Ecommerce has opened up many sales opportunities for SMBs. So much so that a survey shares how 92% of online SMBs saw impressive sales growth in 2021.
With so much growth potential, it only makes sense that more SMBs would want to venture into multichannel commerce and sell on popular marketplaces too. But, what most brands forget is that selling on Amazon, for example, comes with fierce competition. It's for specific niches, and it is not a feasible option for all retailers.
But fortunately, there's other options such as Etsy and eBay.
Who is Etsy marketplace for?
Etsy is exclusively for independent crafters, artists, and collectors who sell vintage, handmade, or custom-made items such as jewelry, clothing, home décor, art, toys, etc. Since Etsy marketplace launched in 2005, the platform has seen impressive growth (nearly half a million users and $26 million in sales) in just two years.
This platform is ideal for businesses that sell items with a personalized touch, as that’s what customers on the site look for. It is also ideal for sellers who prefer to be in complete control of managing their store listing, orders, and inventory.
Fun facts about Esty:
- The largest sales category on the platform is for homeware and home furnishing as they generate $3.2 billion in annual sales
- The second category that generates sales is jewelry and personal accessories
- In 2020, “personalized gift” dominated Etsy's search and trends
Understanding the Etsy search engine
Most search tools are designed to help a customer find the product they’re searching for. Your job is to help search tools realize that it’s your product.
Esty search tools focus on query match and ranking.
Query matching is based on how well a user's search term matches Esty’s inventory listing. The search tool will sift through tags, titles, attributes, and categories to find the ideal item and match it. Then, it will look at the listing's ranking. Ranking helps Esty decide whether your product is suitable for the match. Here is how you can optimize your product listing on Etsy:
1. Relevancy to search and queries
Using relevant keywords for tags, titles, categories, and attributes can help you match a user’s search term and help your product rank higher. It is important that you make use of search tools like eRank to help with keyword research.
2. Listing quality score
Etsy looks at how often a user purchases your product after viewing it.
Make sure you have accurate and rich product data, and high-quality images to help give customers the information they need to complete a purchase.
According to a survey done by Etsy, 90% of Etsy buyers ranked image quality as “extremely” or “very” important in their purchasing decision.
3. Recency and quality
When you have a new listing, Etsy will temporarily boost it to help you appear in front of potential customers. If you’re starting out on Etsy, use this to your advantage, and use our tips to keep your listing visible for longer. You can also renew existing listings according to their performance. Look at your product analytics and see which listings could be improved with new tags and titles.
4. Customer and market experience score
A study shows that 73% of shoppers say that customer experience is a factor in their buying decision, and Etsy recognizes this, which is why it’s a ranking factor.
Etsy takes customer reviews, your about section, and any negative feedback into consideration when ranking your product listing/s.
Make sure you provide a good customer experience by;
- Completing every section of your store, such as shipping, payment options, returns and exchanges, and privacy information
- Answering customer queries promptly
- Processing returns and exchanges without any friction
- Taking the time to respond respectfully to negative feedback
These tips can lead to great reviews and have a positive effect on search ranking
5. Shipping price and delivery
Who doesn’t like free shipping? No one.
Shipping price plays a huge role in a customer's purchasing decision. And unsatisfactory shipping options are the general cause of 77% of carts being abandoned. This is a ranking factor, and stores that have free shipping or offer a free-shipping guarantee to shoppers in the U.S. So, consider giving free shipping for first-time buyers or after a customer spends a certain amount of money.
6. Seller’s location
In certain countries (Europe, Australia, and Canada), a seller's location can be used as a ranking factor so local items will have a higher chance to show up in search results. Make sure you always add your location, but if you aren’t in the area, you can work around this by using phrases that make sense to a specific location.
For example, if you want to reach Australian customers, use regional phrases like “thong sandals” instead of “flip flops” to attract Australian customers.
7. Shoppers’ habits
Etsy uses context-specific ranking (CSR) technology, which studies a buyer's habits and interests. This curates their ideal experience, and serves them items they’re more likely to purchase. So, avoid making all your keywords broach like “ring” and rather say “natural diamond ring” as a customer might have a habit of searching for jewelry that has diamonds, and this will increase your product's visibility.
Who is eBay for?
eBay was founded in 1995 and has since created a global name for itself as an online auction and trading company. The online auction marketplace is ideal for individual sellers and small businesses, and there is room for everyone.
According to this article, the core difference between eBay and other online marketplaces is that “it simply facilitates the sale of goods between third-party buyers and sellers. Buyers visit the site to search for products they want to buy from a vast array of individual sellers and then bid on items through individual auctions.”
Fun facts about eBay:
- Electronics and accessories are the most searched categories on eBay as well as most purchased, with 16.4% of all items sold on eBay falling into this category
- The other top products categories are: clothing and accessories (16%), automotive (11%), health and beauty (9%)
- 80% of products sold on eBay are new, but the sell-through-rate is higher for used items
Understanding the eBay search engine
The eBay search engine focuses on finding the best match for a customer. This means that the products that will appear in front of the customer are products that best match the keywords they used when searching. For example, if they searched for a “red phone case,” the search engine will only pull products with those specific keywords. After that, the search engine will focus on the following:
- How closely the search query matches a listing
- If it's is a popular item
- How much the item costs
- The quality of your listing e.g does it have a detailed description, photos, and other product data
- How complete the listing is, for example, does it have information about the return policy and handling time
- The track-record of a seller
Here is how you can optimize your product listing on eBay:
1. Powerful product descriptions
As you’ve seen from the list above, eBay cares about customer experience and tries to provide the best match for a customer. The first thing you need to do is have an accurate and detailed product description to help the search engine understand your product and match you with a potential customer.
Misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete product descriptions can be detrimental to your listing. Incomplete content will affect your seller track record, and the quality of your listing/s. Make sure your product description is:
- An informative and accurate description of your product
- Answering questions about shipping, handling costs, and timing
- Clear about the return process and warranty information, and where the product is being shipped from
2. Avoid stuffing listings with keywords
Keywords play an important role in any listing, but you never want to put too many as that it’s considered keyword stuffing. The concept of “keyword stuffing” is when you purposefully use an excessive amount of keywords to try and manipulate a search engine to help you rank more. Today’s search engines see past this and have the potential of making your listing rank lower, so identify three to five keywords related to what a buyer would search for and use those.
3. Make use of good quality images and videos
According to eBay, listing with high-quality digital media such as images and videos is 5% more likely to make a sale. You’re allowed to upload up to 12 images on eBay, so use that to your advantage and upload images of your product/s from different angles to help a customer get a 360-degree view.
But avoid borders or text in your photos.
eBay’s new interface lets you make the most out of your list. It allows video playback, it’s mobile-friendly, and users can enjoy a large image panel. There is also pagination dots that show a user that there are additional images to view.
4. Offer free shipping
One of the ranking factors on eBay is how popular a listing is. So, if you think about it, what drives customers to purchase a product? Free shipping.
Even research shows that free shipping is one of the top influences that drivers online customers to purchase an item. So, make this an option so that you have a competitive edge against your competitors. This will also make your product appear more affordable as they won't have to pay for shipping costs.
Get more sales with PIM software
As you can see, when it comes to selling your products on a different sales channel, you need to tweak and tweak some more to ensure it meets a specific channel's requirements. It’s the only way you’ll be successful on the platform.
For effective multichannel management, you need a PIM tool (also known as a content management tool.) What PIM does is it safely stores your product data in one place, acts as a product listing software to optimize content, and then serves the role of a marketplace connector. Try our PIM for small businesses, for free, and take your product experience management (PXM) to new heights.
Read more here about the benefits of a PIM and how it can help with multichannel ecommerce success. Simplify retail channel management and get ranking today!