eBay has hundreds of millions of active shoppers already. You don’t. And it costs almost nothing to begin selling on eBay. This makes it seem like an obvious win to sell on eBay in order to promote your Shopify store.
Only… eBay won’t allow you to directly market your Shopify store to eBay sellers. You can’t link to your store, encourage shoppers to visit your store, or even provide a phone number where they can call your store.
eBay has lots of customers. Hundreds of millions, in fact.
Can you get some of them to your Shopify store? Yes!
It may sound as though this makes eBay a dead-end for promoting your Shopify store, but actually, it’s not. So what can you do to bring new shoppers to your Shopify store via eBay? Here are six things.
1. Make sure your eBay seller ID and your Shopify store domain match
The majority of eBay shoppers understand that sellers may have their own websites, better prices, and better inventory outside of eBay. So what’s the first thing they do to try to find your store outside of eBay?
They Google your eBay seller ID. For this reason, your first step in using eBay to drive business to your Shopify store is to ensure that you use a simple eBay seller ID that matches your Shopify store name or private label brand (minus the .com or similar extension, which eBay doesn’t allow).
If you already have an eBay seller ID but it doesn’t match your Shopify store or brand, don’t fret—you can easily change your eBay seller ID to match.
If for some reason you can’t use your Shopify store or brand as your eBay seller ID (for example, because it contains disallowed characters or someone is already using it), consider “evolving” your Shopify store with a rebrand. Keep your store up at the old address, but also register a new address, matching your eBay ID, that points to your store as well.
2. Make sure that your graphics and branding match
When shoppers do Google your store, it’s important to demonstrate to them that it’s you—the same seller they saw on eBay. Remember, they’re looking to do business with you directly, so the last thing you want to do is confuse them or lead them to believe they’ve mis-clicked when they find you.
Use the same colors, logos, and product photos on eBay that you do on your Shopify store. That way, when shoppers take the steps to search for and find your store via Google, they’ll instantly recognize that it’s you—and will immediately bookmark and begin to shop.
PaintAccess.com.au uses “paintaccess” as their eBay ID and an eBay listing template that matches their Shopify store.
3. Offer at least as many, if not more, products and deals on your Shopify store
Remember, the reason that shoppers are actively searching you out is that they hope to find something more than they did in your eBay listings. More products. More options. More information. More discounting.
Reward their work! The last thing that you want to have happened is for a shopper to spend ten minutes of their valuable time chasing down your Shopify store—only to wish they hadn’t bothered.
If you want to close the sale on Shopify, much less ensure that they come back to you again down the road, you’ve got to get them to think ”I’m so glad I found their store! Bookmarked!”
Ideally, your Shopify store will be the department store version of your business, compared to your eBay presence, which is the booth your business brings to street fairs. Your Shopify store should reward shoppers for their trouble in searching you out and make them want to come back.
4. Accept PayPal
One of the things many eBay shoppers most appreciate about eBay is the longstanding ease and safety of the checkout process thanks to PayPal.
While this may change in the future as a result of eBay’s decision to go into the payments business for itself, at present a huge percentage of eBay shoppers still know, trust, and use PayPal all the time.
If your Shopify store accepts PayPal payments, you’ll be able to complete transactions with eBay shoppers without requiring them to do anything more than they would have done to make the purchase on eBay.
You’ll also win that percentage of eBay shoppers that refuse to shop Amazon because they feel protected by PayPal and don’t want to provide their credit cards to “third-party” websites, whatever you think of their preferences and worries.
5. Brand your fulfillment process and use it to drive traffic
If you’re hoping to drive shoppers to your Shopify store from eBay, don’t just toss any on-eBay sales you make into a plain brown box with pillow packs and send them off. If you do, you’ve missed one of the key opportunities to point shoppers toward your Shopify store.
You don’t have to get fancy—just make sure your shoppers know who they’re buying from and how to find you again:
Brand your shipping labels with your logo or affix a separate sticker with your logo on or right above your shipping labels. Be sure that it prominently features your website address!
Consider doing the same on the four visible (non-bottom) sides of the box as well—stickers are relatively inexpensive, particularly if you print them yourself.
Include a postcard, business card, or packing slip in the box that does the same thing. Whichever you choose is fine—remember, the goal is to get your website address and brand in front of your shopper yet one more time.
Preferably also include a code or discount that they can redeem by making their next purchase only at your Shopify store.
Make sure that your fulfillment experience is a positive one—clean boxes, clean packaging materials, well-protected products, and nice visuals—so that you’re making your “come back to my website” pitch in the midst of a good, rather than a bad, experience.
6. Use the right tools to make your life easier
Your goal is to use eBay to promote traffic to your Shopify store, not to become an eBay guru—so if it takes you ages to create eBay listings and fulfill eBay orders, you’ll probably stop out of annoyance in no time flat—and lose any benefits you might have otherwise gained.
The way around this is to find and use a tool that will enable you to quickly and easily:
Create eBay listings from your Shopify inventory
Keep your eBay and Shopify inventory levels in sync so that you don’t oversell
Enable you to see and fulfill your eBay orders and respond to eBay messages when you log into Shopify
The most popular tool for doing this is probably inkFrog, which is both inexpensive and well-tested.
The few dollars you’ll spend every month are worth the effort because rather than burn up all of your available time and effort on eBay busywork, you’ll instead be able to spend your time curating your eBay lineup for the best and biggest possible effect.
FishFlix uses inkFrog to manage their eBay-Shopify activity and offers prominent on-site discounts to new Shopify store visitors.
Don’t Let it Be Difficult
It all boils down to some simple advice that you can probably implement in a single afternoon.
Make your eBay presence and Shopify store match. Promote your Shopify store in every box that you send out. Offer a deal to make it worth shoppers’ time to bother to find your Shopify store in the first place. Add PayPal as a payment method to close the sale.
And finally, use an eBay-plus-Shopify seller tool to take most of the extra work off of your hands.
The result? You’ll add a new revenue stream that’s low-maintenance and also has the effect of driving a world of new shoppers to your Shopify store.
. . .
This guest post was written by Aron Hsiao. Aron Hsiao has been an eBay seller since 2000. Aron is a former employee of eBay, a former employee of Terapeak, a leading marketplace analytics application later acquired by eBay, and served as the About.com expert guide to eBay from 2006 to 2014. Aron is proud that in twenty years of eBay activity, he has never received a negative feedback rating.