With eBay quite openly going through a transition phase right now, we reached out to our good friend John W. Hayes from Frooition to get the inside intel on some of the ways sellers can boost their success on the eBay marketplace.
John is the Head of Marketing for Frooition, an eCommerce design and optimization agency serving clients globally from its HQ in Birmingham, UK. Prior to joining the company, he worked in senior marketing roles for ChannelAdvisor and iContact. He is also the author of five books, including the best-selling content marketing guide: Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing.
In this Q&A we tap into the over two decades of combined experience that both John and Frooition have in the world of eCommerce and specifically marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon to find out how you can give your business the best chance of succeeding in 2022 and beyond.
Q. Frooition has been around for many years and is seen as not just design but also marketplace
eCommerce experts. Why is design still an important factor for eBay sellers when shops are no longer
a big push for the marketplace?
A. Frooition has been helping retailers sell more online for 17-years now. During that time, we’ve evolved from a company that initially offered managed services, and training for marketplace sellers to a design-focused agency providing optimized eBay listing design templates, Amazon branding, and BigCommerce and Shopify design and build services.
Recently, eBay’s attention has shifted from shops or stores towards individual listings. The vast majority of buyers will land on these listings via eBay search or directly from Google and other major search engines and shopping sites. When buyers land directly on listings, good clean design helps sellers better position themselves as professional and therefore trusted sellers. Good design also helps buyers make quick buying decisions by ensuring everything is in the right place and can be easily digested.
Q. What does a good eBay listing look like?
A. Branding and design are an essential part of the mix. Still, care also has to be taken over critical elements such as item titles, descriptions, item specifics/aspects, images, shipping costs, and delivery schedules. A good eBay listing follows all the current best practices recommended by eBay in their regular seller updates. If sellers aren’t following those best practices and updating their listings accordingly, it’s highly likely that their listings will rank poorly (if at all) in eBay search.
For example, an eBay listing with less than six images may struggle to be found via eBay search. Similarly, sellers who ship their items in a timely fashion but offer a more cautious delivery schedule may be hurting their visibility. Sellers should also look at optimizing their listings using tools like Frooition’s Dynamic Cross Promotion which allows them to promote alternative items on their listings. This keeps buyers within the seller’s branded eBay environment and reduces the risk of them finding a competitor’s products via eBay search.
Q. eBay has had some questionable results lately with declining users and sellers on the marketplace. Is eBay still relevant in 2022 eCommerce?
A. Like many other online sales platforms, eBay has seen some re-adjustment following the pandemic. When the world was in lockdown and consumers had very little choice but to shop online, online sales went through the roof.
However, as the high street and shopping malls re-opened, and eBay faces increasing competition from new and emerging marketplaces, their position is returning to what is becoming the “new normal.” With that said, we should never underestimate the power and reach of eBay. While eBay is still an incredibly vibrant marketplace, sellers can no longer sit back and wait for the sales to come in. Instead, they’ve got to work for that success.
We regularly take calls from sellers who tell us that their eBay sales have fallen off a cliff, only to discover that their listings haven’t been updated in years. This level of complacency won’t work on eBay or any other competitive channel in the long term. The most successful retailers will also seek intelligent technology solutions to help them reduce the heavy lifting associated with keeping their listing strategy fresh, up-to-date, and compliant with listing best practices.
Q. What kind of sellers does Frooition work with? Are there any specific merchants that see better results with Frooition?
A. One of the great things about working with Frooition is the breadth and depth of our client base. Our design and listing optimization services are so scalable we really do work with everyone from small “mom and pop” stores to major global brands.
Our sellers operate across all categories and increasingly looking to expand their operations across multiple marketplaces and their own websites. While it is an incredible privilege to work with global brands like Lego and Dyson, it’s also incredibly satisfying to help smaller, independent retail businesses find their feet and grow into fully-fledged online retailers. While it would be difficult to pick out an individual category as a sweet spot, some of the categories we are currently seeing incredible growth in include the automotive and food and drink sectors.
Q. Obviously, Amazon is the market-leading marketplace in the western world, how can you compete with Amazon sellers on a platform like eBay?
A. While adding products to Amazon’s catalog might appear to offer a “light touch” route to eCommerce success, businesses that focus all their efforts on that marketplace are exposed to incredible risk. At the very least, it’s an incredibly competitive market where retailers are at the mercy of a marketplace that will actively compete against them having access to all your data.
One of the key areas where Amazon wins is in next-day delivery. For eBay sellers shipping their own items, this can be problematic. That’s why we urge retailers to consider third-party shipping solutions, such as our partners at Huboo, who can give them back that competitive edge.
Q. For anyone reading this who wants to find out more about how Frooition could help their business, what is the best way for them to get in touch?
A. You can find us online at https://www.frooition.com. Our eCommerce experts can also be contacted by emailing [email protected] or by calling +44 (0)1384 480 810 in the UK or 512-831-7600 in the US.
Thank You John From Frooition
We want to say a huge thank you to John for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions and share his incredible insight with us to help eCommerce sellers maximize their success on the eBay platform.
Frooition has been in the eCommerce space now for almost 20 years which proves that they certainly know what they are doing and continue to evolve with eCommerce. If you feel they could help your eCommerce business then be sure to get in touch.
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