Everybody loves the holidays! Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your loved ones, get some long needed rest, eat delicious meals and of course – SHOP!
That’s why the holiday season is critical to us sellers, and can give our eBay stores a fantastic BOOST! According to Channel Advisor‘s 2015 Online Retail Survey, 20% or more of online sellers’ annual revenues are made during the holiday season, and the most profitable business days, not surprisingly, happen to be Black Friday and Cyber Monday – all the more reason to be well-prepared!
As we all know, the top issue we sellers deal with over the hectic holiday season is the lack of time! Whether you are a part time eBay Seller or a full-time online business owner, the holidays tend to be pretty busy due to the higher sales volume and different delays caused by postal holidays, so we really have to be on top of our game.
Here are a few easy last minute tips that can give you a jump-start and help ease the pressure:
The market becomes a lot more competitive this time of year. Both online and brick-and-mortar sellers are competing for buyers’ attention and interest. That means you need to:
- Keep up with current trends and stay in the loop! Learn your competition and always be on the look for popular products and trending words. Use Google Trends to discover what people are into these days and adjust your business accordingly. Another great indication for what products people are looking for and what exact phrases they are typing is to simply “Ask eBay”. Kathy Terrill, an accomplished e-commerce consultant and a Top Rated Silver Power Seller always advises to start typing in a product’s name and see how eBay completes the sentence. Remember – it’s not only about choosing the correct wording; it’s about choosing your potential buyers’ search words and phrases! Listing “women’s army pants” and neglecting to use the popular phrase “camo leggings” will make it harder for you to get noticed. So keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to do last-minute listing corrections. This may very well be the missing ingredient that will help them sell!
- Trigger seasonal sales! After you’re done researching, making the required adjustments and putting together your seasonal sales plan, start sorting out your inventory and decide which listings you should put on sale;
For the more substantial markdowns we advise that you choose old listings, large quantity listings, and listings that have never sold before or haven’t sold very well. For the more moderate markdowns, choose listings with a number of watchers, one-of-a-kind items and new arrivals. These will serve as gateway sales that drive traffic to your store. There are many more quick and easy markdown strategies that you can read about in our recent Markdown Sales Guide.
- Express shipping – Online last minute shopping is extremely common during the holidays. The problem is that buyers still want to get their packages before the holidays since they’re usually gifts. How can you make that happen? First, make sure that you select the Express Shipping option in each eBay listing. Buyers actively search for this option especially during the holidays and are usually willing to pay the extra cost. Having said that, although Express Shipping requires an additional expense, If it’s not that substantialwe suggest you add it as a bonus. If it starts getting too pricey, we advise you to message your buyers and offer them this service for an additional cost. They will appreciate it just as much.
DON’T HESITATE – AUTOMATE!
As we all know, running an eBay business means working hard around the clock to provide top service and products to customers worldwide. During the holiday season’s hustle and bustle we can use all the help we can get, but can’t always afford to hire an extra pair of hands, and that’s perfectly fine! There are numerous FREE and low-cost services, provided by eBay itself or third-party certified software companies, which automate the time-consuming routine procedures in order for you to focus on the more urgent tasks and increase your efficiency. Here are four tools that we use regularly, and serve as our “secret little helpers” during the holiday rush:
- eBay’s Selling Manager Pro – Provides different advanced features such as Automated Listings that save precious time, and Automated Buyer Communication which we highly recommend! Communicating with buyers is extremely important and leads to a positive buying experience. It’s especially important for us online sellers, because our interaction with buyers is mediated and we don’t actually get to meet them face-to-face. By using the Automated Buyer Communication feature you can create personalized holiday-oriented messages. Here are three quick examples:
- Order confirmation emails thanking the buyers for their business, telling them where they can read their purchase details and wishing them happy holidays.
- Order update emails with shipping information and tracking numbers, asking for their patience and understanding during this busy time of year.
- Feedback request emails with warm holiday wishes reminding your buyers to leave you positive feedback.
Ten minutes of work will save you hours of customer service and nurturing. For those of you who are already using this feature, updating a short holiday greeting will take even less time.
- CrazyLister – A simple drag & drop listing editor system, providing all sorts of special pre-made templates and a DIY listing editor for eBay sellers. The pre-made templates are a great solution for those last minute holiday listings and you can also freshen up existing listings and give them a new holiday theme.
- MailChimp – The holidays are a great opportunity to reach out to your customers, give them a quick update and promote your special holiday sale events. MailChimp is an easy drag & drop solution that we use on a regular basis for putting together festive holiday newsletters in no time.
- Markdown Guru – Last but not least, our very own Markdown Guru that provides exclusive filtering options which aren’t available on eBay, It helps tailor and personalize different sales to meet your specific store needs, and locate the precise items suitable for a successful sale in minutes. And – it’s free ’till the end of the year!
We hope this special holiday blog post was informative and will inspire you to reach your full business potential during this special season. May the joy of the holidays fill your hearts and homes, and may your eBay business continue to grow and prosper.
Happy Holidays and great sales!
The CampaignGO Team