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!
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.
This article was updated from a previous one published in 2014
There are many factors to consider when you name your consignment shop. Often at Traxia, we can tell very quickly the success a shop will have based on the name the shop owner chooses. Awkward spellings, long names or names that have nothing to do with their actual shop merchandise tend to spell failure. Use the following rules and we’re confident you’ll have a name that’s memorable and marketable for years to come.
When you name your consignment shop, make sure the name you choose is short, easy to remember and easy to pronounce. As I said earlier avoid long names. Two to three words at most, if possible. If you try to be overly clever and tweak a common word by spelling it differently, people might just end up pronouncing it incorrectly. It must be easy to spell in order for people to remember it.
When you name a consignment shop, your name should tell people who you are and what you do. Common names for consignment shops include words like, “Again,” “Repeat,” “Second” and “Twice.” If you are starting an upscale, trendy consignment boutique, you probably don’t want to name it “Betty’s Recycled Stuff.” Your name must fit the tone for the type of store you are wanting to open. Conversely, don’t use the word “Boutique” in your name if you are not opening a small, intimate and carefully curated shop. Choose a name that fits you, as well as what you are selling.
More than ever before, you need to be able to be found online. A domain name is the name (and subsequent online address) you choose for your website. There are so many websites these days that it is hard to find a good, short domain name that people can remember. However, it’s important to match the domain with the name of your consignment shop. A good place to start is Go Daddy.com. Just type in the name you are considering and see if it’s available. A “.com” domain is the most popular but it can be hard to find one. Be sure to check everything that might be available.
Once again, this is where doing your research is vital. You can find out if the name you are interested in is taken through your Secretary of State office. Search online by going to http://www.secstates.com/ and find your state office listing. Make sure you Google your idea too. The last thing you want is to pick a name that is similar to 10 other businesses in your area or is associated with something disreputable.
Make a list of the top 3 to 5 names you have in mind. Check each one carefully against the previous criteria. Consider getting feedback from family, friends and even strangers. Does it read well? Is it memorable? You want to know what feelings or thoughts your shop’s name evokes in the minds of others, but be careful not to weigh their thoughts too heavily. You know what you are trying to accomplish with your name.
Make sure this same name will sound good in 2 years, 5 years or even 10 years. Something that’s relevant and edgy today, may not even make sense down the road. Give yourself growing room. In other words, don’t name your shop “Repeat Purses” if you plan on adding clothing at a later date.
Finally, when you name a consignment shop be sure to take Alexandra Watkin’s “7 Deadly Sins to Avoid When Creating a Brand Name” SCRATCH test first.
Opening a new business? If so, you’ll want to read our Getting Started Success Kit. Sign up and start building a stronger business today.
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.
SimpleConsign went through the arduous process of updating our website. Although we made some major changes, I’ve found a few small changes can make a big difference in your customer’s response. Here are 7 tips to help you easily improve your website.
Everything I have read about website design refers to the importance of “the fold.” The fold is that part of your website that is immediately visible when viewers arrive. If they have to scroll down to read more information then they are looking “below the fold.” CIO says, “put your call-to-action (such as a “buy now” button) in the upper portion of your website, along with your phone number and/or email address.” Usually 80% of visitors to your website never go below the fold.
According to an infographic on QuickSprout, your shoppers take less than 3 seconds to find the information they’re looking for and to read your headline. Therefore, to improve your website information, you need to “remove extra chatter.” Cut down the number of words used and keep all of your information to the point.
Your website is you according to those born after 1980 and your logo is part of that branding. A professional logo adds credibility and sets you apart from others. Place your logo in the upper left corner of your website and link it back to your homepage so that as shoppers navigate the site, they always know how to get back to the beginning.
Either invest in a professional photographer or at the very least, use an excellent camera. Photos of your merchandise is what sells the product or drives customers in. To improve your website don’t skimp on this step. Use free sites such as Pic Monkey to crop and add some bling to your images.
Just like you change your store windows, you should be regularly adding new content to your home page. Keeping your home page new and exciting gives visitors the sense that you are current and fresh with trends in fashion and design.
Navigation refers to how visitors move through your site. The more options you give, the more confused they get and that means the less they will view. Make it very clear what you want your visitors to do and use the same colors and typeface every time.
In my early advertising days, it was known as white space. Putting space between paragraphs and images helps viewers absorb your information. It also puts the focus on key elements. Truly with web design these days, less is more.