Preparing for Peak 2020 - Part 2 - Volo

Preparing for Peak 2020 – Part 2

Thursday October 15, 2020 | Posted at 8:28 am | By Paul Dicken
October 15, 2020 @ 8:28 am

In this second post of a two-part series, we talk about how you can maximise your Q3 bets for an optimal Q4, this time focusing on eBay.

In our first post in this series we talked about Amazon promotions and Halloween. If you sell on multiple marketplaces, while there are hundreds to choose from it’s still a fact that around 80% of marketplace commerce happens on Amazon and eBay, so eBay’s the focus below, along with some other general tips.

While Amazon dwarfs all other marketplaces in the western world, it’s worth bearing in mind that eBay is still hugely significant with these kinds of numbers:

  • 32 million visits per month in the UK
  • 81% of items are new
  • 71% of transactions in the UK, Germany and US are free of shipping costs
  • Globally, €68 billion of eBay’s €86 billion trading volume was touched by mobile

Sellers regularly ask eBay what is the most common mistake getting ready for peak. Their answer is that sellers tend to start too late. If we think about the customer buying journey, peak starts earlier each year. Buyers are starting their search process weeks in advance. For example, a Dynata-ChannelAdvisor survey of more than 1,000 shoppers found that 59% plan to start their online shopping before 1st November. So, this month, then.

As with Amazon, maximising your peak on eBay involves giving some serious consideration and investment to promotions. There’s a range of promotions available to you on eBay’s Seller Hub, including:

  • Multi-buy, offering a discount for buying more than one unit of a product
  • Order Discount, over a monetary threshold
  • Order Discount, over a certain quantity
  • A Sales Event, using STP – strike through pricing
  • Offers to Buyer, where sellers send a private offer to a potential buyer who has shown interest

So, which one to use? eBay asserts that price and purchase volume are the best ways to decide. Use Multi-buy for low-to-medium price and medium-to-high frequency products, and Order Discount for low-to-medium price and low-to-high frequency items. Alternatively, for high price (typically £30 and above) and medium-to-high frequency products use Sales Events, and for high price and low frequency or unique items use Best Offer and Offers to Buyers.

In the last few months, eBay has introduced a number of improvements to further benefit promotions. For example, you can now select and send multiple Offers to Buyers at the same time. There are also Great Price badges to be won on your listings as a benefit of using the eBay catalogue. A Great Price badge signals a great product at – yes – a great price, although there are certain terms that apply to this new feature.

Furthermore, with the prevalence of mobile in what is now multi-device, multichannel purchasing, the standard shopfront is now available on the eBay app. eBay is ending the custom stores by the end of the year and is encouraging sellers to move to the standard app with added entry points to the shops, which custom stores don’t benefit from.

Promoting your items is risk-free in that you only pay when a buyer purchases the item within 30 days of clicking on the ad. What’s more, sales from promoted listings benefit an item’s history on eBay, which helps to push the item up in search rankings.

When it comes to selecting your listings for promotions, eBay Seller Hub makes item recommendations which it suggests you promote first, since these are selected to yield the most benefit for you. An algorithm based on trends, item competition and sales history powers the recommendations.

eBay uses similar factors in automatically recommending ad rates for your promotions to be competitive. The goal is to get the balance right for you between performance and cost.

You can deploy a range of Promoted Listings tactics in your overall promotions strategy. For example, some campaigns can run all the time, and you can leave them running. Alternatively you can decide to boost your best selling items and provide additional impetus for your new products. You can promote seasonal items during this key retail season and craft sales events to increase the success of your sale items.

We already said that online shoppers are starting their searches earlier than ever, so when planning your promoted listings remember to factor in the window of visibility before the key sales event. For example, for Halloween, which we referred to in our previous post, the visibility window could be from the 1st October, or even earlier, so that’s when you need your impressions to start, to drive clicks and purchases well before the 31st October itself.

Finally, in our previous post on Amazon advertising we stressed the importance of having a plan, and it’s worth repeating most of the guidelines here and adding a few more, since they apply equally to eBay:

  • Decide your promotional goals and budgets in advance
  • Make genuine discounted offers; don’t fall foul of most peak offers which aren’t deals at all
  • Identify your best campaigns (historical or current, if applicable)
  • Experiment with and refine your campaigns
  • Make sure you have enough budget to stay live so you’re not missing out on a bunch of impressions
  • Measure how you did against your goals and adjust for the next time
  • Make sure you have enough inventory cover and that you’re re-ordering in good time
  • Be ready for increased shipping demands and expectations
  • On the flip side, be ready for increased returns
  • Live inside your sales and stock reporting data, see what’s working and adjust quickly if you need to

Whether it’s for peak 2020 or peak 2021, now is always a good time to get in touch and schedule a no obligation call. You’re bound to learn something you didn’t already know.

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