For an Indian online seller, being on top of the seller ladder takes more than just good quality products. The online marketplaces are filled with several sellers of similar products, each offering buyers tempting discounts and offers. In lieu of the competition on the platforms, a high marketplace rating can be your tool to grab customer attention.
A good rating helps you get good visibility and greater preference over other sellers.
Here’s how you can maintain a good rating
Convincing ‘About Us’
Your ‘About us’ lines should be such that it builds conviction in the buyers’ mind. The content should be strong enough to sustain buyers’ interest, and seek you out for their purchases. Your name in the sellers’ list should invite their click immediately as the seller of their choice.
Description about your company and your products should be:
- Short, simple
Keep rates reasonable
Indian consumers are price conscious and lower prices catch more eyeballs than others. But remember, value for money is more important. So make sure you provide quality products at reasonable prices. Once the sales pick up, the volume will ensure you get your due margins. Also, keep track of competition to ensure your prices are within the bracket customers are opting for.
Understand your buyers. Once you are a seller on a marketplace, study the buyer behaviour, and figure out what they want. What are the fast moving products, what are the favourites, what are buyer preferences, and so on. Work on your inventory accordingly. You can stock a larger quantity of the more popular products.
Earning buyers’ trust should be on top of your agenda. You should primarily promise only what you can offer, and deliver what you have promised. This article on Royal Mail spells it out quite well.
Understand your marketplace
Likewise, understand the platform you are selling on. Do a thorough research before you jump on board. Depending on the products you sell, sign up for a website that specializes in it. For instance, Flipkart has the reputation of being an all rounder, but books and electronics are bestsellers here. Head to Craftsvilla if you are into local handicrafts and jewellery. If you are selling mobile accessories, tablets, and other gadgets, register at Latestone. If you are selling furniture, head to Urban Ladder. If spectacle lenses are your area of business, go to lenskart.com, and so on.
Read up reviews on each marketplace and sign up accordingly. Skip the ones that have red flags like payment issues, no protection for seller and so on. Or make sure you are ready for the delays and hurdles in case you decide to go ahead with ones that have red flags.
Some marketplaces offer their sellers greater visibility for a small fee. Take it up, even if it will cost you a little, as it is an investment. Avail of any marketing or promotional facilities that the marketplace offers. Even the best of products will need a little push to get noticed.
- It is important that you present your products in a way that will catch the buyers’ attention. Pay close attention to the images you upload, and give as many details as you can. It is wiser to hire a professional photographer and take shots of your products at regular intervals. Some marketplaces provide paid photography services to their sellers. This might be a better option, as the in house photographer will know the requirement of the marketplace. Caution: The company photographer might be taking common images for different sellers. So this may not help your products to stand out.
- Use simple but striking language to describe the features of your product. It should catch the buyers’ eye, but it should not confuse either. Employ a professional copywriter to create your taglines and text.
Safari gives you some simple and important tips here. Steps like giving your buyer a confirmation of dispatch, using tracking numbers, and putting your name and logo in the packing slip can go a long way in holding your customers’ attention. Customers will return for repeat buys when they see that you are meticulous and thorough in your service.
Tips from Amazon
Amazon has given its sellers a handy list of things that they can do to improve their seller rating. Tips include prompt reply to enquiries, careful packaging, prompt cancellation if the seller is unable to handle an order, clear description, and proactively resolving customers’ problems, to name a few. Amazon tells its sellers to avoid situations where their orders are not confirmed for dispatch within a reasonable time after the order is placed. Sellers are also advised to keep resources to prepare for festive seasons and other sales.
The leading marketplace gives some tips to avoid a negative rating:
- Maintain minimum stock balance to avoid running out of stock in case of orders,
- Provide correct contact details like email ID and contact number,
- Handle buyers courteously,
And so on.
Amazon also says that prompt and personalised email responses to customers have a better impact than auto reply mails.
Keeping the customer happy
Today’s average customer is a tough taskmaster, definitely hard to please. Tread carefully here, as an unhappy buyer can ruin things for you by giving a bad rating or brutal feedback. Take time and money to reach out to unhappy customers. Figure out their problem, and deal with it in the fairest manner possible. Offer to give them a refund or a replacement if they are unhappy with the product.
Rudeness is a big no-no. It will only fan the flame. Be as polite as possible with the aggrieved customer. If someone has posted a negative review about you, seek out that customer and find out what is the reason behind the bad review (unless this is explicitly mentioned in the review), and discuss what you can do to console the buyer. If you succeed in calming their temper, talk to them to get the review changed.
Winning as an online seller
Getting a toehold in the online selling business is a slightly tricky thing. If you can make it in, things will be smooth sailing from then on, as long as you maintain the standards that got you to the top. Put in time, money, and effort, and hold out for the initial gestation period.
At no point should a seller get laid back. Keep improving your services and fixing leaks whenever you spot them. Engage your buyers in a continuous dialogue; hold periodic surveys and encourage them to giving feedback on a regular basis. A successful seller is one who listens to the buyers, and gives them what they want. If your buyers would like to see something specific on your catalogue, include it where possible.
With a little hard work and effort, you will be able to make the cut in no time.