How to Beat Your Biggest Competitors on E-commerce Marketplaces?

How to Beat Your Biggest Competitors on E-commerce Marketplaces?

Business & Entrepreneurship

E-Commerce Competitor Analysis: How to Get Ahead

The e-commerce industry fosters fierce competition as businesses large and small vie for a leadership position. Even when you’ve cornered a market, shoppers are fickle and customer loyalty can’t be taken for granted. In order to get an edge on the competition, you need to know what it’s doing. This process is known as competitor analysis. We’ve outlined a few reasons why it’s important and listed some tips for effective e-commerce competitor analysis.

Don’t be Afraid to Stand OutDon’t be Afraid to Stand Out

When you’re competing against international giants, it’s important to be honest about where you can, and can’t compete. Mid-sized e-tailers and giant conglomerates are different animals and that should inform their business strategies. For example, don’t try to compete using the same model as a company that may have vast resources when you don’t. Instead, explore new business models to differentiate yourself. Exploit your differences as a strength and look for novel ways to leverage your advantage.

Understand the Demand

Before pouring all your resources into one area, test the demand and set your strategy accordingly. While research may be the least interesting part of an e-commerce business plan, it will help you plan your steps for a successful outcome. Consider running marketing demos online and offline to understand how consumers react to your new brand, product or concept.

Go MobileGo Mobile

As of May 2015, Google announced that mobile searches outnumber searches on PCs. Any business who isn’t optimizing its online presence for mobile devices is behind the curve. Customers share their shopping experiences, look for solutions online, and make recommendations through social media. And they do it on the go. They browse catalogs from the couch, compare prices while they’re at the mall, and place orders while they’re out running errands. If you’re not optimized for mobile, the time to do it is yesterday.

Watch Closely

Pay attention to your competitors’ businesses and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to learn, both from their successes and failures. This information is free and can be invaluable. All you have to do is pay attention.

Offer a Better Deal

Part of e-commerce competitor analysis is following your competition’s pricing models. If it’s practical, consider integrating repricing apps to help you monitor competitor prices. These apps help keep your prices in line with the competition and give you the option to offer a better deal.

What to Include in Your eBay Template Design

What to Include in Your eBay Template Design

eBay

EBay is filled with enterprising e-tailers, which creates a vigorous marketplace. Templates offer a practical tool to manage content and stand out from your competitors, but templates must be used with care. Through our experience with many e-commerce sellers, the experts at CrewMachine have learned the secrets to effective eBay template design. Whether you use a template that we provide or decide to create your own, follow these pro tips for better user engagement and a higher conversion rate.

1) Brand Consistency

As you set up your information, keep in mind that everything should reflect your brand. For example, if you’re projecting a friendly, non-technical tone as part of your brand messaging, make sure that tone carries through to every piece of information you include.

Getting Right Product Details2) Include the Right Details

Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. What information are they likely to look for? Make sure that product features, customer service information, and thorough descriptions of product use scenarios are all present. Don’t forget any additional or unique service offers, maintenance suggestions and installation instructions. More information builds trust with your prospective buyers.

3) Identify the Most Important Information

While you need to include lots of information, an elegant eBay template design differentiates between the most important information (such as price and product features) and more granular details (such as installation instructions). Highlight basic product information by featuring it in a larger, or at least bolder, typeface. It’s crucial to organize your page to reduce visual clutter while providing relevant details for the purchase.

Online Deal4) Highlight Deals

Make sure your page highlights special offers pertaining to the product. Don’t waste this opportunity to also highlight related deals you’re offering on other merchandise. Link directly to those details from your page to get some cross-promotional momentum.

5) Return Policy

Online shoppers are more likely to purchase when they know you have a solid and clear return policy. This will mitigate the risk of buying something without being able to look at it in person, or in the case of clothing, to try it on. Let your customers have full confidence in your service by clarifying your return policy. This is also the key to more positive reviews, which can spur on further sales.

6) Group Mentality

Include extra information such as your top-selling products and positive reviews to give the buyer a sense that you’re an established and trusted business. Buyers are influenced by their peers, so be sure to highlight any outstanding reviews you get and work on damage control immediately for any negative reviews.

7) FAQs Are Your Best Friend

An open channel for your customers to ask questions helps you in two ways. Firstly, it builds the relationship with the customer and ensures that she’s getting the appropriate product for her needs. It also gives you the opportunity to identify any missing information on your page. If one customer asks a question, that same question has likely occurred to many others. Addressing these questions in your design results in a more responsive eBay template.

Image Optimization Tips for E-Commerce

Image Optimization Tips for E-Commerce

Ecommerce

When your storefront is virtual you make your first impression with the customer in the initial few seconds that your page loads on the screen. Quick web page load times are crucial. To prevent an unprofessional appearance and to keep traffic on your site, your site should load in only a few seconds, even on the slowest connection. Images, because they are data-heavy files, are often to blame for slow loading. Consider these image optimization tips to speed up page loading and improve your search ranking while you’re at it.

1) Choose the Right Name for Your Image

Search engine web crawlers look at all the text visible on your site, but also at invisible text such as image names and labels. Make sure you choose names that are descriptive and specific so they’ll reach the right audience in an image search. Accurate names also boost your search engine ranking overall, so this easy tweak is worth the time investment.

2) Use ALT Tags Wisely

ALT tags are the descriptors that show up when a browser fails to load an image. They also appear when you hover your mouse over an image. These tags should be present for all content-based images, such as product photos, but aren’t necessary for decorative images, like background elements. Make sure you use plain language (not just a string of keywords) to describe images and include model numbers in product photo ALT tags.

Multiple Angle Image3) From Every Angle

Consumers like to see multiple shots of products before purchase to get a better sense of the product dimensions. Make sure that your ALT tags for each of these images are specific to the image, for example giving descriptors like “rear view” or “interior lining”. If you have extra large images (usually used for zoom features), set them up to open in a separate window or pop-up so they won’t slow down the load time on your main page.

4) Keep it Small, Sweetie

Image optimization for the web involves finding the right balance between quality and file size (and therefore load time). Plenty of graphic software programs include algorithms to optimize images for the web. If you can’t afford professional photo software, free applications perform the same function.

5) File Format Fun

image file formatsImage files come in many formats, but some are better for e-commerce applications than others. Here’s a rundown.

Jpeg – Considered the best e-commerce format because it offers the best quality at the smallest size.
PNG – This is the second best choice for product page images. The quality isn’t as good as Jpeg, but this won’t be noticeable with small images.
GIF – This format generally produces files that are too large to load quickly and efficiently. It’s not recommended for e-commerce.

6) Thumbnails

Keep thumbnail images to a minimum, if possible. They slow down page loading like any other image, and too many can clutter the page design. When you do use them, smart image optimization SEO requires you to use different ALT tags for each thumbnail and its equivalent larger version.

7) Use Google Sitemap

Google Sitemap optimizes images and helps search engines categorize your images. Google Sitemap also has extensions that further optimize your images for better search rankings.

8) Keep Decorative Images in Check

Any non-product related image is considered decorative. These include buttons, borders and background images. While they add design appeal, they can also slow down your page. Use these image optimization tips for all decorative images:

  • Optimize them for the web to reduce their file size, just as you would for product images
  • Take advantage of CSS styling for your design elements to reduce your reliance on decorative images
  • Avoid large background images

eCommerce Product Videos: How to Use Videos to Increase Your Sales?

eCommerce Product Videos: How to Use Videos to Increase Your Sales?

Ecommerce

Marketing strategy, products, target market, delivery service and what not are all essential elements when developing an eCommerce website. But how do you give your venture the human touch without breaking the screen? The answer is video marketing.

Videos help customers learn more about a product without having to physically touch it. It is like giving them a personal demo of your product or service. Customers relate to videos more than pictures as they tend to capture every little detail. So it’s a good idea to insert product videos on your website to increase the conversion rate. Below is some important information that explains more about video marketing and how to ensure it’s successful.

Why Opt for Video Marketing?

Video Marketing

Videos help eCommerce businesses entertain and inform customers and showcase products and features to them

If you think about it from a customer’s point of view, then you know you need something better than photos to bring out the unique features of your products. Videos not only help an eCommerce website introduce new items, but they also help showcase value-added services. Some of the reasons you should opt for web video marketing include:

Website Ranking Improves

Search engine results typically include a mixed bag of information, photos and videos. If your site has videos available, then you will have the upper hand in attracting more customers. This will not only improve your website ranking but also help ensure that customers have up to date information.

Reduces Bounce Rate

More time spent on the website is directly proportional to higher conversion rates. The videos provide a chance for your sales team to study visitor patterns and create in-depth analytics. This also helps the team understand buying patterns and devise new ways to overcome the hurdles of low sales.

Helps in Establishing Credibility and Trust

When purchasing a product, a customer tends to wander the internet searching for reviews, product demonstrations, and more. If an eCommerce website captures this information through different videos, then it is more likely the customer will find the site reliable. Videos help in smoothing the transition between browsing and purchasing.

Sharable VideosVideos are More Sharable

Videos not only capture a visitor’s interest but also helps to draw attention to an eCommerce site. Over the years, it has been proven that people tend to share videos more than text or images.

Types of Video Marketing

Video marketing has no limitations except editing time and space issues. A video can increase the conversion rate by more than 50 percent. Market research has shown that eCommerce giants typically see a significant increase after the introduction of product videos. To reach the full potential of video marketing, it’s important to venture into more than product videos. Some other types of video marketing:

  • Promotional: It helps to showcase products and services
  • Testimonial: This type of video helps to highlight success stories from the clients’ viewpoint
  • Thought Leadership: It acts as a platform for sharing knowledge or experiences on industry relevant topics
  • How-To: One of the most sought-after types of video that helps a customer understand how to use a product or service
  • Product Information: It aids in explaining new features, benefits, troubleshooting, and more
  • Entertainment: Display the human side of your brand with viral videos, and online contests

How to Implement Product Videos?

Videos help eCommerce businesses entertain and inform customers and showcase products and features to them. The scope of web video marketing is vast and covers a variety of interests. Introducing a video to a product page is not a big task, but you should be aware of all the information that needs to be covered. Here is a breakdown of different ways to use videos in an eCommerce website:

Cover Product Feature Videos

When you introduce something unique to the market, it’s natural to want to see sales increase. This can only be achieved by adding detailed product videos covering every aspect of the product. This also helps you establish a difference between your product and similar ones available online. Product videos capture the item from every angle and helps the customer understand how the product can be useful.

Tutorial VideosIntroduce Instructional/Tutorial Videos

If you don’t want your customer to search for technical details about your product, then you should add instructional videos. These videos capture the technical or harder to understand information. This way, you make it easy for the customer to understand the use of the product without getting into the complexities of technical jargon. Videos of this type are particularly important if your website focuses on technical goods and / or items that require assembling or installation after purchase.

Offer Selection Advice Videos

Videos can help a customer make the right decision and reduce the risk of product returns. Capture product comparisons or aspects of your items that are unique and can help to convince a customer to make a purchase.

Value Added Videos

Offering something additional over and above the best deal always brings a smile to a customer’s face. Covering value added services in a video can help to increase the conversion rate. For example- If you are a furniture manufacturer, then you can also show what all the warranty covers, how the furniture is manufactured, how additional precautions on your side ensure quality and much more.

Amazon vs eBay vs My Own Store – Where to Start Selling Online

Amazon vs eBay vs My Own Store – Where to Start Selling Online

Amazon

Do I need a brick and mortar store as well as an online store?

Which platform should I choose- Amazon, Ebay or my own website?

A budding entrepreneur is surrounded by these and many other questions when starting a retail business. But sometimes these questions can lead someone into doing something that may not be their first choice. In many cases, the easiest option looks more appealing than something that would allow them to express their individuality and offer more opportunities. To overcome this situation, everyone thinking about starting an online store should spend some time channeling their knowledge and experience to find the best solution. Some things to keep in mind include:

1. Level of Experience

If you’re a novice when it comes to online selling, then it’s a good idea to choose a platform that is predefined and easy to use. Ebay is an ideal choice as the platform is user-friendly, has defined parameters for every product and category and guides a user throughout the process with the help of FAQ and Hints. After Ebay, Amazon takes 2nd place in providing a smooth experience, although it doesn’t offer free templates. To create a new eCommerce website or store, you need to be knowledgeable enough to design and set it up, or hire someone to do it for you. You also need to know how to promote your online store, otherwise, you’ll get no traffic, make no sales and it may be a complete failure.

2. Budget

Making a BudgetIt is all about money! Not only about what comes to you but also how much it costs to start the process. With Ebay, you can start with nothing at all and build up cash flow by selling old junk lying around the house using the free templates. As the cash flows in, you can add new items to your store. This is not the case with Amazon as you need to push new products in bulk which involves a hefty investment. If you’re thinking about an online store, you need to also think about the initial investment. Everything from designing and hosting to adding inventory costs money.

3. Long Term Plan

You should be very clear about your long-term goals. If you are looking for a side income source, then Ebay and Amazon are the best platforms to start with. But if you want to expand and turn the business into a full-time income, then you must consider all three platforms as potential sources. Not only will it divide the risk factor, but it will also help in gaining a wider customer base.

4. Time

Time ManagementIn a day-to-day scenario, most people have plenty of time to do the things they want or need to do. But when it comes to business, every second counts, and the time you spend on your business will affect the amount of income you bring in. With that in mind, decide if you want to start a full-time business or work a full-time job and start a part-time business. If first is the case, then opt for all three platforms and invest plenty of time to earn as much as possible. If later is the case, then open a store on Ebay or Amazon as they are both fairly easy and don’t take as much time.

5. Competition

One thing that no one can escape is competition. No matter where you go or where you work, it follows you around and urges you to take the lead or fall back. To get ahead in the competition, you need to have a smart approach. Ebay, is the world’s largest marketplace and has the most competitive market with millions of sellers from all over the world. One product can have thousands of sellers and 100 different varieties on one single platform. To keep up with this kind of competition, you need to be quick and innovative. With Amazon, you can take your time and build a store that attracts plenty of visitors. An online store lets you experiment and build at your own pace, but you need to be persistent to avoid sharks.

6. Control

Ebay and Amazon both have lists of rules to abide by. So when you open a store on these platforms, you need to follow every rule or risk your listing being removed. When it comes to an individual store, you are the boss with no rules in place. Be it shipping, payment or dispatch, everything works according to your rules. But this doesn’t give you the right to sell illegal or counterfeit material online. All three options have unique identities and attract a different genre of customers. But when it comes to an easy business with plenty of cash flow and little investment, then Ebay and Amazon rule the charts. An online store provides you with 100-percent control but takes more time, money, and knowledge. Take plenty of time to consider your options before starting an online retail business on any of the platforms in order to achieve your long-term goals.

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