Selling on eBay – why is it important and how to do it properly?
There is almost no significant retailer in the digital commerce world that omits selling on eBay, and there is a really good reason behind this trend.
Marketplaces in general provide some unique opportunities, and it is no wonder the big brands and successful retailers are exploiting it to extend their reach to the customers. Still, there is a pretty natural question that pops out when thinking about this issue – is eBay selling something small retailers and start-ups should consider?
The simple answer would be – YES, by all means, but of course, there is a need to explain why this approach actually works for each and every company involved in eCommerce, regardless of its history and its size. The main reasons could be explained through analysing a few of the key areas where eBay stores show the most effect:
• Extended reach
• Ease of implementation
• Enhanced branding effect
Marketplaces in general, and 3 the most popular ones especially (Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay) have a huge presence and make a significant portion of a global online trade. The latest trends show that their market share is increasing additionally year on year, so it is simply impossible to consider them as a viable and even crucial channel in digital commerce endeavours. Since there are dozens of millions of purchases made via marketplaces annually, it is definitely of a paramount importance to get into that race.
Most customers have a habit of using eBay on a regular basis, and they keep a lot of their online purchases connected to it due to the positive experiences they had in the past with it. Since there is such a huge customer loyalty issue connected to this marketplace, having your own eBay full site is simply a must if you wish to succeed. eBay listing of your own products that can be also found on your online store will extend the reach to the customers who are more accustomed to buying via other channels (apart from brand stores). Without this approach, you are fighting an uphill battle against one of the most significant retailers out there. Since you most certainly can’t beat them, it is not a bad idea to join them and exploit their reach to extend your own.
Ease of implementation
Starting eBay selling is really nothing too complicated and requires significantly lower amount of investments and effort than selling via standard online stores. The standard option of manual eBay listings can be a bit frustrating and ineffective in case you have a significant number of items for sale, but there is an easier way to get there. Most of the leading eCommerce platforms do have their own marketplace connectors, or they connect to the eBay via 3rd party services. It easily transfers to the seamless operation that requires minimal effort to run eBay sales using the very same digital commerce platform you are already using for your standard online store.
Magento, BigCommerce, Volo Commerce, Shopify, and all other major eCommerce solutions provide this option, so starting eBay operations is rather simple and requires minimal effort while providing some really lucrative opportunities.
Enhanced branding effect
Differently from some other marketplaces, here you can include custom eBay store design as a way to improve your branding efforts. While on Amazon you can create your own outlet, there are no options to customize it and include design that will make any kind of association to your brand.
On eBay this is possible. This is why eBay shop design is so important – it can represent another branding channel and significantly increase brand exposure to the market. In that way, you can increase the credibility of your standard eShop, or kick off a branding campaign even without having a standard online store.
The aforementioned features allow you to create a true multichannel experience for your potential customers, but it is far from a simple task. Dealing with eBay templates and custom eBay design is something that needs a proper attention from the experts in case you really want it to shine and make impact.
In order to be successful with selling on eBay, you need to take care of several segments of the entire operation and obtain some expert help for it. The most important moments in decision making process are:
• Determining ways to list on eBay
• Determining the markets you wish to enter
• Choosing the customization level
• Coming up with a brand related custom design
• Determining the goals of eBay shop
Ways to list on eBay
As we already mentioned, there are several ways to manage your listings on eBay. First, and the most awkward one is to simply manually list everything you wish to sell. This is a time consuming ordeal that is not fully justified except if you are a really small startup and that is the only channel you wish to pursue. Without having an online store based on some of the platforms that provide connectivity with eBay, this is the only available solution. Still, it is really something that has little chance to succeed, and you should consider other options.
Those other options include integrating a marketplace connector in your online selling system. It is rather easy to do if you have sufficient experience in web development, but even if you don’t – there are numerous digital agencies which can do the hard part for you. We at Studioworx have a years-long experience in this segment and we are more than able to provide you with all the assistance you might need.
Determining the scope (markets)
From a strategic point of view, this is the most important decision you will have to make. Selling on multiple markets, with different prices (sometimes even different currencies), different VAT rules, and different discounts and promotions can turn into a nightmare scenario if you don’t pay attention to details. Of course, there is little chance that you know how to do this internally avoiding such scenario in the process, so consulting the experts such as Studioworx is much advised.
We will be able to help you with determining which type of connector to apply, how to organize listings in the automated way, and how to keep an eye on the stocks, no matter if you are running operations with separate stocks for each market or you are using a single warehouse and stock unit for all of the markets you will be entering. Also, we will be able to provide advice on the best approaches when choosing where to sell and under what terms. More on this will be explained in the segment dedicated to determining goals of eBay presence.
Decision on customization is not as simple as it looks, and strictly relates to the goals of the campaign you wish to carry out in certain market. It should follow the best practices used on the every single market you will be exposed to. In some cases, the level of customization is pretty similar and you can use pretty much unified approach, but in most cases, it requires a lot of effort in order to get the maximum out of your campaigns.
The reason behind this is simple – different markets consist of different people, with different shopping habits and different cultural backgrounds. If you are running your eBay stores in countries that have similar culture, celebrate similar holidays, and have similar shopping habits, then there is no need to customize the approach for each of the markets separately. Still, as soon as you decide to expand and dig into markets that are different, the customization will need to be brought on a higher level.
The best example for this is seasonal campaign management. While in many countries in the west the peaks of the season are around big holidays which fall under the same dates, as soon as you try to expand eastwards, you will notice there are holiday peaks in those countries that are moved to a completely different days of the year. Since most of the companies tend to ignore that fact, providing the special opportunity for discounted sales to the people in these countries during the time of the year they prefer can give you a significant advantage over your competitors. Markets in the east are huge, containing billions of people, and reaching out to them in a proper way can do miracles to your business.
Brand related custom eBay design
Making your eBay presence in line with your standard eShop allows a huge boost to the brand identity operations. Applying the design that reflects your brand and evokes instant associations to it is definitely something you wish to achieve. Custom eBay design assignments is something Studioworx excels at! We have a huge portfolio of customized eBay shop projects and that fact alone tells why you should consider entrusting this task to us.
Some of the best known international brands have already used our services, and their custom eBay shops have all the elements needed for a successful branding efforts through that channel as well. We know exactly how to transfer the main message from your brand store to your eBay store, and we are able to do it in any way eBay itself allows it.
Our standard practice includes close collaboration with the client, so the end result is always in line with your goals, and always produces maximum results. Although we are able to recommend the best solution, the decision is always left to the client so we had zero bad experiences in over 300 projects so far!
eBay selling goals
Finally, all of the things we have already mentioned need to be determined in a way to be in line with your goals when it comes to selling on eBay.
In many cases, this marketplace is used to reinforce the standard online shop and provide the brand with an additional sales channel. In those cases, there are not many variables, since you have already sold in the market, and you simply wish to expand to another channel and reach customers that are more comfortable buying through eBay than through standard shops. Also, since many people do have tendency to stick to the marketplaces in order to find the best offers available, this allows you to reach the customers that are usually buying from the competition or resellers. Also, seasonal sales through marketplaces can and often do turn out to be pure jackpots. Since eBay does have an engine for running seasonal sales and various promotions, this is something that will not only open another channel for trade, but also bring the sales volume to a whole new level (if you play all the cards right).
The second most common goal for eBay selling campaigns is penetration of new markets. This is a cheaper and more secure way to engage a new market than opening a new standard store or upgrading the existing one for that market exclusively. In those cases, the benefits are multiple. Not only that it is cheaper to do, but it also allows immediate interaction with the market without investing too much in brand identity (apart from the custom eBay store design). The visibility is obtained faster, and that is of a crucial importance, especially if you are a brand. Retailers operating with various brands can count on borrowing reputation from the brands they are selling, but brands themselves simply need to build up brand identity on the market they were never present at. So, the best, and least painful way to do so is to start building brand identity where you already have audience (eBay categories themselves will provide you with some) and you should do it with the custom eBay store that creates instant brand associations, as soon as the customers got the chance to interact with it.
This would be a general guide to most basic things related to eBay store design and usage, but each case should be treated separately. The best way to do it is to consult with the experts, and Studioworx is at the very top of the ladder when it comes to eBay experts in the UK. Feel free to give us a call or contact us via our website at any point.