Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Feb 21 2012 22:44:17

Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Hybris President of North America Steven Kramer, whose firm helps brands sell across multiple channel, provided some advice for multi-channel sellers of all sizes in Wednesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

Large companies recognize the importance of consistent branding, so they may be more inclined to understand that consumers are looking for consistent shopping experiences no matter where they are shopping - online, eBay, Amazon, mobile, and in-store.

But it's important for smaller merchants to recognize this too.

One area that is particularly touchy for small sellers is price parity. "If a customer can make a purchase online for less than what it is in-store, this can cause problems," Steven said. "Pricing parity is mandatory for consistent product offerings. A singular message should be applied across all channels."

But while Steven recommends that sellers keep pricing the same across channels, it's acceptable to have different promotions running online and in-store. "Sometimes specific offers are only applicable to online orders, such as free shipping," he said. "Just make sure the promotion isn't too radical for a specific channel."

(Amazon.com actually prohibits sellers from listing their items cheaper elsewhere.)

The other pitfall sellers run into when selling on multiple channels is running out of stock. Having tools to ensure that you track inventory levels can reduce shopper disappointment. But there's no magic tool that automatically adjusts inventory levels for merchants across all marketplaces - if you've found one, let us know!




Comments (6) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

by: Peter Williams This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 22 00:51:48 2012

There is a magic tool!!!The Channeladvisor Marketplaces solution enables you to launch, track and automate your inventory across eBay, Amazon, Buy.com and your own Webstore from one central platform, eliminating duplicate product data and preventing potential overselling scenarios.

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

by: Torsten Bukau (Speed4Trade) This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 22 05:16:24 2012

and there is more than one solution available.
With the emMida eCommerce Suite 3 by Speed4Trade.com you cannot just prevent overselling across the many marketplaces and online-shop-systems, but also automatically synch your stock level with POS cash systems, sales by phone and others. The emMida middleware does integrate with several ERP solutions seamlessly.

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Wed Feb 22 10:12:43 2012

I wonder at the legality of a venue dictating your prices on other venues. Seems a bit like price-fixing to me. It's none of Amazon's business if a merchant chooses to sell on eBay and Buy, as well, and tailor pricing to the specifics of each platform.

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

by: TheCatsPersonalServant This user has validated their user name.

Wed Feb 22 12:32:16 2012

Another multi-channel inventory level synchronization tool is Linnworks.  They have both free & several paid versions, and it will sync across eBay, Amazon, Magento, BigCommerce, and many more eCommerce platforms, along with private websites, at a cost of roughly $60 a month.  

All stock is loaded in a centralized location and pushed out to all of your venues, then when a sale happens anywhere, the inventory number is reduced across the board.  It also has shipping & payment integration, too.  

Additionally, there is a Linnworks version for B&M sellers that also sell online.

Linnworks (as far as I've found) is the least expensive (StoneEagle? wants appox. $1000 a month!), most targeted/specific tool for inventory sync'ing on multiple channels.  To me, they are the best option for small sellers trying to make a living by selling on multiple platforms & venues.  

There are several other companies that offer this service as part of a much larger and much more expensive (and extensive) inventory management system, but Linnworks is the only one that lets you sign up specifically for just this particular function.

Added Note:  BigCommerce stores have one-way inventory sync'ing with eBay & Amazon, etc.  This is where if something sells on eBay, then the inventory is reduced in your Big Commerce store.  However, if something sells in your BigCommerce store, the inventory will NOT be reduced in your eBay store.

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

by: scview This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Feb 22 14:52:12 2012

We host 180,000 unique items across several websites including our own commercial site.

Bidstart.co, Webstore.com,Boocoo.com , Delcampe.com/Delcampe.org & Scartists.com

We had a software package made by Addisoft software that manages inventory across all the sites.

An Item sells on one .. it is deleted on the other venues.

It is a time saver tool and allows us to maximize our reach across the internet with our unique collectibles.

The total cost was $600.00 with no monthly fees. The software is hosted on my Scartists.com domain.

So there are ''out of the normal box'' options/solutions available for large inventory sellers with multi-platform selling sales plans.

Perminate Link for Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers   Price Parity and Inventory Levels Challenge Multi Channel Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Feb 22 22:45:58 2012

Several venues prohibit sellers from selling cheaper elsewhere including ebafia.

Ever since ebafia announced this policy I've questioned whether this is a form of price fixing and restraint of trade.

Like everything else these crporate parasites shove down out gullets, it will take a lawsuit to determine whether such policies are legal and then only if the trial doesn't take place in a conservatiove Republican court.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.