Friday, 3 August 2012

eBay Store Owner's Guide to Success

As we have touched on in a number of posts over the last few weeks, competition between online eBay stores is growing evermore fierce by the day. While we have given you a number of great tips to help take your eBay store to the next level, we at eSellution are feeling in a very generous mood, so we've decided to give you a few more. 

Stay Ahead of the Curve

When running an online store, knowing what's ahead before it actually happens is crucial if you are going to help propel your store to the next level. What you don't want to do is run your business from one day to the next and then find that your competitors have gone leaps and bounds ahead of you, by taking advantage of ever-changing seller trends. As we have say in many different posts here at eSellution, the future of all online store sales comes in the form of mobile stores. With around 10 percent of all online store sales made on mobile phones, you really can't afford to overlook the power of having a mobile commerce store. 

You may look at your current sales and think that, as the majority of your sales are currently made through computer terminals rather than mobile phones, your store doesn't need to spend money creating a mobile store. While this could be true at present, it doesn't allow you to stay ahead of the seller curve. Store sales made on mobile devices are only going to get bigger and bigger until we get to the stage where the vast majority of all transactions are carried out on these devices. Looking at how future trends will shift and acting on them now, ensures that you are fully prepared for whatever direction seller trends shift, ensuring you're not struggling to keep up when these changes do occur.  

Quality Service, Quality Products

Now I know when running a small online ecommerce store business, margins can be tight, making it difficult to make a substantial profit at times. However, one thing you should not do is skimp on the quality of your goods and services in order to increase your profit margins. What you should be doing is always looking to have the best quality products, best possible suppliers and efficient, professional staff around you. While you might make a larger profit in the short term with cheaper items and staff, it is the quality of your products and service that is going to give your store long term success. 

Good products at an affordable price, when combined with a friendly and efficient customer service is going to result in happy customers and ones that are going to return to your store time and time again in the future for repeat business.

Keep Track of Your Competitors

With over 400,000 eBay stores in the UK, no matter what category of items you are selling, there is going to be a whole host of other stores all selling the same items. Keeping track and more importantly, staying ahead of these stores is what's going to give your store the best chance of being successful. 

You should look to check your competitors stores on a regular basis, this could be every month or even every week. When viewing a rival store, you should make note of their layout and product pricing and then compare this with your own store. If you find that rival stores are selling the same items as yourself but at a cheaper price, you may need to look at your own pricing structure in order to compete. 

There are two very big reasons behind this. The first is the most important and the most obvious. Why would someone buy a product from your store when they can by exactly the same product somewhere else cheaper? The second is the effect your pricing will have on your eBay search results. When customers search for a product, they generally sort their items by the cheapest price first. Having your items at a higher price than your competitors will result in your products featuring lower on these results. This will most likely result in customers selecting cheaper products higher up the list without ever even seeing your products. 

Engage With Your Customers

As the old saying goes: "The customer is always right." When engaging with your customers, you need to look at every single one of them and treat each of them as though they are essentially royalty. This means engaging regularly with the each customer, keeping them up to date with every stage of the purchase process. This will ensure that they have the most enjoyable buying experience possible. 

Even once the transaction has been completed, look to keep engaging with these customers by sending them information about products and offers through your store's social commerce applications as well as getting opinions about how they found the overall experience. This allows you to not only build up your relationship with your customers, but their feedback also enables you to improve the experience of future customers.

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