Selling in a third party isn’t as easy as it might seem. You have to know the ins and outs of each marketplace, carefully selecting the one that works best for you. But even in the perfect environment, you have to make it easy for customers to find you and, more importantly, want to buy from you. That’s where having an effective profile comes into play.
You can’t sell anything if nobody knows you’re out there. And you definitely can’t make any sales if your profile looks sketchy. However, if you take the time to make your profile as good as it can be, you’ll be much more likely to find success in any marketplace you choose.
What is a Profile?
You may be familiar with the basic concept of an online profile. A profile is a single page that summarizes the key points of your business and general information about the products you sell. It’s a place where potential customers can get to know you better and help them to understand what makes you unique.
Sites that allow you to create individual stores, such as Etsy, place a high priority on seller profiles. It’s critical that you take advantage of the profile space that your site gives you. Any unanswered question can send potential customers looking for other stores that provide the information they’re looking for.
Personalize your profile by telling customers about what inspires you and what your products mean to you. A personal touch goes a long way.
Include information about your company, such as your location and a picture (especially if you’re selling goods you’ve made yourself).
Break up the text in your profile by using subheads and line breaks.
Clearly state need-to-know information, such as shipping costs and refund policies.
What are Listings?
A listing is not the same thing as a profile. Whereas a profile is a central hub that ties your business together, your listings are the individual pages that host the items you’re trying to sell. Each item you sell has its own listing.
Sites like Amazon and eBay are largely dependent on listings as opposed to profiles. People who buy from these sites generally know what they want and aren’t as interested in creating a long-term relationship with sellers. However, these buyers still want the reassurance that comes with buying from a reputable and customer-friendly seller.
Setting up listings can be an arduous process, although it’s a necessary evil. Because each item you sell has a separate listing, it can be quite a bit of work to maintain all of your product listings. Therefore, your best bet is to have a set of overriding principles regarding your listings.
Choose a format that’s sustainable and effective. Think about what you’d like to know about the products you’re selling. Be informative, but don’t overwhelm the viewer with details.
Provide images to go with the text descriptions of your products.
Include the keywords you think customers will search for. The more descriptive your item titles are, the easier it will be for potential customers to find your listings.
State important policies, such as shipping rates, refund policies and delivery timeframes.
One of the best ways to improve your profiles and listings is to simply look at the profiles and listings of other sellers. This is especially true if you’re new to online marketplaces. If you don’t know what’s already out there, it’ll be very hard for you to fit in with the other sellers. At the same time, you’ll get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to find a way to tweak the existing formula.
Customers always come first, and that goes double for online selling. If people have a reason to leave, they will. Make sure you answer the questions of your customers before they have to ask. More importantly, ensure that your profile and listings reflect the values of your company and the message you’re trying to convey. If you can find a way to fit into the mold of your chosen marketplace while still letting your company’s soul shine, you’ve got a great chance at success.