Author: Jessica McDonald

Why cross selling is so important – and how so many eBay sellers are getting it wrong.

Mouse cursor clicks the purchase button

According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

When a customer is making a purchase, they are already in the mind set to buy.  It is the best time to sell them other products. Increasing average sale this way is what successful online entrepreneurs often refer to as “making all the profits on the back-end.”

In 2006, Amazon reported that cross-selling and upselling contributed as much as 35% of their revenue. Both techniques are important to customer experience and maximising sales.

The difference between cross selling and up selling


Cross selling a tent to camping gear  up-selling-1

Which is right for your business?

There is no reason not to use both.

McDonald’s ask “would you like fries with that?” as the cross sell, then “would you like to go large?” as the upsell.  Predicting customers’ actual needs is the secret to successful cross and up sales.

Amazon have done particularly well with their cross selling, because they always keep it relevant. The phrase ‘customers who bought this also bought’ cleverly works social proof into the sell too.

Take your time to develop a range of problems and opportunities based on your customers’ priorities. If you’ve done enough analytics-based research, you should have a fairly good idea about what your customers want.

offers should make sense while providing a clear benefit to the customer. The goal is always to create a win-win situation, not to browbeat your customer into buying something they don’t necessarily want or have no interest in.


Linda’s stuff have used the right hand promotion box within the listing for this sweater to show other sweaters which are the same size and a similar colour. For a customer who is searching for a smalll, gray sweater this is improving their experience and increasing the chances of them buying from Linda’s stuff.

Customization is a huge part of upselling. The price of your product, its uses, and why people commonly buy them should all be factored into when and how you employ it in an upsell.

When cross selling goes wrong

Cross selling features in eBay designs can be dynamic, or hard coded. There is a very non technical reason why it matters which you use.

Dynamic cross promotion scans through your live listings, and automatically shows related products, based on the rules you set. The rules could be size, colour, any relevant feature. It will only connect listings which are relevant and live.

Hard coded cross promotion solutions need to be updated every time a product sells out. A seller would need to go through and update every listing, or they would be cross promoting to a dead listing.

Cross promoting to a dead listing is pointless, and will very likely lose you sales. Frooition have worked with eBay to  develop dynamic cross promotion features which are active content free. The above example of Linda’s stuff is one of our many active content free custom listing designs. For people who have a template rather than a custom design, we have a dynamic cross selling app which is also active content compliant.

Although increased sales are the main focus and average order size, it’s equally important to also consider the customer experience. In fact, these two things are mutually dependant. Offering customers seemingly random products will just leave customers confused, and won’t sell anything. Carefully look at your store, and  the range of products you offer and consider what makes the most sense to offer the customer. Improve their experience, and your revenues will follow.

Writing compelling descriptions – even for boring products.

writing compelling descriptions

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? Writing compelling descriptions depends on you knowing 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

As with everything else in marketing, writing compelling descriptions involves sharing knowledge. Use your description to share 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 eBay Design For Universal Gadgets

Frooition eBay 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

Frooition eBay design


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

Frooition eBay design


“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 Frooition eBay design 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.

planner-1 copy-of-daily-planner daily-planner-1

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


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.


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.

tools of the titans


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.


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.

judo strategy book cover








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