Monthly Archives: April 2013

Must Haves of the e-Commerce Product Pages

Steve Burns Posted On - April 29, 2013

Must-Haves of the e-Commerce Product Pages
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Though online shopping is wowed by the interested buyers and often, the visits to the e-shops score over a retail outlet, it is the challenge of higher conversions, which is a source of worry for the online retailers. As a web merchant, it is crucial to remember that while decking up a business site, the way a product page is planned, matters. Establishing the connection between the customers and the e-sellers is via catering to the needs of the former, that is offering of top-quality products at the best prices. So it is the product pages of a web merchant which has the power to drive consumers, making them to take the prompt buying action.

The Top-Quality Images

The big difference that the online retailers must understand is that when purchasing online, the customers are not able to touch, feel or smell the products, which they can do in a brick-and-mortar store. So it is only creating an impressive and stunning visual impact by uploading the high resolution images of the goods showcased in the online gallery, which can hook the customers for long. The visual process of e-buying backed by quality product information and images can influence a buyer to take a sane buying decision.

Making way for Various Viewing Methods

When strategically planning to put in the images of the product, an online retailer should make way for alternative views, which is a crucial aspect of product display. Viewing a product from different angles, soaking in the various specific details always push the buyers ahead to move speedily to the checkout process as a happy buyer. It is about reaching out to the customers demands in the virtual realm to the best possible extent. Every buyer has the right to check a product in the way he wants before investing his money. Let a customer to decide on a product, its quality and authenticity by checking it out thoroughly. If you are thinking about incorporating a best feature, then it is the zoom feature in the product pages which makes the viewing experience much better. Also the human models whether of the handsome hunks or the gorgeous ladies should be used judiciously as it attracts the potential buyers more!

Customers Cling to Consumer Reviews

Like the traditional mode of advertising or word-of-mouth promotion matters in influencing the purchasing behavior of a customer, it is the customer reviews or testimonials that a site is capped with, which do the job of convincing the customers. An e-commerce merchant who is true to his business must keep the overwhelmingly good reviews as well as the ones that have shades of negativity. This proves the authenticity of an e-seller as publishing only good reviews might create a picture of things being too good to be true!

The Scope for Product Comparisons

When indulging in the shopping spree, the buyers engage in a comparative study, not only of the prices, but also of the product features that meet their buying needs. When you include the product comparison features successfully on the product page, it adds more value to your page, empowering the customers to view the product features simultaneously.

Live Chat and Product Demos

Live chat is indispensable to an e-commerce website . If you integrate the live chat feature on the product page, then the customers can get the prompt virtual assistance in quick time, so that sealing the business deal becomes easier. In closing the sale, it is the supportive customer care executives which can clear away all the doubts of the customers, making them to step ahead and complete the business deal. The option of offering product demo is the bonus that a customer can get, making him to plunge deep into the know-hows of a product.

Share Buttons and ‘E-Mail a Friend’ Button

You might want to treat your shoppers in a special way by offering them a better feel of navigating the product page. Spreading a word about the products like wildfire via the ’email a friend’ button seems to be a plausible idea on the part of the customers when they are impressed with the offering of an online retailer. Social media buttons are one of the key marketing tools that you cannot afford to do without. These buttons help you to engage in product promotions via sharing of engaging posts, link and any type of content that has the power to grab the attention of the social media buffs who swear by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and the like.

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Can Social Commerce offers Value to the Online Retailers?

Steve Burns Posted On - April 29, 2013

Can Social Commerce offer Value to the Online Retailers
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The idea of social commerce is gaining grounds since the insurmountable potential of social media channels have been blatantly exposed. Businesses are trying their best to cling to these channels by adding the social components in their site and hence forming a viral loop. It is the Facebook business profiles, pages, lots of social presence in the different platforms which has kept the web merchants busy. The conjugation of e-commerce and social commerce is going to gain bigger proportions. The web merchants are hankering for the best conversion tips, but they will have to wait as the growth of social sales is taking place at a slower rate.

However, reading the behavioral pattern of the customers in a targeted niche, being receptive to their suggestions and feedback can help a business to improve its products and services. At the end of the day, it is voluminous sales that the e-sellers look for so that they can maximize profit. Social media is definitely one of the potent tools for customer retention and for expanding the successful list of clientele.

Demystifying the Concept of “Value” for the Online Retailers

For the online retailers, both brand awareness and the sales figures are valuable. The social media platforms are not prepared yet to facilitate sales and that is why the big shots like J.C.Penny , Gap and other top brands had to shut down their stores because they were not getting sales. Social commerce is definitely in vogue and one of the best trends that the online retailers are swearing by. Though there is greater deal of hype going on with the social media channels, the platforms are the best medium for spreading brand awareness. When a brand becomes popular, it in turn, creates a brand image, which in turn influences sales.

The Concept of Social Sales is yet to evolve completely

The e-sellers are pulsating in the social media platforms, making their presence felt so that it leads to their brand promotion. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and a number of social networking channels can definitely make brands to get a push ahead in terms of fructifying the marketing efforts, but the social sales is yet to become a big thing.

The Social Signals can be of Great Value to the Retailers

The e-sellers who are more concerned about the search engine ranking factor can give a sigh of relief if they are following the social media trends. Indeed they are walking on the right track as getting into the good books of search engine via social signals is becoming the norm. Though there is no way links are going to get less important, if the posts related to a business is earning more likes, comments, +1s, tweets, re-tweets and the like, it is the indispensible social value which it needs to hog.

The Matter of Intent

The main urge of a user to land up in an e-commerce is for buying, whereas when he hits the social media channels, it is for socializing- to put things in simple terms. So the e-commerce merchants should not force their brands to get noticed, but let people to talk about the products and services that have satiated them. It, in turn, helps in building the credibility of a brand. It is about empowering people with the power to promote a product when they like it genuinely.

Social Engagement ROI

If you are thinking of how your social media engagement helping your business or what ROI you are earning, then think twice about what you have set out to achieve. Social media helps you to build the intangible assets like reputation and goodwill, as things get spread like wildfire in the social media. So there is no parameter as such for measuring the returns on social engagement, if you are looking for increasing the sales graph and the like.

Multi-Channel Marketing Programs are in Vogue

Social media is definitely not a passing fad as it has the power to make a business build its reputation and consolidate its market position. Exposure is the keyword that the web merchants are trying to achieve and a reputable company like ChannelSale can give fruition to the multi-channel marketing programs of the e-sellers with their top-quality managed services.

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Walmart is planning to Crowdsource Package Deliveries

Steve Burns Posted On - April 29, 2013

Walmart is planning to Crowdsource Package Deliveries
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Walmart is in the news now, making heads turn since it proclaimed the new self-checkout system via iPhone application. This time it has spelt out an ambitious plan where it is planning to take the crowdsourcing initiative. This radical plan would involve allowing customers to deliver packages to the e-shoppers. This can be one of the potent tools to throw a challenge to Amazon from the group of supermarkets. The urge to tap in the in-store customers for delivering goods is a wider part of the crowdsourcing concept. It is one of the big dreams that top retail giant Walmart is chasing, which in all probability will materialize soon.

The Big Plan

The concept of crowdsourcing can appeal to a number of customers who will be more than willing to make space in their vehicles for delivering the packages. The planning of the whole concept needs to be done effectively as there will be legal and regulatory issues which are sure to crop up. The CEO of Walmart and the other executives has spelt out that the crowdsourcing plan is at its nascent stage. They will have to cross many hurdles before such a plan comes into active assistance.

The Leap of Faith

The supermarkets are popular among the shoppers as the steady footfalls and the sales revenue graphs, exhibit. The supermarket chain is putting in their effort so that shipping online orders directly from the store should not only reach the online buyers within the same day, but in a matter of a few hours. This is an effort on the part of the supermarkets to cut down on the transportation cost and surpass the other retail rivals in the market zone. The retailers with no physical retail outlets will feel the heat of such a plan as they lack in terms of a physical crowd that can help in fulfilling the crowdsourcing objective.

The Gradual Expansion Plan

Walmart is seriously reflecting on its plan to opt for crowdsourcing and to begin with, it will be 25 stores that the top retailer will begin with. When things get smoothened out in 25 stores, the expansion plans will soon step towards 50 stores and finally touching the big numbers with time in varied locations. Such a plan will not only increase the loyalists of Walmart, but will help it to earn more profits, making its revenue graph to shoot high. The e-buyers are often too concerned with their deliveries reaching the desired destination on time. This service can be a big respite for them.

How the Customers can help Walmart?

It is a well-known phrase by now that the customers are the King and the US chief executive of Walmart has some great plans up their sleeve. FedEx is already there to satiate the online buyers with high-quality delivery services. Walmart is also coming up with the same-day delivery services called ‘Walmart To Go’ where its delivery trucks will do the needful. Walmart is blessed with the fact that it has greater footfalls in its retail store locations, which it can cash in for greater business benefits and for satiating the buyers. The whopping number of customers visiting the Walmart stores each day can prove to be helpful in terms of being active participants of the crowdsourcing concept.

The customer buying from the physical retail outlets can get into a mutually beneficial relationship with Walmart. If they co-operate and sign up to deliver the package of the online buyers that are on the same route on their way home, Walmart will offer a discount on the shopping bill of the customer who is willing to drop off the packages.

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Ebay dreams Big of generating $300 Billion in Commerce by 2015

Steve Burns Posted On - April 29, 2013

US Sales on eBay Observes a Surge of 19% in Q4
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All dreams don’t turn into reality, but eBay has reasons to rejoice and dream big. It is a name to reckon with in the online market zone. Starting as an online auction site, now it has become the most favored haunts for both the e-sellers and the buyers, deepening its root as an online marketplace. While the online retailers bank on e-Bay for product listing so that their wide array of goods get the required visibility, the buyers know that the top brands are queuing up in eBay and they will get to nab the best deals, handsome discounts in this marketplace.

The Ambitious Plans

When it comes to the profit maximization graph, eBay is running speedily crossing all borders and boundaries. Ebay is planning to double up its revenue by 2015 to $21.5 billion. Within two years, it expects global sales to be very impressive for eBay, with the figures standing tall to $300 billion from $175 billion. It will be like 74.1 % increase in the sales generation graph, thanks to its juggling role as a marketplace, its online payment services via PayPal, the e-commerce technology and other service businesses and the like.

The Conventional Mode of Shopping is changing

It is not only online shopping that people are swearing by, the retail experience is changing and it is being led by mobile. Technology is paving the way to connect to customers in a broader way anywhere, at any moment. So the nature of shopping has become so ubiquitous that the e-sellers do not know when and how they can get a potential customer. Deserving kudos in this field is definitely the mobile devices which provide the required impetus to the buyers to indulge in shopping online. Since the online retailers are optimizing sites for the mobile devices, rummaging through the product categories when people come to eBay and other online marketplaces becomes easy.

Ebay is revamping its Approach

Since Google brought about the revolution making Google Shopping a paid listing service that the online retailers can enjoy, Rakuten followed suit with their new fees structure for the e-sellers wishing to let their products earn a greater level of visibility. The update that e-Bay has announced in terms of the new scheme of fees for the online retailers is sure to make it a more sought-after marketplace. The competition is going to get stiffer and the buyers can only enjoy the best and lucrative deals that will make online shopping an exhilarating experience.

Trying to knock off Amazon?

Amazon is surely to receive a hard competition as Ebay is becoming the partner of choice for the merchants. Ebay is going to score at one place that it does not itself offer a competition unlike Amazon does to the online merchants.

Ebay is one of the most notable names in the online business domain that fascinates both the buyers and the sellers. Ebay is definitely weaving big dreams but it has a solid base to its thinking and planning. The way its marketing strategies have worked out, expanding its list of clientele, shows how its loyalists are banking more on Ebay to make the best buy. The CEO John Donahoe has some big plans up its sleeve and the way Ebay it is living up to the expectations of the people, it is surely to go miles and achieve its dream of shooting revenue generation by 2015.

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10 Effective Measures to Encourage Customer Reviews

Steve Burns Posted On - April 19, 2013

10 Effective Measures to Encourage Customer Reviews
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The three R’s: Recommendations, Reviews and Ratings are the key elements that play a significant part in convincing the customers about the credibility of an e-commerce merchant. Consumer-driven reviews chip in with their crucial role of pulling steady traffic to an e-shop and also ensure higher conversion. Surveys reveal that more than 90% of the potential customers rely on recommendations of friends, relatives and acquaintances in social media and word-of-mouth is one of the strongest mode of advertising. In this age where promoting a business needs to be carried out effectively, the ways to stand out from the pack is via how you engage your customers, make use of the mental glues, the sales pitch and generate good vibes that can create a buzz about your online business.

Impact of Social Media

The phenomenon of social engagement has helped different brands to make their web presence felt and spread awareness among the different segments of the audience. Social sales is definitely gaining speed but at a slower pace while the reviews and recommendations shared and exchanged in the different social networking platforms is aiding in building the brand image of the e-commerce merchants. Reviews and ratings are not only the potent guides for the prospective customers, making them to take a sagacious buying decision. These help in driving away insecurities from the minds of the customers, offering them the needed nudge to take the buying action. Social media acts as the platform where customers can come up with different views, express their opinions abut products, recommend products that have appeased them or left them dissatisfied. Interaction on a higher level can take place between retailers, customers, groups and communities which together build trust and expand the list of loyalists for the e-commerce merchants.

The 10 Best Ways to persuade Customers to write Reviews:

  • Deriving inspiration in the way Amazon, the giant online retailer, integrates the valuable feedback of the customers, can help. Such a format can work for your site too. Get inspired, bring in your own tweaks ad creativity to make it more unique and appealing to your target audience
  • By incorporating Facebook’s Open Graph, the customers are empowered with the ability to share reviews on this social networking site
  • When choosing the product review solutions, ensure that the process of leaving reviews on your website proves to be a hassle-free process. The features enabling customers to offer reviews and ratings in a seamless way needs to be deftly incorporated in an e-commerce website
  • Do not try to be a good boy always. You do not need to filter all out all the negative reviews as a subtle blend of both good reviews and some containing suggestions for improvement or some of the minor points where you need to brush things up, enable in fostering trust and credibility. Nothing is perfect, so strike a balance of not being too good to be true or overtly flawed!
  • Reading the mind of the target audience or their behavioral pattern is the key to your business success. You should be preparing your sales pitch and offering customer service in such a way that customers cannot help but leave a review on your site.
  • Do not lure the customers with free gifts, free product samples or any discount coupons for encouraging them to write reviews. It is not about doing a favor in exchange of a gift. Some contests or any innovative ways that encourage customer participation should be used so that the customers willingly write reviews
  • Effective use of email or the post-purchase marketing email campaigns is the perfect method where asking for submitting a review from the customers can fructify
  • The impact of video marketing in this era of business promotion is crucial. So a good compilation of the product reviews capsuled in the form of an interesting video can grab the attention of the target audience in a greater way
  • Swearing by the norm of sharing of the links of the product reviews, important tips, suggestions can pay off in a big way for the e-commerce merchants
  • Carry confidence in your arms and offer only top-quality products and immaculate services so that the willingness to leave a review increases manifold among the customers
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Top 5 ways that Mobile Commerce will Change the Retail Scene

Steve Burns Posted On - April 19, 2013

Top 5 ways that Mobile Commerce will Change the Retail Scene
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The convenience of online shopping has made the enthusiasts to indulge in shopping while they are on the go. The use of smartphones and other mobile devices is rising in huge proportion and it is going to get bigger in the years to come. In one of the surveys conducted in the US in 2013, it has been revealed that the numbers of mobile-driven sale online will be $2.12 billion. While traditional retail shopping experience is going to take a back seat, the online retailers need to cash in this growing trend in the business domain. The merging of social media and e-commerce has happened for good, opening the doors of new business opportunities for the online merchants. To tap the potential of mobile commerce, the web merchants need to gear up and offer optimal satisfaction to the e-shoppers.

Responsive Design is the Need of the Hour

The e-sellers know that their business site needs to be capped with a design that can flexibly change in size and layout in tune with a user’s device. A SEO-friendly responsive design is what a business owner should aim at. The e-commerce merchants cannot afford to do without optimizing their sites for the high-end mobile devices and the smartphones. The online shoppers are frequently using their smartphones to rummage through the various product categories of the top brands and they often engage in buying online.

Online Marketplaces to gain in Prominence

Though the network service providers are gearing up to offer the best connectivity options to their clients, opening multiple browser windows might not seem to be a feasible option for the mobile shoppers. The online marketplaces are becoming popular as people pour in the online marketplaces to find the top-quality products at the best prices. The seasoned shoppers are smart buyers and they go through the products, compare and check the prices before putting in their money to buy online.

Shopping becoming more Impulsive and Ubiquitous

The retail scenario is definitely going to revamp itself as shopping is becoming more impulsive and the possessors of smartphones and high-end devices do not have to choose a place, time or plan up while taking the prompt buying action, online. During the emotional e-buying journey if the buyers are guided properly when they land on a site, then sealing an online transaction can be done with ease irrespective of the fact whether people are holidaying, relaxing on a sofa, traveling or browsing the web.

With the influence of social media getting more prominent, recommendations and social shares are working wonders offering an impetus to the buyers to go for mobile shopping. The e-sellers have the social sharing buttons or the “email a friend” button on their e-commerce sites which help in making a product to go viral and grab the attention of the buyers. For instance, a girl might find a friend’s little black dress at the party absolutely gorgeous. After hunting down the online marketplace or the site from where her friend got it, she can use her iPhone or any other mobile device to place the order, instantaneously. Word-of-mouth shopping and recommendations play a big role in making the sales figures of the online sellers to catapult.

The Cropping up of the New Payment Systems

Confusion at the checkout system should be avoided at all costs if the online retailers want to hook their loyalists for long. A number of payment options like the much favored PayPal, Amazon Payments, Google Wallet are popular in this scenario. Some more are going to come up soon to spoil the customers with a number of payment options. The e-shoppers will have no reasons to crib or abandon their shopping cart when they have multiple payment facilities, making the online buying process much easier.

Price Comparison Mechanisms are going to get Bigger and Better

The product prices are one of the determining factors the interested purchasers weigh and consider before indulging in online shopping. The buyers want their investment to be rewarding and they want to enjoy the best deals and exciting offers, so they search a lot to bag the best deal. The online retailers are using price data tools to increase their level of efficiency and satiate the urge of the buyers to find the best price before they indulge in buying online.

The automated price comparison system will also emerge, making it easier for the shoppers to know the best price combination, lucrative deals, the availability of free shipping option and make a wish list by checking out the product photo and the barcode.

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Why the E-Sellers are pinning their Hopes on Pinterest?

Steve Burns Posted On - April 19, 2013

Why the E-Sellers are pinning their Hopes on Pinterest
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The social media buffs are increasing at a rapid pace and social engagement is becoming the hot trend that online businesses must cash in. Though it has just been three years that Pinterest has peeped into the social media sphere, this visually stunning bulletin board has been successful in pulling quality and steady traffic. The online retailers, eying for visibility, can bank on this social media platform to let their vast array of products find the required exposure. Facebook and Twitter are the other social media giants that are helping the e-businesses to flourish. Facebook and Twitter are more about spreading brand awareness, helping in consolidating the brand image in a respective niche.

Visual Impact is the Key

The e-sellers always come up with the best and innovative marketing strategies so that they are able to reach out to the target audience segment in a better way. Pinterest with its thematic boards let the e-sellers to pin the images of their wide variety of products, share videos and content that are eye-grabbing. The high resolution images act as a trigger for the users, making them not only to check out those products with acuity but take a step ahead to hunt down those for effective buying. Visual effect becomes more communicative than words with the neat categorization of the products in the different boards reflecting separate themes.

Pinterest works more like a Digital Catalogue

Whether relaxing on the couch with a laptop, MacBook or seriously browsing the web to find the best products of their choice, the nature of the buyers varies. This in turn, affects their buying behavior. The e-sellers can have a higher rate of conversion when they have the potential buyers hooked to Pinterest. The visually stunning topical boards often acts like an online digital catalogue that the interested buyers love to rummage through for taking wise buying decisions.

Social Engagement

The e-sellers have got a better picture of social engagement and interaction. The online business merchants share a rapport with their target audience in Facebook and Twitter, paving the way for online branding. This is because these two social media sites have been there for a while. Facebook is the chosen platform for many web merchants, aiding them to create brand awareness and exposure. However, e-businessmen are still grappling as to what should be the best method that they can apply to win over the social media buffs who love to “pin it”.

Gauging the Purchasing Behavior of the Potential Customers

  • The individuals who spend a considerable amount of time in social media and get glued to Pinterest, help them in creating a visual encyclopedia. The interested users lock the products safely that have tickled their fancy on their minds
  • The users treat Pinterest as a medium via which the buyers make their wish lists of products that they can easily search, scan and buy later
  • The glanceability factor has made Pinterest to soar high in popularity and it is a great influencer making people to communicate, share, interact and remember
  • Pinterest is said to reshape ecommerce and rightly so because this visually appealing social media platform has a more materialistic and commercial appeal, attracting the attention of the buyers

The Social Sales Number got to Catapult

The web merchants are learning the rules of the game when they are venturing into social media. For making a brand to go viral, the e-sellers must get into the game, know the hangouts of the customers, connect with the customers, solve their queries, share with them effective tips and suggestions and create a likeable social profile. Without indulging in bragging or straightway getting into hard sales, an e-seller should nurture his network of customers who have a strong social presence, without nurturing his products always.

The social sales number is only going to rise up when social engagement will lead to conversions. Some of the top brands had to shut down their Facebook web stores as it could not observe higher sales. The process of facilitating online sell is what the social networking platforms must pay attention to, so that direct buying becomes easier for the interested purchasers. Pinterest should be thinking on similar lines so that the products that they come across in Pinterest can be bagged conveniently in a direct way and in quick time. Though social sales is not going to happen overnight, it is about building credibility of a brand that inspires trust via shared experiences. This, in turn, leads to repinning , commenting, greater interaction in Pinterest of the users who are armed with a higher purchasing power.

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Top 15 Video Marketing Strategies for the E-Commerce Merchants

Steve Burns Posted On - April 19, 2013

Top 15 Video Marketing Strategies for the E-Commerce Merchants
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The stiff nature of competition in the online business domain has made the e-sellers to think of different ways that will enable them to reach out to the target mass. Planning strategically helps in adding that edge to the marketing efforts of the online retailers. Going viral via engaging videos is one of the hottest trends which the e-sellers are swearing by. For strengthening the revenue generation graph, this visual cum aural medium enables a brand to earn optimum level of exposure. Grabbing the attention of the target audience via engaging videos helps in registering the brand and its offering in the minds of the target audience.

Engaging Content is Pivotal

No matter how many rule books you go through, the online tutorials that you keep an eye on to learn the video marketing tips, it is the content of the video which should be unputdownable. The look of your video, how you go about filming it and then promoting it becomes secondary when compared to the content! You must have noticed how the video links of the credible sites show up in the search results when you put your search query. Videos can surely create a buzz about your brand.

Stand out from the Pack

It is the about stirring your imagination and creative fervor to come up with ideas that will make a video attractive and edgy. Business ideas that are run of the mill will not help your brand to stand out. So stretch your imagination to come up with unique concept and innovation when conceiving of business ideas for a video.

You cannot afford to give Research a Miss

Make a thorough research on your niche. Get inspiration from the videos that have received a big thumbs-up from the target audience of your niche. For speeding up the process of letting your mind to be crowded with effective business ideas that can be reflected on the video, take a look at the content of the videos that are doing well in the market zone. You will get to know the scoring points.

Analyze your Target Audience

Before stepping into planning your business video, it is crucial to gauge the thought patterns and the psychological behavior of your target mass. When you step into the shoes of your audience, you can better understand their demands and needs. Whatever approach you take or weave up your marketing campaign, knowing your target audience, reading them well is the key to success.

Get the ‘True’ Feedback

When you engage in a fruitful conversation with your other business partners, your wife, friends, children or a group of like-minded people, they will tell you right on your face whether they like your idea or not. So before having a flop show, you cut it off! Feedback and opinions matter when you are planning for creating a video.

A Strategic Plan

The execution of a video in a neat manner depends how you settle on the outline, choose the tone keeping in mind the target audience. Ranging from the content, the visual and aural elements, all you need for filming- the video should be planned accordingly.

Tweaking your own Thoughts

When you scrutinize closely the videos that have got a higher number of views, you can pick up something from there and mash up your own creative inputs, leading to the formation of a new idea. Unique ideas have a higher chance of clicking with the target audience.

Going Wacky and Outlandish

Though it is serious business to get your brand noticed, harp on the crazy and bizarre factor when thinking of the interesting material that will encapsulate in a video. People who are tech-savvy have a inclination for the wild and crazy and it whets their appetite to know more. So if you want to make the tongues wagging about your business, add that quirky touch. However, do not go overboard!

The Eye-Grabbing Presentation

Wrap your business message in such a way that the presentation has a higher appealing quotient, finding favor with the target audience. Incorporating high-resolution images but not very chunkier ones and some catchy music can make a video to work. When an e-seller is talking about his business, showcasing the products in an engrossing way can help. Getting familiar with his own products puts an e-seller a step ahead in terms of finding favor with the target audience. An online retailer can make a video based on his inventory, portfolio or it can be an interview with some the top management or the executive heads of the different processes.

Achieving Perfection

Via editing, you can do away with redundancy from your video. You do not need to be a pushy marketer if the videos that you create about your business have that edge to get a whopping number of views. Editing should be done with precision and accuracy so that there is lesser chances of the video not getting the steady nod from the target audience segment.

Swear by Social Sharing

When the e-sellers have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, then making their videos to go viral is not a very difficult task. It is not only about posting it, but letting the video links to flow naturally, creating a buzz about a brand which will soon gain massive proportion, ensuring a brand’s popularity.

The Concept of Social Signals

Social media has made the brands to gain higher level of exposure and create a brand image online. The concept of social signal is gaining in prominence as the best ranking factors that Google, Bing have started to keep an eye on. Though the importance of links is not fading out any time soon it is likes, comments, retweets, replurking, pinning, +1, which are counted as natural and spontaneous interaction of the social media users who engage in the different social platforms. Personal referrals work more than search engine recommendations as there is the personal touch involved in it.

Hammering your Brand Tactfully

Videos can help your brand to make a mark in your niche. The deftness, with which you incorporate the business message in the videos showcasing your brand, makes way for easier registration in the minds of the target audience.

A Video must Represent your Brand’s Personality

The web merchants has a business vision when he runs a business. When a video is being filmed to reach out to the target mass in a nutshell in an enticing way, then choosing the theme and flavor of a video should be in conjunction with a brand’s personality. The prevailing tone all through the content has to offer a synchronized effect to the target mass so that it appeals to them, whetting their appetite to know more about the brand.

Keeping it Short

For being a successful marketer, you need to know the pulse of the web. The web surfers love to get hold of information in a lucid way and in quick time. So very long videos might not be what your target audience is looking for. Think of your business propositions in an effective and terse way. Let your business ideas wear a tailor-made, well-fitting attire in the form of a perfectly edited short video.

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Why Research is Important for the E-Commerce Merchants?

Steve Burns Posted On - April 16, 2013

Why Research is Important for the E-Commerce Merchants
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When a business is operating in an industry, the management of a respective organization should conduct market analysis and research chiefly for two reasons. It is good to know for a business where it is placed in a respective domain and, secondly, make a performance evaluation of its competitors so that chalking out the survival of the fittest plan can be accomplished with an edge. Monitoring your competitor’s business in the same niche can help a business to grow as it can figure out its own position by using the superb business model or the SWOT analysis. A business needs to know its strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) so that playing a long innings in an industry and holding on to an ever-growing customer base becomes a feasible option.

How Keeping a Tab on your Competitor’s Business is Essential?

When as an e-commerce merchant you know the pulse of the market zone and by keeping an eye you know what your competitors are doing, some of the facts become very transparent:

  • You get to know whether your rivals in the niche are launching new products to hold on its customer base and targeting to add the new ones
  • How they are going about promoting their business which can, in turn, affect your business
  • By analyzing the pricing policy of your competitors, you can frame one of the best pricing strategies that can make your business to avail the competitive edge
  • You can get inspired from the business ideas of your rivals and can build on it as an effective strategy with the incorporation of some innovative tweaks
  • Whether it is a new product that you want to get noticed and popular or the slow-moving products that you want to pick up pace in an industry, having knowledge about your competitors proves crucial

Fiddling with Google can also help

It is of dire need to know the psychological behavior of the people or the target mass of the industry you are aiming at. As an e-commerce merchant you can engage in a search where should find out how your business clings to the search ranking slot compared to your competitors. Not only you can keep an eye on the organic search results, you should also check how product listing advertisements, captivating video links are showing up in the search results. Being vigilant about the suggested keywords that Google displays, the e-commerce merchants can get hold of some good ideas about the most common search queries, or the keywords or key phrases that the users put in when engaging in the search hunt. It is like going a step ahead in reading the psychology of the target customers.

Having a Good Knowledge Base pays off

When you do a thorough probing of the market zone, analyze the level of competition with your rivals, you get hold of important facts like their product variety, the shipping policies, featured product details and descriptions, how the rivals are promoting cross-sells, pricing strategy and the like. It is the framing of the apt sales pitch and the varied sales propositions that is pulling steady traffic and paving the way for higher conversion, which can be traced out effectively by the e-sellers. If you want to make your multi-channel marketing program a success, you can resort to ChannelSale.

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Top 12 Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention Rate

Steve Burns Posted On - April 16, 2013

Top 12 Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention Rates
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It is an established fact that for any business, customer is the King. Retaining the customers that an e-seller has acquired after putting in the best marketing efforts, great deal of strategical planning and proficient services, is crucial. Making the loyalists to stay for long is the key to business success.

Some of the Glaring Facts and Statistics for Customer Retention:

  • It is the well-drafted loyalty programs and rewards, which offer an impetus to the customers to come back to a web store for repeat purchase
  • Robust sales support and customized offers after purchase makes the e-shoppers happy
  • It is matchless customer service which helps in building customer loyalty
  • It takes a lot of effort almost five times more to add new valuable customers than to satiate and hold on to an existing customer
  • It is owing to the poor customer service that above 70% of the consumers have terminated the relationship with a known online retailer
  • When tracing out the probability of selling a product to an existing customer, it is around 60-70%. However, irrespective of the product quality and immaculate customer service, reaching out and convincing the new customers to complete the e-shopping process becomes very challenging with only 5 -20% agreeing to it.

Make the Delivery System more Robust

The delivery system of the products purchased should be a smooth one, providing the customers the ability to track the delivery process, offering higher customer satisfaction.

Getting the Packaging Right

That little extra effort that brings in a smile on the face of a customer on receiving the products is the eye-grabbing packaging that they shop online. Packaging, with its higher visually stunning quotient, is one of the best marketing efforts that the e-sellers can resort to.

Faster Delivery Options

The “want it now” factor looms larger on the mind of the customers. So speedier the delivery process you offer after they buy online, higher will be the chances of hooking the customers. The customers will come back to a site when they find that their orders have reached the desired destination in the shortest possible time. That is why Google is also trying out its Google Shopping Express.

Multiple Payment Options
For offering satisfaction at the checkout system so that a customer uses his spending power, a number of payment options is necessary to catapult the sales figure of a business merchant.

Making Things Easier for Repeat Purchases

Online shopping has gained popularity because of its time-saving and convenience factor. It is the custom-made offers, successful e-mail marketing campaigns, which makes the customers to come back to a web store and make repeat purchases.

Offering Great Support Post Purchase

After the completion of an online business transaction, it is not only the delivery of the products in the allotted destination which concludes the job of an e-commerce merchant. In terms of exchange or return of the products purchased, a good retailer should be co-operative, offering the same level of assistance to the e-shoppers.

Surpassing Customer Expectations

Customers would always love to be pampered and if an e-commerce merchant is able to offer more that overwhelms its existing customers, nothing can be better than that! It is an established fact that the potential buyers never fail to praise you when they are satisfied with good reviews capped in your website.

Personalized Offers
The web merchants in order to be successful online businessmen need to read the psychology of the buyers well so that depending on their preference and choice of categories and products that they seldom buy, attractive tailor-made offers can be given to them.

Attractive Offers and Hot Deals
The global economic climate reveals a very dull picture and people would love to save while engaging in the buying mode. It is the spate of attractive offers, handsome discounts and lucrative money-saving deals which make the e-shoppers to take the impulsive buying decision.

Spreading the Social Media Virus

Social media is about social engagement and the e-commerce merchants are going about spreading brand awareness. Though social sales is yet to pick up pace, the coming together of social media and e-commerce is definitely offering value to an e-merchant’s business and the customers. If customers are offered rewards like coupons, discounts for making their social presence more vibrant and favoring brands of their choice and being vocal in the social platform, spreading the social media virus is no big deal.

Great Customer Care Support

Many web stores flaunt they are available to take calls and help customers 24 x 7. Once they say, the web merchants should abide by it. Good customer care support is required to solve the queries of the potential customers so that they complete the e-shopping journey successfully.

Having a Commendable Customer Service Team

It is crucial for the web merchants to keep a well-informed and educated customer service team so that they can clear the doubts cropping up in the minds of the e-shoppers. This helps in reducing the number of cases of shopping cart abandonment, making an e-shopper to complete an online buying process.

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How can Google’s Zavers help to Increase Customer Loyalty?

Steve Burns Posted On - April 16, 2013

How can Google's Zavers help to Increase Customer Loyalty?
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Google has been the master in many spheres in cyberspace and it always has some great news to offer. Whether it is the online retailers, interested e-shoppers, users looking for high-quality information, Google has taken care of the multifarious needs of the people. The popularity of coupon codes, handsome discounts and voucher codes are one of the motivating factors behind the purchasing decision of the buyers. Google has come up with an innovative concept, which is called Zavers and it is a digital coupon service. This service has been exclusively designed for the retailers and the manufacturers.

The Two Chief Purposes that Zavers serve

In this age where promotion has become a very important thing, Zavers by Google is an important tool that the manufacturers and the retailers can make a good use of. Zavers facilitates the process of creating and distributing the digital coupons. Its second purpose is to make the process of redeeming the coupons much easier, making the system a lot more robust. Google’s Zavers simplifies the process for the manufacturers and the retailers in the way that the promotional campaigns get tailor-made. The retailers get to know the shopper preferences by assessing the process of coupon redemption.

How can Zavers work for an e-Shopper?

The interested shoppers with the urge to buy, check out a retailer’s site and rummage through the exciting offers and the coupon codes. While browsing through the product range and the exciting deals and hot offers, e-shoppers can actively save a coupon that they like in their account. If they settle their mind to buy a product, the coupon automatically gets redeemed at the checkout.

How the Retailers can Benefit?

The retailers can create digital coupon services at their will and the e-buyers enjoy the privilege of the auto redeeming process of the coupon during the time of purchase. Zavers aid the retailers to sell the digital coupon while luring the buyers to use their purchasing power as they get to enjoy the alluring offers and the money-saving deals by accessing the hot digital coupons. It is about reaching out to the target customers and Zavers can aid in the target distribution of the coupons to the right audience segment, helping the basket size of the customers to increase.

A Great Coupon Promotion Campaign by Google

Google knows how to play its card right and this is definitely one of the coupon promotion programs, via which Google is trying to popularize its product, Google Wallet. In order to ensure higher conversion rates of the customers, the shoppers with the inclination to buy online will get to redeem Zavers in the checkout process. This way Google is also trying to bolster up its sound reputation and increase its number of loyalists.

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Rakuten Inc. Unleashes a New Fee Structure for the Online Sellers

Steve Burns Posted On - April 16, 2013

Rakuten Inc. Unleashes a New Fee Structure for the Online Sellers
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The online marketplaces are undoubtedly the best platforms for the e-sellers to gain exposure and reach out to the potential buyers. Rakuten Inc. has been in the news since it went for a change in its name, which became effective from January 31, 2013. The top-notch online marketplace with its stellar reputation went for a change in its brand identity and it became Rakuten.com Shopping from Buy.com. On that very same day, it came up with a new fee structure for the online retailers. Google, the giant player in the web played its masterstroke in the fourth quarter of 2012 when it made the e-sellers who are interested in listing their products in Google Shopping to go for the paid option. Google Product Search changed to Google Shopping, when Google pronounced that it will be paid listing for the e-commerce merchants.

Rakuten’s New Pay Structure


Rakuten is a name to reckon with in the sphere of online marketplace and the e-sellers wishing to tap in the potential of this platform via product listing, will have to shell out some good amount of money. Rakuten.com Shopping has gone for a two-tiered fee system:

  • Professional level costing $ 33 per month
  • Professional Plus level costing $199 per month

The retailers who want to maximize their ROI or derive the best benefits of showcasing their voluminous inventory in Rakuten Shopping need to pay up on a quarterly basis. The amount rises up to $99 per month for the Professional level and $597 for the Professional Plus level respectively.

The Benefits that the Merchants can avail

The e-commerce merchants can reap in huge benefits when they will opt for the paid mode of listing. The web merchants enjoy the privilege of listing up to 50, 000 product SKU’s when they take up the option of paying $99 on a quarterly basis. When budget is not a restraining factor for the web merchants, they can utilize the benefits of the unlimited account, or the Professional Plus level.

The Commission that the Merchants need to Pay Up

It is entirely dependent on the product category and the sales volume of a merchant when it comes to offering of a specific percentage based on each sale as a commission to Rakuten Shopping. The percentage can vary from 5.0 % to 14.5 %. On the other hand, there is some perks for the merchants also in the form of rebate which they can enjoy based on their sales count.

How is Rakuten Planning to have an Edge over Amazon?

The account via which a retailer settles to enjoy the benefits that Rakuten can give him also consolidates his market position in the competitive business zone. The merchants who went for the professional level do not enjoy the unlimited access to BuyMail, which is one of the best services that this online marketplace offers. BuyMail, whose complete benefit the Professional Plus merchants can enjoy lets the e-sellers to directly send in e-mails to the potential customers. This direct email marketing campaign let Rakuten to have an edge over the giant online retailer, Amazon. Rakuten paves the way for consolidating a direct relationship with the consumers.

The Effective Future Planning

For the web merchants, it is important that they evaluate their own performance in the market zone enabling them to come up with innovative marketing strategies. Rakuten Shopping has planned to come up with merchant data tool which will enable the online retailers to track their sales figure, gauge the behavioral pattern of the customer that they are able to pull and assess their level of performance against the goal that the e-sellers have set for themselves. In order to reshape their ecommerce marketing strategies, it is crucial for the web merchants to find out their strength, weakness, opportunities and threats so that they can come up with fruitful programs for boosting their sales. The web merchants in need of gaining exposure in cyberspace via multi-channel marketing programs can bank on ChannelSale. In order to hook the attention of the buyers the SuperPoints loyalty program is a good one which help the customers to collect points which they can redeem in the form of money in their future purchases.

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Expansion of Search Marketing Efforts is Essential for the E-Sellers

Steve Burns Posted On - April 6, 2013

Expansion of Search Marketing Efforts is Essential for the E-Sellers
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This era of business promotion is about creating brand awareness and putting in greater promotional efforts so that a business gets the required visibility. It is expansion of the search marketing efforts, finding out new avenues beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo or the staple search engines, which is in vogue as the customer are becoming smart enough to take the best buying moves. The potential buyers in need of specific are searching in a number of places as they are informed buyers taking effective purchasing decisions. It has been reported recently that 30% of the e-shoppers when indulging in shopping, straight away hit Amazon, the giant retailer, and it was 19% of the interested online buyers who began with Google.

Making the Marketing Dollars to Dance to the Tunes of the Purchasers’ Behavior

Amazon is the open product search engine and the effort, money that the e-sellers are putting in the advertising campaigns must follow where consumers are searching. The e-sellers are strategizing their multi-channel marketing campaigns by banking on companies of repute like ChannelSale so that a company gets the required exposure. The e-sellers make a strong chain of network with the top online marketplaces so that they are able to engage in product listing and hog attention of the potential buyers. Google who was regarded as the gatekeeper of internet is definitely there reigning the web world, but the online shoppers are making good researches directly approaching the giant retailers, visiting the CSEs, so that they do not regret their buying decisions later on. The comparison shopping engines are helping the prospective customers to find out the best deals, compare the prices before engaging in buying.

Amazon: The Gatekeeper of e-Commerce?

Amazon’s search engine, A9 has created a buzz by showcasing results of product sold on Amazon as well as at other places through the paid ads in its shopping path. There is no limitation whatsoever in the way the search results are displayed now where the potential buyers get information on the products sold by the retailers as well as the availability of the products at external website.

The Other Players

Ebay with its voluminous client base in a on-and -off relationship with third-party ads as the statistics of the last few years reveal. Ebay has taken the plunge also with the inclusion of some cost-per-click ads from Shopping.com, which happens to be its subsidiary. It also gets banner ads rolling occasionally. For the e-sellers, finding out newer modes of search traffic will help them to depend less on Google. It is the not only the search engine optimization industry which is facing the wrath of Google by its gamut of algorithm updates, with Google Product Search becoming Google Shopping, a paid model, it is making the online retailers to pay for product listing. It is a masterstroke on the part of Google to push up its whopping sales figure to great measures. With the prospective buyers directly approaching the online marketplaces to look for their products, the e-sellers must think of innovative search marketing efforts to appease the buyers.

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Ways to make an Impact and Increase Sales for the E-Commerce Merchants

Steve Burns Posted On - April 6, 2013

Ways to make an Impact and Increase Sales for the E-Commerce Merchants
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The e-commerce merchants need to understand that it is not only the top-quality products that can help them to maximize their reach to the target audience. It is about the way the e-sellers approach to seize a respective market zone, which can further their chances of finding favor with the target customers. The sales words that the e-sellers choose must make a psychological impact, appealing to the primal instinct of the customers. The business owners when thinking of multi-channel exposure via their marketing plans must play with words if they want to nab the attention of the target customers and drive sales. The managed services that ChannelSale offers can prove beneficial in making a marketing campaign for building a strong chain of network, to fructify.

Use of Magical Words that Improve Sales

  • You: Use of ‘you’ in a business proposition, in the tagline of an advertisement and the sales strategies that an e-retailer frames to appease the customers, trying to win over their confidence, must have the word ‘you’ in them. It has a psychological advantage of playing on the minds of the target customers and it easily connects the customers instantly. They feel a sense of inclusion and involvement. It is communicating directly with your customers which makes them to feel good.
  • Free: The word ‘free’ has a thing about it ! The exciting offers like buying one item and getting the other one for free, a free sample with the purchase of one product are great motivators. Most of the online retailers are pledging to make shipping free in 2013, so that their sales number soar high. The interested buyers get the urge to shop more and more when the offers are backed by the word “free.” Amazon, eBay uses this word for forming their sales message with acuity.
  • New: The online sellers must harp on the word ‘new’ whether it is the addition of a new product in their inventory, a product getting rolled out in a new design, color, packaging and the like to quickly grab the attention of the potential customers.
  • Guaranteed: When the return policies, the terms and conditions that the e-sellers put in has the word ‘guarantee,’ it makes the customers to feel the confidence, trust a retailer and go ahead in the e-shopping journey.
  • PayPal: PayPal has a stellar reputation of finding favor with the customers who engage in online buying. For higher customer conversion, bringing up the sales figures with a lower processing cost and PayPal as a brand name work for the business merchants. Ebay is sharing a sparkling chemistry with PayPal via which its sales count is soaring!
  • Bill Me Later: The ‘Bill Me Later’ sales proposition has been successful in attracting new customers as the business merchants put it. The percentage of sales catapulted when the e-business merchants offered the financing promotions. For availing the option of a tad credit extension on the purchases they make, the customers avail the Bill Me Later option.

Increasing the Lifetime Value of the Online Customers

After a customer has successfully purchased a product from an online retailer, the responsibility of an e-seller does not end there if he is looking for that same customer to come back again and make repeated sales. In such a scenario, post-sale message work wonders for building trust and consolidating a business relationship. When wording a business proposition or showing your gratitude to a customer, avoid cliches and adopt a personal tone so that it appeases a customer and incites return visits. The post sale follow-up campaigns help where an online retailer sends the prevailing sales news to the customers via mail and provide information on the existing offers, suggest products, spell out return discounts and the like. This way cementing long-term bonds with the customers can be successfully achieved.

Putting Emphasis on Social Media Sales

Social media and e-commerce can definitely merge and the social networking sites can really facilitate sales. It needs to rope in the social networking buffs who are charmed by the visual treat of the products of the e-sellers when showcased in the visual bulletin board Pinterest and other visually stunning mediums. Social sales need to grow at a steady pace and it is surely to help the e-commerce merchants to improve their annual sales volume.

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Top 10 Reasons why eBay’s Mobile Applications are a Huge Hit

Steve Burns Posted On - April 6, 2013

US Sales on eBay Observes a Surge of 19% in Q4
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Some of the recent surveys conducted reveal some amazing facts. It has been reported that Android smartphone users (43%) showed their love for eBay‘s mobile application and have downloaded it successfully. The Android apps are soaring in popularity and this shopping app has secured a place among the top applications that the Android users crave for. The revenue generation graph of both eBay and PayPal reveal how it is having a meteoric rise is terms of kissing revenue success.

Taking a Look at the Top 10 Reasons that made eBay’s Smartphone App so Popular

Commendable Search Function

Any application in order to hook the attention of the target audience must be easy to use. A rich user experience is emphasized when the navigational experience is also up to the mark. For helping the e-shoppers, this app of eBay uses predictive text and offers effective suggestions for the various product categories.

The Barcode Scanner is a Useful Tool

When talking about the effectiveness of a barcode scanner, Amazon tops the chart with its tool facilitating the product search process. eBay is also offering a potent tool or the barcode scanner so that an online buyer can check out with immediate effect the products that he is in need of. It helps an e-shopper to save the time and effort of rummaging through the number of product options.

Get Refined Results with the Filter Options

eBay’s smartphone application is not only armed with the excellent product search capability, the application is also packed with a number of filer options. This paves the way for more refined search results when you are looking for specific products in your choicest category. With the inputs like price, location, product details, postage option and the like, the filtering process can be extended in a greater way.

Tracking Items on the go
Since technology has revamped things and even the mode of auction in eBay, with smartphones, people have the privilege to track the products on-the-go. You get alerts or the effective reminders so that you keep a tab on the products from time to time that you are tracking.

The Resourceful Product Pages

For ensuring higher sales, there is no alternative to accurate and rich product information. eBay as a coveted online marketplace lets the e-sellers to furnish product details and description. While making a search on eBay, the product details like images, price, auction deadline and the like easily meet the eye, with the eBay shopping app acting as the catalyst.

The Exhaustive Range of Products

When you think you want to buy something, you get it in eBay! With the new application making the product search facilities more enhanced in the smartphones, go for for e-shopping when you are mobile!

eBay pampers all Smartphone Owners

Some of the brands are content with the fact that belting out an iphone application will breed customer loyalty and increase the client base consisting of quality customers. This Android application that runs seamlessly on the different handsets, opens the option of mobile shopping via smartphones for a whopping number of interested shoppers.

Selling Products becomes an Effortless Process

One of the key and appealing points of eBay’s shopping application is the way it aids in the product listing process. With the use of the effective shortcuts like barcode scanner, product suggestions, the specific suggested product categories and the like, attracting the customers becomes an easy process, which can be converted to sales.

Call-to-Action

Ebay’s CTA offers an extra edge and it has the potential to stand out in a page. The process of placing a bid or making a purchase becomes a plausible option.

PayPal

In the emotional e-shopping journey, the conversion rate for an e-commerce merchant only gets higher when the interested customers offer the required credit details or other financial information without insecurity prevailing on their minds. eBay’s strength is definitely Paypal, which facilitates the purchasing process and ensures that the customers have a satisfying experience while checking out.

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