E-Commerce FAQs: Advice from an Account Manager

July 19, 2016

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

Our account managers are always hard at work making sure that our clients are equipped with the solutions and insights they need to build a successful e-commerce strategy. We sat down with Ann Balduino, one of our rockstar account managers to find out what the most common questions that an account manager gets throughout the course of their workday are — complete with answers, of course!

Let’s get right to it:

Q: Will you be integrating with ____?

A: We’re constantly evaluating new marketplace and search partners. Typically we make large-scale announcements when we have a new partner coming down the pipeline. However, we also want to make it easier for smaller partners to integrate which is why we’ve started Access ChannelAdvisor. Make sure to keep checking back with us to see if there are any updates about a particular partner that you may be interested in!

Q: How are sellers in my category/industry performing compared to us?

A: ChannelAdvisor has a few tools you can use to compare your performance to others in your space. The two most readily available are our Same Store Sales reports and our Benchmarking tools.

The Same Store Sales reports, which are posted to our company blog on a monthly basis, are great to get the overall pulse on different channels including Amazon, eBay, 3P Marketplaces, Google Paid Search and Google Shopping. If you need more granularity we can usually pull that information for you, given that there are enough sellers in your particular category.

Benchmarking gets more specific to your category depending on whether you’re looking at Marketplaces or Google Shopping. Our Benchmarking Tool helps you visualize where you stand to other sellers in your category with regard to metrics such as CPCs, impressions and/or traffic for Digital Marketing and GMV, sales volume on third-party marketplaces (3PMs) and other stats for marketplaces.

Q: What should I be using as a benchmark when starting on new marketplaces?

A: Typically Amazon will almost always be your most successful marketplace due to its size and popularity with buyers. I almost always recommend starting there if you’re new to marketplaces. Once you’ve established yourself on Amazon, you can generally estimate what to expect when looking at other marketplaces to expand to.

Next on the list would likely be eBay, Walmart or Jet. Depending on the category, catalog size, assortment and a wealth of other factors (price competitiveness, free shipping, standard delivery time, etc.), sales increases vary on a case by case basis, but we have seen sellers be able to attain incremental sales per channel of their Amazon sales from eBay, Walmart and/or Jet. Of course, there are certainly exceptions, especially if you’re dealing with category or seller restrictions on either site.

As you’re conquering the top 3-5 channels, we recommend looking at other meaningful US 3PMs like Newegg, Sears, Rakuten, BlueFly, international marketplaces and other 3PMs like Newegg, Sears, Rakuten and the like. Expanding to marketplaces outside of the big players is a great strategy to bring in nice, incremental value.

Q: I’m seeing different GMV reported on my reporting (AdWords, Omniture, Analytics, etc.) vs. ChannelAdvisor — what’s causing this discrepancy?

A: This is a very common question and comes up at least once with just about every Digital Marketing client. The number one reason for this discrepancy is that the attribution model used for your internal reporting will almost always differ from the attribution model used in ChannelAdvisor. ChannelAdvisor has to bill on GMV that is tracked using our pixel on your site, but it’s comforting to know why that discrepancy happens.

ChannelAdvisor’s model measures clicks within a 30-day window. Clicks that result in a conversion are credited to the last ad that was clicked and tracked by ChannelAdvisor. Any preceding clicks are credited with an assist to allow for a more complete picture of the customer journey. In some cases these interactions happen outside of ChannelAdvisor – for example a customer clicked on your search ad, but they didn’t buy that day. They got an email from you three days later and clicked through to your site and bought that item. ChannelAdvisor attributes the order to the search ad in this case to reflect the impact the advertising had on the sale.

To learn about other attribution models and how your internal reporting model might compare, check out this interesting article.

 


If you could ask a ChannelAdvisor Account Manager only one question, what would it be? Join the conversation on our Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn pages for A’s to your Q’s, and stay tuned for more insight from our teams right here on the blog!