In 2020 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide were online sales. It is predicted that this will reach 22% by 2023. If you’ve been considering it, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon of e-commerce. With SimpleConsign’s Shopify plugin’s easy setup, now is the time to open your Shopify consignment store.
Not surprisingly, the first e-commerce site in the US was Amazon. Beginning as a bookseller in 1994, Amazon now offers thousands of products. It is the world’s #1 online retailer. China is the fastest-growing for e-commerce sales nationally. In the US alone, online sales could reach almost $566 billion by 2023. Shopify’s stats are just as exciting.
If you haven’t signed up for your Shopify site yet, start one. Integrate your Shopify site with phenomenal resale software such as SimpleConsign. Our web-based system lets you manage your brick and mortar store, as well as your online store from anywhere. Plus, features like SimpleConsign’s Photo App let you easily take photos and instantly upload them to your Shopify site.
Signing up for a Shopify site is only the beginning. Marketing your online store comes next. Shopify offers a wide variety of apps that work to boost your consignment store sales. Everything from Sales Pop Up and Countdown Timers to Customer Support apps are available. Many of them are free but choose wisely. Don’t overload your site with too many features in the beginning.
For more benefits of our Shopify plugin, read here.
Whether it’s the slightly busy thredUP or the more sophisticated The RealReal, online consignment sales are growing. In fact, the US Census Bureau reported that “E-commerce sales made up around 10 percent of total U.S. retail sales in the third quarter of 2018.” Consumers shop online for a variety of reasons. Speed of sale, shipping rates and difficulty getting to the actual store are all top reasons. If you’re currently selling online, make your items look their best. Here’s how.
Camera phones take incredibly beautiful photos. I recently visited the MO Botanical Gardens in St. Louis and couldn’t believe the quality of photos I took with my Samsung Galaxy S9. According to Oberlo, make sure your phone’s lense is clean before taking your first photos. Use a microfiber cloth to thoroughly wipe it down. Turn off your phone’s flash and don’t use the zoom feature. Crop your finished photos instead. For $20, Amazon even offers a number of lenses that can be used on almost any cell phone.
For quality and consistency, use a tripod for taking pictures. Once again, Amazon, has a great cell phone tripod for under $20. This phone tripod comes with a wireless remote for distance shots or filming. By using a tripod, you can also turn on the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature for crisper photos too.
Natural light vs. artificial light can make a tremendous difference in the look and feel of your photography. My updated blog post, 10 merchandise photography tips to sell more online, shows the difference between hard light and soft light. Obviously, natural light (sunlight) is the least expensive. However, it’s also the most limiting. The time of day, the position of your store windows and the weather can all affect the outcome.
Almost everyone recommends a plain white backdrop for your online photos. A white background removes distraction, highlights your merchandise and is usually very “light friendly.” Use what’s known as the “Infinity Curve,” a clean white sheet of paper or cloth that gently bends to eliminate a horizon.
Even my little Samsung Gallery has a variety of focus settings. Once my photos are taken, I can still adjust the background for “near focus,” “far focus” and “pan focus.” Often, the only thing you need to do is tap on the area of your photo that you want to be in focus.
As you can see by the graph, consumers today want to see more than 1 or 2 photos of an item. According to Salsify, online shoppers now expect anywhere from 5 to 8 images and/or 2 -5 videos of products. Salsify states, “…nearly 70% of consumers chose a lack of product information as a reason they’ve left a page on a retail site.” Consumers are savvy. By giving them as much information as possible, your chances are better that you’ll make the sale. Nike traditionally posts about 7 images of individual sneakers, along with additional user-generated photos. Read Customer content is the best way to promote yourself to learn about user-generated content.
If you’re interested in learning more, just email Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll let you try it for free!
In 2014, I shared survey results from Time Trade about shopping habits. See, Why your shoppers leave empty handed. In that survey, 90% of indecisive shoppers left a store empty handed because they couldn’t find a knowledgeable sales associate. Four years later, your sales reps are clearly paying more attention, but new information suggests other ways you can boost holiday sales. Here’s what the 2018 survey said.
Although it’s the busy holidays, setting aside time to meet personally with your very best customers will go a long way to boosting holiday sales. Clearly, shoppers today are looking for a personal connection. Could it be because so many of us have our heads stuck in our phones? They want engagement. It could be online, on the phone or in person, but they will loyally shop with the store that gives them this type of attention. Consider adding Reserve with Google. You will be given a list of a number of companies that do automatic appointment booking for you. Prices vary, but one, Appointy offers a free version.
The holidays are a perfect time to hold an event. As you can see, nearly 80% of customers want to attend events or classes. According to Time Trade, “Buyers are also more likely to buy, or buy more, if a brand offers events or classes relating to the product.” Sweeten holiday sales with a special Christmas event. Read Relax! Your 4th quarter marketing calendar is done to get ideas and tips for the last 4 weeks before Christmas.
According to Time Trade, 90% of survey respondents say they search online “frequently” or “all the time” to find stores and products. Now more than ever, you’ve got to be on your game when it comes to social media. Post and tweet often. I’ve even given you a list of daily holiday hashtags in 24 days of holiday hashtags beginning December 1st. Show new products. Highlight store employees and capture shopper’s attention with quizzes or surveys. Whenever possible, use GIFs and video to make a greater impact. Encourage customers to post their selfies with your merchandise. Read Customer content is the best way to promote yourself.
Although down to 74% from 90%, shoppers are still searching for knowledgeable sales reps. The more you train your sales staff, the more they’ll be able to sell. How training changes everything in sales gives you lots of ideas to improve your sales staff’s effectiveness. Don’t skimp on training even during the busy holidays. Lead by example. The holidays are a time to work in your business not on.
Have you heard the good news? SimpleConsign, web based software, now integrates with Shopify! There’s never been a better time to build your online consignment store. Make sure shoppers stay on your site a little longer by maximizing their experience. I’ve got 6 tips.
It’s Saturday and I’ve invited you to my home for dinner. Pulling up, you notice overflowing trash cans lined up along the driveway. My front door is barely visible because of the overgrowth of weeds. I invite you in, but there’s nowhere to sit. Papers and trash cover the floors, chairs and tables. What’s your first impression? Are you eager to hang around and have dinner? It’s the same with your online consignment store. Keep it clean and free of clutter. Don’t overwhelm your shoppers with too much information. Use plenty of white space. Your logo and a catch phrase lets shoppers know they’re in the right place. Keep in mind your target market. What appeals to them? The image below is from a bridal shop called Twigs & Honey. The name itself tells you very little, but the first image you see tells their story.
Avoid stock photos, if at all possible. Your shoppers want genuine images of your business and your merchandise. It builds trust. Use your store surroundings and employees to help convey your message. Shoppers want to build a relationship with you. Include interesting photos of your storefront, front door or street sign, if they’re attractive. Make merchandise photos natural and engaging. Read 10 merchandise photography tips to sell more online. SimpleConsign offers their own Simple Photo App. Take photos of your merchandise and with the click of a button add them to your online consignment store.
When you entered my cluttered house, you could hardly see the living room much less which way to get to the kitchen or bathroom. Plus, you’d have to push aside a lot of junk just to move. It’s the same with your site. Shoppers want to see immediately where to browse for particular merchandise, special deals or a way to contact you. Avoid labels like “Products,” “Services” or even, “Photos.” Use descriptive labels that are familiar to your shoppers. If you can, limit your list of labels. Notice the Modern Shop’s navigation bar. The easier your online consignment store is to explore, the higher number of sales you’ll make.
A good call-to-action (CTA) button is invaluable. Shoppers come to your website. They’re looking at your merchandise. Now, tell them what to do next. Examples of a call-to-action are “Shop Now,” “Search,” “Get Started” or “Go To Checkout.” Use a contrasting color that stands out from the rest of the page. Your call-to-action button needs to call attention to itself. It needs to make the next step in the process of buying completely clear. On Gift Crates website, they’ve tailored their CTA especially for their product.
I don’t think I’ve honestly ever clicked on someone’s Testimonial page. It’s not that I don’t care, I just don’t want to take the time. But, if you place a customer’s quote with a photo somewhere else on your site, I’ll read it. Share short success stories of how your product has changed someone’s life. Younger generations especially rely on customer reviews. Scatter them throughout your shopping pages. Ask your best customers for a sentence or two describing their experience with you. Keep them short. By adding a photo, you increase engagement by over 100%.
Once you’ve gained someone’s attention, don’t let them leave without getting some information from them. However, you’ll have to offer something in return. Do you write a fashion or decorating blog? Ask them to sign up. What about a special club for early preview shoppers? Have them add their name and email to the list. Consider offering a special discount in return for giving you their contact information. Get as much information as possible. Research actually suggests people are willing to give more than just their first name and email for a discount offer. Take that opportunity to ask for an address, phone number and even a little personal info. Always send a Thank You response immediately.
A mobile site is no longer a “maybe” for today’s online consignment store. It’s a must. Shopping on a phone is becoming the new norm. According to BrightEdge, “57% of all US online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.” In addition, they claim “69% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns.” Check your site to make sure the images are optimized for a phone and your labels are clearly listed. Type “Mobile-Friendly Test” into Google and run a quick test. Shoppers no longer tolerate moving the screen to the left or right, pinching it to see all of the information or zooming in to read details. With UGGs mobile site, there are only 4 labels across the top. Images convey their brand and a strong call-to-action is visible. Make your site just as easy.
Change is exciting. With SimpleConsign, our software is flexible and always improving. That’s where our website and new consignment features come in! I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.
Nowadays, everyone is jumping on the eCommerce bandwagon. SimpleConsign makes it easier than ever for you to smoothly integrate online sales with your brick and mortar store. Choose from a templated eCommerce site or have a custom site created specifically for you. Sites are designed for desktop, tablet and mobile shopping. Plus, every transaction is reflected in SimpleConsign. It’s the easiest way to broaden your selling opportunities.
If you’re looking for a creative way to promote your merchandise, AdKiosks Marketing is for you. Add Simple AdKiosks to your current website and Facebook page. You can attractively display every item in your inventory with a photo and description. Then, customers conveniently contact your shop to purchase the item. Simple AdKiosks let your shoppers browse in real time when it’s easiest for them. The best part? Once an item is sold, it’s automatically removed from the AdKiosks. There’s nothing for you to do.
SimpleConsign has developed our very own Photo App. Download our photo app and take pictures of both your inventory and customers. Every photo is automatically saved into your SimpleConsign account. Obviously, it makes entering inventory for eCommerce and AdKiosks a breeze.
Consignor Central has been available for awhile. However, this is the first time I’ve talked about it. Consignor Central automatically notifies consignors about the status of their individual items. Are a consignor’s items going into a grace period or expired? Let Consignor Central send a message for you. Are you looking for specific best-selling items? Consignor Central will put the word out. Plus, Consignor Central lets you generate, view and print customizable consignor contracts. It’s one more way we free up your time.
This new feature is perfect for shops that have vendors and dealers. It gives them the freedom to enter inventory remotely. Then, they come to you to have their tags printed. With Dealer Remote Item Entry, every tag in your shop looks the same. Therefore, checkout is efficient and you save time.
These are just a few of the exciting features we’ve added to our new website. Head over to SimpleConsign and check out the rest of our site. Let us make your life easier.
I’m not good with statistics. In fact, the word “statistics” alone can cause a flush of nervousness. Sometimes, I have to hush the inner math-challenged me and take a closer look. So, I read The National Retail Federation’s “Spotlight on Modern Retail 2015.” It’s a compilation of statistics on a number of different subjects affecting retail. There are some interesting insights that consignment and resale can glean from the results too. Unfortunately, there was a lot more to it, but I have included only 4…the 4 I could understand.
Being found online is no longer an added feature to your shop. It’s a necessity. Research found “4 out of every 5 consumers look for advice before they make a purchase, and they’re often turning to social media.” You need to have a Facebook page for your shop. Also, make sure you’re listed on sites such as Yelp, Yahoo Local and Merchant Circle. Regularly check shopper’s reviews and reply kindly to the ones who make negative comments
That may not seem like a lot at first, but when you think about the size of your email list, that can be the difference between an average holiday shopping season and a phenomenal one. Email is still a strong purchasing influencer. If you can target particular shoppers with offers they are specifically interested in, it makes a huge difference.
The Federation’s research found that the rise in using coupon sites grew from only 1.8% in 2013 to over 6% in 2014 holiday shopping. More than ever before, consumers are looking for a bargain and our industry needs to capitalize on that fact. By promoting “great prices without a coupon” or offering actual coupons on your Facebook page or in emails, you can increase a shopper’s likelihood of buying from you.