Want to learn more about how Freestyle’s industry-leading M.O.M. software can help solve all your order and inventory management needs? Reach out today to learn more, or email us at: email@example.com
2018 was an eventful year in eCommerce, one that presented both opportunity and disruption.
Now that we’re in a few weeks into 2019, we wanted to take a moment to share some popular initiatives and concerns we helped our customers address during 2018.
Sales tax was by far the biggest disrupter the eCommerce industry has faced in several years. If you’re not familiar with the story behind this change, you can read our blog posts from last year about how sales tax regulations changed once again and the historic South Dakota v Wayfair ruling.
In every conversation we had with customers and prospects during Q4 of 2018, sales tax was a concern. With the uncertainty surrounding virtually everything regarding sales tax collection, reporting & remittance, we expect these conversations to continue to dominate eCommerce in 2019.
Freestyle will be making a major announcement regarding a partnership with one of the largest solutions providers in this space, so keep an eye on our blog for more details.
Once you move past disruption, the idea of growing revenue was a huge theme last year. There were several topics that received a lot of attention from our customers:
Controlling Shipping Costs – Controlling is only one part of the story. The other aspect is leveraging shipping as an advantage. When every one of your competitors uses reduced or free shipping to entice and convert new customers, how do you respond? Our customers have Shippo, our partner process built right into M.O.M. to provide:
- rate shopping
- process improvement
- comprehensive shipping information, and, most importantly,
- the ability to differentiate your brand through control of shipping costs and excellent service
Seasonal Stations – Many eTailers see a spike in orders during the holiday season or other times of the year. If you want to add seasonal employees but not the cost of permanent infrastructure, then opting for short term use of seasonal M.O.M. station licenses is a great advantage.
Adding a New Brand – Quite a few of our customers decided to add new product lines last year, and some were different enough that they required separate inventory and/or business rules. The solution to this problem for many was our Multi Company Module. We’re proud to have assisted the successful launch of many new lines last year through the flexibility of the rules within the multi company structure.
Amazon – Need we say more? Whether you consider the eCommerce giant to be a friend or foe, you still need to address how your company responds. No matter what your strategy is, we cover the bases by helping you optimize your processes to compete or with Amazon-specific modules that make it easy to sell on the marketplace.
Mobile is the Standard – For customer experience and business growth going forward. All the predictions about the growth of mobile shopping heading into 2018 came true, and if you haven’t addressed the usability of your commerce site for mobile devices, there is little doubt that you’ll quickly be left behind. Take it from our SiteLINK customers who introduced responsive site design: the return on the effort is significant, and a responsive site is becoming table stakes.
With so much to look forward to this year, we hope that sharing these lessons from last year will offer examples of how you can meet your goals in 2019.
To learn more about these topics and many other ways Freestyle can help you, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you planning on attending NRF 2019? Once again, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is hosting the world’s largest show for retailers, and it is literally right around the corner.
Will we see you there?
This year’s show promises not to disappoint, with Magnolia Co-Founders Chip and Joanna Gaines highlighting their success as they take the main stage at Retail’s Big Show, and a host of other industry experts lend their thoughts on the world of retail in 2019.
From Brandless Co-Founder Tina Sharkey, to Levi Strauss’s President and CEO Chip Bergh, to Poshmark Founder and CEO Manish Chandra, and many more, these are the voices you want to hear to gain insight about the retail world you’re trying to conquer.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect and grow your brand. Need some more convincing?
Last year, by the numbers:
- More than 36,000 industry professionals attended
- Nearly 3,800 retail companies were represented
- About 16,000 retailers participated
- Over 700 exhibitors showcased
- AND a whopping 82 of the TOP 100 retail companies went!
NRF 2019 is January 13-15th at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in gorgeous NYC…register today – special rates through Friday, January 11.
Email us at Sales@freestylesolutions.com to let us know if you would like to meet with us there!
Freestyle’s Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) is the industry-leading inventory and order management software solution for small to mid-sized businesses.
Synchronize inventory and orders between M.O.M. and the most popular eCommerce stores and marketplaces with a turnkey integration that doesn’t need any extra programming or software.
But don’t take our word for it…check out these M.O.M. features.
Top 9 M.O.M. Features You’ll Love:
- Order Management
- Inventory Management & Purchasing
- Customer Management
- Powerful Integrations
- Reporting Options
- Omnichannel Capability
- Shipping Integration
- Compliance & Security
- Product Management
Ready to learn more about Freestyle’s industry-leading M.O.M.? Sign up for a free demo today.
If you think you’re up-to-date with all the changes for state-level tax nexus regulations, sorry to say, you’re mistaken. eCommerce sales tax is a complex topic, but we’re here to help you.
We’ve seen a flurry of states adding or adjusting requirements, and we expect even more in 2019. For a comprehensive view of the status of each state as of November 26th, please visit Sales Tax Support.
With a total of 33 states having already enacted a nexus, and more to come, how can eTailers prepare their business to manage all of the new requirements?
- Review your sales by state – You should have access to automatic reports that monitor your progress toward reaching both the sales and transaction threshold which trigger a tax nexus in each state.
- Obtain current Tax Tables by state – Once you reach a threshold, you should be prepared to calculate and collect the proper taxes for each state where you have a tax nexus. You will also need to register with the appropriate agency in those states to receive permission to collect taxes.
- Finalize your reporting and remittance strategy – Can you manage the manual reporting and remittance of taxes on a timely basis? Or will you need to engage the services of a third party to help? The answer to this question will tell you whether sales tax collection will become a manageable process or a nuisance for your business.
Freestyle is prepared to help our customers with reporting options within M.O.M. and optional third-party integrations for those who need assistance. Don’t let this become a burden for your business. Reach out to us at: email@example.com
The first milestone of the holiday sales season is over, and we hope that what Amazon calls the “Turkey Five” was everything you hoped for. You worked hard, chose the right products to feature and raked in the receipts.
Don’t think of this as hitting the pause button, but it is time to take stock of, well, what you have in stock.
Some helpful suggestions:
Customer Profile – Knowing your customer is key – their buying habits and hopefully their loyalty is something you can build on. But how can you leverage that information in a way that sets you apart from your competitors?
If you’re a practitioner of Recency, Frequency, Monetary Value (R-F-M), you can use the data you capture to highlight your best and most recent/promising customers to maximize sales potential over the next few weeks.
Not familiar with R-F-M? You can read more about the concept in our two-part series on the Freestyle blog, Customer Scoring in M.O.M. Using R-F-M and How to Implement R-F-M in M.O.M. – these provide all of the information you need.
Inventory Matters! – Now is the time to make sure your commerce site inventory and system of record are in complete, synchronous harmony with each other.
Remember that you can’t sell what you don’t have in stock, well, not without getting into trouble with your customers. Our customers here at Freestyle are focused on inventory every day of the year, and the lesson that we take from that is using spreadsheets to juggle inventory levels across channels is never sustainable. In fact we take joy in having helped end that nightmare for our customers by supplying the tools they need to synchronize inventory across all their sales channels.
Deadlines Ahead – Every one of your customers expects their carefully selected gifts will arrive on time, and to accomplish that you need to know when to ship. The USPS has a lot of helpful information about shipping deadlines during the hectic holiday season.
If you would like to join the discussion please enter a comment below, and if you’re looking for a gift for yourself, a new order & inventory management solution could be just what you need to make your next holiday season merry and bright. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
For many eCommerce businesses, understanding the buying habits of Gen Z and turning that knowledge into a successful marketing plan is something of a Holy Grail. The mere fact that this generation is different than the oft-discussed Millennial consumer was a revelation to many, but as we know the technology native Z’er has a different perspective on brand loyalty than the technology adapted Millennial shopper.
No matter the route taken to arrive at the destination of Gen Z sales, it is impossible to understate the economic value of a successful or even moderately productive effort to reach this market. If as some estimate, the buying power of this group can reach $143 billion, that is a lot of sales up for grabs.
One factor that plays into the wheelhouse of modern eCommerce businesses is that Gen Z values a cohesive, easy-to-transact sale on mobile devices, something that we have been preaching to our customer choir over the past year. In fact, the experience within a sale is something that weighs heavily with this consumer group. Measuring and adapting to the preferences of Generation Z as a group and noting the preferences and purchase history of each consumer is something that can prove to be a real challenge to eComm’s lacking the ability to track and segment business. The lesson to be learned is that the success of a marketing plan can be impacted by the system that executes the sale.
For an interesting take on how you can help to build on your strategy to capture business with Gen Z, read “What Gen Z wants for Christmas” from Marketing Dive.
Comment below to join the conversation about Gen Z. Contact us at email@example.com to speak with us about how you can support your front-end strategy to reach Gen Z with a superior back-office application.
Two iconic but troubled retailers took steps to resolve questions about their future this week although their actions can be seen as taking each in a different direction.
JC Penney announced that their vacant CEO position will be filled by Jill Soltau who, until now, filled a similar role for Joann Stores. The company was badly in need of direction and has much to do to secure its financial wellbeing, making this hire now gives Soltau the ability to have some impact on how Penney plans for the Holiday season and in many ways that will be a key factor in how the market views her and the future of the company. Read more about Solatu’s new role as CEO.
Sears shared very different news with the announcement of the closing of eleven stores and that layoffs in some stores would be begin on December 23rd. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert is in negotiation with creditors to restructure debt and to sell assets. The proposal included warnings about near term financial problems. You can learn more about the issues facing Sears and what the future holds for the brand.
What is the future of these two retail giants and is it possible that one or both can survive long term in the new retail climate? We have seen other large retailers fail and while there is some finality to one version of a retailer we also know that they can be reincarnated as FAO Schwarz prepares to reopen a store in New York City. There is also news about a potential revival of Toys R Us.
It is very hard to predict the fate of JC Penney and Sears or whether this incarnation of both stores would necessarily be the last one.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the holiday’s fast approaching, we wanted to share posts from last year where we spoke about key areas of an order management system to get the most out of your system during the holiday season.
We wanted to revisit these posts for you that way you guys can get an idea on how exactly these area’s can greatly impact you to have a strong holiday season.
We also will revisit our on-demand webinars we ran last year showing you the inside of Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) so you’re ready to take control of this holiday season, making this one more so than last one the most important holiday season ever.
We covered last year:
- Order Promotions
- Order Entry Essentials
- Ways to Drive Free Shipping
- Shipping Workflow
- Inventory Management
- Protecting Yourself from Phishing Emails
- Reduce Mistakes and Save Money – Warehouse Essentials
- Holiday Returns Management
As always keep a look out on our blog for any latest news, trends for this holiday season.