There’s no doubt Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers, but even its ‘smaller’ competitors are still pretty big, and shouldn’t be neglected. Especially eBay. For starters, the average visit duration there is 50% longer than on Amazon, and it also offers greater control over branding and lower fees.
But recent news around its number of active users is where things get really interesting. While Amazon boasts 304 million, eBay has a not-too-shabby 175 million. And according to CEO Devin Wenig, an ambitious rebrand will triple this to 500 million.
If this reinvention bears fruit, eBay will be an even greater force to be reckoned with. As such, brands must do their utmost to optimize their presence there, now and if/when it hits that audacious target.
Our latest eBook, ‘Selling on eBay Marketplace: 9 Surefire Steps For Success’ contains all the information you need to do this. Read on for a taster of some of the things we cover in this eBook to help you on the road to eBay success.
1) Keep Cassini Happy
Cassini is eBay’s internal search engine and 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.
Some key requirements to consider when creating your brand presence on the site are:
- Relevant content
- Value for buyers
- Top-rated to above standard seller ratings
2) Use The eBay Catalog
To increase active users, eBay is transforming the shopping experience to be product-based. Since September 2018, this means all listings for the same product are grouped together, ensuring buyers don’t feel overwhelmed by the huge volume of search results, and can more easily find and buy products.
Under this new experience, to create an effective listing that Cassini is more likely to display in search results, it’s important your listing is categorised using universally recognised “product identifiers”. These are pieces of information that allow buyers to find your items and complete their purchase decisions, such as:
- Brand name
- Manufacturer part number
- Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN)
3) Communicate 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 need be. 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.
4) Make Your Brand Shine
According to many sellers, their brand stands out more on eBay than on Amazon. This is because eBay enables you to market your brand almost exactly as you would on your own online store. Here are 5 ways eBay allows for this:
- Store logo: eBay provides a special area for brands to display their logo so it can be recognised by consumers.
- 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’ of your eBay store. Use up to 300 custom categories to organise and display your items.
- 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.
5) Keep Pricing Competitive
Simply put, having the best price on eBay will help convert buyers. If you can do so (without sacrificing your margins), try offering some of your most popular products for auction, because according to WebRetailer.com, if an item “is popular and is getting good buyer engagement, the auction will get more love compared to items with the similar keywords in the category, since it’s only up for a limited amount of time”.
6) 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 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.
7) Drive Targeted Outside Traffic To Your Listings
To help increase buyer engagement on your listings, use your social media channels, your email list, and PPC to drive targeted traffic to them. This will give the listings more views (and hopefully purchases), which will help push your listing up in search.
8) Actively Seek Buyer Feedback
One of the first things consumers look for on a product is whether the seller has good ratings and reviews. It’s also one of the core ranking factors Cassini uses. So, the more positive feedback, the better your search ranking.
Here’s some ways of maximising your positive feedback on eBay:
- Give feedback on your buyers: Leaving feedback before 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. However, when you respond to it, it could make matters worse. Here are some ways of avoiding this:
- Empathy: highlight that you understand how frustrating this must be.
- Brevity: avoid long argument threads and lengthy responses.
- Professionalism: don’t get defensive, even if you feel a buyer has been unreasonable or abusive.
- Send a personalised message: As soon as a buyer makes a purchase, use automation to send them a short, personalised message thanking them and letting them know its status
- 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 send a request like: “Feedback’s really important to us, so we’d appreciate if you left us a review please.“
For more detailed insights into how your brand can excel on eBay, download the full eBook here and get ready to ramp up your eBay conversions in 2019.
Global Brand Consultant