IMA Announces Educational Sessions at ASD for March, 2013

IMA has lined up some great speakers for attendees of the ASD trade show for March 18-19, 2013. As always, our speakers will be providing educational classes for both ecommmerce newbies and advanced sellers. If you are an ecommerce seller, this is a great trade show to source new product and learn about the latest in ecommerce! Here’s the current lineup:

Monday, March 18, 2013
9:00 – 10:00
Mike Effle, CEO Vendio

Online Triple Threat: Selling on Amazon, eBay and Your Web Site

Selling to customers online can be compared to having multiple store locations in the offline world. If you are selling on one online venue, it’s probably time you considered diversifying. Just as with brick and mortar businesses, your online business can grow exponentially the more locations you have. Mike Effle, CEO at Vendio, will help you discover the most effective ways to use eBay, Amazon and your own web site to boost your online sales.

Join Mike, a long time industry veteran as he guides you in developing a strong online marketing strategy that will make your online presence known and your sales soar.

Monday, March 18, 2013
10:30 – 11:30
Liam Supple, Product Marketing, SingleFeed

Google Shopping – Get the 800 Pound Gorilla On Your Side

Using Google Shopping may be the best way to get your products noticed. With so many changes to the comparison shopping search landscape, Liam Supple of SingleFeed will show you some expert techniques for getting your products indexed into Google Shopping for the maximum impact.

Getting your products found on the internet is tough! If you are ready to submit your product listings to Google Shopping, then you owe it to yourself to attend this session with Liam Supple of SingleFeed.

Monday, March 18, 2013
12:00 – 1:00
Harry Hirschman, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Vendio

Mobile Commerce and “Showrooming”: Win Business From The Big Box Stores

The reality of competing against Big Box Stores is that there are some things you will never beat them on but there are just as many strategies that you can implement where you can have the upper hand!

Join Harry Hirschman, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development for Vendio as he discusses the ‘Showrooming’ phenomena and how you can win business from the Big Box stores. Harry will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Big Box Retailers and what you can do as a small to medium sized business to up your game.

Monday, March 18, 2013
1:30 – 2:30
Marc Gorlin, Co-founder & Chairman, Kabbage

Funding Your Expanding Ecommerce Business – Case Studies

Raising funds is something most businesses don’t like to do. Sometimes it’s because the lending landscape has changed and it appears difficult – if not impossible – to raise capital and sometimes the reason is that small businesses don’t believe they should be raising funds at all.

Marc Gorlin, the co-founder and Chairman of Kabbage will present some case studies of growing businesses and how and why they raised the capital to fund the expansion of their businesses.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
9:00 – 10:00
Rick Wilson, President/COO, Miva Merchant

Devour Your Competition: Building the Best Web Site

Building a web site is easy; building a GREAT web site that has all the features that customers like takes some skill and knowledge. Even if you think your web site already has it all, Rick Wilson, President of Miva Merchant has some ideas and suggestions for creating the kind of web site that customers have to come to expect in ecommerce shopping – and the kind of web site that will help you devour your competition.

We love knowing that customers are visiting our ecommerce site, but how do we turn a browser into a buyer? For most ecommerce web sites, less than 4% of all visitors actually make a purchase. So how can you increase your sales conversion rate when the odds are against you? With over 13 years in ecommerce, Rick has the expertise to help guide you – and your buyers – in the right direction.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
10:30 – 11:30
Liam Supple, Product Marketing, SingleFeed

Comparison Shopping Engines 101: Getting Your Products Found

Maybe you’ve heard about comparison shopping engines and want to learn more. Perhaps you’ve never even considered them for your ecommerce web site. In either case, this is the session for you to attend to learn the basics of comparison shopping engines.

In this beginner to intermediate level class, SingleFeeds’ Liam Supple will give you the knowledge you need, teach you the ins and outs of comparison shopping engines and show you some expert techniques to getting your product indexed on the comparison shopping engines.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
12:00 – 1:00
Rick Wilson, President/COO, Miva Merchant

The Rise of Tablets – How Responsive Web Design Is In Your Future

Your web site needs to be accessible and usable for everyone even as the number of devices, platforms and browsers that are used to access it continue to expand every day. Incorporating a responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how web sites are built now – and into the future.

Join Rick Wilson, President of Miva Merchant as he discusses the explosive growth in tablets and how you need to be making changes to your site now along with things you need to consider as you redesign your ecommerce web site in the future.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
1:30 – 2:30
Marc Gorlin, Co-founder & Chairman, Kabbage

Personal Credit vs Business Credit – What’s the right type to grow my business?

Many small businesses rely on their own credit to fund their business. But when is it prudent to consider a business loan? And what are the differences between business credit and personal credit? Most businesses find that it’s important to maintain a business credit profile that is distinctly separate from your personal credit profile.
Building separation between the two can help your business develop the credibility that matters to banks, suppliers, and other creditors.

Join Marc Gorlin, co-founder of Kabbage as he discusses the differences between the two so you can decide which one is right for you.

ASD Educational Sessions Now Available

submitted by: Pat – West Florida Components

The Internet Merchants Association and its sponsors recently presented eight educational sessions to the ASD trade show attendees. The bi-annual sourcing show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center with over 30.000 visitors in attendance.

Platinum and Diamond level sponsors including Vendio, Alibaba and MIVA Merchant were among the featured speakers on topics ranging from integrating social media to building effective web sites and search engine optimization.

Most of the speakers have provided their slide decks so that session attendees can review them and download them. The slide presentations are available at slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/imamerchants

The Internet Merchants Association is now accepting applications for the March, 2011 educational sessions. Speaking preference is given to all IMA Platinum and Diamond level sponsors. Interested parties can learn more about the speaking and membership opportunities by contacting Pat Pepe. She can be reached by email at pat@imamerchants.org.

Etailers, Are You Ready? New MasterCard and Discover Rules Coming

As of May 1, 2010, MasterCard and Discover have released new rules that impact the way merchants who accept those cards must handle certain aspects of PrePaid Credit or Debit Cards as well as regular bank Debit Check cards.

Going forward there are three critical issues you must be aware of as a merchant:

1. If someone uses a PrePaid Credit or Debit Card, when you give them the receipt for their transaction you must display the remaining balance available on that PrePaid card.

2. If someone uses a PrePaid Credit or Debit Card or a regular bank issued Debit Check Card and there’s not enough available on the card to complete the entire transaction, you must accept split payments and allow them to pay the remaining balance with another card.

For example, suppose someone is checking out of your online store and their order costs $50 total. When they go to checkout, if their PrePaid or Check Debit Card only has $30 available on it, the system will authorize the $30 and then give them an opportunity to add another card during checkout to pay the remaining $20 balance.

3. If your customer chooses to cancel the order in the case of #2 above, then your gateway must be able to immediately release the hold placed on the initial Authorization created for the PrePaid or Check Cards.

So what does all this mean to you, the online merchant?

Well for now it doesn’t mean a whole bunch for your average small- and medium-sized online merchant.

The first step to make the above even possible in the world of SMB Ecommerce is for the common gateways we all use (like Authorize.net) to implement the tools needed to support these mandates.

Second your shopping cart vendor will need to add support for these features specifically to your gateway; finally, you’ll need to implement these changes in your online store.

For now all you need to do is be aware of what’s coming and pay attention to future announcements from your shopping cart provider and, more importantly, your merchant account and payment gateway provider. As of now, Authorize.net has gotten an extension from MasterCard and Discover and these mandates are not required for Authorize.net customers until June 30, 2011 (14 months from now).

If you have questions, you should check with your payment gateway provider as the mandates and dates for compliance will vary by gateway.

Guest post by Rick Wilson of Miva Merchant. Miva Merchant is an IMA Diamond member.

Reflections on the 2010 IMA Conference

I budget a lot of money on seminars every year, I feel my education is important to me and my business. Although IMA is fairly a new trade association, I continue to be impressed with the conferences that is put on. This year’s conference, which I’m still thinking about, was no exception.

I didn’t have the opportunity to go to all of the ASD & IMA seminars (this photo by IMA president Fred Neff is of just one of the well-attended seminars).

Because I’m familiar with videos and blogging, the rest of the social media venues and networks intrigue me most. So I found this video extremely powerful, and I hope you’ll take the time to watch it.

I keep remembering what Rick Wilson of Miva Merchant (an IMA diamond member) said: social media is a “circle of life.” It’s about the three C’s: connections, then conversation, and then conversations. So if we can build a community of supporters for our businesses and give them good content, they can help us tremendously with our marketing.

Here are some free tools I learned about at the conference:

  • Backtype.com, which is a real-time tool for you to keep tabs of what people are saying about your business
  • Alterian has a freemium version of its monitoring service for you to monitor your social media venues
  • Here is a free tool that helps you with documents, www.docstoc.com
  • And another for PowerPoint presentations, www.slideshare.net

What did you enjoy most about the conference? Please share your learnings.

Business Conference – How Do You Continue Your Education

written by Cathy, Visibility Unlimited

We all think we are the best person to grow our business. The best person for SEO, the best web designer, the best IT person, the best at everything we do. But the problem is that your competitors think the same. The e-commerce industry moves so fast that it is actually impossible to keep up with all the trends and changes. You need help; we all need help to stay ahead of our competitors.

I have taken my education very seriously the last few years and to be honest, the improvement in my bottom line is the proof that it was well worth it. I have gone to business seminars, web design conferences, SEO conferences and many marketing seminars and to me, the cost of being away from my business and the conference expenses were worth every penny. A conference can cost up to thousands of dollars and when you spend this kind of money, it is important to make sure that this investment is going to help your business grow.

One of my favorite conferences that I look forward to every year is the one from the Internet Merchants Association (IMA) which will be held in Las Vegas, March 2-3,2010. It is presented in conjunction with the ASD/AMD Sourcing Show where IMA offers free business seminars to the attendees. This year on the 1st & 2nd of March, IMA will present titles that include “The ABCs of Web Design”, “Big Ideas for Small Businesses” and “Get Found in Search Engines: SEO 101″ to just name a few.

Rick Wilson, Vice President of MIVA Merchant will present an important topic at the IMA Conference, “Top 10 Tips for Designing a Great Checkout Process.” I look forward to hearing what expert Rick has to say about the checkout process. The checkout process for your customers is so important and if your customers “don’t get it” then you can be out of business quickly.

While I love to blog, I am not consistent with the “other” social media stuff. I really do understand it but there has to be a way to make it more financially viable for my business. “Nine Ways to Make Your E-Commerce Site More Social” will help me pull it all together and complete my 2010 plan for my business. Another title that I am looking forward to attending at the IMA Conference in March is “How 21st Century PR Can Build Your Brand”.

I hope you can attend the IMA Conference, March 2-3 in Las Vegas. If you do attend, track me down and I will be happy to buy you a few drinks in the IMA Networking Suite.