Some important terms you need to be familiar with:
- API stands for 'application programming interface', but basically describes one way to plug your website into another. Commercial sites make some parts of their code available to developers so that they can built tools for the site. The code they expose is called the API and the stuff they build - the tools and widgets - are called applications. In GeekSeller case, we take an advantage of APIs of ecommerce sites. Those sites use API to provide information about orders and products in a way, that we can access it and process anyway we want.
- Multichannel ecommerce - selling on many platforms and managing it from one single location.
- ASIN - The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization.
- UPC - The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology, it consists of 12 numerical digits, that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. Sellers can buy this code from GS1 organization. Please see this post for details (this is a must read part of the training!).
- EAN - The International Article Number (EAN) (also known as European Article Number, which technically refers to EAN-13) is a 13-digit barcode symbology, which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC).
- SKU - A stock keeping unit (SKU) is a product and service identification code for a store or product, often portrayed as a machine-readable bar code that helps track the item for inventory. A stock keeping unit (SKU) does not need to be assigned to physical products in inventory. It is created by sellers to identify products within their own catalog
What is the pricing for our main offerings?
GeekSeller charges 1% of sales of JET, for Walmart we charge 1% + $10/mo. The extra $10 for Walmart is dues to a bigger complexity of Walmart API and larger cost of maintaining the panel (very often changes to the API). GeekSeller also offers extensions, allowing sellers to connect their JET and Walmart panel with other websites and services, such as with their commerce store or Amazon to synchronize quantity of their products.
Why sellers need GeekSeller?
The JET.com marketplace does NOT offer sellers an administrator panel to manage your inventory and orders. This is why you need GeekSeller. This may sound crazy, but they actually expect sellers to do one of the following:
- Build their own back-end (which requires months of work for a skilled developer, and monthly maintenance of the system because JET updates and adjusts their API on a regular basis)
- Use one of many very expensive third party companies that offer integration with Jet (this includes fees, commission, and long-term commitments)
- This is why we have created GeekSeller – a very affordable solution for merchants to start selling on JET right away.
Walmart offers sellers their own admin panel so technically you can sell on their marketplace without any third-party services. But for merchants that have many products and sell on different marketplaces, additional software may be necessary.
GeekSeller platform lets you:
- Easily import products from GeeksSeller panel to Walmart Marketplace.
- Manage orders from multiple marketplaces in one panel.
- Automatic acknowledgment of orders.
- Keep your inventory synced for multiple marketplaces.
Amazon is the biggest ecommerce website out there. Basic products can be sold here by anybody, you can just create an account (there is some small fee of about $39/mo) and start selling. On Amazon many sellers compete with each other, and customers see those different offers and can pick who they want to purchase a product from. Amazon is also making it easy and user friendly for sellers publish their products. Amazon offers Seller Central panel where merchants can upload their products and easily manage their orders.
|Amazon.com where customers buy products||Amazon Seller Center, it has everything sellers need to manage their products and orders.||3rd party systems are not really needed to manage Amazon account,|
FBA and FBM : Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM).
In layman's terms FBA is simply using the services provided by Amazon rather than your own resources when it comes to shipping and warehousing. FBA allows sellers to list their products on Amazon and elect to ship all of their products to Amazon’s Fulfillment centers where they are warehoused. Once a product sells, Amazon picks, packs and ships the products directly to the buyer. In a nutshell the program allows sellers to ship their merchandise to Amazon where items are stored in warehouses until they sell. The program also puts the burden of shipping and handling on Amazon.
FBM is when you as a seller list a product on Amazon and elect to ship your products to each customer on your own. It means you would rather take ownership of the entire selling process. It provides you more opportunities to establish your own branding as a seller (using your own customized shipping boxes, tape, personalized labeling etc.).
It used to be that Walmart.com was offering only its own products, getting supplies from vendors, but listing all products under Walmart brand. In order to compete with Amazon and other ecommerce players they decided to allow sellers list their own products on Walmart.com under their own brand. Now, a product can be sold on Walmart.com by Walmart, but it also competes with other sellers:
To start selling on Walmart.com, merchants must apply to https://marketplace.walmart.com/. Not all merchants can be approved. Walmart actually has a very strict policy, they are looking for merchants who have many products, and are established company with a solid yearly revenue.
After a seller is approved to sell on Walmart, they are getting an access to their Seller Center panel, available at seller.walmart.com. They can login there and start uploading their products, then when also manage orders, refunds etc. However, this panel for sellers is not very user friendly. It has a lot of limitations and for less technical sellers it is impossible to use. For example, sellers cannot simply edit a product and make simple changes, they need to prepare a huge XML spreadsheet with complicated rules of required fields and upload it to their Seller Center account.
This is where GeekSeller helps merchants. We are acting as a replacement of Walmart's Seller Center. A panel allowing users to easily interact with their products, orders etc.
|Walmart.com Where customers buy products||Walmart Seller Center, where approved sellers can upload their products, however, it is complicated and with little functionality||GeekSeller interface allows merchants to use a nice panel instead of Seller Center. Changes made on GS are moved to Seller Center and to Walmart.com|
In short, JET is one of the most serious competitors for Amazon.com, and it has already generated a lot of sales for merchants with products listed. JET launched their website in July 21, 2015, with their most distinguishing feature of the site being their real-time pricing algorithm.
On JET, shoppers cannot pick from which sellers they want to buy, Jet decides about that on its back-end, so on the product page on JET, you do not see information about who you are buying from, you learn about that during a checkout.
Merchants who want to sell on JET.com must apply at https://partner.jet.com/. When approved, sellers can login to their Partner Portal, however it is more like a view only panel, where merchants can see their financial statements and basic data about products and orders. However, they cannot use this panel to upload data about products or fulfill orders. They need a panel to be build on their own or use a services such as GeekSeller.
|Jet.com where customers buy products||JET Partner Portal, where approved sellers can only see basic statistics of their account, no products upload or orders management is possible.||GeekSeller interface allows merchants to upload products to JET, manage orders, refunds, returns and more.|
Do we offer shipping/fulfillment services?
GeekSeller does not offer services like that, but we do connect marketplaces with fulfillment software. For example, we can fulfill JET orders by FBA (when a new orders comes from JET, we programmatically contact Amazon FBA program to ship a product to buyer). We also allow merchants to connect to software such as ShipWorks and ShipStation, which make it easy to manage orders and generate labels. GeekSeller is just connecting all of those services together.
Why GeekSeller focuses on JET and Walmart only?
We do expand, and our goal is to offer all available marketplaces. But we started with JET and Walmart because there is a big demand on that and not many other companies offer it. Here are two clear reasons:
- We are ahead of the game because we started offering JET and Walmart integration very early, when those platform were not popular yet. We made a bet, and it pays back.
- Creating Walmart and Jet panel is very complicated, their technology is difficult, and it requires great engineering, planning and establishing a great relationship directly with those companies.
Important links to study