Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re already an established online seller, it’s always a good idea to spend some time perfecting your brand.
Selling on Amazon, the world’s most popular online marketplace, has
obvious appeal. But how do you make sure you target the right audience and boost your product ranking on the site? Here’s some useful advice to improve your exposure and increase sales.
1. Use relevant, specific search terms
Be clear about who your customers are and what they need. Amazon has benefits but it also has disadvantages, because it can choke your margins. If you sell through your own site, you’re effectively competing with Amazon to sell your own products. You might want to target your domestic market on your own website and use Amazon to reach your global customers.
Make sure you use search terms directly related to the products your customers are looking for – cast your net wide, but don’t be vague. If you specialise in sportswear, for example, include details of what you sell; so rather than just ‘running accessories’, include ‘sweat-proof, Bluetooth, wireless, running, headphones’. This will set you apart. But don’t repeat words in the search-term field, and don’t use terms just to generate traffic. Luring customers in under false pretences is a good way to lose sales, not make them.
Don’t use abbreviations because they aren’t often used in searches, and could make you sound unprofessional. Use modern terms: Instead of ‘mobile phone armbands for running’, say ‘iPhone’ or ‘Galaxy’ and add features such as weather-resistant, reflective, protective, anti-rash – any feature that a buyer could be looking for. The more tailored your description, the higher it’s likely to be ranked on Amazon. And the more categories your product is classed under, the wider the search base for your product on Amazon is.
2. Be picture perfect
Because pictures are a universal language they’re essential to international retailers, and well-presented products can sell themselves. Allow online shoppers to enlarge and rotate images so they can examine your products as they would in a store.
Good photographs are emotive (whether the effect is aspirational, practical or reassuring), and they can often encourage a purchase. Don’t forget that context is everything; if a product’s primary selling point is size, this should be clearly illustrated. Or, if an accessory could be tricky to use, take the stress out of the purchase by showing how it fits onto a bike, camera, car etc.
Images have to be appropriate to your product and brand. If you position yourself as a luxury goods provider, but your online images are low-resolution and present your products against a shabby background, customers will look elsewhere – especially if you’re charging premium prices.
3. Hit ‘refresh’ on your stock inventory
You don’t want to hold too much stock, but you don’t want to make promises to your customers that you can’t keep, either. Be sure to update your inventory daily so customers don’t buy items you no longer have.
Stock management is a vital consideration if you’re selling through multiple channels: This is especially true for Amazon sellers, who are required to despatch items within two working days of the order being placed.
Amazon has a whole page dedicated to ‘managing large inventories’, explaining how big and small retailers should tackle stock management in different ways.
4. Let your customers do your marketing
One of the key attractions of online shopping is that it’s quick and easy; if you make it otherwise, your reputation will be damaged. Disgruntled online shoppers will also go online to vent their frustrations – so don’t give them cause to complain. Customer feedback is important, so include a delivery note with your packages that encourages your buyers to leave feedback at www.amazon.co.uk/feedback. High-volume star ratings posted by happy customers can enhance sales markedly.
5. Don’t let the marketplace shrink your profits
The value of the cross-border online retail market is expected to pass US$300 billion by 2018.* However, when you sell on international marketplaces and generate sales in foreign currencies, you can lose up to 4% of your turnover in exchange conversions. Online marketplaces are not known for offering attractive currency conversion rates.
We at Currencies Direct offer better rates than the banks do, and we work with online marketplaces to provide third-party sellers with an effective international cash management solution. Companies using Amazon to sell internationally can use e-tailer Collection Accounts to gather their marketplace sales proceeds and withdraw money when it suits their needs.
Let’s talk international payments. We’re ready to discuss the best way for you to receive money from global customers at the best rate. Call us on +44 (0) 20 7847 9269, or find out more at currenciesdirect.com/etailers
You can also register and, compared to Amazon, save up to 3% of the total sales value on exchange rates.**
*According to a survey commissioned by PayPal
**Rates at 18 February 2015