Thursday, 2 June 2011

Selling On Facebook - Why Include Lots of Information?

In an earlier blog post about how to increase sales (Ways to Promote Your Business and Increase Sales) I mentioned including lots of information about the items you sell. This is a little follow up post on that subject and it will probably be most helpful to those who are brand new to selling their items or are just setting up their Facebook pages.
I’m going to write it with Facebook in mind as I think this is where it applies most. Some points, however, may also be useful if you are planning on having a website or selling your items on other sites such as Ebay, Etsy or Folksy.
From a psychological perspective, people tend to have more interest in things that they don’t have to spend too much time thinking or searching for information about. They are more likely to participate in things when less is required of them. You may wonder what on earth this has to do with selling your items.
If someone is looking for an item to buy and they go to a page where there is only a photo of an item and no information, they then have to get in contact with the seller to find out more. This takes time and effort and could in turn make them look elsewhere or go away and think about it. However if they go to that page and see an item with all the information there they are more likely to consider buying it. Providing this information also improves your customers’ perception of your professionalism as a business and makes a good first impression for any new visitors to your page.
So what does this mean you need to do? First of all when you are writing the ‘info’ and description for your Facebook page include your location, this could be your address if you have an actual shop or your county or city or even just what country you are in. (Please check with your solicitor or accountant about what address information you need to include if you are actually selling items via your Facebook page, this may vary depending on the country you live in and whether you are a sole trader or Ltd company).

In the info section I would also include where you are happy to dispatch items to, how you take orders, what payment types you accept and any return policies you have.
Whenever you post a photograph of your items for sale on your page this is the information I would include:
·         A brief description of your item, the colour, what it’s made out of etc. and remember this is your opportunity to give your sales pitch so include some adjectives, eg. gorgeous, lovely, beautiful, fun, colourful.

·         Without making your description too long you could also include suggestions for your item, like ‘would make and ideal gift’, ‘if you’re looking for something unique’, ‘perfect for/with...’

·         Include a price for the item and a price for any postage (if you also post items to other countries just say ‘dispatch internationally/to Europe’ contact me for prices). Don’t be put off about selling abroad, if you are not sure on postage prices just weigh your item (including envelope and any packaging) on your kitchen scales and go to Royal Mail’s website to estimate a price Royal Mail Price Finder. Remember to include your envelope and packaging materials in your P&P price.

·         Also include any measurements as sometimes people can be disappointed when they see something in a photo and assume it’s bigger or smaller than it really is.

·         If other colours/fabrics are available for the items in your photographs be sure to mention it.

·         And back to the blog post Link Selling Technique, let your potential customers know if you have any other matching or complementary items for sale. They may just buy an extra item.

·         Once your item is sold, by all means leave the photo up as an example of what you sell or make but just write ‘Sold’ or ‘Out of stock’ above or instead of your description, and include any information about whether you can make another or when your items are likely to be back in stock.
These may seem like obvious things, but I do visit quite a lot of pages and these are some of the things I see missing.
A far as your customers go there are lots of different personality types, some people won’t think anything of sending an email or leaving a comment with an enquiry but others will be more hesitant and prefer to go elsewhere. Some will patiently wait for a reply to a query and others will be straight off to the next seller. If all the information is there you are more likely to get custom from those buying on impulse and who could change their mind if they’re made to wait for an answer or given time to think about their purchase.
You will probably still get some enquiries as you can’t cover everything in your description or information so try to deal with them promptly to keep your buyer’s interest.
Facebook gives you a wonderful opportunity to get your items seen but because it’s such a great, free platform for businesses, every business has a lot of competition so anything you can do to stand out from the crowd will give you a better opportunity to increase your sales and be remembered for repeat business.
For anyone new to business or selling their items you may find an earlier blog post Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Small Business helpful too.
Jill. x


Anonymous said...

Great Post but just thought I would mention that for sole traders it is a legal requirement to have your home address on all things especially facebook pages but just note down that you only post out items, that way they know that collection isn't possible.

Jill said...

Thank you so much for letting me know, I will amend the post accordingly. X

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