Selling Successfully (Your One-Stop Resource for Setting Up, Managing and Marketing)

Spam, Ham and Festive Recipes

My local grocery store is selling pre-packaged slices of processed ham. On the reverse of the packaging there is a Serving Suggestion with ta-da! ...a soft-focus picture of slices of ham on....a PLATE. In all the recipe books in all the world, chances are THAT one had nearly passed you by.

With such little incentive on that packaging to whet the appetite of the customer, even one who has visited the store with the specific purpose of purchasing cold ham, the next door specialist deli will be doing a roaring trade. There, the produce is temptingly displayed, joints of roast meats arranged ready to carve to order, sparkling jewel-like jars of luxury preserves and a kaleidoscope of glistening fruit in rainbow colors – within an harmonious arrangement, each exotic entry is carefully allotted individual space to ensure its individual identity within the display, informatively but concisely labeled with its name, where it was grown and helpful hints for using it in a recipe.

Every item you are selling in your shop is of interest to someone but you might have only a small window of opportunity to catch that person's attention, sometimes a matter of mere seconds. Your title and picture need to work for you to catch the eye, so be sure they are optimized for this purpose. 'Small jug – nice' with a gloomy, fuzzy photo just won't do it.

If you are bored or uninterested in an item, this is inevitably communicated in your listing and no shopper will be enticed by your own perceived lack of enthusiasm. Spending a few moments to think how you would search for an item, and what keywords you might use to find it, will help you create your title. Who made the jug, when, what for? Size is relative: a small beer jug will be larger than a small cream jug. Your buyer is looking for your item – help them find it.

Having drawn the shopper to click to view the item page in your shop, 'talk' about it. Ask yourself, why would I want to buy this? Every item has a story, even if it is one of thousands of similar items made, so share a little of this story. But be careful not to go overboard; a handful of well written paragraphs which includes all the relevant information, written in a friendly style which is easily digested, is more appetizing than a long page of densely packed text, which can have the unfortunate result that the only person who will ever read what you've written from beginning to end will be you.

Avoid written or visual spam, but try to offer more than just cold, flabby ham on a plate. Having carefully composed the title and description, don't overlook the opportunity to include your own 'serving suggestion' in the final photo in the listing, where you can spark the shopper's imagination with a picture to illustrate the item in a picturesque grouping.

The festive months are in sight and now is the perfect time to get the creative juices flowing, creating tasty morsels to purchase from your shop!