Is Fab the New Model for Online Marketplaces?

by G.B. Oliver

Have you checked out Fab.com yet? Fab is the latest entry in the online marketplace selling designers’ and artisans’ work. They have been incredibly successful and in the past year have grown from 1.5 million members to now over 7.5 million (members = buyers) and they do things a little differently, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Fab sells products that are hand selected by their staff via submissions (anyone can submit). They offer up to 70% off retail prices on a variety of products including furniture, gadgets, home accessories, art, jewelry and so forth.

So, what does Fab bring to the table that the other marketplaces don’t?

1. Fab is more more hands-on. As mentioned, they have a team that hand selects the items that make it onto the site, so there is quality control.

2. They write the clever and witty copy that accompanies each product because vendors don’t always know how to market their products in the best light (hence the need for ebooks like mine), and it maintains a consistency across the vendors.

3. While the designer/shop is mentioned by name, there is no link to the seller’s shop (you stay on Fab). Also, there is no actual permanent shop on the site for a vendor, but they will group their items together in a “storefront” window for as long as their sale lasts.

So it is kind of like a One Kings Lane meets Etsy.

4. Fab’s “Feed” is interesting as well. This is how you search. A random search of products is displayed, but you can search by popularity, price, category and color. You can also add comments to products that show up right on the search page, similar to how you see Pinterest comments.

5. Fab integrates social media really well.  If you “Like”, “Tweet” “Pin” or “Tumble” their products you earn Fab points to be used towards future purchases. Great incentive for people to do so. They also have a mobile app so you can get their daily inspirations on the go (30% of their orders are via mobile).

6. Fab also sends lots of emails, typically four a day in your mailbox, as each day there are new sales starting at 11 am EST. So they really work hard to promote ALL the products on the site.

7. What is really refreshing about Fab is their sense of personality. They are quirky and fun and you can tell they look for products that are not only in this vein, but are also original, functional and well-designed. While other online marketplaces have worked to create community among their sellers, Fab uses this sense of personality to create community between itself, its sellers AND the customers, which I think is its strongest asset.

This is not your typical shopping experience. And that’s what makes it Fab!

Marketing_Ideas_Etsy_Jewelry

★  If you have an online shop, be sure to check out my new series of PDFs, entitled Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! where I give you all my best and latest marketing secrets that will make your shop a top seller in 2013! Editions for Jewelry & Fashion Accessories, Home Products, Kids & Baby Products and Wedding Products. Get your copy by email today!

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© 2012 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Sell On Etsy Successfully with an Analysis of the Top Selling Etsy Shops

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Etsy has been a popular marketplace for over 10 years now. So if you are thinking of opening an Etsy shop, you may be wondering how to sell on Etsy successfully.

how-to-sell-on-etsy

HOW TO SELL ON ETSY

Etsy currently stands at over 1.6 million + sellers and over 300 million  products. So how does a new shop get found?

I have been working with Etsy shops for over 4 years now, and I can tell you the main points of the formula for success.

Common Traits Among Top Selling Etsy Shops

  • The majority of top selling shops offer products in a niche. Niche shops tend to do better because all of their products have the same keyword phrases, which maximizes their SEO, both Etsy and Google. As a result, they get better search results because they sell one type of item. For example, a shop that sells only bracelets as opposed to all types of jewelry, which is much broader in scope with more competitors for keywords.
  • The majority of top sellers list over 100 items and more likely upwards of 1,000. The reason seems to be that it is a numbers game. The more items you have, the more searches you turn up in and the more search tags you can take advantage of.
  • The majority of top selling shops offer products under $20. Low priced products are a lot easier for new customers to take a risk on, and much easier to get multiple sales.
  • The top selling shops have amazing product photography. As a result, their images stand out better in Etsy search results, and their photos are more likely to be used by Etsy on their social media pages and in their Etsy Finds newsletters.

If you really want to know how to sell on Etsy successfully, be sure to check out my very affordable marketing services, ebooks and plans for Etsy shop owners here.

© 2012-2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Do Guerilla Marketing Words Still Get People to Buy?

by G.B. Oliver

One of my all-time favorite marketing books is Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson, first published back in 1993. In the book, Jay talks extensively about advertising and the power of words.

He references a list of the 12 most persuasive words in the English language (words that might get people to buy), from a research study done by psychologists at Yale University in 1970. Jay recommended using these words in headlines, signage and any other forms of your advertising.

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So, in no particular order, these words are:

  1. YOU
  2. MONEY
  3. SAVE
  4. NEW
  5. RESULTS
  6. HEALTH
  7. SAFETY
  8. EASY
  9. LOVE
  10. DISCOVER
  11. PROVEN
  12. GUARANTEE

Now this study was done over 40 years ago, so maybe things have changed. Therefore, I thought I would take a look at some current print ads in popular magazines and see how many companies are still using these words to get you to buy their products.

After looking at over 50 ads, for everything from food products to cosmetics to cars to books, here is what I found:

Still Commonly Used Adjectives

  • New
  • Results
  • Easy
  • Save
  • Proven

The word safety seems to have been replaced more with peace of mind and reliability.

New, Popular Adjectives

  • Ultimate
  • Best
  • Special
  • Excellent
  • Tasteful
  • Perfect
  • Bold
  • Dazzling
  • Powerful
  • Hot

Grand phrases like must-have, essentialbreakthrough, unprecedented, industry-leading and revolutionary are also very common in describing products.

Still Commonly Used Verbs

  • discover
  • expect
  • delivers
  • learn
  • dare
  • defy
  • helps
  • improve  
  • find

Surprisingly, I didn’t see that many companies offering a guarantee, but I did see the word promise a lot.

Other Words

One really interesting fact I did notice was that not many ads used the word “you“. Copy was written in very general terms, and, for the most part, no pronouns of any kind were used. Your was used a lot, such as your family, your home, your health, your safety, but not “you”, in the sense of “you’ll love” or “you need”.

The words money, love, health and safety were used, but only specific to certain types of products.

FINAL WORD: So are words that were effective in a study done 40 years ago still effective today? Do certain words work on men and not women, and vice versa. And what about teens? Do they care about health, safety or saving money?

Think of who you are selling to. Then find media, such as magazine covers, that target this age and gender group and see the words they are using on the covers.  Those should be the words you use in your product descriptions and advertisements. They’ve done the research, so they know which words work, and you can benefit from that.

Need Help Marketing Your Small Business?

G.B._Oliver

I offer a variety of DIY Marketing Services (I tell you what to do, you do it) that makes it very affordable for small businesses to get professional marketing advice – that works! Contact me to discuss at attentiongetting@gmail.com or use the contact form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

 

Marketing I Love! One Kings Lane

 by G.B. Oliver

If you are not familiar with the online store, One Kings Lane, they specialize in offering home decor and accessories products from different vendors, and showcasing certain selections of the vendors’ products for a limited time to buy. You have to be a member of One Kings Lane’s site in order to purchase.

So exclusive products at a reduced price for a limited time offer to a select clientele. It’s a great business model. Limited time offers mean people have to act quickly; exclusive products also make buyers act quickly; having products that are always marked down from retail price is a great lure; and a membership only storefront means a lot of repeat business from your customer base.

I was on their website recently and noticed some really smart marketing ideas that they’ve implemented, that a smaller online shop could take advantage of as well.

  • Invite Friends Offer: They have an offer that if you invite friends, either by emailing them a product listing or liking the product on Facebook, and the friend buys, you get a $15 gift card. And they make it really easy to do with the icons very prominent beside the offer and with one click all the product info appears in a posting on your Facebook page.
  • Smart use of Pinterest Icon: Some businesses just put the Pinterest PIN it icon on their product page, which can get lost in all the text, but One Kings Lane includes a sentence in red beside it telling you to “Click PIN it to Pin this product on Pinterest“. Your customers don’t always think to do it, so it’s a great reminder .
One Kings Lane groups their products into useful searches
  • Personalization Reminder: If a product can be personalized, One Kings Lane makes it very clear in two different places – a very visible icon on the product photo that says “Personalize It!” and another icon in the ordering information that says “Personalize this item” and then expands how the process works.
  • Sale Countdown Clock: They have a countdown digital clock on the page so you know exactly how many hours and minutes you have until the sale ends. Great way to get you to act quickly.
  • Delivery Time: They give the estimated arrival for every item at the bottom of the product copy.  For example, they will say “Estimated Arrival Nov 28 – Dec 3”. This is helpful if it is a gift and you need to know that if you purchase it, it will arrive in time for Christmas.
  • Vintage Descriptions: One Kings Lane is known for also carrying a lot of vintage items. In their copy, they will always identify the era and condition. For example, Era: 1960s  Condition: Very Good; blemishes and weathering from age and use. If you are selling vintage items, you must include the era and condition as it will help the item be found in Google searches (customers searching for a specific piece from a specific time), as well as vintage customers expect this type of information.

These are all easy marketing tips that you can apply to your online shop or business that will help boost your sales.

For more great marketing ideas for your small business, as always, please check out my Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! Ebooks, available in my shop.

Traffic is Not Sales

by G.B. Oliver

Do you ever see marketing promises that say, “We’ll get you tons of traffic”. Well, that’s very nice but traffic is not a guarantee of sales.

For example, say you sell jock straps. If one day 500,000 women visited your site, how many jock straps do you think you would sell as opposed to if 500 men visited your site? Exactly, if they have no need for your product, they’re not going to buy it.

Having lots of Twitter followers doesn't necessarily mean sales
Having lots of Twitter followers doesn’t necessarily mean sales

Another offer you’ll see is, “I will tweet you out to my 200,000 Twitter followers”. Well who are these followers? Are they just other companies who wanted a follow back, so the person reading your tweet is their Web marketing person (who is not reading tweets, just sending them). How many of their followers are actually still active on Twitter (people do get bored with social media and take a break). Don’t be lured in by high numbers. Again, if they are not who you are selling to, it is not going to make a difference.

What You Want is Traffic That is Your Target Market

So if you sell wedding products, for example, and someone says they will get you in front of 200,000 brides, that is reliable traffic…maybe. How long have these “brides” been on their blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.? A woman plans her wedding in 12 to 18 months so if she first joined their blog 2 years ago, she is married now and not interested in wedding products. She just hasn’t taken the time to unfollow. So, it could be only 60% of these 200,000 brides are still potential customers. Which is still good, but remember numbers can be overestimated.

Same thing if you are selling maternity clothes, for example. Women are only pregnant 9 months, so if they’ve had the baby, they may still be on that person’s email list but have no need to buy your products.

FINAL WORD: So go find where your potential customers are really hanging out online, at this moment in time, and that is where you will find the traffic that will buy from you. Now, how do you find this out? Simple, ask them. If you are selling to 13-year old girls, you must know a few – family, neighbors, friends’ kids. Ask them where they go online and that is where you’ll find your traffic that will lead to sales.

Pet CoverOnce you find this traffic, how do you get it to your site? Well I can’t give away everything on my blog, I have to sell too! But you can find these answers, as well as other ways to get attention, in my marketing Ebooks, available HERE.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Design I Love! Anthropologie

by G.B. Oliver

I’ve never understood why people just do copycat products. Granted, it makes business sense (although, not really ethical) to jump on someone’s proven success, but I have to think your success will be short lived if you can’t come up with product ideas on your own. It really isn’t that hard to be an innovator and develop new products. In fact, you can start with the products you currently have. Just step back, take a more objective look, and see how you could take things up a notch to differentiate yourself in a very crowded and competitive online marketplace.

Marketing-tips-small-businessA shop like Anthropologie is a good example. What makes them great is that they take products you’ve seen before, but they add a new twist to make them different from the traditional. For example, wooden letters are everywhere as wall decor, but Anthropologie turned these typical letters into Handpainted Still Life Monograms by making them out of canvas and adding painted murals on them. So now they have become true artwork for your walls.

Product-Marketing-ideasAnother example is their Colorblocked Baguette Board. They took what would be a regular cutting board, dipped the ends in milk paint to add some style and made it out of a much higher quality wood so you can use it as a bread server as well. These are simple twists on everyday products that also repurposes them.

If you want to be successful, you have to offer products that are unique, but still serve a purpose. People love products that are conversation starters. People also like unusual products because they make great gifts for those hard to buy for people. And as I say in my marketing ebooks, quirky always gets publicity! No one is going to write about a plain old cutting board in their magazine, but they will if it is now a stylish baguette server.

FINAL WORD: So don’t just copy someone’s else products. Take a look at a product that is popular and think, how can I make it more feature-rich, more useful, more interesting, more… attention getting.

GB OliverIf you are a small business selling online and you need more marketing advice (I save the best stuff for my ebooks) that will help increase your sales, please see my Ebook Shop for my PDFs, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! or ask about my affordable marketing consulting services by filling in the form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Target Your Products at the Lucrative Baby Boomer Market

by G.B. Oliver

There are currently 80 million baby boomers in the U.S. This is the population aged generally in their 50s and 60s who, according to MediaPost, hold 70% of the US disposable income (i.e. they’ve got money to spend on stuff!).

baby boomer marketing tips

Is Your Business Targeting Baby Boomers Properly?

The economy is not great right now, and yet Baby Boomers still have money to spend. The majority are still working, kids’ college is paid for, houses are paid for, if anything they are downsizing, which is putting more money back in their pockets. So if they are the people spending right now, why aren’t you targeting them?

Other Interesting Baby Boomer Facts

  • 71% of baby boomers go online everyday
  • 53% are on Facebook
  • People over age 50 spend $7 billion online annually

How Can You Target Them Based on What You Sell?

Let’s say you sell baby and kids products for exampleare you currently just targeting moms and dads, who are busier, have less money to spend, are probably too tired to think? Why not target grandparents, who do have the money to spend and love buying gifts for the grandkids. Plus, grandparents are not up on what kids want the way parents are, so you have an opportunity to convince them that kids really want your products!

What if you are selling jewelry or fashion. Baby boomers don’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing the latest youth-oriented trends. So why miss out on this market even if it is not your style. Create a more traditional line of products, or a more mature line, that you could section off in your shop just for this market, the same way you see a regular store and a plus size version of that store.

What about home products? Baby boomers love nostalgia, so research style trends from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and seen how you can incorporate it into a “Baby Boomer Line”. Also, were there cool products from this era that you could revamp for today’s market, making them both modern and vintage at the same time.

Baby boomers don’t just buy a lot for themselves and their grandchildren, they also buy for their grown children who have less disposable income due to being new to the workforce or owning homes and raising kids. So if you have items strictly aimed at the 20 to 30 year old market, those non-necessity but nice to have items, convince mom and dad to buy it for them! Would make a great gift guide, “What to buy for your grown children besides gift cards”. In fact, encourage customers to make a wish list just for them to give to Mom and Dad.

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© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED