5 Tips to Stand Out While Selling on Online Marketplaces

An online marketplace is a tough place to survive in. The amount of competition is enormous and the demand is relentless and both these things mean that you always have to be on your toes while operating your online store. The size on the Indian online marketplace is rising at a meteoric pace. In fact, the Indian online retail industry was worth $13.5 billion in 2014, and is all set to cross the $16 billion mark in 2016. With a market volume like this, it is extremely difficult to make one’s mark. How can one differentiate oneself from the competition while selling virtually similar products off the same online sales platform?

It becomes slightly easier for sellers with a niche product to offer and a dedicated website to sell it from. But what about somebody who is selling through a large online sales platform? A typical customer would rarely look into a seller’s background in detail other than checking their rating to see if they provide a decent service.

So what can be done in a high-pressure low wiggle room situation like this to stand apart from the crowd? Let’s find out!

How to Stand Out on an Online Sale Channel

  1. Hit the Right Keywords

Most sales begin with a keyword search string. Something like ‘Poncho raincoat’ or ‘Blue ink pen’. Something that the customer feels is the obvious way to search a product. Your job is to make sure that these expected keywords related to your product are included in its description so that your product pops up every time the keywords are searched. This is essential because the volume of products and sellers is so high on a typical online marketplace that it is first important to be in the customer’s range of vision. Remember, the first step to stand out is to be seen.

  1. Good Photography

Let’s perform an experiment. Log on to an online sales channel like Amazon or Flipkart and just search something. Anything. Now, just browse through the list of results. What do you notice first? The image, right? That small thumbnail of an image is a make or break for online sales.

We wrote an article previously about how to photograph your images for online marketplaces. The image of your product is the closest the customer is ever going to get to actually experiencing it before buying it. In fact, most online marketplaces require you to take high-resolution pictures from multiple angles for your customers’ benefit. You can actually impress your customer by investing in some great photography for your product.

  1. Be Creative with Product Descriptions

Again, the important thing to understand is that the customer cannot actually hold the product. It is up to you to provide the most comprehensive description for them. This is also your chance to impress them with some creativity. Fiddle with the design of your product description so that it forms an interesting narrative. Engage your customers and make them stay on the page longer.

  1. Engage in Social Media

There is a line that divides the space between the real world and social media. People go to a restaurant and order food, once the food is served, the click an image and put it up on instagram. How can you prompt your customers to interact with your brand on social media? Social media highlights experiences (and cats) – the ambience at a restaurant, the rainy day from the window, and receiving a product you ordered in the mail. Nudge your customers to interact with your brand on Twitter and Instagram. Impress them with the packaging and ask them to pin an image of it up on Pinterest. There is so many ways with which you can stand out using social media. Just be creative!

  1. Offer a Great Returns Policy

Finally, something that every customer wants – a guaranteed returns policy. This will surely make you stand out amongst the crowd of competitors as somebody who truly cares about your customers’ interests. Here’s an article we previously wrote about the importance of a good returns policy. Do check it out.

This is what we have on how to stand out among competitors on an online sales website. To know more, get in touch with Browntape. We are always happy to help!

5 Tips for a Great Return Policy

The true basis of e-commerce transactions does not lie in any form of technology, be it mail, internet or smartphones. It lies in the idea of trust. The customer trusts the seller to provide a product or a service even though they have never met or physically interacted with each other, so much so that the customer is even ready to pay before acquiring the product. This is a very delicate scenario, and the onus now falls on the seller to value this trust.

Many times it so happens that the product is not acceptable to the customer after all. There can be various reasons for this – and it might be either party’s fault. But the fact remains that in this case, the seller that accommodates the customer by providing him with a solid return policy gains trust.

A survey conducted by the Journal of Marketing shows that sellers that introduced a free returns policy to their customers saw an increase in sales between 58% and 357% in a span of two years. We previously wrote about managing your existing returns policies to achieve efficiency in the process.

In this article, we will talk about creating a great returns policy that your customers will love, resulting in an increased trust in your brand.

Creating a Solid Returns Policy

  1. Keep it Simple

The first rule of returns is never shy away from returns. Many sellers try to avoid returns by drafting a policy full of scary legal jargon and conditions. This approach is then the same as not having a policy at all. Doing a half-hearted attempt is as bad as not attempting at all. Try to keep your returns policy as simple as you can. Of course, you will try as hard as you can to not create a scenario where returning a product is inevitable, but you are completely happy to accept a return. Your policy should reflect that.

  1. Do Not Hide Your Returns Policy

Again, if you are doing so, it’s the same as not having one at all. Your returns policy should be easily accessible on your website and not hidden away in some FAQ questionnaire. In fact, it is a great idea to provide return shipping labels along with your product. It makes it easier for the customer and in turn, they love you more.

  1. Set a Timeline

Indefinite returns is a bad idea, but clearly define the returns window starting from the date of sale. It can be 30 days, 60 days or 90 days according to your preference and convenience. But define these rules and stick to them.

  1. Offer Options

It’s always great to offer options on the customer refunds. These can be product exchanges, store credit or cash back. It’s a bad idea to restrict a returns policy to store credit or exchanges only. Its preferable for you to let the customers choose for themselves, and it will be very helpful in the long run.

  1. Be Courteous

This is the most important part when it comes to drafting and implementing a returns policy. We realise that there can be cases where the customer is at fault, or is trying to cheat you when it comes to returns. But it is important to keep the tone of behaviour, both written and spoken, courteous. Try not to be disheartened every time a product is being returned – it is your response in times like these that builds your reputation.

In case of any more queries or information about product returns or any other aspect of e-commerce, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solutions providers and we are always happy to help!