A seller's reputation carries a lot of weight when it comes to converting first-time visitors into customers. MyStoreMaps is one company that aims to help merchants build that trust with potential buyers.
MyStoreMaps, a five-year-old service, allows eBay sellers to attach maps to their listings that display the countries and regions to which they have shipped packages in the past. These maps also note the date of a merchant's last shipment and the shipment's destination. Putting this information on a listing can be reassuring for buyers, says company President Brian Lawe, especially among shoppers who live in another country.
"Imagine a buyer from Stockholm looking at two similar items from sellers in Scottsdale and Sacramento," Lawe says. "Both sellers take great pictures, both sellers write great copy, both sellers have clean, professional templates and have nearly identical feedback scores. But let's say the Scottsdale seller uses MyStoreMaps and even sells the exact same item for $1 more. The Stockholm buyer sees the MyStoreMap at the bottom of the Scottsdale seller's listings. It shows the Scottsdale seller has shipped 35 items to Sweden. The Sacramento seller's listing says only 'We ship internationally.' Who do you think the Stockholm buyer will buy from, even for $1 more?
"This kind of information can dramatically alter a buyer's perception of a seller. Not just for international buyers—but also for domestic ones," he adds.
Overseas buyers seem to feel more confident with a seller who has experience in shipping abroad
Sellers can use MyStoreMaps for both auction and fixed-priced listings, and choose between attaching a regional or worldwide map to their listings. MyStoreMaps populates maps with markers displaying shipment destinations and maps then loads these onto a seller's listings in 24 hours, updating every two hours. Sellers can manually add past shipments easily. Maps are customizable, so sellers can adjust their colors to keep them in sync with their listings.
"But the key is, the maps are simple to read and easy to understand in a brief look," Lawe says.
MyStoreMaps is operated by MyStoreCredit Inc., which is best known for its MyStoreRewards loyalty program. Currently, more than 380,000 eBay listings use MyStoreMaps. And there's little risk for sellers who try the service. MyStoreMaps offers a 100-percent, one-year guarantee. If a seller is unhappy with the service, they can contact the company for a complete refund at any point within the first year of the account.
The maps have been very helpful for some sellers. eBay seller Doug Sacks says the service provides valuable information and helps his listings stand out from the rest.
"I like the addition of MyStoreMaps to my listings because overseas buyers seem to feel more confident with a seller who has experience in shipping abroad," Sacks notes. "The map clearly shows where you ship to and I believe my sales have increased to certain countries because of MyStoreMaps."
Sandy Hancock, owner and president of It's Good To Be a Girl, says MyStoreMaps is a great resource for sellers.
"What a great way to keep my customers up to date on the latest shipments my company is making," she says. "It shows the diversity of my company in a great graphic presentation."
To add customer maps to your listings, visit www.MyStoreMaps.com.
Other Entries by this Author
Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.