Published:  16th March 2018

Hello folks and welcome to our March edition of the ChannelGrabber Newsletter  :)

Well, hasn't the last month been a challenge?!  What with disruptions to businesses, transport and delivery networks due to the snowstorms earlier in the month, I'm sure we're all relieved that things are now returning to normality.  

Thankfully, as our friends at Tamebay publicised, eBay have been reassuring sellers that they will be protected against negative ratings as a result of delivery delays during this time (read more).  Bring on the springtime I say!

Anyway, enough about that, on to more exciting news...
 

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Find out about the improvements and brand new features we have been working on for you, and about our future plans for development.
 

Single & Variation Item Listings Support

The first week of March saw the initial beta release of the first iteration of our new Listings functionality: the ability to take an imported product from the CG Products page and create a new listing into eBay, Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.  

The second week of March saw us add the option to list variation products as well as adding "default listing settings" to allow us to pre-populate certain fields to make listing creation even quicker and more efficient.

We have invited users to BETA test these brand new features for us, so that we can fix any bugs and also find out which features should be next on the list., and this feedback has been really valuable, so a big THANK YOU to our eager volunteers!  :)

Even if you haven't volunteered as a tester, you can still get an idea of how it all works in our Listings User Guides

We're now starting development work on the next round of improvements and features for the listing tool, so check out the "Coming Soon" section below and watch this space!
 
 

Royal Mail Click & Drop Export

As part of our ongoing mission to provide better Royal Mail options for our customers, we have released a simple Click & Drop option to ChannelGrabber, which allows a compatible CSV file to be exported from ChannelGrabber, containing all the order data you will need to create Royal Mail labels in the Click & Drop system.  Once the CSV file is exported from ChannelGrabber, it can be imported into Click & Drop to populate all the necessary fields so you can process your labels more easily and efficiently. 

The intention is that, for customers with channels/manual orders that cannot be directly connected to Click & Drop, this will reduce the time and risk of human error it previously took to process Royal Mail labels in Click & Drop.

We are planning to add more features and improvements surrounding Royal Mail over the coming months too, so this is a great first step!

If you want to know more or give it a try, check out our guide on Exporting Orders for Royal Mail Click & Drop

 

Internal Process Improvements

As well as the big announcements surrounding new features, we thought you'd like to know that our developers have also been working on some major improvements to the ChannelGrabber infrastructure, to make the system run more quickly and smoothly behind the scenes.  

The main area they have been focusing on this month is the Listing Import process, and while this did cause a few issues in the short-term (sorry about that!), the import system has now re-stabilised and is better for it, so will be sturdier and faster moving forward.
 
 

New Product Creation & Listings

The next stage of the listings development will be a big one - we're going to introduce the ability to create new products in ChannelGrabber, which can then be listed from our platform to eBay and webstores from scratch, without the need for a pre-existing listing from one of your channels.
 

Listing to Amazon by ASIN

The final stage of this "first pass" at listings functionality will be to support listing products to Amazon by utilising the ASIN code from Amazon's product catalogue.  This is by far the most complex of the marketplaces to list to, hence why we've saved it 'til last  ;)
 
 

If you have an idea for an improvement or new feature you would like to see us add to the system in the future, please do let us know, by emailing featurerequests@channelgrabber.com
 
If you're asking for something that has already been requested, we will add your vote to the feature to give it higher priority, or if your idea is totally fresh, we will add a new request to our developers' board for votes and future consideration.

We almost always prioritise feature requests based on demand, so the more users that vote for a feature, the higher up the "to-do" list it will move  ;)

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
 

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Here, we'll pass on any newsworthy events or changes that we've learned about the
e-commerce industry that may affect our system or you, our customers.
 

SourceMogul online arbitrage Beta Launch: 

Making it easier for Amazon sellers to source products

To celebrate the launch of its powerful eCommerce stock sourcing software, SourceMogul is teaming up with ChannelGrabber to offer an special 14 day free trial, totally exclusive to ChannelGrabber customers!  (The trial is only 7 days for everyone else)

SourceMogul lets Amazon marketplace sellers discover pricing differences between the eCommerce giant and hundreds of other retailers, like Walmart in the USA and Tesco in the UK. Sellers can then source products at lower prices and then re-sell on Amazon to exploit the price differential.

It also includes useful trading data to help you sort through the products and find exactly what you are after; like embedded Keepa Sales Rank and price history charts, competitor info and a breakdown of all Amazon fees. 

Feedback so far has been great – 

extremely easy to use ..
shows all the information you need to make an informed buying decision
”  

I have tried several similar products and without doubt this is the
smoothest and most intuitive of them all
”  

 
SourceMogul operates in the cloud and can run a whole supplier site at the press of a single button, making it very easy to scan for profitable products. Currently, it can search 60 UK or 60 US online stores, with around 10 more added per week. It also provides automated search of specific Amazon categories.

One of its most innovative features is Brand Restrictions checking. This will advise you if any products are restricted for your personal Amazon account.  This is a continuous pain point for traders - just as you have found that perfect arbitrage opportunity you may suddenly find that you're not allowed to sell it. With SourceMogul you just press a button and it checks permissions with Amazon on your behalf.

With ChannelGrabber's new listing functionality just around the corner, arbitrage is easier than ever!

 
 

eBay UK Seller Release: Spring 2018

The eBay UK Seller Release, published at the end of February, will likely impact almost every seller on the marketplace, although as always, some will feel this more than others.

There are fee changes with updates to pricing and subscription policies, updates to returns and delivery standards, as well as new growth tools and seller insights which eBay say should help sellers boost their sales.
 

The Death of Custom eBay Shopfront Design

If you have an eBay Shop, and are thinking about investing some of your hard-earned cash in a shopfront design, our best advice is DON'T!  eBay have made it very clear in their recent announcement that custom shopfront designs will become a thing of the past, as soon as May 2018!

This is part of eBay's ongoing efforts to provide a more secure and mobile-friendly (and better SEO-optimised) experience for buyers and will mean that, for shop owners who currently have a custom design, you will eventually be expected to ditch your design for the standardised eBay shopfront.

Given that eBay have been cracking down on active content and insecure HTTP links within listing descriptions and templates for over a year now, this probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to a lot of sellers.  eBay have not yet announced if they will be making changes or restrictions to listing description templates, but given this overall direction they are moving in, we at ChannelGrabber are speculating that it is probably quite likely that eBay will eventually remove the option for custom listing templates too.

It's a sad day for individuality, BUT eBay say it should provide a plethora of advantages and new marketing opportunities for their sellers, so if it increases sales, then it's worth it.
 
 

Launch of Amazon Australia FBA

In our February newsletter we wrote of the launch of Amazon Australia as a marketplace in its own right.  

It was only a matter of time before Amazon increased its service offering to merchants and now, not many months since the marketplace debuted in early December, it has been confirmed that Amazon Australia FBA has launched. 

The Fulfilment by Amazon and Prime services became available on Amazon AU in the first week of March, which means that FBA will be available to Amazon AU sellers to store products at Amazon's warehouse near Melbourne, and have their orders packed and shipped by Amazon.

Given the shipping challenges for such a huge continent where populations are widespread and transport links can be limited, having Amazon themselves take responsibility for delivering your products to your buyers is probably even more of a sensible decision than in Europe and the USA, and will no doubt provide an attractive option for sellers who want to get in early with this new opportunity.

 

Amazon UK Calls For All Sellers to Provide VAT Numbers

Amazon sellers might have noticed that Amazon UK announced in Seller Central this month, that they are starting to crack down on sellers who do not comply with UK VAT laws.

The announcement from Amazon reads:

"Action required: your account may be interrupted
The UK Finance Bill 2018 is expected to become law in 2018. The Bill will require Amazon Marketplace to block non-UK sellers who store goods in the UK from selling through Amazon.co.uk if the seller doesn’t not comply with its UK VAT registration requirements.

We recommend that you upload your UK VAT number in Seller Central before March 5th 2018 to ensure smooth functioning of your account. To learn more about VAT, please visit our VAT resources page. More details about the legislation can be found on the HMRC website."

British VAT compliant marketplace merchants have nothing to fear, but we recommend checking that your account adheres to Amazon's guidelines, as well as UK laws of course!
 

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We hope you have enjoyed the March edition of our newsletter and found some useful information to help you with your online business.  

Why not also check out the blog page on our website, to keep up to date with news from us as well as even more industry insights and input from guest authors too?

 

As always, if you would like to discuss anything relating to your ChannelGrabber account, please feel free to contact our team using the Intercom chat system (the chat icon can be found on the lower right corner of any ChannelGrabber page) or by emailing help@channelgrabber.com
 

Happy Channel-Grabbing!  :)

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