Advice for Marketing Your eBay Store
You’ve taken the first big step and you’ve created an eBay store. You have your stock waiting to go and your courier on speed dial. Time for the money to start rolling in, right? Wrong. Whilst one of the major benefits to selling on marketplaces such as Amazon & eBay is that you have your digital storefront exposed to a much larger amount of people, the fact of the matter is that you still need to optimize and market yourself to ensure you maximise the exposure that the marketplaces give you.
First things first, this is assuming you already have your shop set up and customised. (for advice on this you can view our article on How To Stand Out On eBay). Now it is down to promotions. One big positive is that you can generally get by on very small budgets, and you can really leverage the power of the marketplaces. So with that in mind, here are some of our best tips for marketing your store:
Off eBay Marketing:
I know, I know, it’s not really a quick win when it comes to marketing, but it is quite an important rung on the ladder to eBay success. Your products might be listed, but without correct optimisation you will find yourself getting lost in the clutter of results. The big players like Google, Yahoo and Bing (I know, I can’t believe i called the latter two ‘Big players’ either), are constantly reinventing their algorithms and making them more and more ‘human’. This means that gone are the days where you can just load up on keywords and expect to show up in results. You need to be starting to think about exactly how your customers will be searching for you, and writing your product listings and descriptions in that way. You really need to try to get inside the head of your customer and think about exactly what they would be typing if they were looking, for example, for the baseball cap you sell. It is also important to note that SEO can take time and you aren’t likely to see immediate results, but you should definitely be investing a bit of time into it now, to pay off a bit further down the line.
While it can be a daunting interface to get started with, Google provide some amazing help files and setup guides and you can have a simple campaign up and running extremely quickly. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money, because you can ensure that you are targeting very niche markets and not wasting ad budget marketing to the wrong people. Although it can be tricky to run an adwords campaign for a store that stocks a few thousand products, one good way of getting around this, is a feature that Google call Keyword insertion. Now i do want to say that it is something you should definitely read up a bit on, and will take a lot of practice to get it working really well, but Google allows you to create ad copy that pulls in the text that a user searched (provided it is within the character limits), and use that in the ad. This means that not only does the ad copy look hyper targeted to the users search, but it also allows you to create less ad variations for more products. Be careful though, as while it can be a very powerful tool, using it incorrectly can have a negative impact on your brand as your ads could look very odd. So my advice would be to start small and practise, then expand out once you are able to get some good performance out of it. first if you’re not sure where the rocks are.
Don’t listen to the naysayers, email is certainly not dead, and it remains as one of the most effective means of communicating with customers and potential customers. eBay have a built in newsletter facility to help you build your list of potential customers, so it’s worth trying it out. Just because you’re using a well tried medium, doesn’t mean you have to stick to old school tactics. For example, try using variations in copy as opposed to the standard “Subscribe Now”. Try get a bit more creative with it and see what updates you find work for you.
On Your eBay Account:
It may sound obvious, but the best way to sell your product to a potential customer is to let your happy customers do the selling. It is common knowledge that a large proportion of the time, a buyers purchase decision is made over what a sellers feedback looks like, therefore it makes perfect business sense to invest some time in managing your feedback better. Using a feedback management software can help you reduce your contact response times dramatically and also help you deal with negative feedback, meaning you can start to turn negative feedback into positive reviews.
If you are running any form of advertising or display campaigns, you’ll want to make sure that the visuals of your ad line up with the visuals of your storefront. The simplest form of this is that if you have people click a blue banner, but your store is all orange, then potential customers need to take a few seconds/minutes to work out if it is the same company from the ad. It is very important that you put out a consistent brand across all channels. Additionally, it can’t hurt to read our guide to standing out on eBay, to help you get your profile jumping off the page.
If you do have money to spend on marketing, then it can be worth looking into the advertising options that eBay themselves provide. I say that this is only for people with a marketing budget, as the minimum spend for a campaign is £10 000, but what it does mean is that you can get your ads in front of almost 3 million people with very impressive targeting options. While it may not be the best option for all industries/sellers, it is worth doing a bit of research into whether it would suit your business.
This advice is just the tip of the iceberg for most sellers, and a lot of time and effort needs to be put in to gain a good reputation online. Provide a quality service to your customers and you should start to see repeat customers start coming in. Good luck and happy selling!