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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of the best threads and debates from the forums. We're 7 days into December and... Christmas chat is here! In between stuffing my face with mince pies and eating all of my advent calendar chocolates, I've picked out my favourite threads from the last week:
Chris Salmon, General Business
Chris recently opened his imported sweet store and the orders have started trickling in. He’s now wondering how to grow his business.
“Should I invest my time and attention to build my organic search, or should I run PPC/AdWords campaigns to free up my time and further develop my website, network and overall business infrastructure?”
Mr D: Get some business cards, leaflets or flyers done to take with you to the pop-up shop. Advertise with every sale. Advertise with people who aren't looking to buy that day.
ecommerce84: A box of nerds is shown as £2.29, but then an extra 46p is added in the checkout to take them to £2.75. There are a few issues here: the customer will feel completely misled (I would probably find another merchant to purchase from) and you’re largely targeting consumers as opposed to businesses. Consumers cannot reclaim VAT.
fisicx: It seems like there is huge scope for your business if you look at selling more than just candy.
There eBay were with the ecommerce world in their hands. And then, as Page writes, whoosh – Amazon went past them.
Mike Hayes: For one, Amazon has much better control over the customer experience. A transaction with a third party seller on Amazon feels just like an ordinary ecommerce transaction (e.g. you pay Amazon directly, the order is often fulfilled by Amazon, etc).
TODonnell: I still buy from both. I like eBay because it's grottier; there's more interesting stuff, it's cheaper, I like the layout better and it's more localised. I very much dislike Amazon undercutting their own sellers. Why is this not a scandal?
Aileen B: As an eBay seller and particularly as a buyer, I am royally cheesed off at the plague of cheap fakes in certain categories, including women's clothing. Amazon seem to be better at weeding sellers of such items out. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why they are implementing their catalogue?
AndyG84, General Business
AndyG84 runs a small online business and recently had 8 chargebacks totaling almost £500 from one customer. These were all filed as fraudulent use of the card.
He’s been told that unless he can prove that the card owner received their service, there’s no way to reverse the chargeback and the business has to take the hit – regardless of whether it’s a genuinely fraudulent transaction or not.
“Is there anything we can put in place to stop this happening again? Or is card fraud just something that businesses have to deal with from time to time and take the hit?”
Nochexman: Probably worth bringing this to the attention of whoever has advised you about the chargeback; if the payment went through 3DS then it would seem to be the card issuer's liability, not yours.
Sam Drury: It's good to push back against fraud. Just to be clear, 3D Secure as stated does remove your liability in most cases.
Bainzee: If the ecommerce transaction has gone through 3D Secure successfully, the order/transaction is nothing out of the ordinary and you have a record of the transaction (proving that it went through 3DS), then I would strongly advise you to stand your ground and fight the chargeback.
Ashley_Price, Sales, Marketing & PR
And Ashley kicks off the first Christmas-related thread of the year! With so many sites embracing “Christmas branding” with images of baubles, tinsel and trees, Ashley asks: does anyone really believe that this makes a difference to sales?
WebShop Mechanic: In my experience it makes no difference, because people already roll their eyes when they hear Christmas songs on the radio, never mind tacky snow falling on their screens. I think it cheapens it. However, I do believe showing luxury or premium packaging will help to convert more sales. Packaging is the one thing that most businesses fail to focus on.
Mike W: I think it does make a difference - as long as it's done right. Take most products out of their pack and they're quite ordinary. Put a crap product in superb packaging and it's remarkable how it suddenly looks fab!
Alyson Dyer: I’ve been thinking... How about “Get a BOGOF before you bog off”?
AllUpHere, Time Out
From haircuts and bedding to advice on how to get a girlfriend back, this thread's an entertaining read for your Friday.
Have a great weekend!