Over 80% of sellers online predict their business will grow in 2014. We are almost to the halfway mark this year, so how do you predict your business will fair this year? We are not just referencing how you are doing on Addoway, because the majority of our sellers don’t just sell on Addoway alone - How are you doing as a whole?
We have been doing some studying (pretty sure you have been doing your research too) and we have accumulated quite a bit of information on what the experts believe are going to be the top trends for sellers to consider in 2014-2015 in eCommerce and as always we wanted to make sure we shared them with you. It’s been a few months since our last blog, so we are promising to get back to making more consistent postings for you.
1. Free & Fast Shipping
It’s not just faster, it’s free too? Gone are the days where shoppers would be okay with just picking 3-5 days or simple ground shipping. We want it now! If there is an option to upgrade shipping, shoppers are picking it. Beginning in 2014, we will see more and more sellers offering free shipping across the board as well. They are working with their warehouses and/or their resale partners to work on stocking and delivery to ensure they can deliver quick and easy like their competition on eBay & Amazon. Ladies and gentlemen, you just need to be really fast now. If one of our partners can’t deliver like you want – it’s time to consider your options.
2. Content Creation
It’s all about engaging your target customer base everywhere you are online. This is not about spending time on social networks messaging people, but more importantly creating content that is timely, relevant and factual. You need to blog when you have the time. This is something we need to do more of ourselves too. Content online travels far and wide and a blog you wrote years ago might now drive a buyer to your store today.
Also when it comes to listing your items, you might find that there are other sellers online selling the same product (this is easily discovered by checking Google shopping or just plain search). Look around and see how they are marketing their product. They are looking at your store. Do your titles and descriptions looks exact or pretty close to the same? Well if so, you need to go in there and change it. Be original wherever possible.
When you are looking to create Google or Facebook ads make an ad that is specific and relevant to the target market your products meets. Don’t spend time just making an ad to say you are purchasing ads. This is a monetary investment just as much as an investment of your time – make it count and don’t give up. You are probably going to have to try it a few times to find out what works for
4. Social Channel Activity & Relevance
What do I mean by this? Figure out what social is best for you. Some sellers don’t need to be on Instagram while others can’t be without Pinterest. Don’t just spend time for the sake of spending time. Twitter might not work for your business anymore when in the beginning it might have gotten you a few buyers. Go where your market spends their time. For example, if your business is all about visual appeal, then you NEED to be on Instagram and Pinterest. Have a page for your business that pins other items from other sellers too. Don’t make it just about you! They will share the love and pin right back.
5. Responsiveness & Personalization
In 2014, shoppers don’t have time to waste anymore. They review a product and make a quick decision before moving on to the next. You need to make sure you are checking your inbox regularly and this goes for those marketplace inbox’s as well. If you decide you want to sell on 10 different marketplaces you need to be able to multi-task, because those shoppers will remember your store as they shop elsewhere. Sometimes it is better to keep things simple and manageable as you try to build your business, so don’t be everywhere when you know it’s challenging for you. Be personable in your communication after an order is placed too. A few of our favorite sellers on Addoway send Thank you cards with their packages with a personal message every time they get an order.
6. Hassle Free Returns
This is pretty straightforward here. I am not talking about just taking anything back no questions asked, but try to work with shoppers to a point where you make it so easy for them to contact you and ask questions before and during the buying cycle. Most of the time the hassle free returns begin before the order ever happens. Communication is key!
7. Don’t Pay for someone to Tweet your listings
The traffic you get from it is usually not real unique traffic. It does nothing for your business except make your links spam. Just don’t do it! You should be in control of the content that gets posted online about your store.
This is not the end all be all of trends, but what we believe are the most commonly agreed on for 2014. Let us know what you are discovering as well. And as always, thank you for your time.