eBay has come a long way since its origins as an auction website. The marketplace has had roughly 142 million active buyers. While this may pale in comparison to Amazon's figures eBay is its closest competitor and it makes sense for brands to have a strong presence there too.
With less sellers and more opportunities to get your products seen eBay is less competitive than Amazon. eBay's fees are generally lower too. However to increase sales on eBay it's important to understand that it has unique features and a distinct search engine algorithm. This means you need to create a platform-specific strategy.
To help here are 15 ways to maximize your eBay sales.
1 Keep Cassini happy
Cassini is eBay's internal search engine and it decides which listings appear where in the search results. Cassini wants to deliver products to buyers at the best price from the seller who can provide the best service.
If you meet the right criteria you can top the search results. This guarantees increased sales on eBay. Some key requirements to consider when creating your brand presence on the site are:
1. Relevant content
It's important to write accurate product descriptions. If they don't match your products this will annoy both customers and Cassini. Then your rankings are likely to plummet. (Our guide to optimize eBay listings provides step-by-step advice to help you write them.)
2. Value for buyers
Consumers are always looking for value so a key consideration for the Cassini search engine is pricing. Try to stay competitive when setting your marketplace price points.
3. A proven track record
To keep customers coming back eBay prioritizes listings from sellers that have a history of consistently providing excellent service. So be sure to minimize order cancellations provide fast shipping and respond to customer communications without delay.
4. High quality images
Cassini prefers listings with lots of photos. Sellers can include up to 12 images in each listing for free so be sure to make use of them. Provide shots of your product from every angle as well as close-ups and photos of it in use. You can even design graphics which explain individual features.
2 Fill in every detail
eBay no longer requires sellers to link their listings with products in its catalog. However this means it's more important than ever to include every product detail. If your listing is incomplete it's less likely to show up in search results.
As you create each listing you'll notice some checkboxes which highlight how many sections you have left to fill out. Sometimes it's tempting to skip over sections like style or color especially if these details are already in the product description. But it's important to fill them all out in order to please Cassini. If your product has a notable trait that doesn't fit neatly into eBay's listing form make sure to add it manually too.
Your descriptions should be accurate clear and easy to read. Make sure there are no errors that will make shoppers question your brand's reputation. However don't expect your descriptions to be flawless the first time round. Optimizing's your eBay listings should be an ongoing process. In fact regularly updating your descriptions comes with conversion boosting benefits too.
3) Regularly update and add listings
Because Cassini favor's new content it's also essential to regularly list new items or refresh your product listings. Use eBay's scheduling feature to spread out the publication of new products so that fresh content is published everyday - or as frequently as is possible for your brand. Alternatively you can reset your RSS feed or tweak older listings.
Brands can use eBay's bulk editing tool to update lots of products at once. It's also a good idea to edit individual listings based on customer feedback. Negative reviews support tickets and return slips will all highlight issues with your product descriptions. Updating your listings based on these insights can reduce returns and boost customer satisfaction.
The Cassini algorithm tracks changes and will boost your rankings if your listings are up-to-date. Your products will also become more visible among shoppers that use the 'Newly Listed' filter when searching eBay.
Regularly updating your listings will please both eBay and your shoppers so it's bound to help your business increase sales on eBay.
4) Provide great customer service
Another factor Cassini considers is the standard of the seller. To stand out as a reliable seller and build repeat custom it's important to provide great customer service. Here are 3 ways you can do so on eBay:
Let buyers know when their purchase will arrive: Keeping buyers informed about the status of their shipment is one of the most important aspects of their online shopping experience.
Offer a clear returns policy: Shoppers are more likely to buy when they're confident they can return an item if necessary. Furthermore eBay now offers more exposure to brands that offer free 30-day returns.
Use eBay's Resolution Center: This is the easiest and most secure way to communicate and resolve any problems with a transaction. eBay will approve of your brand using it too.
5) Make your brand shine on eBay
eBay enables you to market your brand almost exactly as you would on your own online store. Here are eight key ways eBay allows for this:
eBay stores: Brands can set up their own bespoke eBay stores following the rules set out in their own brand guidelines. You can design your store to promote key products as well as up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
Store logo: eBay provides a special area for brands to display their logo so it can be recognized by consumers. Not only will this appear on a brand's eBay store but also across all its product listings.
Store description: Just like the About Us section on your website your eBay store description lets you use keywords to write a detailed description of what your store sells.
Categories: These are the 'aisles' or 'shelves' in your eBay store. Use up to 300 custom categories to organize and display your items like you would on your own website.
Sign up for newsletter: Got a mailing list? Use this eBay function to grow it.
Social sharing buttons: eBay lets you promote your social media channels so be sure to connect them to it.
Templates: To ensure all your eBay listings are visually appealing you can set up eBay templates. Add your logo some featured products your shipping and returns policies and some trust badges. Not only will this save your team time but it will also guarantee your products are presented in a consistent way. If you have a product listing that performs well you can also save it as a template for future use.
Branded coupon codes: This is a great way to share discounts and promotions with loyal customers. eBay coupons codes are completely customisable and can be created for use by individual shoppers or the general public. Brands can even share them on social media in order to increase sales on eBay.
6) Experiment with eBay pricing and sales
Simply put having the best price on eBay will help convert buyers and increase sales. If you can do so (without sacrificing your margins) try offering some of your most popular products for auction. Or use eBay's Best Offer feature to engage your customers and let them negotiate a price for end of line stock.
You can also use eBay's Promotions Manager to run sales. This can win over customers generate positive feedback and improve your Cassini rankings all at the same time.
You can create sales which include all the listings in your eBay store or just a few select items. This is a great way to increase sales on eBay - especially on Black Friday or after the holiday season when shoppers seek out bargains. However if you also sell your products on Amazon don't forget about its price parity policy. If your product is significantly cheaper on eBay this could hurt your visibility on Amazon. To advertise a sale you can send alerts to your eBay subscribers or add a billboard to your eBay shop. By slashing prices you could even land a more prominent spot on eBay and earn extra exposure for your brand. High volume sellers with good standing are often invited to share sale items on eBay's home page and dedicated deals page. This is sure to see sales skyrocket.
7) Implement volume pricing too
If you really want to increase sales on eBay then be sure to offer shoppers a bulk discount. This means the more someone purchases from your eBay store the less they'll pay per unit.
To do this you can either create a bundle listing or implement tiered pricing for a single product. This is a great way to push up profits if you sell products which complement each other. But it can also generate more sales for replenishable items that customers tend to order often or buy in bulk.
Volume pricing benefits both buyers and sellers in terms of convenience lower shipping costs and money in your pocket. It can be set up in eBay's Promotions Manager.
8) Get serious about shipping
Getting your items delivered quickly safely and cost-effectively is essential to providing a great buyer experience. However unlike Amazon who offer services that take care of logistics for sellers eBay sellers are generally in charge of their own shipping so make sure your logistics are on point with the likes of estimated delivery times tracking information and free shipping on domestic orders.
Offering fast and free shipping is a guaranteed way to increase sales on eBay. If you haven't got the logistics in place to provide this kind of service eBay now offers its own fulfillment services in the UK Germany and China.
If you do have your fulfillment in order and offer quick turnaround times you could opt to become part of the eBay Guaranteed Delivery programme. This means your listings will appear in eBay search results where shoppers have specified that they need a product in three days or less. This will boost your visibility and make your brand more competitive. It should increase conversions too.
This is a great option if you sell products that tend to be required quickly. Think tech party supplies gifts and car parts - just to name a few. However this option is only open to eBay sellers who have a record of delivering orders on time.
If you qualify for eBay Guaranteed Delivery you should also consider adding 'Fast & Free' tags to your listings. This will let shoppers know that they'll get their order without delay. These tags also boost your search rankings and thanks to their vivid green colour they make your listings stand out too.
9) Drive external traffic to your listings
To help increase buyer engagement on your listings use your social media channels your email list and PPC ads to drive targeted traffic to them. This will boost listing views (and hopefully purchases). eBay offers a range of email marketing tools to help you nurture traffic and repeat purchases. Once you've built up subscribers you can send reminders special offers sale alerts coupons and product catalogue highlights.
In the long-term this will also help push your listing up in eBay's search results which will help increase your sales down the line as well.
10) Leverage your website
You can also drive traffic to your eBay listings by adding a Where to Buy tool to your website. This allows website visitors to see all the places your product is currently in stock. This can include marketplaces like eBay as well as retail stores like Best Buy or Argos. Visitors can then click on their preferred retailer to check out.
With just one click they'll be brought directly to the relevant third-party product page where they can immediately add the item to their basket and check out. This streamlines the consumer journey and minimizes distractions. Otherwise if a shopper conducted a search on eBay after viewing your website there would be lots of opportunities for competitor listings to steal the sale.
With ChannelSight's Where to Buy tool your website visitors are more likely to convert. In fact ChannelSight's internal client data shows that users increase average conversion rates by up to 20% and grow average basket sizes by 30%.
If you want to increase sales on eBay in particular you can also opt to show your eBay listings first.
11) Actively seek eBay buyer feedback
One of the first things consumers look for when browsing for a product is whether the seller has good ratings and reviews. It's also one of the core ranking factors Cassini uses when ranking products but it is also one of the most important factors that spur online shoppers to convert. So it's essential to maximise positive feedback.
Here's some ways of maximising your positive feedback on eBay:
Give your buyers feedback: Leaving feedback for the buyer opens a dialogue and paves the way for them to return the favour.
Don't ignore negative feedback: Ignoring negative comments can damage your reputation. So when you respond be sure to act empathetic and professional. But don't get too defensive even if the buyer is abusive or unreasonable.
Send a personalized message: As soon as a buyer makes a purchase use automation to send them a short personalized message thanking them and letting them know its current status and what they can expect from your brand.
Ask for it: One of the best ways to get feedback is to ask for it but not in a pushy way. For example after a purchase is shipped send a request like: Feedback's really important to us so we'd appreciate if you left us a review please.
It's also worth noting that if you address the cause of a negative review or rating shoppers can add follow-up comments. You can also send them a Feedback Revision Request which allows them to edit their feedback. However you should contact customers before doing this as you can only issue five revision requests for every 1000 comments you receive! However if a comment violates eBay's feedback policy you can contact the marketplace directly to request its removal. This is relevant in cases where comments contain inappropriate content or are inaccurate.
12) Use eBay Promoted Listings
Utilizing eBay's Promoted Listings is a great way to increase your eBay sales. They allow you to reach consumers as they actively shop and seek out products. This is a highly effective time to advertise and should help you increase conversions. The growing success of retail media networks demonstrates how effective advertising on retailer and marketplace sites can be.
eBay's promoted listings are among the best because they are easy to set up and they significantly boost conversions. In this case study TekReplay increased sales by 179% and attained a 43:1 return on ad spend. These eBay ads appear on the homepage product pages and at the top of search results. Brands can even opt to place them on external platforms like Google and Bing. Best of all you only pay a fee when your ad results in a sale. This means that even the most inexperienced bootstrapped startups can experiment with them to successfully increase sales on eBay - without undertaking any major risks.
eBay's promoted listings are particularly useful for new products because you can build up sales quickly. This will help you build up positive feedback and a great reputation. Cassini prefers to rank listings with a proven track record too.
However eBay's Promoted Listings aren't available to everyone. You need to be an Above Standard or Top Rated Seller to take advantage of them.
13) Achieve top rated eBay seller status
eBay rewards sellers that provide top-class customer service with increased visibility in its search results. For this reason these 'Top Rated Sellers' can expect more sales on the marketplace.
To obtain Top Rated Seller status you need to successfully resolve nearly every incoming customer issue. You also need to minimize late shipments defective products and provide tracking information for 95% of your orders.
Once you meet these criteria eBay will automatically update your account status. Take a look at your Seller Hub dashboard to check your current status and see how close you are to meeting eBay's requirements.
Sellers that reach Top Rated Seller status also receive $30 of ad credit every three months and discounts on eBay shipping labels. Because you're providing such great service you're also likely to receive more positive reviews and repeat purchases.
14) Provide free returns
Dealing with returns can be a hassle. But it's necessary if you want to increase sales on eBay.
First of all 79% of shoppers expect free return shipping. While 78% say they buy more when free returns are available. Secondly as already mentioned eBay boosts the visibility of listings that have a 30-day free return policy. If you offer a shorter return window or no return policy at all you can expect to see your rankings and sales dip.
So offering free returns is a no-brainer for your marketplace strategy. As well as pleasing customers and boosting sales a 30-day free returns period can also elevate you to the status of a 'Top Rated Plus' seller. This comes with additional perks that can benefit your bottom line.
15. Source products that will appeal to eBay users
At the end of the day the above tips will only work if you're selling in-demand products. Optimising your listings and offering free shipping won't help if you're selling something that nobody wants.
While most sellers are bound to be left with some deadstock it's important to conduct extensive market research to ensure you're not left with a warehouse full of product.
Then if you want to increase sales on eBay you need to consider if your products will appeal to eBay's users. Recent statistics suggest that 62% of eBay customers are male while 38% are female.
The majority of its users fall into the 18-24 age group too. This is followed by 25-34 year olds. Though it's worth noting that women aged 45-54 are more likely to make a purchase on eBay than 35-44 year olds.
All this is worth keeping in mind when publishing listings writing product descriptions and choosing which products to promote on eBay.
It's also worth noting that eBay in partnership with Terapeak has created a data-driven research tool which shows trending user searches and sales. This will highlight whether or not your products are currently in-demand among its users.
In order to adapt to the modern consumer journey brands need to have a presence across multiple sales channels. As well as D2C stores they need to make their products available across their audience's favorited platforms and eBay is likely to be one of them.
eBay provides access to a large market and by crafting strategies to suit its unique characteristics brands can significantly increase their online sales.
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