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One thing I have found interesting in my journey learning how to sell via eBay, there is a great deal of emphasis about improving conversions – e.g. better descriptions, photograph’s trying to get higher up best match ranking – but I seem to hear little or in fact never any mention of trying to upsell, or sell more to existing customers.
The fact a sale has been made means that we have the customers name, email, phone, address we know what they bought (and if you really want to be sneaky look at their feedback to find what else they have bought). This is incredibly valuable information which could be used to generate further sales with a good marketing strategy, however I never have seen it in action. I have bought many things on eBay and never heard from the seller again? even business sellers?
I’m interesting in other’s opinions of this, has anyone tried to upsell, resell to a customer? maybe not immediately but later, christmas etc? perhaps sending an offer with the item and then using autoresponders? things I am going to implement but would love to know if anyone has done it before?
July 14, 2012
Its something i plan to do myself but not actively doing now. Email marketing has to be the most effective and essentially you will be sitting on a goldmine of data in time. I absolutely believe you could do really well with gaining a sale after the customer has purchased something from you and you have built that relationship, i know i have repeat business but its not because i ask for it. You have to ask for it and you will get a % percentage of people who do take you up on your promotion or email. I believe i remember reading that the best time to contact a customer can be quite early after a purchase as they are in “buying mode” and therefore likely to feel good about having made a purchase and in that good mood and primed for another purchase if a tempting items comes along. If you did everything right with the first sale then the customer will trust you and it will be easier to sell to them again.
I think that you will really need some technology behind it, ideally you would need a keyword tool that identifies related items to what they have recently purchased, just look at Amazon, whenever you have looked at something or purchased something you very quickly get an email saying hey, have a look at these, and guess what, the products are related to what you viewed or purchased!
I am certain you will see sucess, even if its just 5%, 5% of uptake when you have build your company to the multi million area will be alot of extra business. I think again the key will be having a way to automate it, so that it costs you nothing to ask the customer for another sale but you gain your 5 or 10% extra business. I think i am being very reserved at saying 5%, the likes of Amazon will have a much higher success rate from email promotions.
Howdy Pete, Kieran,
Ah we have there situations here
1. Range Selling
The first is prior to the sell happening and is using showing other items that the customer can purchase with the item as they are viewing it. Related items, similar products, parts and so on…. A Handbag with a pair of shoes for example.
2. Up Selling
This is as the sale is happening and at this point in time we’re almost stuck because this is where the wheels of eBay’s checkout system kick in and currently we cannot change what the customer sees and even suggest an associated item.
The exception to this is the bundles that some eBay sellers have access to, where items can be bundled at the top of the listing. While announced in May 2011 here http://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk…..asket.html it has never really been past the small group of users that first trailed it, which is a huge shame.
The other is eBay cross promotions, but the options can be limited and generally fall to the whim of eBay if your items are shown if you are showing other peoples items in the settings.
This is where eBay does a semi-good job, but really needs to be owned by yourselves as that’s too much reliance to eBay. Technically you are not allowed to use the customers details from eBay to remarket them out side of eBay, however asking them how the item the last bought went and adding in a slip of your other intentions can work quite well.
There is another part that eBay do rather well which is cart abandonment recoveries. Go on to eBay and add any item to your cart and leave it there, give it 48 hours and I bet you get emailed :)
Kieran is right with:
You have to ask for it and you will get a % percentage of people who do take you up
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Let me as you a question now, how many sign up boxes did you see, before you registered here? Get my point :)
With regards to the conversion rates, 5% that would be nice to aim for. I did find this http://mailchimp.com/resources…..-industry/ which shows the open and click rates for the different industries. Some of them are appalling, 3% click through wtf, that is really bad, for me, adding a zero on the end is what I am looking for, however with products, 5% is going to be a good level to aim for as eCommerce is showing as 3.36% on mailchimps guide.
Easiest way, try it? Doesn’t have to be 10,000, if you only have one subscriber that buys, that is a 100% success rate.
Thanks Kieran, thanks Matt,
Really interesting feedback – Matt, in this context I am really talking about marketing outside of eBay (a.k.a remarketing) , and is interesting that technically you cannot use this information? especially as email address/address/name is also in PayPal – I guess it’s a slightly grey area?
So concentrating on the remarketing – you mention that eBay do a semi-good job but I think I missed where/how they do that?
Reason this has started to become interesting is in promoting sales post eBay, as Matt knows I have been sending thank you letters with each sale and a token ‘lolly’ thank you letter. In the letter I also ask them to visit my website (e.g. non eBay) as obviously I would rather not pay the fee’s if possible, I also add please ask me for a discount. However in the last 120 thank you letters sent, I estimate (currently just link to my website, no tracking code so its a estimate) that about 50-60% of those do visit. I estimate this via google analytics of the number of direct visitors (e.g. not coming via SEO etc) as this is the only place we currently hand out the address. However out of those 50% of people not 1 has made a purchase on our site. Now arguably it is because they have got what they wanted, not interested in my other products etc etc – but the fact they visit means there is something there… I just want more than a 0% conversion rate :)
So my thoughts are that I am not being specific enough both by giving a offer or asking them to do something – been doing soe interesting reading on marketing (specifically Dan Kennedy in the US) who kind of says
1) Give someone you are trying to sell to a offer
2) Make that offer time dependent
3) Don’t just ask once, but ‘nicely’ ask more than once (a.k.a google adwords remarketing)
So my thoughts were this
1) Modify my thank you letter – instead of saying simply thank’s, here is a lolly please visit my website I automatically generate a discount code which expires in say 2 weeks. Add this to my thank you notice as a special ‘free gift’
2) If its not been used within 1 week drop them a email saying something like – hey sorry to bother you, I think I mau have forgotten to send your ‘thank you letter’ when I sent your item – it actually contained a free gift which I noticed hasn’t been used etc etc
3) 2 days before send another email again something nice!
The sequence, timings, message of above needs much more thought than I have mentioned and in many ways feels very ‘Un British’ – but I’m seeing numerous accounts of this strategy massively increasing conversion rates, hence believe its worth a try. Luckily I can automate pretty much all of it so not a massive burn implement – and I guess main thing is trying to be pushy without being ‘too’ pushy?
Any feedback on this approach welcome
P.S – Matt one small thing – be great to receive notifications when someone responds to a post? or maybe it exists and I haven’t seen it?
Humour me for a moment.
Along the top of your keyboard there are some function keys labeled from F1 to F10, do you see them?
If you press the one that labeled “F5″, it will refresh your screen.
Did it work for you?
So the lollies are working and they are visiting, did you tell them what do once they got there?
(ie pressed F5)
I’ve got a Mac – F5 did nothing :)
Do you mean did I tell them what to do on the letter? or does the website tell the client what to do?
I guess the answer to both is no – which may be right or maybe wrong, our shop (modetro) sells unique vintage home-ware and collectables – right now have not got a ultra niche of customers (e.g. our product range is wide) so its a little bit of presumption, you liked what you bought from us on eBay why not look at my other stuff? and hopefully something will catch their eye. Obviously be great to be much more targeted – e.g. you bought a mirror, how about looking at a matching picture frame or similar (e.g. like amazon choosing similar product) however right now thats a bit tricky (but maybe will think of a solution).
Don’t get me wrong there are so many holes to be plugged, so many opportunities to be taken advantage of its a matter of working out best bang for the buck based on the little data I have. So I know that I can get people to visit, they are not bouncing immediately but no sales is that because.
a) Not finding what they are looking for?
b) Not in the right frame to buy?
c) Simply don’t get what they have to do?
d) Price ? (although not going to compete on price :P)
So my theory (which is a theory) that its a matter of persistence, as we sell unusual stuff it would take more time to look and find something they like, if it was just a glancing look likely they could miss something. As we know interest is going to fail before doing this so the theory is we increase the interest level to find something by creating a compelling offer and following up with it!
Do you think I am barking up the wrong tree?
Do you mean did I tell them what to do on the letter? or does the website tell the client what to do?
Tell them everywhere, think of yourself being as Sheppard, guide them to the action(s) that you’d like for them to take. There is no need to be pushy with it, but just clear instructions.
For your business its a little difficult because of the variety of products you have, but on the flip side this is a complete bonus as there is uniqueness which is a compelling reason not to miss out and come back.
Maybe this is the leverage point for you, the fear of loss, loosing out on a unique item, so to check back on a weekly basis?
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