As a full time internet marketing professional, I have followed the rise in trends with eBay and the number of people opening eBay stores. eBay offers a great and level playing field for sellers and buyers alike, however I have recently wondered why eBay store owners are stopping here. Affordable marketing and advertising methods exist all over the internet. While there aren't very many people left that have not heard about eBay, there are still vast quantities who do not turn to eBay first to look for the products they are interested in buying. It is your job to put your products in front of as many people as possible where they search first!
It is up to you, the store owner, to get your product out there and deliver to these consumers first. People tend to spend a very limited time searching for what they want. They will go with the the first vendor they see and choose from there. Why aren't you making every attempt to be one of these first few vendors? eBay generally takes care of the advertising and marketing for you, within eBay. Just sign up for a Featured Listing, and boom. Your advertising efforts for the day are done. If your satisfied with the response and sales that you are achieving only marketing your products to other eBay members, fine. It is a simple and effective advertising solution. But what about the rest of the internet? For maximum success, you can't solely rely on one website!
However, for the eBay store owners that want considerably more traffic and more sales, you need to get creative! Yes, this takes much more time and effort but the results are truly worth it! There is also the alternative of hiring an Internet Marketing firm or a Search Engine Optimization firm to market your eBay store for you. Search engine optimization is a method that can be applied to your product pages to get them really search engine friendly and maximize search engine placement. I myself own an SEO firm and have already started optimizing eBay stores for owners. They have already seen an increase in traffic of about 300%.
If you were to turn to Yahoo or Google and type in a product, I dunno, let's say wicker baskets. The search results are going to pull up the most relevent pages that contain wicker baskets. Is there an eBay store that sells wicker baskets? If there is, then why isn't it listed in the search engines?
Aha, this is because store owners need to think outside the box. Many eBay store owners are not familiar with eCommerce outside of eBay. You may submit your stores URL , FOR FREE to all of the major search engines. This is time consuming and sometimes takes several weeks for your page to show up in the search engines. But it is well worth the time and wait.
Next, participate in chatrooms, blogs and forums that are relevent to the products that you sell. There are already hundreds of crafts forums and blogs that are free to post to and participate in. You can comment on what others are saying or start a topic of your own. You can include links in these blogs and forums. Links to your wicker baskets... see what I am trying to say? Participate and talk with other people on the internet that have similar interests are may be interested in the products that you are selling. If you include your signature and store link at the bottom of all your postings, someone reading your message is bound to be interested in what you have to sell, out of genuine interest or pure curiosity. Either way, it is free advertising and promotion.
To get the maximum amount of exposure and bring your store to it's absolute peak, you need to advertise your store everywhere. I can guarantee there are consumers out there searching for your products, but can't find them. Because you are not advertising your store in every possible corner of the web, you have lost yet another sale to your competition.
Before starting any new advertising campaign, make sure you have a plan and good reason to invest more time into promoting your store.
- Do you have enough inventory to meet the demand of these new customers?
- Are you prepared to handle increased customer service tasks?
- Do you have an incentive or promotion running (like a sale) to further attract more buyers?
- Keep track of where you are posting your URL and see which ones generate the most traffic. You can do this by posting to a different forum every week and seeing which weeks you get the most traffic. This will allow you to just choose a few forums to frequent and not waste time in others.
USE THE NEWSLETTER FEATURE! This is a must! You want to keep in contact with every single person possible that views your store! A visitor may not buy now, but if you offer a newsletter, they are giving you full permission to contact them anytime your store has a new item or promotion. At all costs, do not lose this customer! Email marketing is the internets most powerful marketing tool. A person is more likely to buy from you if you can establish a relationship and constantly deliver new and useful information. If you happen to be selling wicker baskets and a visitor comes to your store looking for a certain type of basket that you are not carrying at the time, this visitor would love to come back to your store when you are carrying that type of basket and take advantage of your low prices. Give them a reason to come back. In your newsletters, include information about new products, special sales, shipping offers and if you really want to go the extra mile and keep your customers full attention, do some research and include a little articles on crafts and gift baskets for instance. This will give your customers more reason to purchase the basket from you so that they can try the new craft or gift basket idea out that you mentioned in your article. Maybe this customer will like your article so much that they will even forward it to their friend that also makes gift baskets! Wow, this email marketing think is great! Remember to always follow email rules and never participate in SPAM! Very bad for business. Don't overdue it, issue a newsletter at the most once per week, unless you have an absolutely amazing offer that just can't wait until next week!
I hope that this little guide provided you with some new and unique ideas for promoting your eBay store and opened you up to different ways to market your products across the web.
Contact me for help or questions!
Thanks and Good Luck To your Successs!
trendy_paws, Marcel Mays.