7 Practical Tips Online Sellers Should Knowmikey
The internet has undoubtedly revolutionized a lot of mundane everyday activities we do these days. Not only can you video chat friends or strangers from halfway around the world, but you can also shop or be among the many online sellers out there… and from the comfort of your own home, too!
As a matter of fact, many small businesses today are fully operated online. With marketplaces such as Amazon, Alibaba, or Etsy (if you like handcrafted stuff), you don’t even have to go through the hassle of setting up your own website and looking for ways to make shoppers find you. However, with the vastness of these online marketplaces, it’s also quite easy to be drowned out and outsmarted by competitors. After all, if you can sell things on Amazon, so can any Tom, Dick, or Harry out there. Right? Lucky for you though, if you want to take a whack at selling online, below are 7 practical tips for online sellers you may want to check out.
1. Pick a memorable shop name or label.
“What’s in a name?” Well, it’s quite simple. Your label or name will be front, back, and center of your online shop. It’s the one thing that sends your store’s first impression to potential buyers. Not many online sellers realize this, but your online shop’s name will not only be the first thing people see but also the one that they can easily share with their friends and family. So having a name that they can easily recall, read out loud, and refer to others is crucial for your branding.
2. Get to know your target market.
Knowing who your potential buyers are will help you find a niche of the market you can focus on and maximize your efforts with. You will also then have some ideas on how to present your store and craft your product descriptions the way that would appeal to your target market. Knowing your intended buyers will help you figure out what products to sell and how to enticingly present them so people would buy from you.
3. Establish your brand the smart way.
Limiting your exposure and marketing to just the marketplace you belong to is not only a bad idea, but a grossly wasteful one. You see, aside from establishing a cohesive and consistent branding, having social media presence in platforms that your target market frequently visits will help your shop’s exposure and in turn, potentially increase your revenue. How? The more platforms your potential customers see your brand, the more they retain your shop’s name in their minds, and the more they will think of your shop when they (or their loved ones) think any of the products you’re selling.
How else can you capitalize on social media?
For online sellers, there are other ways you can utilize social media for marketing such as:
- Diverting your social media visitors straight to your Amazon shop, especially if you have promos or sales
- Creating nifty but affordable and mighty effective advertising campaigns that you can set to retarget leads or potential customers
- Building relationships with your target market to promote loyalty to your brand, which can result in repeat business
- Assembling customer support portals so your customers can easily reach you and , in turn, you can easily address and manage product issues or complaints
- Capitalizing on your current and potential customers to spread the word about your shop for you
A word of advice on social media though. Not all platforms are created equal. First you need to determine on which social media platforms you can find most of your target market. If your niche consists mostly of an older demographic, then perhaps Facebook. As for millennials or Gen Z, then Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Twitter is where you’ll find them. And if you have a large customer base from a varied range of demographics, then perhaps YouTube and a combo of the previously mentioned platforms will do. Just make sure to be consistent and avoid bombarding your customers with posts, especially if they sound like pitches. No one likes spam or pushy sales talks.
4. Only promise what you can deliver.
And deliver more than what you promised. You’ve probably heard this before, and it’s absolutely something online sellers must do. This way you effectively manage customer expectations and keep the number of complaints to a minimum. After all, no one would feel happy about receiving something that doesn’t meet their expectations. Besides, no one likes the “snake oil salesmanship,” period. So avoid this at all costs.
5. Deliver good (if not great) products and customer service.
Make sure that you offer products that are worth your market’s time and money. So aside from doing market research on a profitable niche and target market, take the time to also choose the right products to sell. Carry brands that you personally trust and have actually tried yourself. But also don’t forget to consider the practical side of things such as storage and logistics. Choosing consumables, for instance, is better than one-time-purchase products in terms of repeat business and potential revenue. But you would need considerable space for storage if you want to have a steady supply, and regularly conduct product inventories so you can efficiently keep track of your supplies and market demand
Another thing you should make sure to do well is customer service. Ensure you’re always available for questions, clarifications, confirmations, and most especially complaints. If you’re managing several social media and you get messages from customers from all of them, find a way to centralize those. Perhaps forward all messages to just one inbox, or use a social media managing app such as Hootsuite.
6. Offer the best prices at the right time.
Another nifty tip you can use as you sell things via online marketplaces is keeping your pricing agile. And no, this doesn’t mean you always offer the lowest prices. The cheapest prices are not always the best prices. In fact, pricing your products too low may imply to your potential customers that your product is of low quality or faulty. What you need to find is that sweet spot of “not too high, not too low, and just enough” to stand out above competitors. Fortunately, there are apps that can help you choose the best prices for your products and also suggest it at the right time such as SellersApps..
7. Ask for honest feedback (and respond to them the right way)
The only way you can continuously improve your products and services, and in turn, promote repeat business and brand loyalty is to know what your customers think. And the most efficient way to get this data is through genuine customer reviews or feedback. How do you get this though without sounding a bit stalk-ish? Well, the most efficient way is to just be straightforward about it. Every time you make a sale, send a little thank-you note to the shopper and ask them for feedback. Make sure to phrase it in a way that you’re asking them for advice on how to further improve your shop and service.
Hi, (Customer’s name).
Thank you very much for purchasing (the product they bought).
As part of our continuous effort to improve our service, we’d like to know what you think about your shopping experience, or if you have any suggestions for us.
We appreciate your business and we hope to serve you again in the future.
Of course, there are other useful insights and tips for online sellers out there. If you’re just starting out, though, it may be advisable for you to get a crack at these since they’re among the most basic things you need to establish first if you ever hope to succeed in this digital microbusiness industry.
So, did you get all that? Do you agree or disagree with any of it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.