Part 1 of our series with KiOui Apps founder, and eBay seller and expert Jean-Charles Compagnon discussed how eBay's new search engine Cassini changes things for sellers.
He also had some advice for eBay about additional information the company should consider sharing with sellers. In this article he offers some specific strategies sellers should use, takes us deeper into the mindset of eBay buyers and shares his thoughts about what the future may hold for sellers.
Testing is important
Schepp: What are some of the strategies eBay sellers should use to leverage Cassini?
Cassini and e-commerce are fast moving. If an item is not moving, something is wrong with it
Compagnon: Test, test, test, and, lastly, test more. Cassini and e-commerce are fast moving. If an item is not moving, something is wrong with it. Look at your description on mobile devices—this is the fastest-growing area of sales right now.
Keep the title simple and to the point. Price your item right. Too low does not work well with Cassini nor does too high. Cassini wants velocity. If you have many of one item, consider sales and markdowns to "prime the pump."
Managing quantity is also very important. Consider that if you sell five out of the 10 items you have, your item is 50 percent hot, or 50 percent popular, which is more interesting to Cassini than an item that sold five out of 100—just 5 percent hotness. Consider listing just a small quantity of what you really have and manage your inventory as it sells.
Schepp: What else should sellers know about Cassini?
Compagnon: Cassini is going to further evolve and change. Stop thinking about it. Instead, think "popularity" and what can you do to your items, so they become more popular. This varies greatly depending on your target buyer. Cassini will also work a lot better when eBay implements the "front end" in its eBay interface where buyers will be able to tell eBay what is most important to them rather than let eBay guess.
Put yourself in your buyer's shoes. You are not your buyers. What you would never do might be what your buyers do. The price you would pay for an item is not the same as what your buyers would pay for it. I would never buy my stuff. I am too cheap.
Have a friend or someone in your "target buyer group" search for your item and video them. Then look at the video.
Popularity is key for Cassini. One measure is the number of watchers. Consider ways to get more buyers to watch your items. Tell them you run sales from time to time
It is enlightening to say the least. Popularity is key for Cassini. One measure is the number of watchers. Consider ways to get more buyers to watch your items. Tell them you run sales from time to time, and to check your items regularly so they don't miss out.
eBay, Amazon buyers differ
Schepp: Your thoughts on buyers are very intriguing to us. For example, your research provided some important insights about free shipping, which we discussed in Part 1 of this series. What else can you say about buyer's behavior on eBay these days?
Compagnon: Buyer's behavior on eBay has changed over the years, and I personally think that unfortunately eBay is attracting more and more bottom feeders. There are quality buyers and sellers, but there are also too many buyers looking for a discount on eBay. You go find something on eBay because it is cheap and buyers have this in mind. Many offer $3 on a $10 item. Of course, there are counter offers, but the fact is that you shop on eBay to get a bargain.
Schepp: How do you think eBay buyers compare to Amazon buyers?
Compagnon: eBay buyers do not compare at all to Amazon buyers. In fact, rarely do people shop on both platforms. Amazon buyers are more of an "upper class" buyer with "Prime" (Amazon's program that provides free two-day shipping for a yearly fee) and for a seller this means fewer bottom feeders.
Looking to the future
Schepp: As a developer and trendsetter, where do you see eBay headed?
Compagnon: eBay is in the technology change area. They have finally realized that their sellers need better tools to provide better sales. Over the next two years we are going to see a lot of new tools or revamps of older tools to help sellers sell more, sell better, sell faster.
Just like we want ease of use by using mobile, sellers want ease of use applications and tools. For example, our application Ki Feedback aims at automating all aspects of feedback. Set it up once and forget it. As a developer and seller, I can tell you that the only way to grow your business is by automating your processes. We want to know when there is a problem, and the rest of the time we want the system to sell by itself. Tools are going this way.
eBay buyers do not compare at all to Amazon buyers. In fact, rarely do people shop on both platforms
Schepp: Any surprising trends sellers should be especially aware of?
Compagnon: eBay is looking to get younger sellers. The average seller's age is quite high on eBay, and eBay wants a lot more younger sellers, but they are having a hard time getting them.
Schepp: Your company offers quite a few apps. Which app should sellers start with to get their feet wet?
Compagnon: We have a very wide range of applications for sellers from feedback management to Facebook eBay Store. Ki Feedback is our most popular application. It manages all aspects of feedback for sellers. So definitely should start with Ki Feedback. After initial setup, it will save you a ton of time. We have a dozen other apps. We have a YouTube channel that is pretty popular. Sellers can also find us at kioui-apps.com, and our applications at ebayapps.kioui-apps.com.
We are currently working on three new applications and are always improving our older ones. If people have an idea or improvement, please send your ideas and questions to support at kioui-apps.com. Otherwise, if sellers want to improve their businesses there are many resources out there. We love to listen to podcasts, watch webinars and read blogs.
Schepp: Thanks, Jean-Charles!