How to Manage Shopify Customers

Customers in Shopify will be created automatically if they place an order through one of the sales channels managed by your Shopify account, e.g. Shopify website, eBay etc.

Creating Customers Manually

Customers can be created manually from the Customer option on the LHS menu. For each customer, you should enter:

  • Name and address
  • Phone number
  • Tags.  These are used to filters customers and create customer groups.

Customer Groups

Customer groups are created by filtering customers from the list of customers and then save the filter.  Saved filters will appear at the top of the list for quick access.  Once created, customer groups are used when creating discounts, e.g. discount is only available to customer group X.

eCommerce Business Blueprint

Ecommerce platform

To run an eCommerce business of any scale will require an eCommerce platform. This will organise product data, publish to channels and manage sales. Platforms come in all shapes and sizes and there is a monthly or yearly cost involved. If you are running a business then it will be worth it.

For a company starting off I would recommend 2 options:

  • Stand-alone eCommerce platform. Good examples are Linnworks and Veeqo. These products are strong on back-end processes and listing but will required a separate website.
  • Shopify. Shopify can be extended from a website to an ecommerce platform using plugins.

Product Content

Take care when creating content. When creating product descriptions, the more details the better. Include:

  • Multiple high-resolution images (2000 x 2000px is a decent size)
  • Detailed description
  • Attributes and dimensions
  • Product identifiers e.g., EAN barcode

If you are launching across multiple channels, plan the content you will need for all the channels before creating your inventory. This will cut down on rework in future.

When creating a product, it is always easier to upload using a spreadsheet.

Marketplaces

Marketplaces are a fantastic way to get started selling online as they require less technical knowledge than launching a website. The larger marketplaces (i.e., eBay and Amazon) have a huge international userbase allowing merchants to reach customers all over the world.  Recommended marketplaces for retail start-ups are:

Amazon

Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace with hundreds of millions of customers. Amazon is a catalogue-based system where sellers simply add their offer to a listing that already exists.  This makes it super easy to get started as no content creation is required.

eBay

eBay is not the eCommerce force it once was but is still a major eCommerce player and well worth selling on.  The listing process is straightforward and sellers have much more opportunities to brand their listings than on Amazon.

Fruugo

Fruugo is a growing UK based marketplace that focuses on international sales.  It is easy to produce via a product feed and Fruugo take care of all transaction and currency conversion.

Etsy

Etsy is the leading marketplace for handmade and vintage products.

Website

Shopify is the market-leading website solution and an easy platform from which to launch your business. It also supports an ecosystem of apps that can extend its functionality. Other options include Wix, Big Commerce and Magento.

Categories

Research your categories carefully to ensure that their names match high volume searches. Ensure that each category has quality descriptions and complete metadata. Keep the number of top-level categories low – 6 to 8 maximum.  Take time to build a user-friendly structure that will make navigating your site easy.

Accepting Payments

Two popular methods for accepting payment online are:

  • PayPal.  A popular alternative checkout solution previously owned by eBay.
  • Stripe.  A payment gateway which is easy to setup and use with reasonable fees.

Implementing these two options for your customers will give your customer the option of paying via an alternative checkout or by card.

Blog

A blog is a wonderful way to communicate with your customers about new product launches and other company news. It is also an invaluable tool for search engine optimisation as Google love fresh content.

Information pages

Comprehensive information pages for your site which give your customers the information they need to make a purchase.  This will increase conversion rate and decrease customer service queries and returns.  Information to include:

  • Content details
  • Terms and conditions
  • About the seller
  • Delivery and returns.

Search Engine Optimisation

When creating content for your website, make sure to write compelling content for each page that includes your keywords.

Keyword Research

Research the keywords you wish to target for your site.  Keyword research and content creation is covered in chapter 4.

Google Search console

By registering your website will Google search console and submitting a sitemap, you can quickly get your site indexed and potentially included in Google natural search. The search console will also give information on the natural search performance of a site over time.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing webmaster tools is a similar tool to Google Search Console except for the much smaller Bing search engine.

Google My Business

Google my business is Google local business solution.  By adding your business to Google My business your business will attract more local search traffic and

Link building

Links are an important part of building search engine authority.  The following are easy sources of links for startups:

  • Supplier websites
  • Local directories
  • Press release websites (free and paid)

Social Media

Social media is the best way to connect with your customers and reassure them that you are a reputable business.  It is also a source of free traffic and promotion. 

Facebook

Setting up a Facebook page is obligatory for all businesses.  Many customers will contact businesses through their pages so ensure it is checked regularly.  Integrate a product feed from your website into the Facebook business centre and use this to create a Facebook shop.

Twitter

Twitter is a popular platform, but not as retailer friendly as Facebook and Instagram.  Due to it high profile it is worth creating an account and regularly updating it.

Instagram

Instagram is an especially important platform for fashion and homeware brands. As it is owned by Facebook it can be managed from the same interface as your Facebook account. Set up an Instagram business account and launch an Instagram shop to highlight your products.

Pinterest

Pinterest shops are a reliable source of website traffic and can be created automatically via a product feed from your website platform.

Cross-posting

Social media platforms should be set up to cross-post where possible.  For example, you can post links to blog posts on your social media platforms and Tweet your Instagram posts.

Paid search

Google Paid search generates traffic quickly and smart bidding programmes like Google smart shopping take all the pain out of the setup.

Google Merchant Centre

To appear in Google shopping, a seller must submit a feed to the Google Merchant centre.  Once a feed has been accepted, the seller can create Shopping Ads.  They will also be eligible for free traffic from Google Shopping.

Google Shopping Ads

Google shopping ‘Smart’ ads are easy to set up and manage. They only require a feed from the merchant centre and the seller to set their ROAS goal.

Email Marketing

Email marketing helps sellers retain customers, so it is never too soon to start building a list.  Tools such as Klaviyo and Mailchimp are easy to use email platforms. 

The most successful email campaign is abandoned cart, which encourages customers to return to the website and complete their purchase.

Alternative International eCommerce Marketplaces

The are many online marketplaces worldwide, but only a few are of interest to western merchants, either because they are too small or the setup and management is too complicated. Self-service marketplaces are cheaper and easier to run than those requiring a local partner.

Below is a (very) incomplete list of online marketplaces.

CDiscount

With 11 million unique visitors to the site every month, Cdiscount is a major marketplace in France. It offers products in over 40 distinct categories, operates a fulfilment service and has a network of 18,500 pickup points. CDiscount was launched 1998 and is a household name among French shoppers. It is particularly well-known for electronics and tech products and is popular with tech-savvy shoppers looking for reasonable prices.

Pros: Major marketplace in France and the second most popular after Amazon. Catalogue based system and so easy to list inventory against existing listings. Integrates with most major eCommerce platforms.

Cons: Back end is a bit clunky.

Fruugo

Fruugo is a UK marketplace that connects buyers with products from all over the world. It launched in 23 countries in 2013. One of its primary selling points is that it uses a single feed to give you access to multiple countries worldwide.

Fruugo’s marketplace automatically translates listings to 15 different languages, which removes the need to list items on numerous localised versions of a marketplace. Payment is on a commission basis with no monthly fees. Fruugo has around 1.5 million customers worldwide and is growing quickly.

Pros: Easy to list products using a product feed. Great for international sales

Cons:  Back end can be challenging to use.

OnBuy.com

OnBuy is a fast-growing UK based marketplace. It offers much lower fees than other marketplaces (5 to 9%) and has a presence in 51 countries. Payments are managed via PayPal.

Pros: Catalogue based system, which is easy to set up and integrates with most major eCommerce platforms. If you do not hit £500 in sales in a month, your subscription fee is refunded.

Cons: Small by comparison with the other marketplaces mentioned here.

Bol.com

Bol.com is an online marketplace and store serving consumers in the Netherlands and Belgium. It operates in a comparable way to Amazon. It sells directly to consumers but also offers its platform as a marketplace where other online retailers can list products. Bol is based in the Netherlands and has a turnover of more than €1 billion.

Pros: the market leader in the Netherlands, one of Europe’s largest economies. Catalogue based system which makes product listing easy.

Cons:  Picky about the sellers they accept. Rigorous performance metrics. Product creation process involved.

Tmall and Taobao

Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce colossus, runs three enormous online marketplaces. Tmall is the domestic business-to-consumer marketplace, Tmall Global is for international brands and Taobao a consumer-to-consumer eCommerce site. These marketplaces process a staggering number of transactions and boast a billion monthly users.

Selling on Tmall as a foreign company is complex and out of reach of small to mid-sized retailers. To sell on the platform requires the following:

  • Letters from suppliers stating the company has the right to sell that product in China.
  • $25000 deposit
  • Services of a Tmall Partner (TP) which start at about $5000/month.

Also, shipping into China is complicated and requires the use of a specialist courier to ensure deliverability. Listing and customer service must also be localized into Chinese.

Pros:  Enormous marketplace.

Cons: Challenging for small retailers to get started. Only interested in international brands.

Rakuten

Rakuten is the biggest eCommerce site in Japan, with Amazon Japan a close second. Products are sold at a fixed price. Unlike Amazon, it is a pure marketplace and does not sell products.

To sell on Rakuten requires a local partner’s services, and both customer service and product listing are in Japanese.

Pros: Biggest marketplace in one of the world’s largest markets.

Cons: Requirements for a local partner makes it difficult and expensive to get started.

Allegro

Allegro is the leading eCommerce platform in Poland and the fifth most visited European marketplace (Source: bvoh.de). The site has over 20 million customers and has been trading for over 20 years. Allegro has a significant market share in electronics (62%), home and garden (74%) and fashion (46%).

Brands of all sizes sell on Allegro. Some notable names include Superdry, Hollister and Abercrombie, to designer labels like Versace and small boutique brands.

Pros: Poland is a large marketplace where eBay and Amazon do not have much of a presence.

Cons: The Allegro backend system is in Polish, and both product upload and integration are complicated. Product descriptions and customer service are also in Polish. Many eCommerce platforms do not support allegro.

Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre is an online marketplace with operations in 15 Latin American countries. It is the 7th most visited online retail site globally, with 175 million active users.

Mercado Libre operates a cross-border trade programme covering the 5 Latin American countries of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Columbia. The programme offers automatic translation. Mercado Libre does not charge listing fees and only a percentage commission on items sold.

Pros: South American is a vast marketplace where Amazon does not have a strong presence.

Cons: The postage system in South America is terrible, and so a specialist courier is required. Duty is also charged on most deliveries and is hard to calculate. If you utilize the cross-border trade programme, you will need to ensure these products are compliant with local regulations. Not supported by many eCommerce platforms

Lazada

Founded in 2012, Lazada Group is Southeast Asia’s leading eCommerce platform with a presence in six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Company offers products from several categories, including consumer electronics, household goods, toys, fashion, sports equipment and groceries.

Cons: Postage systems in Asia are not as reliable as in the west. Lazada has gotten around this problem by developing a delivery network. Consequently, all orders need to be labelled using Lazada delivery labels and then shipped in bulk to their Hong Kong processing hub. This makes shipping difficult as the merchant needs to factor in getting the item to Hong Kong and the charge which Lazada will make for their delivery services. The duty also needs to be factored in and varies by country and product class. Not supported by many eCommerce platforms

Wish

Wish is a popular and growing online marketplace. Shoppers install the Wish app or visit the website to receive a scrolling shopping feed personalised to each shopper’s browsing and buying behaviour. This customised feed makes the marketplace highly engaging and addictive for consumers while making it easy for sellers to get their goods in front of new and relevant audiences.

Pros: Fast-growing online marketplace which is mobile-focused. Wish has over 300 million users across over 120 different countries. It is particularly popular with younger people, with 60% of its customers Millennials or Generation Z.

Cons: Wish is a marketplace for bargain hunters looking to source cheap goods directly from Chinese manufacturers. Many products are of low quality. Wish imposes stringent performance rules and fines on its merchants, which can seem harsh to established retailers.

Another drawback is shipping is slow. 87% of Wish sellers deliver directly from China, and consequently customers frequently wait for between two and four weeks to receive their order.

Selling Internationally on eBay

eBay has customers all over the world, and by offering to ship to international locations, opens your products to a global market at no additional cost.

Standard International Selling

The easiest way to sell internationally with eBay is to list on your domestic eBay site but add international shipping options. This item will then appear in the search results of regions for which shipping details are specified. On non-English sites, listings will be automatically translated into the local language.

Advanced International Selling

Sellers wishing to localise their listings themselves can list directly on international eBay sites. These listings will have higher visibility as they will appear in the search results on those local sites.

Creating your own listings allows you to translate item descriptions professionally into the local language and appeal to more buyers. The fees paid will be at the local country rate (not the domestic rate).

Global Shipping Programme

Shipping internationally can be a pain, especially now that the UK has left the EU and there is import VAT to consider. eBay’s Global Shipping Programme aims to take the pain out of international shipping. Once a seller has joined the programme, customers worldwide can purchase their products. eBay will manage all the taxes and shipping fees, and the merchant need only ship the product to a UK fulfilment centre.

eBay Promoted listings

eBay Promoted system is a simple yet effective advertising system for boosting your eBay sales. Unlike Amazon Sponsored Products or Google Ads, eBay Promoted Listings are not auction-based or keyword-targeted. Instead, the merchant chooses a level of additional commission to pay for the promoted listing. If the listing does not sell, then there is no payment to make. Promoted Listings is an excellent programme for boosting your items in the search results and positively impacting sales.

How Promoted Listings work

To sponsor listings, a seller selects the items they wish to promote and specifies how much of the sale price they are willing to pay. eBay then boosts the listings from their usual positions in the search results to the four top spots in the eBay search results or placements lower down the page.

The top listings on eBay searches are often Promoted.

If a buyer clicks on a promoted listing and then buys it, you pay eBay the percentage you set when creating the campaign, in addition to the usual final value fee. If the item does not sell, there is nothing to pay. The typical range for successful listings is 5-10% of the sale price.

As the merchant choose the additional commission they are willing to pay, the cost of eBay Promoted Listings is easy to control, as compared with PPC programmes such as Google Ads.

Promoted Listing Best Practises

Promoted Listing can improve sales performance under several circumstances:

  • Bestsellers. Items that have proven popular with customers will respond well to promotion if you are willing to sacrifice margin.
  • High conversion rate/low traffic items. If you have listings that are converting well but have low sales, then these could benefit from additional traffic from Promoted listings.
  • New items. eBay’s Best Match search algorithm looks at the sales history of listings, and so promoting listings will help build listing history.
  • Liquidation. Promoted listings can drive traffic to products that need to sell quickly.

eBay Feedback & Seller Performance

eBay Feedback

Once the transaction has is completed and the item dispatched, the counterparties can leave feedback for each other, commenting on how the trade went. Feedback has three elements:

  • A comment, e.g. Great eBayer, highly recommended!!!!
  • A mark. Buyers can mark a transaction as a positive (+1), negative (-1) or neutral (0) experience. Sellers can only leave positive (+1 feedback).
  • Detailed seller ratings. An item’s buyer can mark a transaction out of 5 on several criteria, including postage costs, delivery time, and description accuracy.

The feedback information for individual transactions is collated over time to provide three metrics to users.

  • Feedback score. The sum of all the individual feedback marks awarded.
  • Feedback percentage. The percentage of positive feedback.
  • Average detailed seller rating. The average of the detailed seller rating marks.

Its feedback system is one of the reasons why eBay has become a global success. It reassures buyers that they are not dealing with a stranger but with a community member with trading history.

Feedback, however, is a blunt tool. Whilst it does indicate good customer service, all active traders above a certain size will have feedback of 98%+ which leaves little room for comparing relative performance.

As well as encouraging buyers to trade with you, healthy feedback score can affect your eBay search performance. If a seller has a poor feedback score or detailed seller rating, then their listings will be displayed lower in the search results.

Seller performance

Your performance as a seller is tracked by eBay and can be seen from Seller Hub > Performance.

Maintaining a good seller rating and feedback rating is important for four reasons:

  • Sellers with better performance metrics will perform better in eBay’s best match search algorithm
  • Top rated sellers are eligible for eBay ‘Premium Listings which qualify for a 10% fee discount
  • Your feedback profile forms part of your brand on eBay and the broader web.  Great feedback with reassure buyers and increase conversion rate
  • Below standard sellers pay an additional 4% final value fees

Seller Rating

Seller Rating is eBay’s measure of the quality of a seller.  There are three levels of seller rating.

  • Top rated. Providing an excellent level of service to customers
  • Standard.  Meeting minimum standards
  • Below standard. Your seller level can fall to Below Standard if your transaction defect rate is above 2% or if your percentage of cases closed without seller resolution is above 0.3%.

A different seller rating is given for each region the seller trades in.  For the UK these are:

  • UK + Ireland
  • EU
  • Global

All sellers should aim for Top rated seller level.  If your account is ‘Below Standard’ the account may have restrictions placed on it as it is below the minimum standard that eBay expects.  Four metrics affect your seller rating:

  • Transaction defect rate
  • Cases closed without seller resolution
  • Late delivery rate
  • Tracking uploaded on time and validated (Top-rated sellers only)

Transaction defect rate

The transaction defect rate is the percentage of your transactions that have one or more of the following defects:

  • eBay Money Back Guarantee and PayPal Purchase Protection cases closed without seller resolution
  • Seller-initiated transaction cancellation

To be a top rated seller requires a transaction defect rate of < 0.5% and standard sellers < 2%

eBay does not count more than one defect per transaction.

Late delivery rate

For top Deliveries will be considered late only when:

  • Tracking shows the item was delivered after the estimated delivery date, and there’s no acceptance scan within your handling time
  • The buyer confirms the item was delivered after the estimated delivery date and there’s no tracking that shows it was on time

Cases closed without seller resolution

Cases closed without seller resolution are cases where eBay was asked to review the case, and the seller was found responsible.  Standard and top rated sellers must keep their rate < 0.3% of sales.

Tracking uploaded on time and validated

Top rated sellers must send 95% of their orders via a tracked service.  This is defined as transactions where you upload tracking details within your stated handling time. The carrier scanned the shipping label either before or after your handling time and is on time and validated.

Sales

To be an eBay Top-rated Seller, you must have at least 100 transactions and £1,000.00 in sales during the past 12 months in your business account

Understanding eBay Best Match Search

When buyers search on eBay, the default order of results is called Best Match. eBay says it is designed to show the most relevant listings, considering the things users find most important when they are deciding what to buy.  This includes:

  • How closely the listing matches the buyer’s search terms
  • Listing performance, e.g., sales, conversion rate
  • Item price
  • Listing quality, including description and photos,
  • Return policy
  • Handling time
  • Seller performance

We will look at each of these factors in turn

Listing performance

Best Match look at the recent sales performance of a listing.  Sales performance is influenced by the following factors, which also influence best match performance. This leads to a feedback cycle where high-quality listing with good sales get high placements.

  • Conversion rate.  The quality of your listing will influence how well it sells
  • Keywords optimisation.  Include the most relevant keywords that will improve your search performance and drive sales.
  • Price.  eBay is competitive, so reasonable prices will lead to more sales.
  • Delivery and return policy.

Keywords

To appear placed at all the listing will need to include the searcher’s query. Researching keywords and optimisting listings is covered in a separate section.

Price

With more competitive prices (including any shipping charges), items will almost certainly have higher sales and perform better as listings.  This, in turn, will give them a better position in Best Match search, leading to a positive feedback loop.

Furthermore, items with free shipping get promoted on eBay, either as an eBay premium listing or through search filters.

Listing quality

The quality of a listing influences best match performance.  This includes:

  • Number and quality of photos
  • Length of description
  • Items specifics

Return policy

eBay prefer sellers who offer a competitive returns policy, which is why you should consider offering a minimum of 30 day returns policy (something that is required for Top Rated Plus listings). If possible, it also helps to cover the cost of the return.

Handling time

eBay prefer sellers who offer a competitive returns policy, which is why you should consider offering a 30-day returns policy (something required for premium listings)

Seller performance

Best Match considers a seller’s performance when ranking products. The factors it will consider are:

  • Feedback score
  • Detailed seller ratings
  • Seller level (top, standard, below standard)
  • Policy compliance. 

As feedback, policy compliance and DSRs all feed into seller level, this is the most vital metric to consider.

Tips for improving best match performance

Performing well in best Match is vital for eBay sellers.  Much of what best Match promotes is best practice (e.g. create great listings, offer excellent customer service).  In summary, here are what sellers should be focusing on when trying to improve best match performance. 

  • Keywords. Research relevant keywords and include them in your title and description
  • Create great listings.  Add as much information as possible, including item specifics and high-quality images.
  • Offer attractive delivery and returns.
  • Keep price low.  To build listing history, consider selling your product at a lower price initially
  • Variations. Use variation listing to more sale through a single listing
  • Seller performance.  Maintain a high level of seller performance

Creating Optimised eBay listings

eBay Listing Types

Auction Style

eBay became successful on the strength of its online auction business. eBay auctions work like traditional ‘English’ offline auctions with bidders competing to win an item with the highest bidder at the end of the auction the winner. Whereas English auctions do not end until the highest bid is placed, eBay auctions have defined ending time, with the winner being the highest bidder when the clock stops. eBay auction listings can have a duration of 1, 3, 5, 7 or 10 days.

Auction listings can have the following additional options:

  • Buy it now. The auction has a Buy It Now price (BIN), which disappears as soon as the first bid is placed.
  • Best offer. Let buyers make offers. Allowing offers increases the chance of selling by 3-7% (Source: eBay).

Auction listings are most useful for selling second hand, collectable or distressed stock where a quick sale is required.

Fixed Price Listings

With Fixed Price listings, buyers can purchase an item immediately at an advertised price, in a method like standard eCommerce sites. A seller can offer several items in one listing with the buyer specifying the quantity they wish to purchase. Fixed price listings are aimed at businesses selling new products.

Fixed Price items have a duration of 30 days, and sellers can specify the listing is ‘Good ’til Cancelled’, meaning that the listing renews automatically every 30 days.

Creating a Listing

To complete a listing on eBay, a seller must complete several attributes which define the nature of the item for sale and the details of the offer. These include:

  • Item category, e.g., Baby > Baby Safety > Stair gates
  • Listing format, e.g., Fixed price listing
  • Item title, e.g., Clippasafe Auto Close Stair Gate Baby Safety BNIB
  • Item description.
  • Postage options, e.g., Royal Mail 1st Class

Item Category

Each item must be placed in one of eBay 13,000 categories which range from antiques to video games. There are 31 top-level categories, each of which is divided into multiple sub-categories. If an item does not fit neatly into one category, it can be listed in two categories, although this doubles the listing fee.

As many buyers look for items by browsing a category, choosing the right category helps an item find potential buyers. The category also determines the item specifics available for a product.

Choosing a Listing Format

As mentioned above, eBay offers two main listing formats, fixed price and auction. Auctions are best for unique items such as antique, whereas fixed price works best for selling new items.

Item Title

The most critical part of an eBay listing is the title. Every eBay item has a title which is a maximum of 80 characters. This title is queried when users are searching for, and it also forms the name for the item in the eBay search results and the item profile page.

For items to get found, they must appear in searches relevant to your products. Despite eBay’s introduction of the best match search algorithm, finding items on eBay is still primarily driven by a keyword search of the title and description. It is therefore vitally important to write a compelling title for each product. By placing important keywords in an item’s title, sellers can help potential buyers to find their items and improve sales. Keywords can include:

  • Manufacturer
  • Brand
  • Model number
  • Features

Here is an example of good and bad eBay title for an iPhone X:

Good title:  Apple iPhone X Space Grey 32GB Unlocked Original Box A1901 + Silicone Case

Bad title: Apple iPhone X + Case

The first title makes appropriate use of space, utilising 74 out of the available 80 characters for the item title. The second title wastes valuable space and does not correctly describe the item. If the keywords on which people search in an item’s title and description, an item will appear in fewer relevant searches and will underperform.

When looking for keywords to include the titles, consult the following sources:

  • eBay autocomplete. The eBay search bar autocompletes searches with high volume phrases.
  • External keyword tools. Keyword tools such as Google Keyword planner can suggest keywords for eBay titles.
  • Top eBay listings by category. eBay Terapeak research tool gives top listing by category.

Item specifics

For many categories, eBay has defined a list of item specifics. These are attributes that can be attached to an item to help people with their searching. For example, item specifics might include make, model number, and hard drive size for a laptop. When browsing categories, buyers can use the item specifics to narrow their searches.

Description

While a good title and correct use of item specifics help drive buyers to a listing, it is a good description and photos which will encourage a bid or a sale.

An item’s description is a free text field where the seller has total freedom to describe the item in their own words. A good description should include all the information required to decide about purchasing that item. Remember that it is also an advert for the item, so it should sell the item giving compelling reasons for making a purchase. A good description should include:

  • List of the item’s features. Do not assume that the buyer will be motivated enough to go and research the item for themselves.
  • Any faults. It is easier to be upfront about an item at the start as it will reduce customer service issues and the number of questions received. Misrepresenting an item is also against eBay rules and will lead to negative feedback.
  • Other information. It is worth adding information about payment and delivery options and any terms and conditions of sale.
  • Links. Link to your shop to encourage people to buy complementary items.

The descriptions field of an eBay item supports HTML, so it is possible to design an attractive listing that promotes your business. Below is an example of a well-designed eBay listing.

Images

As buyers of eBay items cannot see and touch an item, it is vital to provide them with quality pictures of your item to see what they are buying. Images should be high resolution, and the product should take up most of the picture. The main image should be on a white background. eBay allows buyers to submit up to 12 images for free, and you should use as many as are available.

eBay Promotions, Order Discount, Coupons, Multi-Buy, Coupons & Markdown Manager

Promotions Manager provides eBay Shop subscribers with an easy way to set up special offers on eBay. Promotions can help you attract more buyers, clear old stock, increase average order size, and even lower postage costs by bundling more items per order.

You can set up four different types of special offers using Promotions Manager:

  • Order discounts – Offer discounts based on order size, or the amount spent by a buyer. You can also create promotions such as a percentage off an additional item, or buy one get one free
  • Multi-buy – Offer tiered discounts to your buyers when they purchase multiple quantities of your items
  • Coupons – Offer exclusive discounts to buyers by using a coded coupon
  • Sales event + markdown – Reduce prices for selected items or categories

Promotions are managed from Seller Hub > Promotions

When to use promotion types

Increase order size

  • Order Discounts
  • Multi buy

Boost sales volume

  • Coupons
  • Mark-down sales and events

eBay Shop/Store Design, Layout, Features and Benefits

You do not need to have a Shop subscription to sell as a business on eBay. However, an eBay Shop can help you reach the right customers, manage orders and build your brand. Your buyers can learn about you and your business and can browse your items through a customisable shopfront, and you can benefit from reduced fees.

Shop benefits

eBay Shops have the following benefits:

  • A free monthly allowance of fixed price and auction-style listings.
  • Capping of final value fees in certain categories
  • A customisable shopfront and a unique URL that you can use in your marketing
  • Use eBay promotions manager

If you subscribe to a Featured or Anchor Shop you’ll also get:

  • Monthly credit to spend on listing upgrades
  • A voucher each month to spend on eBay-branded packaging supplies
  • An allowance of free Good ‘Til Cancelled listings in 13 countries for sellers whose registered address is in the UK or Ireland. Find out more about selling internationally

Shop Design

eBay shops gives the seller only limited options to customise their store. They are however mobile friendly and easy to navigate.  Customerisation options:

  • Shop name.  This is name for your shop which can be different from your eBay user ID. 
  • Shop URL.  This is set when the shop is created.
  • Billboard.  This is a banner image that should express your brand, shows your products or announces a promotion.
  • Logo.  Your brand logo.
  • Featured items.  Up to 4 items can be selected to appear at the top of the shop
  • Shop categories.  Products can be organised into shop specific categories, or using eBay categories
  • Product order.  Sellers can choose between ordering products by best match or newly listed.