All posts tagged online business

How to Expand Your Business Using eBay

How to Expand Your Business Using eBay

Looking for ways to grow your business? eBay’s online sales platform could be the answer. Using eBay is straightforward, and there’s no fancy application process to get started with sales on eBay. Yet, eBay is one of the more popular eCommerce websites, which means you could put your product in front of a lot of people. So what’s the best way to expand an existing business using eBay? Here are five ideas.

Try an eBay store instead of basic listings.

Anyone can list products without upfront fees to sell on eBay. But subscribing to eBay’s store options allows businesses to create a custom store front page. With an eBay Store, you’ll also gain access to marketing tools and discounts that aren’t available otherwise. The format also makes it easier to promote your items and track sales, if you’re willing to spend a few bucks on the Store subscription.

Discount combined shipping to encourage more sales.

What’s better than selling one item on eBay? Selling two. Offering a discount to buyers who purchase more than one item from your store front can help increase your sales. Discounts will encourage buyers to order more than one product. Similarly, eBay will also allow you to set temporary sales to encourage shoppers to buy now.

Make sure buyers can find your listings.

Your products won’t sell if no one sees them. To build more sales on eBay, make sure your product listings are easy to find. User keywords in the title and description that buyers are likely to search for. If the product has more than one name, for example, integrate both to make it easier to find in a web search. eBay also has tools to boost listings inside eBay search results.

Mix your existing business with your eBay listings.

Expanding a business using eBay and starting an eBay-exclusive business are two entirely different tasks. Take advantage of the fact that you’ve already got a business up and running. Use existing resources like an email marketing list, your social media accounts, and even in-store flyers to spread the word that customers can also shop on eBay. Link to your eBay store on your website.

Understand how eBay is different.

Several things will overlap between selling on eBay and selling through your usual channels — but eBay is also different. Make sure you understand how eBay works before embarking on the new eBay expansion. Look through other listings for similar products and see how you can make yours stand out. Seller ratings are everything on eBay, so when you get that first sale, be sure to put your best foot forward on customer service to get started with a high rating.

Sure, eBay is home to many business owners that run a business exclusively on eBay. But expanding to eBay is a good way for many existing businesses to expand their online sales. Try an eBay Store, create combined shipping discounts and more to help your venture into eBay go smoothly.

5 Tips For Starting an eBay Business

5 Tips For Starting an eBay Business

Selling products online is often one of the first things new entrepreneurs consider as a business model. The start-up costs are lower than having a physical location and online shopping is growing. eBay is one of the first platforms that come to mind when considering selling online. After all, if it’s easy enough for anyone to sell used household items, starting a business on eBay can’t be that hard, right?

An eBay business, like any other business, comes with it’s own set of challenges. Try these five tips if your considering starting a business on eBay.

Make sure you are familiar with the platform first.

Have you ever sold or bought anything from eBay? You should be familiar with eBay if you are considering using the platform to launch a business. Make sure you understand how the auctions work, how the “buy it now” options work, and what the typical listings look like. It’s a good idea to do some shopping there yourself. As you browse, ask yourself what tempts you to buy one listing over another similar listing? The answer will help you start an eBay business off on the right foot.

Treat your business as a traditional business.

eBay is just an online sales platform — eBay isn’t going to name your business for you, decide what to sell, or set your prices. In that manner, treat your eBay business as a traditional business. While you may be selling online, you still need a name, a business plan, and a strategy for turning a profit. What will you sell? How will you make your listings stand out from the other listings on eBay? Answer those questions before you get started.

Use good product photos and well-written listings to stand out.

eBay is a popular platform, which usually means there’s often more than one listing for an item. Your business will do a lot better if you make your listings stand out — and not necessarily by paying extra fees to boost them. Make sure your product photos highlight the product well with good lighting and a simple backdrop. Use a variety of images as well. Work to write a clear, interesting product description to help encourage buyers.

Research the market and trends.

What you sell on eBay will determine a lot of your business model. Besides working to find something that you can consistently sell at a profit, make sure to do your research to find current trends. Selling a product that’s seeing a growth or limited availability will be easier than selling a product that isn’t very much in demand. Be sure to stay on top of market trends as you determine what direction to take your business.

Don’t stop growing.

Once you get started, continue to evaluate your business. Keep track of which products sell quickly and which products take a little longer. Track the changes to your products, prices and listings, so you can determine what changes are helping and what changes are hurting. Consider other platforms to sell products online to expand beyond eBay.

Starting an eBay business isn’t a get rich scheme, but it can build a long term sustainable business if you take the right steps. Follow the trends, treat your eBay business like a traditional business, and continue finding new ways to grow.

Why online businesses are actually building brick and mortar stores

Why online businesses are actually building brick and mortar stores

Think online stores are the dominant form of retail today? A new study suggests you may want to think again. According to the Commonwealth Bank Retail Insights Report, more online retail businesses are building physical stores — because it’s actually not online stores or physical storefronts picking up speed, but businesses who do both in an omnichannel effort.

According to the report, 18 percent of internet-based retailers plan to open a physical storefront in the next year. That will mean that over 75 percent of retailers still have a physical location for customers to visit.

Even businesses with a large online presence are picking up on the trend — Amazon, for example, is opening several physical locations around the U.S.

So why are successful online businesses like Amazon opening physical storefronts? The omnichannel shopping experience combines the best of both worlds, mixing the ease of online shopping with the ability to actually see products in person.

“Brick and mortar and multi-channel retailers are doing more as customer preferences evolve,” said Jerry Macey, the national retail manager for Commonwealth Bank. “At the same time, emboldened digital retailers are opening physical stores to complement and drive further online sales.”

At the same time, online sales are expected to rise this year. According to the report, retailers estimate an average of 24 percent growth in web-based sales in the next year. About 35 percent of those will come from customers shopping with a smartphone, the report says. To keep up with that trend, almost half of retailers are expecting to increase their technology budgets. Next to technology, retailers plan to spend more on loyalty programs and social media expansion. Many businesses are also planning to expand their efforts to create a personalized customer experience, the report indicates.

For the businesses predicting a fall in sales, 95 percent of them attribute the estimated decline to the economy, not business practices.

The study also shows that 38 percent of sales are generated online, which means physical retail stores still have a pretty significant pull.

So what does all that data mean for creative businesses like photographers, graphic artists and printers? While physical locations still sell the most, many customers are looking for the convenience of shopping with a businesses that utilizes both channels. Picking out prints may be more convenient online, but picking prints up in person rather than pay the shipping fees may be more ideal for some customers, for example.

While online presence is important, physical stores continue to have the most pull. Omnichannel businesses successfully pull off both operations — and several online retailers are making the move by adding physical locations in hopes the storefront will also boost online sales. According to the latest study by the Commonwealth Bank, omnichannel seems to be an ideal way for many businesses to expand.

Discover the right way to do business online and save yourself 25%

Photo Direct invites you to spend a day with Doyle Buehler – online entrepreneur and author – to help you generate more customers and business online.  You will learn the unique 7 step process to reduce the confusion of business online and get the clarity that you are looking for on this critical retail topic.

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