’s out of this world. Leyden & Sons brings their leather bags to life with extremely clear and crisp high-resolution product images—it’s almost as if you can smell the scent of new leather through the webpage. They offer at least five or six shots of each bag at various angles to re-create a “real” shopping experience and truly inform customers of what they are buying.

Taking a stance as a thought leader. An important component of selling online is earning credibility, and moreover, the trust of your customers. Leyden & Sons highlights their expertise in the space with their blog, The Bulletin, which compiles fun facts about leather, all the way back from its origin in the Stone Age. Not only does this build credibility, it encourages site visitors to explore further and engage more on their website.

Packing standards as top-notch as their product. If you click on the “Packaging Standards” banner placed right on their homepage, you’ll see that all Leyden & Sons bags are packaged in all-natural, biodegradable burlap sacks that align with the unique, back of the woods feel of the company. If you’re buying a bag as a gift and want to easily slip it past your spouse, you can even choose “discreet” shipping, in which case your bag will arrive in a plain box without their logo and company name.

“For a company of our size, and already selling on Amazon.com, Amazon Webstore really was the perfect fit.  Webstore kept all of our order information in one place and in a format we were used to, allowing us more time to focus on the core of our business.  And hey, being able to rely on the data management infrastructure of a company like Amazon—with everything that’s happened with credit cards of late—I’m not complaining.” – Mick L., Owner of Leyden & Sons Leather Bag Co.

 

Feb 26, 2014
Nicole Jue

Three Ways to Keep Up with the Savvy Consumer

eCommerce businesses operate in a world of new options, and with these new options, consumers have quickly become savvy—expecting a shopping experience full of flash sales, online outlets, and multiple sites for multiple brands. What steps are you taking to keep up with the savvy consumer?

Once you have an agile and scalable eCommerce infrastructure in place, consider trying these approaches on for size:

Move your inventory in a flash.

Flash sales can be a great low-risk, cost-effective way to drive massive traffic to your site and quickly move inventory. You’ll make your customers happy with the huge discounts, and because of the limited supply and duration of the event, they’ll also feel like they’re a part of an exclusive deal. Pair these benefits with the fact that mCommerce and social media allow shoppers to make purchases anytime, anwhere and only one question remains—why not?

Bring your outlet to their fingertips.

Just as consumers have become accustomed to flash sales, they have also come to expect online outlet sites similar to out-of-town brick and mortar outlet malls. With an outlet site, you can provide online shoppers with multiple destinations for their favorite brands and tap into their appetite for a different shopping experience, all while protecting the non-sale margins on your main site.

Get ahead with a multi-site, multi-brand business.

Another trend to experiment with is building separate sites for each brand in your company’s portfolio, enabling more specific and targeted marketing opportunities to customers. This also allows for experimentation in the presentation and delivery of your products to different demographic groups. Consumers have undoubtedly become accustomed to shopping in a multi-channel world—now you can get ahead of the game by anticipating their future needs—with a multi-site, multi-brand business.

Jan 29, 2014
Nicole Jue

Webstore Review: Charleston Candle Works


This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

Charleston Candle Works began as a passion for high-quality candles and an itch to create something unique, sustainable and enjoyable. The company joined forces with a domestic soy bean farmer and now produces a variety of candles made up of 100% natural soy, top quality essential oils and absolutely no chemical stabilizers.  Charleston Candle Works aims to make hectic days a little brighter with their “farm-to-candles” that burn longer, cleaner, and with more fragrance—all while supporting the local economy and farmers.

Company Name: Charleston Candle Works

URL: http://www.charlestoncandleworks.com/

Type of Products: 100% soy candles with no preservatives or additives

There are a few things we like about the new site:

Clean Site Design. It’s safe to say that Charleston Candle Works keeps their site design as clean as their all-natural candles. Instead of overwhelming shoppers with a busy homepage, they keep it to an alternating hero banner that displays high-quality images, a one-liner about the company, and a user-friendly navigation bar across the top—a perfect example of a “less is more” approach.

Quick View. We love that this new site has implemented a ‘quick view’ function, which enables shoppers to bypass the need to click on individual product pages and instead get a snapshot view of the product and its details, immediately add it to their cart and then continue browsing.  This makes for an extremely easy and accessible shopping experience.

Amazon Checkout. Charleston Candle Works uses Amazon Checkout to allow customers to sign in with their Amazon account credentials, which then pre-fills the customer’s payment and shipping information used in his or her Amazon account. This not only alleviates the annoyance of creating yet another online account, it also allows the business to make a sale in just a couple of mouse clicks!

“My experience working with Amazon Webstore has been very user-friendly. I was able to create and launch my online store in a very short amount of time and I now self-manage it with no formal IT training history. Since the site launch, my business has been increasingly successful with online sales–I even started using Webstore’s pre-integrated Google Analytics tool to help measure and manage my success.” - Michelle B., CEO at Charleston Candle Works

 

 

Jan 29, 2014
Nicole Jue

How to Encourage Your Shoppers to Explore, Imagine and Connect

The art of online merchandising is all about the customer experience and of course, every customer is different. Consider recreating a “real” shopping experience by presenting your products in such a way that it encourages your customers to explore, imagine and connect on your online store.

Not sure where to start? We’ve identified a few best practices to follow:

Explore…

Let your customers take the driver’s seat.

Poor navigation is the most common problem consumers face on eCommerce sites and the most common reason why they go to a competing site. Convert your site visitors to customers by allowing them to filter by a variety of choices such as size, color, brand and price. This gives them the power to explore the site in their own way.

Remember these two words.

Accessibility and ease. Features such as “quick view” enable customers to bypass the need to click on individual product pages and instead get a snapshot view of the product, basic features, immediately add it to the cart and then continue browsing.

Imagine…

Make your product detail page your best friend.

Most online shoppers make purchasing decisions while on product detail pages, making it essential that these pages really help the customer visualize the product. You’ll likely be in good shape if you:

  1. Ensure your images are not ignored by using high-res images of the product at various angles and implement features like automatic zoom to recreate a “real” shopping experience.
  2. Provide color swatches, text-based color descriptions and product views in all available colors. If the product contains a pattern, show a high-res swatch for each pattern.
  3. Don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell on your product pages. You can feature products that complement the product in the cart, complete the “look” or are similar in style.

Connect…

Acknowledge the power and trust within a customer review.

Customer reviews are often significantly more trusted than manufacturer description –12 times more trusted, according to eMarketer. Customer reviews help gather opinions and experiences, which helps shoppers feel more comfortable with a purchase. Don’t hesitate to utilize these reviews as the marketing assets they are.

Be connected.

Is your business connected and active in online communities? If not, it’s important to start, and if so, it’s important to show it off!  Displaying content from social media channels and using hashtags are great ways to drive consumer engagement and create brand advocates.

Dec 31, 2013
Nicole Jue

Webstore Review: Adonis Americana

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

Adonis Americana strives to offer men the attainable luxury of looking and feeling their best. This just-launched eCommerce site is a place where a man can have the personalized experience of attaining the highest quality grooming implements in a simple and convenient fashion. The company sells a variety of new and unique grooming products that help men achieve a high standard of personal care without breaking the bank.

Company Name: Adonis Americana

URL: http://www.adonisamericana.com

Type of Products: Quality grooming products for men

There are a few things we like about the new site:

  • Modern Design. We love the sleek, modern look of Adonis Americana. They have mastered a design that captures a masculine and luxurious feel while also keeping the layout clean and user-friendly.
  • Various Ways to Shop. Adonis Americana creates an easy and enjoyable shopping experience by allowing customers to shop by not only product category, but by price range and brand name. They also give options for product kits so that shoppers can get everything they need in one purchase.
  • Salient Promotion on Homepage. We also really like the large banner on the center of the homepage that states a promotion of 10% off any purchase of $99 or more. Right from the get-go, shoppers feel better about making larger purchases and will be more apt to do so.
  • Need a gift? Adonis Americana has a page dedicated to gift ideas for him, continuing to anticipate the needs of their customers and create a complete and convenient shopping atmosphere.

“Previously, I had another eCommerce site/solution but was unhappy with the platform and interface… so I decided to take a risk and start over again using Amazon Webstore. I had a concept in mind and knew how I wanted the website to look and feel. Once all of the assets were designed, it was easy to get up and running as everything is plug and play. I was able to utilize the widgets provided in the Amazon Webstore Tools to implement the features I wanted on the Adonis Americana Website. The Webstore has been an asset to my business and has helped to drive traffic through my store and increase sales.” – Jonathan C., CEO at Adonis Americana

 

 

Dec 16, 2013
Nicole Jue

5 Things Your Commerce Platform Should Do For You

When you’re selecting an eCommerce platform, the key is to look beyond what the platform can do, and seek to understand what it can do for you. Try not to get distracted by small-scale features and instead look at how the platform is going to fit your businesses’ needs.

In particular, focus on finding a platform that:

Includes everything you need out of the box

Look for a solution that includes all the commoditized eCommerce functionality out of the box—hosting, payment processing, security, and everything else that your business does not get value from spending time on. This way you’re not left needing additional payment gateways, fulfillment integrations, and a host of other services.

Takes care of the details for you

Look for a platform that does the detail-oriented work for you—so you can focus on selling rather than spinning your wheels on efforts that don’t grow your business.

Gives you options

Look for a set of APIs that will allow you to build the features that you really need, and hook into the backend systems that your business is already using.

Provides an infrastructure you can grow on

Look for a scalable and reliable infrastructure that will be able to grow with your company—handling the day-to-day traffic but also providing the flexibility to hold holiday sales, flash sales, or other promotions that boost your traffic and sales.

Lets you sleep at night

Look for a company that you trust to keep your business running at full steam, no matter the challenges—and that gives you the confidence to sleep soundly at night.

Summary

The reality is that flashy features can often be easily replicated on other platforms, so it’s important to look deeper and find a platform that meets your business needs. If you can’t clearly see what the platform can do for you, we encourage you to keep looking.

To learn more, download our full guide here.

 

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