It’s the holidays: time for relaxation and contemplation. Take a moment to put on your “student” hat and learn a thing or two from successful online retailers. These eBay powersellers, such as Eforcity and Romantic Threads, continue to rake in the profits, and the secrets to their success happen to be quite simple. Here are some of the things that help them continue to thrive online, regardless of the state of the economy.
1. Find a niche and dominate it
Without exception, the successful powersellers are big fish in their own respective ponds; they are the dominant players in the areas they have chosen to specialize in. Romantic Threads, for example, specializes in Victorian and Vintage-style dresses, while FMP Guru exclusively offers art supplies. The same goes for Pet Tags 4 Less, with its line of custom pet tags, and with Six Star Sales and its novelty lighting products.
During the 70s, marketing gurus Ai Ries and Jack Trout popularized the term “positioning,” a concept where potential buyers see the product relative to its competitors. According to them, what’s important is that people identify your products or service as number one in whatever category they are in. And that’s exactly what you need to work on in your online business. What category are your products and services in, and how can you become number one in the minds of your prospective buyers?
2. Get the word out: Promote, promote, promote!
The next step is to push your products and services out to the prospective buyers. This is the best way for you to get the traffic that gives you opportunities to make sales.
• Get maximum exposure through various avenues
Most of the successful powersellers have more than just their eBay auction pages or store pages. Many also have their own websites and some even have successful stores on competing sites. Eforcity, for example, has an Amazon store, as well as its own site at http://eforcity.com. The point here is to use all available options to make potential buyers aware of your presence. What We Found is an eBay powerseller that offers excellent tools and products for scrapbooking, and they also have photos posted on Flickr.
Besides websites, there are tons of other online options for promoting your business. Email marketing, participating in forums, advertising on other sites, are just of the options available to you.
• Get yourself organized
Once you build it, they’ll start coming, so you better be ready to do business and deliver on what you promise. Nothing turns prospective customers off more than hooking up with a supplier that doesn’t have its act together. It’s a sure way of closing the doors of opportunity fast.
3. Provide great service
When the sales start rolling in, customers will be unforgiving about the level of your service.
• Watch your Feedback
The successful eBay powersellers all have positive Feedback scores of 90 percent or higher. That’s a lot of meticulous attention placed on delivering on commitments. Eforcity is obsessive about its positive feedback, and goes to great lengths to appease customers who, for whatever reason, weren’t satisfied with the transaction, sometimes offering gifts and special deals.
• Provide a great user experience
The entire business transaction must be pleasant and positive for the customer. Delivering the right product at the right price within the time specified is your utmost goal, but throwing in great service is what will distinguish you from your competitors, given that everything else is equal. Remember that selling is a highly emotional activity, and customer satisfaction is the primary objective.
Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell wrote that in order to succeed at anything, a person must devote 10,000 hours to practicing it. The same holds true with succeeding with your online business. You have to be consistent at doing the little things that give you the business advantage – stocking up, preparing your listings, marketing your site, delivering on your commitments, taking care of the clients.
All of the successful powersellers have been in the business for years, and they’ve committed to doing all the little things that have brought them to the top, day-in and day-out.