Archive for April, 2011

Fixing eBay’s “Pogosticking” Problem

Monday, April 18th, 2011

An eBay staffer I heard speak at an event recently discussed a problem eBay is seeing that they call “pogosticking.” This is where a shopper bounces between search results and items, but spends a microscopic amount of time on an item before hitting the back button.

My blog post in my Brass Flowers blog explains the problem, and my suggested solution for it. I suggest you head over there since I’m curious what you’ll think of my proposed solution.

http://brassflowers.com/solution-for-ebays-pogosticking-problem/


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Magento Has A New Hosted Store

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Magento is now offering new “Go” stores. Check out the tour and features here. If you are shopping around for hosted solutions, this is definitely one to check out. Our clients also like Volusion.

Of course, As Was can design and customise these shopping carts, and many more.

Many online sellers ask me the difference between a hosted solution and one where you get all the code. A hosted solution is more turnkey. You turn it on, it’s installed, you can start using it, and as the company updates features or fixed bugs, you have all of that automatically. When you get the source code, like the full version of Magento, you have to install that on a server. You have to admin that server or hosting account. As there are updates, you have to have someone install them. If something breaks, you have to find someone to fix it as Magento doesn’t want to troubleshoot your custom install of their system (well, not for free!). So it can be more work and more expense, but the result is something that you can nearly limitlessly customize.

A third option is one I hear from time to time, which sounds something like, “I found a guy who’s going to build me my own eCommerce system.” In nearly all cases, this is a bad idea. Unless you are a giant marketplace with needs and requirements that no system could come close to fulfilling, then maybe that’s a good idea. But 99% of the time, it sets you up for two things: 1) Being beholden to this guy for all of your maintenance, upgrades, etc…, and 2) feeling like your eCom world fell apart when you can’t find the guy or he goes and gets a real job.

So remember, for most businesses, a hosted solution is a good way to go. A solution where you get the code, like the full version of Magento, can be right if you don’t mind running your own server, maintaining that code, and finding people to install your updates. It’s nearly never a good idea to have some guy or some company build you your own eCom system from scratch.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

I Have Parallax and Stereopsis; Do You?

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I recently got glasses for pretty much the first time in my life. And they found something wrong with my eyes that NOBODY ever looked for before. I want you to know in case your vision might be like mine.

Everybody thought my vision was great. Things were in focus, and I could even read small things very far away. I could see the 3D thing in the test book, and my peripheral vision was good. So what could be wrong?

I noticed about a year ago that I was having trouble focusing, but it changed from day to day. I finally saw someone about it. My eyes are healthy. No disease. I’m pushing 40, so my eyes don’t focus as fast as they used to, and it takes a bit more effort for them to stay in focus. I have a very slight astigmatism.

The optometrist mocked up some glasses in those funky steampunk things they have. He asked me to try those, and make sure the floor wasn’t warped and the walls weren’t slanted. I put them on. And something amazing happened. I felt like I had put on 3D glasses.

Evidently, for many years, my left eye has been weak and terrible. My brain’s response to that was to mostly ignore what was coming through. My right eye is nearly perfect and in focus, so life was in focus… but life was fairly flat. I had decent depth perception. I could drive well. I played tennis. I didn’t bump into things, or try to put a drink down where the counter had ended. But everything looked like a flat photo. Things closer to me didn’t stand away from the background. They seemed part of the background.

Because my brain was mostly ignoring my left eye, I didn’t have a true stereo 3D view of life. I couldn’t describe this to people… how when I put on these glasses, they were like 3D glasses. My friend, Eli, an artist, understood. He said, “You have parallax.” Yes, that was it! I wiki’ed that, and found my way to stereopsis. People confuse stereopsis with depth perception, but according to the article, people without stereopsis can still have good depth perception since the brain gets plenty of depth and distance info from one eye. So that was me.

I have 3D glasses! My life is in 3D. I had no idea anything was wrong. So make sure that when you get your eyes checked, if you live in a flat world, if everything looks like a flat photo, make sure the doctor knows. It can be helped! These glasses help so much that the moment I put them on, my brain accepts a lot of what’s coming in from my left eye, and I get stereopsis. Amazing. Life-changing.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

The New Site Is Live!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

We launched our new website on 13 April 2011. Thanks for everybody’s patience while we were under construction. :)


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Why eBay Is Charging Final Value Fees on Shipping and Handling

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

I don’t have inside info on this. But I have an opinion, and many of you are asking about it. eBay recently announced that it would soon charge sellers the final value fee (aka FVF aka eBay’s commission on your sale) on not just the sale price, but also what you’re charging for shipping and handling. Why would eBay do this? Here is my best theory…

It’s about the shopping cart they’re working on. People will be able to buy from multiple people, and then have ONE checkout from one shopping cart.

If I put 3 things in a cart, some of those sellers might charge for shipping, some might have free shipping. That may be confusing to the shopper… Amazon doesn’t do that. J Crew doesn’t do that. Why am I being charged for shipping? Then, you have another potential issue. Someone has read a listing where it very clearly said FREE SHIPPING. They now assume FREE SHIPPING, and when they drop someone else’s item in the cart, and it’s NOT free shipping, they may get confused and feel lied to. Hey, that said free shipping, why am I paying for shipping?

I think eBay figured, “Aw crap, we tried getting sellers to lower shipping. We tried getting them to make it free. We gave them preferred placement in search results if they made it free, and some still didn’t make it free. Well, now we’ll really push them by saying hey, you’ll pay fees on it either way, so make it free.” The real message is: make it free so that the shopping cart is easier for shoppers.

eBay clearly is NOT taking into consideration the other problems like now you have to deal with sales tax on a higher number. Additionally, if someone makes a return, they expect 100% of their money back rather than JUST the purchase price. So we are working with our clients on rewording return policies to indicate a “restocking fee” since you can’t say you’re keeping money for shipping. Shipping was FREE!

So sellers, reword your return policy so that people understand that if they return it, they will not get 100% of their purchase price back, unless you are OK doing that and eating the shipping.


Share!  
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Digg
  • Google Reader
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr