In the last article, I showed you quite a few amazing before-and-after pictures of various eBay Stores. Not only is the visual change dramatically different, but the fact that traffic increased—as did profits—shows just how important having a great store design is.
In this article, I've compiled some resources to help you create your new look, along with some tips for working with a designer to achieve the best results.
eBay Design Center
eBay's own Design Center offers a multitude of free options for designing your eBay Store. These include:
- What to do and NOT to do: A great list of ideas to consider as you start creating a visual "who are you going to be online."
- Designer directory: The designers in this eBay section have gone through strict certification; however, I highly recommend asking to see their portfolios and testimonials, and double-check that their designs are in compliance with eBay's rules and regulations. It's always a good idea to do this, no matter how trusted your design resource is.
- Free design templates: Having a professional designer create your look is ideal; however, not everyone can afford to do this right at the beginning of their business. Your business plan might include starting with one of these free templates.
- Inspiration: Take a look at four eBay Store makeovers, which may provide motivation and ideas for your own store.
Professional eBay Store designers
Are you ready to have a professional take over? I hope so. As you saw in the last column it can make all the difference in the world.
You can choose to have these designers do just a logo, an eBay Store header, the auction template or design the entire package. Their prices range from $7.95 for some of these options to more than $10,000, depending on how customized you want your online business to appear.
Here are some of the main designers our rock stars have worked with:
- Hugues of PixClinic: Hugues' luxurious designs have won him a multitude of awards from eBay. His latest winning design is one of my favorites, Romance With Silver.
- Jennifer of SittingBoo: Always designed with a bit of flair and whimsy, Jennifer's designs give her clients a competitive edge. One of her latest is the eBay Store Bombay Bongo.
- Jennifer of MeepWorks: From eBay Store headers to listing templates to logo design, Jennifer can help you with any part of your design workload. Her pretty and charming designs come in a stock format. She also does custom work. eGallery's eBay Store is a great example of one of her custom works.
- Sharon of Dandelion Consulting: Not only can Sharon help you design your eBay Store, but she is also an eBay Education Specialist who can assist you in making the most of your eBay Store's potential. The bright eBay Store iTlldo showcases her skills.
You can also work with design companies. One of our favorites is Frooition, Advanced eBay Design Specialists. This powerful design company out of the U.K. is a favorite among eBay PowerSellers. Frooition's designers not only do designs, but can also bring consistency to your online branding by creating a look for all of your sites. The eBay Store Get Your Wheels shows a classic example of the company's work.
Working with a designer
Sometimes it's easy after seeing the impact a new store design can have on your bottom line to want to jump right in. However, there are a few things you will want to have ready before meeting with a designer:
- Have a plan. Many of the designers I spoke with said some sellers come to the meeting with no clear business direction. One customer even asked the designer, "What should I sell?"
Be careful about just going after the sparkly store design. Without a known direction that your business is heading, it will be hard for your designer to create an image that will brand you and your products. I have seen many cases where the sellers push ahead with a design, only to pay to have it redone a year later when the focus of their business changes.
- Provide your store's name, tagline and any front-page copy. Designers say it can take anywhere from a week to six weeks to finish a store design. However, that time is greatly increased when clients drag their feet about turning in needed materials. Having this information handy when you first meet with the designer will speed up the process.
- Have your main page copy ready to go. You should have most of your custom pages already written out and ready to hand over to the designer. They aren't going to write your copy for you—you will need to provide that.
- Have a sketch/storyboard of how you want your store to work. In our 1 Percent Coach training, we show you what you need to have "above the fold" (what shows when a customer first comes into your store before scrolling), how to lay out custom pages for optimal SEO and even the correct wording for your newsletter sign-up. Don't rely on your store designer to know these things. They know design—that doesn't mean they know the power of an eBay Store, its many benefits and how to use them or utilize SEO.
I usually just use a Word document to type out all my copy and approximately where features need to be placed, and let the designer work their magic to make it all look good.
I can't wait to see all of your "after" stores!
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Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at www.osiRockStars.com. For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.
Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.