Aside from the Amazon marketplace in North America, Europe and Asia, this mega company holds several other subsidiaries. A few of these are eCommerce sites, and the biggest of these smaller companies include online retailers Shopbop and Zappos, self-publishing platform CreateSpace, video streaming service Twitch.tv, audio bookstore Audible, audio book publisher Brilliance Audio, rare bookstore AbeBooks, gaming studio Double Helix Games, and maritime forwarding business Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service. Perhaps the most notable of these subsidiaries is Woot, known as the original daily-deal site. Below, we give you an introduction to Woot’s sales model, marketing style, and a guide to begin selling on the site.
The Woot Sales Model
Woot is an online retailer popular for its main theme of offering different discounted products every day. The company’s tagline is, unsurprisingly, “One Day, One Deal”. The main website originally offered only one discounted product each day. The item would never be announced in advance, but it was usually electronics or computer hardware. The item would sell until it was sold out, and the next item would generally not be offered until midnight. After being acquired by Amazon.com in 2010, Woot began offering a new item if the day’s item sold out before noon.
Other Woot sites offer daily deals for t-shirts, children’s items, wine, household goods, tools, fashion accessories, sports equipment and other various items. Only the t-shirts were originally shipped outside of the United States, with all other items sent courier for a fixed fee regardless of weight or size. Since the acquisition, Woot is tied into the Amazon distribution network. Some shipping delays are still experienced since some items that are sold are not actually in stock. Woot customers are allowed to grab a limited number of deal items, sometimes one and a maximum of three. Some Woot deals are on refurbished items, which has caused data leaks on at least one occasion.
The one-deal-a-day Woot business model means that replacements are not offered for defective products. Customers can only request refunds, and customer support is non-existent. Woot customers are referred to the manufacturer or the user community on the Woot forums to file complaints or get information.
The Woot Marketing Style
Woot is a fun site that leverages humor to sell products. Product descriptions are strange and even crazy, often mocking not only the product but also the customer and Woot itself. Descriptions also straightforwardly acknowledge product downsides. The serious details of the products are also available, however, below the Woot description. Advice from the Woot community is also readily available through the forums, which function much like Amazon reviews in guiding would-be buyers. The forum is kept lively by various contests that are more for enjoyment than prize value.
The self-proclaimed primary benefit of selling on Woot is their honed mechanism for running flash deals. As the website Vendor FAQ explains, they are a good way to dispose of excess inventory, even items that would seem difficult to sell off. Woot agrees to take item quantities upfront, and pays vendors when the orders for the deal items have shipped out.
Woot will also take practically any kind of item. Vendors are welcome to send in their best offers to be evaluated by the team, who will then offer suggestions and a customized plan to suit vendor needs, such as disposing of unwanted it
ems or testing the salability of a new product. Woot also offers several deal formats, such as featured daily deals, extended flash sales and the classic Woot-off sale that can extend the daily deal for a certain item to three days.
Vendors can take advantage of the Woot community as well as the sales members who often post detailed information about certain products and which features make them sell better. The marketing model is also a unique and powerful attraction factor.
Selling on Woot
To start selling on Woot, there is an onboarding process that is similar to becoming a vendor on Amazon. Prospective vendors will need to agree to the shipping and vendor terms, and submit a W9 to their assigned vendor manager. Successfully onboarded vendors can then start submitting deals and can expect to launch a deal within a month from that date.
Woot vendors will need to go through the SellerCloud integration process, which includes manual order import and tracking export. Vendors who have integrated a website that is not on the Magento platform will need to create a separate company for Woot orders to distinguish them from other orders made on the website. Inventory is not updated from SellerCloud with inventory feeds, however, so creating shadows is not necessary.
Plugins are available to facilitate the process. These plugins are placed on the vendor’s server. Note that files will have to be imported manually since Woot does not support FTP access. Vendors can customize plugins to suit their needs, but different rates may apply for these changes. SellerCloud Support can provide details on the available plugin versions and customizations.
The SellerCloud Support plugin to take care of order import permits the direct import of Woot generated files. Customization includes importing orders as wholesale. To import an order, go to Import Orders under the Order menu and choose the company you want to transact with. Choose the option to use Website as the Channel and choose the Woot plugin from the dropdown. Select the order file that you want to upload from your computer and press the Import button.
To export Woot-ready shipping confirmations, you can use the tracking export plugin. Go to Manage Orders and select the orders in question. Go to the action Menu and choose Export Orders, then press Go or the export icon located at the top right of the grid. Choose the Woot tracking export plugin and click the Export button. The task will be queued and the download will be available once completed, ready for upload to Woot. Shipped Woot orders can also be scheduled to export, along with other recurring tasks.