Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A detailed guide to increasing your sales on eBay

With over 100 million registered eBay users worldwide, it is becoming more difficult than ever to sell products online. No matter what items you decide you want to sell, there will be thousands of other people out there all selling the exact same products. So, how do you make a customer choose to buy the product from you, rather than getting it from someone else?

While an eBay store owner may not have large amounts of time to spend on optimising their store, there are a few simple tasks you can do both on and off eBay to help not only increase traffic to your store, but also make your products more visible and appealing to customers. 

On eBay...

Product Title - One of the more obvious aspects of your products but what you insert will make all the difference in terms of whether a user will find it in their search. The first few words of your product title need to be the keywords that relate to your product. Essentially they need to be the words that a customer would type in a search bar when looking for that particular product. Many people like to put stars or exclamation marks at the start of their product title and while this will help the title stand out visually to the user, it will most likely result in your product appearing further down the search results than you would have liked. 

Product Description - Just like your product title, the key to a good product description is to cut out any waffle. It should be clear, concise and include all of the information that a customer will need in order to make an informed decision. You should also include all other information about the item as a whole such as condition, warranty and the delivery options that will be available to the customer. The more information you provide them with, the more comfortable they will feel in purchasing from your store. 

As you are a professional business, it is important that you project a professional image to your customers. This means that when writing both the product title and product description you should refrain from the following:

  • Placing capital letters where they aren't grammatically correct
  • Including a number of different fonts in your title and description
  • Including a number of different colours in your title and description

Product Image - One of the most important aspects of any product when determining if a product will actually be sold or not. If your product does not have an image, the likelihood is that the the item won't get sold. The image should clearly show the product to the customer. If the image is blurred or doesn't show the product in its entirety, it's going to make customers sceptical about the product as they may believe something may be wrong with it. Many eBay stores now employ a professional photographer to take images of all their products to ensure that the the images they place on their online store are of the highest possible quality. You should also look to have numerous images of each of your products, showing all areas of the item from various angles. Like I said earlier, the more information you can provide a customer with, the more likely they will make a purchase. 

Stand out from your rivals with a custom template from eSellution
Store Template - The look of your store is another important factor in helping your business stand out from your competitors. Having the same generic eBay template that most other stores have is just going to make you seem much less professional and also provides no real reason why a customer should choose your store as opposed to a store that has the same generic template and products. Having a custom eBay template on your store will work wonders in giving your business a new lease of life, making it seem more professional and appealing to visiting customers as well as increasing the number of sales you are going to make, as customers will have more trust and confidence in your products and services. 

Increased Speed and Engagement -  Although you may receive a hundreds of customers visiting your store each day, you should try and make the experience as personal as you can for each customer. One of the ways to do this is to keep the customer well informed throughout the entire purchasing process. This means emailing them when the order has been placed, when the order has been processed and when it has been dispatched. Keeping the customer in the loop stops them getting frustrated and also makes them feel more valued, encouraging them to become a repeat buyer in the future. While engagement is important, so is speed. People generally want something as quick as possible, meaning the faster you can get the product to the customer, the happier they are going to be. 

A Good DSR - Your detailed seller rating (DSR) is another key aspect of your eBay store as poor feedback from your customers is going to put future customers off buying from your store. All eBay businesses are going to get one or two bad reviews it happens everyone, the key is to act on these bad reviews to make sure that you don't get more reviews for the same issue. The key to making your business a success is to look at all feedback, even negative, in a positive light. All feedback is a great way to make your online store more efficient and appealing to future customers. 

Delivery Options - The more options you provide a customer with, the happier they are going to be and delivery options are no different. When a customer makes a purchase from your store, they are going to want to select a delivery option that fits in with their daily lives. Some may want next day delivery, others may want to receive the product within a few working days. Having a variety of options for customers to choose from in terms of delivery is going to make them happier with the whole experience, resulting in not only a sale, but also a good DSR.

Stock Variety - If you find that the products you currently have in your store are struggling to achieve many sales, you may look to freshen up your stock by adding a new line of items. When deciding on new items to sell, you should look at your competitors and customer buying trends to see what are the most popular items people are currently buying and how you can take advantage of a niche market by selling products that your competitors may not be selling. 

Off eBay...

While the majority of your customers are going to be people who have come across your products through the eBay search feature, you shouldn't rest on your laurels and rely only on this traffic source. When running your online store, you need to be out there actively engaging with people, drawing them to your store. 

Blogging - A great way to help stand yourself out from the crowd so to speak. While there are hundreds of thousands of active eBay stores, only a few of these will actually produce regular blog articles. These blogs are not only a great way to create an identity for your business, but they also draw in users who may not know about your business, but are simply interested in the article. This then gives you the opportunity to transform these users from readers to customers. When deciding what content to produce, you should look to produce articles that are related to the products and services that your business provides. For example, if you run an eBay store selling various clothing items, you may look to produce content about the lastest fashion trends or news from the world of fashion. These blogs will also play a great role in helping improve the ranking of your store in search engines, resulting in even more traffic and sales. 

Increase your sales with social media engagement
Social Media - Probably the most important part of marketing and customer engagement for any eBay business. In order to draw customers to your ecommerce store, you are going to have to create a brand identity and make people aware of your business. To do this you should start by making accounts for your business across all social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This then allows you to generate followers and provide content to these followers, advertising products and offers you currently have in your store. These followers then have the ability to share content you produced to their friends and followers, meaning your content could be exposed to thousands of people in a short space of time. 

For those who have never used Pinterest, I strongly recommend using it for your online business. This site allows you to place images of your products on to the site, for users to come across them when they carry out a search. This allows users to become aware of your product without actually visiting your store, increasing the levels of social commerce that your business could achieve.

Forums - Allows you to actively engage with buyers and sellers alike, getting any help or assistance you may need, while also helping provide other users with any help or guidance they may require. Building up a good, authoritative image on these forums, not only helps improve your business image making you seem much more professional, but will also result in more people visiting your online store to take a look at your products and possibly purchase some of them. Another option to take advantage of these forums is to create advertment banners and pay to have them placed on various forums. This increases the exposure your brand can achieve and will result in extra traffic to your eBay store. 

Marketing - There are a number of different marketing tools you can look to use in order to help draw customers to your store. This could possibly involve sending out advertisement emails and SMS messages as well as using search engine ads and taking advantage of retargeting. For a small business, I would recommend using email marketing and retargeting to begin with. Email marketing it easy to carry out and allows you to send a message to a large number instantly. Retrargeting allows you to build up regular customers by having your products appear to customer in banner advertisements across various sites. While this costs money to implement, it ensures that your products are being exposed to people who will definitely have an interest in the items, resulting in more traffic and a higher conversion rate for your eBay store.

Sell Across Multiple Platforms - While eBay is going to be your primary source for selling products, there is no harm in increasing the exposure your products can achieve by selling these products across more platforms. Having ecommerce, mobile and Facebook versions of your store allows you to import your eBay products on to each of the platforms and allowing more people to become aware of your products. While you may think this would be a more costly and time consuming route, there are a number of ecommerce platforms that make this relatively simple. The service we offer here at eSellution allows you to create your own ecommerce store selling across all of these platforms, integrating it all with your current eBay store, without you having to spend more time than you currently spend running your eBay store and you can get it all for free

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