Tag Archives: eBay

MarketPlace information specific to ebay strategies, shops, listings and more….

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

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.

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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.

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.

eBay Shop Bot – Customers new online shopping BFF?

ebay robot

Facebook messenger had zero bots in February 2016. By November it had over 34,000.

We already use bots to get an uber, to book a flight or to check the weather. In China, selling through messaging apps is already massively successful, with brands answering customer questions through conversatons, minimizing the need for searching and return rates.

In the West, AI chat bots had a baptism of fire back in 2014 with Microsoft’s Tay. Designed to learn from other’s conversations and speech patterns on Twitter, online troublemakers managed to manipulate it into tweeting racist slurs and hate speech. Microsoft quickly removed the bot, but many criticized their lack of foresight, for not including content filters.

Since then, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have all been racing to build systems that not only recognize, but truly understand natural language. Whoever can put technology that understands natural conversation not only in your living room, but in your pocket too, can become the hub of everything you do online.

This fall, Microsoft released a paper claiming that its speech recognition has reached parity with humans. Though the research comes with caveats, it represents the current state of the art, at least among publicly available work.

Debuting today on Facebook messenger is eBay’s very own shop bot, designed to help customers find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

eBay’s shop bot is powered by AI to help it better understand the context of a shopper’s needs, and it has machine learning capabilities that will be improved over time. Like a Furby. The more people use the bot, the better it will get.
One particularly interesting feature of this bot is that you can show it a picture of a product you like, and it will find you similar products from eBay’s massive inventory. I very briefly tested this feature, by finding a picture of a product I liked on Pinterest, and asking eBay shop bot to find me ones like it.

 

eBay shop bot screen shot

 

eBay shop bot screen shot

The bot asked questions to narrow down the search, and used good conversational language, but at times obviously completely lost the thread. Asking me if I would prefer unisex costumes or men’s t shirts. I have not a clue how it got to men’s t shirts from cat ears umbrella.
Going away from the shop bot, and instead just going into the eBay app and searching “cat ears umbrella” these were the first results:

eBay app screen shot

Immediately much closer. On this occasion, it was easier to just use the search on their app, but this app is not designed as an exact match product finder, but more a way to get suggestions on alternative ideas for gifts. And in that respect, it performs well.
This is only the first day of launch and it will certainly be interesting to see how the app develops and improves with use.

Fro sellers, This is certainly a positive development, as the shop bot will introduce new customers to products they may have never considered searching for. As the shopping bot develops, it should be able to anticipate your tastes and suggest not just one product you will love, but a whole range of items to compliment it. The sales potential is huge.
If you use the eBay shop bot, please tweet us and let us know how it worked for you @frooition.

 

The active content design solution chosen by eBay.

eBay Active Content Compliant design

In business, proper planning and preparation is often the difference between success and failure. Future proofing your eBay business, avoiding penalties and getting the best ranking for your products requires you to follow eBay policies. Currently, that means having an eBay active content compliant design before June 2017.

As an eBay certified provider, we were informed of the planned changes to active content policy before they were announced to the public. We were bound by non disclosure until eBay made the announcement, but from the moment we knew about the planned changes, creating a solution to help sellers move through smoothly was our biggest priority.

Ecommerce moves fast. So as ecommerce specialists, we don’t procrastinate.

Ebay asked us to help them with a design for their global shipping supplies page.

eBay shipping supplies page. Designed by Frooition.

Since then we have provided eBay active content compliant design  for sellers of all sizes. So far, we have converted over 20 million live listings to being active content free. No listing downtime and no loss of sales history.

“I would recommend Frooition to anyone serious about eBay business.”

– Universal Gadgets

Frooition eBay active content compliant design is supported by our unique CMS, updating live listings and automatically syncing cross promotion bars to show related items.

Using our automated system rather than hard coding cross promotion gives customers active content compliant cross promotion that can  be updated in just a few clicks. No links to irrelevant items when stock changes, and no links to dead listings.

We are trusted by some of the biggest brands on eBay, and have seen clients grow from small sellers, to eBay giants. We are currently working with top sellers such as Linda’s stuff, Universal Gadgets and World of Rare Books to ensure that their designs are active content compliant. Our UK based, in house design and development team are bringing that same high functioning level of design to countless smaller sellers too, who we are pleased to be supporting on their journey to eBay success.

Our website has more information on our eBay active content services, as well as a contact form to have an eBay specialist call and talk you through your individual options.

Make eBay’s active content policy changes work hard for your business.

As the way we use the internet changes, so does the online landscape. When people started to shop online, both retail and the way we use the internet changed irreversibly.

Many large retailers ignored online shopping. Many of the biggest high street retailers disappeared as a result. The future of retail seemed uncertain and people were fearful. But where there is change, there is always opportunity.

Change is Opportunity.

Internet retail was a new frontier. People taking their stores online were taking a brave leap. More than any other platform, eBay enabled people to start selling online.

Retailers who adapted to change and sold online prospered.

A new breed of retailer was rising up in this bold new retail landscape. Many starting out through eBay. The more dynamic and flexible they were to customer demand and buying trends, the more they grew.

Over the years, eBay has massively evolved and grown. Frooition have been working with eBay as certified designers for over eight years, and we have guided our clients though many policy changes in that time. With changes being made to eBay’s active content policy, here is our advice on how to make this time of transition a profitable one for your eBay business:

Take the opportunity to present a fresh new look to your customers

When you are busy running your own business, graphic design and visual promotion is often the first thing to become neglected. Internet shopping is highly visual. A fresh new look to your store and some new promotional graphics could be just what your business needs to encourage new customers and re-ignite the interest of old ones.

Review your supporting software

If you have been focusing on sales for the past few years and not made any changes to the design or functioning of your store, chances are that you may have out grown it. As sales increase, simplicity of functionality becomes more important. Features such as dynamic categories or drag and drop promotional graphics become invaluable time savers as a store grows.

Optimise for the mobile market

The majority of all online shopping is now done via mobile devices. That is why all Frooition designs are mobile compatible. Its certain that any seller who is not optimized for mobile will be missing out on a lot of sales. If your store is not already optimised for mobile, now is a great time to look at a fully responsive design.

Review your Descriptions

Although pictures and video sell items, removing active content serves as a great reminder that there is no substitute for a good description. When competitors are using the manufacturer’s standard description, a well written piece of individual text in your store could give you the edge.

Be ready to fill gaps in the market

Chances are, some of your competitors will have buried their heads in the sand and not allowed enough time to prepare for how their store will look and function post active content changes. A listing that relies on active content will not show, and so as a seller with an active content compliant store, you should be ready for a possible sudden increase in sales.

EBay is a worldwide market place. Changes to the active content policy will only help to make eBay stores more easily accessible and encourage customers. As with every change, the sellers who acknowledge it early and move to change, will be the ones who prosper.

Content is key: How to make your eBay listings work

Gone are the days when eBay was just an online auction platform. Although its heritage is still clear, the site is now used to sell all kinds of products in all kinds of ways, and its flexibility has been embraced by everyone from amateur antiques dealers to big-name, high-street retailers.

With a reported 25 million registered sellers providing stern competition, the quality of your listings is absolutely crucial. Chances are there will be other users offering similar or identical products, so you must make sure your adverts are effective.

Fear not, though, we’re here to help. Below are a few top tips to help you on the road to selling success.

Focus on the benefits

It’s normal to find adverts and listings – on eBay and elsewhere – that cover a product’s features in detail. A camera may have 16 megapixels, or a pair of football boots may be made of kangaroo leather; cosmetics are always sold with information on the magical chemicals they contain. But how useful is all of this? What your audience really wants to know is how it affects them.

Instead of getting caught up in the specifications, focus on the benefits. A 16-megapixel camera will give the buyer fantastic quality photographs; a football boot made of kangaroo leather will last longer and be more comfortable; a toothpaste containing ‘Novamin’ will help to ease sensitivity. These are the things your customer needs to know before they click ‘buy’.

Harness the power of pictures

It’s important that visitors to your page can see the items on offer, too – not just read about them – so complement your words with a decent gallery. While it’s best to keep your text descriptions concise, there’s no real limit to the number of pictures you should use; just make sure the quality is high.

As well as showing off the product pictorially, use your gallery to highlight its benefits. You might illustrate an item in use, for example, or have close-ups of important parts. The visitor can then imagine how it’ll benefit them.

You can upload 12 images for free using eBay’s standard ad-maker, or integrate a dedicated gallery for more control and flexibility. We recommend the latter!

Make it yours

Most eBay listings look the same – especially the standard, non-professional ones. If you’re going to stand out, you need to make a little more effort with your design.

With a little care and attention, you’re able to reap all of eBay’s benefits – ease of use, audience security etc. – while still using the power of your own brand. Your store should be presented in a way that makes the most of your products. Ensure useful information easily accessible on every listing, and think carefully about user experience – where will visitors’ attention be?

With the right help, you can replicate the look and feel of your own website.

Keep your content consistent

Run a normal ecommerce website and you’ll more than likely maintain a consistent tone and structure across all of your content. Well, your eBay store should be no different – it’s important that everything matches.

Consistency will help your audience build trust. They’ll start to become familiar with your brand, knowing what to expect when they visit. Providing it’s a positive impression you’re making, they’ll more than likely want to return, too.

If that sounds like hard work, it shouldn’t. Creating descriptions and pages from scratch is by far the more difficult route, and it won’t help your cause. Instead, rely on templates and keep everything uniform across your store. Stick to just changing the parts that need changing.

The customer perspective

Above all, look at and create your listings from the customer’s point of view. You’ve bought things online before – what is it that makes you confident in a product? What is it that makes you choose one seller over another? Take the answers and apply them to your own content. The results should come soon after.

eBay Give Sellers Free Pictures

12freepictures

In the eBay UK Spring 2013 Seller Release eBay announced that from the 1st August 2013 they would be offering all eBay UK sellers up to 12 product photos for any category instead of 1 free gallery picture.
From today sellers can enjoy more photos of their products when listing items. The inclusion of more photographs provides a much better description of your products and allows buyers to make a more informed buying decision. This will make seller’s lives easier by cutting down on returns, questions and disputes as well as improving buyer confidence in the products – ultimately leading to improved sales.
Sellers can now enjoy clearer listings and have more product confidence to purchase.
Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words!

 
Attention Froo! Template Themes Users:
This is a great benefit to Froo! Template Themes users as they will be able to pull all 12 images into the design template simply by applying design to their listings.

FTT

 

 

If you aren’t already a Froo! Template Themes user, click here to get access to over 5,700 templates and get 30 days free with no payment details necessary! Sign up for free here apps.froo.com

ftt_logo

Why use eBay Product Catalogue

Why you should use eBay catalogue.

Listing and shop design has always been high on the list of priorities for eBay sellers, which is why so many opt for a Frooition custom design template. Professional sellers wish to portray a branded image on eBay and a simple text or boiler plate design just doesn’t cut the mustard.

However when listing using eBay catalogue the seller’s design is often pushed down the listing template and buyers may not scroll far enough to see anything more than the page header and catalogue information before making a buying decision.

If buyers don’t see your template they miss out on your branding and more importantly your cross promotions to other items, and yet there are many compelling reasons for using eBay catalogue.

The most important reason in recent times has been the launch of the eBay Value Box and Product Page. Reminiscent of Amazon’s single product page eBay are rolling up listings from all sellers for the same product into a single product in search results. Buyers can also win the Value Box if they are Top Rated Seller, Offer the item on Buy it Now and of course list using eBay’s catalogue.

Another compelling reason to list using eBay catalogue are the listing promotions that eBay run from time to time. Currently on eBay UK if you list MP3 players and GPS systems using eBay catalogue insertion fees are waived and this promotion runs right through to 9th January 2011.

The time savings from listing with eBay catalogue are obvious, rather than having to list the tracks on a CD, or write up a description for a DVD you can simply pull the relevant details in from eBay’s catalogue. This convenience doesn’t stop in media categories, product details are available in many categories ranging from computers to mobile cell phones. If you’re selling in a category that catalogue is available then don’t wait for eBay to mandate use of catalogue or to introduce product pages and the Value Box – get ahead of the game and start listing with eBay catalogue today.

“Frooition have the ability to pull the catalogue data and incorporate it into your listing template design.”

That brings us back to the issue of listing design – eBay’s catalogue information is displayed by default at the top of the listing just beneath the item specifics box. However for Frooition uses there is an elegant solution to brand catalog information. Frooition have the ability to pull the catalogue data and incorporate it into your listing template design. Rather than have it right at the top of the page you can keep key sections of your design highlighted including your header, shop categories to the left, cross promotions to your key items to the right and of course your star product promotion and shop search box to the top left of your Frooition listing template.

Click here to compare a standard eBay product catalogue listing with a Frooition Product catalogue listing

Another key advantage of using eBay catalogue in a Frooition professional listing template is that you can insert your own product images in the normal top center position. This isn’t key for new items as stock images are available from eBay’s catalogue. However if you’re selling used items you can highlight any product defects and include multiple images just as you would for non-catalogue listings.

In summary if eBay catalogue is available for your products it can save time listing, will result in better visibility for both auction style and fixed price listings, can save money when listing promotions are running, for Top Rated Sellers opens up the possibility of winning the value box, and for all sellers will result in greater visibility in Best Match search results as eBay will highlight catalogue based listings at the top of eBay search result product pages.

Even if you don’t use a professional Frooition listing template design you should opt to use eBay catalogue, but with your Frooition design your design investment continues to work for you by incorporating the catalogue information within your main listing template.

eBay Seller Release 10.3

Seller Release: 10.3
Announced: 13th July
Actioned: Q4 September

Today eBay have officially announced Seller Release 10.3. This release will be the last Seller release of the year. Most of the features below do not come into effect until September 2010. There are a lot of features that benefit both sellers and buyers, however they will cause more work for most sellers.

We have highlighted the major changes and useful information below:

PayPal Required for .it and .es.
eBay.it and eBay.es will have PayPal as a mandatory required payment method, bringing it inline with .co.uk and .com.

Item Condition for Vehicles

Listings in vehicle categories will now support the new Item Condition values & functionality (Read Our Blog Post about item Condition). Whilst this will not be mandatory until Q1 2011 it is good practice to apply this to your listings A.S.A.P as it will not only improve your search ranking but you may actually be penalised in search for not including the new item condition functionality.

If the thought of revising each one of your listings one by one is too much trouble why not try Froo! Bulk Revision and alter thousands of listings in bulk and take away the pain!

6 Categories to become an entirely Product Based Experiences

The product based experience (PBE) allows sellers to pull in standard information and stock photos.

You search for a product or type an EAN number/barcode and eBay returns useful information such as description and technical specifications.

Example:
 

The PBE will be fully adopted for the following Categories:

  • Cell Phone,
  • GPS,
  • MP3 Players,
  • Video Games Systems,
  • CDs
  • DVDs

The PBE catalogue information will not be mandatory however your listings will be penalised in search for not using this functionality. The PBE makes the listing process much faster, provides lots of correct information and reduces buyer questions. Frooition will be including this in future releases of the design management tool.

eBay to offer more payment methods

eBay are opening up the accepted payment methods to include Click and Buy as well as integrating merchant credit cards such as NoChex in the eBay checkout.

Changes to shipping to domestic regions

eBay have added more detailed to regional shipping. Sellers can now exclude specific regions from bidding or buying, change prices on a state/region level and alter shipping times. For example you charge a premium to ship to Hawaii or Northern Ireland through the eBay checkout.

Standardisation of Shipping

All shipping services will include a shipping time e.g. (Royal Mail 1st Class 2-3 days). This also applies to Selller’s Standard Rate, eBay are bringing in new levels to replace standard rate which will be:
Economy (6-9 days), Standard (3-5 days) and Overnight (24 hours).

This will affect anyone using GTC or automatic relisting rules/software.