It’s often said that the internet has completely revolutionized the way we buy goods and services, and this is really no exaggeration. The dawn of the internet age has provided customers around the world with immense choice when it comes to retail. Of course, businesses which fail to establish themselves online run the risk of losing ground to competitors – and with competition so intense, it’s essential that you work out a coherent online strategy. As the world’s largest online marketplace, eBay offers a great way for businesses to attract new customers and build a sizeable web presence.
What eBay can offer your business
If you’ve used eBay yourself in the past, you’ll probably have already noticed that it’s often used by sole traders and enthusiastic amateurs looking to sell arts and crafts. However, eBay also has plenty to offer more established businesses looking to make a first foray into the online arena or seeking to broaden their online reach. Some businesses have adopted eBay with real enthusiasm, using it as their main online channel. Others are somewhat hesitant and tend to doubt whether eBay can really do anything for their brand. Both small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from adopting eBay.
Some businesses question whether eBay is compatible with their wider brand, but it’s worth remembering that the website offers opportunities to set up a branded presence. Among the options open to traders are HTML listings and dedicated eBay shops, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something that’s right for your business. There’s also no escaping the fact that eBay is one of the world’s most popular websites – millions of people regularly use the marketplace to buy and sell items, so there’s a potentially massive audience there for your business. By failing to make the most of this opportunity, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage in comparison to your more flexible rivals.
Furthermore, eBay offers a useful channel for selling distressed stock. It can sometimes be difficult for retailers to find ways of selling stock which is perhaps not in optimum condition. Selling this stock via eBay could be the best option all round – many traders find that selling distressed stock via eBay rakes in far more money than selling it via other channels. Naturally, eBay is something of a haven for bargain-hunters and so you should be able to find willing buyers.
Engaging with customers
One of the most important things to remember about doing business online is that it’s a two-way process – trading on the internet enables businesses to engage with customers in a way that perhaps they couldn’t before. Customer feedback can help you adjust and tailor your offering according to what consumers actually want from it, so it’s essential that you pay attention to what people are telling you. Furthermore, positive feedback can help you gain a good reputation among customers. It’s worth bearing in mind that eBay’s feedback system can be of particular use here – the website has a trading history for every member, so positive feedback can help to reassure potential customers that they’re dealing with a reputable trader.
eBay offers a vital opportunity – but don’t rush in
As eBay is so popular, it provides traders with the opportunity to reach millions of people at minimum expense. As such, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunities the website offers. You can use eBay to build real relationships with customers, too – you’ll probably find that the same people, once they know they can trust you to deliver the goods, will keep coming back time and time again. But it’s absolutely crucial that you give careful consideration to what it is you’re offering, and that you continue to review the way you do business along the way. Being able to adapt according to changing consumer demands could hold the key to success and longevity in trading on eBay.
Guest post contributed by Lauren Belfield. Lauren is a 26 year old who is passionate about giving advice on how to sell online, especially with the likes of eBay & Etsy. She currently lives in Manchester, working for Parcel2Go UK Couriers.