26 episodes

Learn the TRUTH about ECommerce from Chris Malta. 25+ years in Online Business. Business Owner, Author, Radio Show Host, Internet Convention Speaker, Mentor and ECommerce Educator.

Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast Chris Malta

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 38 Ratings

Learn the TRUTH about ECommerce from Chris Malta. 25+ years in Online Business. Business Owner, Author, Radio Show Host, Internet Convention Speaker, Mentor and ECommerce Educator.

    Private Labeling: Yes or No?

    Private Labeling: Yes or No?

    Here's another favorite of the "let's screw the sheeple" crowd. This is usually presented as a component of the Amazing Amazon Business they're going to cheat you how to build.
    Be sure to Subscribe to the Show!
    Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site.
    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only thing you have to worry about is anybody ELSE you might listen to.
    Here's another favorite of the "let's screw the sheeple" crowd. This is usually presented as a component of the Amazing Amazon Business they're going to cheat you how to build.
    They tell you that you need to get "unique" products into the marketplace and create your own brand with a "Private Label" because it will be impressive and cool and people will buy lots of it and love you.
    NO.
    First, let's think about the concept of "unique". On the Internet, people search for things they know about. They know about those things because of something called Consumer Awareness. Consumer Awareness is created by the manufacturing companies that make products. They do it by spending tens of millions of dollars in real-world mass media advertising.
    They have to do that. If they don't, the big-box stores won't carry their products because consumers won't know about them and they'll be harder to sell. Yes, it's a thing, and has been forever both in the physical world and online. Make sense so far?
    So, "unique" products are by definition..."unique". That means there is NO general Consumer Awareness. Most people don't know about them. They're new and unique.
    Here's a news flash for the Scam Boys. The internet is based on Search. So is Amazon. So is eBay. The only way a consumer can find a product is if they search for it. That means they have to know what it is. If it's "unique", they don't know what it is, and will never search for it. That means you can't make any money with it.
    DUH.
    Now let's talk about the "Private Label" thing. Labeling is about branding in the Real Business World. Brands are created to instill confidence in consumers, so they will keep coming back to the brand and buy it over and over again because if the brand is built right, consumers TRUST it.
    It takes years and tens of millions (sometimes hundreds of millions) of dollars to create a brand strong enough that large numbers of consumers will trust it enough to make it worthwhile to manufacture and sell.
    Slapping a sticky label that says "Joe's Coffemakers" on a cheap product from China is NOT creating a brand!
    Which would you rather buy? A Joe's Coffeemaker, or a Cuisinart Coffeemaker? See what I mean? This whole Private Label thing was created by some skeezy marketer somewhere as a way to make you feel cool because you "own a brand". It has ZERO value in the retail marketing world.
    They'll charge you tens of thousands of dollars to "teach you" how to create that brand.
    For all that money, you get told to slap sticky labels on cheap stuff from China, and you end up NOT owning a brand. You own some sticky labels, a bunch of junk from China and a miserable future trying to get rid of that cheap crap that you "Private Labeled".
    Don't do it, please.
    To learn to start a REAL online business that actually makes a full time living, check out my FREE EBiz Insider Video Series at Chris Malta.com.
    Thanks for listening, and I'll catch ya next time.

    • 3 min
    ECommerce Product Pricing: Do It Right!

    ECommerce Product Pricing: Do It Right!

    Ever wonder why so much product pricing ends in 95 or 99 cents? Those are known as “charm prices”. They use what we call the “Left Digit Effect” to apply retail psychology to product pricing.
     
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    Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site.
     
    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Product Pricing: Do It Right When I teach ECommerce, product pricing is always required learning. People have such horribly skewed notions about product pricing that it's always an eye-opener for them.
    Before we get into it, it's very important to understand that if we’re going to talk about product pricing, we need to talk about WHERE you sell online.
    The worst thing you can possibly do to ANY small retail business is to put it squarely in the path of a crazed, charging herd of the most bargain-hunting consumers on the planet.
    A small home-based EBiz simply can’t compete in a serious bargain-hunting situation. It doesn’t yet have the buying power that the much bigger companies do. That means that the home-based EBiz pays a higher wholesale price per product and can’t make any profit when competing on price in front of consumers who are specifically bargain-hunting.
    This is why it’s so difficult for a small EBiz to succeed on eBay and Amazon. Over the past several years, these huge bargain-shopping venues have become favorite hangouts for large wholesale and manufacturing companies who sell directly on eBay and Amazon, often under anonymous seller names.
    They can undercut any small business on price. They thrive in price-driven destination sites like eBay and Amazon, and that leaves you out in the cold. If you’re not making at least a 20% to 45% profit on your sales, you’re not going to make a living at it.
    So where should you be selling?
    The best place for a home-based EBiz is, always has been and always will be on it’s own web site.
    Why? Because your best customers are those who are searching for what they REALLY WANT, not for the lowest possible product pricing. When consumers are bargain hunting, they tend to go DIRECTLY to eBay, Amazon, Walmart.com, etc. However, when they search for what they REALLY WANT, they go to Google.
    Far, far more consumers search for products on Google than on eBay, Amazon and Walmart.com COMBINED.
    Consumers who search on exactly what they really want are doing what’s called “Discretionary Purchasing”. When people are buying on a Discretionary basis, they aren’t nearly as concerned about product pricing as they are about quality and getting exactly what they want.
    THAT is the sweet spot for retail businesses either online or offline. Discretionary consumers far outnumber bargain-hunting consumers, and they will pay a reasonable retail price to get what they want. For a small business, that translates directly to reasonable profits.
    I know, I know; you might be selling on eBay or Amazon. However, all that had to be said in order to talk about product pricing. The rest of this discussion pertains to ANY place that you’re going to set a retail price.
    1. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PRICING
    Ever wonder why so much product pricing ends in 95 or 99 cents? Those are known as “charm prices”. They use what we call the “Left Digit Effect” to apply retail psychology to product pricing.
    That effect is the fact that a nickel, or even a single penny will have an effect on a retail buyer that is HUGELY disproportionate to the actual money value in the price.
    Most people who sell online tend to use the Left Digit Effect without really understanding why, because we’re all exposed to it on a daily basis in our own lives. However, many also ‘mix and match’ product pricing, and doing that throws off the consumer.
    Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to the Left Digit Effect. Either always use it, or never use it. Either always use 95 or always use 99. I’ve consulted for an amazing number of EBiz sites that use 95, 99, 00, 50, 67, 97 and so

    • 11 min
    Brand Your Site, Increase Your Sales

    Brand Your Site, Increase Your Sales

    When I consult for ECommerce businesses or teach EBiz owners who already have sites, one of the things that stands out the most to me is the total lack of an Identity Package for that ECommerce business. An Identity Package helps to set the tone for site design, marketing style, and the entire Brand of the business...which always leads to more sales.
     
    Be sure to Subscribe to the Show!

    Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site.

    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only time you WON'T hear the truth, is AFTER YOU LEAVE!
    When I consult for ECommerce businesses or teach EBiz owners who already have sites, one of the things that stands out the most to me is the total lack of an Identity Package for that ECommerce business. An Identity Package helps to set the tone for site design, marketing style, and the entire Brand Identity of the business.
    A well-constructed Branding Identity is an absolute MUST for ANY business to be truly successful, online or offline. For an EBiz, an Identity Package for branding consists of three things:
    1. A GOOD SITE NAME
    I’m often surprised by the number of people who have taken bad advice or learned the wrong things and given their web sites names that will do nothing for their business at best, and hurt it at worst. I don’t blame the site owners; there’s a tremendous amount of bad info floating around out there. However, when it comes to branding, they do need to learn how to do it right.
    How many times have you seen a site named something like “MyGreatBargains.com”, or “GreatBuys4U.com”, or “BigPlaceFullOfExcellentThingsAtLowPrices.com”? Okay, that last one is a stretch, but you know what I mean, right?
    Actually, that was a trick question. You probably only rarely come across sites with a names like that. Why? Because they don’t rank well in the search engines, and hardly ever get found by shoppers.
    The reason they don’t rank well is another topic altogether; perhaps a discussion for another day, but I’ll mention it here in passing. They don’t rank because they’re trying to sell a whole bunch of different products on the same web site. Those products all have widely different Keywords in their product names and marketing content. Google and the other search engines rank best on RELEVANT Keyword content; Keywords that they know are related to one another in some way.
    So, when the search engines see a site that has page after page of words describing products that the search engine knows are NOT related to one another, that site doesn’t rank well n omatter how good it's branding might be. Period.
    Yep, I know, big-box stores that carry widely varied stuff seem to rank pretty well, don’t they. However, that’s for different reasons altogether, and they can be beaten with highly targeted web sites.
    For that reason and many others, small home-based EBiz sites need to sell ONLY one specific product line per site in order to do well in the search engines.
    As I said, though, that’s a topic for another time. There are LOTS of details involved in making an ECommerce business successful, and right now we're talking about ONE of those things: Branding. So let’s get back to our conversation about an Identity Package, with site names being the first thing to learn.
    A site name needs to reflect what it sells. On a properly built, web site with thoughtful branding, that will be something very specific. However, it can’t just be “Toasters.com”.
    For one thing, that name is already taken, which most of the best product-descriptive names are. For another, though, a site name needs to connect with its consumer demographic. To connect with its consumer demographic, the business owner needs to know who that consumer demographic IS. I'll talk about that in another post in this blog. Back to names, now.
    Let’s say that an EBiz owner sells a very specific line of toasters that is best suited for a female audience

    • 14 min
    Make More Sales Online

    Make More Sales Online

    One of the things I see quite often when I work with EBiz owners is the fact that most EBiz owners don’t think hard enough about the distinction between the physical world and the online world when creating web site pages. There are several important things to realize here when you want to make more sales (which is ALWAYS!).
     
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    Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site.
    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Welcome to Chis Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the only thing we DON'T know is how to do it WRONG!
    One of the things I see quite often when I work with EBiz owners is the fact that most EBiz owners don’t think hard enough about the distinction between the physical world and the online world when creating web site pages. There are several important things to realize here when you want to make more sales (which is ALWAYS!).
    1. YOU CAN’T TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
    There’s a process to traditional physical sales that’s worked very well since the first caveman sold a hunting rock to his buddy in exchange for a chunk of meat.
    A really good salesperson in the physical world understands that process and does it very well. That means that salesperson makes good money in sales.
    The process they use to make more sales basically goes like this:
    – You show someone a product.
    – You ask them questions about what they desire from the product and then speak to those desires and how the product fulfills them.
    – You talk price and close the sale.
    That conversation is critical in good physical-world sales. If I go to Sam Ash Music in Orlando and ask a salesperson to see a specific guitar, any good salesperson is going to try to find out what I want from the product. He or she might ask me if I’m going to use the guitar for practice, for fun, to play on stage, to record with, etc. What kind of pickups do I like? What kind of tone am I looking for? What gauge strings do I like to use?
    My answers to these questions allow the salesperson to either point out that the features I want already exist on that guitar or can be added to that guitar, or point out that I might want to check out a different guitar.
    During that process, the salesperson is GUIDING ME THROUGH THE SALE.
    If he or she does a good really job of controlling that process and guiding me through the sale, I’m most likely going to buy the product. That salesperson is always going to make more sales than one who doesn't know how to do that.
    Online, though, there’s something very important that’s missing from this time-tested process. You can’t talk to your customer about what they desire from the product. You can’t physically guide them through the sale with questions and answers.
    So what do you do to make more sales?
    2. VISUAL MARKETING WORKS ONE-WAY
    When you think about it, the entire marketing process online is VISUAL. From your product pictures to your written site content, your articles, blogs, public forum participation, social marketing, video content…everything you do is ONE-WAY, from you to your customer, and it’s all VISUAL.
    Just like it’s easy to mistake someone’s tone in an email when you can’t see their expressions and body language in person, it’s easy to visually confuse people on your site and in your marketing.
    In the many years I’ve spent teaching Ecommerce business owners how to fix sites that don’t work, I can’t even attempt to count the number of times I’ve seen web sites that are so visually confusing that I feel like I’m looking at them through a psychotic kaleidoscope.
    Most web site owners (and yes, eBay sellers too) try to make more sales by cramming so much STUFF onto a single page that it simply descends into visual chaos right from the top of the page. It’s not the site owners’ fault, because that’s what EBiz owners see everybody ELSE doing.
    However, when you understand that literally more than 97% of the Ebiz sites online never provide a full time incom

    • 9 min
    EBiz Competition: Too Much? NO.

    EBiz Competition: Too Much? NO.

    EBiz Competition - Myth or Reality? Far too many people worry about the levels of competition in online business, when the truth is that there's actually very little, and here's why.
    Subscribe to the Show!
    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where the TRUTH about EBiz is the ONLY thing you'll ever hear.
    Here are some thing I hear from people all the time. “How can my online business compete with eBay and Amazon?” "How can I compete with all those big stores?” “Aren’t there too many online stores already?” “There’s no room left to compete!”
    Well, “competition” is a big and scary word. Not big meaning ‘long-big’. A ‘long-big’ word would be something like Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicavolcanoconiosis. Now that's a long-big word!
    No, the word “competition” is different. It’s “big” meaning all-encompassing; a generalization. Most people don’t really understand what “competition” actually IS.
    Google, bless it’s googly little algorithmic heart, defines the word as “the person or people with whom one is competing, especially in a commercial or sporting arena; the opposition.” Here’s the important part: “The person or people with whom one is competing”. And only those people.
    Because online business and the internet itself seem to be so big and all-encompassing, people often forget that internet users do not see the entire internet all at the same time when they search for something online. Yet that’s what they base this fear of competition on; that somebody searching for a set of dog socks on Google can somehow magically see every single store, every single page and every single price for every single pair of dog socks on the internet all at the same time!
    The reality is very different. When you search for a product on Google (and we always talk about Google because it’s by far the biggest and most influential search engine) what do you see?
    You see some “display ads” up in the top right corner. Those are the paid advertisements with pictures. Then the first 4 search results you see are paid ads as well (you can tell because they all say “AD” next to them). Then you see the natural listings; the pages that for whatever reason, deserved or not (but usually not deserved), have worked their way up to the top natural rankings in Google.
    Here’s a little-known factoid for ya. The human eye can “subitize” (meaning “perceive a number of separate items in a group without actually counting”) only about 4 to 5 separate objects at a time. A single paid ad link on a SERP (a search engine results page) is perceived as a single OBJECT.
    A single NATURAL page link on a SERP is perceived as a single OBJECT. So people CANNOT effectively see THE ENTIRE INTERNET AND EVERY SET OF DOG SOCKS ON IT ALL AT ONCE.
    They can only EFFECTIVELY see 4 or 5 objects at a time.
    That just begs the question…does 4 or 5 search results sound like a LOT of online business competition to you? I’m guessing that you’re thinking, “no”.
    Now, here’s the kicker. Add to that the fact that the search results that people see first are psychologically interpreted as the most important and relevant results, and that vast macro-cosmos of millions of perceived competitors that so many people are afraid of has just shrunk to a number of competitors that you can count on one hand.
    Now, if that's scary, you shouldn't even think about starting an online business (because it’s NOT scary, and if you think it is, well…you get the point).
    Let’s throw yet another fact into the mix. People will always favor natural search engine results over paid ads. In fact, the search engine listings that gather the most clicks by far, are the first 3 natural listings (the ones that are highest on the page, but are not ads).
    Most people are TIRED of ads! So...
    Natural result #1 for any given search online gets about 40% of all clicks.
    Natural result #2 gets about 1

    • 7 min
    Wholesaler Backorders: Why and What To Do

    Wholesaler Backorders: Why and What To Do

    When you’re selling online, whether you use Drop Shipping or you physically stock and ship your products, wholesale backorders from your supplier are always a real possibility. As a business owner, it’s really important for you to understand why this happens and what you can do to avoid damage to your online reputation.
    Be sure to Subscribe to the Show!
    Find much more TRUTH about ECommerce on my site.
    EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
    Welcome to Chris Malta's EBiz Insider Podcast, where we don't have to PRACTICE telling the truth, because we don't know how to do anything else!
    When you’re selling online, whether you use Drop Shipping or you physically stock and ship your products, wholesale backorders from your supplier are always a real possibility.
    Wholesale backorders often seemingly come out of nowhere, and leave you holding the bag, trying to explain to your customer why you suddenly can’t deliver what they bought.
    To some degree or other, this is almost always the result of the Butterfly Effect, where one small problem in the Supply Chain ripples out across the entire product market.
    As a business owner, it’s really important for you to understand why this happens and what you can do to avoid damage to your online reputation.
    So please bear with me as we go through a how a hypothetical "Butterfly Effect" wholesale backorder situation might occur. Sometimes the reasons for these problems are simple, and sometimes they're more complex. I'm going to use a more complex example that touches every aspect of the Supply Chain, because a Supply Chain is something you should understand as a business owner.
    Then we'll talk about what to do about the problem.
    Let’s say you’re selling Coffee Makers.
    The US-based Manufacturer of the coffee makers orders different parts for those coffee makers from different specialized suppliers around the world, and assembles those parts into the finished product in the US.
    One day, somewhere in China, the machine that punches out the metal bands for the coffee pot handles breaks down.
    As with many companies in the largely unregulated manufacturing space in China, it’s a very small manufacturing company using a very old machine to punch out those metal bands. The breakdown is a crack in the pressure cylinder that drives the press, and the fix is very difficult. Parts for that machine are impossible to come by, because this small Chinese company bought the 50 year old machine at a cheap price from a Russian surplus equipment dealer and there aren’t any replacement parts to be had.
    The Chinese company can’t manufacture the metal bands until they repair or replace the machine. They can’t replace it because there aren't any cheap surplus presses to be had, and a newer machine is too expensive for this small manufacturing operation to buy.
    The small Chinese company is down for 3 weeks while they remove the old cylinder and have a replacement specially made for it by an equipment fabricator in Thailand.
    This one breakdown and repair delay sends a ripple effect across the entire Supply Chain for your coffee makers.
    The small Chinese company is operating on a (very common) 3 month lead time. That means that the metal bands they make today, for example, don’t arrive on a ship and get offloaded to a US Customs Port for about 3 months.
    Because they have that lead time, the Chinese company decides not to notify the US-based manufacturer that they have a problem. They’re afraid of losing their contract, so they keep the delay a secret for as long as they can while they scramble to fix the problem and hope to catch up to their quota in time.
    The US-based manufacturer happily goes along assembling coffee makers with the parts they have from the delivery of thousands of metal bands that just came in on the last shipment, unaware that one critical part is about to be delayed.
    Because the Chinese company didn’t tell the US company that there would be a delay, the US company doesn

    • 9 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

vlad mychka ,

Real info

Great staff this info will help you get better understanding of running real internet business HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

amurph18 ,

Great Content!

Chris is the real deal! No fluff. No foolishness. Just good sound information on how to really run an ecommerce business. Loved the segment on "Private Labeling."

Marilynw2575 ,

Marilyn Witt

Lots of great information! Thanks for helping us all get started in Ebiz.

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