Time to Get Ship Done: Avoid Shipping Penalties, How Our Holiday Returns Program Will Help Your Sales & More

Are Your Shipping Times Shaping Up?

Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. To ensure you have your most successful season yet, it’s important to stay on top of your shipping times and offer a holiday return policy that gives shoppers the confidence to buy. That’s why we’re making it easier than ever to stay updated on orders that didn’t ship in time and be part of our Holiday Returns Program. Get details below.

Plus, check out a new Boost feature, get some help from your team so you don’t miss important messages and learn more about the power of branding.

Ship in Time to Avoid Penalties

How are your shipping times shaping up? With the holidays just around the corner, shoppers will soon be expecting their orders to arrive more quickly than ever.

To avoid penalties, ensure you’re taking all the necessary steps to stay within the guidelines outlined in our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements. Remember, once an order is placed, you have 2 business days for it to be scanned by a valid carrier.

Also, stay tuned for a new Penalties section in your Merchant Toolkit. This will give you visibility on orders that did not meet our requirements and are subject to penalties. After each payment period, we’ll send you an email summarizing your penalties for those orders and give you 2 more business days to submit exception requests. Once we’ve reviewed all exception requests, we will calculate your final penalty deduction and apply it to your next payment.

Hassle-Free Holiday Returns

Ready for your most profitable holiday season ever? On November 1, we’re taking an extra step out of your holiday prep by automatically updating all products with a 14-day return window to be part of our Holiday Returns Program.

This means all products purchased between November 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, can be returned until January 31, 2017. These products will still abide by the same guidelines as our current return policy, however, it gives shoppers a little more time to return their items, and most importantly, gives them the confidence to buy.

Remember, any gift a shopper purchases before December 10 would essentially be final sale since she would not have enough time to return the item within the 14-day return window—thus limiting your holiday selling potential in a big way. By offering extended holiday returns, you can capture shopper demand early in the season and ensure you’re not missing out on sales.

Learn more or contact us if you have any questions.

See How Your Boosted Products Measure Up

Pro Plan merchants, put your Boosts to the test! Here’s a sneak peek at the new Product Performance Chart you’ll soon see right below your Shopper Traffic Graph in your Merchant Toolkit:

This new feature will help you compare your Boosted products’ daily conversion rate with the average OpenSky marketplace conversion rate (the red line at the bottom). Similar to your Shopper Traffic Graph, the green portion represents how much impact Boost has on your products’ performance.

Anxious to try Boost? This program is currently only available to a pilot group, however, we’ll be inviting more merchants later this month. Stay tuned!

Getting Your Team Involved

Need help staying on top of important notices and messages during the busy holiday selling season? If you have a team of employees or co-workers who help you manage your business, you may want to route certain types of notices to their inboxes, freeing you from forwarding messages.

You can have different people receive messages in the following categories:

  • Business Owner
  • Customer Service
  • Accounting
  • Order Information
  • Product & Inventory Management
  • Marketing & Merchandising Updates
  • Social Alerts (Loves, Follows, Comments, etc.)

To add secondary users to cover these sections, go to your “Users” section located in the “Account” tab of your Merchant Toolkit. Scroll to the bottom of the page or click the “Add Account” link at the top. Enter the email address of the account you want to add.

After the additional user confirms via email, you can go back to your “Users” section and use the checkboxes to choose the types of notices he or she will receive. An important thing to note: After a user becomes a secondary user, he or she will have access to your entire Merchant Toolkit with the exception of your “Billing” section.

Get more tips in our quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

Merchant Newsletter | October 12, 2016

 

Why You Should Review Your Returns, Making the Price Right, Prepping for the Holidays & More

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Monitoring Your Returns?

We no longer review all returns, so you need to let us know if you want to dispute a return request from a shopper. Get details below. Plus, check out our enhanced Boost insights, see if you need to rethink your pricing strategy and start prepping for the holidays now.

Track Your Returns

Shoppers can now initiate returns without contacting our Customer Support Team. They just have to go to their “Purchases,” or “Order Details” pages and specify the reason they’re returning something. Then they’ll either:

  1. Get a shipping label for the return and send the product back to you.
  2. Or the request will be submitted to our Customer Support Team for review. We’ll then either email the shopper a return shipping label, so she can send her return to you or we’ll ask for additional information.

You will be notified of each return and it’s in your best interest to keep track. Since we don’t review all returns, you must let us know within 24 hours of receiving the return if you disagree with the reason a shopper specifies and want to dispute it. Keep in mind that the reason associated with each return determines who will pay for the return shipping cost.

Improved Shopper Traffic Graph Gives More Insights

Pro Plan merchants, check out the Shopper Traffic graph that appears in your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard when you Boost. Three tabs let you easily see how many views, orders and sales your Boosted products have received.

57dc6479c915e45a9a763034And take a look at the gray and green portions. They show you just how much impact Boost has on your traffic with gray representing organic traffic and green representing Boosted traffic!

Currently available to a limited pilot group, Boosts and the Shopper Traffic graph will become available to all qualifying merchants later this fall. With the holidays just around the corner, you’ll be able to Boost your products to put them in front of millions of shoppers across the Web.

Note: Boosts are only available to Pro Plan merchants who don’t have managed marketing campaigns.

Is Your Pricing More than Right?

Price matters—a lot. It can actually help build trust and encourage shoppers to buy.

The key is to show shoppers the value you’re offering them and you can do that in 3 simple steps:

  1. Do some research to ensure your products are competitively priced. Shoppers are always on the hunt for the best price, and if they find your products elsewhere for a different price, it could cost you a sale—and their trust.
  2. Set the MSRP on all your products. We’ll display MSRPs above the OpenSky prices to show shoppers the savings you’re offering them and that can be just the push they need to buy.
  3. Ensure your MSRP is accurate. Posting an inflated MSRP can hurt your sales. Remember, shoppers research their purchases, and if they see an inflated MSRP, they’ll go elsewhere. Plus, inaccurate MSRPs are a breach of our Merchant Terms of Service Agreement.

Get more tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky.

 

Merchant Newsletter | September 29, 2016

DIY Order Cancellations, Your New Guide to More Sales, How Selling is Like Dating & More

 

Just Released: DIY Cancellations

Plus, our best insider tips to wow shoppers & more

Cancellations are part of doing business. To make them a little easier, you can now cancel orders without contacting our Customer Support Team. See details below and check out our new Seller Guide. It’s bursting with our best insider tips to help you sell more.

Cancel Orders on Your Own

Before we tell you how to cancel orders, keep this in mind: Canceling too many orders can result in fines as noted in our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements. But when you must cancel an order, here’s how you do it on your own:

  1. Find the appropriate order in your “Orders” page. (Please note that orders must be in the “Review” or “Pending” tabs.)
  2. Click on the order.
  3. Click the order’s “Cancel Order” link.
  4. Select the reason for the cancellation.
  5. Click “Cancel Order” again.

Keep in mind that this will cancel all pending products contained in the order and that you can only cancel pending orders. If you have a pending order that contains multiple products but you already marked 1 product as “shipped,” you can still cancel the order, but the shipped product will not be canceled.

Once you cancel an order, we’ll email the shopper to let him or her know of the cancellation, just like we do with any other cancellation.

If you ever need to cancel only 1 or a few products in an order, or cancel an order for a product that has already been marked “shipped,” contact our Customer Support Team and they can help you. Learn more about cancellations in our helpful guide.

How Much Did You Pay for Marketing?

Pro and Elite merchants: You can see this figure labeled “Marketing Budget Renewal” in your Merchant Toolkit. This figure represents how much you’ve paid for Boosts and other marketing services to reach more qualified shoppers.

“Marketing Budget Renewal” figures are negative numbers because they represent payments you’ve made. (Payments made to you appear as positive numbers.)

Remember, Boost and other marketing services are only available to Pro and Elite merchants. If you’re on the Starter Plan and want access, upgrade your account. Already on the Pro Plan but not using Boost? See if you’re eligible on the “Advertising” section of your “Marketing” tab.

Psst… Your Listings Need Some Work

You’ll find some of our best listing and selling tips in our new quick-start Guide to Selling on OpenSky. Be sure to check it out to learn how to wow shoppers, improve your products and avoid common listing mistakes.

For instance, you’ll learn that:

    • Not using a lifestyle image (like the 1 below) as your 1st product photo can cut your views and sales in half.

  • The weird lighting rule that many merchants ignore—ruining their sales!
  • The No. 1 feature that successful merchants opt into.

Plus, you’ll learn how to:

  • Customize your account to build trust.
  • Perfect product names & descriptions.
  • Set up your product photography shots.
  • Get the right lighting for your product images.
  • Get your team involved.
  • And more!

Consider saving this handy guide onto your desktop or bookmarking this page in our Help Center, so you always have it at your fingertips.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Selling is Like Dating

You have to build trust.

By Dennis L. Prince

Today most people buy online. Some only buy online. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to earn and retain shoppers’ trust before they’ll commit to buy from you. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | July 5, 2016

A New Feature to Reach More Shoppers, See Where Your Money Goes & More

 

OpenSky Boost is Coming

Plus, new in-depth reporting, how to nail product packaging & more.

You told us you wanted to see exactly how we’re spending your marketing dollars and how your sales are doing in return. Ask and you shall receive. See details below.

Plus, meet a merchant who wowed us with their packaging and get to know Bench, an online bookkeeping service that pairs you with a team who can handle all that annoying paperwork so you can focus on everything else.

Boost Your Products

Pro Plan members, you now have a new “Advertising” tab in your Merchant Toolkit that will soon give you access to Boost Alpha (our first phase of OpenSky Boost) if you don’t already have access to the feature. OpenSky Boost is the easiest way to reach new, qualified shoppers across the Web.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Once you have access, select an advertising budget.
  2. Our algorithms place your products on top sites like Facebook, Google and 100s more, and we give your products added exposure on OpenSky.com.
  3. Shoppers see your products and buy them.
  4. You sit back and get ready for more sales.

You’ll also be able to check your Boost stats anytime in your Dashboard and we’ll email you with updates on how your products are performing. Want to know more? See our FAQs and if you don’t have access to OpenSky Boost yet, stay tuned. We’re inviting more merchants every day and will let you know when you’re eligible.

Keep in mind that OpenSky Boost is only for Pro Plan members, so if you’re on the Starter Plan and want access, be sure to upgrade your account. Elite and Enterprise members, your personal account manager is already advertising your products across the Web for you, so you’re covered.

In-Depth Reporting Debuts

Elite and Enterprise merchants: Have you seen your new, improved, and very detailed monthly report? It shows your cumulative and monthly sales and order totals, your marketing spend, your commission fees, and much more.

You can see exactly where we’re marketing your products, your return on ad spend and your top products.

Elite merchants, we even show you how many orders were canceled, products’ return rates and top shopper concerns so you can make adjustments if needed. Plus, you’ll find several tips at the end of the report so you can optimize your operation and continue to grow your sales.

Please note that this detailed reporting is only for Elite and Enterprise merchants. If you’d like to upgrade your account, contact our team for consideration.

Urban Metal Designs is Killing it

Want a crash course in product packaging? Urban Metal Designs keeps shoppers coming back by using beautiful gift boxes and hand-written thank you cards. Check it out:

As you prep your products for shipment, remember how powerful packaging can be. It can leave shoppers feeling like it’s Christmas all over again and eager to buy from you again, or it can make them wonder why they made the purchase in the first place. Urban Metal Designs totally got it right. Great work and high-five!

Simplify Bookkeeping & Save

Bench is a new kind of bookkeeping service that takes the pain out of small business accounting. When you sign up with Bench, you’re assigned a team of dedicated bookkeepers who know your business. Meanwhile, Bench’s simple, intuitive cloud interface lets you:

  • Analyze your revenue and expenses with in-app reports.
  • Photograph and submit documents.
  • Protect your bookkeeping information with bank-grade security.

Spend less time doing your books and more time growing your business. OpenSky members get 20% off their first 6 months with Bench. Claim your free trial today.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Dad Was My First Business Teacher

Childhood lessons lead to success.

By Dennis L. Prince

I grew up working alongside my dad and little did I know that his work style would translate into the philosophies I use today. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | June 16, 2016

Merch Agreement Updates Mean New Paydays & More

Important Changes to Our Merchant Agreement

Plus a service that simplifies sales tax compliance

Changes to our Merchant Agreement took effect on December 1—and you want to listen up. Updates affect:

  • When you get paid
  • How we determine late shipments
  • How we handle certain returns
  • And more

Read on for details and to learn about a great service that can help simplify sales tax compliance.

5 changes you need to know about

1. We now process payments on the 15th and the last day of every month, instead of the 10th and 25th.

This means that if you process orders from the 1st to the 15th of the month, you’ll get paid on the last day of the month. If you process orders from the 16th to the end of the month, you’ll get paid on the 15th of the following month.

Please keep in mind that banks take 2 to 3 business days to process payments.

2. We now use “prepared for shipment” dates to determine delinquent shipments.

Orders are “prepared for shipment” once a shipping carrier receives your request for a label, or once you mark an order “processed.” If you do both, we’ll use the date the carrier receives your request as the “prepared for shipment” date.

3. We have a new Declaration of Authentic Goods Statement. You may be asked to submit this if we need to verify the authenticity of your goods, or to ensure they don’t infringe on someone else’s rights.

4. We may ask for more info (including photos) to resolve situations in which you receive returns in un-resalable condition.

5. We can edit your listings to optimize them. Revisions will not change the product being sold or the amount you will receive in the event of a sale.

See full details on all our changes in our Help Center.

Partner Spotlight: TaxJar

TaxJar makes sales tax compliance simple by taking the pain out of reporting and filing your sales tax returns. Worried you’re not handling sales tax correctly? Never fear, TaxJar’s Sales Tax 101 for Online Sellers guide will answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Start your 30-day risk free trial of TaxJar today!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

The Psychology Of The Sell

Think like the buyer you are.

By Dennis L. Prince

It doesn’t take a twirling gold pocket watch to get into the minds of your buyers and encourage them to buy more from you. Actually, there’s nothing very hypnotic about employing everyday psychology to sell more. Read Story

Business Blossoms On OpenSky

Amaryllis finds marketing partner, success.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

A night of mobile browsing led Ben Tabai to explore selling online. Today, he and his girlfriend and business partner, Anita Shokouhi, have a successful business, thanks in part to a great marketing partner. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | December 2, 2015

Estimated Ship Time Only for Custom Items, Shipping Performance Explained, Cyber Sales, & More

Estimated Ship Time Only for Custom Items, Your Shipping Performance, Cyber Sales Opt-in Deadline Extended, & More

Estimated Ship Time Only For Custom Products

Plus what your shipping stats mean, Cyber Sales promos & more

We’ve been busy making our final enhancements before the big holiday shopping season starts. Wondering why your products don’t show estimated ship times anymore or what your shipping stats mean? Read on to find out.

Plus, see the other site cleanups we performed and our new deadline to participate in our Cyber Sales promos.

Estimated ship time only for custom items

As of Tuesday, you can only specify estimated ship times for custom or made-to-order products. This aligns order fulfillment with our Merchant Quality of Service Agreements, which launched on September 1.

With this change, shoppers will only see estimated ship times on custom and made-to-order items. Normal products will display a standard message telling them the item usually ships in 4 business days.

We show this message because the Quality of Service Agreements state that your products must be

  1. Processed within 2 business days of the order being placed
  2. Scanned at a shipping center within 2 business days of being marked “processed”
  3. Delivered to the shopper within 10 business days

The only exception is custom and made-to-order products, which don’t have to comply with rules 1 and 2, but they must be delivered within 15 business days regardless of estimated ship time.

Mark your products “custom” to avoid affecting your shipping stats, which we’ll discuss later, and incurring penalties.

How to mark products ‘custom’

Be sure to review your products to ensure all items that are custom or made-to-order are designated as such. You can do this for individual products in the “Shipping” section of your listing above the “Return Policy” section.

Once you click that box, you can enter a customization prompt for shoppers (if desired) and select your estimated ship time.

If you need to update lots of products, you’ll want to do a Bulk Edit. To do that:

1. Go to your “Bulk Edit” page in your Merchant Toolkit.

2. Click the “Download Full Product File” button.

3. Go to your Dashboard.

4. Click on your CSV file and open it.

5. Enter “1” (without the quotes) for items you want to designate as custom or made-to-order under the “Is Made-to-Order” heading.

6. Save your file.

7. Return to the “Bulk Edit” page and reimport your file.

If you’re a Co-Pilot merchant, your account manager is here if you need any assistance.

Shipping stats debut

Ensuring your products are classified correctly (custom or non-custom) will help your shipping performance, which you can now see on your “Orders” page. That page contains shipping stats for the orders you’ve received in the past 30 days.

You’ll notice stats on:

  • Average time to process orders
  • Average time in processing
  • Average delivery time

Average Time to Process = The time between when an order was placed and when it was marked “processed,” or when the shipping label for that order was requested.

Average Time in Processing = The time between when an order was marked “processed” or a shipping label was requested and when the order was actually shipped. This means picked up and scanned by a shipping carrier.

Average Delivery Time = The time between when an order was placed and when it was delivered.

You’ll also see an estimated delinquency stat. It shows the percentage of orders that were in each state longer than allowed. (Remember that all non-custom orders must be marked “processed” within 2 business days of the order being placed and scanned at a shipping center within 2 business days of that—and they must be delivered within 10 business days of being ordered.)

Custom or made-to-order products must be delivered within 15 business days of the order being placed regardless of the estimated ship time.

You should aim for a 0% delinquency rate, especially as we head into the holiday season and shoppers are eager to get their items in time for Christmas. Doing so will also help you avoid penalties.

Get more information about your shipping performance in our Help Center.

More fixes

Our updates this week also included several little changes that we think will make things run smoother, including:

A low-stock alert for shoppers: Shoppers will now see if you have less than 5 of an item in stock when something’s in their carts, which should increase their urgency to buy.

Automatic calculation: Before, when you created a promo, you could see what the price would be after the promo was applied. We took that function away, but now it’s back!

Better filtering: When you filter products by Drafts and delete a listing, you’ll now continue viewing only your Drafts. Before, this used to reset the filter and showed you all your products. We learned about this issue from our recent merchant survey. Thanks for the heads up and keep sending us your feedback!

Messaging that’s on point: Before, when you created an item-specific promotion and shared it through email, the text of that email mistakenly referred to it as a “storewide” promo. That messaging has been fixed.

We’ll introduce more enhancements to our order management pages after Cyber Monday.

You can still opt in to Cyber Sales promos

Lastly, we’ve extended the deadline to opt in to Credits and Sitewide Coupon Codes to be included in our Cyber Sales, which start November 23 and run through Cyber Monday, November 30.

You now have until November 20. Be sure to opt in today, so we can include your products in our events, potentially placing them in dedicated promo emails and landing pages!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Visit the “Settings” section of your “Marketing” tab.
  2. Set your Credit ceiling to at least 30% to ensure your products are eligible for all our Cyber Sales Credit Events.
  3. Set your Sitewide Coupon Code ceiling to at least 40% to be included in both our 30% off Coupon Code Events and our huge Black Friday 40% Off Coupon Code Event. (Note: Setting your limit to 40% means your products will only be 40% off for our Black Friday Event, not any time before or after that during our Cyber Sales.)
  4. Save your settings.

Upcoming promotions

  • November 23: Sale on Sale Credit Event
  • November 24: Flash $31 Credit Event
  • November 25: Half Off Sale. Items 50% off MSRP or more (when Credits are applied) will be included in this sitewide event
  • November 26, Thanksgiving: 30% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 27, Black Friday: 40% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 28, Small Business Saturday: 30% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 29, Cyber Sunday: $150 Credit Event
  • November 30, Cyber Monday: $250 Credit Event

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Get Actionable Feedback

It all starts with an invitation.

By Dennis L. Prince

It’s not difficult to get customers to say something about your business or your products. Just try to stop them. But sometimes the feedback isn’t helpful, telling, or even honest. Read Story

Talking Turkey

Haggling can help your sales.

By Dennis L. Prince

Haggling with your buyers can actually work in your favor, boosting your sales and even resulting in getting spend-wary shoppers to spend even more. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | November 19, 2015

Changes to Store Imports, Bulk Edits and Bulk Adds, Our New Categories, & More

How Store Imports, Bulk Edits and Bulk Adds Changed, Our New Categories, Participate in Cyber Week Promos, & More



More on Store Imports, Bulk Adds & Bulk Edits

Plus, see our new categories & opt in to our Cyber Week promos

There are lots of changes going on for the holidays:

Do you import your products directly from Shopify, Etsy, Bigcommerce, or Big Cartel? Perhaps you use the Generic CSV?

Store imports have changed. Now they can edit your pre-existing products. And with new product data requirements, you might find old listings showing up as Drafts after your next import.

There are lots of new and updated product categories, too. Be sure to check them out before you edit or add more products.

Finally, see how to get included in Cyber Week promotions. (More exposure = more sales!)

Store imports, bulk adds and bulk edits now work differently

Last week we told you about our changes to imports from Shopify, Etsy, Bigcommerce and Big Cartel, also known as store imports. We also mentioned the updates to bulk adds and bulk edits. The changes caught some off guard, so here’s a little more info.

The changes mean 4 things:

1. Store imports: We’ve added an “auto-edit” feature to store imports. When you import products from Shopify, Etsy, Bigcommerce, Big Cartel or the Generic CSV options, we’ll check to see if any of them are already listed on OpenSky. If so, we’ll update your OpenSky product listings to match the information on the other platform.

2. Store imports: All of your products must now include the following information when you run an import:

      • Product name
      • Type
      • Inventory
      • Category
      • Shipping Price
      • Return Policy
      • Customization Prompt
      • Estimated Shipping Days
      • Images
      • Weight
      • Publish Status

If you don’t, our system will unpublish products with missing info and save them as Drafts. If that happens, you’ll need to enter the missing info on your “Products” page in your Merchant Toolkit and republish the product(s).

Notice that weight is a new requirement, so some of your published products might not contain that information.

3. Bulk adds: If you perform a bulk add and your CSV file does not include the required information noted above when you run the import, the products will be added to OpenSky as Drafts and will not display on Opensky.com until you add that information.

4. Bulk edits: If you perform a bulk edit using the Full Product File and include the field name, you must include the required information noted above when you run the import. We’ll revalidate every product you edit, so if a product doesn’t contain a weight, you’ll have to add that info or we’ll unpublish the listing.

Duplicate SKUs bug rears its head

The changes noted above made us aware of a bug in our system, which we’re working to fix ASAP. The bug allowed duplicate SKUs to be created when some of our merchants added new items.

Our new validation rules now catch this error, so some of you may have seen an error message telling you you have duplicate SKUs. If you have, please update your products to correct this, and please accept our sincerest apologies for the mistake. We’re working hard to make this right.

We’ll roll out a fix and run an automatic update to de-duplicate SKUs as quickly as we can.

Introducing new categories

Now, let’s get to a big change we made this week: On Tuesday we reworked our categories. The updates make these more detailed and make your products easier to find.

For instance, we changed the way you categorize women’s jeans. You used to use this category and subcategories: womens-apparel/bottoms/denim. Now you’ll use these: apparel/womens-apparel/womens-pants/womens-jeans.

You can view our new categories here. But don’t worry; you don’t have to do a thing.

We categorized products added since September with the new categories, so you don’t have to edit your items. However, you should review them to ensure they appear the way you’d like them to.

You should also refer to our new categories as you add new products or edit existing items to avoid problems.

Be part of our Cyber Week promos

Lastly, let’s talk Cyber Week, the week leading up to Cyber Monday, one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season!

It’s less than 2 weeks away, and historically, this week has been big for online sellers. We expect lots of traffic during Cyber Week this year, so we’re running Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code Events every day that week, starting November 23 and going through Cyber Monday, November 30.

As we run these, we’ll email shoppers to tell them about our promos and remind them of all the great deals they can find on OpenSky. We’d love to include your products in our events, potentially placing them in dedicated promo emails and landing pages!

All you have to do is ensure you’re opted in to Credits and Sitewide Coupon Codes by November 15.

To do that:

  1. Visit the “Settings” section of your “Marketing” tab.
  2. Set your Credit ceiling to at least 30% to ensure your products are eligible for all our Cyber Week Credit Events.
  3. Set your Sitewide Coupon Code ceiling to at least 40% to be included in both our 30% off Coupon Code Events and our huge Black Friday 40% off Coupon Code Event. (Note: Setting your limit to 40% means your products will only be 40% off for our Black Friday Event, not any time before or after that during Cyber Week.)
  4. Save your settings.

See all the promos we’ll run below and get more details on our Merchant Blog.

  • November 23: Sale on Sale Credit Event
  • November 24: Flash $31 Credit Event
  • November 25: Half Off Sale. Items 50% off MSRP or more (when Credits are applied) will be included in this sitewide event
  • November 26, Thanksgiving: 30% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 27, Black Friday: 40% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 28, Small Business Saturday: 30% Off Coupon Code Event
  • November 29, Cyber Sunday: $150 Credit Event
  • November 30, Cyber Monday: $250 Credit Event

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

Personal Expressions

Jewelry biz leads mom to ultimate goal.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Linda Funk, the owner of Amelia’s Expressions, wanted to be an entrepreneur. Already working in direct sales through Pampered Chef, she felt frustrated by running a business that wasn’t really her own. So she did some research and carved a path to online selling. Read Story

Sell Your ‘Turkeys’

Move the inventory that’s not selling.

By Dennis L. Prince

Let’s face it: Sometimes our eyes get so big that we eagerly gorge ourselves on everything in front of us. I’m not talking about a plate of half-eaten turkey and picked over trimmings. I’m talking about inventory. See how to put these “turkeys” to good use. Read Story

Get more selling tips on Auctiva EDU and the OpenSky Merchant Blog.

We Want to Hear From You!

Did you find this info helpful? Want us to explore another topic, like shipping, sourcing or something else? Send us a message at editor@opensky.com, so we can cover topics that matter to you.

Merchant Newsletter | November 13, 2015

The New Features You Want, Image Variations, Easier Imports & More

Results Are In! See the New Features Everyone Wants. Plus, Image Variations, Easier Imports & More



Images for Your Variations

Easier bulk edits and imports, plus your feature requests

It’s official: The holidays are here. To get you ready, we’ve improved the buying experience for products with variations, simplified imports and product updates, and we’ve started to evaluate your feedback to see what features and stats we’ll add to your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard.

See details below.

Show off that red dress

Sell products with variations? For instance, a great dress that comes in a breathtaking red and a sophisticated black? Wish shoppers could see an image of each color option when they click on one? Now they can when you import products using a CSV file.

It’s as easy as adding a “1” (without the quotes) to your data file. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Enter your product data into your CSV file.
  2. Include the image URLs for the product in the (a) parent row.
  3. Enter a “1” (without the quotes) in the child row under the (b, c, d) appropriate image URL.

4. Submit your file and you’re all set. Your variations will display the appropriate image.

Shoppers are sure to love this new feature, so be sure to use it!

Importing & editing just got easier

To simplify product management, we recently updated the importing process and the “Bulk Edit” page.

Now you can import and edit products using the same CSV file on both your “Bulk Edit” page and through a generic CSV import. You can also adjust your inventory levels by downloading an Inventory Management File of your products from the “Bulk Edit” page, making your changes and submitting your file to OpenSky.

The Inventory Management File is a simplified CSV file that contains all of your OpenSky products but only the SKU, Title, Quantity and Price fields for those items. We think this should make inventory updates even easier.

You’ll also notice improvements to imports from other sites. Before, imports from Shopify, Etsy, Bigcommerce and/or Big Cartel, only brought in new products. They didn’t change items you had on those sites and on OpenSky. Not anymore. Now when you run an import from any of those sites, any products on the third-party site that also lives on OpenSky will be updated!

The new features you want

Finally, in our last newsletter we asked you to tell us what you wanted to see on your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard as we start to reimagine it. 60 of you responded. Here are your top requests, the features and stats you like from other sites that you want added to OpenSky, and what we’re working on now.

Top requests

  • A snapshot of how your store is doing today
  • Sales numbers, both in terms of dollar amount and popular products
  • Stats on how many people are looking at your products, adding them to their carts, and checking out (or abandoning their carts)
  • Clearer payment information, including your next payment amount and date, as well as commissions and fees
  • A way to see new product reviews and reply to them
  • For Co-Pilo participants: a daily snapshot of ad spend and ROAS

We’re working to add this information before the holiday sales rush. We’ll upgrade the Dashboard a little at a time in the coming weeks, so you get each improvement as quickly as possible.

We also heard some requests to bring back the old feed-based Dashboard, including options to comment and smile at customers, and to bring back the old Posting Tool. While we hated to see the old feed go, our original findings are holding up: Overall, shoppers browse more of your promotions and buy more from the new OpenSky home page experience than they did on the old feed. So we’re not going to bring back the old feed at this time.

One of the great things about this survey was that we found we’re already working on some of the features you’d like to see. These include:

  • Displaying prices before and after promo discounts are applied
  • Adding SKUs in the product grid
  • Searching for orders by name and products
  • An option to “clone” or refresh existing promo

Thanks for all of your input. We’ll use it to rework the Dashboard to best suit your needs. Stay tuned!

Upcoming promotions

  • Friday, November 6, to Sunday, November 8: 25% Off Coupon Code Event

To participate in this event, visit the “Settings” section of your “Marketing” tab and set your Coupon Code ceiling to at least 25%. You can see all of our upcoming promos on our Merchant Calendar.

Note: All events on the Merchant Calendar are subject to change.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

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Veteran sellers share their secrets.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Keeping your sanity during the holiday season comes down to two basics: solid infrastructure and good time management. See how to optimize your approach. Read Story

 

Should You Pack Greenshould-you-pack-green-os?

The answer isn’t black and white.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

One of the most important ways businesses can choose to be greener regards packaging. We took a closer look at the topic and found that environmental benefits are not the only reasons why companies are going the green route. Read Story

Get more selling tips on Auctiva EDU and the OpenSky Merchant Blog.

We Want to Hear From You!

Did you find this info helpful? Want us to explore another topic, like shipping, sourcing or something else? Send us a message at editor@opensky.com, so we can cover topics that matter to you.

Merchant Newsletter | November 5, 2015