Important Terms of Service Updates and New Features

Our new Terms of Service go into effect on May 1, so make sure you understand them now! There’s no need to opt-in to the changes—they’ll happen automatically.

What You Need to Know About the New Terms of Service

Please take a moment to read through the full overview of the new Merchant Terms of Service agreements. They include the following changes (and more):

  1. We’ve simplified them to include all of our sites and apps, including OpenSky, Dot & Bo, 55mulberry, and Pickperfect. This also means that if you list on one of those sites, we may cross-list (and promote!) your products on other sites.
  2. We’ll calculate the payment date for each order based on when its shipment is scanned by a carrier and shows movement.
  3. No more commissions on orders; we’ve replaced them with simplified transaction fees.
  4. We’ve updated fees and penalties for cancellations and returns.
  5. And more!

Again, you can read a detailed overview of the changes here. The current and new policies are all listed on our Policies page.

Now Available: Updated Bulk Product Features

We’ve improved how we import Etsy files, handle errors, and report success, and we’re continuing system-wide improvements to imports along the way. We’ve updated the bulk edit screen to display a message when imports are running a bit slower due to high demand. We’ve also limited Shopify imports to 100,000 products (previously, this was unlimited) to make sure a single, massive import doesn’t slow things down for everyone else.

Now Available: Faster-Loading Orders

We’ve updated your Orders page so that it loads quickly even if you’ve had thousands of orders. For some larger merchants, we’ve removed the fulfillment statistics to ensure a faster page load.

Now Available: 12 Photos Per Product

By popular demand, we’ve increased the maximum number of product photos from 6 to 12. (As always, the last photo can also be a video.) Adding photos of all of your products’ color variations and important details is an easy way to increase your sales.

Coming Soon: “Impression” Reports for Boosts

Boost merchants can already see reports of their products’ views, orders, and revenue. Soon we’ll be adding a 4th report: impressions, which will show how many times a shopper sees your product listings on the site in search results, “related product” lists, and other areas. It’s valuable information about shoppers’ first impressions so you can understand how often shoppers click on your products when they see them.

If you’re a Pro merchant and not sure if Boost is right for your business, contact us to get started and increase your exposure and sales.

Coming Soon: Payment Simplifications

We’re continuing to update your Payments page in preparation for the May 1 Terms of Service updates. We shared some previews with a handful of merchants in our New York City offices last week, and we’re tweaking the designs based on their feedback.

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

os-blog

Save Time & Money

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

Improvements to Your Merchant Toolkit Dashboard & More

In early October we removed the “feed” portion of the Merchant Toolkit Dashboard.

Throughout 2015 we’ve been researching how our members discover and shop on OpenSky. We noticed that some of the “social” aspects of the experience were distracting and confusing.

So we ran tests throughout the summer to see if a simpler experience, focused on great deals, product discovery, and personal recommendations, would be more engaging and generate more sales.

It did.

The New Experience

Many of the old “social” features on OpenSky have been clarified to help members shop more. Now:

  1. Members can only follow Stores to learn about products and offers. (They can’t follow other members any more, or be followed.)
  2. “Loves” are becoming a Wish List feature, so members can keep track of items they’d like to buy later.
  3. Product reviews from verified buyers have replaced open-ended comments.
  4. We also replaced the old Feed page with a new OpenSky home page, to give you more visibility. Your product promos, storewide sales, discount programs and loved items now appear in a distinct section of your followers’ home pages.

What This Means for You

The new home page is nearly 25 times more popular than the old Feed page and we’re going to keep improving it with a blend of personal recommendations and popular products from across the marketplace.

Now that we’ve disabled the shopper-facing feed, we decided to remove it from your Dashboard as well. This simplifies the content and makes your Dashboard load much faster. (This also simplifies the code so our team can move faster on new upgrades.)

We also simplified the process for creating a new promotion,and replaced the old, sometimes fragile, Posting Tool with a simple, one-page form.

New Features Coming

We’re currently researching 2 new programs to upgrade your Merchant Toolkit in 2016:

First, we want to give you better data about your marketing, customers and sales so you can see the best ways to grow your business. We’ve been busy prototyping charts and graphs so you can see your sales data at a glance. If there’s specific information you’d like to see in your Dashboard please let us know.

Second, we’re working on an “Auto-Pilot” program, which would crunch data to give you specific recommendations for merchandising, marketing and promotions so you can get better results faster.

In the meantime, you should continue creating new promotions. They still trigger automatic emails and mobile app notifications and appear on the new home page (where shoppers buy far more products than they did 6 months ago).