No Sales? Hmmm… Part 4 Putting It All Together
We’re all in this business to sell the items that we’ve skillfully and lovingly created. I would venture to say that our least favorite task is promoting our art or craft. We would much rather be in our studios transforming our visions into tangible realities. However, as I said in the first article in this series, “If you’re serious about selling you need to get serious about selling…” I believe that you are up for the challenge so let’s review some key points and add a few more important concepts as we put it all together.
Your Shop ~ I can’t stress enough the importance of presenting high quality photographs of your items. With practice and some basic understanding of how to use your camera, it’s possible for even amateur shutterbugs like you and me to capture wonderful images of our items. Premium sellers are able to customize our color schemes to coordinate with our banners and add widgets to establish our “brand” and increase the functionality of our shops. We can all keep our shops well stocked with attractive items that provide shoppers with a nice variety of products to choose from. Regularly adding new items and rearranging your shop’s FP keeps things interesting and is good for SEO. Well written SEO friendly item titles and descriptions are extremely important when it comes to being found by search engines such as Google.
Social Networking ~ Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter offer great opportunities to promote your Zibbet shop. However, it’s important to remember that the purpose of these sites is for socializing online with your friends. A balanced mix of social interaction and business promotion can result in a successful combination that leads to sales. Zibbet’s Community Hub and Flickr also provide wonderful social networking and promotional opportunities. Blogs can be effective tools for promoting others as well as yourself.
More Online Promotion ~ Well placed advertising that targets shoppers with the demographic that your items appeal to is money well spent. Spend some time getting to know who your potential customers are, where they are likely to be browsing and which advertising options are best suited to bringing all of these pieces together in a cost effective way. Project Wonderful, Adroll and Google AdWords are popular advertising options. Craigslist has also been used by Zibbeters to bring potential buyers to their shops.
In addition to your shop, social networking and on- and offline promoting, there are three other areas that I’d like to briefly address as I end this series: your product, pricing and the economy.
Your Product ~ When you list an item, ask yourself if the quality of the item is such that you would be willing to purchase that item from another seller. If not, don’t list it. Your items represent you, the artist or crafter, and are the most important part of your brand. I think I’m safe in saying that we all want our brand to shout excellence and the best way to do that is to create high quality products and to back them up with top notch customer service. Just as we were taught about nutrition in school, “You are what you eat”, you are your products and your products are you–don’t settle for offering your potential customers items that are less than your best!
Pricing ~ Finding the “sweet spot” price for your items requires a combination of both art and science. In his article, How to Find the Pricing Sweet Spot, Joseph Benoit lists six elements to consider when seeking the right price for a product: Competition, Business Resources, Client Feedback, Supply/Demand, Market and Cost. According to the article “Sweet Spot” Pricing Research: Too Much, Reasonable, Bargain and Steal, although buyers consider the cost of an item to be among the most important considerations when making a purchase they almost always don’t consider it as the most important consideration. Cost usually ranks third or fourth after factors such as quality, performance, style, durability, reliability, and brand. As you seek the “sweet spot” price for your items, keep in mind that there are many factors that impact what that price is and that the right price today may be different tomorrow. You must be willling to monitor your market and the many factors involved and to make adjustments along the way.
The Economy ~ The condition of the economy is a major factor in determining consumer spending. No one can deny that we are experiencing challenging economic times right now. Because most of the items that we offer for sale on Zibbet are extra or non-essential items, we are particularly challenged by the current state of the economy. However, don’t despair. Sales are being made on Zibbet everyday. Take a look at the Has anyone had a sale this past week? discussion on Zibbet’s Community Hub to read examples of Zibbet sales. Even in a down economy, a desirable product that is priced right and found by the right buyer will sell. And just because the economy is down right now doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. I’m optimistic that things will get better. So, if you’re serious about selling, it’s time to start putting it all together and get serious about selling!
Best wishes for much success on Zibbet!