Relentless Simplicity - The Bonanza Blog
Welcome to the Bonanza Blog! Here you will find all the latest news about our online marketplace, with timely stories about how to get the most out of your selling online and effectively manage your online shop.
Responsive design looks great on every platform.
Barely a month has passed since we announced Bonanza Webstores, and already 1,000+ merchants have signed up and created their own beautiful, professional online stores. We thought this would be a good time to update you on improvements and new features we’ve added since launch.
Added: Delicious Themes
We’ve added 4 new themes (one every week!): Swiss, Baby Beluga, Otter, and Poppy. All of our themes use responsive design, meaning they automatically look amazing on every platform - desktop, mobile and tablet.
You can check out the new themes at our demo store, http://www.ATestableStore.com. Try out different themes using the theme-preview bar at the top of the page. And be sure to view it on your smartphone - they look great, even on a tiny mobile screen.
Improved: Custom Page Menus
When editing your homepage, now you can specify navigation for your custom pages. (Previously, it listed all pages and wasn’t configurable.) To customize the menu, click the blue box next to “Products” in the customize/edit homepage view. The box will say "Edit page navigation” if you haven’t added any pages yet.
Improved: Featured Items
Your Webstore homepage can show a... (continued)
Webstores coming at you on every platform!
I know we just released a giant new feature last week (our Bonanza Affiliates program), but why stop there? Today, we’re announcing our next big feature: Bonanza Webstores. It’s your ticket to getting your very own, customizable, standalone ecommerce website.
I already sell on Bonanza, how can I benefit from a Webstore?
As you build your online business, selling at a marketplace like Bonanza gets you up and running quickly - sales can start right away thanks to our direct visitors and our Broadcaster network of search partners. But as your business grows and you start to build a unique brand, getting a standalone website also becomes an attractive option.
- A standalone website offers a dedicated home for your business, to print on business cards and link to in social media
- It gives you control over your site’s visual design, to more closely represent the tone of your brand
- It can make your business look more professional, especially if you use a custom domain name (www.YourCompany.com)
How is a Bonanza Webstore different from other website builders?
We think Bonanza Webstores are uniquely well-suited for existing Bonanza sellers, because we built it... (continued)
Yet again we have outgrown database server, and tonight we will be moving to a biggernewerfaster box.
Here it is gathering all the power in the universe to prepare for some x-treme data processing:
We'll be bringing the site down at 10:30pm PST to make the switch. If all goes well, we hope to be back online (and faster!) by 11pm PST.
Since so many of you spent the time to let us know what was important to you, I thought it would be fun to follow up on this survey and see the progress that we've made on your requests.
As a refresher, here's what was voted for by you, the users:
Done so far
More Advertising Committed $1m to advertising in 2014. Also added several new advertising channels for our sellers (Bing Shopping, TheFind, Nextag, eBay, and Pricegrabber) on March 4th, 2104. Added advertising by Affiliate Program in the past week. We project the sum of these new channels to result in tens of millions of new buyers to your products over the next year.
Better Ability to Bulk List/Bulk Edit Listings Added an Amazon importer January 2014, to import and synchronize your Amazon inventory. Opened our eBay importer sync tool for all sellers, March... (continued)
Another week, another megafeature launch at Bonanza. This is one we’ve been working on for several months now, based on the belief that it will (slowly) become our #1 or #2 source of buyer traffic.
Banner ad for affiliates
What is it?
Judging by the title of this blog post, it is the Bonanza Affiliates Program!
Affiliate programs are not a new idea. eBay has one. Amazon has one, which is purported to drive up to 40% of their buyer traffic. The basic concept is that if you run a blog, reviews site, or some other web property that generates meaningful traffic, you can turn that traffic into revenue by joining an affiliate program. Ideally, ours.
What makes Bonanza’s Affiliate Program different?
We made a list. But in a nutshell: we pay about twice as much as the “web's most popular affiliate program" (Amazon). And unlike other affiliate programs, we pay the publisher not only in dollars, but in new subscribers to their blog or website.
I’m a Bonanza seller (or prospective seller). What does this mean for me?
More sales. That you don’t have to pay a dime for until we find buyers for you.
One of Bonanza's most requested features is now live and ready for use, direct checkout! Beginning today, sellers who meet the criteria for this feature can now accept credit and debit cards for buyer purchases on Bonanza. Direct checkout will take Bonanza's checkout process from 5 pages and 3-5 minutes (mostly spent waiting for PayPal to load) to 2 pages and under one minute for return buyers. We expect that this increased ease of checkout will drive higher conversion rates, as well as an increase in return customers.
Direct checkout will help pave the way for fun initiatives like allowing shoppers to add an additional item to their order after checkout, or subscribe to getting regular items from sellers. Neither of these ideas will be implemented immediately, but are representative of the increased latitude we now have with direct checkout being live. Direct checkout will allow shoppers from around the world to use a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card when they are shopping on Bonanza from sellers who have enabled this payment method, without shoppers being redirected away from Bonanza.
Direct checkout is currently available for sellers who:
Have an active Bonanza selling account with multiple transactions... (continued)
At Bonanza, we work hard to help our sellers be successful. For example, we all know that setting your product images against a white background (instead of your messy garage floor) looks nicer for shoppers and can increase sales conversion. That's why we built and launched our Background Burner tool in 2012 to do exactly that: remove the backgrounds from your product images, automatically.
Our seller community has already made Background Burner a huge success, with millions of product images Burned. But it's always nice to get some "formal" recognition! This week, no less than TIME Magazine recognized Background Burner in its 50 Best Websites of 2014 for being a great service.
If you haven’t tried Background Burner yet, there are two ways to use it:
- Integrated with Bonanza seller tools. While editing any of your product listings, click the "Background Burner" button under the product photo to remove the background.
- As a stand-alone web app. Go to http://www.bonanza.com/background_burner to upload any photo, and even replace the background with a different image. (Also great for Photochopping your buddy Mark.)
We're honored and humbled at this international media recognition.... (continued)
Hot weather, hot sales, and happy customers
About the only thing hotter than the weather this Summer has been the increase in sales on Bonanza. Whereas a normal Summer means sagging sales, this year has been unique, with sales and GMV surging (and setting new record highs) with every passing month. It is with this backdrop that we know we must be focused on ensuring all of these transactions result in happy buyers and word-of-mouth growth that benefits the entire selling community.
Keeping out-of-stock refunds to a minimum is essential to that goal. When a customer receives a refund for an out-of-stock purchase, their impression of Bonanza is an unfavorable one. Finding something to buy has an air of excitement that comes with it. When this excitement is dashed by a refund before receiving the item, it creates a negative experience that buyers remember and avoid. Being a collective marketplace means that the refunds of one seller can result in lost sales for other sellers. This is what we seek to avoid as sales keep getting hotter.
Read on to learn more about how we track refund rates and... (continued)
Back in the early days of Bonanza it was just Bill, Jordan and me. That would help explain why we had so many football, swimwear, and video game hand picked lists on the home page. So long as we had a fridge full of beer and fresh ping pong balls it was all good in the hood. Enter today where the female to male ratio on Bonanza is dead even (yes, Roobie counts). Recently Judy paid a visit to headquarters where this image was taken and I thought it would be fun to share with you. Roobie apologizes for her pose, it was casual Friday. You go Bonanza girls!
From L to R; Reilly (Happiness Producer), Judy (Happiness Producer), Kendra (Marketing Maven), Emma (Content Magician), Roobie on Rails (resident princess)
Our servers will be changing location this evening, starting at 10pm PST. We're aiming to be back online by 4am PST on Wednesday morning.
The servers last saw the light of day in 2011, and they have expressed a great deal of excitement about finally getting to taste fresh air again.
It might not end up being quite as glorious as the server is dreaming it will be.
"OMG! I've never been so excited about postage!"
Some parts of selling online can feel like “busy work” that takes time and isn’t very fun. For many of us, buying postage is one of those chores. That’s why we’re excited to announce that, starting now, you can buy and print USPS shipping labels without ever leaving Bonanza.
All you need is a standard computer printer to make postage-paid labels in minutes. Just pay for the postage inside Bonanza, print the USPS-approved label, and affix it to your package.
We’ve designed it to be super fast, and super easy - we even mark the order as shipped and and set the tracking number for you. So you can spend less time waiting in line at the post office and more time growing your business.
Where can I find the Bonanza postage-printing feature?
I thought it might be fun to hide it - like an easter egg hunt - but Bill insisted on making it easy to find. (He’s like that.) When you view an order in "Items Sold," you’ll see the new option as “Buy shipping.” It’s located right next to the links you already use to mark items as... (continued)
A booth in motion is a booth that stays in motion. Registration is now open for the Fifth Annual Christmas in July sale!
Legend says that nearly 128 years ago, Santa had a bunch of toys left over (cause everyone was really bad back in the old days) that were causing a riff between him and Mrs Claus. Mrs Claus had enough of it and threatened Santa with no cookies for dessert unless he cleaned out the workshop. With his mind set on snickerdoodles, Santa needed to cook up a plan, quick-like. That is when he shared his story with Buddy the Elf (his trusted 1/2 human 1/2 elf) who suggested that Santa have a mid year sale to liquidate his stock of toys. Santa applauded Buddy for his slick idea and even promised Buddy that he would eventually introduce Buddy to his real father in New York, in the future of course.
Today we call this annual event the "Christmas in July" sale and right now is the time to get signed up and get ready. This community run event is a great opportunity to network with your fellow sellers, get involved, and have some fun! It is... (continued)
In a nutshell, sellers can now add custom variations to their items, directly via the new/edit item form. Once you select a category, you will see normal trait options.
Type in your variation. If it already exists it will show. If not, click "Enter," and the variation will be added to this single item.
If you have multiple colors/multiple sizes, you can just type in "Many Colors" or "Many Sizes" into the field and click enter, and a new option will show so you can add multiple colors and sizes
Now these will show as options for your buyers
You are also able to create trait profiles to use on other listings. Our importers should recognize incoming variations and quantities. Our importers will also recognize various price points on the multiple variations per item. If you find that to not be the case, please contact our world famous Bonanza Support Team so we can assist.
After more than two years development in our labs, we've decided it is time to see what can be built out in the wild with the Bonanza Background Burner. Want to use the burner for your project? Check out the quickstart guide, the API reference, or, for website embedding, the burn widget reference. Otherwise, read on to learn the backstory, technical details, and future plans for the Background Burner.
Quest for Conversion
That background isn't helping
Ever since we founded Bonanza back in 2008, one of our guiding principles has been to make more sales for our merchants by maximizing their products' visibility, traffic and sell-through. We’ve created a huge amount of great tools and tech to help achieve those goals, and its been working: our conversion rates have steadily increased every year as a result of our continued efforts.
But when we looked at the differences between our top-selling merchants and those who were struggling, we noticed a clear trend popping up again and again: The top-selling merchants had great product photos (often shot in expensive photo studios), while the others had product photos that were, to put it gently, “meh.”
There are many studies... (continued)