Marketing on third party sites like Amazon, Etsy and eBay can sometimes feel tricky. These marketplaces are well known for having high standards of customer service and satisfaction so it’s important to make sure you’re following their policies and holding yourself to the standards that shoppers expect. Not to mention, you’re swimming in a pool of competition on sites like these, so getting creative and making sure shoppers are seeing and buying your products is crucial to retail success.
ecomdash has put together some strategies to increase awareness for your Amazon, Etsy or eBay stores, and keep your customers coming back. Check them out below and see if there’s some changes you could make to your third party store.
Provide Detailed Descriptions for Better Search Results
First things first, make sure shoppers can find what you’re selling by getting to the top of search results! Detailed descriptions with relevant, targeted keywords in your title are a great start. Depending on your merchandise, some useful elements to include are: brand, style, product type, material, keyword, and color.
WebRetailer provides a useful example of this. Say you’re selling a packet of seeds. Keywords such as ‘garden’, ‘planting’ or ‘outdoors’ may bring you a lot of views, but these shoppers may be looking for a completely different gardening product. It’s best to make sure your web traffic is actually interested in buying what you’re selling. A good way of doing this would be to include practical keywords such as plant type, estimated height, colors, ideal climates, and the packet’s total seed count in the description.
Sponsor Products to Increase Your Reach
Sponsoring your products is an efficient way to promote your items and stand out from the crowd in an online marketplace. In some cases such as Amazon Sponsored Products, you’ll only have to pay for each click an ad receives. This means you’re only paying for successful product views. Of course, to make sure you’re enticing the right buyers to click through, you’ll need to ensure your content is optimized with interesting, detailed descriptions and positive customer reviews.
Include High Quality Images
Shoppers have high expectations when it comes to product photos, especially on sites like Etsy. They want to know what they’re buying before they commit, so images should not only be high quality, but an accurate reflection of the product so you can keep cultivating positive reviews and increase conversions. That said, you don’t need to hire a professional photographer to accomplish this!
Here are some photography tips to keep in mind for professional images:
- Soft Shadows – There’s a science to good lighting. You want to avoid ‘hard shadows’, which occur when a light source is smaller than the photograph subject. Shooting in natural light by a big window or outdoors is great for soft shadows, or softening the lighting by diffusing the flash of your camera.
- Infinity Curve & Lightbox – Want your photo to look extra professional? This can be achieved with an infinity curve or lightbox. An infinity curve is a white piece of paper or fabric (gently bent so the bottom is horizontal to the floor) upright against a wall as a backdrop. And a lightbox is a mini photography studio for your product, with an infinity curve. Handmadeology and Instructables.com have some great tutorials on making cost-effective lightboxes.
- Macro Setting – For smaller products such as jewelry, beads, and engraved items, try shooting pictures with the macro setting. This is hardwired into most cameras, and lets you take closer images without compromising the finer details. If you take product photos with a smartphone, you can still make a macro lens for under $6. Check out this DIY tutorial.
Create Practical Tutorials or How-To Videos
Brief yet informative product videos will show that you’re knowledgeable about your product and willing to go that extra mile to help the customer succeed. John Lawson of ColderICE Media applied this principle to his Amazon business, 3rd Power Outlet. In the early 2000s when Tupac was increasingly popular, John was constantly asked how to tie a bandana like the rapper. So he created an instructional video that now has over 300,000 views and still sends him traffic today!
Consider the questions your shoppers may have, and have them addressed in advance with a brief video or instructional webpage. Perhaps an assembly, demo, product review, or best practice tutorial would work for your product. By creating content your buyers are already looking for, you can establish yourself as a helpful and reputable seller for increased trust and further sales.
Increase Buyer Trust
Shoppers may already feel some hesitation making purchases online, as they can’t test out items before buying them. Add that to the ‘used’ or ‘vintage’ options for items on eBay or Etsy, and shoppers are concerned they may get even less than they bargained for.
To combat this, make sure to include multiple pictures of an item from various angles. If it’s used, make sure photos are detailed and include any wear and tear in the description to give buyers an honest account of what they’re ordering. And, you should consider making it easy for buyers to reach out with questions. Direct them to the buyer-seller messaging system, or offer an email address should they need to contact you directly. Take it a step further by including a picture of you and your team so shoppers can see who’s on the other side of the screen. Knowing you’re a real person and happy to answer questions will create a sense of trust, and help shoppers feel more confident in following through with purchases.
Offer Free Shipping
Not everyone can offer this for all of their products, but at least try to implement it for some of them. Free shipping doesn’t just help with your search results, but also boost conversions and encourage sales. One experienced eBay seller added a large “free shipping” icon to the top of their listings and conversions increased by 25% as a result.
Though you’re selling on a third‐party site, you still have control over the success of your sales. Make sure your listings are detailed with professional images, and that you’re able to show potential buyers that you can provide an excellent customer experience. That way you’ll be able to draw in serious buyers, increase shopper trust, and boost your sales.
About the author…
Tiana is a content marketer and writer for ecomdash. Her favorite author is Oscar Wilde and she is a self-proclaimed Etsy addict.
Do you have any special practices or tips when selling in a third party marketplace? Let us know in the comments below.
About Ashley Gilgrist
Ashley looks after product marketing at Vend — working hard to bring exciting product launches to retailers around the globe. When she’s not busy talking all-things-Vend, Ashley also has a love of tea, candle-crafting, binge-watching, and hiking the pointy peaks of New Zealand.