Now we can already hear you shouting "Why would I have my own website if I am going to sell on eBay, Etsy or Amazon?"
Because these sites can be a very useful tool for gathering regular TARGETED customers. Yes I know these sites take a commission on your sales, but remember MILLIONS of people visit these sites looking for things every day, thousands of them probably looking for YOUR product.
Many of our clients successfully use third party sites like these as a way of generating permanent customers. Here's the idea. No matter what your product, take some of your lower priced items and list them, we know people on eBay, Etsy or Amazon want cheap so give them just that.
Now as you know you can not advertise your site directly in your listing that is against their terms of service, but let's say you have an item that has been in stock forever and not sold, list it cheaply and sell it, even if you just get the cost of the item back it has served a purpose.
What happens when the sale goes through? You get messages from PayPal, eBay or other processors telling you the sale has gone through, what do you get in that email? The BUYERS home address Email address!
This is a person that is interested in your type of product, a person who BUYS your type of product and has BOUGHT from YOU!
So now we do a few things to follow up
When you send the item include a letter in the packet thanking them for the sale. Include a special coupon code offering them a discount on their next purchase directly from your site. Of course, make sure your site's address is included in the leaflet.
After the item is sent, wait a few days then pop them a little email directly (as in not via eBay Etsy or Amazon, fire up your site email and send it) This is the first of two emails we will send them.
Thank them again for buying from you and ask them if the item has arrived ok. This will be a shock for most buyers, it shows that you care that the item got there and that they are important to you rather than being just another customer. It also adds a personal touch and opens the lines of communication.
If they didn't get the item chase it up for them until you know they did.
Once you know they got the item send them a final thank you email and remind them again about the coupon code you included in step one above. Remind them that you have a website they may want to put into their bookmarks so that next time they can buy directly from you. Recommend they sign up for your newsletter and tell them that you often send details of sale items or special offers not available on eBay, Etsy or Amazon in the newsletter.
If you sell products on your site and have the option of a coupon installed you can maybe offer them a discount coupon off their next purchase. (if you don't have coupons put in a work request support ticket we can add them for you) If you have a loyalty points plugin installed tell them that by buying directly at your site for every purchase they get a discount for future items they may buy. (we can install either of these for you just pop in a support ticket and ask us.)
Job done! You have a new customer who is astounded that you actually care about them and their order. This type of customer service will bring customers back to you time and time again. Not only that this is a VERY cheap way to find customers (THEY PAID YOU). Compare it with spending money advertising spending £1 per click to have 1 in 100 visitors buy.
Clearing out your cheaper or old stock on these sites or even selling a little stock just over cost should be a regular part of your promotion. For the emails keep a file on your pc to remind you who to email on what day, you can even create yourself some template emails to save time and just insert the product name and buyers name before you send it.