Are you an ambitious seller?
Happy Easter and I do hope you’re ready to enjoy a lovely four-day weekend!
As an online seller, you should never, ever take your eye off the ball! As a good seller you should always be keeping an eye on your competitors, tweaking your keywords and listings if necessary, and adding more stock to your inventory – steadily building your business. Because that’s what it is – a business – and your aim is to make money!
So, as an ambitious seller, what happens when, as far as you can tell, you are competing on price, quality, service, product and you have an above standard rating, but another seller who is listing the same product as you appears to be selling more? They listed their item at pretty much the same time as you so it’s a fair comparison. Is there anything you can do and if so, what?
Well, firstly let me remind you of the topic of one of my blog posts, which you can recap on here
In that eletter, I talked about the advantages of opening an eBay shop, so that’s the first point already covered! An eBay shop presence can certainly help you increase your sales simply due to the fact that you are able to lead buyers directly to your products, all in one place, hold them in your shop with your tantalizing array of goods – and often price higher too.
But other factors are involved when it comes to increasing your sales. Keywords, Listing Descriptions, Seller Rating and Performance and Conversion Rates all play a big part. So. Let’s take it from the top.
Keywords – Relevant or Not?
Search for your product and take a look at where your listing is ranking. Generally, if you are not on the first two pages of results for the most relevant keywords for your product, then it’s harder to get your products seen. Your title keywords – on eBay and on Amazon – are hugely important because this is the single most effective way for potential buyers to find you!
Think like a buyer. Which words would you type in to the search box if you were looking for your product? Remove all irrelevant words (including connecting words such as ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘at’, ‘it’ etc) and only use keywords that are searched for.
Check your keywords against those of sellers with the same product that are appearing higher than you in the search results, look at eBay’s suggestions that appear when you type keywords in to the search box and use Google Trends (top and rising searches) to see which keywords are being used generally online.
Then put them all together to create a title jam-packed with only the keywords that are being searched for. This is your first step to making sure your listings are more prominent in the searches, because if your main competitor is ranking on page one and you are on page two, the likelihood is that they will outsell you.
Listing Description – Compelling or Weak?
Look at your competitor and work out what it might be that they are offering that you don’t. It could be something seemingly insignificant that you have overlooked, such as extra delivery options – for example Express Delivery. They may have a longer returns policy – 30 days instead of 14 for example or they may offer free shipping or a free gift…
It could even be the fact that they are using a listing template and look more professional than you, have more photographs of their product, or an easily accessible FAQ section. Go over their listing with a fine toothcomb and spot the differences between theirs and yours – because believe me, there will probably be something different, and it could make a huge difference to you!
Oh – and don’t forget to fill in the ‘item specifics’ – the more information you give, the more eBay has to work with when determining where you appear in the search results!
Seller Rating and Performance – Above Standard or Top Rated?
So, what it comes down to is this. On eBay, having an ‘above standard’ performance record is great news. But, if your competitor is offering ‘Premium Service’ or they are ‘Top Rated’ they will immediately have a big advantage over you.
This is why it’s very important to quickly work towards Powerseller Status, so that you can then qualify for Top Rated Status and Premium Service. More about that here
By earning Top Rated Seller Status you will achieve a higher listing ranking and your sales will increase (due to your higher position). As your sales increase, your ranking will increase further. By reaching page one of the search results you are in the ultimate position to further increase your sales.
Conversion Rates – Views or Sales?
Don’t be frightened – I know it sounds technical but it’s important! Your conversion rate is basically the number of people who click on your listing and then actually buy from you. So, if you have a listing that is getting loads of click throughs but no actual sales, then it’s not converting well and this can impact on your ranking.
This can happen if you run out of stock of a certain variation or simply if your keywords are great – but your listing is poor! This is why it’s extremely important to write a compelling listing that makes people want to buy from you. Once you’ve done the hard part – getting the click through – don’t ruin it with a weak description.
So, rather than total sales figures you need to take into consideration your actual conversion rate. Obviously you will be aware of your own conversion rate, but you can’t easily see your competitors’ rate (unless you subscribe to Terapeak). You really want to achieve fewer views to sales – so for example if you received 10 views and 9 sales this would obviously be a far better conversion rate than 20 views and 9 sales.
Remember I said at the start of this eletter that this is a business – well this is where your business management really comes into play. Whilst it’s tempting to relax a little once you have products that generally sell well, if you aren’t aware of your surroundings, what your competitors are doing and any changes that they are making, you could get left behind sales-wise.
So make it your business, just once a week to check the competition – it could make all the difference!
Once again, Happy Easter to you and as always I wish you the best of success,