When it comes to selling on a marketplace, things can change often. Whether it’s new features like Afterpay or new competition entering your category, it pays to keep on your toes and try new things to boost sales and stay ahead. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!
Here at Trade Me we run tests when it comes to new functionality or design. One of the common methods we use is A/B testing, which is a great way for us to measure the success of a feature by having a test group who see the changes, and a control group who see things as usual. As a seller on the site, you can run your own tests either by trying something new on all listings, or splitting them into groups for an A/B test.
Here are some things we recommend tinkering with to revitalise your sales:
Premium products or promotional extras are a great place to start when it comes to getting your listings in front of buyers, as your listings will be placed higher than basic listings in the ‘featured first’ category view.
Put aside a marketing budget to try Gallery and Feature on different products and see how it changes their performance. You could focus on a product line or a particular sub-category to promote and compare sales for the listings before and after adding Gallery or Feature.
If you use a listing tool like My Products you’ll also have access to Gallery Plus, which costs $0.65 and gives you Gallery on the first listing and two relists, unless the goods sell.
Why not try free shipping to see if this garners more buyer interest? If you need to put your purchase prices up slightly to offer this, that’s fine, but remember buyers are savvy and they will notice if you simply add the full shipping cost to your Buy Now price. This isn’t really free shipping, and it likely won’t work, so try to absorb as much of the shipping cost as you can to make it appealing to your buyers. If it results in more sales, this will offset the cost to you.
You can also try different shipping costs or services for your buyers to choose from. Is offering them one or two simple options the best way to go, or do you get more purchases when you offer a range of options?
Buyers appreciate fast shipping too. See if you can speed up your shipping times, and advertise this in your listing descriptions. Is there any difference in the amount of sales as a result?
Pricing and payment methods
There are a bunch of things you can try when it comes to your pricing and payment options. If you’re not offering Pay Now, you can register for free and give it a go! The ability to accept credit and debit card payments makes purchasing much easier for your buyers, and should increase your sales. Once you’re registered for Pay Now, you can also offer Afterpay – a buy now, pay later service which can enable you to tap into a new market of buyers. You can try Pay Now and Afterpay on particular products according to your margins, or on everything.
If you’re a Trade Me Store, you’ll have access to ‘was/now’ pricing and the ability to advertise discounted prices on your products. With was/now pricing you can test storewide, category, or individual product discounts to see which is the most effective way to increase sales for a limited period of time.
Checking your pricing against the market and your competitors is also important. Avoid a pricing war as there’s never any winners there, but ensuring your products are priced sharply is a good way to go. You might try tinkering with your prices or lowering them within reason to see the effect.
Trialling $1 reserve listings can be a great way to generate renewed buyer interest. If you have stock that hasn’t been moving for some time, why not pop them up for $1 and attract new buyers to your listings.
The placement of your listings within the category and keyword searches is exceptionally important, because this is how buyers find you. Look at popular searches using our keyword suggester to find out what you should be including in your listing titles. E.g. if you sell desks, pop ‘desk’ into the site search box to bring up popular search terms buyers are using.
When you do a keyword search on site, have a look for your products in the search results and see how they compare to listings at the top of the results. What changes can you make to your listing titles to push them higher up the results? Make sure to do various keyword searches for one product to try and best fit popular terms buyers will use. Remember, different people will use different terms.
As Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results”. While we wouldn’t go as far as insanity, we definitely reckon it’s important to keep trying new things. E-commerce is an ever growing beast, so get amongst and do some trial and error to optimise your sales.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts and ideas about this post on the Seller Blog Message Board.