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10 steps to create a top-selling eBay listing

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Tips for selling successfully

With over 152 million shoppers worldwide and 19 million sellers on eBay, there are plenty of opportunities to sell your products but also a lot of competition. As of 2022, there are a jaw-dropping 1.5 billion seller listings on eBay, and each day the marketplace becomes more and more saturated.

With more merchants selling the same items, eBay sellers have to strategically create their listings to stand out and attract buyers. Visibility, pricing, and photos are a few of the vital components that influence your shoppers and whether or not they will ultimately make a purchase.

To help boost your sales, we cover 10 tips to craft a top-selling eBay listing that builds buyers’ trust in your products and encourages them to make a purchase.

How to create a top-selling eBay listing

Woman taking photos of shoes to sell online-2

The key to securing your online sales, eBay or otherwise, is building buyers’ trust in your business. When trust is high, shoppers focus less on the potential risks of online shopping and feel ready to make a purchase.

How do you build that buyer relationship? Appeal to shoppers’ intuitive reasoning.

According to Harvard Business Review, people rely on their associative reasoning system—based on personal experience and intuition — when making risky decisions, such as an online purchase. This finding means that the intuitive factors of your eBay listings — aesthetics, professionalism, visibility — often have the biggest impact on whether shoppers purchase your eBay products.

Considering this research, we’ve outlined 10 tips that speak to shoppers’ associative reasoning. By improving the intuitive factors of your listings with these strategies, you’ll build buyers’ trust in your eBay business and give a boost to your sales.

1. Use high-quality photos

Because online eBay shoppers can’t see your products in person, your item photos matter a great deal. Through color, image quality, and more, product photos help buyers assess whether they want to purchase the item.

Screenshot of purses for sale on eBay
Image source: Ebay.com

To make the right first impression, here are a few tips for curating your eBay product photos:

  • Use high-quality photos. Well-lit, colorful, high-res photos build buyers’ confidence in your products—they can clearly examine your items’ details, so they feel ready to make a purchase.
  • Make sure they’re sized correctly. eBay requires photos to be at least 500 pixels on the longest side. Pictures should be 1600 pixels on the longest side to optimize for mobile.
  • Offer a selection of photos. Include a variety of photos that show off your products at different angles to provide shoppers with a better sense of your items.
  • Keep your images minimal. eBay asks that sellers keep product images clean with an uncluttered background and no text or borders. Besides meeting the marketplace’s guidelines, following these rules eliminates distracting elements and keeps buyers focused on your products.

With a curated selection of product photos, your listings will give shoppers a clear idea of what to expect from your products. Shoppers then have the knowledge they need to feel confident in making a purchase.

2. Apply SEO to your listings

Online shoppers don’t want to browse through pages of products. To save time, they’d rather opt for one of the first results they see. With this reasoning, a listing that ranks high in eBay’s search results will likely attract greater sales than one with a lower ranking.

These search rankings are determined by eBay’s search engine, Cassini. In deciding which listings will rank highest, it considers which would be most relevant to the shopper.

A key factor in determining this “relevance” is keyword usage. When the keywords in your listing match your buyers’ search terms, Cassini considers your product to be more relevant for that shopper.

There are a few key ways to find out which keywords your buyers are frequently searching.

  • Use a keyword research tool. You can take advantage of the eBay-specific keyword tool Terapeak or use a more general keyword tool, such as Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner, to generate a list of keywords that buyers are frequently searching.
  • Conduct your own eBay search. Do a search on eBay for products that are identical and similar to yours, and note which keywords are most frequently used in the top-ranking listings. Since these listings rank high, these keywords are most likely searched frequently by buyers.

Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords, you can narrow down your list to the most popular words and phrases. Then, incorporate those keywords throughout your listing.

  • Title
  • Description
  • Catalog specifics
  • Listing specifics

While you want to distribute these keywords throughout your listing, avoid keyword stuffing. If you aimlessly add keywords that are frequently searched, Cassini will detect that your listing isn’t relevant to your buyers. Add keywords where meaningfully appropriate to keep your listings’ rankings high.

With a relevant distribution of keywords, your listing will be ranked high in target buyers’ search results and will, through greater exposure, achieve greater sales.

3. Promote with eBay advertising

Beyond SEO, you can improve your listings’ visibility with eBay Promoted Listings. Available to Top-Rated Sellers and eBay Store subscribers, this paid advertising program allows you to place your listings where they’ll get more exposure, such as the top of a search rankings page.

Shoppers can easily find Promoted Listings with their advantageous placements, so they’re more likely to buy those items.
But because Promoted Listings isn’t a free service, you want to ensure that you’re getting the highest value possible from the investment. Here are a few strategies for effectively placing promoted listings.

  • Pick items that would benefit most from greater exposure. Items that are expected to receive a lot of attention, such as bestsellers and new items, will attract even more buyers with greater visibility through promotion.
  • Pick a time for your campaign when shoppers are especially motivated to buy. Launching Promoted Listings when people are especially ready to make purchases, such as the holidays or special events, will most likely result in greater returns.
  • Find an ad rate that boosts your ad’s chances of winning without hurting your budget. Consider your expenses and evaluate these average ad rates for eBay promotions to find an amount that works for your business.
  • Test and track your results. Monitor your Promoted Listings dashboard in Seller Hub to determine if you need to improve the quality of your listings or adjust your ad price for greater returns.

Since it offers greater visibility for your products, eBay Promoted Listings allows you to attract more buyers to your items and generate more sales.

4. Maintain a high seller rating

Beyond SEO and promotions, visibility can also be impacted by your eBay seller rating. If you have negative feedback, the Cassini search engine will lower your listing’s ranking.

To ensure that your listing is visible (and that you’re keeping customers happy), you should always aim to meet eBay’s Top Rated seller benchmarks:

  • Defect rate: Less than or equal to 0.5 percent, with three or fewer defects from unique buyers
  • Cases closed without seller resolution: Less than or equal to 0.3 percent and two or fewer cases
  • Late shipment rate: Less than or equal to 3 percent and five or fewer late shipments
  • Shipping: Tracking uploaded within your stated handling time; carrier validation for 95 percent of transactions with U.S. buyers

Meeting these benchmarks consistently requires planning and diligence. Clearly understand what areas of your performance need improvement with these tips:

  • Regularly monitor your ratings in Seller Hub. Check the performance metrics mentioned above in Seller Central consistently, and you’ll be able to catch if one is starting to slip and hurt your rating.
  • Set a reminder to check messages from buyers. Shoppers value when sellers respond to their issues promptly. If you often forget to check buyer messages, set a daily reminder to respond.
  • Convey an accurate dispatch time and shipping fees. Shoppers are quickly disappointed if shipping takes longer or costs more than originally expected. To keep buyers happy, always communicate accurate dispatch times and shipping fees.
  • Ask buyers for feedback. Unless a major issue occurs, shoppers usually aren’t motivated to leave feedback. Give them some encouragement by sending a follow-up message one week after their purchase to request that they leave feedback. As a backup, you can use various tools to set up a feedback reminder to automatically request input from customers.

Implement these strategies, and you’ll be able to maintain a positive seller rating that keeps your listings’ rankings high.

5. Offer generous shipping and returns

When online shoppers are hesitant to purchase, they can often be convinced to buy when offered free shipping and fair return policies. If they end up not liking the item, they will appreciate that it won’t be costly or time-consuming to have it shipped back.

Screenshot of purse on eBay offering free shipping and returns
Image source: Ebay.com

eBay buyers are no exception. The marketplace found that more than 60 percent of shoppers check return policies before completing an order.

If you don’t currently offer free shipping and free returns, consider how and why you might be able to switch to these policies and attract more shoppers.

  • Evaluate your costs and whether any could be lowered. Are there any expenses that could be reduced? Finding room in your budget to accommodate free shipping and returns can be worthwhile if it helps you attract more sales.
  • eBay now protects sellers who offer free returns if an item is returned damaged or used, enabling them the option to only offer the buyer a partial refund. Top-rated Plus sellers are required to offer free 30-day returns.

Switching to free shipping and return policies may seem risky and costly at first, but the investment is worthwhile. With the protections of these policies, reluctant buyers will have more confidence in your business and make a purchase.

6. Create a custom listing with software

Shoppers are attracted to listings with a professional look. A high-quality design builds buyers’ trust in your business as they associate a polished look with credibility.

Achieving this style, however, can be hard if you’re not a designer. Rather than hire an expensive freelancer, you can save money and still create a professional listing with software. Online programs, such as CrazyLister, provide templates to easily craft an eBay listing at an affordable price.

To take advantage of this listing software, choose your templates carefully.

  • Avoid templates with too much clutter. If a template has too many elements — colors, text blocks, CTA buttons — shoppers are going to be distracted from your product and, as a result, might abandon the listing.
  • Make sure the template is responsive with mobile devices. To keep your conversion rates high, it’s essential that your eBay listings are mobile responsive. According to BigCommerce, 6 percent of all U.S. retail sales in 2021 can be attributed to mobile ecommerce sales, and as Statista forecasts, that number is expected to jump to 10 percent by 2025.
  • Highlight pictures more so than text. Visuals engage people more than text, so make sure your template showcases high-quality product photos to attract buyers.

Use custom listing software templates along with these suggestions, and your listing will have a professional look that builds shoppers’ trust and encourages sales.

7. List with eBay’s catalog

As an alternative to using custom listing software, you can achieve a professional look by listing items through the eBay catalog. Rather than creating your own unique listing, the eBay Catalog lets you share one with other merchants who are selling the same product.

For each catalog listing, eBay selects the product photos from sellers’ submissions, and the product info is presented in a standardized format. With this uniform look, eBay catalog listings look professional in the eyes of shoppers.

To list with the eBay catalog, your item needs to be brand new and match an identical item in the catalog. If your product isn’t already included, you can request that eBay add it in.

Offering a professional and refined look, the eBay catalog can help you impress and delight buyers, so they’re ready to make a purchase.

8. Select item specifics strategically

To maximize your products’ visibility, you’ll want to include relevant item specifics when creating listings. Item specifics are unique identifiers — color, brand, size — that help you distinguish your listing from similar products.

Item specifics will make it easier for buyers to find your item in a few ways:

  • Item specifics help buyers find your items on eBay. Using the Refine column on the left of a product search, buyers can select item specifics to help them find your product.
  • Item specifics help buyers find your item through a Google Product Search. For your eBay listings to appear through a Google Product Search, you need to include unique product identifiers that the search engine requires.

With more item specifics, buyers are more likely to find your listings through search engines — whether it’s eBay’s Cassini or Google — and move toward placing an order.

9. Have a competitive price strategy

As shoppers scroll through eBay listings, they’re comparing pricing, among other factors. To attract buyers while staying mindful of your finances, you want to find a price point that’s both competitive and fits your budget.

Finding that effective price point boils down to a few steps:

  • Determine the cost of your product. Gaining a full sense of the expenses associated with your item will help you determine a price that’s profitable.
  • Find out what competitors’ prices are. Search for your product type and note the prices of the top-ranking listings. You can find out pricing insights on your competitors in the Seller Hub. Keep current with updates on pricing guidance by checking out Seller Updates.
  • Use psychological pricing to motivate buyers. Different methods, such as the Left Digit effect, can influence how shoppers perceive the value of your product and their willingness to pay. Understanding the psychology of competitive pricing will help you up your game as a seller on eBay and in ecommerce, in general.

After you’ve found a competitive price, you’ll want to consistently reevaluate your competitors and budget to make sure your price still works for your business and buyers. With a competitive price, your listing will attract shoppers and bring them one step closer to purchasing.

10. Make sure your listing is compliant

At the very least, your listing can’t attract shoppers if it’s not legally compliant. Failure to meet these standards can result in your listing being removed by eBay and disrupting your business.

eBay doesn’t pre-approve listings, so it’s your responsibility to make sure your listings are legally compliant. Examples of these legal requirements include:

  • Not plagiarizing text or using images from other eBay listings without the owner’s permission
  • Using brand names appropriately
  • Making sure the listing is accurate to avoid intellectual property concerns

Review the full list of guidelines here for legally compliant listings. By being aware of these standards, you’ll be able to ensure that your listings are all compliant and won’t be removed, and your customers can keep shopping.

Follow these steps for long-term success

It may take some trial and error, but with these tried and true tactics, you’ll start to get the hang of which strategies work best to yield more clicks and purchases. With a strong foundation of listing best practices and tweaking as needed here and there, you will be set up for long-term success and greater profits in the future.

Image by: Bench Accounting on Unsplash



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Growing a Business

Shopping Video – New Marketing Trend

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One of the best ways for marketers and business owners to increase sales and engage customers is video shopping. This new marketing trend involves using video content to promote and sell your products.

Here is everything you need to know about shopping videos for business owners.

What is Video Shopping

Video shopping involves using video content to promote your products/services with the aim of increasing sales. With a shopping video, business owners can show off their brand and give relevant information about their products and services. Also, videos help influence the decision-making process of buyers and increase sales.

Types of Shopping Videos

There are two main categories of shopping videos, and they are:

Live Video Shopping

This type of video shopping involves creating a live presentation of your products. It is not pre-recorded, thus making it easy for customers to interact in real-time.

Non-Live Video Shopping

In this case, you record the video and then upload it on platforms where customers can find them. While you can’t get real-time responses from customers, non-live videos are easily accessible, unlike live videos.

Engaging social video ads

Benefits of Video Shopping

Video shopping can provide many benefits for business owners and their customers. Some of the advantages of video shopping are:

1. Engaging Visuals That Increase Sales

Consumers generally prefer video content over text because they are a more expressive form of content. With video shopping, business owners can create an interactive environment where customers can engage. This form of engaging content increases your chance of converting visitors to actual customers.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Business owners can increase the chance of being seen by their target audience through impressive shopping videos. Shopping videos prove to be a convenient way to promote your business and increase brand awareness.

3. Convenient Customer Interaction

Video shopping helps engage with customers in real-time, thus making them feel seen. You can chat with customers one-on-one, which makes it easier to serve their needs. Whether it’s a car dealer chat or a skincare consultation, you can count on video shopping to improve rapport.

4. Bring Products to Live

With video shopping, shoppers can easily browse products in real-time. For example, fashion brands often bring clothes to life by making a video of how it looks on a real person. This will help customers have a feel of how the item will look on them, and this can increase sales.

5. Easy to Create

Creating shopping videos doesn’t have to be a long and complicated process. Shopping videos tend to be short and easy to make without requiring a professional. With a smartphone or camera, anyone can make a marketing video that converts. Also, there are many channels and platforms available to create videos that will persuade visitors into being actual customers.

6. Increased SEO Ranking

Videos tend to perform better than other forms of content, and having them on your website will increase your SEO rankings. This makes it easy for customers to find you and do business with you.

Video marketing

If you are running an online business, you need to keep up with new marketing trends to boost your brand. One of the latest marketing trends to implement is video shopping. When done correctly, video can help provide valuable information for customers, boost engagement, and increase sales.

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In Business, Image Matters. How to Improve Yours?

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Your business may boast of excellent products and/or services. However, nowadays, excellent products and services simply aren’t enough to help a business survive and thrive in the long run. What your business also needs is a strong image – one that can help it stand out from its competitors.

But how exactly do you go about improving the image of your business? To know the answer to this question, read on as we take you through all the steps you can and must take to take your business forward towards success.

photo credit: August de Richeliu / Pexels

1. Face-to-face interactions with people

We may be living in the digital age, but nothing can beat face-to-face interactions when it comes to telling people about your business. Here are some ways through which you can inform people about your business and what it’s all about:

Meet people and start conversations

It’s unrealistic to expect that people will know about your business if you don’t reach out to them. So, start going out and attending events.

Business-centric open meetings and conferences would be the best place to start. At these events, you’ll run into several businessmen like yourself. You should make the most of these opportunities to start conversations with others from the world of business. This will gradually let people know about your business and the products and/or services it has to offer.

Prepare a pitch

When you meet potential customers, you have to be prepared to speak spontaneously about your business. At this juncture, it’s important that you don’t fumble or sound unconfident. After all, what you tell people about your business will form impressions in their minds – and you’d want those impressions to be positive, wouldn’t you?

This is where preparing a pitch can come in incredibly handy. Write it down first and then keep practicing it out loud, and make changes where necessary.

Participate in community events

Your local community is the first pillar of support for your business. So, get out there and try playing a role in all community events. At these events, you should promote your business in a friendly and welcoming manner.

This should encourage members of your local community to take an interest in your business and what it has to offer. Sure, this may not result in immediate sales, but it will definitely improve your business’s public visibility.

Businessman in a fancy coffee shop

2. Make your business appear professional

A surprising fact is that the modern-day consumer values professionalism more than the quality of products and services. Of course, product and service quality is important, but if your business lacks professionalism, it will lose out on customers.

So, to make your business appear professional, you can put the following steps into practice:

Invest in a business website

The internet is arguably the biggest platform for businesses nowadays, which is why you should invest in a dedicated website for your business. We recommend hiring professional web developers and designers to curate your business website. This will ensure that your website looks and feels professional.

Apart from setting up a website, you should also pay attention to its content. Quite simply, it should have all the information that your target audience may want to know, i.e., contact information and information about the business. Your business website should also have a blog with consistent posts. This can go a long way towards ensuring your expertise within your niche.

Set up a dedicated email account for your business

Using your personal email account as your business’s email account is nothing short of a criminal offense. That’s why you should set up a dedicated business email account. It’ll help you achieve consistency with your branding, and it’ll also allow your business to look professional to the people who subscribe to your business newsletters.

To set up a business email account, you need to first create a domain name and then get in touch with an email provider. Two of the best email providers out there include Office 365 for Business and Google Apps for Business. Both options provide business-class email along with features such as online storage and document editing. The best thing about these options is that they’re quite inexpensive.

Provide 24/7 Customer Service

These days, consumers expect the companies they buy products and services from to be available for them 24/7. Fortunately, the widely availble virtual assistant and reception services such as those provided by www.virtualreception.com.au can do that for you – both on and off office hours – to any types and sizes of business, from freelancing digital nomads to multinational corporations.

Social media manager

3. Set up your social media for success

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are excellent places to market your business and its products. Here are a few ways to make your business succeed on social media:

Create business profiles

On all major social media platforms, you have the option of setting up personal profiles and business profiles. It’s best to create the latter type of profile as it is designed specifically for business purposes.

During the setup process, make sure that you include relevant info in the bio sections. Don’t forget to add links to your official website and other social media handles as well.

Post relevant content regularly

All social media algorithms tend to favor accounts that post relevant content on a consistent basis. So, irrespective of the social media platforms you’re active on, make sure that you’re posting new content as much as possible.

Not posting regularly can limit your business account’s reach and stall its growth on social media.

Keep branding elements consistent across all platforms

If your Instagram page looks drastically different from your Facebook page, your target audience is bound to get confused. That’s why it’s vital to use similar branding elements across all social media platforms.

The branding elements you should focus on keeping consistent include your business’s logo, its imagery, and its voice, i.e., the tone of communicating with your audience.

Encourage users to engage with you on social media and interact with them: Through the use of call-to-action (CTA) messages, you can encourage your followers on social media to engage with your posts. You should also spare time to respond to your followers’ comments.

Business owner in the Portugal-based office
photo credit: Fauxels / Pexels

Takeaway

There are quite some things to consider in your endeavor to increase your buisness image. However, focusing on the three above is more than sufficient to get started: Meet people and tell the about your business; make an effort to be professional, especially in your online presence; and lastly, make use of social media platforms to your advantage.

Be sure to do a lot of trials-and-errors so that you can form the best practices for your company.

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Growing a Business

5 Ways Virtual Headquarters Pandemic-Proof Your Business

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The coronavirus pandemic battered many businesses to the ground. At its peak, we saw businesses either shutting down or struggling to make ends meet. We had job cuts and salary cuts left, right and center. Businesses across the world, especially small businesses, are still suffering from the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. Even now, with things finally opening up, many businesses are skeptical of the times and have gone into planning mode.

Every business now wants to create a contingency plan for when things start to go out of hand. Many businesses which were able to survive the pandemic were the ones that were prepared. The ones that had a contingency plan and a disaster management plan ready to roll out.

photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

Taking a cue from this, all every company wants to plan for right now is this: What to do if and when a pandemic hits again? Is there a way to pandemic proof your business?

One step that most businesses have taken is setting up a virtual headquarters.

What is a Virtual Headquarters?

Virtual headquarters or a virtual office is a physical address of your online business. At this physical address, you can create shared workspaces, meeting rooms, and set up a virtual assistant. You and your employees can continue working from home, but you still have a physical address for your place of work.

But why would you go to all that trouble when everyone is working from home? A number of factors come into play here, the biggest of them being the pandemic. As more and more businesses attempt to pandemic proof their businesses, they are striving to find the right balance between remote working and having a physical office. For a lot of businesses, a model that works better is having a watered-down version of a physical space up and running.

Remote working

 

photo credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

Here are some of the main advantages of opting to have a virtual headquarter for your business in order to keep it as pandemic proof as possible.

1. You get a prestigious office address

First impressions matter. And having a prestigious office address on your business card certainly makes the right impression. This point becomes even more significant if you are a small business that’s trying to make it big. A calling card with a flashy office address sends a positive sign to potential clients — about your seriousness regarding the business and your credibility and professionalism. A prestigious office address is also something your employees will be proud of.

So you get a great address without the long lease and the major utilities and upkeep costs involved. An absolute win-win.

2. Expansion is easy

It is a lot easier to expand or even downsize your business when you have a virtual headquarter. This is because you do not need to think about the physical space aspect of it. Need to hire more people? Go ahead without worrying about where they will sit, if you will need to lease a new floor, or if the office space is enough.

Thinking of moving a department offshore? No need to redo your office space lease to physically downsize. Having a virtual headquarters gives you the flexibility without the constraints.

3. Your employees can keep working remotely

Having a virtual headquarters does not mean a proper office space that employees will eventually return to. You and your employees will continue to work remotely while being associated with that one physical address.

Depending on how big or small your virtual headquarters are, you can make room for monthly in-person team meets. You can even give some employees to have the option to book up a terminal and work from the office once a week. Or you could simply reserve your physical address as a place to forward mail and work calls. The possibilities are endless.

Excellent customer service

4. Customer service are made easy

When the pandemic hit, too many companies had to suddenly shut shop and move everything online. While the transition came with its own hurdles, one of the bigger issues was customer service.

Shutting shop completely may cause some technical issues with providing customer service. Having a virtual headquarters means that you can now use the available virtual services, such as 24/7 customer service – which can be a critical success factor in winning customers during the pandemic.

5. Better work-life balance

Just knowing there is a demarcation between your work life and your personal life helps a lot in trying to strike a balance. As great as working from home is, many find it very hard to disconnect completely from work. This happens when the place you work from and the place where you relax overlap.

A lot of employees are prone to giving out their personal details more easily while working from home. This may be to receive official correspondence via postal mail or receive calls on their personal mobile number. While this may seem like part and parcel of remote working, it makes disconnecting difficult. Things seem tougher when you proceed to go on leave or a holiday but are constantly being bombarded with work calls, emails and postal mails.

When you have a physical headquarters, employees are able to make use of the virtual receptionist to handle calls and also have an address to forward relevant mail in their absence. This provides a much-needed demarcation between personal and professional life.

Business team meeting in a Virtual Headquarters

Takeaway

A virtual headquarters may not work for a particular business type. On the other hand, it may be the thing another business needs to flourish. It is important to evaluate all the pros and cons before you make a decision for your business.

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