4 ways to ensure your success as a seller and increase your sales with these easy, but often overlooked, tips… 

“Ambition is the first step to success. The second step is action.”

I don’t know who said that…but I like it!

As an online seller, ambition should be high on your list of priorities. Ambition is what makes you take action.

And action is ultimately what puts you on the path to achieving your goal of becoming a successful seller with a successful online business.

So, as an ambitious seller you should always be keeping an eye on your competitors because they are likely to be just as ambitious as you!

What happens, for example, when you discover sellers who are already competing on price, quality, service, product and who are listing the same product as you and selling more? Is there anything you can do and if so, what?

Well there’s plenty! Tweaking your keywords and listings is a given, and of course adding more in demand stock to your inventory – steadily building your business – making it into something great, but other factors are involved too. Let’s take it from the top.

1. Keywords – Relevant or Not?

To get a good overview of how well your keywords are working for you, use this really easy technique. Simply search for your product and take a look at where your listing is ranking.

Generally, if you are not on the first two pages of results for the most relevant keywords for your product, then it’s going to be harder to get your products seen.

Your title keywords – on eBay and on Amazon – are hugely important because they are the single most effective way for potential buyers to find you!

Think like a buyer. Which words would you type in to the search box if you were looking for your product? Remove all irrelevant words (including connecting words such as ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘at’, ‘it’ etc) and only use keywords that are searched for.

Now check your keywords against those of sellers with the same product that are appearing higher than you in the search results.

And look at eBay’s suggestions that appear when you type keywords in to the search box.

Then put them all together to create a title jam-packed with only the keywords that are being searched for.

This is your first step to making sure your listings are more prominent in the searches, because if your main competitor is ranking on page one and you are on page two, the likelihood is that they will outsell you.

2. Listing Description – Compelling or Weak?

Look at your competitor and work out what it might be that they are offering that you don’t. It could be something seemingly insignificant that you have overlooked, such as extra delivery options – for example Express Delivery. They may have a longer returns policy – 60 days instead of 30 for example or they may offer free shipping or a free gift.

It could even be the fact that they are using a listing template and look more professional than you, have more photographs of their product, or an easily accessible FAQ section.

Do they have more item specifics completed than you? Go over their listing with a fine toothcomb and spot the differences between theirs and yours – because believe me, there will probably be something different, and it could make a huge difference to you.

3. Seller Rating and Performance – Above Standard or Top Rated?

So, what it comes down to is this. On eBay, having an ‘above standard’ performance record is great news.

But, if your competitor is offering ‘Premium Service’ or they are ‘Top Rated’ they will immediately have a big advantage over you.

This is why it’s very important to quickly work towards Powerseller Status, so that you can then qualify for Top Rated Status and Premium Service. You can read more about that here.

By earning Top Rated Seller Status you will achieve a higher listing ranking and your sales will increase (due to your higher position).

As your sales increase, your ranking will increase further. By reaching page one of the search results you are in the ultimate position to further increase your sales.

4. Conversion Rates – Views or Sales?

Don’t be frightened – I know it sounds technical but it’s important. Your conversion rate is basically the number of people who click on your listing and then actually buy from you.

So, if you have a listing that is getting loads of click throughs but no actual sales, then it’s not converting well and this can impact on your ranking.

This can happen if you run out of stock of a certain variation or simply if your keywords are great – but your listing is poor. So it’s extremely important to write a compelling listing that makes people want to buy from you. Once you’ve done the hard part – getting the click through – don’t ruin it with a weak description.

And rather than total sales figures you need to take into consideration your actual conversion rate. You really want to achieve fewer views to sales – so for example if you received 10 views and 9 sales this would obviously be a far better conversion rate than 20 views and 9 sales.

Remember that this is a business and this is where your business management really comes into play.

Whilst it’s tempting to relax a little once you have products that generally sell well, if you aren’t aware of what your competitors are doing and any changes that they are making, you could get left behind sales-wise.

So make it your business, just once a week to check the competition – it could make all the difference!