Tompkins International Announces Strategic Alliance with Etail Solutions

MonarchFx and NexusFx, both Tompkins International companies, have formed a strategic alliance with Etail Solutions. This alliance will enhance and complete product and service offerings for all clients.

The synergies of going to market together will make all three businesses more competitive. Together they are offering top brands and sellers unrivaled digital commerce capabilities, topline growth opportunities and strategic fulfillment tools to increase margins and aggressively deliver orders in alignment with guaranteed shipping programs.

NexusFx, a Tompkins International company, empowers consumer packaged goods brands to build and manage direct-to-consumer experiences, engagements and sales through its technology, marketing and services platform. The NexusFx digital toolset also enables brands to access and utilize critical first-party data, assisting them in making real-time decisions.

MonarchFx, a Tompkins International company, was created to give brands and retailers a highly credible fulfillment solution, superior to other alternatives. MonarchFx provides quality services at reasonable prices, requiring low capital investment.

The power of the Etail Solutions platform comes in its unique capability to execute the strategies provided by NexusFx and to connect, integrate and automate the client’s entire sales and supply ecosystem, from customer-facing listings on sales channels to all possible sources of supply, including MonarchFx. No other platform achieves this deep level of integration, automation and absolute data integrity.

“This combination of skillsets, thought-leadership and platform capabilities allow us to jointly offer top brands and sellers best-in-class services for end-to-end supply chain capacities,” said Michael Anderson, CEO, Etail Solutions.

“I am happy to announce our strategic alliance with Etail. This alliance provides value to all businesses, clients and consumers, making this combination of toolsets the first of its kind,” stated Jim Tompkins, CEO, Tompkins International.

About Tompkins International 
Tompkins International is a supply chain consulting and implementation firm that maximizes supply chain performance and value creation. It enables clients to be more profitable and valuable, while also becoming more agile, flexible and adaptive to the marketplace. Tompkins collaborates with client teams to develop improved operations strategies, supply chain planning and execution across all the mega processes of supply chains (PLAN-BUY-MAKE-MOVE-DISTRIBUTE-SELL). Tompkins is headquartered in Raleigh, NC and has offices throughout North America and in Europe and Asia. For more information visit: http://www.tompkinsinc.com.

About Etail Solutions 
Etail Solutions is a premier provider of integrated sales, fulfillment and supply chain automation solutions for online multi-channel retailers. Etail provides the Etail Vantage Platform (EVP) as a service for solving the real-world problems of mid-to-high volume online merchants by enabling coordinated multi-channel commerce through dynamic integrations to sales channels, suppliers, product catalog content, shipping solutions, ERP systems and marketing channels.

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Etail to Introduce New Products, Capabilities at IRCE

Hard to believe IRCE is rolling around again.

It’s been an exciting year for Etail since last year’s show. 

We’ve added new capabilities like distributed order management (DOM), dynamic listing management and support for Seller Fulfilled Prime. 

We’re supporting new sales channels – including Google Shopping Actions.

We’ve created a new version of Etail, especially designed for brands and 3PLs.

And we’ve launched Managed Services to help our clients grow their businesses without the hassle and overhead of adding staff.

If you are attending IRCE this year, we’d love for you to stop by Booth 2426 so we tell you more. Or call us at 855-840-8400 to pre-book a meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you at the show!

Etail Solutions will be at booth #2426 during IRCE 2019. The conference takes place June 25-28 at McCormick Place South convention center in Chicago. Learn more on the IRCE website.

TARGUS: Global Brand Reinvents its Ecommerce Strategy with Etail

For 35 years, Targus – a brand leader in mobile computing accessories from laptop bags, tablet cases, docking stations and other computer peripherals, had grown to enjoy a worldwide market, selling in more than 100 countries.

But the world was moving to ecommerce, and Targus felt it was falling behind.

“For us to really win, it’s all about connecting directly to our customers,” said James Moat, Targus Vice President of Global Digital and eCommerce. “We are a well-known brand. But for us to continue thriving another 35 years, we have to be where consumers are. And they are moving more and more online.”

James joined Targus in early 2018 in a newly created role, reporting directly to the CEO and charged with reinventing Targus’ ecommerce strategy worldwide.

Targus is dedicated to becoming a total solution for “mobile professionals”, James said, offering everything business travelers need to carry, protect and use their laptops and tablets while on the road.

But these road warriors are savvy online shoppers and Targus lacked several important factors needed to win them over including a great online customer experience, distribution in all the sales channels and marketplaces they were likely to shop, and inventory available worldwide.

That’s when he turned to Etail Solutions.

Targus fulfilled its enterprise B2B orders out of an enormous warehouse at its Anaheim, CA headquarters. James was convinced transforming that facility to handle B2C fulfillment, in addition to B2B fulfillment, would be a key step in reinventing Targus online and the start of their digital transformation.

“We knew we could setup the warehouse for B2C ecommerce, but we identified two large gaps in the process,” James said. “One was the ability to distribute our product catalog to an unlimited number of destinations online and then to grab those orders from non-proprietary destinations like Amazon, Walmart or eBay and process them in an automated fashion.”

Working with Etail, Targus integrated its 1P and 3P online sales channels including large marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart, along with specialty marketplaces like Newegg and Rakuten.  They also introduced a new branded website, powered by Shopify and integrated into the Etail platform.

James is in the process of rolling out the Etail/Shopify solution to North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia, along with integrating with regional Amazon, eBay and local marketplaces, and integrating with 3PLs and distributors to expand Targus’ distribution capabilities.

James credits Etail’s end-to-end integration with making this strategy possible.

 “I literally have Etail open all day, every day,” James said. “I can’t imagine doing what we’re doing today without an Etail because it’s all centralized. It’s all consolidated in one view. So now I can look at what’s happening on Walmart versus eBay versus Shopify, whatever, and I can do it all in one instance, which is pretty exciting.”

Etail also helped Targus integrate and update its legacy systems for the ecommerce, James said.

“What is really powerful about Etail is not only the visibility it provides throughout the supply chain, but also the automation of everything from getting the order to slapping a shipping label on the box and sending a tracking number,” James said.

“I think that was something that the company historically probably wasn’t even aware existed, “ he added. “The reality is that I won’t be able to replace our inventory management system, but I can bolt on something that allows us to automate everything and work with those legacy systems. And that’s what Etail has done a really good job at. I think one of the things I like about Etail is that they are willing to try anything.”

In planning a global project of this scale, James said he considered several alternatives before deciding on Etail.

“I think what differentiated Etail for me was the level of partnership and the level of customer service. That’s what really stuck out,” James said. “Etail really worked hard to win our business and I think Etail is working hard to keep our business.”

He’s convinced they made the right choice.

“The Etail team is always willing to figure it out and maybe we won’t get it right the first time, but we’re going to crunch through it, together, and strategize on how to start scale our revenue as quickly as possible,” James said.

As a private company, Targus doesn’t release their financials, but James said he is seeing his ecommerce business, from channel to channel, grow 50% to 300% year-over-year as he rolls out the program and expects the growth to continue for years to come.

He said he’s also excited about how his new-found ecommerce capability provides the ability to experiment with new products, packaging and promotions and to work with Etail to use the platform’s capabilities to grow listings, implement pricing strategies, and integrate distribution partners.

“When I work with Etail, it’s very much ‘Ok, Etail will grow our business because we will grow your business’,” James said.  “I really liked that. The performance-based model works really well for me because I know it kind of keeps us all hungry to grow our ecommerce revenue to a critical mass.”

To learn more about Targus, visit us.targus.com.

Etail Solutions and Monarch FX to present at Ecommerce Operations Summit

Ecom Ops Summit 2019

 

Heading to the Ecommerce Operations Summit in Columbus, Ohio on April 9-11?

 

Join Etail CEO Michael Anderson and David Lengacher, head of data science for MonarchFX, for a joint presentation:

 

THE EVOLUTION OF ORDER MANAGEMENT: FROM OMS TO DOM AND DIFF

Thursday, April 11

9:00 to 9:50 am

Theater 3

 

Accelerated guaranteed programs like Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime, eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery and Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping are the new normal for marketplace sellers and brands. 

To meet tough marketplace delivery requirements, inventory often needs to be distributed to multiple locations to be closer to the customer. 

Traditional OMS platforms often struggle to support complex fulfillment processes. Distributed Order Management (DOM) automates choosing the most profitable fulfillment option for every order. Distributed Inventory Flow Forecasting (DIFF) enables accurate forecasting of distributed inventory to optimize fill rates and minimize working capital.

This session will help you navigate the ongoing evolution of order management technology to improve fulfillment performance, create a competitive advantage, and increase margins.

You will learn:
• About the impact of guaranteed delivery programs on consumers and sales
• About the complexity of execution and how technology can help solve these problems at scale
• About the concepts around DOM and DIFF
• How these two technologies combined can lower costs and increase margins

 

Learn more at the Ecommerce Operations Summit website.

Growing Your Business on the New eBay – Free Webinar

 

If you’re an experienced seller, you may think you know all about eBay. But do you know about the NEW eBay?

eBay is reinventing itself as a channel for brands and experienced sellers – building product catalogs on structured data; offering a free, accelerated shipping program; and introducing pay-only-if-you sell promotional programs and tools.

Hear what eBay’s Aaron Schneider and Etail CEO Michael Anderson had to say about how experienced sellers can find new opportunities on eBay. 

eBay for Experienced Sellers Only

Click here to view the recording

 

Want to increase your eBay sales? Left eBay because of past issues? Only using eBay to clear out excess inventory? You may be missing out on a great, new opportunity for increased eBay sales.

Make sure to listen to Aaron and Michael and discover the new eBay and how eBay is reaching out to help experienced sellers like you.

Amazon 1P to 3P: Why, When and How to Make the Move

Amazon’s market share continues to grow at the expense of traditional brick-and-mortar channels. Smartphone technology – and free two-day shipping – has forever changed how and where consumers shop. To reach Amazon’s hundreds of millions of customers, many brands and manufacturers begin by selling their products directly to, instead of on, Amazon. Often the formation of these first-party (1P) relationships, where brands and manufacturers act as the vendor or wholesaler and Amazon acts as the seller or retailer, are initiated by Amazon. But while Amazon 1P is the entry point to ecommerce for many organizations, some are evolving their online strategy to take advantage of the opportunities only a third-party (3P) relationship with Amazon provides. This article lays out the reasons why brands and manufacturers may want to consider stopping selling to Amazon and start selling on Amazon. It also suggests when and how to transition from being a first-party vendor to a third-party seller.

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Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Etail’s CEO Michael Anderson that was published by Business.com.

Sales on Amazon this holiday season are expected to reach $38.8 billion according to digital agency NetElixir. Their projection includes sales from Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central.

While these two programs may seem similar, they are actually very different.

  • Vendor Central involves selling products to Amazon.
  • Seller Central involves selling products on Amazon.

Many brands and small business owners don’t know which program to use. Nor are they aware of the long-term implications and benefits of choosing one program over the other. This article lays out the differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central. You’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of each program so, hopefully, you can maximize Q4 sales and profit, while protecting the future of your brand or business.

Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central

There are two ways to get your products seen and sold on Amazon. One requires forming a first-party (1P) relationship with Amazon. The other requires forming a third-party (3P) relationship with Amazon.

In a 1P relationship, brands and businesses sell products directly to Amazon at wholesale prices. Then Amazon sells them to customers at retail prices. Brands and businesses act as the vendor or wholesaler. Amazon acts as the seller or retailer. Vendor Central is the program Amazon uses to manage its 1P relationships. It is an invitation-only program. However, certain steps can be taken to obtain an invitation, such as connecting with an Amazon Vendor Manager on LinkedIn or at industry trade shows, or hiring an e-commerce consultant who has an existing relationship with Amazon.

In a 3P relationship, brands and businesses use Amazon to sell products to customers at retail prices. Amazon acts as the selling platform. Brands and businesses act as the retailer, either directly or through authorized resellers. Seller Central is the program Amazon uses to manage its 3P relationships. This program is open to anyone – brands, businesses and resellers. Certain product categories, such as automotive, clothing and grocery, require pre-approval.

Click the link to continue reading “Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central: Understanding the Key Differences

A Survival Guide For Third-Party Amazon Sellers

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Etail’s CEO Michael Anderson that was published by Ecommerce Platforms.

Business as usual is coming to an end for many third-party Amazon sellers. Competition on Amazon U.S. is reaching new heights and it’s only going to get worse from here.

  • Chinese sellers are flooding the marketplace thanks to preferential treatment from Amazon and the USPS. Because their costs are lower, Chinese sellers are underpricing and outselling U.S. competitors in their own backyard.

  • The original categories of top third-party Amazon sellers have saturated. So they’re entering new categories – categories you may be selling in – and all of the systems and resources that launched them to the top of their original categories are coming with them.

  • The supply chain is shrinking fast. Manufacturers and brands are cutting out the middleman – you and other third-party sellers – and going direct. According to Forbes: “The number of manufacturers selling directly to consumers is expected to grow 71% this yearto more than 40% of all manufacturers.”

All this increased competition has resulted in a ‘race to the bottom’ in many categories on Amazon. Chinese sellers, top third-party sellers and manufacturers and brands, however, have more pricing flexibility with lower costs and higher margins. Many third-party sellers are finding that they have to work harder and harder to generate the same top line sales, but are not receiving the same bottom line profit.

When you add it all up, it’s easy to see that the long-term viability of the reseller model is very much in doubt. The situation isn’t hopeless, however. This guide lays out what you can do as a third-party seller to put your business in the most competitive position possible.

To stand a chance of surviving, you must do one of two things. The first is develop a unique sourcing advantage. There must be something unique about your supply chain or how you source products to sell. But what if you can’t negotiate exclusive distribution agreements with your suppliers or don’t want to create your own private label products?

You Need to Achieve Economies of Scale to Last Long As a Third-Party Amazon Seller

To achieve economies of scale … to drive up your sales and purchasing volume … you must first drive down your costs … and then your prices on Amazon.

In this guide, we’ll go over each of the costs you have a realistic chance of lowering, and more importantly, how to do it. You’ll find out how to create the necessary leverage to negotiate lower product costs with suppliers even if they are fixed initially.

We’ll explain what it takes to fulfill orders for less than you are now … how to create margin points after the sale … so you can pass the savings onto your customers in the form of lower prices … giving you a better chance of underpricing and outselling your competitors. 

You’ll also discover the often overlooked cost you need to lower if you’re unwilling or unable to lower your product or shipping costs.

Achieving economies of scale isn’t the only thing you need to do to stay relevant. There are several other things you need to do, or do differently, keeping in mind that speed and accuracy are now basic competitive requirements.

Now, more than ever, you need to protect your margins and Buy Bux ownership. There should never be a time when your products are overpriced or underpriced. In this guide you’ll find out how to do this. How to always be selling at your best prices while protecting – and growing – your margins.

You Must Be Capable of Pivoting Your Business to Make It More Defensible and Formidable

You never want to be at the mercy of only one fulfillment method, one or two suppliers, or a handful of products. You need to develop the capability to quickly diversify your fulfillment, product and channel mix. In this guide, you’ll discover the requirements for changing how you ship and what and where you sell – so you can quickly pivot in any direction you want at any time.

What are the potential consequences of not heeding the warnings and advice given in this guide? There’s a chance you’ll go on believing the lie that past success on Amazon is a guarantee of future success. You’ll keep doing things the way you’ve always done them … you’ll continue to take your business down the same path … but you’ll likely find that no matter how hard you work or how good a job you do, it’s never enough. Competitors could soon take the lead – if they haven’t already – and your business could become irrelevant.   

On the other hand, instead of fearing your competitors, this guide can help you become the competitor who is feared. Instead of watching your business collapse, you’ll know what it needs to stand the test of time. Regardless of the current state of your business – whether it’s healthy and growing, treading water, or in serious trouble – it’s exactly where you decided it would be … and it will go exactly where you decide it will go. Will your business still be around in one, two or five years? The choice is yours and yours alone.

Click the link to continue reading “A Survival Guide For Third-Party Amazon Sellers.

Distributed Order Management (DOM): What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How to Get Started

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Etail’s CEO Michael Anderson that was published by Multichannel Merchant.

Omnichannel commerce is now a basic competitive requirement. It allows merchants to better understand their customers and deliver a seamless and personalized experience. But enabling customers to buy from anywhere, pick up from anywhere and return to  anywhere is an operational challenge. So is ensuring customers receive orders on time and in full for the lowest possible cost.

Traditional order management systems (OMS) – which were designed long before omnichannel existed – aren’t flexible enough to support multiple channels, fulfillment methods, locations and return points. Instead they operate in silos, connecting only single channels to single inventory sources. This limits inventory visibility throughout the supply chain. When merchants don’t know how much inventory is available and where it is located at all times, it is difficult for them to make and keep delivery promises or route orders to optimal fulfillment locations.

To overcome these challenges, merchants can either integrate their disparate systems and data sources or deploy a Distributed Order Management (DOM) system. According to Gartner, merchants are increasingly investing in DOM. If you’re not considering doing the same, you should. Here are three good reasons why.

Click the link to continue reading “Distributed Order Management (DOM): What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How to Get Started

You’ll discover:

  • The obvious – and hidden – benefits of using a Distributed Order Management (DOM) system
  • How Distributed Order Management (DOM) differs from traditional order management
  • Best practices for selecting and implementing a Distributed Order Management (DOM) system
  • Consequences of not enabling customers to search for, order and receive products when and how they want
  • Requirements for improving the customer experience while driving operational efficiency

Direct to Consumer: Should Your Brand Make the Move?

Etail’s CEO and co-founder, Michael Anderson, was recently interviewed by eSellerCafe as part of their ongoing Ecommerce Influencer Series. A wide range of topics were discussed including whether or not all brands and manufacturers should start selling direct to consumer. 

  • The biggest changes in ecommerce over the past three years
  • What sellers can do to bring the biggest rewards in the quickest fashion
  • Whether or not Amazon is a friend or foe to small businesses
  • What emerging technology Michael sees as the biggest game changer in ecommerce
  • How Etail Solutions approaches the current multi-channel ecommerce landscape
  • How Michael got his start in the ecommerce industry

When Michael was asked about the biggest changes in ecommerce over the past three years, his response was quick and decisive. 

“The number of brands and manufacturers shifting away from wholesale and toward direct-to-consumer (D2C). The driving forces behind this move are what you would expect, profitability and growth. D2C also allows brands and manufacturers to know which customers are buying which products and how often. Having this type of visibility isn’t possible when selling wholesale.

Not only that, consumers are starting to prefer buying direct instead of through retailers. Millennials are causing this shift, viewing the product data of brands and manufacturers as being more credible and appealing. They’re diligent in their research and more demanding when it comes to customer experience and price.

Does this mean every brand and manufacturer should make the move to D2C? Not necessarily.

To do it right, there’s a certain level of operational excellence required. Transaction life cycles are much shorter than brands and manufacturers are used to. Managing high volumes of single line orders is something they’ve never done before.

If they’re not operating efficiently, they’ll have trouble meeting customer expectations and marketplace requirements.”

Click here to read the interview in its entirety.