Stand up and be noticed

So, last week at the request of reader Colin, I dedicated my eletter to explaining the seven steps you can follow to create a simple website. If you missed it, you can read it in full on my Source Report Blog here.I also promised that I would also give you some information on eBay Shops and so that’s exactly what I’m going to do this week. A question that crops up quite frequently in my inbox is… “Should I open an eBay shop? If so when and what are the advantages?” So here we go…

A basic eBay shop (which is all you need to start with and you can upgrade at any time) will cost you £19.99 a month which is just 67p a day and can be set up fairly quickly – but the question is, why would you possibly need a shop when your listings are already on the eBay site anyway? Well, if you want to seriously expand your eBay business and generate a lucrative income than it is an important addition that you should seriously consider. I’ve outlined what I consider to be four of the main reasons why below:

What’s in a Name?

Here’s a very simple reason to start with. We humans remember names! It’s a talent that we have and one that can be used to your advantage when you are creating your own eBay shop. If you create a catchy name, provide excellent customer service and generally get people talking about you and your products then your buyers will come back to you simply because they will remember where to look. It’s easier to remember the name of a shop called ‘OB Electronics’ for example than it is to remember an eBay ID that is made up of complicated strings of letters, symbols and numbers like obrien7211_aj.

On the eBay site, customers can either search directly for your eBay shop by it’s name, or enter your unique URL straight into their browsers and be taken directly to your own shop pages. A URL will be allocated to your shop when you open it and you can then easily provide the link to buyers every time you send out an order. What’s more you can promote your eBay shop elsewhere using social media by using the link to your shop rather than trying to direct people to individual listings.

This gives you the immediate advantage of achieving potential repeat sales from previous buyers and getting your name out there to new customers which will help to maximise your eBay income. Having somewhere solid to direct people to is definitely one of the biggest reasons why you should consider opening an eBay shop.

Create a Custom Experience

Another advantage of having your own eBay shop is that you can customise its design and add your own logo. Once again this helps previous – and potential – buyers remember who you are and will not only entice repeat business but make it easy for new customers to find you once they’ve made a note of your shop name.

Visitors to your shop will really appreciate a well constructed page that is easy to read, contains all the information they need and one that stands out from the crowd too – it should reflect your business and what you stand for whilst showing your products to their best advantage. To explain further, this is exactly the same as if you were to walk into a shop on the High Street and appreciate a well laid out, clean and tidy store that’s easy to find your way around. A custom design will help put a stamp on your professionalism, seriousness as a seller on eBay and increase your credibility and your sales.

Research and Reporting

Once you establish your own eBay shop you’ll also get access to some pretty comprehensive sales reports provided by eBay. You’ll be able to see your monthly sales according to each category in which your items are listed, as well as how you are performing amongst rival sellers within the same niche market.

This information is vital to help you keep tabs on your own listings and products, your competitors and to be able to tailor your listings to better reach your prospective buyers. This is so important when you are selling on eBay because new competition can arrive at any time and you need to keep on top of your game. You’ll be able to establish which are your bestselling items and easily tweak those that are not performing so well.

One of the best features in research and reporting is the ability to see the top searched keywords within your actual shop – so you can work out which of your keywords are performing well and this is the best bit – the top keywords that drove traffic to your store not only from eBay but from search engines as well. Using this important data you can ensure that you always remain absolutely relevant to searches and never miss a potential customer.

Stand up and Be Noticed!

Having created an eBay shop you will then be able to add specific ultra relevant keywords (these are as well as your relevant title keywords for each product) relating to your products within your ‘shop design’ section (choose ‘Search Engine Keywords’ from the Shop Management menu). You can customise these keywords to increase your chances of potential buyers finding your shop pages when they search using search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. And that means increased exposure outside of eBay – and you can check this using the traffic reports that I’ve mentioned above.

The increased level of traffic reaching each item that you list on eBay in turn brings an increase in sales – another natural advantage. And from there it can snowball – the more goods you sell and the greater the emphasis you place on customer service, the higher your feedback rating becomes. This positive feedback rating will in time, count towards you having products placed higher in the search and finally becoming a Powerseller and a Top Rated Seller.

So, if you are considering opening an eBay shop then please do think about these advantages. You may wish to wait until you have a few products up and running before you open a shop simply so that you have more products to add and your shop looks enticing and ‘full’ from the minute you open it – but it’s something you can work on in the background whilst you continue to list normally.

Think about your shop name, your potential logo design, your colours and research the keywords you want to add to your shop. It’s a fantastic way to start and by considering all elements carefully, you can make your eBay shop really stand out.

As always I wish you the best of success,

Amanda O'Brien