Listing Designs - Make Your eBay Listings Get the Attention they Deserve
By Steve Myers,
Online Marketing Consultant
You've been there. You visit a Web site looking for information.
You're bowled over with bright "circus" colors, animations
going everywhere, and text that's hard to read.
The site almost begs you to click your browser's "back"
button. Many eBay listings look the same way.
eBay's Listing Designer makes
it easy to use backgrounds, change text colors, add graphics,
and so on. But the question is, does the look of the listing
increase your chance to sell your product? Read on to learn
when using eBay designs makes sense... and "cents."
"Branding" Yourself Online
Is there a time when consistency of appearance counts?
Here's a quick mental exercise. Think of the Coca-Cola logo.
What colors are used? If you thought red and white, their
multi-million dollar branding campaigns did their job.
Why not blue and white? It doesn't matter, really.
What matters is that they use red and white over and over
to "brand" themselves into your mind. Put a Coke,
a Pepsi and a Dr. Pepper at the bottom of a cooler filled
with ice water. Even without being able to read the labels,
if I want a Dr. Pepper, I reach for the dark red can.
Sure, you don't have the advertising budget of Coke or Pepsi.
But you have one advantage. If you sell products on eBay,
especially in any kind of specialty "niche" market,
it's likely that many of the same people will see several
of your listings. Here's where branding comes in.
Create a consistent and unique look for your eBay listings.
Use the same background image if you choose to use one. Use
the same text color and font. Create a unique "theme" and
use it for all your listings.
What's the value of consistency? On eBay, people may fear
buying from those they don't know. That's why eBay has their
feedback system. It gives you some confidence in the person
you're buying from.
If a person recognizes the "look" of your eBay listings,
you increase your chances to sell to them. If an eBay buyer
purchases from you and has a good experience, the next time
they recognize one of your listings, you further increase
your odds of selling to them.
Designing Your Unique "Look"
So now that you know the value of a consistent design, how
do you create your own look? I'm an online marketing consultant.
When I work with a client, the first question I ask is
"Who is your audience?"
If you're mostly selling electronics, you probably don't
want to go with a border with flowers and dolls. On the other
hand, if you specialize in selling teddy bears and plush
toys, this may fit your audience perfectly.
Think of your audience. Are they predominantly male or female? Is
your product high-tech or high-touch in nature? Take a moment
to write down what you know about potential buyers of your
products. Keep this in mind when designing the look to use
with your listings. But there are a few absolute do's and
Absolute Design No-No's
Make your listing easy to read. First of all, let's choose
the text color and background. Use black on white or on another
VERY light color. Never use light text on a dark background.
Especially on older monitors, it can be too difficult to
Use a font size that's large enough to read easily. Stay
away from small print that many readers will have to strain
their eyes to read.
Use a "sans-serif" font like Arial or Verdanna. "Serif"
fonts like Times New Roman are easy to read in print, which
is why they're used in newspapers and novels. Studies have
shown however, they are much harder to read on a monitor.
Composing Your Listing for Maximum Effect
Studies have shown that any Web page (such as your eBay
listing) has between 3 and 10 seconds to grab the interest
of your reader. If you haven't made at least one "benefit"
statement they connect to, chances are they're gone with
a quick click of their browser's "back" button. And they're
gone for good.
So how do you catch the attention of your audience in seconds?
Simple. Put your best benefits at the top, and make them
easy to read. Bullet points are great for that. Give short,
to-the-point descriptions of why the reader should by your
Benefits vs. Features
I've read dozens of books on marketing. I'll save you a
lot of reading. Here's the thing I've learned that's more
important than any other. It's the value of clearly stating
your product's benefits.
Let me illustrate the difference between two ads for computers,
one based on features, the next based on benefits:
- 3.0 Gigahertz Processor
- 256 Megabyte Video Card
- 350 Gigabyte Hard Drive
- Fast processor lets you get more done quicker
- Powerful graphics card lets you play all the latest
- Roomy hard drive, so you can install all your programs
and still have room for music and video
A feature describes an attribute of a product. A benefit
tells why you should care. For example, stating a computer
has 256 Megabytes of video RAM says nothing to the average
computer user. It's a feature. But they may be purchasing
the computer for someone who's really into the latest computer
games. Many of these require a lot of video RAM.
turned the feature into a benefit by telling how that feature
makes the product more valuable. Make sense? But one of the
strangest things I see as a marketer is how even professionally
produced advertisements costing thousands of dollars to create
and sent out break this one simple rule.
Well there you have it. A quick Marketing 101 course as
it applies to creating a winning "brand" for your auctions.
We also described how to sell more often by focusing on benefits,
rather than features.
In the coming newsletter issues, you'll discover:
- Photography Tips for Your Listings
- Price vs. Sales Rate
- Identifying Trends to Find Emerging "Hot" Products
to Sell on eBay
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