Now Live: Product-Specific Discounts, Product Identifiers & More

 

Product-Specific Discounts Now Available

Plus how we’re making your products easier to find.

You told us our new Best Deal Pricing was a little confusing, so we reworked it. Read on for details and see how you can now set discounts for specific products starting today regardless of the OpenSky promotion.

Plus, review a few other updates we made to make your products easier to find.

Max Product Discount Replaces Best Deal Price

We recently introduced Best Deal Pricing to give you a way to set maximum discounts for specific products, overriding your storewide Maximum Allowed Discount.

However, you told us Best Deal Pricing was confusing, so we reworked the design.

  1. We changed its name from “Best Deal Price” to “Max Product Discount.”
  2. You’ll now enter a percentage discount instead of a dollar amount, just like you do for your Maximum Allowed Discount.

You can enter a Max Product Discount in the same place where Best Deal Prices appeared: in your products’ “Price & Variations” sections under the OpenSky price.

Max Product Discounts will work just like Best Deal Pricing: They simply override your storewide Max Allowed Discount for specific products.

  • If you set a Max Product Discount for a listing, that product will always sell between the max discounted price and the OpenSky price.
  • If you leave it blank, we’ll use your storewide Maximum Allowed Discount setting instead. (You can find that setting in the “Settings” section of your “Marketing” tab.)
  • Pro tip: Want to allow discounts on most of your products, but not discount one or two items? Set those products’ Max Product Discount to 0% to disallow discounting and always sell the products at your OpenSky price.

Did You Already Enter a Best Deal Price?

To ease this transition, we found all the Best Deal Prices you already entered and calculated equivalent Max Product Discounts for those listings.

We calculated these percentages carefully, but you should double-check any Max Product Discounts you may have to ensure you’re happy with the values we entered. Be sure to do this soon because we’ll start using Max Product Discounts to calculate the price of your products starting today.

Always Sell at Your Max Discount

As you review your Max Product Discount, notice the new “Always sell this product at this discount” box. When you check it, your product will always sell at the calculated price once the Max Product Discount is applied, regardless of the OpenSky promotion.

For instance, if your product has an OpenSky price of $50 and you allow a Max Product Discount of 20%, you’d be allowing the product to be purchased at prices between $40 and $50, depending on what discount or coupon each shopper has available. If you check the box, you’ll always sell the product for $40 if the shopper has a discount.

Product Identifiers Are a Must

Now let’s talk search. As of Wednesday, you can add a product’s brand and universal product code (UPC) in the “Price & Variations” section, or by uploading a CSV file, or doing an import from Bigcommerce or Shopify.

Be sure to review your products and add that info to your current items and future ones you create. These product identifiers are huge when it comes to search and many sites require them.

Plus, you get 2 major benefits by including brands and UPCs:

  1. Shoppers can find your products more easily.
  2. Product identifiers help us market your products more effectively.

Optimize Your Photos for Variations

Finally, we also updated our Co-Pilot ads to use product images for variations. This should increase your advertising return on ad spend (ROAS).

To benefit from this change, be sure to include images of the different variations you offer in your listings. For instance, if you sell a set of jewelry and shoppers can pick between a blue and a purple set, include at least one photo of each set.

You can set images for your variations in your products’ “Price & Variations” sections or in a CSV file if you’re doing a product import.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

And the Winners Are…

Congratulations to Lisa B. of South Dakota, Jeanette C. of Minnesota, Edith T. of California and Scott M. of New York for winning our $50 Visa gift cards for taking our reader survey! And a huge thanks to everyone who participated. Your feedback will help us focus on the topics that matter most to you.

Merchant Newsletter | March 14, 2016

Simplified Promos Are Live! Plus, How to Get the Biz Funding You Need & More

Welcome to Simplified Promos

Plus, respond to reviews like a pro & learn about funding that can help your biz grow.

Good news! Promos are officially simplified as of today. Learn more about how this new approach will benefit you and save you time.

Not sure how to respond to product reviews? We’ve got tips on how to do it well. Plus, if you need funding to grow your business, our new partnership can help.

Simplified Promos Are Here

Our new simplified approach to promotions started today, and that means:

  1. Discounts and Credits will no longer “stack.” Shoppers will only be able to use one or the other when they buy from you.
  2. You’ll only have to set one maximum discount for all of your products to be eligible for our marketing promotions.
  3. Welcome to hands-free promos! We’ll create all promotions going forward and they will be sitewide.

Be sure to check your new Maximum Allowed Discount (the maximum discount you’ll give all of your products during a promotion) on your new “Settings” page of your “Marketing” tab in your Merchant Toolkit.

As you’ll recall, we set this for you based on your Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings so your products can be eligible for OpenSky promotions.

You can make any adjustments you’d like. Just keep in mind that the higher your discount, the more promos your products will be eligible for.

A few other things changed, too, as we retired:

  • New Follower, Loyalty, Love and Beta Discounts
  • The “Customers” section
  • All mentions of creating or posting promos
  • Any storewide and product-specific promos you had going
  • And individual Credits for inviting friends to OpenSky

If you missed our last newsletter, check it out to see the full details about our simplified OpenSky promotions.

Respond to Reviews the Right Way

As your products get reviewed, you may find yourself wanting to respond to answer a shopper’s question, clear up confusion or just provide more information. And you should! Responses can be the determining factor for future shoppers as they decide whether they’ll buy.

Not sure how to compose your response? Here are some tips:

  • Explain: If a reviewer has a question or needs more information on your product, give the shopper the insight he or she seeks. This will help the reviewer and future shoppers, too.
  • Be precise: Only address the reviewer’s concerns. Don’t respond to multiple reviews in one response. Specific information is much more helpful. Plus, it shows you’ve heard your shopper.
  • Don’t take reviews personally: We all have opinions, and we should all be able to voice them. We’ll never publish reviews that contain personal attacks, and we’ll follow the same rule when it comes to responses. If something really upsets you, wait a few minutes to cool off and then respond.

Keep in mind that we review all responses before we post them, so you may want to check out our response guidelines as you craft your comments.

Get the Business Funding You Need

Businesses often need additional money to grow, and our recent partnership with Kabbage can make getting funds easier.

Apply today for a line of credit from Kabbage of up to $100,000 based on your business’ real-time data. Use the line of credit to buy more inventory, stock your shipping supplies or boost your Co-Pilot marketing efforts. Use the funds to take your business to the next level.

You won’t pay any fees to establish your line of credit. You’ll only pay fees on the funds you take, and qualified merchants can get access to funds in minutes.

More than 50,000 businesses have trusted Kabbage to help them grow. Apply today!

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

How To Stay Relevant

Listening is a must.

By Dennis L. Prince

How do you stand out in a sea of merchants? By being relevant, of course. For businesses, that means establishing a presence and process to become part of your shoppers’ lives. Read Story

Ink Master

PowerSeller talks tricks and staying on top

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Ron Saxton has been selling online for 18 years. In that time he’s tested the waters on Amazon, but both he and his current employer agree that eBay is the best fit for their business model. Read His Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 18, 2016

Promos Are Simplified. Set Your Limit and Go.

What’s Your Max Discount for Promos?

Let us know and learn how we’ll simplify promos starting February 18.

At OpenSky, you’re our top priority. It’s important to us that our tools are easy to use, that you sell products at the price you want and that you never have to worry about over-discounting your products when we run promotions.

It’s for those reasons that we’re streamlining promotions on February 18, 2016. On that date, you’ll notice several changes, including:

  1. Discounts and Credits will no longer “stack.” Shoppers will only be able to use one or the other when they buy from you.
  2. You’ll only have to set one maximum discount for your products to be eligible for our successful marketing promotions.

Why Are We Doing This?

To protect you from over-discounting your products and make things easier. Some promotions “stacked” while others didn’t, and it was hard to keep it all straight. As a result, sometimes your products sold for less than you wanted.

We get it. Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings were confusing and it was hard to know what ceilings would best serve your growing business. So now you’ll just tell us the maximum discount you’ll give all of your products in your new “Settings” page. Then you can focus more on your business.

We’ll Set a Maximum Discount for You

To ensure your products are eligible for OpenSky promotions when the changes debut, we’ll set your Maximum Allowed Discount for you. Be sure to review it on February 18 and feel free to make adjustments.

Just keep in mind that the higher your discount, the more promos your products are eligible for. For example, if your Maximum Allowed Discount is 20%, your products are eligible for inclusion in:

  • Sale on Sale Credit Events
  • Sitewide Sale Credit Events
  • Any Coupon Codes for 20% or lower

If your Maximum Allowed Discount is set to 50%, your products can be included in:

  • Sale on Sale Credit Events
  • Sitewide Sale Credit Events
  • Any Coupon Codes for 50% or lower
  • Discount Dollar promos
  • General Credit Events
  • Half Off Events

Calculating Your Max Discount

We’ll base your Maximum Allowed Discount on your current Credit and Sitewide Coupon Code ceilings. If those values differ, we’ll set the max discount to the lower of the two, unless one of those values is set to 0% and the other is something greater. In that case, we’ll use the higher percentage.

Other Changes You’ll See in Your Toolkit

As we take this streamlined approach to promotions, you’ll notice that your Merchant Toolkit will look differently beginning February 18.

  • We’ll retire New Follower, Loyalty, Love and Beta Discounts.
  • We’ll remove the “Customers” section.
  • We’ll remove all mentions of creating or posting promos.
  • And you’ll no longer be able to create sales or Coupon Codes for your store, or products.
  • Only OpenSky will be able to create promotions and these will be sitewide promos.

Why Are We Ending Store & Product Promos?

We know change can be scary, but we honestly believe this will benefit you. In our research, we’ve found that our sitewide promotions generate far more sales than storewide discounts, promos and coupons. So by focusing on sitewide promos you’ll get the best marketing results with little effort. We’ll do the work for you.

As a result of this change, storewide and product-specific promos will automatically expire as will individual Credits for inviting friends to OpenSky on February 18.

Want to know more? See full details about our changes to OpenSky promotions.

From Auctiva EDU & The OpenSky Merchant Blog

A Real Gem

Seller turns love for precious gems into profits.

By Brad and Debra Schepp

Merchant David Saad is happy to contribute to people’s long love of looking their best. “The oldest jewelry found was some shells and beads from 100,000 years ago,” he tells us. “As soon as humans had any spare time, they started adorning themselves.” Read Story

Stay In Love With Your Biz

Easy steps to reignite the passion

By Dennis L. Prince

Ever wonder if you really do feel that same flutter you did when you first fell head over heels in love with the idea of running your own business? See how to fan that flame and keep the love alive. Read Story

Merchant Newsletter | February 10, 2016

More Control Over Your OpenSky Promotions

Discounts + Credits? Now it’s your choice.

We’ve updated the posting tool to give you the ability to run promotions and control whether credits can be applied for additional savings.

The brand new posting tool

Previously, discounts have always “stacked” with credits, which could lead to some unexpectedly large price deductions.

By clicking the new button (shown above) when setting up a promotion, shoppers will be able to use credits on the products specified by that promotion. When that button isn’t clicked, shoppers can’t apply credits to your product(s).

Use this feature to boost your sales! Now that you have greater control, increase your participation in the Rewards Credit program. The program drives over 50% of sales on OpenSky, and larger percentages drive more sales and get more exposure during credit events. Increase your percentage knowing that other discounts won’t be combined!

Learn the Lingo: OpenSky Promotional Events

OpenSky hosts innovative promotional events in order to drive more exposure and sales to Merchants. These Promotional events are a great way to bubble up savings to shoppers, and as result, get repeated periodically.

The newly-introduced Pitch Your Promotion form gives you an easy way to share your Promotional events with the OpenSky team so you can be considered for placement. Before you submit your best promotions, take a moment to walk through what it takes to qualify for some of our regularly scheduled events:

1) Sales Ending Soon

This email sends at the end of each day and includes sales that are active on the site but ending within the next 24 hours. There are a variety of factors that come into play here, but products with the larger discount will weigh heavy in the algorithm.

2) Sunday Splurge

The Sunday Splurge is one of the most highly shopped emails of the weekend (and the week). If you’re looking for a great way to boost sales and get your product in front of a large audience, this is a great event to apply for.

The requirements are simple:

  1. Products must be discounted a minimum of 40% off
  2. Minimum inventory of 10 units
  3. Sale will last for 12 hours, noon to midnight EST.
  4. Only one product per merchant will be accepted

Apply now for this week’s Sunday Splurge.

3) Lunch Time Rush

The Lunch Time Rush is quick and exciting promotion only lasts two hours — regularly between 2pm and 4pm ET. Products must be discounted by 20% and sales must end at 4pm ET.

4) DoorBusters- #doorbuster

Regularly, doorbusters exceed a 70% discount in some sort of a limited quantity. Doorbusters are meant for exactly what they sound like, getting customers in the door. As a result, they tend to be products with a much lower margin – effectively a marketing expense to get traffic to their store.

5) Buy One, Get One- #bogo

Commonly referred to as a BOGO offer, Buy One, Get One free sales are a great way to communicate sales messaging that includes the word “free” – this is bound to get someone’s attention every time. But be careful – not every item is a candidate for a BOGO sale. Do people really need two navy blue winter jackets?

6) Buy One, Get One Half Off

The cousin of BOHO is the commonly used Buy 1, Get 1 Half OFF sale.  It has a similar effect on the shopper on the BOGO, and is a bit kinder to your margin.

7) Gift With Purchase

This is a BOGO deal in disguise, and with more flexibility.  Think for the shopper and give them the opportunity to buy one item, and get a little something extra as an added bonus for buying.  If you sell Pancake Mix, throw in some Syrup for free. If you sell a necklace, throw in an affordable pair of earrings for free.  Give shoppers the nudge they need to buy in the moment.

8) Storewide Sale

Our Storewide Sales sales data suggests that these notifications have the potential to perform roughly 4x better then an individual product sales alerts. A Storewide Sale gives customers more choice and selection, while still driving home the impact of a limited time discount.

Ready to participate in one of these promotions? Check out the Pitch Your Promotion form to get featured.

*It’s important to remember that standard OpenSky exposure requirements still apply. If you’re interested in what basic requirements are needed for a product to be promoted by OpenSky please check out this article.