Author: Jessica McDonald

How to write compelling descriptions – even for boring products.

products being bought on mobile tablet

It is an easy mistake to make, To simply describe a product in the description.

But why just describe it, when you can sell it?

Talk to your audience

Who is your product for? Is it for mountain climbers, parents of young children, or people who own a car? Get to know your target audience. When you know your target audience, you will know how they like to be spoken to, what makes them laugh and why your product would benefit them.

Sell the sizzle

Establish what makes your product desirable, then tell people about that. Does it save your customer time or make them look good? Does it solve a problem? Is it faster or more effective than alternatives? Marketing people say “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” and that means, tell the benefits, not just the item specifics.

Share knowledge

Share your knowledge about the product. Tell stories to bring it to life. Stories about how the product was invented, the people who make it and where it comes from. Tell stories that exemplify the benefits of your product. Delight your customers with seductive descriptions. Show your enthusiasm for your product, because that is what is contagious.

Write for people in a rush

The internet has made us expect everything quicker, including information. Make sure that you have plenty of good clear product photos, and if the product is something small enough to be held, have an image of it in someone’s hand for scale. Product descriptions that are clear and scan readable are easier and more appealing for customers.

Here are some areas to focus on:

  • Lead your web visitor with headings and sub headings;
  • Use easy-to-scan bullet points
  • Include plenty of white space
  • Increase your font size to promote readability

Keep practicing writing your product stories, and play with formats that make it clearer to view. Try writing an engaging story for your product description, and a shorter version for mobile. Test them out and see what works for you. Writing new descriptions costs you nothing, but could potentially make you lots.

Frooition Design For Universal Gadgets

In 2008, Ken Emchebe started selling mobile phone covers on eBay with the username Universal Gadgets. In under four years he managed to build Universal Gadgets to be the first million feedback seller. In 2014, Universal Gadgets had Frooition create them an eBay design. A year later, they topped the UK eBay rich list with monthly sales of £1.5 million.

Universal Gadgets have just had their second Frooition design, and we have asked them to share a bit about why they have chosen to return to us for their store design.

“We have worked previously with Frooition and from start to finish, the whole experience was fast and friendly. Their online platform can be used to keep track of progress of the design and build at every stage, on here you can ask questions and be kept updated at all times.” – Universal Gadgets

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Rather than just remove elements of active content, Universal Gadgets have chosen to take the opportunity to re design their store. The new design includes product and brand categories, as well as intelligently synced, active content compliant cross promotion features.

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“We chose to use Frooition again to redesign our store for two reasons; the first being eBay’s new active content policy. We know we can rely on Frooition’s vast knowledge of the platform and rules. Also, we felt that a redesign was in order, to keep our shop up to date and exciting. Last time we used Frooition, the final design was very bold and eye catching, which is what is needed on an online selling platform, it is easy to look like everyone else selling on eBay, what is hard is creating your own style with the limited layout functionality available and Frooition pulled this off no problem. I would recommend Frooition to any business that wants to take selling on eBay seriously.” – Universal Gadgets

Universal gadgets chose our topseller package for their business.  Wanting  their store and listings to be active content compliant, with strong personal branding and a whole host of cross selling features. We have a range of packages, with different features for different business needs.

Things all eBay businesses should do at the start of the year.

Flat modern design of office with people working

Plan marketing

Planning your promotions and marketing is probably the single best thing you can do for your business. To help you, here are some free printable planning sheets to help guide you on planning your promotions and marketing for the year ahead.

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Address active content issues

Active content inhibits purchases on mobile devices and poses security risks.

From June 2017 eBay will not allow active content in listings. Active content includes Java script, Flash, form actions and plug-ins.

Every eBay business will need to update their listings to be compliant with eBay’s new rules. Frooition can help with this.

Look at where you can be more cost efficient

Reducing your costs automatically makes you more profitable. If you haven’t recently, look at core costs such as postage and packaging supplies and delivery. A less expensive option may be available than when you last looked. Some options may have been right for your business at the time that you chose them, but they may not be best for the business you are now, or plan to be at the end of the year.

Perhaps you have had a designer add banners and promotional graphics to your eBay store, but plan to run more regular promotions this year, and upgrading to a solution like Signature, which would allow you to quickly add these things yourself. Saving time and designers fees.

Look at where you could save time

The most common mistake entrepreneurs make when trying to take their businesses to the next level is thinking that they simply have to work harder, or work longer hours.
But the problem with that is, as Michael Gerber points out in his seminal book The E Myth, it’s not scalable. You have natural limitations on your time and energy.

If your business relies entirely on the amount of work you can put in then it will inevitably hit a wall that you will not be able to get past, regardless of how hard you work.

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review your own role in your business, and see where you would be best directing your time to grow your business. Virtual assistants can take some more menial tasks off your hands so that you can focus on the things that only you can do. Make sure that as much of your eBay process is automated as possible. Look at time saving options like listing rescue to stop changes in eBay policy disrupting your usual schedule.

Proper preparation is always the first step to success. Set out plans now to make this coming year be your most successful yet.

Books to read for better business in 2017

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An entrepreneur needs to be a jack of all trades. Sourcing stock; marketing, handling finances, and dealing with customers. Staying sharp on such a wide range of skills, means constantly building on your own knowledge.

Bill Gates may have Warren Buffet on speed dial, but we can’t all have our own personal billionaire business guru. But fortunately for us, any of the world’s top business people do write books to share their knowledge though, and so we have put a list together of a few we consider pretty essential, to help you improve your business in 2017.

1. Why sell tacos in Africa

Author: Paul Oberschneider – started with $400 and over 18 years built a portfolio of business worth over 200 million dollars across five countries.

Oberschneider debunks any idea that there’s a secret path or code you need to crack in order to follow in his footsteps. He sets out the simple and logical steps he took (and still takes now) to create the success that he did. It’s an easy read masterclass in success, written by the guy that did it.

why sell tacos in africa

2. The Willpower Instinct

Author: Jane McGonigal

Willpower presents a great challenge for all of us. It’s not an unlimited resource and when we’re tired, we make bad decisions, or feel unable to make decisions at all. Jane’s book recommendation, The Willpower Instinct, uses the latest research to help readers optimize their willpower for maximum output.

the willpower instinct book cover

3. Ogilvy on Advertising

Author: David Ogilvy. – One of the world’s most sought after advertisers.

This candid primer on all aspects of advertising is a must-read for anyone who wants to write more persuasive ads.

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4. Tools of the Titans

Tim has interviewed tons successful people from a huge variety of fields on his podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. Whether he’s speaking with a retired US Army general, a stand-up comedian, a tech company founder, or an Olympic coach, Tim delves into the secrets of their success that anyone can apply to their own lives and work.

Tim has distilled all the key points from those interviews into a book you can easily reference any time. Want to know how Seth Godin thinks about money? Flip to page 238. Want Tracy DiNunzio’s advice on how to complain less? Flip to page 314.

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5. Delivering Happiness

Subtitle: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Author: Tony Hsieh

 The CEO of Zappos explains how he created a corporate culture based upon the concept that there is value to happiness, both for employees and customers.

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6. Judo Strategy

Subtitle: Turning Your Competitors’ Strength to Your Advantage

Authors: David B. Yoffie and Mary Kwak

This book applies martial arts strategy to business situations, building the case that, rather than oppose strength to strength, successful challengers use their opponents’ size and power to bring them down.

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If you have any suggestions of essential reading for e commerce entrepreneurs, please comment below.

eBay active content policy changes – June 2017

ebay active content policy changes

We have had eBay sellers contacting us, concerned that eBay active content policy changes in 2017, and their listings still contain active content.

We want to reassure sellers that their is no need to panic.

From spring, active elements will stop working, but listings will remain active and customers will still be able to purchase.

Active content changes come into full effect in June. So there is still time to organize an active content free design solution for your listings.

Frooition can create listing designs, complete with dynamic cross promotion features, completely active content free. For sellers who don’t have a Frooition design,  listing rescue is the fastest way to clear active content from listings.