Thursday, 29 November 2012

Pinterest set to boom this Christmas

Last year, in December alone, customers spent nearly £8 billion purchasing products from an ecommerce store. As we at eSellution tell all of our clients on a regular basis, social media plays a vital role in helping your store achieve any long standing success. 

When planning out your Christmas social media attack, you must make sure that you include Pinterest in all of your plans. While many major bands use the social media site to create their own boards containing their own products, you shouldn't just think as a platform only being useful for companies with an established brand image. Whether your business is big or small, there are a number of large benefits to taking the time to establish yourself on Pinterest. 

Especially over Christmas, with many ecommerce stores all vying for the custom of people looking to purchase presents, food and other holiday necessities, standing out from the crowd and getting your products out there can often be difficult. Pinterest allows you to create your own personal boards containing images of all the products you have for sale. When a customer then searches for an image related to one of your products, it displays that product to the user. 

Pinterest is a fantastic way to begin increasing your brand image and product awareness, encouraging more people to visit your site and view the products on your page. While you may have a number of different marketing channels that you devote most of your time to, you need to incorporate Pinterest as for starters is is completely free to create a board and get it up there for people to see and secondly, it,s global exposure with over 10 million active users, meaning it can dramatically increase the levels of traffic your store will see over Christmas. 

Read our article "Pinterest better than Facebook" to see the statistics as to why you need to use this social media platform in order to achieve success this Christmas. With less than a month to go until Christmas, it is essential you begin marketing your store, brand and products across all marketing channels to ensure you get the exposure required to bring in the desired results. 

eBay alter new multi variation images policy

eBay has made changes to it multi variation images policy after receiving a number of complaints from eBay store owners. 

Recently, eBay made changes to the variation images, displaying a specific variation, such as a certain colour, on the product search results depending on the search query which a user entered. However, many store owners complained about this change as they preferred having the general composite image that showed all of the variations of a product that a store has for sale. 

The problem with the multi variation images is that if a buyer doesn't like the look of the product you have for  sale in the specific variation, the likelihood is that they aren't going to know that there are other variations available. This often results in them dismissing your product as a potential purchase and looking for other search results. 

According to a statement on eBay's UK general announcements, the new multi variation images will be rolled back on December 5th to the original main share product image on all product searches, across all categories. However, the colour variation images will still be used on colour related searches. 

eBay to give buyers real life social shopping experience

From Friday 30th November until Sunday 2nd December, eBay will be running a social media shopping experience in Covent Garden, London as they look to increase interactivity and sales on the online marketplace. 

According to some experts, Sunday December 2nd is expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year, as  many people look to get a large amount of their Christmas shopping completed well before the anticipated rush. 

The pop up store will contain large screens that will show Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts which people have placed on the social networking sites of products they have or would like to purchase. It is thought that this will give people an idea of what the more popular gift ideas are this Christmas and encourage them to also purchase these items. 

During a visit to the eBay pop up store, users will also be able to download the various eBay mobile applications on to their smartphones and scan product QR codes using a scanner on their smartphones. This ability to scan QR codes will be the most memorable aspect of the pop up store shopping experience as users will be able to view these scanned products in augmented reality, meaning they can view the products as a 3D image. 

This augmented reality could soon become a main part of eBay's shopping experience, as the online marketplace believe that this technology could bring a £2.4 billion revenue increase by 2014. 

Not the first pop up store

This isn't the first time eBay have tired the idea of running a pop up store. Earlier this month, eBay opened up a pop up store in Toronto, allowing users to browse a variety of items that eBay have placed in the store from the online marketplace place that they believe would be great holiday gifts. 

Using a QR scanner on their smartphone, users will then scan the QR code relating to the product in the ebay store, which will then open up the product on the eBay mobile app for the user to purchase online. 

These stores launched by eBay are seen as an attempt to increase the use of mobile commerce within it's users, allowing them to develop an ever increasing mobile shopping platform which the marketplace has become heavily invested in. 

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Recent Posts

How to make the most of your social media audience

Facebook putting users phone numbers to use

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How to make the most of your social media audience

When running an ecommerce store, no matter what or where you sell, you are going to gain a number of customers who will become happy with your service and will become dedicated members of your various social media pages. Rather than just leaving them sitting there and occasionally posting the odd status update, how can you get these customers to engage with you to not only develop your relationship, but also improve your site to help draw more customers to your store?


Running a competition for your ecommerce store is one of the best ways to drastically boost your social media followers and something you should look to do on a regular basis. You may run a promotion giving away a product from your store for everyone who follows your social media page, likes a particular status or retweets something you posted. People will then come flooding to your social media page in the hope of being able to pick up a freebie.

While you will be giving away some products for free, the increased followers you will see on your social media pages make this more than a worthwhile endeavour. as your social media followers grow, you will begin to see more and more people transferring from your social media pages to your store, resulting in you making back any losses from the promotion prizes, as well as a nice profit on top. 

New product ranges

One of the hardest parts about adding new product ranges is deciding which product range to implement in your store and deciding now successful each product may be with your customers. The easiest way to find this out is simply to ask them before you definitively decide to add products to the store. You may come up with 3 or 4 different product lines that you possibly want to add to your store and place them on your relevant social media pages. Your customers will then be able to give you their opinion on which products they like. This will then mean that whatever product line you add to your store, you know that there will be customers out there who will definitely be interested in purchasing what you have for sale. 

New logos and website formats

The look and layout of your website not only plays a major role on your overall brand image, it also can be a deciding factor as to whether a customer decides to purchase from you or not. Just like when deciding to add a new product range to your store, you want a logo and a website layout that will appeal to your customers so just like the new products, simply ask them. 

You could place a number of different logo designs on your social media page and then ask your customers to pick their favourite. Based on whichever logo proves to be the most popular, you can then build a new website design that incorporates not only the logo, but also the colour scheme that the logo contains.

If you have a large number of followers, another idea to increase user engagement would be to create a competition where customers could design a new logo for you, They would then submit their designs and you would pick a winner. Whichever logo won would then go on your ecommerce software and be applied to your site and as an added incentive for people to enter, you may decide to give away some products from your store as a prize. 

Amazon announce UK sales figures...and they may surprise a few

Recently, online marketplace giants Amazon have been making a number of headlines here in the UK, along with other global brands such as Starbucks and Google, after a number of questions by the British Members of Parliament regarding the amount they have been paying as their UK tax.

According to written evidence published on the Parliament website, Amazon have released sales figures for the last three years, including the amount they in UK VAT. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Amazon had net sales in the UK of £1.65 billion, £2.36 billion and £2.91 billion respectively. This resulted in them paying £172 million, £262 million and £416 million in VAT. 

While this is a significant amount in terms of generated revenue, to many people, this is much less than they were expecting. With a number of large brand retailers in the UK doing well in excess of £8 billion in sales last year, it puts into perspective that the success of Amazon isn't as great as many people have previously thought.

As there seems to be a constant battle for supremacy between Amazon and eBay for online marketplace success, with Amazon's yearly sales much lower than many expected, it begs the question is eBay equally as over hyped as Amazon seems to be? or is eBay in fact head and shoulders above the rest in terms of generating sales through their online marketplace? 

We shall just have to wait and see...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Plenty on offer for you from eBay this weekend

eBay are running a promotion this weekend offering free listings to private sellers in an attempt to increase the number of products on the marketplace in the run up to Christmas. 

Private sellers will be able to place 100 auction style listings with a starting price of £1 or more for free. However, any feature fees will still apply. The promotion is only available on the website and in order to take part, you must have a registered address in the UK. 

Also, those who use various listing tools will be excluded from the promotion, as will those products listed in the "Cars, Motorcycles & Vehicles" category. 

The free private listing promotion gets under way on Saturday 24th November at 00:00:01am and will last until Sunday 25th November at 23:59:59pm.

The promotion is a great way for users who have never used eBay to give the platform a try by listing a few items which then may encourage them to possible open up an eBay store in the future. 

Sunday Spectacular

Don't forget to take part in another Sunday spectacular from eBay this weekend, that will see up to 75% off a variety of products. The sale has been running the last few Sundays and has proved to be a great success up to this point, with millions of people getting involved. 

The sale kicks of at 8am sharp.

Facebook putting user phone numbers to use

To personalise your social media page, Facebook have allowed you to add personal details to your profile page, such as your telephone number. These numbers are now being offered to advertisers on Facebook through their phone number retargeting initiative. 

The new advertising feature allows business, both local and global, to target someone linked to their business through a phone number via their Facebook account. To put it simply, say you have signed up for a credit card, entering all your personal details including your phone number, but then decided 6 months later you didn't want it and had the credit card cancelled. The credit card company would look into their database of everyone who signed up with them in the past, but are no longer with them any more, cross reference the phone numbers in their records with those linked to various Facebook accounts and begin placing ads on the news feeds of those individuals, advertising new credit cards or services they provide.

These advertisers can also choose to have the ad tracked, allowing them to see how successful their ads have been in getting users to convert. However, it will come as a relief of many to know that the advertisers don't actually get to see your number, they just use them for the purposes of retargeting. When a business, such as a ecommerce store, undertakes this service, the phone numbers used will be replaced with random characters by the system, making the user whose phone number it is anonymous.

If you are someone who doesn't like the idea of having a business target you with advertisements through your phone details, you should remove any records of your phone number that you have on your profile or any other pages on Facebook.

Facebook have made a rather big play towards providing a number of advertising options for businesses in recent months in order to generate some much needed revenue to improve a share price. While the share price is up to 24.32 from 21.21 at the beginning of the month, it's some way off the lofty 38.23 which the share had back in May.

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