It's tough to be a new online seller. You've got to do your research, source products, get listings online, and drink from the e-commerce firehose.
As a result of this workload, sellers new to eBay often miss one of the most interesting services for business-building: eBay Stores.
eBay Stores is an eBay subscription service that offers:
An eBay storefront and a URL just for your eBay goods
An easier way for shoppers to remember and bookmark you
Better ways for shoppers to navigate your complete inventory
More visible, flexible ways to promote your listings
Let's take a quick look at some of the things that sellers say they'd like to do on eBay—often without realizing that they can do them with an eBay store.
If you have more than a few products to sell and you hope to generate repeat or multiple purchase sales, sorting your products into categories that your particular shoppers will understand is a good thing.
In an eBay store, all of your goods can be found at a single, easy-to-remember and easy-to-bookmark web address. Just as importantly, however, you can sort your goods into categories for easy browsing and make them all accessible from your custom landing experience.
What does this mean in practice? It means that the shopper who wants to quickly find all of your men's diving wristwatches and only your men's diving wristwatches has a good first touch, and then can then find just what they want without trial and error in just a couple of clicks.
You can totally run your own a sale without using an eBay store, but pitching your sale to shoppers using text in your listing title and description leaves something to be desired; the promotional value of your sale tends to get lost in the noise.
With an eBay store, your sale is presented visually as markdown or pricing information, in the header area of your listing. This is more powerful than just including the words "SALE" or "LIMITED TIME ONLY" somewhere in your title and description. You're also able to easily manage and edit discounts efficiently, for time frames that you select, and in groups—rather than having to edit listings one at a time.
Stores also give you the ability to promote listings in eBay search engine result pages (SERPs). You offer eBay a bigger cut of your sale for listings that you choose to promote, and in return they appear more prominently in relevant results (along with the indication that their position in results is sponsored).
eBay is careful to protect shoppers' and sellers' privacy. Nonetheless, this can make things difficult on fledgling businesses, who want to enable shoppers to reach them, and who want a way to reach shoppers that express a clear interest in staying in touch.
Owners of eBay stores gain access to email mailing list and newsletter functionality that can be used to communicate with shoppers about new products, sales, and promotions of just the kinds outlined above.
In combination with the ability to create a bespoke store landing page, this makes eBay Stores the way to create a branded business on eBay—and branding your business is really non-negotiable if it's going to be sustainable and grow.
This one often creeps up on new sellers over time, who come to realize that they could have saved rather a lot of money on fees if they'd subscribed to eBay Stores earlier.
Be proactive about figuring out whether the fees discounts that eBay Stores sellers enjoy work out in your favor once subscription costs are taken into account.
Once you cross the line in merchandise volume, don't hesitate—there's no good reason not to own and run an eBay store if you're actually going to save money, overall, doing it.
There are a scads of sellers who sell actively on eBay yet are missing the boat by not investing in an eBay store. If any of the following are true for you, consider that it may be time for you consider it:
You want a business with a brand, not just to "sell online"
You'd like to be able to drive sales by having sales
You're ready to build a dedicated, captive clientele
You'd increase your profits overall by subscribing to eBay Stores
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