You don't need an eBay Store… that is, unless you would like to increase your traffic, profits and repeat customers and open up new sales channels.
eBay Stores are one of the most powerful e-commerce tools you could use in your online businessbut a tool is only powerful if you know how to use it. I would even go as far as to say that 99 percent of eBay Stores are set up wrong.
In this series on eBay Stores we will discuss:
- Common questions, myths and misconceptions about eBay Stores
- Profitable tools in an eBay Store
- Wait… eBay pays me to have an eBay Store?
- The power of an eBay Store outside eBay
- The eBay Store benefit that is worth gold
- And my favorite: Ranking No. 1 on Google because of your eBay Store
By correctly using this powerful tool, your customers will be coming to you from search engines such as Google, instead of you relying on eBay's ever-changing search algorithm. And by understanding this one key feature of eBay Storeshow to rank high in Web searchesyou can completely bypass eBay's regular search and drive your own traffic to your eBay business.
Let's first answer some common questions and address a few myths about eBay Stores.
1. Are eBay Stores going away?
eBay Stores are definitely not going away. In fact, I received this note from Rich Lee, one of the head honchos over at eBay Stores, while attending the eBay Fee webinars hosted by eBay.
Question: Are you getting rid of eBay Stores now?
Answer: eBay Stores will continue to be a vital tool, helping sellers market themselves, establish a brand on eBay, and sell and track more efficiently. Store inventory format continues to be an important option with the same great pricing, and eBay is committed to continued investment in, and support for, store sellers.
Question: eBay U.K. is doing away with Store Inventory Format. Is that going to happen in the U.S.?
Answer: In the U.S., eBay will continue to have Store Inventory Format. Store Inventory Format continues to be an important option with the same great pricing as before. With new rates for fixed-price, it's more economical than ever to drive buyers from core to your store inventory listings.
This part of eBay is still profitable, so why would the company get rid of it? Rest assured this powerful tool is sticking around.
2. Why pay for an eBay Store with the new 30-day fixed-priced listing option?
Great question. Think of your eBay Store as a Web site, and within that Web site there are three ways you can list your products: auction, fixed-priced and store inventory. Your eBay Store/Web site allows you to:
- Do advanced marketing
- Get ranked on the search engines (on the first page)
- Develop a profitable newsletter list
- Up-sell your products
- Make your branding consistent
- Have your own URL to all of your inventory
- Utilize the reports to fine tune your selling efforts
- Have an 800 number with direct access to a real person at eBay
All for $15.95 a month. That is a good price just to have access to a real eBay customer service agent.
If you just sell on eBay using the three listing types without an eBay Store, you will not have these powerful benefits working for you in your business.
Also, one of the biggest benefits of having an eBay Storeif used correctlyis that it will lower your fees.
3. eBay Stores look like eBay. I want my business to look more like my Web site branding.
Great point. And I would agree with you that 99 percent of eBay stores do look, well… boring, similar and not very professional. But before we go further, check out the look of these eBay Stores, and see if you don't change your mind:
The perfect e-commerce triangle is an eBay auction, an eBay store and a Web site
eBay provides many opportunities to customize your store to match your current or desired branding. Remember, buyers buy only two things: security and confidence. The experience your store provides visually helps provide your customers with those two crucial elements.
Why not just have a Web site and save all those fees?
I have always taught that the perfect e-commerce triangle is an eBay auction, an eBay Store and a Web site. Notice I included both of them.
An eBay Store is a Web site, it just sits on eBay.com. eBay Store subscriptions start at just $15.95 a month. A Web site's fees initially include a domain name, hosting, shopping cart, design, newsletters and reports.
And at that point, even if you have the most amazing site in the world (at a nice chunk of money) you have exactly zero customers. On eBay you have access to the company's advertising power, which currently has attracted more than 250 million users.
If you have a Web site, to let those customers know you exist, you will need to employ a lot of time (and possibly more money) to create a powerful search engine optimization and search engine marketing campaign to get ranked high on Google. I hope you are an SEO expert, because if you aren't, that will be an additional expense.
If you own an eBay Store and set it up correctly, eBay will take care of the SEO for you. Many of the students who have taken our One Percent Store class now have their eBay products ranked on Google's first page (and many times in the first few listings).
Once you have an eBay Store fully optimized, ranking high on Google and taking full advantage of eBay's built-in customer base, then tackle a Web site and all the work and money that entails.
Next time, we'll talk about all of those powerful and profitable tools you get for a mere $15.95 a month. Many of these will save you time, money and more importantly, bring in more profits for your business.