Maximizing Online Sales: Tips from an Ebay and Amazon Seller and CoachJennifer Peaslee
Raymond Smith is an eBay and Amazon seller and coach. He says that trust is important in online sales, and because it is different from brick-and-mortar sales, there are specific things you need to do to help develop that trust.
Trust has to do with the expectations and confidence that a buyer has in a seller. In brick-and-mortar sales, trust is grown organically as the business becomes a part of the community. You recognize the store building and signs. You walk in and interact with the products and employees. You may know people who work in the store, and you may talk about your shopping experiences with others after you leave. These physical interactions help us form trust with the establishment. We learn what to expect, such as quality products, friendly service, and a positive shopping experience. We gain confidence, and that trust turns us into loyal customers.
However, you can’t establish trust in the same way in online sales. The customer doesn’t know you, and you don’t know them. When they are shopping, they can’t physically interact with the item; they can’t see, feel and touch what they are buying. These factors mean that the customer has to develop a level of trust before they are willing to do business with you. They have to trust to send you the money and hope they get the expected item in return.
So how exactly can you develop trust in online sales? Raymond’s three expert tips are:
- Use Excellent Pictures – The buyer can’t hold the item they are buying, so your pictures have to be their eyes.
- Use Excellent Descriptions – Once again, the buyer can’t physically interact with the product, so your clear and thorough descriptions will help them understand exactly what they are buying.
- Develop a Good Reputation – Just like in brick-and-mortar sales, other people’s experiences influence a buyer’s trust. eBay, Amazon, and other marketplaces have feedback and rating systems to facilitate this; if you sell on your site, you can also incorporate indicators of reputation.
Raymond mentions that SEO (search engine optimization) is also important in online sales. You should try to get important keywords in the title or body of the description, add meta tags to the images, and basically anywhere else that you can add keywords to help people searching for what you are selling to find you.
That said, SEO can only help people find your products online – it does not help them make an actual purchase. For that you need to establish trust, and the three tips above are a great place to start.