Change is Inevitable, Don't Get Left Behind.
In Chinese Kungfu, we learn techniques (招数). But techniques are weak without mindset (心法). In marketplace eCommerce, listing powerfully and buying keywords smartly are techniques. But what are the inner force which drives a successful business?
For Perak eCommerce, I will like to share this Mindset which I believe is very important to every eCommerce Sellers.
Change is Inevitable. Do not resist it. Accept it happily! Adapt to the change faster than others and use it to your advantage.
In June 2018, eBay announced that Top Rated sellers will be required to offer 30-day free returns to be eligible to receive the Top Rated Plus discount and badge!. The link is here
Subsequently, many sellers vented their anger on eBay pages. The link is here.
SEA top eBay sellers, Eugene highlighted this in the eBay conference. What is constant is that eBay rules change constantly! Top sellers will always receive take advantage of any changes, and maximize any opportunities possible. In contrast, normal sellers will complain about this changes not favorable to them at that moment, resist change or give up on the market.
Using this example, eBay is separating their customers into different customer segment. If the targeted customer segment focuses only on the listing price for selection, then they will accept no returns ore even self-pay returns as long as the item is cheap enough!. Thus all those badges might not really convince a buyer if it is not cheap enough!
30 days free return, of course, will be more expensive for this customer segment. They will also like to buy more from Top Rated Sellers than buying the cheapest price the the badges are more valuable for this customer segment! Noticing that most seller do not deliver the best buying experience, thus eBay is giving some discount to encourage sellers to target this high-value customer!
If you want to offer cheapest price, then offer no returns. If you want to take calculated risk with higher profit margin, then offer 30 days free returns!
But for top sellers, they are all GREEDY sellers. They will want all customers. Thus they will have at least two eBay accounts. One account is having the lowest cost possible such as economy shipment and no return possible to sell at the lowest cost! Another account will have expedited shipment with 30 days free return and of course, the price is included in the market to capture this segment.
This does not happen in international marketplaces. It happens in our homegrown Lazada as well.
Recently announced different type of Shipments policy such as Free Shipping, Buy more save more and Pass Thru shipment selection is another segmentation. People ask me which one to choose?
Why do you need to choose? Why not have a different strategy to target different customer segment? If an account can only select a shipment type, I guess the solutions are clearly visible, have more than one account for different shipment type!
Also recently, Lazada had implemented new services which will indirectly encourage small account with specific categories, than on big account with thousands of SKUs!
If you up to date with Lazada development, they had announced the "Seller Picks" tool which is limited to 3 per account? If you have 100 SKUs you can pick 3 SKU for boost, same as you have 1000 SKUs, you have 3 SKUs. Thus another possible strategy is to segment your product categories to the different account so that you can have more seller picks with different shipment method! More accounts = More Seller Picks! hahah
What! So many accounts how to manage? Then learn and use tools for this problem such as SiteGiant Sync or Webshaper Sync! I am learning it also hahaha and will be blogging more about this local grown companies.
Now for the blog readers, if you want to try out SiteGiant, they will offered 20% discount if you signed up using this coupon "ebay-cp-kkcommerce". For webShaper, I still begging them for discount for this blog readers hehe.
If you used it. Thank you@ as we will get some referral fee. This will help us in doing more Perak eCommerce and Malaysia eCommerce! So please let me put their logo above.
Last week, when I was in SiteGiant classes, they do highlight the pro and cons of both channels for webstore (selling at own websites) compare to Marketplaces. Then they advice the audiences to decide where they want to be. I beg to differ.
If I am the trainer, I will emphasize that SiteGiant users must sell on all channels! Website or Marketplaces, Why need to choose? Why not all? Especially when it is zero commission and some even subsidize shipment! Vice versa, why marketplace sellers cannot sell on Website, CBT or etc?
Actually, Lazada had reacted to Shopee threat by reducing their commission to 0%. They are also building LEX to deliver better services to the customer. Yes, they are having problems now. However, if they are able to resolve it by providing a better quality of fulfillment at a lower price, it is a significant long-term advantage compare to Shopee which depends on 3PL. It is a risk and also an opportunity.
Additionally, it looks like new features such as Chat, Store builder, Lorikeet, and Lazada emphasis on getting followers, is focusing on CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT! In actual fact, more services is under pilot test such as "Store Feed" and etc. People ask me is it worth doing?
My advice always is "JUST DO IT", and do it "Happily!"
If you doubt that all these changes are necessary, or just to trouble sellers, then your effort will reflect your doubts. You will stay in your comfort zone doing the same thing as previously. Whether this is a correct strategy or not by Lazada or eBay, is actually not a seller problem. If you can't change it, jump on the boat first and fast!
Let me warn you, many Top Sellers in eBay is not a top seller anymore, because they could not adapt to changes, and was swept away by others which adapt fast and use it to their advantage!
Adapt and change fast to maximize any changes. No point complaining.
In Lazada situation, you will never know when Lazada ranking and traffic diverting algorithm will place higher points for sellers which maximize the tools in Lazada! That itself is a significant unknown risk and opportunity. Who knows in future, you will be able to send facebook or Instagram or social media post to your followers in Lazada? There are so many possibilities in Customer Engagement. Maybe blog is allowed in future hahaha?
As Sharon from IT COMP always say, if there is any changes or opportunity, I want to be at the front. I don't want to wait and see how people do it, then only I follow.
And if you are in Malaysia eCommerce. Why not Cross-Border eCommerce! It is not that difficult, especially if you are utilizing tools like SiteGiant and Webshaper!
For my personal reflection, I need to constantly change as well.
I am so happy and honor to be invited by MDEC to be one of the judge for eUsahawan Sales Pitch on 8th August.
Actually, just right before I receive the invitation, I am looking for ways to understand more about eUsahawan. This invitation just falls on my lap when I most wanted it.
Last 2 week, I went to Perak PUMM talk organized by Tommy Chieng (Linked Link), as our Perak State Executive Council member, YB Howard Lee is gracing the event. We had the opportunity ask YB on Perak eCommerce. Followup on it, one of the criteria for Perak Government support like SITEC is to have a "Multi-Racial" eCommerce Association for Perak.
Subsequently, I went back and looked at my audiences and networks. Embarrassingly, I had not connected to eCommerce Malay activist. In a way, it did not make sense because Malay is the biggest audiences in Malaysia! In reflection, the groups I joined does not have really significant of Malay eCommerce people (I am guessing here & I might be wrong)
It is the Malaysia Baru. If I am upset about the racist sentiment played by certain politicians, why my behavior is reflecting on their negative politicking? So I went to search for reputable groups and MDEC eUsahawan looks great! I was wondering how can I know more about it and the invitation came.
And in the eUsahawan Pithcing, I got to meet an eUsahawan Coach, Firdaus Ali from Ipoh. So my mind is running wild again. Why not extense my blog audiences to Malay Segment as well. Why not !? For Perak Ecommerce.