Interview with Dan Marsland from Payoneer

Today I chatted with Dan Marsland from leading payment provider Payoneer

We discussed:

  • What does Payoneer do?
  • How does Payoneer help Amazon sellers?
  • How to choose a payment provider
  • How Brexit has affected CBT
  • What international opportunities do you see your clients using?
  • What is the future for online payments?
  • What has inspired you recently?

Need help with your eCommerce business? Vendlab specialises in helping online retailers grow their businesses through online marketplaces and international sales.

How to create eBay Variation listings

Bay variation listings allow multiple versions of a product to be sold from a single listing.  For example, a shoe might come in numerous sizes or colours. 

An example eBay listing variated on colour and size.

Instead of creating a separate listing for each option, all variations can be sold from a single listing.  This has two advantages:

  • Customers can find all the options they want from one listing
  • A single listing can build more listing history and perform better in best match

On the downside, variations are more time consuming to list and cause problems with 3rd party listing tools.

Variations are only available for fixed price items.

eBay Sell Your Item/Quick Listing Form

The quick listing tool is the form within eBay that is used to create listings one by one. 

Features of an eBay listing

  • Title. A descriptive title helps buyers find your item. State exactly what your item is. Include words that buyers might use to search for your item.  Max 80 characters
  • Subtitle.  Subtitles appear in eBay search results in list view and can increase buyer interest by providing more descriptive info.
  • Custom label. Create a custom label to enter the information you want to track, such as your own SKU number.
  • Category.  Each listing must have at least one category.  A second category can be added this may incur a charge
  • EAN.  Buyers often search using product identifiers, so eBay recommends product identifiers to make sure your listings have maximum visibility in buyer search results.
  • Condition. Select the condition of the item you’re listing.
  • Photos. Add up to 12 photos. eBay does not allow photos with extra borders, text or artwork.
  • Item specifics. Provide info about the item you are selling, such as brand, size type, size, colour and style. These details help buyers find your item when they filter their searches and appear at the top of your listing description in a consistent format.
  • Description. Describe the item you are selling and provide complete and accurate details. Use a clear and concise format to ensure your description is mobile-friendly.  Description can be entered using the WYSIWYG editor or HTML
  • Format.  Select auction or fixed price items
  • Duration. Select how long you wish your listing to run.  Auction items are 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days.  Fixed price items can only be Good til cancelled, meaning they automatically renew every 30 days until they sell or are ended.  Listing can start immediate or scheduled for a later time
  • Price.  See below
  • Business policies.  See below
  • Package weight and dimensions.  Size and weight of an item.  They are used for calculating international postage when you use postage tables that price per kg.
  • Items location.  The geographical location of the item.  Used mostly for local pickup only items.

Listing pricing

Auction listings

Auction prices have three components:

  • Starting price.  The price at which the auction starts
  • Reserve price.  The price below which the auction will not sell
  • Buy it now (BIN) price.   The Buy It Now price is available until someone bids on the item or until the reserve price is met.  Until this point, the item can be bought immediately at the BIN price
  • Best offer.  Best offer enables buyers to make an offer for the product for immediate purchase. According to eBay, adding best offer increase sell-through by 3 to 7 percent.

A classic auction strategy is to start the bidding at £0.99 with no reserve price.  Often a low starting price will encourage bidding and result in a higher winning bid.

Fixed Price

Fixed price items only have a buy it now price.  Sellers can also the best offer option.

Stock numbers (SKUs) for eCommerce

Choosing stock numbers is on the face of it a pretty uninspiring subject. However, all online retailers need to do it and choosing the wrong format can cause lots of pain later. Here are some quick tips:

Avoid preceding zeros

Avoid zeros at the front of your stock numbers like the plague. Excel will strip them out automatically causing endless issues when you are trying to combine spreadsheets of data. 

This can cause issues if you are using barcodes as your stock numbers as these frequently have zeros at the front. An EAN (European Article number) is officially 13 characters long and so an 11 character EAN should really have two zeros at the front.

Advice: If you want to use barcodes as your stock numbers, I suggest you add a prefix e.g. Brand-Barcode Avent-0123456789898

Don’t just use numbers

If you just use a number string as your stock number, then this will mean that this number can be treated in two different ways by excel.

1.      As a string of digits i.e. plain text

2.      As a number

From Excel’s POV these are NOT equivalent. This will cause problem if you are trying to combine spreadsheets or use functions like VOOKUP as what looks like the same stock number will not match.

Advice: As above, start your stock number with text, that way it will ALWAYS be treated as text.

Avoid special characters

Keep to numbers and letters and limited punctuation in stock numbers as special characters can cause issues. For example Amazon does not support apostrophes. Also, apostrophes come in multiple formats which look similar e.g. straight, curly.

Include variant information

If you include variant information in the stock number e.g. Avent00100-Blue, Avent00100-Pink, you can use the root stock number to filter for variants.

Include useful information

Bit more subjective this, but personally I would always include useful information such as brand in the stock number as it makes filtering easy.

Barcodes for eCommerce

Barcodes are much abused by a hugely important aspect of retail, especially eCommerce. They (should) uniquely identify products and are a vital part of the process of listing products and processing orders.

This article looks at the advantages of using barcodes and the pitfalls that can arise.

Types of Barcodes

Barcodes come in several flavours. The main ones are EAN (European Article Number – 13 characters) and UPC (Universal Product Code – 12 characters).  In the UK EAN is most used.

Sometimes barcodes are less than the specified number of characters and these missing digits can be shown as proceeding zeros e.g., 0000123456789 not 123456789. This can cause product with marketplace matching as some marketplaces require the full thirteen characters to make a match.

Barcode issuing

Valid barcodes are issued by GS1, a global standard authority. A manufacturer must buy a licence to issue barcodes for their products and digits 2 to 6 of the barcode signifies the manufacturer.

Advantages of using Barcodes

Identifying products

If you have recorded the barcode for each product in your system this can be used for identifying products during common warehouse functions such as:

  • Booking in deliveries
  • Dispatching products
  • Stock taking

Marketplace matching

Marketplaces such as Amazon, CDiscount and OnBuy are catalogue-based systems that organise products by barcode. Creating a new product will require a barcode in most categories. Similarly, to list a new product the quickest method is to search the catalogue by barcode and if a match is found specify a price and quantity.

Pitfalls of using barcodes

The problem with listing or dispatching products based on their barcode is generally due to their misuse by suppliers.

Assorted colours

Frequently products are delivered in a box of assorted designs or colours which all have the same barcode. Great for a physical shop but not so good online where customers expect to get EXACTLY the product they see in the image.

Updated/refreshed products

An updated product should get a new barcode, but suppliers frequently reuse barcodes. If the retailers is matching product by barcode, they may not realise that the product has changed and send out the new product when the customer is expecting the old product.

Incorrect issuing

As mentioned above, valid barcodes are not just a string of numbers but are issued by GS1. Some suppliers create their own barcodes as a string of thirteen numbers to avoid paying the GS1 licence fees. Whilst this may have worked in the past, these numbers will now be rejected as invalid by marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Incorrect matching

Details on marketplaces are frequently wrong or give a wrong quantity. This can be an issue when matching large catalogues by barcode were checking each listing is not practical.

eBay Listing Types – Auction & Fixed Price

What can be sold on eBay

With 15000 categories, most legal things can be sold on eBay. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/prohibited-restricted-items/prohibited-restricted-items?id=4207

Sellers should avoid the following:

  • Product requiring a licence e.g. alcohol, tobacco
  • Recalled items
  • Restricted

Some brands (e.g. high end fashion brands) do not like products sold on eBay.  eBay has a programme called VERO that enables them to remove listing, which they feel infringe their intellectual property right. This programme is abused by rights owners who use it to get legitimate listing removed.

Details on Vero programme:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/listing-policies/selling-policies/intellectual-property-vero-program?id=4349

Once a listing is removed due to a VERO complaint, it is very difficult to appeal.  Brand often employ agencies to manage the process, and from experience, these agencies are unresponsive.

If an account has too many infringements against it, it can be restricted or closed permanently.

eBay listing types

eBay began as an auction platform, but nowadays, most products sell at a fixed price. 

Auction Listings

When you list an item for sale in an eBay auction, you choose a starting price, and interested buyers place bids. When the auction ends, you sell to the highest bidder.

Fixed Price listings

With a fixed price Buy It Now listing, a buyer knows the exact price they need to pay for your item, and can complete their purchase immediately. There is no bidding on fixed price listings.

Fixed price listings are set to Good ‘Til Cancelled duration. This means your item will be relisted on eBay every month until it sells or you end it.

When to use different listing  types

Fixed price and auction listing are good for different types of product. 

Auctions

Auctions are good for unique items where the price is hard to know in advance (e.g. collectables, antiques, second-hand items).  With these items,

Auction benefits

  • Potential for higher prices by a competitive auction
  • Market determines the price
  • Better sell-through rate with a low starting bid
  • Sense of urgency.  Scarcity and limit duration of auction encourage buying activity
  •  

Auction drawbacks

  • Difficult to automate. Auctions must be started manually.
  • If an auction does not sell it must be manually relisted
  • Buyers may pay several days after auction end

Fixed Price benefits

  • More automation. Fixed price listings are like inventory at a regular retail store.
  • Everything is for sale at any time.
  • With Good ’til cancelled duration,  items renew automatically every 30 days.
  • Listings can be edited in bulk
  • Immediate payment
  • Markdown manager.  This feature gives sellers the ability to run sales.

Fixed Price disadvantages

  • No Sense of Urgency. Buyers may bookmark or watch a listing and never return. With auctions, buyers get a sense of urgency that they must bid or buy the item now.
  • Fees. Fixed Price and GTC listings incur charges each month if they renew. These fees can add up over time.

Technical SEO – Javascript, Scheme, Usability and Mobile

Google aims to serve its users with high-quality sites which quickly answer their query. Consequently, it has started to consider a range of factors related to the site’s performance and technical architecture. Since the technical structure can have a massive impact on its performance, it is essential to understand the factors that can affect performance.

JavaScript

Most websites use JavaScript to add interactivity and improve the user experience. It is commonly used in menus as well as pulling in products or prices. The dynamic nature of JavaScript, however, has historically caused issues with search engine crawling. If Google cannot access the menus on a site, it may have difficulties reading the content.

Google has stated that, if you are not blocking the Googlebot from crawling your JavaScript files, they can read JavaScript as a browser can. However, it can take Google longer to index JavaScript content. It is best to check that Google can read your pages correctly. This can be done from within Google Search Console using their URL Inspection Tool.

Schema

Schema is a way to label or organise your content so that search engines can better understand what some aspects of your web pages are. Schema provides structure to your data, which is why it is often referred to as ‘structured data’. The process of structuring data is often referred to as ‘markup’ because you are marking up your content with organisational code.

JSON-LD is Google’s preferred schema markup which Bing also supports. To view a complete list of the thousands of available schema markups, visit Schema.org. Besides helping bots like Google understand what a particular piece of content is about, schema markup can also enable rich snippets (mentioned above) to accompany your pages in the SERPs.

Page Load Speed and Usability

As well as being vital factors in your site’s conversion rate, page speed and website usability are also ranking factors considered by Google. These factors are combined into Google’s Core Web Vitals measures which available in the Google search console.

To benchmark your site’s performance, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and measure your page speed and identify improvement opportunities.

Mobile Friendliness

In 2020 mobile internet usage exceeded desktop usage for the first time. In response to this, as of March 2021, Google will stop indexing desktop versions of a website and only index mobile-friendly sites. Making your website compatible with mobile screens is necessary for maintaining search performance and is good for users who access sites via mobiles. To ensure a good mobile experience, Website owners should implement the following:

  • Responsive design. Responsive websites are designed to adjust to the size of the user’s screen.

AMP. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are used to deliver content to mobile visitors at greater speeds

Instructional eCommerce Videos

At VendLab we love sharing our knowledge of all thing’s eCommerce, so we have created VendLab eCommerce School – a YouTube channel dedicated to eCommerce instructional videos. Alongside our educational videos, there are recording of our eCommerce Odyssey Podcast which features interviews with interesting people in the eCommerce world

Amazon

Understanding Amazon FBA Settings
Understanding what you are being charged for FBA fulfilment and storage
How to deal with Amazon seller account suspensions
Amazon Performance Metrics – Feedback, A-Z Claims & Order Defect Rate
Benefits of Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Creating Amazon FBA listings (or convert FBM to FBA)
Creating Parent-Child Variation Listings on Amazon
Creating product listings on Amazon by matching by EAN or ASIN
Expand Globally with Amazon’s Sell Globally Tools
How Amazon compiles product data from multiple sellers
How to create Amazon A+ Content
How to create Amazon FBA Shipping Plans
How to create Amazon shipping templates
How to create an Amazon Branded Storefront
How to grow your Amazon sales: Deals
How to Manage Amazon returns including Safe-T Claims
How to select keywords for your Amazon product listings
How to set up an Amazon seller account
How to use Amazon Brand Registry
How to use Amazon catalogue Drafts & Selling Applications
How to use Amazon Category Specific Product Upload files
How to use Amazon FBA Inventory Planning
How to use Amazon promotions
How to use Amazon Sponsored Ads Match Types
How to use Amazon Vouchers to grow your sales
How to use the Amazon Price & Quantity Flat File
How to win at Amazon Search
Introduction to Amazon Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands
Launching a New Brand on Amazon
Managing Cross-Border Amazon sales
Managing Orders on Amazon
Setting up Amazon Business
Understanding Amazon Business Reports
Understanding Amazon FBA Fees
Understanding Amazon FBA Settings
Understanding Amazon Payment Reports
Understanding Amazon Pricing
Understanding Amazon Seller Coach Reports
Understanding Amazon’s product listing page
Amazon Brand Registry Features
Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA

eBay

Why Sell on eBay
eBay Account Types and Selling Limits
eBay Listing Best Practice
eBay Seller Hub – Performance, Listings, Orders, Marketing, Payments, Research and Reporting
Understanding eBay Fees, Discounts and Invoices
Understanding eBay Settings – Postage, Business Policies & Buyer Requirements

Etsy

How to open an Etsy Shop

Instructional eCommerce Videos

At VendLab we love sharing our knowledge of all thing’s eCommerce, so we have created VendLab eCommerce School – a YouTube channel dedicated to eCommerce instructional videos. Alongside our educational videos, there are recording of our eCommerce Odyssey Podcast which features interviews with interesting people in the eCommerce world

Amazon

Understanding Amazon FBA Settings
Understanding what you are being charged for FBA fulfilment and storage
How to deal with Amazon seller account suspensions
Amazon Performance Metrics – Feedback, A-Z Claims & Order Defect Rate
Benefits of Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Creating Amazon FBA listings (or convert FBM to FBA)
Creating Parent-Child Variation Listings on Amazon
Creating product listings on Amazon by matching by EAN or ASIN
Expand Globally with Amazon’s Sell Globally Tools
How Amazon compiles product data from multiple sellers
How to create Amazon A+ Content
How to create Amazon FBA Shipping Plans
How to create Amazon shipping templates
How to create an Amazon Branded Storefront
How to grow your Amazon sales: Deals
How to Manage Amazon returns including Safe-T Claims
How to select keywords for your Amazon product listings
How to set up an Amazon seller account
How to use Amazon Brand Registry
How to use Amazon catalogue Drafts & Selling Applications
How to use Amazon Category Specific Product Upload files
How to use Amazon FBA Inventory Planning
How to use Amazon promotions
How to use Amazon Sponsored Ads Match Types
How to use Amazon Vouchers to grow your sales
How to use the Amazon Price & Quantity Flat File
How to win at Amazon Search
Introduction to Amazon Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands
Launching a New Brand on Amazon
Managing Cross-Border Amazon sales
Managing Orders on Amazon
Setting up Amazon Business
Understanding Amazon Business Reports
Understanding Amazon FBA Fees
Understanding Amazon FBA Settings
Understanding Amazon Payment Reports
Understanding Amazon Pricing
Understanding Amazon Seller Coach Reports
Understanding Amazon’s product listing page
Amazon Brand Registry Features
Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA

eBay

Why Sell on eBay
eBay Account Types and Selling Limits
eBay Listing Best Practice
eBay Seller Hub – Performance, Listings, Orders, Marketing, Payments, Research and Reporting
Understanding eBay Fees, Discounts and Invoices
Understanding eBay Settings – Postage, Business Policies & Buyer Requirements

Etsy

How to open an Etsy Shop