Wednesday, 31 October 2012

eBay announce new platform for petrolheads

eBay announced yesterday the launch of their new platform aimed at car enthusiasts called eBay Garage.

The platform is geared towards creating a community of people who have a passion for cars, bikes and other vehicles, allowing them to share images, view statistics and also view other people's cars. As this is part of the eBay marketplace, users will also be able to buy and sell a range of automotive parts and accessories.

eBay Garage will be following a similar patter to eBay's previous "My Vehicles" section allowing users to view other people's profiles, share tips of all things automotive and ask each other questions about vehicles they own or parts they have for sale. 

To get a better idea of the eBay Garage platform, check out a promotion video that was released by eBay on their eBay Ink Blog website.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Top tips to improving your store's text and images

When selling online, it's not only what you're selling that's important, but also how you show those products in your store. In recent weeks we at eSellution have produced articles for you on how to improve your products by including images and detailed descriptions. However, it isn't just about adding them to your products, how you display the images and the description text also plays a major role in determining how successful your store will be in achieving sales.

Product Images

Whenever you take a product picture from your ecommerce store, there are a number of different things you should do:

  • Make sure the image isn't blurry - A clear image allows the customer to see the product in greater detail. If the image is blurry they aren't really going to be able to see it properly. Not only that, having a blurry image for your product makes your business look unprofessional.
  • Photograph the products against a white background - When you photograph your products, you need to make sure that the product is against a white background. Having all of your images appear on a white background improves the look of your website, as all the images are the same colour. Not only that, having a white background makes it much easier to edit the image as you don't have to worry about having to take a coloured background into account when cropping or cutting the image. Creating a white background for your images is simple enough to do. If your products are small, it could simply mean placing them on top of a white sheet of paper when you take the picture. 
  • Try to avoid using watermarks - Especially on sites like eBay, people want to protect their product images from other people using them so they put big bold images on top of them or have thick borders around the image. While this stops other sellers from using your product images, it makes the product images look less tasteful. If you can help it, you should look to avoid using borders or images over your product photograph. If you do decide to use an image to protect your photo, just use a subtle watermark across the image. That way it doesn't damage the overall look of your image and people still know that the image belongs to your store. 
Product Description

Now that you've taken care of your product images, the next thing to focus on is your product description. Having followed our previous article: Ecommerce success starts with the basics and written a product description that provides all the information your customers need, the next step is presenting that information in the correct way. 

  • Use the right font - With so many different fonts to choose from, it's often tempting to have the wildest font you can find to help your product descriptions start out. However, you need to remember that the wilder it is, the more difficult it is going to be for your customers to read. When selecting a font, you should select one that is professional in appearance and easy to read. Once you have selected a font, you should use that font on every single one of the products you have in your store.
  • Keep the text the same size - Now that you've selected your font, you need to choose a size to display the text at. You don't want the text to be that small that the customer can't read it, but you also don't want it to be too big that it takes up majority of the page. Usually the standard font size of around 12 will be big enough to make it easily readable and not too big on the page. Just like the type of font you use, you want to keep the font size the same across all of your products. A mistake a lot of online sellers make is that they have different products which have descriptions containing different fonts at different sizes. All this does is damage the look of your online store. The cleaner your website is, the more professional your public image will be. 
  • Highlight important information - While all of the information in your product description is important, some bits of it are more important than others. For example if a product is only available in a particular size at the moment or you don't offer refunds on it, you might want to make sure the customer doesn't skim over and miss this information by making it appear bold so that it stands out from the rest. 
  • Check the HTML - If you have both an eBay store and an ecommerce store, you may look to save yourself some time by copying over the product description from eBay and placing it into your ecommerce store. However, when you do this you need to make sure that it is only the text you are copying over. If you copy over text that has HTML in it, it will alter the way your description looks, making it appear unprofessional and harming the look of your store. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

6 ways to improve your business's conversion rate

Getting users to visit your ecommerce store is difficult enough, but getting them to actually make a purchase is another problem altogether. While your business may be great at bringing traffic to your site, if you aren't able to turn these visitors into customers, you are missing out on a number of sales that could seriously harm your business's performance. 

So how can you improve your conversion rate?

Make it easy as possible

Making it easy for customers to purchase from your store needs to be two fold.

Firstly, you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to move around your site, browsing through your products until they find one they would like to purchase. This simplicity in the layout could consist of more filters for customers to find a specific product they want, clearer images or more products per page. 

The next step is to make the checkout process as short as possible. When a customer has found the product they would like to buy, they want to be able to purchase it as quickly as possible. While you may need a detailed checkout system to get the customers personal details, delivery details and credit card details, there are a number of ways you can make the checkout system shorter. One way is to limit the information needed only to the bare essentials, this would be just the name, delivery address and credit card details. However, you could decide to go to the opposite end of the spectrum, taking more information the first time they make a purchase on your site to create their own individual account. Not only will this encourage repeat business, but when that customer next visits your ecommerce store to make a purchase, it will be much quicker as their details will already be recorded within your ecommerce software

Also this ease of access shouldn't just be limited to the store itself, but also the browsers which the customer is viewing your store on. You should make sure your store displays correctly in all browsers, primarily Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. If your store doesn't display correctly when a customer visits, it is unlikely they are going to make a purchase. 

Build up trust

If a customer trusts a business, they are likely to make a purchase from the store. While this trust is usually built up through the customer actually making a purchase, you can create these initial levels of trust through other areas such as your social media sites. Engaging with your customers on a regular basis, while also being  honest and informative about what is you have on offer is a great way to not only increase your traffic, but encourage that increased traffic to then convert into valued customers. 

Another way to build up trust is to simply be as open with the customer as you possibly can. For example, if you have a product that is out of stock, tell the customer that it's out of stock and that more will be available soon. Don't allow the customer to still buy the product and then just leave them waiting until you get the product back in stock. All this is going to do is annoy the customer and result in them leaving your site to go elsewhere. While you may miss out on that particular sale, your honesty in handling the situation gives you a much better chance of them returning to your store in the future.

Keep the customer informed

Throughout the entire shopping experience and once the transaction has been complete, you should stay in contact with the customer. During the purchasing process this will consist of regular emails informing them that their order has been placed and when it has been processed and dispatched. Beyond that you can also provide them with regular emails regarding any new products or sales you are running, giving your business the best chance of having them become repeat buyers.

Variety is the spice of life

The more options you provide your customers with, the happier they are going to be. While this may be a greater expense for you, the increased sales that these variables will bring in, make it a much more profitable endeavour. So what should you add variety to? Well the answer is pretty much anything you can think of. In terms of your products, this could consist of different clothing ranges or more size and colour options. You could also provide the customer with more payment and delivery options when it comes to actually purchasing the product. The more options you provide the customer with, the more customers that are going to leave your store having had a memorable shopping experience. 

Provide a number of ways for the user to contact you

A customer may visit your store, find a product they are interested in, but are hesitant to complete the purchase due to one or two queries they may have. Providing both an email address and a telephone number allows the customer to quickly get in touch and have their questions answered by you. While most online stores do have a contact email address, many people are often reluctant to email as they know it usually takes a few days before they get a replay. Having a contact telephone number makes the whole process seem much more personal, allowing them to have their questions answered to then complete their purchase straight away. 

Monitor your competitors

Even if you have had a large amount of traffic and sales in the past, you should always keep track of what your competitors are doing in terms of products they are selling and the prices that they are selling them at. You can then look to adjust your own online store to ensure you are still outperforming them. A customer may visit your site to view a product, knowing how much that same product costs at your competitors store. Having the same product, but at a higher price is then going to result in them leaving your store and purchasing from your competitor. If you had taken the time to view your competitors prices and adjust yours so that it is slightly lower or the same, that customer may have chosen to purchase from you rather than leaving. 

An alternative to eBay Gallery Plus that will save you money

eBay Gallery Plus works by having a larger zoomed in image when a user moves their cursor over a product image on the search results page. The benefit of this being that a potential customer is able to see the product you have for sale in greater details, enticing them to select your product to purchase. 

However, while you may think this is a good feature, the problem arises in terms of how much it will cost the user. While some of eBay's categories offer this feature as a free addition to their listings, many don't, meaning that more often than not, you will have to pay the $0.75 when you list your product and when you list 1000's of products in your ecommerce store, the costs soon mount up. 

In addition to that, if you have a product that you list in a number of different categories, you will have to pay a fee for eBay Gallery Plus for each category. So for example, if you list a a sports video game, you may decide to have that in the Sports category and the Electronics category, meaning you will need to pay $1.50 to have Gallery Plus added to the listing. 

So what's the alternative?

The ecommerce software we provide here at eSellution is not only free in terms of allowing users to set up their online store, Facebook store, mobile store and integrate it all with their eBay accounts, it also allows users to add products to their ecommerce store and then add them to eBay. This means that as the images are on our servers, you won't be required to any image hosting fees to eBay.

In addition to this, all of our ecommerce templates have the zoom in feature added to all of the products, meaning that when a customer moves their cursor over a product image, they are able to see a bigger zoomed in image of that product. You can also export this ecommerce template on to your eBay store, allowing you to improve your business's professional brand image. 

If you run an ecommerce store selling a number of different products, being able to avoid paying image hosting fees could save you a substantial amount of money each year. Our free ecommerce store and the services it provides all have no monthly fee, no set up costs and no other hidden charges whatsoever.

Another 50,000 free listings from eBay

As the American Presidential elections roll on, eBay are looking to take advantage of this political hype with yet another free listing promotion.

Running from today up until November 4th, like some of their previous promotions, this promotion is only available to those who have received an invitation. Those who are lucky enough to take part in the promotion are able to list up to 50,000 auction listings without having to pay any listing fees. If you are an ecommerce store who only deals in the "Buy It Now" option, you can still take advantage of this promotion by having the Buy It Now option appear on the auction listings. 

As an added incentive to take part in the promotion, eBay are also allowing every listing added to have a total of 12 different pictures for free, allowing you to increase your chances of making a sale by giving the customer a good look at your products.

As the promotion is based around the US elections, the promotion is only available on the website. Like all previous eBay free listing promotions, all of the usual terms and conditions apply.

With the promotion already in full swing, make sure you take advantage of your free 50,000 listings before the deadline this Sunday.

Friday, 26 October 2012

eBay break world record

Reading the title of this article you might think that eBay must have broken the record for the biggest online marketplace or the most online sales over a specific period of time? In fact, you're way off. eBay have just broken the record for having the fastest milk float. Yes, you read that right, a milk float.

A few months ago motoring expert Edd China and British Touring Car Championship racer Tom Onslow-Cole were set the challenge by eBay Motors of turning a regular milk float into a racing car, using only the parts they could get off the motoring section of the eBay marketplace. 

The pair struck gold when the managed to source a V8 engine from the site, allowing them to truly give this regular milk float a real burst of speed. After months of hard work, scraping together and installing a number of different parts, they tested the milk float at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire and found that the fastest recorded time they achieved was 77.53 mph, a new world record.

Check out a video released by eBay Motors to see all of the action unfold. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to handle to negative comments

No matter how successful your business is, you are always going to find that there are people who are going to either have a bad experience or just put a negative comment on your site for the sake of it. Particularly on your social media pages, one negative comment can have a detrimental affect on your business. However, it is how you respond to the negative criticism that is going to determine it's affect.

Don't respond straight away

If you are the person who set up your ecommerce store and spent hours and hours building it up from the ground, any negative comments people have about your business is going to be taken more personally by you than it would anyone else. When you do come across a negative comment, don't respond to it straight away. Give yourself to take in what they say and relax. You don't want to act on your emotions and say something that may harm your business in the long term.

Don't just delete all negative comments

As you want your business to have nothing but positive feedback in order to give it the best chance of being as successful as possible, it's easy to simply delete a negative comment as soon as you see it. However, just simply disregarding someone's opinion is one of the worst ways to handle the situation. Firstly, if that person is commenting on a problem they found when using your online store, just deleting the comment doesn't allow you to potentially solve the issue, meaning more people in the future will also come across this problem. 

Secondly, there is very little chance you will be able to delete a negative comment before anyone else has seen it. Deleting a comment will not only annoy the original poster, compelling them to post again, it will damage your credibility in the eyes of your other customers as just deleting the comment makes you seem much less trustworthy.

Provide alternatives

If someone leaves a comment either on your store itself or on your social media pages with a problem they encountered or an issue they had while visiting your online store, do your best to try and remedy this problem for them or find suitable alternatives. Not only does this give you the best chance of having the customer return to your store in the future to try and make another purchase, it also allows everyone else who either views your store or followers your social media page to see that you have made every possible attempt to solve the users concern, improving your business's public perception. 

Remember who's watching

Particularly on forums and social media sites, you need to always remember that, although you might be answering the concerns and issues of one individual, there are many other people who haven't commented who are also watching. When responding you should be professional and courteous, having one person posting negative comments about your business is one thing, but other people taking offence because of something you have said in response to a comment is a problem you want to try and avoid. 

Carry out some research

If someone has left a negative comment about your business or service on a forum for example, check not only your ecommerce software to see what transactions they have carried out on your store, but also see what other things the user has commented on within that forum. You may find that isn't just your business the individual has commented on. If they have left a number of negative comments about a number of other businesses then you know that person is just writing a negative comment for the sake of it and you can simply discredit it.

Personalise their issue

When you get someone leaving a comment regarding a genuine issue they are having, you don't just want to essentially brush them off, giving then the usual script and leaving them to go on their way. When someone has a concern you want to try and make them as valued as possible, meaning that you may decide to contact them personally through their email or give them your own personal email address for them to contact you and give you more information about the issue, rather than just asking them to send a message to your generic sales address and wait for a reply. While this may not help you keep that user as a customer, it limits the amount of negative publicity that user will give about your business to their friends and other social media followers.

Sometimes don't respond at all

While you want to try and respond to all comments in a polite and professional way, sometimes it is better just not to respond at all. Especially on your social media pages, people write negative comments about your business just because they can and nothing you say in response is going to change that. The more you comment, the more other people become aware of it and before you know it the comment has escalated so much that it begins having an affect on your brand image. Sometimes it's just better to let it die and for people to forget about it, rather than attempting to change their opinion.

How to build a successful email marketing campaign

Working with a number of different clients on a regular basis, we at eSellution have found that one of the best marketing tools at a business's disposal is still email marketing. Although some people believe email marketing to be ineffective and intrusive, if done correctly email marketing can still be one of, if not the most effective way to direct traffic to your ecommerce store. 

So how do you go about creating the best marketing email possible for your business?


First you need to think about what you are going to send and who you are going to sent it to. Is it going to be a promotion email? is it going to advertise new products? or a sale you are running? Once you have determined what the message of your email is going to be, you next need to look at who is going to be your target audience. Determining who your target audience is involves looking at many different factors. Is the email going to be sent to current customers or people you are looking to bring to your store for the first time? Also, are the majority of your customers a specific gender, age or people who have certain interests? If so, then you are going to want to create an email campaign that has a certain message such as what style you are going to write it in, what colours you use and what images you are going to include. 


Grab their attention
right from the off
Right out of the gate you need to grab the attention of the reader. This not only needs to stand out in the subject heading and at the top of the email, it needs to also be written in a way that is going to entice the reader in and compel them to read through the rest of your email. The best way to think about this is to imagine you are reading a newspaper. When you scan through a newspaper, what compels you to read an article? Usually it will be either the headline or the image that goes with the article. The inbox of the recipient is exactly like a newspapers, lots of messages all vying for their attention. You need to choose a subject heading that is going to allow your email to stand out from the rest. 

However, while you want to make it as interesting as possible, don't over think it or try to be funny. Simplicity is key. While you may think something is funny and clever, the likelihood is that your recipient won't. Keep it clear and to the point, while also being able to get them interested. 


Once you have their attention, you next need to perk their interest. This basically means you should start giving them the information in regard to what it is you are offering. For example, if you are running an online clothes store, you may be sending out an email advertising a new clothing range or an offer you are running on your site. To grab their interest you will begin to give the reader more information about what it is your store offers and what promotion you are currently running.

As success for your ecommerce store comes in enticing customers to purchase your products through high quality images of your products, don't forget to include this in your email. Having various images portraying the message of the email is a great way to increase a reader's interest and make them desire what it is you are offering.


Creating desire is the crucial part of any email. You could grab their attention, perk their interest, but if you can't seal the deal and make them want what you have, you're not going to bring them to your site. You need to make them feel like they have to have what it is you are offering. Again, using the 20% off promotional email idea, you have already explained to the customer the type of store you run and perked their interest by letting them know you are having a 20% off sale, now you can create that desire by telling them exactly what products are part of this promotion. Even if you aren't actually trying to directly sell them something, the principles work the same no matter what the overall message of the email is. You need to be able to tell them why they need to act on this email. 

Call to action

Leaving them all worked up with no where to go is going to be a waste of time for them reading through the email and for you creating it. At the end of the email you should have a direct link, allowing the user to act on their desire. If it is an email advertising the products in your store, you would add a direct link to your ecommerce site. If it is to try and boost your social media followers, you would include links to your relevant social media pages. Whatever the message of your email is, there needs to be an appropriate call to action that allows them to carry out some form of action. 

Split testing

To allow you to get the best possible results from your email marketing campaign, you may want to carry out a number of split tests. Depending on the ecommerce software you use, split tests allow you to essentially send a small number of recipients emails containing different messages and different subject headings. You can then see which subject heading and which email content provided you with the most opens and the highest CTR. You can the combine both of these aspects and send them as one email to the rest of your recipients, ensuring you have an email that will be as successful as you can possible make it.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pinterest better than Facebook?

With an increase in interactivity, content and total users, is Pinterest becoming a better social media platform than Facebook in being able to drive customers to your ecommerce store and bring in sales?

In the UK alone, Pinterest has seen a growth in visits of 786% in the last year from 901,761 to 7,985,316. As we have said time and time again here at eSellution, for any business big and small looking to achieve online success, Pinterest is a social media platform that you must be taking advantage of and incorporate into your marketing campaign.

According to a research carried out earlier this year by jewellery and accessories retailer,, Pinterest is now a better social media platform at driving sales than Facebook. Figures released by the site showed that not only did Pinterest make up 10% of their online sales, compared to 7% from Facebook, the average amount spent per user was more than twice as much spent as by Facebook users.

Why is Pinterest doing so well? 

The success of Pinterest when compared to Facebook comes from in the ease in which you can have a customer engage with your products. Facebook has limitations meaning, although you can post status updates and links, if you post a number of different product images on your news feeds, your followers are only going to be able to see a maximum of 4 of these images unless they decide to open up the album and view the rest. Pinterest's board allows a business to post as many images as they like on to a board, meaning when a user views that board, they are instantly exposed to all of the product images the online store has on show. 

The fact that a user can see more products on Pinterest without having to actually click on anything, means that it is more likely you are going to interest different people in different products. This interest then encourages more people to visit the only store and thus is what is causing the higher conversion rate than Facebook.

However, although Facebook's conversion rate was lower than Pinterest in one case study, you shouldn't count out the social media giants. After celebrating reaching the 1 billion monthly users mark last month and having a number of new advertising features being integrated into the platform each day, Facebook is still is very important channel for increasing your brand image and driving traffic to your site. 

Ecommerce success starts with the basics

As we always say here at eSellution, helping yourself stand out form the crowd is the most crucial factor in terms of making your ecommerce store a success. In the past few weeks we have looked at ways you can stand out from your rivals through your website design, using free ebay templates, marketing yourself correctly and through the use of social media. However, if you have covered all of these bases, what things can you do to your products themselves in order to give your store that boost it possibly needs?

Basic Information

When you add a product through your ecommerce software, you sometimes overlook giving the basic information the attention it desires in an attempt to get the product listed on your store as soon as possible. Particular emphasis should be placed on the product title and the product description. When inserting a title for the product, it's often tempting to add some descriptive words that you believe make the product sound more appealing to customers. However, this really should be avoided at all costs. You need to think about your title as the phrase someone would type in to a search engine if they were looking to purchase that particular product. Having descriptive words in your title means that although you are sell the product they are looking for, as you title will be different from their search phrase, your product will appear further down search engine results. Your title should be clear, concise and directly to the point. No waffle or other special characters such as stars.

As you can see in the example, taken from one of our client stores, Krystellie Fashion, the title just has to say exactly what the product is and nothing more. Not only will this make your store seem much more professional, it will give you the best chance of achieving as much traffic as possible through search engine queries.

Now the description of your product will be a different length and style depending on the product you are selling. As a rule of thumb, the description should be at least a paragraph, providing the customer with as much information as possible. If you are selling more specialist products such as vehicle parts or industrial equipment, you will need to put more information on as the people who are buying these products from you will be knowledgeable in this field and will want specific information such as dimensions and other specifications. 

Meta Data

Just like your product title, your meta data for your product is the information which is going to help drastically improve your products exposure by having it appear higher in search queries related to your business. Your meta data generally falls within three different sections; meta title, meta description and meta keywords. At a starting point, both your meta title and meta description can just be the same as the basic information you entered for your product as long as the title is concise and to the point. The meta keywords for your product will require more effort on your part. These are keywords and phrases that relate to that product, For example, if the product is a womens summer dress, you may choose to enter "womens dress, summer dress, womens clothing, womens dresses" as your keywords. 

When deciding on which keywords you want to use for your products, you should use a keyword tool to determine how many searches those keywords have recently had. You want to use the keywords with the most searches as these are the ones that will provide you with the most traffic.

Alternate Images

As the old saying goes "a picture paints a thousand words" and your product images are no different. Although you may have included all the information a customer could ever need within the description, a good or a bad image is going to play a much bigger role in whether they decide to buy that product or not. Not only should your images be off a high standard, they should also show the product from different sides. If you have variations of the product, such as colour, you may want to also have images of the different colour variations. The more information you can provide a customer with, the happier they are going to be. 

Once you have got all the basics right for each of the products in your store, you can then look to market these products to customers through your various marketing channels. However, no matter how big your business gets, you need to remember that doing the simple things correctly right from the start is what's going to allow you to keep on having that success. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Top 10 factors that put customers off your store

A survey recently carried out has discovered the top 10 turn offs for customers when visiting an ecommerce store. They were as follows:

  • Site doesn't look secure - Having a website that not only looks secure but actually is as secure as is possibly can be, is vitally important in the long term success of your business. This means having secure servers to protect your customers information and having a secure payment gateway for them to purchase products for you. If any of these aspects aren't secure, it's going to make customers very reluctant to purchase for your store.

  • Bugs and technical issues with the site - Whatever it is, whether it's an ecommerce store or some other website, if a customer comes across a number of bugs when attempting to purchase from your online store, it is going to harm your perception of being a professional business. Again, this will result in you getting less long term and short term sales. 

  • Insufficient images and product information - When a customer looks to purchase a product, before they decide whether to buy it or not, they want to have as much information as they can about the product, allowing them to make a more informed decision. No matter what the product is, it should have a number of images showing the product from different angles as well as displaying all the information they may require such as specification, warranty, delivery options and anything else they may require. Like having an website that doesn't look secure, insufficient details for each product makes your site much less trustworthy.

  • Difficult to use shopping cart - Whether a customer visits your mobile store or ecommerce store, the simpler and easier it is for a customer to buy from your store, the happier they are going to be. If you find that customers are finding your shopping cart difficult to use, why not sign up to our ecommerce software and get a free ecommerce store today. We have developed our shopping cart to ensure it provides not only the best shopping experience possible, but is also easy to use for buyer and seller alike. 

  • Checkout form too long and time consuming - Again, as stated in the last section you need to try and make it as quick as possible for customers to purchase products. As you need their personal details to send out the products or to get in touch with them in the future, you have to have some form of contact information. However, to make it as simple as possible you could choose to have the most basic information such as name, email address, delivery address and credit card details. 

  • Poorly-designed website - Like an unsecured site or one with bugs or a poor shopping cart, the look of your site is an essential part to your business's overall brand image. If your website doesn't look good, it's going to harm your brand image. Again using eSellution as an example, when working with a number of clients every day, we also ensure that their website is of the highest possible standard in all aspects, to maximise the success they can achieve.

  • Slow website - On average, if a customer has to wait more than 3 seconds for a website to load, they are going to grow frustrated and leave the site altogether. You can imagine how many sales this will result in you missing out on if you have a slow loading website. While you want your online store to be appealing to the naked eye, the more images and content you have, the longer it is going to take to load. However, this problem is a lot more prominent in mobile stores as a mobile phone's 3G capabilities aren't as fast as a standard Internet connect. To improve the speed of your site, there are a number of things you can do such as having a cache system the first time a user visits your store, reducing the amount of images you have on your site or changing the format of your images to ones that are smaller in size. 

  • Lack of customer reviews and feedback - The opinions of customers have a huge weighting on whether or not someone decides to purchase from your store, as those using eBay will know all too well. If you have a product on your store which has a number of negative reviews, the likelihood is that your sales for this product will be pretty much non-existent. If you do find that certain products in your store are receiving many negative views, you may want to think about removing that product from your store altogether as it clearly isn't of the standard you want for your business. 

  • Retailer based outside of the UK - As they say, you always feel most comfortable when at home and online shopping is no different. If you are based outside of the UK, customers are going to be more hesitant to purchase from you because of a number of different factors such as time it will take to get to them, added cost in shipping and an added price they would have to pay in terms of the conversion rate. If you find that you are a successful ecommerce store looking to achieve success within the UK, you may need to think about creating a branch within the UK, allowing you to overcome all of these concerns that customers have.

  • Insufficient delivery options - Like all aspects of ecommerce shopping, the more options you provide your customers with, the happier they are going to be. As time is as much a crucial factor as price and quality, customers want the option to receive their goods as soon as possible but at an affordable price. When a customer purchases from your store they should be able to have standard delivery within 5 working day, express delivery within 2-3 working days and next day delivery. If you have all of these delivery options covered then you will find that the majority of your customers will be happy.

A detailed guide to increasing your Christmas sales

With Christmas fast approaching in just over two months, many ecommerce stores are now gearing towards getting ready for the festive period. However, with literally thousands of online stores in the UK alone, what things can you do to help get any many sales as you can this winter?

  • Change your website layout - You might want to think about changing your website design so that it is more geared towards a Winter theme. This will not only get visiting customers in the Christmas spirit, it will let them know that you have a Winter line available for them to purchase. While you may not have a substantial amount to spend in redesigning your ecommerce store, you could use some free ecommerce and eBay templates, such as those we provide here at eSellution. Just remember to change your design back to the old version once the festive period is over. However, if creating a whole new Christmas themed website is just too much effort and too costly, you can just simply look to create a Christmas themed landing page which gives users all the information about any special festive promotions and offers you are running, then redirecting them to your current store.

  • Free delivery - Offering customers free delivery is a great way to provide them with an incentive to purchase from your store. You could offer free delivery on all sales or on total orders over a particular amount, the decision is entirely up to you. Although this would cost you more in terms of having to pay for the shipping yourself, the extra orders the promotion would bring in would make it a profitable endeavour. 

  • Delivery guaranteed before Xmas - When a customer purchases a product from you over the Winter months, 99.9% of the time they are going to want it in time for Christmas Day. If you can't guarantee delivery before Christmas, the likelihood is that the customer isn't going to be interested in purchasing from you. When a customer visits your website, if you can offer guaranteed delivery before Christmas you should state it. You should also state what the cut off date is in terms of when a customer must make a purchase to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

  • Christmas discounts - Just like free delivery, offering discounts on specific products allows you to entice customers to your store. You may decide to add a discount to your most popular products or add it to products that have not sold so well in an attempt to boost sales. Shoppers love a bargain and no matter what products are part of this discounted offer, you will see a traffic and sales increase as a result. 

  • Festive advertisements - You know you now have your Christmas range in stock, customers visiting your store know it, but what about everyone else? To keep users up to date with what's going on in your store, you should create some banners, send out emails and post content on your social media pages to give people all the information they require to bring them to your store in order to make a purchase. 

  • Generous social media offers - Anyone who follows your social media pages are doing so to keep up with any new products, offers or discounts you are currently running. Look to use this to your advantage by rewarding people who are following you and also enticing new users to also follow you. You can do this by placing a discount code on to one of your social media pages which followers can then use when making a purchase from your store. This code could be a free novelty gift, a discount off particular products, free shipping or anything else you wish to add to a service through your ecommerce software. Thus encourages people to visit your site and make a purchase, as well as encouraging new users to follow your social media page in order to find out what this discount code is.

  • Returns Policy - While there is nothing wrong with the quality of your products on sale, as some of these products are bought for people as gifts, you may find that people who receive the gift simply don't like what they have been given or want to exchange it for something else. Having a good returns policy in place will allow people to exchange products for an alternative or get money back in terms of store credit. While this is an inconvenience to you, being flexible for your customers making their experience much more pleasurable and making it more likely that they will return again to make a purchase. 

  • Monitor competitors - With so many different stores all looking to increase their Christmas sales, you should look at what your competitors are doing in terms of what products they are offering and any promotions they might be running. Keeping an eye of what they are doing, allows you to alter your own store so that what you offer is more enticing that your rivals, ensuring that customers decide to purchase from you and not from them.

  • Get your stock levels right - As a busy Christmas period will bring about an increase in traffic and sales, the last thing you want to do is miss out on many of these sales because you haven't got your stock levels right. While for most of the year you should look to make sure you don't have too much left over stock, Christmas is the time of year where you can look to over stock slightly to ensure that you have enough products to complete all orders. If after Christmas has passed you have left over stock, you simply run a New Year sale to help get rid of the leftovers. 

  • Draft in help - More orders means more work for you in being able to process these orders and get them shipped out to customers in time for Christmas. If you run your business on your own, you may have difficulty managing this influx of orders. To help get through the busy period, you can look to draft in some friends or family to give you a helping hand to complete all of your orders and get them all sent out. 

  • Christmas orientated stock - Novelty Christmas stock allows you to take advantage of those hardcore Christmas buyers. This could include small stocking fillers as presents, wrapping paper, Christmas trees and many other items. Unlike stock control for other products in your store, you don't want to over stock these novelty items. While you can still sell these at a discounted price after Xmas, the price you would need to reduce them to in order to actually get the sales would provide very little profit on top of your costs.

  • Offer a gift wrapping service - As the majority of customers will be buying these items as presents, one of the packing services you could offer is a gift wrapping service. This would involve you wrapping it in stylish wrapping paper and possibly placing a bow or customer message on the gift. This is a little extra revenue stream for you as it will only take a short amount of time to gift wrap each product and you can charge an added fee for it.

How a Facebook store can improve all areas of your business

When setting up your ecommerce store, we understand the difficulties that sellers face in being able to stand out from the crowd, get people aware of your business and generate interest in what you have to sell. Although Facebook has seemingly ensured some hard times in the last year, the social media site stills offers a Facebook store option for all businesses to take advantage of.

However, many businesses tend to believe that this selling platform is only beneficial to large brands who have a large interest and followers on their Facebook business page. While in some regards this is true, it doesn't mean that a Facebook store can't be beneficial to smaller businesses in a number of different ways. We at eSellution provide everyone who signs up for a free ecommerce store, also with a free Facebook store as we believe having a Facebook store provides any business with a number of benefits.

First and foremost, it exposes all of your followers, whether they are customers or not, to the products you have to sell. Now, while a Facebook store may not be a fantastic selling platform, the channel compliments your ecommerce software package enormously by being a great marketing tool. Many people who follow your Facebook business page may be doing so just to see any offers or promotions you run and as they may be doing this for a number of different businesses, they would be reluctant to leave Facebook and view an external site just to browse through your store. Like I said earlier, your Facebook store allows Facebook followers to view your products without having to leave the social media site. If they do then find a product that they like the look of, they will either purchase it through the Facebook store, or this initial interest in a particular product will compel them to visit your ecommerce store and make the purchase there. 

With your products appearing within the social media site, your Facebook store also allows you to improve your brand awareness, as customers will be able to share any products they view in your Facebook store with friends linked to their account. As the link to your store is within Facebook, the friends that do receive this link will be more likely to click on it as they will see it as much more trusting than if it were just an external link. Again this is great product exposure and could result in some of these people deciding to also make a purchase as they look to gain recognition for their peers by shopping at the same place.

A Facebook store is very simple to set up and run. Like all of your ecommerce platforms we offer here at eSellution, it can all be managed through our easy to use dashboard. There is no extra worked required at all, the items that you have imported into your ecommerce store will simply be replicated into your Facebook store. 

With over a billion active monthly users and an average of around 300 friends per user, you can image how many extra people your products can be exposed to simply by having a Facebook store.