As a seller, you want buyers to know exactly what you have to offer. How else will they know if they want to buy from you? Cross-promotional tools like scrolling galleries are always a great way to give a glimpse into what else you have on your virtual shelves. But there's one tool that puts all of your merchandise—both fixed-priced and auction-style—in one location and it's absolutely free.
We're referring, of course, to the Auctiva Store. If you're not already an Auctiva user, a 30-day free trial will get you access to this valuable tool, as well as Auctiva's comprehensive suite of eBay listing tools, image hosting and much more. Even if you're a Free Tools user and pay nothing, you still have the power of an Auctiva Store right at your fingertips.
An Auctiva Store can greatly help your online sales by not only giving you a Web site to house your entire eBay inventory, but by also helping you build your brand and by driving traffic to your listings. Did we mention that Auctiva Stores are free? Do we have your attention? We hope so. Now let's take a closer look at what this tool can do for you.
Consider adding a custom domain name to your Auctiva Store to help drive repeat business
Build your brand
As an online seller, you know how important branding is when trying to attract buyers. One of the most powerful aspects of Auctiva Stores is the ability to build your brand. More than just a place to showcase your merchandise, an Auctiva Store gives you a unique URL to promote to help drive repeat business.
Adding a custom domain name to your Auctiva Store can make it even easier for customers to find your items. If you're an Auctiva user, log in to purchase a domain. You can also access this page from your account dashboard. When deciding what domain name to use, keep it simple and be sure the name reflects the type of products you sell. Get more tips in this Auctiva EDU article.
But even if you decide to stick with the default Auctiva Store domain, be sure to include the URL on your business cards or other printouts you include with your shipments, again reminding shoppers where they can find your products. The default URL for these storefronts is:http://store.auctiva.com/auctivausername.
Auctiva Stores are completely customizable, with the capability to upload a custom logo (or just edit the header information) and select an attractive and professional-looking template. At minimum, it's a good idea to add that all-important About Us and Contact Us information so buyers will get to know you and begin to feel that sense of community, which often leads to repeat business.
As we mentioned, every Auctiva customer, even those on the Free Tools plan, has an Auctiva Store. These sites are automatically generated when customers open an Auctiva account. Users can customize their Auctiva Stores by logging into Auctiva and selecting the Store tab. Here you can choose a template for your storefront, upload your logo, input Contact Us and About Us information, and add Meta tags to make your store easier to find in online searches. You can also manage the items that appear in your Auctiva Store.
Think of Auctiva's free storefronts as your very own Web site that displays all of your eBay items in an orderly fashion. All the items displayed here link to the actual listings on eBay. No purchases take place on your Auctiva Store; however, shoppers can gain all the pertinent information about all your items on these storefronts. They'll be able to see everything you have for sale, the current bid and how much time is left on the listing. And if shoppers want to buy something, they simply click on the item in your Auctiva Store and go to eBay to buy the product.
"Basically, Auctiva Stores are professional showrooms that help you promote your eBay listings in one place," says Auctiva Product Analyst and Top-rated seller Rebecca Miller. "They cost you nothing, but they can make a big impact."
By default all of your listings are displayed in your Auctiva Store after they've posted to eBay. However, you can customize your storefront and decide which products to feature on your home page to entice visitors to venture further. Think carefully when deciding what items will get this prime location, because that added exposure isn't limited to your Auctiva storefront.
"Up to 16 of your featured items will show up in your Scrolling Gallery," Miller explains. "So, if you have a must-have toy listed on eBay, you can feature it in your Auctiva Store to make sure buyers can easily find it, even when they're viewing another one of your listings."
Blog entries are submitted to Google Directory every night to drive traffic to your site
Seasonal products do great as featured items, as shoppers snatch these up right away, she adds. However, you can opt to feature listings that have sat in your inventory for a while. They may need that additional exposure to go from neglected to sold.
But just as you can decide what items you'll feature, you can also decide to hide products. Just be aware that when you hide items on your Auctiva storefront, they will not show up in your Scrolling Gallery—which may or may not be a good thing, Miller says.
"You could have a relative who checks out your store all the time, and you may be selling a gift they gave you," she muses, "in that case, you probably do want to hide certain items."
Good call. But the more common purpose of the hide feature is to compensate for the lag time between when a listing completes on eBay and when it stops appearing in the Scrolling Gallery. A buyer might see an item in your gallery and click on it only to find out it's no longer available. To avoid disappointing customers, it's a good idea to hide a listing in your Auctiva Store as soon as the listing ends or sells.
Spread the word with a blog
Another way your Auctiva Store can help you promote your products is through the blog feature that comes with all storefronts. Blog entries are submitted to Google Directory every night to drive traffic to your site, so use your blog to announce new products you have for sale and discuss your area of expertise. Blog entries can be created through the Stores tab in Auctiva.
If you sell antiques, tell readers how they can discover whether an item they have is worth big bucks or just a few dollars. If you sell home and garden items, offer gardening tips. Slip in the occasional product plug, but don't just fill your blog with eBay listings. Shoppers will expect to be rewarded for reading your entries, so give them something to sink their teeth into—and a reason to come back often.
So if you have one of these stores, take advantage of it. They're free so you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. For more information on Auctiva Stores, please visit Auctiva's Help tab.