Month: April 2022

7 Ways to Boost Average Order Value (AOV)

shopping carts with different numbers of items in them

As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you have multiple ways to grow your sales. However, many brands struggle to harvest the most value from each customer who visits their site (without spending an arm and a leg on new advertising and marketing).

If traffic to your website is high and customers are following through on purchases, you might think there’s nothing to improve — after all, products are practically flying off the shelves! But if your customers’ average spend is consistently low, it’s time to up your average order value (AOV). AOV is calculated using the following formula:

AOV = Total Revenue / Total # of Orders

Your AOV is a useful measurement of your sales success and offers insight into customers’ purchase behavior and buying power. You can then use this information to set new targets and refine your marketing strategy to increase consumers’ average spend.

Two tried and tested marketing techniques to boost AOV are upselling and cross-selling.

Below, we’ll explain the differences between upsells and cross-sells, then run through seven ways you can apply them to your business operations.

What are upsells?

When a brand encourages customers to purchase an add-on feature, higher-quality product, or premium version of their service, that’s upselling.

This might look like shopping for a microwave online, adding it to your cart, then receiving a pop-up asking if you’d be interested in the deluxe edition, which includes an extended warranty for only $50 more.

Usually, an upsell is a direct attempt to convince consumers to buy more expensive versions of products and services.

An easy way to remember upsells is to think “upgrade.”

What are cross-sells?

While upsells encourage customers to increase the amount they’re already spending on a given product or service, cross-sells try to push customers towards related products (i.e., getting more products into the cart rather than one higher-priced item).

Let’s use the microwave example again: If you place the microwave in your cart and a pop-up appears with the suggestion, “You might like these items” and shows you images of a toaster and coffee pot of the same make and model as the microwave — that’s cross-selling. Offering a discount if the customer purchases all three? Another cross-sell tactic!

It’s easy to confuse upsells and cross-sells as they’re used in similar ways. You can implement both during the customer’s shopping, checkout, and post-purchase interactions. The key is to use them mindfully, in ways that are helpful to your customers.

Now, let’s dive into specific ways you can increase AOV using cross-sells and upsells.

7 Ways to boost your AOV

1) Deploy product suggestions

When done right, smart product suggestions help consumers find products they like with minimal search effort, which boosts customer retention as a result. If your brand gives off that we get you vibe, customers are more likely to make speedier purchases (less cart lingering or abandonment!) and become repeat shoppers.

For example, if a repeat customer bought the same t-shirt in three colors, it tells you two things: 1. Their preferred t-shirt style, and 2. their preferred colors. So, when you get a similar style t-shirt in stock, you know to push that item as a product suggestion and in which colors to that particular customer.

But how do you figure this out in the first place? And how is an automated suggestion generated? It involves a bit of groundwork.

You’ll need to set up algorithms on your website’s back end, which will analyze behavioral data, track customer preferences, and then use that information to generate the relevant upsell or cross-sell product suggestions. It’s important to implement this feature correctly on your site so you recommend products and services your customers actually want to buy. Alternatively, you can invest in smart product suggestion tools, if that’s within your budget.

2) Make the most of your graphics

These days, storytelling occurs not only in your product description, but also your graphics, product photos, and videos. They all work hand in hand to send the right message (at the right time) about your product. For a higher AOV, leverage your graphics to make subtle suggestions.

For example, if your product is homeware, it would make sense to pair images of a sofa that’s going on sale with a new line of throws and decorative pillows that style well together. This allows you to push a new, higher-end product that could increase your AOV.

This type of cross-sell commonly makes use of product videos. Think of all the clothing stores that show a model walking down the runway wearing a dress you want to purchase, plus shoes and accessories that go well with it. It’s another subtle push and a great way for the customer to observe the full visual effect of the product.

Ultimate takeaway? Strive for functional, eye-catching graphics, images, or videos that showcase your best sellers, trends, or that pair products together logically.

3) Offer free shipping unlocked with AOV

Who doesn’t love free shipping? In fact, having to pay for shipping costs is one of the main reasons customers abandon their shopping carts. For brands, free shipping can incentivize customer spending without slashing the price of your product.

You can increase AOV by offering “unlocked” shipping options where customers need to spend a certain amount before they can access free shipping. If cart abandonment is an issue, sending a notification email promoting free shipping and reminding the customer of what’s in their cart is also an effective tactic.

4) Use email marketing to push additional products

You’ll usually have the opportunity to upsell in your emails immediately after the customer purchase. Send your standard thank-you and confirmation email, but throw in suggestions for additional products or discount offers for items based on their previous purchase history.

We love this email example from Dollar Shave Club, which alerts the customer when their next subscription box will ship and prompts them to add a few extras.

Email upselling can be embedded in your reminder notifications, like at the end of a free subscription, or if users are about to reach a service limit. For instance, this email from Litmus flags the customer’s user limit as almost at its maximum and offers them an add-on option.

If your customers are about to hit a milestone, such as reaching a one-year subscription with you or their birthday, that’s your chance to offer product discounts.

Send an email congratulating them on their milestone along with 20%–30% off their next purchase; that’s a start to boosting your customer lifetime value as well.

5) Add a sense of urgency to your messaging

Nothing spurs action quite like the feeling of time slipping away on a good deal. Fueling your customers’ internal “will I buy, won’t I buy” debate with limited time offers and countdowns can be an effective approach to increase average order value.

Airlines consistently do this well (or at least make the panic set in) with their offers like, “Book flights to Italy for less than $400 dollars if you purchase within the next 2 hours!”

Check out the email below, which employs a mixed approach using email for the message delivery and free shipping as the offer, with a dash of urgency to drive the point home.

Overall, it’s a well-balanced combination of a few of the approaches we’ve covered so far.

6) Launch subscription programs

Subscription and refill programs are perfect for customers who love your product and want to avoid adding another errand to their to-do list. And, of course, they’re great for brands because they guarantee a purchase for X number of weeks/months.

Subscriptions work well for products or services that consumers tend to run out of frequently. Food products like coffee, tea, pre-made meal deliveries, and even cat or dog foods thrive with this type of strategy, but it can work for all kinds of ventures.

The main objective here is to make the cost and convenience of a subscription service attractive to the consumer so they’ll sign up for and maintain the subscription.

7) Provide a bundle upgrade when you detect exit intent

Bundles are perfect for customers who experience choice overwhelm or who are nearing site exit. Think clothing stores that showcase a complete look for customers to buy with just one click. Or, consider make-up stores that package everything the consumer needs (but might not be aware they need) to do a full face contour.

Say you sell technical equipment that customers might need for a hobby. You could bundle an online course with all the beginner gear they’ll need at a slightly lower price than if they bought items individually.

Bundling is a quick and easy option for the customer in a hurry, and a helpful choice for those venturing into new territory.

Wrapping up – Vary your strategy to boost average order value

Ultimately, the best way to increase your average order value is to pay close attention to your buyers’ behavior, regularly track your AOV, and use a combination of the seven strategies outlined in this article.

Remember, the most effective upsells and cross-sells are those naturally integrated into the customer experience. Buyers want to hear about products that appeal to their interests and offers that appear at the right time.

How to Craft Your Bundling Strategy For DTC Success

3 subscription boxes with product bundles inside

Perfect pairs exist all around us — salt and pepper, lemon and lime, milk and cookies. Chances are your favorite online store also hosts its own perfect pairs in a smart bundling strategy.

Crafting a DTC bundling strategy is the secret to leveraging the sales potential of these perfect pairs and ensuring your brand stands out against competitors.

Keep reading to learn how you can unlock the full potential of perfect pairs with a DTC bundling strategy.

What are bundles?

First things first: defining bundles.

The simplest explanation is that a bundle is a group of related products sold together as one item.

With that said, there’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to crafting a product bundle. From pure bundles to mix-and-match, gift set, cross-sell, new product, and clearance, product bundles come in many sizes and quantities.

Pure bundles

Pure bundles contain individual items that can only be purchased as part of a bundle. Service-based companies commonly use this type of bundle. Your TV package or car repair service are just two examples of pure bundle strategies you’ll come across in the real world.

Mix-and-match bundles

Mix-and-match bundles allow customers to build their own bundle from a limited number of items. An example would be letting customers build their own box of 12 donuts to lock in a better value.

While this strategy is typically seen in brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers have also recognized its potential. Online stores selling fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are most likely to adopt this strategy as a way to sell more products in one fell swoop.

Gift set bundles

Gift-giving periods such as Christmas often generate a spike in sales across retail industries. By crafting a gift set bundle, your DTC store can maximize the sales potential of gift-giving occasions.

Gift set bundles are typically available during key gift-buying periods like the winter holiday season and will contain a predetermined collection of items. Products included in gift set bundles could be limited edition launches or items pulled from existing product lines. Package gift set bundles in gift wrap to present customers with an irresistible gift idea.

Cross-sell bundles

Cross-sell bundles offer consumers the chance to buy complementary products as a way to save money on their total order.

Amazon uses cross-sell bundling in their “Frequently bought together” section on product pages. Customers can take advantage of cross-sell bundles on Amazon by adding specified items to their purchase. For example, someone may buy a notepad and then be able to add a set of pens to their order at a reduced cost.

New product bundles

Product bundles are an effective strategy to increase awareness and demand for new products. Online stores can use new product bundles as a way to boost exposure for product launches. Game stores, for example, often use new product bundles as a way to sell recently released games by pairing them with accessories or related games.

Clearance bundles

As well as promoting new products, brands can also use bundles to clear out old or excess stock.

Clearance bundles are a great strategy for breathing new life into products that aren’t selling as quickly as expected, or that need to be cleared to make room for new stock.

Whichever type of bundle you choose, this inventory management strategy can help scale your DTC business to success.

The benefit of bundles

There’s a reason even big brand names like Playstation use bundling strategies — they work.

Product bundling is a lucrative strategy for increasing product purchases, boosting your average cart value, and enticing customers to come back for more while tactically minimizing excess stock.

1) Own the bundled SKU

When you list a product for sale on your website or on a marketplace such as Amazon, you instantly begin to compete with other online stores selling the same product.

Rather than fighting against the competition, you can set yourself apart with little effort using bundles. One of the key benefits of this strategy is that you own the bundled SKU.

This means you won’t compete for space in search results for a single SKU. Instead, you’ll have ownership of a unique SKU that no one else is fighting over.

Every time you package a new bundle, an original SKU is created within your online store.

As well as helping you stand out from competitors, new SKUs will also increase the size of your online store. If you run your store on a platform like Amazon, a larger store size offers the potential to secure greater coverage in search results.

Simply put, you can get more eyes on your store and minimize competition with bundled SKUs.

2) Boost average cart value

Product bundles are sold at a lower price point than if someone were to buy each item separately. For customers who might naturally look to purchase several products together, opting for a bundle is a no-brainer.

Your Super is a great example of a DTC brand that’s used bundling to skyrocket their eCommerce sales. As part of their strategy, Your Super implemented subscription and cross-selling techniques to further increase average order value (AOV), which helped them generate $70 million in eCommerce sales.

DTC Brands including Hydrant, Doe Lashes, and HVMN have all increased their AOV by introducing bundles into their product lineup.

Let’s say someone is shopping for new skincare products. They may want to buy a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Separately, these skincare products cost $20 each. If the shopper comes across a skincare bundle that includes all three of these skincare products for $50, they’re likely to jump on the deal to save money.

Even if they originally planned to buy only one product, the perceived value of the bundle will still hold a higher appeal than purchasing the items individually. That perceived value can be powerful enough to sway someone to buy more items than they initially intended.

Every time a customer buys a bundle, you as the vendor sell more products in one go. This increase in products per order results in a higher average cart value.

You can also improve the success of bundles by giving consumers the power to build their own. As previously mentioned, mix-and-match bundles encourage customers to buy related products together in return for a discount. Meanwhile, you’re able to move more stock, possibly clearing out slow-moving items as well.

In short, bundles are a great deal for the buyer and the seller. To boost your average cart value, look into packaging product bundles.

3) Convince customers to try new items

Product bundles present an opportunity for customers to try items they previously may not have thought to buy.

Pet lifestyle brand Wild One recognized their bag carriers were slow moving and didn’t generate much interest among online shoppers. By including these bag carriers in bundles with more popular and complementary items, Wild One was able to sell out their previously stagnant bag carrier stock. Customers who bought bag carriers through the bundle may discover the product makes life easier and, as such, may go on to buy more individually.

By pairing complementary products together, bundles allow you to cross-sell related product lines you know customers will love, but may not have considered before. If consumers like the goods from the bundle, they may go on to buy the product individually in the future.

As a result, your product bundles could increase future sales for the included product lines.

You could also use bundles to test potential product lines and gauge the market interest for the new items.

4) Give customers a perceived deal to keep them coming back for more

A good deal is irresistible when shopping. Promotions can influence customer acquisition, brand loyalty, and brand perception. Notably, 80% of people said they felt encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a new brand if they came across an offer or discount.

The power of a perceived bargain can be explained through consumer surplus, whereby a consumer is willing to pay more for a product than the current market price.

Let’s say you go to a shop willing to spend $100 on a new pair of shoes, but find them on offer for $75. The difference between what you were willing to pay and what you actually paid results in a consumer surplus of $25.

While this isn’t a tangible saving, it creates a perceived sense of saving for customers that boosts their overall experience with your brand.

Product bundling works in a similar way by allowing you to capture maximum surplus, which makes customers feel like they’re getting a better deal than anticipated. This psychological phenomenon will positively influence their brand perception and keep them coming back for more satisfying experiences.

Great examples of bundles

Need some bundling inspiration? Take a look at these great product bundles that customers love.

Caveman Foods

Caveman Foods offer paleo-friendly snacks that are free of unhealthy ingredients and filled with natural goodness. When shopping on Caveman Foods, you can snag a great deal with their wide selection of product bundles.

From variety pack bundles that let you try different snack flavors to bulk-buy bundles of the same line, Caveman Foods has fully embraced bundling strategies as a core component of their DTC model.

Casa Firelli

Another brand leveraging the unique capabilities of product bundles is Casa Firelli. Famous for its Italian hot sauce, Casa Firelli offers online consumers a chance to stock up on Firelli Hot Sauce with their combo bundles.

With Casa Firelli’s Combos, shoppers can save money when ordering a set of two, three, or six hot sauces. Casa Firelli’s bundle strategy encourages product upsells by offering money off bulk purchases. Customers thus save money and keep their cupboard well-stocked with delicious hot sauce.

Pacers Running

Running shoe retailer Pacers Running effectively employs product bundle strategies to increase their average cart value.

The company allows online shoppers to unlock special discounts when they buy multiple quantities of select products. This strategy is a great example of how you can tap into the benefits of product bundles through well-planned discounts and deals. Customers are highly likely to make use of the deal, increasing their cart value and helping to keep stock moving.

Wrapping up — Crafting your bundle strategy for DTC success

A product bundling strategy can help your company stand out from the competition and boost perceived and actual value for your customers. Experiment with different types of bundles to discover which works best for your online store to increase both revenue and customer loyalty.

Buyers will be happier knowing they’re getting a great deal, which ups the likelihood of repeat purchases. Meanwhile, you can rest assured knowing average order values are increasing, stock is flowing, and you have a competitive advantage in your niche. By leveraging the benefits of product bundles, you can ensure success for your DTC store and satisfaction for your customers.

How To Sell on eBay: 3-Step Checklist, Fulfillment, and Best Practices

a hand holding an ebay receipt

eBay was one of the earliest eCommerce platforms, founded in 1995 when Amazon was just a year old. Previously a marketplace primarily for selling used items, the company has transformed itself into a powerful platform for various brands and businesses.

If you’re looking to launch your enterprise on eBay or are considering it as a new sales channel for your brand, there are several factors to consider. In this guide, we’ll discuss them in detail, along with a three-step guide to getting started, how to fulfill on eBay, and best practices for success.

What is eBay?

eBay is an online marketplace for third-party individual sellers and businesses. The company positions itself as a platform for enterprises of all sizes, giving them access to global opportunities. Its original focus was auction-based selling for used items. Over time though, it’s transitioned into a fixed-price marketplace that’s great for selling brand-new products.

Joining eBay is simple and gives you access to a huge eCommerce brand with a wide reach. The company handles shipping and payments for you and offers many seller-oriented benefits. One thing to note, however, is packaging and handling items are your responsibility.

Why sell on eBay

Now that you have a general overview, let’s delve into the platform’s advantages.

1) Expand your reach

The biggest perk of selling on eBay is accessing its massive customer base of 147 million active buyers. What’s more, a huge chunk of them are mobile users; eBay reported gross merchandise bought on mobile devices in the fourth quarter of 2021 amounted to $12.8 billion.

Mobile commerce is expected to continue growing. Statista stated mobile commerce accounted for 5.9% of total US retail sales in 2021, and it predicts this will grow to 6.9% in 2022. eBay is one important marketplace that can help you access all of those mobile shoppers on their preferred platform.

2) Merchant protection

eBay does its best to nurture a safe and active community of sellers and buyers by implementing various end-to-end measures, including:

For example, eBay gives sellers the ability to report buyers who violate the buyer practices policy. This encourages sellers to conduct business confidently.

3) Seller experience

Selling on eBay is fairly straightforward, without having to apply or wait for approval. Once you sign up (more about this process below), you can list your items, get seller protection, and schedule your payouts. Merchants can even manage listings and respond to questions via eBay’s mobile app.

The platform also gives you the freedom to sell almost anything within their safety guidelines. eBay is known as the marketplace where you can find anything (just take note of their prohibited and restricted items).

Finally, getting paid is convenient. eBay automatically deducts a final value fee only when your item sells. Meanwhile, you can opt to be paid either daily or weekly, with eBay depositing earnings directly into your designated bank account.

4) Diversify your revenue

Having an additional sales channel diversifies your business and decreases your risk. With multiple channels, if one suddenly performs poorly while the others thrive, you’ll offset your losses.

Such a measure can also increase your revenue. Shopify reported that businesses with multiple sales channels generate 190% more revenue than those that only use one.

Additionally, eBay is a global brand that performs consistently. eBay ranks 56th among Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands, and 52% percent of the company’s revenue comes from its international operations. eBay’s 2021 financial report revealed it earned $10.4 billion in revenue for the full year, exceeding expectations.

How to sell on eBay

Now that we’ve covered why to sell on eBay, let’s go over a step-by-step process of how to sign up and get started.

Step 1: Create your account

You can sign up for eBay as an individual (consumer), or as a business seller. For this article, we’ll talk about signing up as a seller.

To create a business account:

  1. Click “Business account” on the Registration page
  2. Enter your business name, business email address, and desired password
  3. Choose your business location
  4. Disregard the “I only want to buy on eBay” checkbox
  5. Select “Create account”

eBay will ask for additional information like your business type and any beneficial owners, officers, directors, or account managers. You’ll also be required to provide:

  • Your bank account or credit card information
  • Tax information
  • Your government ID

Again, you’ll need to verify your account after its creation. You may also encounter special circumstances that require extra information:

  • If you’re a U.S.-based seller with inventory outside the U.S., you may have additional tax obligations.
  • Make sure your bank account type matches your eBay account type — a business bank account owner should register on eBay as a business seller. If you have a personal account, you can change it to a business account in your account settings.

Step 2: Set up your account

With your account created, it’s time to set it up. You’ll need to decide how you receive payments, pay eBay, and which subscription is right for you.

Set up sales payments

Your payment options determine how you receive the proceeds from your sales and pay your eBay seller fees.

  1. Navigate to the top-right corner of your eBay home page
  2. Select the “My eBay” dropdown menu
  3. Click on “Selling”
  4. Select “Account”
  5. Under “Payments,” choose “Payment options”
  6. Enter the necessary banking account information

Decide how to pay seller fees

Setting up Managed Payments is a simple way to handle your seller fees. It streamlines fee payments by automatically deducting them from your sales earnings. To select your payment method:

  • Scroll down within your “Seller Account”
  • You’ll see “Payment methods for Seller Fees”
  • Add a checking account or a credit or debit card

Your account policies

As a business seller, you’ll need to determine your account policies. These include your shipping, returns, and payment policy preferences that you’ll use for your listings.

Your eBay Store subscription

You also have to select your desired eBay Store subscription. Available options are displayed in the table below.

Each plan has its own benefits. Here’s a quick, general breakdown of what you get with them:

  • Inventory Management: Access tools that help you list, bulk upload, and integrate with APIs. You can also use third-party tools.
  • Order Management: Receive discounted shipping labels from major carriers. eBay also offers international fulfillment.
  • Research & Insights: Leverage eBay’s exclusive insights tool, Terapeak, which lets you conduct research on your competitors and how you can improve your listings.
  • Marketing Tools: Create Promoted Listings, eBay’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising option, to increase your visibility.
  • Brand Building Tools: Get a customizable storefront where you can showcase your brand and items.

Once your account is complete, you can customize your store’s homepage. Then, all that’s left is for you to start listing and selling your items.

Step 3: Upload and list your items

You can list your goods via eBay’s mobile app or through bulk upload.

eBay’s mobile app

eBay’s mobile app simplifies the listing process:

  1. Open your eBay app and type in a few keywords that correspond with your item.
  2. Upload your photos and input your item details.
  3. Choose eBay’s price recommendation or pick your own price.
  4. List your item.

Bulk upload

With your eBay Store subscription, you have access to eBay’s bulk listing tools to upload your inventory.

You’re good to go once the above steps are finished. With your automated payment options set up, once a buyer makes a purchase, you just have to pack and ship your items.

How to fulfill on eBay

Packaging, fulfillment, and returns are the responsibility of eBay merchants. You’ll need to coordinate the labels, pick your shipping option, and ensure your items are prepped and packed well.

eBay Labels

eBay Labels is a service designed to make shipping your items easier. You can seamlessly add a shipping service when you list your merchandise. Then, once your goods sell, you can print their shipping labels.

With your buyer’s information already in eBay’s system, all you need to do is:

  1. Enter your package’s weight and dimensions
  2. Choose your preferred carrier and shipping method
  3. Send the label to your printer or, when available, generate a QR code on your mobile device and print the label when you drop off the package with the carrier

Domestic shipping services

For shipping in the U.S., eBay uses partners like UPS and USPS to streamline fulfillment.

These partners offer discounted eBay Labels with free automatic tracking. They also:

  • Accept eBay QR codes
  • Possess thousands of drop-off locations
  • Offer discounted rates to make shipping cost-effective and easy for you.

Select the partner and service that offers you and your buyer the most convenience. Each domestic shipping partner has its advantages.

USPS

USPS is good for light packages:

  • It has competitive pricing for packages below 1 lb (First-Class Package Service) and 5 lbs. (Priority Mail)
  • It’s the only carrier that offers free, scheduled residential pick-up.

UPS

UPS is your best bet if you or your customers want definitive shipping dates:

  • It’s known to be a reliable carrier and offers day-definite delivery.
  • It offers Saturday delivery, so your customers can receive their orders up to two days faster without extra costs.

FedEx

FedEx should be your chosen carrier if you want to maximize cost savings:

  • It offers unbelievable commercial rates when shipping to businesses, even heavy discounts for home delivery
  • Its residential delivery is available seven days a week
  • FedEx also has a flat rate 2-Day Air pricing (up to 10 lbs), which competes with slower shipping alternatives.

eBay Standard Envelope

This is a secure shipping service geared specifically for small items in the collectibles category (under 3 oz):

  • It’s cheaper than using USPS’s First Class Package Service (by up to 70%)
  • It has integrated tracking and shipping protection in case of loss or damage (up to $50 on combined items)

eBay international shipping services

To expand your business’s reach, eBay offers international shipping. You have two fulfillment options to reach profitable markets such as Canada, UK, and Germany.

eBay international standard delivery

eBay’s International Standard Delivery allows you to access over 210 countries. It’s a cost-effective service with great shipping rates; eBay highlights your savings can average from 9% to 15% in most of the major international markets compared to USPS, allowing you to price more competitively in other countries.

International Standard Delivery also lets you print eBay Labels and use USPS drop-off services. You’ll even have eBay’s seller and shipping protections and a couple of set practices:

  • Duties and taxes occur on delivery
  • You, the seller, will determine how much to charge for shipping

Global Shipping Program

eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP) is a Delivery Duties Paid (DDP) service where your buyer pays duties and taxes at checkout. After that, eBay remits them to over 100 corresponding countries to help expedite your deliveries.

Under the GSP, eBay determines all shipping charges on a listing. It also handles custom paperwork and import fees. You simply ship the packages to eBay’s Kentucky hub and the company takes care of everything else.

Other perks include:

  • eBay provides end-to-end tracking
  • You get five-star shipping/handling when you provide free shipping to eBay’s Global Shipping Center
  • Five-star shipping-time ratings are also possible with same-day or one-day handling
  • eBay claims sellers who use the GSP have seen up to a 15% increase in sales

Freight shipping

Freight shipping is ideal if you sell oversized items, as it’s more economical. You can offer your buyers a flat rate or freight rate tables that provide up-front information, which lessens back-and-forth between you and allows them to check out quickly.

Flat-rate freight: This is the simplest and most efficient option. You either offer a flat shipping cost or free freight to all U.S. buyers.

Freight rate tables: This option lets you relay the costs to your buyer using a freight rate table, as freight shipping costs vary by region. You can charge accordingly based on up to 100 U.S. buyer regions.

To make it easier, eBay gives you access to a freight table builder. You can use it to apply the table to your listing flow or business policy or save it for future use.

Returns

Returns are also your responsibility on eBay, including missing items and refunds. The process typically looks like this:

  • When you receive a return request from your buyer, eBay sends you a message via email and eBay Messages
  • Once the return request is opened, you have three business days to respond and resolve their issue

eBay encourages its sellers to offer competitive returns policies. Options range in strictness from a “no returns” policy all the way to 60-day free returns. Choosing your policy depends on your business model.

You also have to send your buyer a return label. And, if an item doesn’t arrive, is faulty/damaged, or doesn’t match the listing, because of eBay’s Money Back Guarantee, you’re required to replace, return, or refund the item.

eBay seller fees

Typically, you only have to pay eBay’s fees, which are automatically deducted, when you make a sale. However, there are a few special circumstances that may cost you more. We’ll first cover eBay’s two most important fees: insertion fees and final value fees.

Insertion fees

Listing on eBay is typically free up to a certain point. Merchants can list 250 items per month without any fees. For any listing beyond that, sellers must pay a $0.35 insertion fee per listing.

Final value fees

Final value fees, also known as referral fees on other marketplaces, allow eBay to keep a portion of each sale. It’s calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the sale + $0.30 per order.

As for the total amount of the sale, this includes the item’s price, handling charges, the shipping service your buyer picks, sales tax, and other applicable fees.

The final value fee percentages vary by product category:

  • Most categories: 12.9% of the total amount of the sale up to $7,500 calculated per item; 2.35% of the portion of the sale over $7,500
  • Movies & TV: 14.6% of the total amount of the sale up to $7,500 calculated per item; 2.35% of the portion of the sale over $7,500
  • Heavy Equipment: 3% of the total amount of the sale up to $15,000 calculated per item; 0.5% of the portion of the sale over $15,000

There are a few tactics to reduce your eBay seller fees. For example, if you’re just doing product research, consider limiting your R&D to items that will fit under the categories with the lowest final value fees.

eBay store subscriptions

By becoming a business seller, you get more free listings and lower final value fees. It follows the same principle as casual or individual sellers, where a percentage is deducted from the total amount of the sale. However, the rates are lower, as shown below.

As you can see, you pay significantly lower fees as an eBay Store subscriber, but there’s a catch: you have to pay subscription fees instead.

eBay subscription fees

Fees vary according to your chosen plan. You have five options: Starter, Basic, Premium, Anchor, and Enterprise. Below is a table of their respective fees.

Other fees

In addition to the regular fees we’ve listed above, there are a few other costs to be aware of:

Check out these fee calculation examples from eBay to see how fees are calculated for both auction-style and fixed-price listings.

Best practices for selling on eBay

Now that we’ve gone over the why, how, and how much, let’s talk about optimization. Selling on eBay is only worth your time if you can make a profit, so here’s how to do it.

Use Promoted Listings

We previously mentioned that as an eBay business seller, you have access to Promoted Listings. eBay’s PPC advertising option boosts the visibility of your items, especially for sellers searching for products similar to yours.

Electronics seller TekReplay, for instance, increased the sales of their high-quality refurbished items by 179% thanks to Promoted Listings. Similarly, Reebok doubled its sales while only paying 6% in fees.

With Promoted Listings, you only have to pay when someone clicks on your item, and there are multiple ways to get started. You can track your campaigns via the Performance Dashboard and monitor key metrics like:

  • Impressions: How many times your Promoted Listings appeared on eBay
  • Clicks: How many visits from a promoted listing your listing page receives
  • Ad fees: Total fees incurred by items sold within 30 days of clicking on your promoted listings
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of times buyers saw your ad and clicked it
  • Sales conversion rate: The percentage of promoted listings purchased after your buyer has clicked them

Leverage eBay initiatives

eBay has programs designed to help entrepreneurs and smaller enterprises grow their online businesses. Two notable programs are its Up & Running initiative and its Seller School, which are useful to people new to eCommerce or who hope to launch their eBay enterprise.

Up & Running

This eBay initiative is designed to help sellers launch and grow their online businesses. Through Up & Running, the company provides benefits to help individuals up to small enterprises run their eBay store. These perks include:

  • Selling tools and insights
  • Zero listing fees on up to 200 monthly listings
  • Virtual learning
  • Real-time consultations with fellow sellers and eBay staff

Up & Running has also expanded its efforts with a new grant program. Through it, 50 small business sellers based in the U.S. have received $10,000 grants.

eBay Seller School

eBay also invests in resources to help its sellers succeed in the digital economy. This virtual learning platform features on-demand lessons and other learning materials that cover a wide range of eCommerce topics.

Through the Seller School, eBay also offers tools that can help sellers scale their businesses, such as:

  • Image Clean-Up
  • Time Away
  • Seller Initiated Offers

Pay attention to trends

eBay-supplied research tool Terapeak uses eBay supply, demand, and pricing data to show sellers easy-to-understand trend visualizations.

Terapeak also has a useful feature called Sourcing Insights, which provides eBay marketplace data like categories with high demand and low supply. It can help you determine the popular products you should source next.

Let’s say you’re a sports retailer. You notice on the tool a spike in demand for winter gear like skis and snowboards, but the supply is low. This presents an opportunity to source these items and sell them on the platform.

Ensure proper packaging

Since you pack and handle your items, you’re responsible for their presentation and condition before shipping.

Always make sure your products fit snugly in their boxes. Make use of packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or paper to protect them. If you want to promote your brand further, feel free to incorporate custom packaging, inserts, etc.

Create detailed, optimized product descriptions

eBay’s shoppers search for items using keywords. Make sure to include relevant keywords and product identifiers like:

  • Brand: Samsung
  • Style or model: Galaxy
  • Model number: S22 Ultra
  • Color: Burgundy
  • Size (for shoes): Men’s size 11, Women’s size 7

Also, try to structure your product titles closely to how users type in their eBay searches. Instead of generic titles like “Samsung Galaxy Phone,” be more specific. Something that includes attributes like “Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Burgundy” would help guide potential buyers to your eBay Store.

Similarly, when crafting detailed product descriptions, disclose everything. Include your item’s dimensions, its accessories, and what it requires to work (like batteries). Mention any flaws or defects if the item is used. This way, the buyer will be aware of what they’re purchasing.

Wrapping up — Selling on eBay

eBay is a powerful marketplace that gives merchants access to more shoppers, and is easy to get started on. The marketplace also invests heavily in learning programs and resources to help sellers grow.

Before you begin selling, understand how fulfillment is handled, eBay’s many shipping options, and the platform’s fees.

An Introduction to Wish.com: How to Sell on Wish Marketplace

a wish logo and a stack of boxes on a dolly

Are you considering an additional sales channel for your eCommerce business? Or are you a popular retail brand looking to get started with eCommerce, and want to get your products in front of millions of customers?

If so, the Wish marketplace may be the platform for you. In this article we’ll introduce Wish.com and how it works. We’ll also break down the company’s recent changes and how they’ll affect you and your business.

What is Wish.com?

Wish is a highly popular online marketplace that primarily focuses on mobile eCommerce. Through it, third-party merchants can sell their products to the platform’s customers around the world.

The San-Francisco-based company — founded in 2010 by Peter Szulczewski and Danny Zhang — aims to sell a wide range of affordable items to consumers. The platform also provides customers a personalized and entertaining shopping experience.

Recent changes on Wish

Earlier this year, in an effort to minimize fraud and foster a trustworthy community of merchants and users, Wish transformed into an invite-only marketplace.

And, to supplement the company’s efforts to improve logistics for its sellers, Wish will be ending its Fulfillment By Wish (FBW) program on April 11, 2022. Its new emphasis will be on achieving more consistent and faster deliveries, plus improved tracking throughout the process.

Benefits of selling on the Wish app

Becoming a seller on the platform is more difficult than before, but it still has numerous perks that make it worthwhile. Plus, now that it’s invite-only, you have less competition to worry about.

Tap into its wide base of mobile shoppers

The Wish platform has 90 million monthly active users in over 60 countries around the world. The company also boasts about 1.7 million products sold daily in its marketplace.

Besides the ability to reach a huge customer base, mobile shopping is expecting to see continued growth. Statista reported that mobile commerce accounted for 5.9% of total US retail sales in 2021. It’s even projected to reach 6.9% in 2022 and climb all the way up to 10.4% in 2025.

Decrease your risk and increase your revenue

If you’re looking to implement a multi-channel approach, an additional sales channel in Wish can diversify your income streams, thus lessening your risk. If any of your earlier-established sales channels fail, a flourishing business on Wish can counteract your losses.

As for increasing revenue, Shopify reported that businesses with multiple sales channels generate 190% more than those that only use one. It makes sense: more places to buy from you means more opportunities to make a sale.

Low and convenient fees

You don’t have to worry about a monthly subscription for selling on Wish. In fact, you only have to pay a fee when you make a sale. Wish also deducts it automatically, making payments convenient for the seller.

Since the financial hit isn’t as substantial as other eCommerce platforms, joining Wish is friendly to businesses of all sizes.

Control over the Wish shopping experience

On Wish, you’re expected to provide customer service to buyers who request assistance. And, with the company’s fulfillment program ending soon, you’ll also be taking care of fulfillment shortly.

Since you’ll be responsible for packing, handling, and shipping your products, you can freely use branded materials — like custom packaging and marketing inserts — which helps your items make a strong first impression.

Plus, providing consistent and timely product deliveries and customer support can nurture loyalty from your buyers.

How to sell on Wish

Here’s a quick run-through of how to get started on Wish. Before jumping straight to your request to join the platform, however, take note of its Merchant Criteria.

Step 1: Gain access to Wish

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Visit the Wish for Merchants invite page, where you’ll be prompted to complete a brief questionnaire. It asks for information about you and your business, and only takes a few minutes.

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Once your questionnaire is submitted, all that’s left is to wait. Wish will evaluate your request and email you a sign-up invitation if you pass. The invite contains your personalized sign-up link, which you’ll need to finish the process.

If your application is declined, you’ll also receive an email. For any questions about the outcome or the reapplication process, you’ll have to contact Wish. Besides the aforementioned sign-up procedure, the company sometimes invites qualified merchants via outreach or strategic partnership.

Step 2: Validate your store

This is the most important step. Store validation keeps your account secure and can unlock other features. It also removes any potential limitations to your store’s sales and impressions.

Requirements

Prepare these before going through the validation process:

  • Individual merchants will need to provide their government-issued ID.
  • Business merchants will be asked to provide proof of identity for their business (i.e., their business registration license, articles/certificate of incorporation, or tax documents).

Validation process

Visit the Validate my store page to get started, then fill out the necessary forms.

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Your country/region of domicile should be:

  • For individual merchants, your permanent residence or fixed legal address
  • For business merchants, where the company that owns and operates your Wish store is incorporated

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Your address should match your country/region of domicile.

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Wish will then send you a verification code via text message, which you’ll need to continue your store’s validation.

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Based on your account type, provide your prepared requirements.

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For individual merchants, make sure your ID clearly shows your full name and your country/region of domicile.

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For business merchants, the primary contact person is considered the merchant account holder. They should be able to provide requirements and initiate transactions — like disbursements and refunds — on your company’s behalf.

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Lastly, click “Submit.”

Wish will then process and review your request within two business days. To view your validation’s status, navigate to your Seller Profile. Your status will be marked as “Validated” if successful, and you can start listing and selling your items.

If unsuccessful, however, your status will say “Rejected.” It’ll also show a list of your items that didn’t meet the criteria. You can try repeating the process by clicking “Validate store again.”

Wish seller fees

Wish takes a small commission or “revenue share” percentage that varies depending on the value of each transaction. It follows a tiered structure, but rates can range from 5% to 25% and is based on the following factors:

  • Your Wish Express status
  • The order’s destination and origin
  • Your region of domicile or legal establishment
  • The corresponding product’s category

For instance, a Wish Express order bound for Germany is subject to a 5% revenue share. On the other hand, a non-Wish Express order under the Household Supplies category that’s bound for the U.S. is subject to a 10% revenue share.

How revenue share is computed

Imagine you sold an item for $25 with $5 shipping and it’s subject to a 10% revenue share. Your total sale is worth $30 and its revenue share is $3. That means you’ll get paid $27 and Wish keeps the rest.

However, you can easily see the revenue share percentage per order in your Order details page on the Merchant Dashboard and via APIs.

How to lower your selling costs on Wish

Based on the above criteria that determines your revenue share percentage, you can take the following measures to lower your rates:

  • Set up primary and secondary warehouses close to your intended selling destinations. This allows you to offer Wish Express shipping for more of your items.
  • Establish business locations in regions where you want to sell.
  • Sell in categories that have low marketplace referral fees.

Fulfillment options

With the sunset of Fulfillment by Wish, you’ll have two ways to fulfill your Wish orders: in-house or outsourced.

In-house

This option is ideal for businesses with an existing fulfillment or logistics infrastructure. You can fulfill your Wish orders yourself, but you’ll have to do it within the company’s five-day limit. If you’re unable to do so, the order will be refunded, Wish may disable the associated item, and you’ll be fined $50 for each auto-refunded order.

Outsourced

You can also choose to outsource your Wish order fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. This option is better for businesses who have or plan to have multiple sales channels. 3PLs are also more cost-effective for businesses without fulfillment or logistics in place.

Tips for sellers on Wish.com

Here are some best practices to help you succeed on the Wish platform.

Utilize shoppable videos

ContextLogic, the platform’s parent company, recently revealed Wish Clips. This is a new feature that allows you to create short videos demonstrating your products. It also links users to your store, their carts, or an option to purchase immediately.

Imagine you’re able to engage Wish users in a way that mimics livestream shopping, but potential customers are able to access it on demand. You can even feature partner influencers on your Wish Clips and have them demo your products to reach more audiences.

Advertise

Wish gives you access to its native advertising tool, ProductBoost. This feature increases your products’ exposure by moving them higher up the rankings than they typically would in organic searches.

Not only will it make your new products easier to discover, but it will also land your best products in front of more customers. Using ProductBoost doesn’t cost much either:

  • Joining is free
  • You only pay for impressions delivered
  • You can set the budget for your campaigns
  • The ad spend will never exceed your set budget

If you have newly uploaded products or items with low impressions, enabling IntenseBoost — which is a ProductBoost feature — is also ideal. It increases exposure over a shorter time frame, but at a higher spend. Once activated, Wish showcases your products in premium and highly visible locations in the Wish app and website.

Ship quickly

Setting your products’ max delivery days to five days or less makes it eligible for the Wish Express program. Offering this expedited shipping option qualifies your products for the following benefits:

  • Increased impressions
  • Quicker order payment eligibility
  • An orange truck badge that highlights your fast-shipping products
  • Appearance in a dedicated “Express” section of Wish

Qualify for Wish Standards

Wish Standards is a program that aims to reward high-performing merchants and improve the platform’s community of sellers and buyers. It also provides benefits that can improve your store’s visibility, revenue, and customer loyalty.

To qualify, you have to reach a minimum of 50 matured orders within 90 calendar days. Wish determines an order to be mature when enough time has passed for an accurate assessment of fulfillment status and customer satisfaction.

What’s more, based on user feedback, your compliance with Wish policies, and other metrics, Wish classifies your performance into one of four tiers (from Bronze to Platinum). You access better benefits at higher tiers (i.e., Gold and Platinum) such as:

  • Impression boosts: Your products get ranking preference on Wish. Meanwhile, Bronze merchants may experience reduced impressions, and Silver merchants’ impressions may see little to no impact.
  • “Premier merchant” badge and tag: This badge is visible to Wish customers. It alerts them that you offer superior customer service and product quality.

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Wrapping up — Why and how to sell on Wish

Wish is a low-cost online marketplace, but potential and existing merchants may find the recent changes to sign-ups and order fulfillment options inconvenient. However, these developments boost the quality of buyers and sellers on the platform, which increases the likelihood of a sale.

Wish further makes up for its disruptive transitions through new programs and features that can significantly improve a merchant’s reach, customer loyalty, and performance, helping both the company and its sellers succeed.

The Amazon Inventory Performance Index Explained and How to Improve Your Score

amazon inventory displayed in graphs on a computer screen

Your Amazon Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score dictates important aspects of your business, such as your inventory limits and FBA fees.

It can be scary when your IPI veers toward the red and Amazon starts cutting your FBA storage, but it’s not impossible to turn things around.

In this article, we’re going to break down:

  • What an IPI is and why it’s so important
  • What factors contribute to your IPI
  • How to boost your IPI scores

What is the Amazon Inventory Performance Index (IPI)?

Your Inventory Performance Index score is a measurement of how efficiently you keep your products in stock. Amazon will give your business a score between 0 and 1,000 based on a few metrics we’ll cover later in this article.

Your IPI is important for two reasons:

  1. It affects your FBA storage limits
  2. It helps you run your eCommerce business more efficiently

If you want to run a profitable business using FBA, you’ll need a healthy IPI score. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about IPI scores and what you can do to improve yours.

The importance of a good IPI score

A strong IPI score is a crucial part of growing your eCommerce business. Amazon periodically checks your IPI and, if you aren’t doing great, they’ll limit your FBA storage capacity. That means you have less stock in FBA and a greater risk of selling out.

Another side effect we’ve observed is that you may also end up with a lower chance of winning the Buy Box. This is likely because the marketplace won’t want to award it to a seller that doesn’t have the inventory to handle the sales spike.

Where to find your Amazon IPI score

Checking your Amazon IPI is simple. You can find your score on your Inventory Performance Dashboard. Click the Inventory dropdown menu at the top of your screen, then select Inventory Planning and click the Performance tab.

Source: Amazon

Your Inventory Performance Index, along with a breakdown of the top influencing factors of your IPI score, will look like the image above.

What factors contribute to your IPI score

Updated every week, your IPI score tells you how well you balance inventory levels, avoid long-term storage fees, and fix listing problems.

Here are the most important factors that go into calculating your IPI score.

1) Excess inventory

Avoid having excess inventory in FBA. Amazon considers a SKU to have excess inventory if it has stock for more than 90 days, based on forecasted demand.

Having too much excess inventory and a low sales volume can affect your FBA sell-through rate and indicate poor inventory management practices.

2) Aged inventory

Amazon charges you for storing inventory in their fulfillment centers for long periods of time. This applies to any inventory that’s been in a fulfillment center for more than 365 days.

The charge is based on which is greater: the volume of items in storage or the number of units in storage.

To improve your IPI score, you’ll definitely want to avoid long-term storage fees. We’ll get into the steps you can take to avoid those fees later.

3) Stranded inventory

Listing problems cause stranded inventory, which is inventory that doesn’t have an active listing even though it’s in an Amazon fulfillment center. These listing issues result in lost sales, and wasted space for the stranded inventory that cannot be sold.

If you’re paying fees for inventory that can’t be sold to customers, it’ll hurt your bottom line and isn’t great for your IPI score.

4) FBA sell-through rate

Your FBA sell-through rate is a measurement of how many units you’ve shipped in the past 90 days as compared to how much inventory you’ve had, on average, in fulfillment centers during that time.

Having a good FBA sell-through rate indicates a healthy sales volume alongside enough inventory to sustain it with good inventory planning and forecasting.

5) FBA in-stock rate

Amazon monitors your stock levels using an FBA in-stock rate. This is a measurement of how well you’re keeping up with customer demand. This is to help you keep your most popular products at the right stock levels to meet demand and maximize customer satisfaction.

Although you want to avoid storage limits or long-term storage fees, you also don’t want to miss out on potential sales because you’ve fallen behind on restocking your inventory.

A good rule of thumb is to hold enough inventory in stock to cover 30 to 60 days’ worth of expected sales.

How to improve your Amazon IPI score

Since your IPI score affects your storage limits and is a reliable measurement of your eCommerce success on Amazon FBA, it’s easy to understand why you need to improve your score.

Here are a few tips to improve your Amazon IPI.

Don’t send in too much inventory for one SKU

You don’t want to keep too much inventory in stock at one time. However, you also want to have the inventory to satisfy your customers’ needs. You should aim to hold enough inventory in stock to cover 30 to 60 days’ worth of sales.

Improve your sell-through rate

Your Inventory Performance dashboard can also help you figure out how to improve your sell-through rate with specific advice tailored to your situation.

Your goal should be to keep your sell-through rate in the “good” range year-round. This means maintaining a sell-through rate of at least 3.

Source: Amazon

Stay in stock, especially for your best sellers

Watch your in-stock rate. This measures the amount of time your inventory has been in stock over the past 30 days, and it’s a useful tool to determine how well you’re keeping pace with demand.

If you’ve previously had problems maintaining stock of your inventory, you can check your estimated FBA lost sales in the last 30 days to see how many sales you’ve missed out on.

It’s especially important to keep your best sellers in-stock, because higher sales volumes and faster sales velocity mean more FBA inventory allowance.

Avoid long-term storage fees

Long-term storage is more expensive than regular storage, so it cuts into your bottom line. It’s also an indicator of poor inventory planning or an unpopular item.

To avoid those long-term storage fees, try using Amazon Outlet to sell your older inventory at a discount.

You can also submit a removal or disposal order, which allows you to select and remove specific inventory. Similarly, you can set up automatic inventory removals for unsellable inventory or for any that’s subject to those long-term storage fees.

Monitor listings and fix any issues immediately

Avoid getting stranded inventory (stock that, because of listing problems, can’t be sold even though it’s held in an Amazon fulfillment center).

If you have any stranded inventory, your Inventory Performance dashboard will tell you. You can find that information by checking your stranded inventory percentage. Fix stranded inventory immediately to prevent your IPI score from taking a hit.

6 Frequently asked IPI questions

Now that we’ve answered the basics of Amazon IPI scores, here are a few questions we’ve come across frequently.

What’s a good IPI score?

An IPI score above 550 means you’re doing a great job keeping a balanced inventory and fixing listing problems. If your score is under 550, you have room for improvement.

How are storage limits determined?

Individual selling accounts have a fixed storage limit of 10 cubic feet. For professional selling accounts, on the other hand, storage limits can vary.

A few factors influence storage limits for professional selling accounts. The most important ones to consider are your overall sales volume, seasonal variations in sales volume, your historical IPI scores, and storage capacity at fulfillment centers.

What are score thresholds and checks?

Amazon will notify you in advance when they’re going to do a score check and what the IPI score threshold will be. If you meet that threshold, you can have your storage limit removed.

But you’ll need to be a little patient — Amazon will actually conduct two score check weeks on your account before you can have your storage limit removed.

If you meet the IPI score threshold on either of those two weeks, you’re in the clear. If your IPI score is below the threshold on both score check weeks, you’ll still be subject to storage limits.

Source: Amazon

What is sell-through rate and how is it calculated?

Amazon calculates your sell-through rate by looking at two numbers: your units shipped in the past 90 days, and your average inventory on hand in fulfillment centers during that time span. The number of units shipped is then divided by the average number of units held, and the result is your sell-through rate.

For example, imagine you shipped 250 units in the past 90 days. Over that same period, the average number of units on hand in fulfillment centers was 50. Your sell-through rate would be 250 divided by 50, which equals 5.

Amazon considers a sell-through rate above 7 to be an excellent score. Scores from 3 to 7 are good, while scores of 1 or 2 are fair. A sell-through rate of less than 1 is a poor score; it means you held more inventory than you sold in the past 90 days.

How do I improve my Amazon sell-through rate?

One simple way is to submit a removal order to remove any inventory that’s not selling fast enough. You can also try to get rid of that inventory quickly by selling it at discounted prices through Amazon Outlet.

Other options include lowering your prices, improving keywords for search engine optimization, and advertising your products through sponsored ads on Amazon. This guide can help you navigate the ins and outs of advertising your products on Amazon.

Why am I missing an IPI score?

To get an IPI score, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You need a professional selling plan
  • You need to be holding inventory at a fulfillment center
  • You need to have recent account activity

So, if you’re new to FBA or if you haven’t been using your account recently, you won’t have an IPI score. You also may not have an IPI score if you only use FBA for multi-channel fulfillment, not selling your inventory on Amazon.

Wrapping up — Increase your IPI and drive revenue

A healthy IPI score is a sign that business is booming. But if things aren’t looking great, you can take advantage of any of the tips we outlined above to get ahead of the competition and start shifting more units.

Sound a little daunting? MyFBAPrep can help. Our team has years of experience getting products into FBA quickly, ensuring each item is sent in compliance with Amazon’s standards. This saves you a ton of time and hassle so you don’t have to worry about Amazon sending items back to you.

Avoid the headache and book a call with one of our professionals now.

How to Set Up Your Amazon Store For Success

an amazon store on computer screen

2022 is the year of omni-channel selling. If you aren’t selling successfully on Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, it’s time to change that. The platform is home to more than 9.5 million global sellers offering every product you can think of (and then some). So, how do you stand out?

To get the most out of your Amazon sales channel and showcase your brand, consider creating your own unique Amazon presence with an Amazon Store.

What is an Amazon Store?

An Amazon Store allows sellers to spotlight their brand and increase sales via a customized Amazon web address. It’s a do-it-yourself solution that provides an immersive and curated shopping experience for customers.

An Amazon Store will house all or a collection of your brand’s products and can be single- or multi-page in nature. Stores are open to brands that sell through Vendor Central or brand-registered merchants (more on that later) who use Seller Central.

Why create an Amazon Store?

When you establish an Amazon Store, you carve out your own corner of Amazon’s web platform dedicated solely to your brand and products. Amazon Stores are the only location on the website that won’t showcase a competitor’s products alongside yours, ensuring your products are top-of-mind.

Expand your reach and discoverability

An Amazon Store is a curated destination for consumers to shop for products and for you to increase brand awareness. Traffic can land on your unique web address from search and detail pages, or through customized, targeted advertising on your end.

When shoppers land on your Amazon Store, they have access to your full product catalog. This gives them an easier way to browse, minus your competition.

Customize your brand experience

Unlike a basic listing, an Amazon Store enables sellers to use graphics, layout, and other interactive elements to engage shoppers.

Your Store is the best opportunity to showcase products, get customers to relate to your brand, and guide them through the purchasing process without interruption.

Boost your retention

Customer lifetime value (CLV) and retention generally have a bigger impact on direct-to-consumer stores (i.e., from your Shopify or BigCommerce store), but having your own Amazon Store can affect CLV as well.

Amazon found that recently updated Amazon Stores earn 21% more repeat visitors and 35% higher attributed sales per visitor. This bodes well for your overall CLV, with larger cart volumes and more return visitors.

How to set up your Amazon Store

An Amazon Store provides your own storefront to showcase your brand story and leave a lasting impression. Each Store won’t necessarily have the typical Amazon layout — it can be completely customized to match your brand’s look and feel. Here’s how to make it happen.

1) Register your brand

Amazon Stores aren’t a free-for-all. To create your Store, you must first register your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry. This helps protect your intellectual property (IP) and guard your brand’s name on Amazon.

Amazon Brand Registry required information

To enroll your business in the Amazon Brand Registry, you need the following:

  • An Amazon seller account
  • An active, registered trademark in the country where you plan to enroll OR a pending trademark filed through the Amazon IP Accelerator
  • Your brand name or logo, displayed prominently on all products and packaging

You may face country-specific requirements as well. For example, for sellers in the United States, the Amazon Brand Registry also requests:

  • Trademark registration number with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Any brand marks, which can include text or an image/design, such as a logo
  • The product categories your brand products should be listed under (apparel, sporting goods, electronics, etc.)
  • Countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and/or distributed

If you’re unsure whether or not you meet the requirements for the Amazon Brand Registry, take a moment to review the criteria first.

2) Customize product pages with A+ Content

A+ Content is just one of the many tools available to help you describe your product features. With it, you can include a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements to make your products stand out.

You can find the A+ Content tool and others by logging in to Seller Central and navigating to Advertising >> Brand Content. All A+ Content is subject to approval by Amazon, which can take up to seven days.

A+ Content can include the following.

Improved product descriptions

Provide more details on product features and uses to support bullet points and images on the main product detail page. This helps customers make purchase decisions by proactively answering questions they may have. Enhanced product descriptions appear in the “Product description” section of the Amazon detail page.

Here are some ideas of different elements to include:

  • Custom paragraph headers and images
  • Unique image and text layouts for a customized look
  • Product comparison charts
  • Bulleted feature lists for ease of reading

Brand content

Educate customers about the history of your brand as well as your mission, values, and product lines. Brand content appears in the “From the brand” section of the Amazon detail page.

  • Carousel display with full-screen background on both desktop and mobile devices to appeal to all users
  • Image and text cards
  • Links to other products and the brand store

3) Tailor your Amazon Store to your brand specs

Once you’ve enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, you can build a store that gives your customers an immersive and rich online shopping experience. Your Amazon Store will not only serve as your product catalog, but will also introduce customers to your brand and story.

When you create your Store, you’ll receive a unique Amazon.com web address to use in your marketing plans. You can showcase your newest and best-selling products in your Store and give customers personalized recommendations to provide a curated shopping experience.

How to build an Amazon Store: A step-by-step guide

To build your Amazon Store, you simply need a seller account and be enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Log in to your Seller Central account and select Store >> Manage Stores.
  2. Click the “Create Store” button to begin building your Store.
  3. Choose a template for your Store. Each one will include adjustable tiles for images, text, video, and other content. Template options include:
  • Product grid: A simple way to display your brand selection
  • Marquee: Includes a curated product display plus space for additional imagery, product description, and customer quotes
  • Showcase: A flexible option for brands who have a wide selection of products with plenty of additional space for product information and rich visuals
  1. Open Store Builder to build your brand’s online store within Amazon.
  2. Click on Page Manager and select “Add a Page” to create a page for your Store. Customize it by adding a page name and description, then choose a page template.
  3. Add and rearrange content on your page using the Tile Manager. You can combine product images, text, and video to create a unique and engaging experience for your customers.
  4. Curate your storefront by handpicking which products are displayed, or use dynamic widgets to populate displays automatically, like best-selling products or your recommendations based on visitor behavior.

Dynamic widgets use Amazon data, including keyword search, best-selling products, and/or user recommendation history to help you optimize and update the products that appear on your Store.

  1. Use the Preview Window to see how your Store will look to desktop and mobile users. If you’re unhappy, simply click on individual tiles within the page to make any changes you want.
  2. Repeat steps 5-8 to build out pages for your Store.
  3. Once you’ve added all necessary pages to showcase different features, product categories, top sellers, “Handpicked Items,” etc., click “Submit for publishing.” The publishing process involves moderation, which can take a few days, so keep an eye on the Status Bar to monitor progress.

Avoid rejection by reviewing the Creative Guidelines before you submit.

The importance of building a great Amazon Store

Building a great store on Amazon creates a unique space for customers to interact with your brand. Optimizing your page and carefully curating the content you display can increase conversions.

Remember: The entire shopping process can be done from a store page, meaning customers can add to cart or “buy now” right from your Store! This is why shoppable images and key product placements are essential.

What makes a good Amazon Store?

Simply launching an Amazon Store doesn’t guarantee success. So, what makes a good Store?

Clear USPs

Customers should easily understand each product’s unique selling point (USP) when they arrive on your Amazon Store. Take advantage of the A+ Content tool to ensure you clearly highlight the USP for every product. The more clearly you define your products’ selling points, the more confidence your customers will have in choosing “Add to Cart” (or better yet, “Buy Now”).

Easy-to-navigate product catalog

If your product catalog is difficult to navigate, customers could bounce from your Store and return to Amazon.com, where your competition’s products await.

Your product catalog should be easy to browse, with clean, clear category listings and high-quality imagery. In fact, using shoppable images makes the catalog even easier to navigate, allowing customers to buy on sight.

Cohesive brand experience

Your Amazon Store should feel like yours. This means your brand is front and center, with its colors and theme visible to solidify its look and feel on every page and product listing. Keep your written content on-brand, too, including your A+ Content.

Utilizing video

Video is incredibly powerful, especially in your Amazon Store. Consider using an Explainer Video on your storefront to introduce users to your brand, vision, and mission. Meanwhile, use product videos on product pages to introduce customers to your wares in a more intimate and interactive way.

Wrapping up — Use your Amazon Store to grow your brand and customer relationships

An Amazon Store is a free tool to create a unique, customized space for your business on Amazon. It acts like a unique ecommerce site while providing the perks of selling via Amazon, such as Fulfillment by Amazon, access to Amazon seller tools, and the trust that comes with selling on the world’s largest e-tailer.

Are you ready to set up your own Amazon Store, but need logistics help to manage your growth and scale? Work with MyFBAPrep for FBA prep, FBM fulfillment, and more.

Tips On Using Multi-Channel Fulfillment For Omnichannel Selling

a clipboard with a checklist of country flags on it and a clipboard with a checklist of people on it

Despite pandemic restrictions tapering off and shoppers returning to stores in person, people continue to buy online more than ever before. U.S. eCommerce sales grew by 14.2 percent in 2021. Selling omni-channel (that is, everywhere) has never been more important, and retailers are challenged to adopt this strategy effectively in the midst of so many new tools and emerging sales channels.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of omnichannel eCommerce and cover best practices for multi-channel fulfillment within an omnichannel strategy. Understanding how the two operate in tandem is key to maximizing your revenue streams, meeting consumer demands, and maintaining a competitive edge.

The importance of omnichannel selling

Did you know 67% of customers use multiple channels to complete a single transaction? What’s more, 40% of customers won’t do business with companies if they can’t use their preferred marketplace. Consumer expectations have skyrocketed, forcing eCommerce businesses to raise the bar for the customer experience.

Omnichannel selling, a sales strategy where retailers use an integrated, multi-channel approach to provide a seamless shopping experience, makes it substantially easier to meet these increasing demands.

Read on as we dive into three key reasons to pursue omnichannel.

1)  Diversification of experiences, risks, and rewards

eCommerce retail strategies that began as reactionary measures to the COVID-19 pandemic have now become the standard for excellent customer service.

Flexible features like click-and-collect, at-home delivery, and extended return options are here to stay. Accompanying these is the expectation that customers should be able to connect with a brand across multiple channels at any given time.

As consumer behaviors and interactions become increasingly diverse, many retailers struggle to pivot and adapt to the new demands.

Omnichannel selling brings a more personalized and integrated customer experience to the forefront, as well as develops a support system for your business behind the scenes.

In addition to experiences, you also diversify your risk and reward.

If the pandemic taught retailers anything, it’s to anticipate unforeseen circumstances that could affect your ability to sell on previously reliable streams. By selling items on multiple marketplaces and implementing various communication touchpoints, you spread your revenue, as well as your risk.

So, if your account gets banned or you’re unable to sell on a certain channel, or if a major player like Amazon or Walmart updates their selling policy and you need time to adjust, you can still lean on income streams from other sources.

The result? You improve the consumer experience and your business becomes more resilient. Two birds, one stone.

2) Access to more markets and their customers

Selling everywhere also lets you leverage each marketplace’s established audience. If you’re looking to increase your reach, Amazon gives you access to 300 million active users (172 million being Prime members). Walmart is another big-ticket seller, having achieved almost $65 billion in eCommerce sales in 2021.

Building brand recognition with a conspicuous presence on these larger marketplaces is crucial to healthy sales growth and might just be the competitive edge you need. This brings us to our third point…

3) Remain competitive across channels

Consumers increasingly research products before buying, using multiple platforms to compare prices and models. In fact, 74% of U.S. shoppers begin their online product search on Amazon.

When you sell wherever your customers shop, you minimize the risk of them choosing a competitor. Not only does it boost your brand’s visibility and recall, but it also makes your products more accessible.

And, if you’ve already built brand loyalty with a consumer group, expanding your product availability into their preferred marketplaces will solidify their allegiance.

Reports have found 51% of consumers choose not to purchase from a brand they were previously loyal to because of products being out of stock. You can thus prevent your customer base from shrinking by selling on multiple marketplaces.

Multi-channel fulfillment is an important factor in this endeavor. Keep reading to discover more about fulfillment options.

Multi-channel fulfillment best practices

To sum up, omnichannel selling improves customer service, increases brand recognition, diversifies revenue streams and keeps brands relevant in the rapidly evolving eCommerce world. So, why is multi-channel fulfillment important? And how does it tie into the omnichannel strategy?

In essence, it allows companies to put their money where their mouths are. The actual handoff of products to the consumer must be timely, intact, convenient, and flexible to keep people happy. The ultimate goal of an omnichannel strategy is a synchronized customer experience from the purchase point to end delivery, which is where multi-channel fulfillment comes in.

Here are a few ways you can optimize your multi-channel fulfillment to streamline it and keep it in sync with your omnichannel selling:

1) Layer your fulfillment options

Just like you shouldn’t rely on one marketplace for selling, you should avoid a single route for fulfillment. While Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and third-party logistics (3PL) providers are reliable fulfillment services, combining them will keep you competitive and offer a safety net for your business.

Consider how well a fulfillment service fits your business before committing to a partnership. FBA, for example, is ideal for best-sellers and fast-moving items on Amazon. A 3PL is also great for fast-moving DTC items (i.e., your own website) and other sales channels like eBay and Walmart (unless you also use Walmart Fulfillment Services). Meanwhile, for slow-moving items or products with low margins, we recommend in-house fulfillment, as long-term storage items can incur costly fees with 3PL fulfillment.

Ideally, you want to combine all three services — FBA, a 3PL partner, and in-house — to ship out fast-moving items quickly and save on fees for slow-moving items.

For example, even if you sell exclusively on a single marketplace, you should use both the marketplace fulfillment option and an external one, such as using FBA along with FBM, or Walmart Fulfillment Services alongside a 3PL.

When you’re selling omnichannel, you want to use each marketplace’s fulfillment arm to get the benefits of their promotions (Walmart +, Amazon Prime, etc.) alongside a nationwide 3PL that can replenish marketplace inventory as well as kick-in for deliveries in case the marketplace sells out.

One common set-up we see is a merchant starts out on Amazon, grows and establishes a brand, creates their own DTC store, and then tests out Walmart Marketplace.

For this setup, the merchant would send inventory into Amazon FBA, Walmart WFS, MyFBAPrep, and their own warehouse.

  • Amazon FBA for Amazon orders
  • Walmart WFS for Walmart.com orders
  • MyFBAPrep for DTC orders
  • MyFBAPrep to prep and replenish marketplace inventory
  • MyFBAPrep to fulfill marketplace orders in a pinch
  • In-house fulfillment for slow-moving or low-margin SKUs

Learn more here: How to create resilient eCommerce logistics and operations

2) Leverage marketplace options

Customers hate it when a product they ordered arrives late or, worse,  in poor condition. Using marketplace fulfillment solutions provides access to many benefits and badges to help you maintain a top-notch customer experience. Take Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) for instance: They give your listings two-day shipping and a higher chance to win the Buy Box.

It’s the same with Amazon and their world-class FBA service — your listings receive the Prime badge and associated benefits like fast shipping and high rankings.

Another reason to opt for Amazon or Walmart Fulfillment Services? They store, pick, pack, and ship orders while handling customer care and returns. This frees retailers to focus on core objectives, namely, selling and gaining new customers. They’re also highly established brands that gain instant trust with consumers.

Learn more here: Why to sell on Amazon with FBA

3) Outsource your non-core competencies

Although it’s important to maintain some of your fulfillment in-house , you should still outsource your non-core competencies. As a business owner, you want to spend your time and energy managing your brand, not taping boxes.

One of the biggest levers is to outsource your FBA prep. The main advantages of this are:

  • It optimize your logistics to speed up processes and save you time
  • Experts who understand the nuances of how to prep for FBA handle the work, which avoids costly mistakes and penalties you’d encounter on your own

Take a look at our blog for more info: How to choose an Amazon FBA prep service | MyFBAPrep

Wrapping up – Use multi-channel fulfillment to power your omnichannel strategy

A strong omnichannel selling and fulfillment strategy can be challenging for retailers to coordinate on top of their day-to-day business activities.

Partnering with an outsourced fulfillment partner can provide the seamless consumer experience that customers have come to expect while strengthening your business.

The improved integration between your sales, ordering processes, and delivery can maximize your revenue stream and make you stand out above the competition.

How To Use Post-Purchase Surveys to Boost Your eCommerce Brand

a hand holding a tablet that has a satisfaction rating

eCommerce business owners know one of the challenges of operating a digital-only company is the lack of direct customer interaction. That face-to-face opportunity to ask customers what they think of your product or how they heard about your business is nowhere to be found.

Yet, customer feedback remains critical to understanding the consumer journey and how your product or service performs. Reproducing personalized connections and extracting customer input has become indispensable in the eCommerce landscape.

In this article, we’ll talk about how the post-purchase survey can increase the customer feedback you receive and boost your eCommerce brand.

What are post-purchase surveys?

Anyone who’s shopped online has encountered post-purchase surveys. They’re a series of questions that pop up on a website after you make a purchase, or are delivered to your inbox as a questionnaire two seconds after clicking ‘‘confirm purchase.”

Post-purchase surveys (sometimes called post-scale surveys) are any questions posed to the customer directly after they buy a product or complete a significant action like registering for an event or signing up for a subscription service (even if it’s free).

Obtaining valuable customer feedback is the best way to gain insight into the customer experience and your product or service. It enables you to improve the elements customers already respond positively to and mend any problems uncovered.

Defining a post-purchase survey is relatively straightforward — it’s all there in the title! But how brands use this tool depends on individual goals and needs. Let’s dive into some of the most common uses.

3 Uses for post-purchase surveys

Post-purchase surveys are handy for gaining both qualitative and quantitative customer input. They’re easy to switch up frequently, which means you can play around with questions that tackle multiple touchpoints or hone in on a key area.

Here are some of the top uses for brands today.

1) Understand your marketing attribution and ROI

Let’s say you recently launched a brand awareness advertisement across three social media channels, and you’re curious which one people are using the most to connect with your brand. Sure, you’re already tracking click and conversion rates to see where your traffic is coming from, but those metrics only tell part of the story.

What types of products are the people who convert from LinkedIn gravitating towards versus those who convert from Instagram? What drew them to the purchase action in the first place? Did they see and click an advertisement on Instagram from an influencer, compare prices and other products on Amazon, then finally arrive at your website organically for the purchase stage?

Knowing the route to conversion can inform how you message your product across each social channel going forward. It also gives you a clearer understanding of which channels deserve spend for a higher ROI.

2) Identify barriers and glitches

Did you just change things up on your website? Or maybe you embedded a new feature at checkout? It’s helpful to know if your customer thought navigating the new site was easy and if the purchase process was straightforward.

Maybe they struggled at the search stage: They couldn’t find what they were looking for and gave up. That could point to a need for a keyword search bar (or, if one exists, make it more prominent).

Perhaps when adding items to the cart, the site didn’t allow the buyer to amend the size or change the quantity easily. It could be the customer was asked to repeat information they’d already provided at checkout, making the process more time-consuming (and annoying) than necessary.

Ultimately, a barrier to the customer is a barrier to more money in your pocket.

3) Know what customers think about your brand

Do customers plan to return to your store? Would they recommend your brand to a friend? Do they like getting those daily emails, or do they think your communication is slightly overkill?

Understanding how customers interact with your brand and what they want most from you is crucial to personalizing your communication and messaging to their preferences.

So, what are some common post-purchase survey questions? We’ve compiled a list for you below!

Post-purchase survey question bank

The questions you ask will be specific to your brand, product, and the type of information you hope to receive. But there are several we see pop up over and over again across eCommerce brands:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • How would you rate our site?
  • What is your primary reason for visiting us today?
  • How likely are you to recommend [product] to a family or friend?
  • Is there anything keeping you from purchasing with us again?
  • On a scale of 1-10, would you…
  • How would you prefer to be contacted in the future?
  • Did you find [the information] you were looking for?
  • What could we do to make [product, site, etc.] easier to use?
  • Tell us what you love or what we could be doing better.

Of course, creating a survey is more than just copying and pasting these questions onto a form. A lot of thought goes into which questions to ask, how to structure them, and even placement. Let’s dive into steps for how eCommerce brands can create an effective survey.

How to construct an effective post-purchase survey

You now know what a post-purchase survey is used for and the types of questions brands ask, but how do you build one that drives business insights?

Many eCommerce business owners have produced some type of survey before. While the process is fairly straightforward, there are a few key things to keep in mind when constructing your post-purchase survey:

1) Establish survey goals & context

Before starting any new project or service, you need a clear idea of your purpose. What do you want your survey to accomplish? What insights are you hoping to gain about your new website, product, checkout experience, customers, etc.? Are you looking to capture specific data that you can later chart? Or do you want feedback that’s more open and anecdotal?

If your goal is to focus on purchase barriers, then your survey will likely look different compared to one whose goal is to find out where and how customers learned about their store. The first survey might require a handful of questions, whereas the second could be accomplished in just one or two.

Having a clear understanding of your survey goals also provides context for the customer. If they understand why you want to know the information, they’ll be more compelled to answer. Saying something like, “We’d appreciate your feedback so we can make our checkout as smooth as possible,” gives them a clear reason to respond honestly and establishes that you’re all about improving the customer experience.

Once you’ve determined your goals and can provide an explainer for the customer, it’s time to think about what you want to ask them and how you’ll do it.

2) Identify your questions & structure

We already covered some of the most common questions that appear in post-purchase surveys, but how do you know which questions to choose and, equally important, how should you structure them? Generally speaking, there are two types of questions you’ll use: closed or open-ended.

  • Closed questions allow you to obtain feedback on specific products or services. These are your rating scales and multiple-choice questions. If you want to capture percentages, trends, or chart customer responses on a graph, aim for closed questioning.
  • Open-ended questions are better for obtaining qualitative data. These are usually the free response questions where the customer can elaborate on their experience and provide an opinion (rather than tick a box with predetermined responses). Opt for open-ended questions if you want to develop a greater understanding of your customer’s needs and journey.

Many businesses combine open and closed questioning for an effective strategy. Let’s say you want information about what products your customers are interested in so you could adjust your advertisements and product placement accordingly.

You might ask a closed-ended question like, “Which products are you most interested in?” and embed a drop-down menu checkbox of the products you want information about. You could also add a free text box, such as, “Other: explain why,” which would allow for customer input beyond what you anticipated in the drop-down selection.

Another consideration is whether you need to tailor your questions to a specific audience. If you have repeat customers, it might not make sense to ask where they heard of your store or if it’s their first time purchasing — but it would be worthwhile to ask if they would recommend your product/service to someone else.

Better yet, incentivize them to complete the survey by offering a discount (which you know they’ll use) as well as a bonus referral discount so they feel compelled to share.

Ultimately, a successful survey boils down to choosing the correct number of questions that are relevant to your audience and aligned with your overall goal.

3) Choose the right tools & templates

The internet is overflowing with survey creation tools and templates. While many are free and easy to use, it’s worth doing a bit of research so you select the one that’s right for you.

You want to select a trusted tool or software that will work effectively with your eCommerce and email platforms. Here are some of the most popular survey tools available today:

Whichever tool or template you choose, be sure it aligns with your brand (more on this below).

4) Maintain brand consistency

When you send customers a survey, you’re asking them to take extra time to provide feedback. The last thing they want is to click on a link that brings them to an unidentifiable site asking for their information.

The same goes for a pop-up survey; if it appears with a faded logo and doesn’t match your aesthetic, customers could mistake it for spam. So, by all means, go with the free survey template — as long as it allows you to customize elements so your brand is easily identifiable.

Ensuring your brand is represented and consistent throughout the post-purchase survey goes beyond your design and logo though. This is the point where you should review the questions you selected — is your brand’s tone and voice present? If you tend to use playful, casual language on your website and customer emails, then hold true to that voice! Don’t suddenly revert to an academic or corporate tone.

5) Determine timing & placement

This seems like an easy one (post-purchase is in the title after all), but we believe it still warrants thoughtful attention.

Should your survey pop up on your site immediately after the customer makes a purchase? Or should it be sent to their inbox with their invoice and order details? Maybe you want to test both methods over two weeks?

There’s no right or wrong answer; the choice for one over the other will come down to several factors. For example, your checkout may not require an email field, so in this case, the pop-up option would be your best bet.

Generally speaking, a pop-up feature is ideal if you seek an immediate response about the customer purchase and user journey at the forefront. But if timing isn’t a priority and you’re looking to add a personal touch, then including your survey in an email is a better approach.

Now, let’s see some of these points in action by looking at examples from companies we think have top-notch post-purchase surveys!

5 Examples of great post-purchase surveys

Deciding the questions you want to ask requires some thought, but determining the format and delivery usually takes even more consideration.

When crafting post-purchase surveys, a good rule of thumb is to keep it short and sweet. You want meaningful input without taking up too much of the customer’s time. Limit your number of questions to seven or less, and remember to use a mix of closed and open-ended questioning.

You also want to use features that are user-friendly and quick for the customer to mark. Think Likert scales, drop-down menus, multiple-choice, and free-text responses that are optional, not mandatory. If you have a one- or two-question survey, it’s essential to choose the correct format. If you build a longer survey, then variation is usually key.

Here are a few examples from companies that nail the post-purchase survey.

1) Apple

Source

Apple’s survey relies on a simple, “How likely are you to recommend…?” question. Using a Likert-style format, customers are able to respond immediately, and then the company’s Net Promoter Score system calculates a rating based on the number of detractors (customers who respond with a zero through six score) and promoters (customers who respond with a seven through 10 score).

We love that this question is specific. Notice Apple doesn’t ask how likely the customer is to recommend the brand, rather, the inquiry concerns their Apple Watch try-on experience — a specific product and how the customer interacts with it.

You don’t have to have a physical store to mimic this style. Frame your question around the website user experience.

2) Home Depot 

Source

Home Depot employs a considerable incentive (the chance to win a $5,000 gift card) to compel customers to complete their survey. This is an excellent tactic if you need a longer survey and are trying to gain focused feedback on multiple touchpoints.

For many brands, $5,000 is a lot of money. Thankfully, it’s not necessary to offer that much. Spread the love and give a 20% discount to those completing the survey, or offer a few sample-size products for free.

With this approach, you’re likely to gather detailed feedback and increase the chance of customers returning.

3) REVOLVE Clothing

Source

REVOLVE also makes use of a Likert scale-style question, but what’s so great about this example is its design. It appears directly after the purchase, with the order number clearly displayed to maintain the customer’s engagement. The survey’s placement takes advantage of customers’ fresh memories and requires minimal action on their part!

4) Skype

Source

Here’s a good example of framing a question to receive feedback on product performance using three features:

  1. A star rating scale to assess general quality
  2. Multiple-choice questions in two key categories to determine specific issues
  3. An open text box format that lets the customer comment on anything not listed

5) Airbnb

Source

What’s a great tactic to convince customers to complete a longer survey? Tell them exactly how long it will take. It shows you respect their time and that you’re not asking for much of it. Another thing Airbnb gets right is telling the customer why their input matters, namely, to “improve the Airbnb experience.”

It’s always a good idea to peruse plenty of examples before constructing your own survey. This way, you can see what other successful businesses are doing and take inspiration from them.

What to do with the data

After collecting all that customer feedback, you need to put it to good use. Compile your data and analyze findings so you can improve your product, marketing, and customer support, or develop new SKUs.

Here are some of the ways brands leverage information gathered from post-purchase surveys:

  • Identify (and fix) checkout issues or concerns
  • Guide future audience targeting and communication flows
  • Gather user-generated content (what our customers are saying) and spin it into marketing messaging/copy

Customer feedback is a vital component of business success, so once you have it, make it work for you.

Wrapping up – Be strategic about your post-purchase surveys

A great advantage of post-purchase surveys is their ease of use. Once you launch your first one and become familiar with the creation process, you’ll be able to adjust surveys frequently to meet new or shifting goals.

Put in the time to think strategically about your objectives, and research the kinds of questions and formats you want to implement. No matter the purpose of your data collection, getting that honest customer feedback is key to having a deeper understanding of your marketing, brand, and customers.

With effective post-purchase surveys, you’ll obtain the data you need to identify and adopt practices that will improve your business and your customer experience.