This one simple improvement can grow your sales by 14%

free-shipping

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more potential buyers browse through your online shop looking for gifts for their loved ones. They make their selection, add items to the cart and then… for some reason they change their minds! Don’t worry, we have figured out one simple trick which will increase your sales by 14%.

There are many ways in which you could increase your checkout conversion :

  • you could send each buyer who entered his email address at the checkout stage but didn’t complete the purchase an email with a discount
  • you could target these buyers with a social media ad campaign
  • you could ask your IT team to tweak your checkout so that it runs faster and is simpler for buyers to use…

But wait! All of the above are going to cost you money! How can you increase the checkout conversion without spending anything extra?

Our research shows it’s enough to start presenting your customers with multiple delivery options in order to grow your sales by 14%.

Now, offering multiple delivery options – for example standard, economy and express – has no extra cost. You can apply a decent margin on each of the delivery methods you’re going to present. Even better, you don’t have to change the way you operate today or change your carrier. All you have to do is contact the carrier you are already working with and change your product listings so that they show at least three delivery methods.

On the other hand, make sure not to offer too much choice – if you present your customers with more than five delivery methods you risk analysis paralysis and discouraging them from buying altogether!

If your carrier cannot provide you with multiple delivery options for international deliveries, you can simply contact WebInterpret and have your online shop localised on multiple markets and with multiple delivery methods in just a few clicks.

UK exporters may still have a Merry Christmas this year

It’s true, you may not have your Marmite or Ben & Jerry’s for the Christmas dinner this year but, hey, let’s look at the bright side of things.

If you’re an exporter from the UK to Europe or to the USA you can expect a significant uplift in sales this Christmas season.

Retailers working with WebInterpret have already seen their exports grow by up to 119% this Christmas season compared to Christmas 2015.

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It remains to be seen whether sterling will remain at this level all the way till Christmas but if you’re an online retailer hesitating whether you should export, it’s a no brainer. And remember – WebInterpret’s turnkey solution can free you most of the hassle of selling abroad.

Why you can’t afford not having a mobile strategy

Whenever I hear sellers say they are currently redesigning their website, it makes me feel like if they bragged about purchasing a new fax machine. Over again we see signs that in a few years or even months merchants’ websites will become obsolete as online shopping is increasingly being confined to mobile apps.

A few stats that confirm this trend :

mcommerce-trends

What you can do :

  • there is clearly no point in building your own mobile app especially if you are selling niche products – mobile phone users become increasingly less likely to install new apps and once they have installed them – to allow notifications. We have to get used to the idea that mcommerce of the future will be split among two, three dominant apps
  • open a marketplace store – if you haven’t yet done so, do it now! there is an overwhelming choice of marketplaces which have an advantage over you as buyers trust them and know them – eBay and Amazon are household names and even small marketplaces have more money to invest in marketing than you do
  • make sure your website is mobile optimised – the less content you have on it, the better! Think about eBay’s recent decision to  change their sellers’ listings so that they can be easily viewed on a small screen – product descriptions have to contain up to 800 characters and cannot include any active content (JavaScript, Flash)
  • offer payments with PayPal / Amazon payments – if a mobile buyer has to fill in a lengthy form in order to complete the purchase, the odds are high she will give up before completing the checkout. Allowing your buyers to log in with PayPal or Amazon in order to make a payment makes it easier for them to pay without leaving the mobile device. It also helps instill trust as PayPal and Amazon offer buyers protection from fraud.
  • do it quickly! – mcommerce still accounts for less sales than ecommerce but if the current growth rates continue, this will change soon! You don’t want to wake up in a few months next to a brand new fax machine only to realise there is no one left to send a fax to as they have all switched to email
  • don’t forget that at WebInterpret we can create a mobile-optimised version of your website in various languages AND help you promoting it abroad.

How should you write your sizes to suceed selling fashion on eBay

Fashion sellers, here is to you. If you’re serious about making money selling on eBay, you have to make sure your products are searchable by size. It does sound pretty self-explanatory but you would be amazed by how many sellers don’t follow this simple rule.

At WebInterpret we help thousands of online retailers sell abroad and a fair chunk of them are selling clothes. It’s the UK fashion sellers in particular who seem to be quite successful abroad, especially now that the pound sterling is relatively week compared to other currencies. According to our data, UK fashion sellers succeed mainly in Germany, in the US and in Australia.

However, if you believe you can tap into the German market just by adding postage to Germany to your UK listings, you may be wrong. You have to remember that sizes are very different in continental Europe than they are in the UK and, to make matters worse, they are different from one European country to another.

With clothes, what’s generally known as the EU size will work for your buyers in Germany, Scandinavia and in Poland. Unfortunately, your average French shopper will probably return her order as too big – EU size 34 generally equals French size 36. Things get even worse in Italy where the same EU size 34 equals size 38… Monica Bellucci admits wearing Italian size 44 which, if it was the same as EU 44 could be a plus size but in reality converts to EU 40…

How can sellers cope with this mess? Many choose to provide all the possible compatible sizes in their eBay listings. This leads to listings which are cluttered, provide a poor buyer experience and – and that’s the most important point – are not searchable on eBay.

wrong sizes

The above listing is a perfect example of an item that can’t be found by buyers who filter the search results by sizes. eBay’s selection of available sizes simply doesn’t allow you to choose a size called “US L – EU XL”. What’s more, the seller is still not on the safe side as far as returns are concerned – EU XL size will work for her German buyers but not for the French and Italian ones!

Now, many sellers tell us they don’t really care about getting their Item Specifics right because they still end up making sales regardless of whatever they write in there. You can argue that the above item still has 9 watchers meaning there are some buyers who managed to find it.

selling-fashion-online

Our data however shows that it does make an impact on your sales volume if you manage to crack your way around sizes on each eBay site. Just check the below chart based on an example of ten fashion sellers using WebInterpret for whom we corrected their sizes in Australia.
So what should you do to get your sizes right and grow your sales by 48%in one week?

  • check if your items show up in eBay search results when filtered by size
  • if not, check the items that do show up and write your sizes in the same way as your competitors who mastered eBay’s search engine
  • when selling abroad, create a separate listing for each main eBay site with only one size per market
  • convert the sizes taking into account that they differ per European country
  • don’t write anything in front of your sizes, type only the numeric value
  • once done, you can relax and watch your sales soar – online fashion shopping is still bound to grow fast over the years to come!

5 things you need to know when selling car parts online

Going online is not an obvious choice for many car parts sellers. Car parts tend to be heavy and bulky (just think about tyres!) and you may consider there aren’t so many buyers out there willing to purchase them online. 

Yet, buying a spare part for your car online is a much more obvious choice than touring the local shops – the selection online is definitely wider, thanks to bigger competition buyers are more likely to get a better deal and they don’t need to touch and feel the part before buying it, the way they may want to try out new clothes. As a consequence, car parts sellers not only easily get rid of some parts that have been waiting on their shelves for ages once they start selling online but also have an easier job than online sellers of other types of products – less returns, less complaints, less hassle.

With all this in mind, you will agree that online may be the best channel for car parts sales, both for buyers and for sellers. What else do you need to know?

  1. eBay is the right place for you

    • with their recent purchase of Cargigi eBay showed that they really want to focus on eBay motors, their cars and car parts section
    • Motors is actually the fastest growing part of eBay (or, the only growing part of eBay) so definitely they will keep investing in it and promoting it
    • with their separate eBay Motors site and a sophisticated car parts-specific search engine eBay is a better fit for selling car parts than other marketplaces
  2. Don’t limit yourself to your domestic market

    • it may sound counterintuitive to sell car parts abroad but at WebInterpret we have seen too many success stories not to believe it makes sense to do so
    • as a UK seller, make sure you sell at least to Germany and France, as a German seller, select France and the UK. eBay.it and eBay.es are not as strong but growing very fast!
    • it will especially make sense for you to sell to continental Europe if you’re selling parts compatible with European brands – unsurprisingly German car parts sell well in Germany, French car parts in France. Knowing the European currency is now pretty strong compared to the British Pound or US Dollar, you may actually end up being more competitive in terms of pricing than the local sellers.
  3. Make sure you know when to sell

    • car parts sales are highly seasonal – make sure you know when to list to reap the highest reward
    • in the UK we see strong sales of car parts in January, then from March till June (with a peak in May) and then again in November
    • in Germany the best months are January, March and from May till July
    • Germans change Summer tyres to Winter tyres from October and then Winter tyres to Summer tyres in March – make sure you have some of these online and that you allow delivery to Germany and you’ll be amazed at how many buyers are willing to shop for tyres abroad
  4. Use car parts compatibility tables

  5. Remember different brands sell on different markets

    • as mentioned above, German and French buyers are more likely to look for German and French car parts than for Japanese car parts
    • also, some brands have different names depending on the location – did you know that the car you refer to as Vauxhall is known as Opel in Germany?

If you follow the above guidelines, you will be amazed at how fast your business can grow once you start selling your products online and abroad. Make sure to get your listings ready before the sales peak in May!

Will eBay’s growth finally pick up?

It has become fashionable to complain about the lack of growth of “the world’s marketplace” and various media eagerly reported flat top line, unsuccessful competition with Amazon, disappointing results during holiday season and what not.

Indeed, eBay themselves seemed disappointed with their Q4results and made very modest predictions for Q1 and 2016.

Our data so far, however, seems to indicate that the marketplace’s results can be better in Q1 than they were in Q4 and, indeed, better than expected.

YoY growth in eBay sales of e-merchants using WebInterpret was 11 percentage points higher in Q1 than it was in Q4. Moreover, WebInterpret using sellers actually earned more in Q1 on eBay than they did in Q4!

Some reasons why this might be happening :

  • Our sellers always see slower growth on eBay during Christmas than they do on Amazon. With its long delivery times eBay simply isn’t the right place to purchase Christmas gifts anymore
  • Q1 is a high season for car parts – with its sophisticated car parts search engine and huge selection eBay works better for buyers looking just for the right part that would allow them to fix their car
  • Q1 is also a high season for fashion in some countries – in Germany and Italy buyers search eBay for fancy dress so that they can enjoy the carnival season. With its wide selection of fancy dress and rather smooth fashion-shopping experience (as a buyer I find it easier to shop for fashion on eBay than on Amazon) eBay is the perfect marketplace for these shoppers.

Knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, at least in Europe eBay sellers seem to be more successful in Q1 than they were in Q4. Is it also your experience? Did you see your sales grow compared to Q4? Did you see them grow compared to last year?