Track Your Parcel

11th time unlucky – the latest eBay power outage

Whether you are using it as a side-line or as a fulltime business, eBay has opened up the ecommerce world for hundreds of thousands of people across the world. But what happens when our reliable friend eBay becomes a little less reliable? Unfortunately last week eBay suffered its 11th outage of the year which was (rather more unfortunately) also on their 19th Birthday.

 

What impact was felt by the eBay community? The answer is simple….lots! The family of sellers were unable to go about the business of listing, relisting and pulling off the details for shipping their goods. And perhaps even more problematic was that buyers, for approximately 4 hours, were unable to part with their hard earned money.

 

Is this normal or should we expect more? eBay seem to be having a bad year for outages but they are not alone. On the same day that eBay went down last week we also saw outages at Facebook and Tumblr all due to internal IT issues rather than any sort of malicious attack. And judging from the response on Twitter none of the brands came out unscathed!

 

What was eBay’s response? Unfortunately this was the most frustrating part as the eBay response was…limited. Rather than taking a proactive approach across their site and on social media they said very little. Chris Dawson at Tamebay.com summed it up well stating that “…the communication plan that eBay employed is neither acceptable [nor] successful. They need to talk and reassure people from the earliest moment: on Twitter, on Facebook, in public. That they didn’t is pretty reprehensible.” 

 

Will the eBay sellers affected be compensated? The eBay response to Tamebay.com was

For several hours starting on Wednesday 3 September, some users experienced issues when visiting eBay. We acted quickly when the disruption began shortly before 6pm BST, and the issue was fixed for most users within two hours. Transactional issues were completely resolved for all users by 12:16am BST Thursday 4 September.

This service interruption was the result of a technical issue that occurred during scheduled server maintenance. The personal information of our users was not compromised.

While many users were not affected, we know that any interruption for our users is frustrating. Please know that as a seller with transactions impacted by this issue, we’ll be protecting you as follows:

• You’ll receive a credit for all fees for auction-style listings (except those that sold for a Buy it now price) and any fixed price listings without a sale (except 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled listings) that ended between 5:46pm BST on Wednesday, 3 September and 2:20am BST on Thursday, 4 September.

• If the affected listing was a free listing, you can relist it within 7 days for free, even if you’ve used all your regularly allotted free listings.

• Any transaction defects we can identify as resulting from this issue will be automatically removed and will not impact your performance record.

The credits will be applied to your account by 16 September and will be reflected on your next invoice.

We understand that this type of service interruption has an impact on your selling activity. We’re taking steps to prevent this from happening again and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.

As always, thank you for selling on eBay.

 

There is no denying the frustration that these outages have on both eBay buyers and sellers but despite this the eBay marketplace is simply too powerful to ignore. We just hope that the tech team start peddling faster to keep these problems to a minimum so that you only have to worry about growing your business rather than wondering whether you storefront will be open for business that day!

Posted by Siobhan at 17:08

Search marketing for your e-commerce business

How can you launch and grow your start-up business with a maximum return on your budget?

Search marketing can be both cost-effective and impactful – if you know what you’re doing. The marketing manager here at My Parcel Delivery is happy to share some of her secrets to campaign success so that you too can help your business reach new customers.


Search strategy – Pay Per Click:

Using Google Pay Per Click (PPC) is an easy, flexible and cost-effective way of advertising.

To begin, you set your maximum “cost per click” (your “bid”) which tells Google you will pay each time someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. Your ad position is your bid x your quality score. Work out in advance your maximum advertising budget to generate a sale; this is your target cost per converted click. Once your campaign is up and running you can increase your keywords that are hitting target and reduce the rest. Budgets can be set per day: without tightly controlled budgets you may be surprised how much you can spend!

Writing relevant ad text raises the chances of getting clicked on by people who want to buy from you and a good Click Through Rate (CTR) helps your quality score, delivering cheaper clicks.


Search strategy – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

When first setting up in business and budgets are tight, it’s tempting to think that SEO is the answer to your advertising needs. But remember it takes time and effort and gives no guarantees. You should build your website to be “SEO-friendly “but beware of companies that promise to get you the top spot in Google search. An external agency can help you improve SEO, but make sure it doesn’t involve short term, high risk tactics that will attract a penalty from Google in the long term.

Monitor your traffic using Google Analytics: video explanations of each feature and tutorials mean you get to understand the insights quickly. It will show you which users are buying from you, which are your best regions, times of day, which computer devices being used, etc. But don’t just learn that “Birmingham is a good converting region” for you; optimise your PPC campaigns accordingly. You can up-weight and down-weight your bids according to time of day, region and device. Once you’ve learned something about your customers, think how you’re going to use that intelligence to reach more of them.


These tips are a great starting point from where you can increase your customer base greatly with a relatively modest budget.

Posted by Shaun at 15:51

Sending a parcel to France

Send a parcel to France – all you need to know.

 

Sending a parcel to the UK is a doddle – we know the address format and can estimate how long it will take the parcel to arrive. But what about when we send parcels internationally? Each country has individual quirks to their address format but do not fear – we have the answers here. One of the most popular countries to send to is just over the water in France and this quick blog will help put your mind at ease by telling you exactly what you need to know.

 

Address label

Ensure you have space for 6 lines of text on the parcel/label

Line 1

Write the person's full name, with the surname in CAPITALS. Similar to Mr, Mrs and Miss, our French neighbours use “Monsieur” or ”M” for a man, “Madame” or “Mme” for a woman and “Mademoiselle” or “Mlle” for a young unmarried woman.

Line 2

Write the company name. This line is only relevant if you are sending your parcel to a Business in France. If this is going to a personal address you can skip this line

Line 3

Write the building's name and number. Again this is mostly relevant if you are sending your parcel to a Business in France. If the personal address you are sending to does not have a building name and number you can skip this line

Line 4

Write the street number, followed by the street name. There is not punctuation needed on this line

Line 5

Write the postcode followed by the town name in CAPITALS. The postcode consists of 5 numbers only, with no spaces

Line 6

Write France in CAPITALS to highlight it is a European package.

 

Your French address should now look like this:

Mlle Francoise MENIVIER,

Firm Parcel,

Hotel MYPD,

67 Rue Ponselle,

79532 LYON,

FRANCE

 

What’s more, including the recipients local telephone number could help if the courier in France is unable to find the address. They do not guarantee to call but if you provide a number they will have the option should they choose to.

 

How to choose your service

There are plenty of courier services available for sending a parcel to France but to choose ask yourself 3 questions

  1. What is the value of the parcel you are sending?
  2. How soon do you need your parcel to arrive?
  3. How much do you want to spend on your parcel delivery?

Once you have answered these questions simply get a quote or take a look at our best value parcel delivery services to France.

 

Posted by Siobhan at 14:48

How to...pick the best courier for your parcel

Our priority is to make choosing a courier as simple as possible and we are working hard to help with easy to use guides. 

Our "How to Choose a Courier" guide is perfect to help make a decision based on your

  1. Delivery address
  2. Printer access
  3. Whether you want a collection or drop off service
  4. Delivery time frame

Download your FREE "How to Choose a Courier" guide here.

What's more, we have pulled together some key questions to ask when choosing your courier to make sure you select the best option. 


Posted by Siobhan at 15:28

Marking 20 years of online shopping

It is hard to believe that only 20 years ago secure online shopping didn’t exist! It was on this day in 1994 that a man called Phil Bradberger went shopping online with a company called “Net Market” and, by buying a CD of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales”, made history. The following day The New York Times announced that the “Internet is Open” and a new era in shopping had begun.

 

Over the past two decades the internet has changed the way many of us shop. No longer are we willing to travel from shop to shop, battling the elements and comparing prices to get the best deal on everything from a new toothbrush to a new bathroom. We are now much happier to sit at home, laptop, tablet or mobile in hand. We can browse in the comfort of our own home before choosing our item and then waiting excitedly for it to be delivered just a few short days later. This is so much so that UK online spending for 2014 is predicted to be a massive £107bn – a long way from 1994 when champagne corks were popped over the first successful secure online purchase of a CD being made.

 

What made this change so significant to retail? James Roper, Chairman of IMRG, marked 20 years of online shopping by visiting the John Lewis Distribution Centre and commented that “Online shopping has really transformed consumers' expectations in three particular ways”


    1. Range – we now have access to far more than what is available on our local high-street. In fact, we now have tens of millions of products at our fingertips instead of the thousands previously on offer
    2. Convenience – the ability to shop wherever we want and whenever we want means that we can find what we need within the touch of a few buttons
    3. Value – online shopping saves not only money but time too as there is no travel time to take into account, especially when the store has sold out!

But we don’t think this is the end of the story. We are quickly becoming true multi-channel shoppers as 57% of smartphone users report using their phone in store while hunting for more sizes, more information and even better prices. Some stores are even attaching QR codes to their labels, allowing us to go directly to their website to help make that purchase decision. This means that the savviest of shoppers are finding the best of both worlds, being able to see and touch the product they want, but having the technology available to find out even more. Clever shoppers are now in the driving seat and we cannot see that stopping.

 

As we continue to embrace online shopping, and more and more people supplement their income by becoming eBay sellers, Amazon sellers or creating their own small business, we are selling and sending more and more. So we say thank you to Phil Bradberger for making history and helping to develop the internet into what we know today.

Posted by Siobhan at 14:55

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