How well do you know your customers? What do they expect from your service? What don’t they expect, but would be pleasantly surprised – even delighted – if they get it?
Most online sellers have some idea what their customers want, but few have approached the question in a structured way. They base their opinions on emailed comments from a few customers, or from talking it through with friends and family – who aren’t their customers at all.
That’s a shame, because a strong understanding of your customers can make the difference between a mediocre business that lists products and fulfils orders, and an exceptional business – one that customers talk about and recommend without being prompted.
So how can you get a strong, rigorous understanding of what customers want? Discover what delights customers and helps you stand out from the crowd? The Kano model is a tool which can help you do just that.
Can you really build an exceptional business from individual parts that are only average? I asked Australia’s Neil Waterhouse, author of Million Dollar eBay Business From Home and previously featured in Twelve Tips For Your Product Sourcing Strategy, to explain his approach to eBay selling in more depth.
Neil started selling on eBay in 2002, and has sold millions of dollars of items from his home in Sydney. He was refreshingly open and candid about how his business works, and I’m really pleased to be able to share that with you.
How do people buy online?
Do they carefully define all their requirements, search for a seller and product that ticks all the boxes, then make a purchase?
That would be logical. But the majority of buyers don’t buy that way – even though they may believe they do. We are anything but rational in many aspects of our lives, and shopping is no different.
In this post, I set out the six behaviours hard-wired into our brains – actually programmed by evolution – that are immensely influential in buyer psychology. You can use them to be a much more effective seller.
“What’s the best thing to sell?” is a question I hear from many new marketplace sellers.
It’s a reasonable question to ask, but it can’t be answered directly. There is no “best thing to sell”, but many – depending on the seller, competition, location, timing and many more factors. Finding things to sell – sourcing inventory – is an activity that’s different for every seller.
With that in mind, here are twelve tips from ecommerce experts around the world to help you shape that activity, and develop your own product sourcing strategy.
“I just need to get selling on my own website – there’s no eBay fees, no feedback system – I’ll save so much I could even set my prices lower to bring the buyers in!”
Have you ever thought that? Or heard other sellers say it? I’ve heard it many times, and don’t question that there are advantages to having your own independent web store.
But there are many differences between selling on the marketplaces, and selling through your own store. The marketplaces have the advantage in almost all of them. In this post I’ll explain why most sellers should concentrate their efforts on the marketplaces, and tell you about the few cases where it still makes sense to go it alone.