If you weren’t already aware, eBay have been running a series of monthly webinars, in a bid to help sellers boost visibility, increase sales conversions and generate repeat custom on their marketplace.
In their latest webinar, focused on branding and marketing on the marketplace, eBay covered just about everything you need to know as a seller, in order to get the most from your eBay shop and listings. Fortunately for those of you who missed the webinar, we’ve put together a comprehensive summary of what was covered.
Branding on eBay
Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that branding goes beyond your logo and colour scheme, and for eCommerce brands in particular, it reflects the values associated with your business. This could be anything from how trustworthy you are seen to be, how approachable you are as a business and how reliable you are in meeting their customer expectations. Ultimately, when it comes to selling on eBay, how you appear to potential customers through your branding, can be the difference between success and failure on the marketplace.
Getting the most from your eBay shop
With an eBay shop you are able to display all of your listings in a single location, and have the ability to personalise your own eBay shop window, as well as have your own unique URL. Some businesses have an eBay shop to supplement their additional sales channels, while others use theirs as their sole online selling venture.
If you haven’t yet got started with an eBay shop, there are a host of benefits that are worth bearing in mind. These include discounts on listing fees, custom categories and sales reports plus to track and evaluate your sales activity (available to Featured and Anchor Shops only). You also have access to eBay marketing tools including promotions manager and markdown manager, as well as the option to promote your listings and build and send customised emails to subscribers.
What you may not realise is that there are three different eBay shop subscriptions available to you; Basic Shop, Featured Shop and Anchor Shop. To give you an idea of the fees and what you get with each option, we’ve included a table below. Please note that these prices exclude VAT.
eBay Shop Design
One of the benefits of having an eBay shop, is that you can customise the structure and personalise it to fit the needs of your business. Examples of this include through shop categories and shop designer.
With custom shop categories, you are able to sort your listings into your own categories, not just standard eBay categories, which can help to better organise the way your products are displayed to potential customers. Specifically, you are able to be more specific with your categories, for example if you sell toys, you might create a category for Disney Characters. It is recommended, however, that you have enough listings within each category, so that it doesn’t appear empty and additionally bear in mind that you have a maximum of 30 characters for each category name.
Despite this ban, you can still create custom headers and a completely customised storefront with HTML. To do this, you will need to go to the Manage My Shop page, select Shop Design and use the HTML Builder which can be accessed in the left-hand column.
SEE ALSO: Get Your Free HTML eBay Template
How to drive traffic to your eBay shop
It is important to optimise your eBay shop for SEO, in order to increase visibility and drive traffic. Several ways to achieve this include using keywords in your Shop name (if possible), following guidelines for quality Meta descriptions and writing a compelling and keyword-rich shop description. It’s also good to get inbound links, so we would recommend linking to your shop from wherever you can.
As an eBay seller, it is important that your listings are fully mobile responsive, as this provides an ever-increasing mobile audience with a high-quality buying experience. This can also be achieved by avoiding placing product images within the description section, and instead adding them to the eBay gallery feature. Bear in mind that when customising your listing templates, you should only use HTML5 and CSS.
As of July 2016, you will be able to benefit from description summaries on mobile devices. These will be important when optimising your listing for mobile, as they highlight the key points to potential buyers, encouraging them to click and read more. You have up to 800 characters to use, meaning you can provide details on the product and better optimise it for click-through. These description summaries will be generated automatically based on the description in the listing, however you do have the option to customise this text by editing your listings’ HTML tags.
Product reviews were recently re-introduced by eBay on their UK site, providing customers with the ability to read all reviews on a product in one place, as opposed to having to locate a review on individual sellers’ accounts. As a result, these reviews are about the product and not the seller, and if as a seller you see a review which breaches policy, you are able to report it and it will be reviewed.
There are two types of product reviews you should be aware of; verified reviews which are those left by buyers that eBay know have purchased that item on eBay, and unverified reviews which have been left by customers who have purchased the item from a different site.
When selling on eBay, you should comply with their email marketing regulations. Specifically, you must be aware that you’re only allowed to send marketing emails to eBay buyers who have given you permission. This doesn’t include someone who has made a purchase from you.
Now assuming you have consent to send marketing emails, examples include letting subscribers know when you list new items, alerting buyers to special offers and sales, sending out codeless coupons via Promotions Manager, using sale events (through Promotions Manager and Markdown Manager) and alerting buyers when you have product reviews live.
Building a good quality mailing list should be a key focus and there are a number of ways you can encourage buyers to subscribe. Examples include promoting your newsletter within your Shop template, using customisable sections of emails sent through Selling Manager, promoting your newsletter on your packing slip and invoice, as well as simply asking followers on your social media channels to subscribe.
eBay Marketing Tools
In the image below, you will be able to find details on the various marketing tools available through eBay.
Promotions Manager is a great way for eBay sellers to attract new customers and grow their business. It is a tool that enable Shop subscribers to offer promotions, such as order size discounts (save £10 when you spend £50), sale events, accessory discounts and codeless coupons (extra 10% off when you spend £50 or more).
Markdown Manager shows discounts on listings, although this only works once a product has been listed at the higher price for 28 consecutive days prior to applying the discount. It must also comply with the Committee of Advertising Practice Code and the BIS Pricing Practices Guide.
Protecting your brand and reputation
As a business, your reputation is everything and can effectively make or break your brand. For this reason, there are a number of best practices we would recommend you follow to ensure you are avoiding copyright infringement and are effectively managing your reputation.
When it comes to copyright and intellectual property, you should ensure you are complying with the following:
- You are only using images that are your own or have been provided in the eBay catalogue, or you otherwise have a license/permission to use them.
- You aren’t copying images from other sellers’ listing, other websites or from search engines.
- You are complying with eBay picture standards.
- Your descriptions are your own, and you are not copying them from other sellers’ listings or other websites.
- When using brand names, they are required to be accurate for the item you are selling. Use of popular brand names within a listing for another product is forbidden and will be removed by eBay. An example of this is using keywords such as “Like Cath Kidston” or “Michael Kors style”, which is seen as keyword spamming.
With regards to your brand’s reputation, you should be aware that every interaction reflects your brand, either negatively or positively. Some great ways to improve your reputation amongst both potential and existing customers include prompt communication and being seen to be fair and reasonable, particularly in relation to requests for returns.
One of the best ways to enhance your reputation and credibility is by becoming a top-rated eBay seller. Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest status to obtain, and you will need to meet certain standards to be eligible, including a 30-day returns option, 1-day or same-day dispatch, an express delivery option which offers delivery within 1 day, as well as a free domestic delivery option.
Review your sellers’ standards dashboard to see your current seller level and understand areas where you can improve to increase your eligibility. Remember, if you achieve this status, you benefit from maximum visibility in search results, as well as 10% discount on final value fees on eBay.co.uk or eBay.ie.
Packaging provides a great opportunity for after-sales branding, for example you can use packaging and postage labels that reflects your brand. On the inside of the package, you can provide a personalised message on the packing slip or invoice and even provide a flyer promoting your additional items.
When it comes to customer service, it is highly recommended that you encourage buyers to interact with you through eBay, as this can provide protection for your brand in the event of a dispute. It’s also important that you respond quickly to questions and complaints.
Effective marketing and branding is just one part of a successful strategy for selling on eBay. For further guidance on running your eBay business, have a read of our latest article.
Make sure you register for eBay’s upcoming webinars here, to get the insight and tools to grow your business on eBay.