What are the Guidelines to Sell Antiques Online?

Catering to the unconventional needs of collectors and hobbyists of antiques and relics requires in-depth analysis. Flea marketplaces, backyard and garage sales are the oldest and the most famous selling methods with limited product visibility and many drawbacks. E-marketplaces have proved to be great selling platforms for antiques and collectibles, because of their global reach and the possibilities they provide the sellers for a permanent customer-base of enthusiasts and connoisseurs once their initial sales have managed to win hearts.

Which are the Top Selling Antique Products Online in 2018?

Five of the top selling niche antique categories of 2018 are:

  • Silverware and dinnerware
  • Buddha and Asian Mythological Statues
  • Vintage Vases and handcrafted items
  • Vintage Toys
  • Antique paintings

Any antique online seller would have a lot of questions in mind about what items need to be sourced and how they need to be displayed online with attractive titles and pricing, and the authenticity proving techniques that need to be implemented. Three important tips that help sellers sagaciously decide how to add value to their antique ware and ensure that they are not under-priced or remain unsold are explained below:

  • Antique Provenience and Authenticity
  • Value Evaluation
  • Keywords and Naming Conventions

Antique Provenience and Authenticity

  • Appraisal documents that validate the value of the item based on comparative studies done with similar items earlier add leverage to your antique.
  • Professional services can be hired that do the authenticity and estimate evaluation for you once you submit clear pictures, complete source and history information to the best of your knowledge and honest details about the product’s condition.
  • Registry services record authenticated information and a unique identification number is allocated to the evaluated items that are issued on certificates or stamps affixed to the relic.
  • Any self-evaluated documents like certified notes, detailed study papers and information brochures pertaining to a proof of distinct attributes of the heirloom that are indicative of the authenticity and rarity are always vantage points giving your items the selling edge.
  • If you have centuries-old pictures of the relic being used from its original owners or even pictures of original receipts of the item, there is nothing like it to capture the interest of online buyers.
  • Verifying information at renowned antique stores will also give you a brief idea about how much the item is worth and its origin.
  • Libraries are a good place to delve into the specifics of similar items and get well-researched information.

You can prevent the reproduction of your unique priced possession using the above mentioned regulatory actions and documents, plus ensure that the right price is obtained for your listing.

Value Evaluation

Before listing your antique assets online for sale, there are a number of factors to be considered that can give you an edge over similar items posted online and also get you the best deserving price.

  • A manufacturer’s or designer’s mark/signature, timestamp or even a brief origin information stamp would add immense value to the relic and distinguish it from the duplicate.
  • The current condition of the antique piece, wear and tear, cracks, discoloration, missing parts, chipped-off areas, nicks etc. need to be considered to evaluate the depreciation and provide the discounted price. Any affordable and minor repairs that would not devalue or alter the original look and form of the relic are advisable before listing the product online and a mention of the same is necessary for the product description page.
  • Determining whether the item is rare or has a common presence online from different sources can help evaluate an antique item and put on a deserving price tag.
  • The category to which it belongs and the associated demand and right approach with targeted buyers will help you evaluate the item correctly, for example, a rare painting would have more demand at some marketplaces than a pottery artifact. Doing some research in this regard is often used to determine the best trend-affecting relic value.
  • Black light testing is often a good way of doing the basic assessment to evaluate a product and its worth. Any false-positives and false-negatives can be confirmed.
  • A comparative study of the highest and lowest prices of similar items being sold online can help evaluate a median price of the item and variable rates can be adjusted later to arrive at an appropriate selling price.

Keywords and Naming Conventions

Filling out listing and tagging forms is the most crucial process for listing your antiques. The right keywords selection that can elevate the chances of a high ranking in search engine results is the key to getting your products noticed by a large group of buyers. Your product is only as good as the information you put in.

The keywords that are informative, indicative of the nature of the product and specific matter the most. The three places where significant keywords can be implemented are:

  • Listings Title– First point of attraction to potential buyers.
  • Search Tags– Inbuilt naming mechanisms that indicate the attributes of the product such as origin, category, ethnicity etc.
  • Specification– The right mention of the material(s) used and general composition and style details add paramountcy to the SEO techniques used also adding details of size, color, age, maker etc is vital.

Naming conventions used especially for the title of your ware should be crisp and illustrative of what exactly the product is with the tendency to cover maximum search keywords an average buyer would use to look for a product almost similar to your listing. Ambiguous words like ‘Wonderful’, ‘affordable’ or ‘must buy’ are less useful when there is a maximum character restriction on titles at E-marketplace portals. Using buying keywords like “Original 18th Century Chinese Brass Buddha” which is indicative of the exact product, the material, the time period, the origin and the authenticity covers all the details necessary to capture the buyer’s attention. Avoid the following:

  • Unnecessary adjectives like ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’, ‘attractive’, ‘Enticing’ etc. do not appeal to buyers as they are less indicative of the actual factual information of the relic.
  • Negative keywords that do not make any significant contributions to finding the item listing or which wrongly represent the product need to be omitted for example: “Fengshui Oriental Brass Buddha” wrongly indicates that your product is Fengshui compliant, when it is a decorative antique relic.
  • Single-word keyword usage since it limits the results of buyer searches for example, words like “Age Old” can also be linked to “antique”, “heirloom” etc. and words like “Chinese” can be linked to “Oriental”,” Eastern”,” Asian” to improve chances of winning the buyers’ attention.

Five Checkpoints Before Selling Products Online

If you are a seller on E-commerce sites like eBay, Amazon, TrueGether or any other then your products determine everything about your business and choosing the right product-mix to be sold online is an important decision to be made. It does not just suffice to provide a high-quality product with good pricing and optimised listing. Picking the right product that translates into monetary gains faster through high demand without much selling efforts in the E-marketplace is the key. Every product or collection of products involves costs every step of the way that may range from procurement to storage to delivery to the customer. When the individual product selection is apt then the congruity of products in a collection follows suite, thus ensuring that your costs are reduced through economies of scale and better turnover is earned. Thus, your costs of production, procurement and storage will be optimised considerably and you would be able to chart down a lucrative offer price for individual products to be sold at E-marketplaces.

Here are five checkpoints that will aid you in selling products faster:

  • Check If You are Offering the Right Sale Price Range
  • Ensure Product Ranking is Good
  • Incorporate Optimum Packaging and Handling Techniques
  • Ensure That Your products have Recurring Demand
  • Ensure that Effective Naming Conventions are Used for Featured Products.

Check If You are Offering the Right Sale Price Range

There is a price range for every item being sold online, the minimum and maximum prices need to be tried and tested because people will make impulse buying decisions for products in this price range if they feel it is worth their investment. Often this range provides an optimal balance of costs and benefits to sellers on E-marketplaces. Let us take some examples:

  • If you sell laptop accessories or mobile phones online, you need to ensure that the prices you offer are not over the line when compared to competing sellers. Even the smallest discount will win your customers when paired with attractive offers like 100% buyer protection and flexible return or exchange policies.
  • If you sell clothing and accessories, it is important to be well-informed about what the lowest offer price to customer can be. You may need to do some research as to what the actual selling price of the raw material and end-product and costs involved at physical wholesale markets are and offer a good price range online accordingly by creating an impression on customers that your charges and selling prices are justified for the efforts put into procuring and selling the product.

Ensure Product’s Online Popularity is Good

Many E-marketplaces follow different ranking systems for featured products in the main category. On Amazon primarily for example, Best Seller Rank (BSR) gives a quick and accurate estimate of how well a certain product is selling online. It helps buyers gauge how well an individual product is selling within its category and helps sellers observe which products are well received by buyers and translate to faster turn-over.

  • If you sell jewellery online ensure that the product is in high demand among the target age group and has the perfect attributes that will induce demand, like light-weight, anti-allergic, classy, durable and modern. This will increase sales and improve product ranking automatically on the E-marketplace platform. As a result, you will be encouraged to stock more of such products and sell them.
  • Same holds true for laptop accessories, if the featured products are functional, durable and scalable they will be in high demand and as a result the ranking of the products will be high in the list because of their high quality, right price and good seller service.

Incorporate Optimum Packaging and Handling Techniques

If the nature of your business pertains to selling Electronic equipment such as laptops and accessories or Home and Living products, then utmost care should be taken while storing, packaging and handling these expensive products. Before the products reach the customer, the following care needs to be taken:

  • Storage in a cool and dry environment in good and resilient boxes is a must even if it costs a little higher.
  • The packaging has to be standardised and bubble wraps, butter sheets and good quality packaging material need to be available readily.
  • If you sell products under Home and Living category or any other category for which the products need extra care, then extra layer of damage-proof and tamper-proof packaging is advisable.
  • Handling the consignment, the right way for shipping is imperative, to ensure what the customer sees online is what he exactly gets from you. Ensure that the package is not overloaded with packaging material because it just makes it too heavy to carry and deliver, nor is it under-packaged leading to any damages or losses.

Ensure That Your products have Recurring Demand

It is true that sometimes seasonal products have an upper hand over sales turn-over but they are much riskier in terms of maintenance, competition and recurring demand which is the big challenge for the sellers of seasonal products. Seasonal products are in demand for hardly 4 months, while non-seasonal products have a good chance of making big bucks for sellers 12 months of the year through recurring sales. Some seasonal products such as winter wear, cold creams, sun screen products etc. may have higher procurement costs due to their high demand even if sales volumes are high, which will have to be translated into customer overheads online for seller break-even. Some customers may be discouraged from buying such highly priced products that will have a domino effect on sellers ultimately and lead to stocking up of such products in the warehouse, during off-season and will ultimately have to be disposed-off because of expiry date limits or natural wear and tear. Products that have recurring customer demand like laptop cleaning solution, dermatological shampoos, Vitamins and Dietary supplements etc. need to highlighted in your product listing above all others.

Ensure that Effective Naming Conventions are Used for Featured Products

A good keyword research tool to check for high product search rates by buyers on a particular E-marketplace is www.merchantwords.com . MERCHANTWORDS connects the dots between buyer searches and seller products. On this site you can know what search terms are the most popular, the least popular, and synonyms that can help drive sales. You need to tag keywords to your products while listing them on the Multi-channel retailing platform while avoiding repetition. It could be attributes like brand name, colour, material, size or even speciality adjective of the product. For example:

  • If you are selling Hair Accessories under the kids’ category, then a name like NeedyBee Floral and Pearl Elastic Headband for Girls would be apt.
  • If you are selling iPhone back covers then Fitchburg State Falcons Digital Design Unused iPhone 4/4S Hard case would be an appropriate listing name with all search attributes covered.

Top Trending Athleisure Styles of 2018

A hybrid styling phenomenon, that gives someone a dynamic and city-ready savoir-faire was evident with the advent of the Athleisure trend. Athleisure literally means, a concoction of sportswear and ready-to-wear outfits with a high level of sophistication tuned in. The daunting task of changing to gym clothes post work or grooming up post a workout, sowed the seeds for a new time and effort saving relax-wear trend since 2016, adding comfort, class, and city-chic while implementing minor wardrobe rehashes. The liberty to mix and match different styles, fabrics, detailing and activewear fastening of daily casuals has made Athleisure an instant cult favorite among people of different ages, sizes, genders, and ethnicity.

Top 5 trending Athleisure brands in America and Celebrity Endorsements

Here are the brands which promote Athleisure clothing that has become a wardrobe staple for athletes, royals, corporate honchos, models, actors and hip-hop moguls.

  • Lululemon– Offers yoga-inspired athletic performance apparels for women and men and is promoted by celebs like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Kendall Jenner
  • Alo Yoga– Sells statement sweatshirts, jackets and cover-ups and a whole range of studio to street lifestyle activewear promoted by Gigi Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Olivia Palermo.
  • Fabletics– Offers seamless sporting gear for women, accessories, and footwear founded by Kate Hudson and promoted by Demi Lovato.
  • Carbon38-Offers a good mix of vintage and modern Athleisure trends endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba.
  • Adidas Y-3 -Partnered with Adidas, Yohji Yamamoto designs delectable performance activewear predominantly for men promoted by David Beckham, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams.

Where does Athleisure look Appropriate?

Actually, anywhere! A combination of fashion and functionality gives you the comfort of activewear, while quintessentially blurring the line between workout and daily essentials clothing. Certain trends have been adopted from the 80s and the 90s and revamped to create this eclectic trend.

Styling with Athleisure is limitless, they can add style value to various places like:

  • Running daily errands
  • Workout sessions
  • Casual business meetings
  • Travel or hectic airport runs
  • Clubbing and parties
  • Camping, trekking, hunting, and excursions
  • Casual dining or luncheons
  • Concerts and charity events
  • Salon or doctor appointments
  • Aerobics, Zumba, and Yoga
  • Dancing lessons

3 Popular Athleisure wears for Women

Summers witness an increased volume of gym memberships and activity. Signature clothing in cotton or linen works well as performance fabric, lending better sweat absorption, odor resistance and quick drying from dawn to sundown.

Likewise, winters demand warm clothing that may be accomplished through multiple layering or just a heavy set of protective clothing. Athleisure styles that suit both the seasonal clothing demands are commercially available for the taking. Let us explore the 3 popular athleisure wear trends for women:

  • Leggings and Cropped Tops
  • Windbreakers and Bomber Jackets
  • Vintage with a Twist

Leggings and Cropped Tops

Pairing leggings with a great pair of shades, sneakers/ driving loafers or airy high-top trainers, denim or work jackets and an all-purpose tote or satchel can take them elegantly from a wellness workout session to a perfect casual on-the-job look without the need for any major rework. The crisp charm that this coupling embeds works well for women from different walks of life including students, stay-at-home moms, working professionals, sports enthusiasts etc. Leggings give you the desired comfort stretch, and they come in a variable number of fabrics and styles like cotton, lycra, linen, polyester, tapering, printed, ripped, laced, calf-length, stirrup, lounge etc. Cropped tops give an airy feeling which makes them summer perfect, and are available in different styles like asymmetric, corset, cross-strapped, half-sleeved, full-sleeved, crocheted etc.

Windbreakers and Bomber Jackets

The reasons these are in upscale vogue are their durability and design. Windbreakers are a springtime sensation, available in block prints, plain pastel shades, bright hues, stripes, plaids, anorak-style, hammered-style, camouflage etc with or without a hoodie. Pair them up with either vinyl pants or plaid trousers and sneakers or boots to give them the essential street groove. Bomber jackets work well with anything from an asymmetric dress to shredded jeans or wraparounds to give street-style spunk to your personality. Whether with the sleeves rolled up or kept retro, bombers can never fashion fade. To transit from workwear to an evening ensemble, switching the sneakers or moccasins to high-heel pumps or hybrid party boots should do the trick and if you desire you could also switch your sling dress for an uber-stylish sequined piece.

Vintage with a Twist

Vintage clothing for women ruffles on modern stretch pants, or boot-cut pants with the sporty double stripe, or Harem/Harlem pants with an elastic drawstring detail, all represent the Athleisure twist on vintage fashion. Cross-strap sandals, high-top sneakers, lace-up training shoes or simple block-heels give definite divinity to this fad. Accessorizing with a beret, a sports cap, or a bucket hat and a sling bag or a saddle bag brings mojo to your understated look.

3 Popular Athleisure wears for Men

Here are a few Athleisure trends that add debonair to the work-n-play schedules of men with an active lifestyle.

  • Pants, Tracksuits and Casual Activewear Trousers
  • Leather/Biker Jackets, Bombers, Puffers and Dusters
  • Victorious with Vintage

Let’s try to extract more details about these athleisure clothing for men.

Pants, Tracksuits and Casual Activewear Trousers

Cargos, chinos, jogger pants and technical sweatpants add luxe comfort to street styling when merged with military-style waistcoats, jackets, shirts, nylon outerwear, plaid shirts, polo T-shirts, linen slim-fit shirts, jerseys, crew neck jumpers, sweaters, statement camels, basic hues, turtleneck shirts and a multitude of other options. Tracksuits give a hip-hop aura to every man’s look. Putting on a work blazer adds the eclectic charm and professional look while at work. Camouflage printed pants can also be teamed up with white t-shirts to render a suave look. Adding to your weekend chutzpah, are sporty sneakers and excursion boots.

Leather/Biker Jackets, Bombers, Puffers and Dusters

A leather or biker jacket over a slim fit T-shirt or hoodie can accentuate any hybrid look. The sporty vibe of the bomber jacket when blended perfectly with activewear pants and a pullover can create street style enigma. Dusters and military jackets speak volumes when it comes to promenading the streets daringly. Puffers with a beanie and functional, concealed pockets when paired with cuffed ankle joggers and slacks can give you undivided attention from peers.

Victorious with Vintage

Classics are never really bygones, which holds true for Athleisure trends. Vintage wears for men like Polo shirts or oxford shirts of the yesteryears, striped patterns or plaids, Chelsea boots or driving shoes can be matched up with modern track pants or joggers or even distress jeans skilfully and optimally to give you a winning Athleisure combination. A great pair of aviators or rounded shades makes vintage come alive in an all-new street sporty setting. Even a good jumpsuit from the 70s can be redefined using a hoodie jacket and a pair of high-top block-printed sports sneakers to give you the top trend of the 21st century.

Three Success Strategies to Retain Customers at Selling Platforms

In business, both online and offline it is never a wise move to drift away from the old in order to attain the new. Sellers at E-marketplaces launch their business with the dream of making it big with their customers. Proven studies show that it takes seven times the effort, time and cost to obtain new customers than to try and retain existing ones. An optimum balance between new and existing customers is the key to opening the doors of new business opportunities and retail expansion. The truth is that if existing customers are taken care of by sellers, they in turn, take care of new business opportunities for sellers through self-promotions and recommendations to new customers.

Explore the Reasons to sell at E-Marketplaces

Most businesses begin their success with a handful of customers and lose focus on them after acquiring new ones which create many pitfalls. A neglect of the current customer’s shopping aspirations and satisfaction is highlighted by this.

Ironically, it is worthwhile to convince your existing customers to continue patronage with the help of well-established selling site than to acquire new unknown customers and build a trust nexus. This is exactly why your customer’s lifetime value is important to measure your business success.

Growth for most eCommerce businesses depends on three key metrics:

  • Increase in average order value (AOV)
  • Increase in repeat purchase frequency
  • Increase in the total number of customers

Here are the top 3 action points for retaining customers at selling alternatives:

  1. Personalised Retention Emails from Sellers
  2. Back up the Strong Customer Support of E-Marketplaces
  3. Delight Your Customers with Meaningful Surprises

Let us go inside more details with these action points in customer retention:

Personalised Retention Emails from Sellers

Inboxes are gateways to entering customer’s minds and hearts. Drafting strategic emails by addressing customers’ specific needs and providing solutions based on their interests can pave way for a trusted and long-term seller-buyer relationship with increased retention. However, the good news is that personalized emails can increase sales by 50%. Re-engaging with old customers. through emails or personal notes always works. It is always advisable to:

  • Have a reliable contact list of your customer prospects based on their previous purchases history and queries
  • Secondly, have them segmented based on their purchasing behaviours like purchase completion rate, product categories they usually buy from, spending patterns and price ranges they invest in, reviews, feedback and purchase abandonment history and rates.

What content should sellers use in emails to their customers?

On the selling alternatives like eBay, Amazon, TrueGether and others, since the emails are automated most of the time, the limited content from sellers should be attractive, engaging and persuasive. Regular follow-up can be a key factor in reliving the wow moment with existing customers or past customers. The email content should include the following:

  • Include promo codes or discount offers on consecutive purchases.
  • Educate buyers about your products by including advantages of using your products or recommending additional purchases that will support or enhance their current purchase.
  • Notify customers about the products that are waiting in their cart and about related deals and offers like discounts and free shipping.
  • Portray attractive ways of sending thank you notes to all customers that add value to their purchase.
  • Be a clear evidence of seller’s concern if customers have not logged in for a long time or made purchases from them. A concern note saying ‘hope all is well with you’ or ‘Haven’t seen you lately, We thought you may be interested in XYZ product which is limited-edition and only special customers are being informed about the current offer’ sort of notes will definitely help in getting them back.

Back up the Strong Customer Support of E-Marketplaces

Outstanding customer support creates an indelible impression in the minds of customers that helps to retain them in the long run. Any seller who does not pay heed to his customers will ultimately lose the big battle of retailing. Most selling platforms have an effective Customer support system in place that helps sellers in the long-run.

What sellers need to ensure is providing correct feedback and information to these centralized system administrators so that any customer appreciation or grievance is not overlooked. E-marketplaces follow:

  • E-ticketing model to handle customer queries and grievances that are prompt but require seller’s prompt intervention in solving significant issues due to request and response model implemented.
  • Automated structured email-based services of E-marketplaces need correct and reliable information that needs to be passed on to customers and also need to cover the essence of the sellers’ business motto and sales policies.
  • Some E-marketplaces support live chats and social media response features that will need a representative from the seller’s side to provide real-time responses.
  • Self-help or troubleshooting manuals or product questionnaires are also implemented by E-marketplaces which need sellers to respond promptly and accurately with product know-how, also product feedback and review pages may have several queries that need seller response.

Delight Your Customers with Meaningful Surprises

Who does not love surprises? Especially during the holiday season or special occasions such as Birthdays or Anniversaries, customers who get surprised by a certain seller have more chances of patronizing the seller again if they have not purchased from them since a long time.

Walk that extra mile to make your customers feel special. Here are a few things you can do to surprise and delight your customers without having to break the bank.

  • Surprise giveaways like small gifts or accessories on the purchase of bigger products of higher value such as laptops, mobile phones etc.
  • Customer’s favorite brand discount coupons based on their preferences for special occasions
  • Free shipping offers for more than one consecutive purchase with the same seller.
  • Goodies like chocolates with thank you notes (hand-written) from sellers for milestone customers who have patronized them add a personal touch and gives them the feeling of special attention being offered.
  • Ensuring sellers’ gifts have their logo presence promotes brand value when customers share the gesture posts on social media giving sellers an edge over competitors.

4 Effective Ways to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping carts provide an opportunity to capture potential business through avenues like online marketplaces, since they are the stepping stone to confirming the order by existing or new buyers.
Purchase suspension is caused when a customer leaves the purchase mid-way before making payment to complete the order.

When a customer is at the point of sale page on an E-commerce site, unforeseen abandonment or suspension of the transaction presents a veritable challenge for many sellers since it might pose the problem of ‘out of stock’ display to other customers on seller product pages in case of limited stock availability of high-demand products. This in turn, will lead to losing a business opportunity with other customers who are ready to purchase the product but could not do so because of stock unavailability.

The customers’ abandonment of products in the cart may cause stocking up of unsold goods for the seller in the warehouse.

Reasons to Purchase Suspension by Customers

  • An unexpected elevated shipping cost can be the reason that kills the sale, which is the primary reason for abandoning a potential sale.
  • Many customers feel discouraged to complete the purchase when they do not qualify for free shipping. The Free Shipping offer is attractive to 80% of customers who do not want to spend extra dollars in shipping and delivery. They mostly prefer sellers who discount this variable cost from their final bill.
  • A common practice among customers is placing many items in their shopping cart without making the payment in order to wait for the best shipping prices or product price offers by sellers. If they find more attractive discounts and delivery options elsewhere, they will abandon the cart, leaving the purchase incomplete.
  • Another common reason that customers abandon their carts is for saving the products for purchase at a later date for comparative purchasing elsewhere based on discounts and better product offers. Limited stocks or invalid coupon codes also pose the problem of pre-selection and saving in shopping carts, where the customer may suspend the purchase due to unavailability of desired number of products or discount based on coupons.
  • If shipping is too slow, that is the estimated delivery date displayed on the product page or the checkout page is beyond the customer’s expectation, then chances are that the customer would abandon the shopping cart and look for faster delivery options elsewhere.
  • Some customers prefer faster checkout as guests without spending the time in entering extra information on a page. Many E-marketplaces like eBay do offer this option on their portals.
  • If the payment method options are inflexible or limited, customers may feel the need to abandon shopping carts. Some customers prefer part payments such as EMIs whereas others prefer safe online payment methods.

How to Combat Shopping Cart Abandonment by Global Customers?

  • Transparency in Delivery Costs
  • Offering Shipping Offers to International Customers
  • Perform Customer Follow-Up
  • Transparency in Shipping Time and Payment Methods

Let’s understand these methods in more detail in order to reduce the rate of purchase suspension:

Transparency in Delivery Costs

The display of delivery costs on the product page or checkout page gives the customer advance information on what is expected and would help them make a decision of whether the placement of product in the shopping cart.

Providing customers free shipping on options like meeting an Average Order Value or buying a threshold number of products from the seller, will definitely instigate them to consider buying the product(s) and avoid shopping cart abandonment.

Offering Shipping Offers to International Customers

Many sellers fail to provide attractive shipping options to international buyers as a result of which the customers look for other lucrative options and abandon products in the shopping cart. International customers provide means of expanding a seller’s business in an international arena and establishing their E-commerce footprints there.

  • You can try offering a slightly lifted up but free option for international customers in order to increase your brand popularity – for example say US-based clothing and accessories retailer XYZ International Pvt Ltd. offers free shipping for non-US customers at a $170 purchase. At the current dollar to euro exchange rate, 170 dollars translates to 138€, which is under the 150€ ceiling for taxable international orders. This helps customers in Europe benefit from free shipping, while also being exempted from paying extra VAT and customs costs and offers XYZ International Pvt Ltd. an advantage over retailers who would otherwise do not offer free shipping to international customers.
  • Also offering free gift coupons or discounts on next purchase options instead of free shipping may do the trick in case sellers are unable to oblige for free shipping for international customers

Perform Customer Follow-Up

Tracking a regular customer’s product selection in the cart and abandonment pattern would help in following-up with them and retaining such customers.

  • If wish list options are available in the E-marketplace then it prevents customers from using a shopping cart as a wish list, which will lower the seller’s overall cart abandonment.
  • If not, then it will offer sellers the opportunity to communicate with their customer(s) through email within 24 hours based on their order history and buying patterns regarding an opportunity to sell it to them during discounted sale and offers. Also sending reminders of other customer reviews for the abandoned product with the mail could help customers change their mind an initiate purchase.
  • Regular patrons may abandon the shopping cart if they are looking for better products or better offers, offering a discount coupon or a free shipping service may reverse their decision to not complete the order
  • Even when the item gets restocked, sellers will be able to apprise their customers or suggest similar items that they might be interested in. This will make customers revisit the seller’s product page.

Transparency in Shipping Time and Payment Methods

E-marketplaces that are well-established already vouch for seller’s and their goodwill through their streamlined processes and strict guidelines. It is always advisable to push the bar higher when it comes to customer satisfaction in terms of shipping and delivery time and payment method(s) flexibility.

  • Being able to offer same-day or next-day delivery options is a big advantage along with a variety of other options for increased customer satisfaction and retention
  • Giving assurance through a delivery date guarantee and alternate action schemes might help in customer retention and reducing customer call overflow.
  • Certain merchants offer card on delivery options or EMI options along with PAYPAL and credit card options to their customers that gives them an edge over others.

Worth Reading Secrets to Sell Products at Marketplaces.

4 Major Challenges for Seasonal Product Sellers

Every seller who is pro-active with his/her business online would love to showcase and sell unique seasonal products that bedazzle customers through Multi-Channel Retailing in the 21st century. Even though there are many calculated downsides to it, sellers look at the big picture, sales innovation strategies.

Top Selling Seasonal Products of 2018

For Summer

  • Sunscreen Lotion
  • Sunglasses
  • Spraying Mist
  • Energy drinks
  • Flip flops

For Winter/Holiday Season

  • Boots
  • Warm active wear
  • Winter lotions and moisturising creams for dry skin
  • Shovels and ice picking tools
  • Decorative Christmas bulbs

4 Big Challenges Faced by the Sellers of Seasonal Products

  1. The Demand and Supply Gape
  2. Lacking in Sales Leads to Stocking in Warehouses
  3. Risks and Workarounds
  4. Shipping, Handling, Delivery and Unsolicited Returns

Let’s try to explore these challenges in detail:-

The Demand and Supply Gape

Selling seasonal products can be a bliss or a miss for E-retailers. A bliss when there is consistent demand, with shipping and delivery processes in place and there is no shortage of goods. It is a miss if there is no timely supply in addition to the dearth of supply.

Inability to cater to specific buyer needs like size, color, quantity, material etc. that keep varying during peak seasons would open doors of opportunity for competing sellers. For example: selling leather products is a seasonal affair especially during fall or winter. If there is high demand for a certain color or size or edition but the procurement fails. then it becomes a posing problem for sellers and their goodwill could be affected sooner.

Lacking in Sales Leads to Stocking in Warehouses

Similarly, when there is more stocking-up of unsold products after the season is over, it becomes an inventory nightmare and storage and maintenance costs soar up with every passing day until the season sales start again at the Selling sites.

These products also become obsolete after some time, leading to lower or no demand and discarding by sellers. Seasonal products that have a stagnant presence also fail to stay on E-marketplace product pages which is not a good sign.

Risks and Workarounds

Seasonal products sales have many risks that have to be monitored during most life-cycle processes which are delineated below:

    • Procurement

      Procurement of seasonal products is challenging and risky since the desired stock may not be available at suppliers’ locations and the turn-around time for restocking could be beyond the threshold limit. This could ultimately lead to an ‘out of stock’ notification on the product page, sometimes even indefinitely.

Workaround

Keeping storage options open is a good practice, but it could be extortionate if too many seasonal products are being handled simultaneously over a period of time, requiring special care. A feasible plan should be laid out for a majority of these products to get featured fairly and also to club products that have similar storage requirements. This helps in cutting down costs while increasing efficiency and product shelf-life.

    • Packaging of Seasonal Products

      Packaging for each seasonal product is different and involves considerable brainstorming. Some products need butter wraps and loose packing, while others need highly structured compact packaging. Sellers who sell all kinds of seasonal products often face packaging dilemma. Either stocking too little of packaging material or too much of it makes packaging a daunting venture. If gift wrapping is requested by the customer, then things can get dizzy due to the associated costs. Read more on guidelines for effective product packaging.

Workaround

Packaging of seasonal products to keep them intact is tricky and expensive. It is always a good idea to estimate the packaging requirements as soon as the order is received and keep alternative, reliable packing material handy in case sellers fall short of the primary packaging material. A study of past orders of regular customers and the seasonal product demand patterns keep the sellers ready for the storm. A pre-order sum-up for each type of seasonal product can also serve the purpose of mitigating packaging risks. Material costs go down occasionally at the distributors’ end which serves as a capitalizing opportunity for sellers to buy more packaging material.

Shipping, Handling, Delivery and Unsolicited Returns

Seasonal products demand high shipping standards and carefully curated handling techniques. Delivery of these products undamaged and untampered to customers is the ultimate golden thumb-rule of every E-marketplace seller failing which negative reviews and unrewarding feedback follow like dark shadows. Storing summer products in cool transit receptacles during transit, for example, is quintessential for better customer response to the products and their sellers. Anything delivered in an unacceptable form may lead to product returns to the seller and further wastage of storage space through restocking. Unsolicited returns by customers can be painful in many ways and will force upon the seller to give a valid explanation or redo the entire process from scratch to regain the customer’s confidence.

Workaround

Here are some of the popular tips to minimize the impact of the challenge ‘Shipping and Unsolicited Returns’:-

  • A perfect workaround would be the implementation of effective and tested packaging techniques covered in our blog story for packaging.
  • Handling of outbound and inbound shipments need to be handed over to reliable and renowned companies that give sellers insurance cover as well as sign up an agreement to handle and deliver the products safely to the designated customer(s).
  • But, safety begins at home so damage proofing and optimal labelling are not to be neglected whatsoever by sellers.
  • Strict accounting and tallying of inbound products with air bill invoices and timely reporting of any damages to the sender makes things easier for sellers.
  • Anomaly stickers are to be posted at cargo receiving ports in case any damage or tampering is done to packages and these packages have to be sealed separately
  • The best way to ensure prevention of loss and damage to products and ultimately the return of the ordered product is to select qualified individuals to manage the process. Providing clear direction through training manuals and reference guides can reduce the damage to quite an extent.

What is Multi Channel Inventory management for eCommerce business?

Multi-channel retailing is vital term known to big eCommerce sellers. It is a way to sell products on various sales channels which includes social media platforms, shopping marketplaces or the company’s own website.

e-Commerce is defined as the sale and purchase of services and goods through electronic medium. Online shopping is what we commonly know it. e-Commerce portals includes retail selling, auction websites, business-to-business (b2b) services, music portals, consultancy websites, finance management websites etc.

Therefore the success of your eCommerce business shall just not depend on listing of products on a variety of platforms. It will require an effective multi-channel inventory management solution as well. For most retailers, it’s hard enough keeping track of inventory and orders when selling on a single platform.

Inventory management is a very integral part of your e-commerce business. If a proper management of inventory is not maintained following problems can be faced by business houses:

  • A business can run at a risk of out-of-stock inventory.
  • overstocking
  • increasing delays
  • cancellations due to inefficient fulfilment processes in absence of inventory management.

Unlike many business houses if you do not wish to end up making loss then best and most accurate way is to go for software programs developed for multi-channel inventory management.

Benefits of Multi-Channel Listing Management Tools

Multi-channel listing management software provide huge benefits to the e-commerce, like:

  • helps to track, manage and organize the inventory sales, purchases, and production processes through all channels.
  • check the frequency of shipments, storage facilities and proper dispatching of the stock.
  • easily synchronize Inventory Across all Channels.
  • Provides solution for an effective way of handling both current and future orders to build up a profitable business.

How to be Successful with Multi-Channel Retailing?

Multi-channel retailing includes dealing in bulk variety of products being sold on a number of platforms. The basics of a successful multi-channel inventory management is to:

  • Connect inventory to various channels.
  • Maintain an inventory count in one location through actual product database.
  • Prevent under and over selling of inventory by managing multiple warehouses.
  • Set inventory allocations percentage of available inventory.

So if a business needs to maximize the sales across multiple sales channels it requires to expose its inventory through all of them. Therefore   real-time stock management becomes important. Now a days e-commerce businesses use software to resolves these problems as they give a single, fully-integrated system with one user interface, and one location through listing of stock and managing it simultaneously across all the outlets becomes easy.

Multi channel inventory management sums up mainly the following:

  • Real time stock synchronization
  • Stock management
  • Connecting all the web stores and work from a single interface.
  • Keeping a track of the store when products are sold in portals

An effective inventory management is to minimize errors so that costly and time consuming errors like stocks running below E.O.Q. can be checked.

This management includes handling listings, orders, billing, shipping and messaging across multiple sales channels.

And finally the most important part that is handing the need of the consumers and dealing with their demands in the most effective way.

Multi channel inventory management by the eCommerce houses is a huge and one of the most important task. Since an effective management system requires a proper efficient team to conduct the whole operation day in and day out. Responsible inventory management leads to lots of time and money saving for the eCommerce houses.

4 Compelling Reasons to Sell at E-Marketplaces

E-commerce retailing caters to the business needs and personal needs of billions of buyers every day since it is one of the most reliable and fastest ways of selling online yet. Marketplaces are the current centres of retail action. Any financial guru would suggest that new businesses be launched through already established online selling platforms rather than proprietary websites due to their high traffic. For one, the processes are legally systematised and automated at e-marketplaces. Secondly, right from packaging and quality-control to logistics and customer grievance management is centralized and handled hassle-free by these E-marketing platforms.

Here are the 4 compelling reasons to sell at Online Marketplaces

  • Maximum Product Visibility
  • Global Reach, New Customers and Low Marketing Costs
  • Multi-Category Selling at E-marketplaces
  • Centralized Multi-Channel Management Systems

Let us look these four reasons in detail and try to find why it is advisable to set your foot into the magnificent world of E-marketplaces.

Maximum Product Visibility

Whether it is a newly launched product or a revamped product offering, sellers are always looking for innovative ways of making these products visible and viable for potential customers. Search engines contribute to retail fulfilment of customers since most of them look for alternate availability of sellers through these tools. Keeping this in mind, online sellers should target to capture selling opportunities and obtain permanent customers at these potential access points. Making the product visible to a maximum number of customers includes the following which is taken care of by E-marketplaces:-

  • Product keyword search done by customers and exact or nearly matched mapping to registered sellers products at E-marketplaces if relevant will be displayed on the search page and the search engine optimised result will have a link to the landing page of the seller’s product on the E-marketplace portal.
  • Pricing based search will land the customer on the seller’s product page if he offers the least price as compared to other sellers. E-marketplaces do an internal comparative analysis and redirect the result to the search engine thus giving the seller’s product maximum exposure.
  • A seller can even list the available colour or size variation options in products on a single page at E-marketplace which increases the chances of purchase by customers due to their visibility.
  • Some E-marketplaces offer recommendations of alternative product availability or collaborative purchases on check-out pages thus offering visibility to other products sold by the same seller or a different seller.
  • Customer reviews and product rankings on E-marketplace pages provide direct visibility to sellers and their products since customers are always looking for best selling products among their desired products.

Global Reach, New Customers and Low Marketing Costs

E-commerce marketplaces are a global seller’s playground. They attract buyers and sellers from all over the world, with different buying and selling requirements and offer the best possible multi-channel retailing management platform under a single roof at lower costs. For example, TrueGether Marketplace handles many product categories but predominantly appeals to tech-savvy customers who have interests in products like DIY electronics, laptop accessories and home automation. Most consumers have certain marketplace preferences and always stick to these preferences, sellers can expect to reach a unique set of core customers on each marketplace.

  • The growth potential of cross-border commerce through E-marketplaces is significant for sellers because of their networking capacity.
  • Faster global scalability in a very cost-effective mode can be ensured through E-commerce marketplaces by providing centralized and localized order-fulfilment processes along with reliable payment gateway management, expanded marketing and customer management tools.
  • Sellers can leverage online marketplaces to not only win new customers but build their global brand.
  • Personal marketing will involve a lot of overhead costs and unnecessary expenses. At E-marketplaces, with all processes in place, marketing a seller’s brand is faster, easier and very easy on the seller’s bank.
  • Sellers can capture the market in the geographic region that is promising and offers great potential for selling their products and also focus on such markets through E-marketing platforms without physically being there or spending a fortune for personal marketing.

Multi-Category Selling at E-marketplaces

If you are a seller who is multi-faceted when it comes to handling product listings, then E-marketplaces are the best bet for you. For example, if you have distributors of mobile accessories and also a consistent supply of distinct laptop accessories, you can feature the products under their respective categories at an E-marketplace and reap the benefits of both. The platforms will also feature seller name for a product which will help in shifting focus to the seller and ultimately other products the same seller happens to sell online.

Similarly, the sellers dealing with fragrances and medical supplies can have a recommendation scroll on their product page that will feature most of the products sold by the seller based on the customer’s search.

Also, re-stocking under multiple categories can be done promptly with automated systems that monitor buyers’ buying patterns and by getting product inventory updates from the E-marketplaces’ centralized inventory management team in the form of notifications.

Dealing with multiple categories under the same roof will balance-out your profit-loss ratio, since if products under one category do not perform well in one season, then you can always use in-demand products in another category to balance out the equation for you. Also, since a seller’s business is managed under a single centralized system, streamlining processes will be a cakewalk and would involve lesser efforts from the seller.

Centralized Multi-Channel Management Systems

Most of the Multi-Channel retailing platforms today have the cutting-edge scalable software, that is multi-vendor compatible, portable on most devices and user-friendly. They offer cinch user interfaces that would prompt sellers to go digital to sell their merchandises. These seller-centric software tools offered by E-marketplaces not only help in product listings but all of the following:

  • Product Pricing based on pre-set standards.
  • Discounts and offers can be managed laterally through all interfaces in synchronised with multiple E-marketplaces.
  • Page layout and image quality are centrally controlled
    Information display format and content monitoring is done centrally.
  • Liberty is offered to sellers to edit product related information through their active account and user privileges.
  • Any content or functionality flaws or setbacks are rectified immediately by the E-marketplace administrators.
  • Stock updates online are updated automatically in sync with warehouse inventory management system.
  • Product Quality checks, logistics, shipping, handling and warehouse management systems are centralized and synchronized thus giving sellers a stress-free setup.
  • Payments are made on a timely basis to sellers and are well-coordinated.
  • Customer grievances, queries and feedback systems are well synchronized with sellers’ intimation and response systems to provide timely responses to customers.
  • The security and safety aspects of physical goods in warehouses and seller information online are centrally governed and controlled.
  • Troubleshooting of any kind on product display pages or action pages are handled by a technical team of the E-marketplace which takes the burden off of sellers’ shoulders and lets them focus on other important business actions.

3 Guidelines to E-Merchants for Effective Product Packaging

Packaging is an art that creates an impression about sellers in the customers ‘minds that may make or break the deal for future business prospects, especially in the competitive world when there are many eBay alternatives that have set the standards high. Above anything, the products need to get delivered to customers unscathed and untampered. The only way of ensuring this is neat and consistent packaging that could increase efficiency, lower product loss, increase branding, and most of all increase the bottom line- customer retention for future orders.

  • Product Knowledge is Essential

    Knowing the size and dimensions of the products that are being offered at E-marketplaces, estimated production levels and associated risks are paramount in packaging. It is always a good practice to set packaging goals to avoid delays and tracking the entire process that will have to be communicated to the central administrators at mutichannel retailing centres.

    • It is necessary to maintain a record of product weight, dimensions, and specifications and display the accurate information on product description pages for easy reference by customers, an excel sheet maintenance of data is always recommended
    • Estimated shipping forecasts are easier for experienced sellers to make. The recently launched sellers find it difficult initially. Once baseline sales figures are gathered more accurate forecasts can be made. A feasibility study is always recommended for forecasting out sales and production levels for more than two years will definitely add value. Sellers can thus buy material at cheaper rates in bulk for packaging based on sure-shot estimations.
  • Better Product Packaging and Bundling Methods

    Product bundling is the process of combining two or more products in a single packaging to save packaging space, efforts and importantly, packaging and shipping costs.

    The product types being handled also need to be considered and their safety needs to be evaluated before bundling.

    Apprising oneself of products that can be grouped together in terms of shape, size, fragility, chemical reaction possibility, texture, abrasive tendency, magnetic tendency, opposing reactions etc. usually helps set packaging schedules.

    If two or more types of products are often shipped together according to previous sales history, then it is advisable to invest in a single large packaging box in anticipation of such products

    The most economic, environment friendly and safest options need to be considered while bundling products. The common ways to incorporate bundling are:

    • Corrugated Boxes: A conventional and favorite option preferred by most sellers that is convenient for product bundling and safety, is using corrugated boxes. Corrugated boxes can be printed with the E-marketplace company logo to increase company branding and advertising and as a symbol of trust. Proper Void-fills with bubble wraps need to be done to avoid product damage and ensure product locking in a position for products such as liquids and fragile items. These boxes come in various sizes and with the correct box selection, shipping costs can be calculated easily by sellers.
    • External Strapping : External strapping is one of the most common ways to bundle one or more products. It facilitates easy handling and is cost-effective for local short-distance shipping.
      • Packing Tips : You may only strap same-sized boxes together using cross-banding. When strapping boxes together, please make sure that each box is strong enough to hold the total weight of the strapped bundle.

        Packaging and Bundling Irregularly Shaped Items

        Some items like deodorants/perfume bottles, glass vases, large stuffed toys, car fenders and automobile parts, antiques etc. need special packaging and bundling which is as follows:

        • Taping corrugated cardboard pieces to all sharp or protruding edges for protection may help for sharp items or items without boxes.
        • Bubble wraps, brown packing paper, butter paper and cling-wraps help cover over-sized products and offer the best transit-time protection against water, crush and crumble or scratching. A good box to cover up this packing is advisable to offer secondary protection. Information labels of the seller’s contact, product specifications, and warning stickers such as “fragile” or “handle with care” or “Inflammable” in case of flammable products are always helpful and mandatory in some cases.
        • Thick layers of foamed packing add padding benefit to the products, especially at the base. Bubble wrap act as void-fillers and anti-shift elements for the packaging. Safe-sealing the box with duct tapes or other super-adhesive tapes.
        • Irregular shapes of products make it difficult to be accommodated in standard-sized boxes, which calls for reinvented packaging. Stacking of boxes and joining them with tapes or connective packaging in crates is helpful. Make sure your packaging is sturdy enough to bear the unforeseen crushing during shipping.

        Packing and Bundling for Large and Heavy Products

        • Use unused boxes meeting standard parameters strong construction not affected by humidity or wear and tear.
        • Seal with heavy-duty tape, preferably reinforced, by applying three strips to both the top and bottom of the box to the middle and two edge seams are sealed and use void-fillers if necessary.

        Flexible packaging

        Flexible packaging is used for making the package more compact. Poly Bags can be sealed, taped, stapled, or reclosed. Heat Shrink Films are available in a variety of forms, thicknesses, materials, and colors and are used for primary packaging, secondary packaging, and a bundling option. Vacuum packaging also protects products from moisture, dust, and any other exterior elements and is especially helpful for packing clothing and fabric.

        Small Size Packaging

        Small Size Packaging like mailers/envelopes are the most cost-effective ways to ship small products. Standard Envelopes come in different sizes and are often the cheapest external packaging option. Bubble Mailers have bubbled cushioning on the interior of the mailer for extra protection and are economical as well.

       

  • Levels of Packaging

    Packaging helps in protecting the products and also in marketing the brand. There are 3 levels of packaging which might be used together or in isolation for the better outcome.

    • Primary Packaging

      Primary packaging consists of material that comes into direct contact or the closest contact with the product. It must be functional and attractive to customers and must meet all standard packaging goals of sellers in-line with packaging guidelines like information stickers, brand logo, rates etc.

    • Secondary Packaging

      Secondary packaging is often the first line of protection for a product and compliments primary packaging. Outer cartons which mostly have E-marketplace logos printed on them with logo tapes or information stickers are secondary packaging. Customer address, seller address, and bar-codes are an important part of the external packaging.

    • Void Fills

      Foam Packaging Peanuts, bubble wrap, Kraft paper and Shredded paper are often empty space fillers. It works as a shock absorber and cushion to protect products during transport.

3 Golden Secrets to Sell Products at Online Marketplaces

If you are an E-merchant or an online seller who has recently joined eBay or any of the selling sites like eBay, then you must be familiar of the challenges faced on Marketplace sites. Now, E-commerce sales strategies are never to be neglected in order to increase the rate of conversion. E-commerce marketplaces allow you to reduce your stock SKUs, gain new users and present your new collection to the world. To succeed the seasonal sales with collaboration marketing, you need to be well-planned about your sales techniques implementation, plan B’s and C’s, risk mitigation strategies and sales boosting spin-offs.

Make Products Well-Presented and Easily Discoverable

‘First Impression is the last impression’, an adage we all adhere to before taking that big leap of fate in life.

  • It is not just the look and feel of the featured products but the pricing and safe payment options for the same that are being offered to the customer that let’s sellers expand their empire through lucrative marketplaces.
  • Keep your customers close and keep your competitors closer since they are always coming up with innovative ideas to sell their products better and faster like giving Christmas season discounts way ahead of time, prompting suggestive collaborative buys for customers who have already put products in their shopping cart, localising products based on demographics etc. , the way all this information is being displayed and represented is the key either through crystal clear images or engaging written content.
  • Emphasizing on the fact that these products are a safe bet through reviews, feedback, rating etc. and also featuring customer photos of the actual product purchased in the real world

Focus on Customer Retention Strategies

‘Customer is king’ is the fundamental law of business since ages. Even before the advent of E-commerce platforms customer satisfaction was paramount. Once the new sellers have managed to sell a percentage of their products online, they need to ensure that the existing customers are kept satisfied and on a high pedestal for them to keep coming back for more to the same seller. Such retention can not only help in maintaining the current trusted customer base but will also lead to further networking and promotions of the sellers’ products and addition of more customers who patronise the seller’s products. The end result is of course increased sales and Business turnover. The following points are fundamental for customer retention if you are a seller:

    • Providing best quality products that will make customers revisit your product page for more.
    • Provide either discounts on your products or freebees to regular customers on purchase of certain products from you or above certain purchase threshold amount.
    • Schemes like 100% satisfaction guarantee or full money-back works well for newly launched businesses where the product cost is not too high and sellers do not face the brunt of it
    • High quality delivery service, flexible return policies and post-sales service to trusted customers is the secret to effective customer retention.
    • Priority should be given to customers by intimating them about new product launches from the seller at the marketplace platform and offers should be highlighted.

Plan Your Shipping Cost Strategy Wisely

To charge for Shipping or not to? The right answer to this question is still a myth for many online retailers. But the consolation comes from the work-around techniques adopted by many online businesses. The two magic words ‘Free’ and ‘Shipping’ put together can induce sales and enthuse customers to buy from you.

How can you predict whether free shipping will be profitable? How do you choose a good shipping strategy that doesn’t break the bank? Is it even a reliable idea for recently launched businesses at digital marketplaces to adopt free shipping? You don’t want to leave yourself out of pocket, but if you’ve worked out your margins and can still make a profit by offering free shipping, that’s probably the way to go, keeping in mind the service charges and overheads at the online marketplace where your products are being sold.

Some marketplaces offer you the advantage of no charges or overheads thus making it easier for you to ship your products free of cost to customers and thus increasing your customer base.

Some researches reveal that 85% of online customers are likely to buy from sellers that offer free shipping. Here are a few factors you need to reaffirm before promoting free shipping on your products:

      • Profit Margins:- Choose profit margin wisely as the margin may be different for every sold item.
      • Size and Weight of Products:-The shipping cost is impacted through size and weight of the product so you must think of more restrictions for shipping heavier and larger products.
      • Average Order Value: If you offer free shipping with a threshold, you’ll want to increase your AOV (average order value). Measure it and set a threshold a little above that amount.
      • Your customer’s location: If you ship abroad or to faraway destinations, don’t do away free shipping completely rather charge a minimal amount.

Some fail-proof methods of offering free shipping that have turned out to be lucrative for online sellers at marketplaces are:

    • Create Thresholds: Increase the minimum order value required for free shipping as a general principle and test the improvement in margin.
    • Selective Offering: See what kinds of improvement you’ll get by offering free shipping only on select products which are moderate in demand yet profitable. Season sales are the best time of the year to offer Free Shipping as almost every seller online does so to promote their brand along with increased sales volumes. You could even use this tactic to sell out on products that have been stocked up for too long.
    • Discount programs: These are increasingly popular. It means you generally increase the price of the product on its listing page and allow customers to use discount coupons/ offer codes on the checkout page of the selling platform thus compensating the overall net pricing of the order and also offer free shipping to attract more orders thus giving the customers the impression that they are in for a win with this purchase. You can even device a plan for customers to buy a certain number of products or up to a threshold amount from you and then offer them free shipping for that order.