Launching and managing an ecommerce business can be incredibly rewarding – from a financial and personal standpoint. Thanks to eBay, the barriers to business entry are lower than ever, and if you sell the right products and market your wares effectively, you can succeed.
But it’s not as simple as just opening an eBay store or listing items for sale. To generate profits, you’ll need to think through your eBay strategy carefully. Here are five tips that can help you maximize eBay sales:
1. Sell in-demand products that you’re passionate about. As the ecommerce marketplace becomes more crowded, sellers must differentiate themselves from competitors. There are a couple of important ways to gain a competitive advantage. First of all, consider selling a product that you know something about – in a category that is your passion.
Are you into scrapbooking? If so, maybe selling scrapbooking supplies would work. Are you a gourmet chef? Then think about selling upscale cookware. That way, you’ll find it easy to discuss products with customers and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry. To find out what products are in demand, do some research before you launch.
2. Start small and lean. If you’re launching an eBay venture, keep your list of goods small and manageable at first. If you stay small and lean at the beginning of your sales journey, you’ll minimize the risk of incurring losses from inventory that you thought was a good idea but had trouble moving.
Once you’ve built a loyal customer base and developed relationships with suppliers, you can expand your product mix. But it’s important to keep your eBay venture manageable, especially at first.
3. Understand that sourcing drives profits. Profits, great or small, are determined during the sourcing process. You need to understand the fair value of a particular product or SKU to identify whether or not it’s a buying opportunity. A mobile seller analytics app can allow you to instantly recognize value by providing data on the product’s popularity and price trending on eBay.
Sourcing separates the successful eBay sellers from the unsuccessful. After establishing their businesses, successful eBay sellers typically focus on developing a reliable supply chain and sourcing network where product volume assures them of discounts and price advantages.
4. Discover new opportunities by watching your competitors. Fledgling eBay sellers — and experienced ones too — can learn a lot by monitoring competitor activities. But don’t just look at the products competitors are selling to compete directly with you; also look at items in their inventory that you haven’t started selling yet, but could.
Use a digital eBay seller solution that allows you to gain a complete overview of your competitors’ performance and drill down for product-by-product comparisons. Analytics will give you context to gauge your company’s performance and allow you to discover new ideas.
5. Get found. Brick-and-mortar businesses have the same marketing challenge eBay businesses have: Getting found by customers is more than half of the battle. In ecommerce, keywords are the frontline; the keywords used to promote products in your eBay listings are critical, and they must relate to how buyers are searching for products.
Watch the keyword usage in the listings of top sellers, and when you do have a buyer, ask him or her what keywords they used to find you — and the keywords they used prior to finding you. Sign up for eBay’s Listing Analytics tool to understand the performance of your listings.
As more sellers enter the ecommerce space and competition grows, it’s more important than ever to use all the tools at your disposal to make your eBay venture a success. By following these tips and taking advantage of available analytics, you can compete – and win – in the eBay arena.
“Internet Shopping” courtesy of renjith krishnan / www.freedigitalphotos.net
About the author: Kevin North is the CEO and President of Terapeak, a leader in commerce market analytics, dedicated to helping online merchants grow their business and become more profitable.