Selling Successfully (Your One-Stop Resource for Setting Up, Managing and Marketing)
Shop Mentoring:Part 2Category Strings
Let's talk about category strings. Our research confirms that the most successful Ruby Lane shops generally include no more than 3 levels of categories for an item. This is because having a shorter depth of categories makes it easier for shoppers to navigate your shop quickly and easily. It is also important the categories you chose contain keywords relevant to the item for positive search results both within your shop and in a Ruby Lane search.
Ruby Lane Search Clicks allow you, the shop owner, to increase the chance of your items displaying higher in the search results on Ruby Lane for a nominal fee. You are charged the fee only when a visitor clicks on your item. When you pay for Search Clicks you are targeting a specific buyer, ones who are actively seeking a specific type of item you have listed in your shop. A step-by-step tutorial is available, which explains in detail how Search Clicks work. The title of the tutorial is, "Show Me How To Utilize Search Clicks". Tutorials are listed in the Miscellaneous Tools section of the Shop Owner's Home page.
About Us Section
Making good use of your "About Us" section is extremely important. First-time visitors to your shop want to know who they are buying from. Talking about your shop, your expertise, your credentials or any other aspect of yourself and your business lends credibility to viewers.
Link building is a useful means of increasing traffic to your shop. The greater your shop traffic, the greater probability of making a sale. Outside of Ruby Lane, 'Link Popularity' is used by major search engines to sort search results. For instance, when someone types a keyword into the search box on Google, the search engine needs a way to determine which pages, out of literally thousands of web pages, are the most relevant to the searcher.
To add a link to another Ruby Lane shop or website, go to Favorite Links from your Shop Owner Home page, then click 'Add New Favorite Link Here'. On the next page, you will be able to enter the link details.
For more information watch the video tutorial, "Show Me How Reciprocal Links Work" and read the article, "Building Links To Your Shop - A Step By Step Guide" located in the Selling Successfully section of the Shop Owner Home page. In addition, there is an excellent article titled, "Intimidated By Links and How to Build Them? A Step-By-Step Guide," on the Ruby Lane blog, Notes from the Lane. http://blog.rubylane.com
It is important to immediately start driving traffic to your shop once your shop is open for business. How do you do this? One of the easiest ways is to submit an item every month for Monthly Finds which is located on Ruby Lane. In addition, Ruby Lane publishes a Monthly Finds newsletter four times a month. Items are randomly selected for publication by an automated computer program. To submit an item to Monthly Finds, go to the 'Select Item for Monthly Finds' link located in the Selling Successfully section of Shop Owners Home. There is also a video tutorial on Monthly Finds with step-by-step instructions.
Promote Your Shop
- Use Social Media to promote your items online. The services are free but they do require a time investment. We encourage our shop owners to share their items from such sites as Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It is not necessary to share on every social media site, just pick the one(s) you like best and start sharing. Ruby Lane hosts pages on the following social media sites:
Ruby Lane makes it easy for you to share your items directly from your shop to major social sites. Share buttons are located on most pages of the site including an item page. There is also a share pop-up tool for your use when you add an item for the first time to your shop. Remember you must be signed into the social site to share items to your page.
- Another way to potentially increase sales is to offer items at a reduced sale price or Make an Offer throughout the year. Shoppers love a deal and when they find them they usually share them with their circle of friends and acquaintances.
- If you are an Exclusive shop, you may want to consider adding enough new items to qualify for free Featuring on a Lane page. You can qualify for free featuring if you have at least 10 items listed in a specific Lane in your shop and add 7 or more items within 7 days. The items must be marked for sale or sale pending (not at auction or removed), in your Shop (not your Backroom), and in the Lane specified.
If you are not Exclusive, you might consider becoming Exclusive so you can earn free Featuring on Ruby Lane pages.
Add Comments to Items on Wish Lists
The Buyers' Wish List is a very useful area of your shop account. It gives you an indication of the types of items shoppers are looking for and what items are popular. With each Wish is a section for you to communicate with the buyer by making a comment such as a notice of special offers for Wish List users or a simple greeting to acknowledge you have seen and value their business. Although you cannot identify the individual who has placed an item on the Buyer's Wish List, any comment you add is automatically sent to the shopper. Make a point to check your Buyer's Wish List regularly.
Shop Check Up Tool
As a new shop, we want to make you aware of the Shop Check Up Tool. Found under Miscellaneous on your Shop Owners Home page, this free automated tool systematically scans more than 40 aspects of your shop information and item pages and then displays a list of specific recommended changes, and how to make them. The handy "fix it now" tool allows you to make the recommended changes immediately.
We suggest you use the tool often to keep your shop in tip-top shape!
Finally, an absolute must-have is patience. Contrary to what you may have heard, it takes time to build a business, whether it is a brick-and-mortar business or an online venture. We encourage you to examine and implement some or all of the strategies listed above to increase your chance of success.
Of course, if you need assistance you can contact Customer Support at any time from the Help tool at the top of any page on the Ruby Lane site. We are happy to assist you.