After two years of selling online, including a year of selling on RebelsMarket, I've gotten savvier to those practices that tend to keep my sales high and my customers satisfied. They've led to largely positive reviews of both the quality of my items and myself as a salesperson.
Whether you're just starting out selling on RebelsMarket, are new to selling online altogether, or have been around here for a while and haven't seen the kind of sales you want, here are a few pieces of advice that could be of huge long-term benefit.
1. Use Social Media To Build Trust
It's no coincidence that many blogs contain a Facebook app that displays their number of followers and the faces of some of those followers. Why? People tend to have more trust and interest in something that has an established popularity. If 100,000 people already “Like” something, why shouldn't you?
When it comes to online commerce, this principle is massively important. If a potential customer is thinking of paying you – an almost anonymous person – to send them an item, they need to have some trust in you. How do you build that trust? Telling your story as an artist, manufacturer or retailer in a personal way helps. You can put that in your store description as well as in the description of every item you post. But what's better is to show people a positive record. In the description of each item you list, include a few positive reviews from customers on your own website, eBay, Etsy, etc. Or, report your percentage of positive feedback from the same.
2. Know What's Popular
All the best practices in the world won't help if you're selling the wrong items to the wrong crowd. But to be popular on RM, it's best to balance two approaches. First, know your style niche – punk, Goth, pin-up – and cater to your fans in that niche. For example, on my Goth store, Pandora's Closet, I've learned that my customers tend to love items with skeletons or skulls printed on them.
Second, consider items that gel with your store, but have wider appeal outside your niche. Some of my dresses, for example, aren't strictly Goth; I sell some plain black dresses and a colorful Alice in Wonderland dress. These more general items are often very popular.
To find out what's hot, you can always browse clothing categories and organize by bestselling. (Note: Clothing, jewelry and accessories sell best on RM) See how many reviews the top items have to get a feel for how popular that category is in general.
3. Write Keyword Rich Titles
Your product page views come from a mixture of visitors browsing RM and searches typed into RM and search engines. For that reason, it's critical to get into the minds of your potential customers while naming your items. What features about your item might your customer be actively searching for? What alternatives to the terms you come up with might be worth including?
For example, if you're selling a heavy metal band t-shirt, the title could include the words “Heavy Metal Music Band T-Shirt.” It's awkward, but searchable for the terms “heavy metal,” “heavy metal music,” “heavy metal band,” “band t-shirt,” and more.
4. Keep Your Policies Clear
As a seller, you're probably very familiar with how RebelsMarket works. It's a marketplace for sellers, the policies for each of which can vary greatly. But for first-time visitors to the site, that may not be clear. If you don't state your shipping, refund and exchange policies upfront, they may assume that you operate like sellers on larger sites like eBay or Etsy, or think that all sellers observe the same policies that they saw associated with a seller they browsed before.
Besides stating your policies in the appropriate storefront areas, come up with a template you can paste into every product listing. This template should include the processing time and shipping times and methods as well as a short description of who you are, your previous selling experience and positive reviews from other sites, if necessary.
5. Make Your Prices Fair
Some sellers give in to the temptation to gauge their prices. Sure, they can make a lot more money per sale. But there's a fatal flaw with this tactic: customers will expect the quality of the product they receive to be commensurate with its price. Savvy shoppers will call you out for selling less than stellar products at sky-high prices, and bad reviews kill sales.
6. Ship Worldwide for Cheap Prices
An unreasonable shipping price for an order will lose you the sale. What shipping price are customers comfortable with? Four-five dollars for a single item is good; free shipping is better. Consider entering a lower price in the field “For each additional item” so that shipping prices don't get too high for bigger orders. Your customer may not be willing to pay $25 for shipping 5 items, for example. Worldwide shipping is a must for online sellers. Fold the added cost of international shipping into your item prices to avoid displaying higher shipping fees. Making the actual shipping cost part of the item price is a smart general strategy to win more sales.
7. Prioritize Customer Service
Customer service can be the most frustrating aspect of the seller experience, but it's actually the most important. People who buy a product from you are in fact doing you a favor, and if you strengthen that relationship through tireless and courteous customer service, you can expect rave reviews and word-of-mouth growth.
What does effective customer service entail?
1. Response time. Make every effort to respond to customer inquires within 24 hours.
2. Be reasonable and generous. Every seller should allow for returns if mailed out within two weeks of customer receipt. If the item you send turns out to be defective, replace it, and if you make a mistake with the seller address or item size or color, send the correct item for free.
8. Do Your Own Marketing
The biggest advantage to selling on a site like RebelsMarket is that they are actively working to draw in more customers every day through blogging, social media, advertising and more. But pursuing your own marketing builds a fanbase exclusive to you instead of relying on the general one RebelsMarket has.The subject of online marketing is a massive one, but here are a few tips. If you haven't already, start your own Facebook page and post regularly. Depending on your typical customer profile, you may do well on Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr as well. If you happen to admin a Facebook page in your niche, promote your items and offer sales there. Or, if a friend admins a page in your niche, ask if you can occasionally promote your store there.
Finally, consider creating a newsletter list through a service like MailChimp. Collect e-mails through a form on your own website or Facebook page, then send a once- or twice-monthly newsletter with store updates and discounts.
9. Follow the Shopping Calendar
Having the best products, offering the best customer service and doing your own marketing isn't going to keep your sales steady all year. Why? Because there's an inexorable ebb and flow to shopping over the course of the year. You'll find that September to December are the strongest shopping months, while January-April tend to be weakest. Plan your budget and work responsibilities around this pattern.
Also keep in mind that people are looking for very different kinds of items over the course of the year. Consider Valentine's Day gifts early in the year, swimsuits and summer clothing as it warms up, sweaters, jackets and autumnal colors for fall, and gift items for Christmas. Plan sales around this cycle also.
10. Be Consistent
Having an online storefront is very similar to a brick-and-mortar business in one sense: success comes with consistency. What does this mean?
1. Keep your products to a certain theme – ie, hold to your niche
2. Maintain the same level of quality with all of your products
3. Make each listing as professional as possible
4. Respond to every customer inquiry within 24 hours
5. Continue feeding your marketing efforts on a daily or weekly basis
Working each day on your store and assisting its customers strengthens both your business and you as a seller. As you continue to put time into your store, you'll find your own best methods for drawing in customers and surpassing their expectations. You can then expand your selling activities to other sites or a second RM storefront with your newfound and versatile skill set.
Do you have any comments or suggestions for us? We would love to hear from you. Comment below.
Courtesy of closettour.com, 7designavenue.com,