While attending the 2011 ASPDotNetStorefront Ecommerce Conference this month, we had the chance to meet face to face with online merchants from a broad range of industries. Here’s our shortlist of 3 hot ecommerce topics and recommendations for this year:
The Mobile Facts:
- Important to have clean and complete product data in a well-structured format (even a spreadsheet). If you don’t already, consider adding UPC’s as hubs such as Amazon require them.
- Standardize your product data in order to leverage across all sales channels effectively.
- Include the name of the product being sold in the product title (“shoe” for example). It might seem odd at first, but it may help broaden your search audience and display your pages outside the context of your website.
- If you haven’t already, start now! It may be a daunting task, but the return in the long run makes it well worth the time. If time is an issue, consider automating some of the repetitive data entry tasks with an integration solution.
Sales Tax Compliance:
- Two different sessions indicated that mobile commerce is forecasting to be a $14-24 billion industry by 2015. Either way, it’s a massive amount of money.
- In 2010, only 1 out of 5 retailers had mobile-friendly e-Commerce sites.
- Keep your mobile sites simple and have a clear call-to-action.
- Collecting sales tax for states in which your business has nexus (physical presence) is currently fairly standard practice, however, states are increasingly focusing on internet retailers as a source of revenue and it’s still not clear who has the responsibility to collect and remit taxes, the retailer or the consumer. The definition of nexus is also still being debated. Either way, if you’re doing significant business online and are fairly lax about sales tax collection, you may want to prepare yourself in cases the tax man comes knocking. Below are a few articles that help paint the picture:
Sales Tax Update: Illinois Says Affiliates Create a Nexus
Things You Should Know About eCommerce and the Taxman | Selling Online
Potential Pitfalls: Taxes and E-Commerce Sales
In our most recent blog post, Mike Catalfamo discusses API's and how they are vital to expanding your product beyond its original scope. He walks you through an example, and shares some impressive figures regarding the growth of API usage across the web. API "mashups" are also discussed as they demonstrate the open potential and flexibility that open API's offer. Click below to learn about API's and how they are shaping the business world:
API’s: The Key to Software Success
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