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How to Sell Custom Jewelry Online and Actually Make Money

How to Sell Custom Jewelry Online and Actually Make Money

29 million Americans said they owned jewelry in 2018. To put in perspective, that’s the size of the population of Texas. We did the math, and you’d need approximately 362 lifetimes to meet that many people.

As an ecommerce store owner, you can see there are a lot of possibilities in that number, and it’s just a matter of finding the right path for your business to access them. We’re here to help you understand how to sell personalized jewelry and grow your store in the process.

In this blog article, we’ll go over why selling jewelry online is the next big thing, how to find that pricing sweet spot and best places to sell your jewelry, and how to introduce custom jewelry in a way that makes sense for your store.

Why sell personalized jewelry online?

The jewelry industry has been slow to adapt to the world of ecommerce that apparel sellers embraced so quickly. But now jewelry is catching up fast. According to McKinsey, jewelry sales are expected to reach $275 billion by 2020, and a whopping $645 billion in 2035.

McKinsey predicts that 10% of jewelry sales in 2020 will take place online. And with jewelry profit margins averaging 42.6%, it’s a market well worth researching for all existing and potential ecommerce business owners out there.

Another reason to sell jewelry online is its evergreen quality. No matter the time of the year, custom jewelry is never out of season. If your ecommerce marketing calendar has the right dates on it, you can create holiday-related marketing campaigns focusing on your line of jewelry.

For example, June 8 is Best Friend Day, which means you can come up with a special offer for best friend necklaces. Boss Day on October 8 is perfect for designing custom bracelets celebrating the world’s best bosses.

Where to start?

When it comes to choosing the products to sell, bracelets and necklaces are classics for a reason—people love and wear them. As you know, jewelry can be made from a lot of different materials, but if you want to add value to your store consider fine jewelry that’s made from quality silver, gold, or other precious metals.

There are various production techniques used with precious metals, but engraving is the way to go since it adds a unique tactile feeling to a bracelet or necklace. So by adding engraved jewelry to your product selection you’ll attract customers who love high quality premium products. That’s why in this blog post we’re going to focus on how to sell engraved necklaces and bracelets.

First things first—you have to decide how much time and effort you want to invest in creating personalized engraved jewelry.

Option 1. Create and fulfill custom engraved jewelry yourself

The biggest benefit of creating jewelry yourself is you have full control over the process. You’re the one who chooses a quality engraving machine and supplies, and handles each order to make sure the customer has the perfect unboxing experience.

However, this option comes with some potential deal-breakers. First, you have to get the supplies and tools for engraving, which means investing your own money, especially if you’re going to order in bulk. For those starting in ecommerce, this might not be financially possible.

Second, not all of us have the time to master precise and sleek engraving skills to create minimalistic jewelry, which is particularly difficult with hand-held tools. But without properly learning the skill you can end up with poor quality products, damaged items that’ll make you lose money, or even worse—bad reviews on your store.

creating-your-own-jewelry

Third, engraving, packaging, and shipping each order takes time. And after your business takes off, this model can be difficult to scale unless you’re willing to manage your store full-time. So with future success in mind, it might be more beneficial to choose a trusted fulfillment partner for your personalized jewelry.

Option 2. Use an on-demand fulfillment service

Using an on-demand fulfillment service that offers custom engraved jewelry solves the problems outlined above. You lose control over the creation and fulfillment processes, but gain quality and time to focus on your business and marketing the products.

To get the best results, you need to choose a reliable white-label production partner that has engraved jewelry in their product range. For example, Printful offers high quality engraved silver bar necklaces and bracelets with silver, gold, and rhodium coatings. You just need to add your designs to the products, and start selling jewelry on your store.

[embedded content]

Printful charges your account only when a customer makes an order. Then they fulfill the order and send it directly to your customer under your brand. You set your own profit margins, so you can mark up your custom jewelry the way you see fit.

With Printful, all jewelry orders have free shipping, which can significantly increase your average order value.

Using a partner makes sense if you prefer developing a business strategy and marketing the products, and leaving the production process to professionals. To find a fulfillment partner that meets your standards, order some product samples and test them out.

How to price jewelry?

Once you have the fulfillment sorted, find the right price for your products. Pricing is tricky because the price tag needs to reflect the quality of the product and bring in profit, but also appeal to customers who have a lot of other shopping options at their fingertips.

As we mentioned before, jewelry generally has very high and stable profit margins with sellers reporting similar results year after year despite market fluctuations. Researching how established competitors value their products can give you an idea of what works for the audience you’re targeting.

For example, a search for engraved silver bar necklaces on Etsy reveals products with prices ranging from $16 to upwards of $150. A simple Sarah Chloe engraved gold-plated silver bar necklace at Macy’s costs $118. So evaluate the competition, calculate the profit margins, and decide what makes sense for your store.

gold-necklace

Source: Macy’s

Let’s take the Macy’s $118 necklace as an example. Printful would charge you $24.95 for a comparable product. Since all orders have free shipping, the necklace would give you a $93.05 gross profit with an 80% profit margin.

Some ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Woocommerce, and Etsy even offer a personalization feature that allows customers to design their own bracelet or necklace directly on your storefront. Giving your customers the option to order jewelry with their own unique designs increases your profit margins even more.

Read our article on how to market expensive products to learn helpful tips and tricks on finding the right price work for your engraved jewelry line.

Best places to sell jewelry online

When you’ve decided on the price, it’s time to find the right place to sell custom-made jewelry. One option is to create your own online store (or add a new category to an existing store—more on that later). This way you can customize the store to your heart’s content, creating a truly tailor-made shopping experience.

Another option is to use online marketplaces that are well-known for their extensive jewelry collections. Even if you already have an established store, multichannel selling can be a game-changer when it comes to finding new target audiences. Let’s take a look at some of the marketplaces you should consider.

Etsy

Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. Printful’s application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.

Personalized jewelry is one of Etsy’s best-selling categories, so Etsy is the place to sell jewelry. With almost 39.5 million active buyers in 2018, it’s a good place to get noticed.

sell-engraved-jewelry-etsy

Source: Etsy

Just being on Etsy, however, is not enough. You have to optimize your product listings by using the right keywords, adding eye-catching product pictures, and constantly monitoring what works and what doesn’t. So invest some time to research how to successfully sell products on Etsy.

eBay

eBay is one of the few industry leaders with years of experience in ecommerce, and its 167 million monthly visitors make it a formidable market player.

ebay-engraved-jewelry

Source: eBay

But such numbers also signal that there’s a lot of competition, so you should have some tricks up your sleeve to make sure your bracelets and necklaces are seen. This means getting to know eBay’s algorithms inside and out and reading up on how to boost your rankings.

Amazon

Amazon is an ecommerce giant that’s not going to stop their expansion anytime soon. In 2018 alone, the company’s net revenue was $232.89 billion dollars. Plus, Amazon has global marketplaces for sellers who want their engraved jewelry to go international.

amazon-angraved-jewelry

Source: Amazon

Just note that Amazon has rules in place for all sellers, so it may take some time for you to actually start selling jewelry on their marketplace. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you get started with Amazon.

Introducing custom jewelry to your store

If you already have a successful ecommerce store, jewelry can spice up your product range. Adding new products shows your customers that your business is thriving and expanding. So put some time into planning a launch to make sure the new products tie in with your brand image.

When planning, always have your target audience and business niche in mind. Here are some strategies you can use when introducing custom engraved jewelry to your store.

Connect it to your brand

The designs you use on your t-shirts aren’t going to work on jewelry. But you can definitely connect the two products to attract customers who are already fans of your t-shirts. For example, jewelry works very well with text-based designs, so if your t-shirts feature words or taglines, put them on your jewelry as well.

Or if you’re the owner of a brand that’s already a household name, create bracelets and necklaces with your branding, so your most loyal customers can act as brand ambassadors.

Do limited editions

Use FOMO as a marketing tool, and create limited edition personalized jewelry that’s exclusive to your store. There’s nothing like a countdown clock to motivate customers to make their order.

limited-edition-jewelry

Source: Mango

If the limited edition campaign is successful, you can consider adding jewelry products to your product range with a “back by popular demand” announcement. This way you can test out your customers’ response and make sure they’re not surprised seeing a new category on your store.

Target special events

Special events are a great time to introduce something new to your store. And there are so many options to choose from! For example, you can pick an international holiday, like Siblings Day, and come up with a line of jewelry to celebrate all the amazing siblings out there.

It can also be an event that’s special for your brand. Offer a new product as a thank you to all your customers a year after launching your store, or when you get your 100th 5-star product review.

Start selling custom jewelry today

Whether you’re just at the beginning of your ecommerce journey, or you’re already an established player with lots of experience, consider selling custom jewelry as your next passion project.

With all the impressive sales numbers and possibility for high profit margins, jewelry can become a best-seller on your store. Especially if you put in the work and do your research. So go ahead—discover a new niche in your ecommerce journey! And don’t forget to share your own experience with selling jewelry in the comments below.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 5 Steps

How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 5 Steps

When you hear the phrase making passive income online, what do you think of? Kicking back on a sunny beach knowing the blog article or video you just published is getting you millions of views and thousands in the bank?

Of course, passive income isn’t that passive after all. The term is closely associated with side-income, and one way to earn this extra money is through online affiliate marketing. You create online content (such as a YouTube channel or a blog) and monetize it.

Perhaps you’re a full-time student, parent, or employee and have a small audience for a hobby you’re into. If that’s the case, then affiliate marketing can be a great way to turn your existing page or video views into extra money on the side.

Affiliate marketing is an online marketing tactic that rewards content creators for promoting a certain product or service. Based on the affiliate program, creators can earn money, free services, or other rewards.

Each promotional offer has a personal affiliate link which is shared with your audience so the company knows where the traffic is coming from.

affiliate_marketing_infograph

Source: Shopify

Sounds simple enough, but how do you get there from scratch? Keep reading and find out!

Step 1: Find a niche

Having a niche is all about being an authority on a certain topic. When you’re an expert in a certain field, people will trust you and spend money on the things you recommend. That’s how you make money as an affiliate.

A niche is something you enjoy – could be dancing, or video games – however, that’s still quite broad, you’ll need to narrow it down.

Maybe you like traditional folk dancing and can write about cross-country adventures with your dance troupe. Or maybe you’re into video games.

Take Girlfriend Reviews, where instead of talking about the video games themselves, Shelby, actress and girlfriend, talks about what it’s like to live with her boyfriend Matt, who is a huge gaming fanatic.

girlfriend_reviews_youtube

Source: YouTube

This is extremely niche and looking at the number of views and subscribers, actually quite successful.

So you’ve found a niche you’re passionate about, now what? There are a few more things to consider when choosing a niche for affiliate marketing.

Is there a way for you to make money in this niche?

Creating videos or writing articles is great, but you have to monetize your content. One way to monetize is to put paid-per-click advertisements on your site. However, when you’re starting out with a small audience, there likely won’t be enough traffic to rely on ads alone.

Your niche has to have something people will buy so you can earn revenue from affiliate commissions. If you’re creating content about video games, you can try selling your own merchandise.

You can use print-on-demand drop shippers such as Printful, but what if there’s a service within your niche that lets you sell merch? For Girlfriend Reviews, Streamlabs would be a perfect fit. Not only are they a software service that enables easy video game streaming, but they also let their users sell their own merch.

streamlabs_merch

Source: Streamlabs

Streamlabs also has an affiliate program, so if you’re a content creator promoting the service, your audience can also get into the business and earn you money by signing up through your affiliate link.

Is it a topic you can create enough content for?

Posting a couple of blog posts or videos is not going to make you an authority within your niche. You need volume, and this is critical both for search engine optimization (SEO) and for your audience to see you as an expert.

While the topics you cover should be narrow, you still want to grow your audience. The larger the audience is, the more you’ll make through affiliate marketing.

Making sense of cents is a blog about saving money. The author, Michelle, gives tips about products and services and offers financial advice.

making_sense_of_cents_blog

Source: Making Sense of Cents

Michelle has a huge following. Her blog has tons of affiliate offers that make, according to her, $100,000 in passive income each month. She wasn’t always making this much money, and neither will you when you’re starting out. What helped her get to where she is now, is religiously putting out helpful content that she enjoys writing.

Is there an audience for your content?

When you’re starting affiliate marketing, your articles and videos need to be viewed by someone. Knowing how many potential viewers you could have requires doing some keyword research.

This also lets you find popular search terms within your niche. One tool for keyword research is Ahrefs. Let’s see what it says about video game reviews:

ahrefs_videogame_reviews

Source: Ahrefs

The first thing we see is the Keyword difficulty. This is an indicator of how tough the competition for that keyword is, and how difficult it will be to rank in the top position.

As a rule of thumb, aim for a keyword difficulty of 1-25. It’s a range in which you won’t have to struggle to be visible on Google.

Next, we see the volume of searches per month. The higher the number, the more popular the search term.

Try finding a keyword that has between 1-10K monthly search volume, this is a good range where your keyword will be popular enough that people are looking for it, but not too competitive or obscure.

You can also use ubersuggest, Google keyword planner, or Google trends to research keywords.

Step 2: Search for and join affiliate programs

Make sure you join affiliate programs within your niche. This step is critical to making sure you can monetize your content.

Some things to consider when looking for affiliate partners:

  • Commission percentage – how much are you going to make from each sale?
  • Recurring commissions – can you earn commissions from repeat customers?
  • Geolocation the affiliate company operates in – does it match your audience’s location? Some programs have specific terms and conditions that vary from country to country.
  • How do you get paid – is it PayPal (one of the most common payment tools) or something else, like cash to your bank, or credit on a store or website?
  • How often you’re paid – weekly, monthly, etc.?
  • Company reputation – is your audience going to trust this company?
  • Competition – are there lots of other content creators with similar offers?
  • Promotional materials – what resources do they offer to help you promote their products or services?

Let’s look at some affiliate marketing examples. Say you’re writing a blog about all things ecommerce. During your research you found 2 affiliate programs:

First, let’s look at Printful’s affiliate program. We make it easy to start creating content and sharing our products and services with your audience.

Signing up is easy and free, and we have plenty of promotional material for you to use. You also earn a 10% commission on all sales for 9 months once a customer signs up through your affiliate link.

printful_affiliate_program

Next, look into iHerb’s affiliate program and see what they’re offering their affiliates and if it might be a good fit for your ecommerce blog.

iherb_affiliate_program

Source: iHerb

Their affiliate program also offers marketing materials such as coupons and promotional banners. They have a global presence, a huge variety of products, and offer a 5% commission on sales.

Each affiliate program will have different benefits, so find the one that best suits you and your audience.

Step 3: Start a website

Now it’s time to actually build the website and put your knowledge into action. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Create a website. You can do it from scratch if you know how to code, or use a website builder such as WordPress or Wix to create one with a ready-made theme.
wordpress

Source: WordPress

  • Next, purchase a domain name and hosting services. SiteGround offers an affordable one-year plan. Connect your domain to WordPress or Wix and your website will be live on the internet. Remember to renew the domain once it expires
siteground_hosting

Source: SiteGround

  • You’ll also want to set up a business email and write an About us page so customers can contact you if they have any questions.

Your website doesn’t have to be perfect right from the start, but it should look finished and professional. It’s better to have something ready to go than spend too much time on small details.

Step 4: Create engaging content

Audiences crave fresh and exciting content. If you’re going to start affiliate marketing, here are a few content suggestions:

  • Product reviews

A Printful affiliate could create content that reviews Printful (or print-on-demand) products or services. Take a look at Storehacks’ Printful review:

storehacks_printful_review

Source: StoreHacks

Reviews help your audience make a buying decision. So don’t hesitate to go in-depth and share details about the product or service you’re reviewing. Include your affiliate link in the review so if your audience does decide to buy what’s being reviewed, you earn a commission.

You do need to legally disclose that you have an affiliate offer in your content. A simple “This is an affiliate offer” will suffice.

  • Addressing common problems, questions, or concerns relevant to your audience.

This requires some research, but a common topic will be comparing two or more similar products or services. Another topic would be a how-to guide for a product, especially if it’s a complicated one

If you need help finding some common questions about a product, but can’t find it in the product FAQ’s, you can always check Quora. This is where people post questions about all sorts of topics (but don’t use Quora to promote your affiliate link, it’s against their terms of service).

For example, if your niche is about plants or indoor gardening, this is how you could check Quora for topic ideas:

quora_basil_plants

Source: Quora

Here we can see someone looking for a solution to keep their basil plants alive. You can also use this to research new information when creating content.

If you’re more into creating something that’s beneficial in the long run, then the next type of content  is perfect for you:

  • Evergreen content

This is general purpose content that never goes out of date. If you’re in the plants/gardening niche, think about topics like how to grow healthy spice plants or best indoor city apartment plants.

quora_best_indoor_plants

Source: Quora

The important takeaway about evergreen content is that you need to do proper keyword research and optimize your posts for search engines. Since evergreen content tends to be broader, know that there will be competition against other content creators.

Step 5: Promote your content and offers

Now it’s time for the step that will actually start earning you money. Once you’ve created content and signed up for affiliate programs, you can start sending the offers to your audience.

There are a few ways to promote your affiliate content to your audience:

  • Link to affiliate offers

This is probably the easiest way. Include a link to the offer within the blog post or video. Make sure to change the anchor text of your link to something easy to read.

Here’s an example of what that looks like in an ecommerce newsletter email:

Printful is a great print-on-demand service that integrates with Shopify (if you sign up with this link, we’ll earn some money). If you already have a Shopify store, connect it to Printful in just 4 steps and start earning side income today!

From that example, the first link integrates with Shopify is the affiliate offer.

You can also link to affiliate offers from banners on your website. Printful’s affiliate dashboard has promo materials and banners for you to download.

printful_affiliate_banners

  • Referral programs and discount offers

These are discounts only available through a special promo code that you share with your audience. They save money and you earn some. If you’re promoting these types of offers, let your audience know they can only get the discount if they use your unique coupon code. Otherwise, the special offer won’t work.

CXL_referral_promo

Source: CXL Institute

You can also promote discounts the affiliate program company is offering. For example, if you’re a Printful affiliate, you could promote some of our campaigns such as free Digitization Week (digitization is normally $6.50).

printful_free_digitization_offer

Subscribe to your affiliate partners’ newsletters to get notifications about their promotions.

Start affiliate marketing today

Given how popular online content is, there’s a good chance you can find a program that fits your niche.

I hope this article has given you some inspiration to start affiliate marketing. You’re also welcome to join Printful’s affiliate program. If you have any questions or want to share some tips about your experiences with affiliate programs, post in the comments below!

eBay SEO: How to Optimize Your Listing and Boost Your Cassini Rankings

eBay SEO: How to Optimize Your Listing and Boost Your Cassini Rankings

With more than 167 million monthly visitors, eBay has the power to put your products in front of a vast number of users. That said, eBay’s size can also work against you—it’s easy to get lost in a sea of listings. Getting in front of your target customers requires savvy eBay SEO practices that ensure your products show up on relevant search results.

Whether you’re just thinking of setting up your eBay store with Printful or already have one, you’ll have to figure out how to get more traffic to your product listings. To help you get started, we’ll look into the ins and outs of eBay search engine optimization and here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • How  eBay Cassini, the eBay search engine, works
  • How to find the best keywords for your listing
  • eBay listing optimization best practices to increase eBay traffic
  • What to avoid when implementing your eBay search engine optimization strategy
  • The eBay SEO tools you can use to boost your listings

Let’s dive in!

SEO Basics: What You Need to Know

Before we discuss specific eBay SEO strategies and tactics, let’s brush up on a few basic principles. SEO or search engine optimization refers to the process of getting a website or webpage to rank well on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

SEO involves a number of tasks like keyword research, content creation, link building, site speed improvements, and others. The purpose of SEO is to improve a website’s rankings, ultimately driving more traffic to it.

Understanding the eBay Cassini Search Engine

Cassini is eBay’s search engine. It works similarly to Google—it uses algorithms to determine how to rank product listings on its search results. eBay hasn’t revealed how its search engine really works, but here’s what we know:

  • It factors in your keywords: eBay Cassini’s goal is to serve up search results that are relevant to the user’s query. One of the ways it determines relevance is through keywords in the listing title and product description.
  • It’s driven by buyer behavior: eBay’s search engine uses buyer behavior to determine the ranking of a listing. If many customers click a listing and end up buying the item, that could signal Cassini to rank that product (or similar ones) higher.
  • It looks at the seller’s track record: eBay Cassini also factors in a seller’s previous performance—successful sales, ratings, and customer service.

How to find the best keywords for your eBay listing

Wondering how to get more traffic on eBay? The first step to getting your listings to rank—and increasing your eBay traffic—is to find the best terms to incorporate into your product pages. Keyword research is a critical component of any SEO strategy, be it for Google, Bing, or eBay’s Cassini search engine. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

1. Start with eBay’s search function

If you’re racking your brain on how to optimize eBay listings, kickstart your keyword research by entering your product into eBay’s search function to see what comes up. Put yourself in the shoes of an eBay customer and think of the words and phrases they would type in.  

You’ll want to look at the query suggestions in the eBay search bar. Doing so will give you a better idea of what terms to include in your listing. For example, when you type “headphones for kids,” the search bar will suggest more specific phrases—“noise canceling headphones for kids,” “kids headphones boys” etc.

eBay-suggested-search

In addition to looking at the search box’s suggestions, examine the search results themselves. Identify what the top results have in common to figure out what the sellers are doing to get to the top page. How do they format their titles and descriptions? How are they using their target keywords? The answers to these questions will give clues into what works for others in your niche, and you can then incorporate those practices into your own listings.

2. Consider other keyword tools

If you want to take your keyword research to the next level, look into SEO tools such as Keywords Everywhere or KeywordTool.io that identify keyword search volume, competition level, and other important information you should consider when trying to discover the right terms to use in your listings.

3. Get cues from top eBay searches

This step is particularly useful if you’re still deciding what to sell on eBay. Looking at top eBay searches will let you see what’s trending on the site, so you can figure out what to put up for sale.

trending-on-ebay-page

If you already have items for sale, it’s still worth looking at top searches because they can give you ideas on upcoming trends and what search terms go together.

WatchCount is a popular eBay app that surfaces the top products that are being “watched” (bookmarked) by eBay users. It also has a feature that uncovers related product searches and keywords in various categories—enter your product or category into the keywords bar and the site provides related search terms and alternative keywords.

eBay-top-searches

You’ve done your keyword research, now it’s time to learn about eBay listing optimization and boost your presence on the site.

eBay Search Engine Optimization: 9 Steps for Success

As mentioned above, eBay’s search engine factors in relevance, buyer behavior, and the seller’s track record, which means that optimizing your listing isn’t just about adding the right keywords. It’s also important to boost your seller profile and provide the best buying experience possible.

Below, you’ll learn the 9 steps in which to do just that. We’ll start by talking about ways to level up your seller profile (steps 1 to 4), then move on to optimizing your listings (steps 5 to 9).

1. Choose a seller name that tells people what your store is about

While it’s unclear whether or not eBay Cassini factors in a seller’s username in its rankings, it’s a good idea to choose an eBay handle related to what you’re selling. It builds trust and sends the message that you’re an expert in that product category.

2. Incorporate a few keywords into your profile description

Keep your bio short and easy to read. eBay sets a 250-character limit, so you need to tell customers what sets you apart and why they should do business with you in as few words as possible.

3. Use a profile photo that represents the brand  

Upload a profile image that accurately reflects yourself or your brand. If you’re using a personal eBay account, you can keep your profile image casual and go for a photo or illustration. However, if you’re using an eBay business account, you’ll want to go with a branded logo.

As for sizing, eBay recommends that your picture dimensions be 300×300 pixels with a minimum resolution of 72 DPI.

4. Build a strong seller reputation and track record

Your track record and eBay rankings can make or break your profile. Cassini looks into seller performance and considers ratings and reviews, customer disputes, and responsiveness.

That’s why it’s important to keep your customers satisfied. Sell your products at fair prices and describe the items as accurately as possible in your listings, so customers always know what they’re getting. Be responsive and polite to buyers and make it a point to respond quickly.

Doing the actions above will help you gain higher ratings and positive reviews, which will lead to higher eBay rankings and more customers.

A great example of an eBay seller following these best practices is thrift.books, an eBay store that sells used books at low prices.

ebay-store-front-example

In addition to having a targeted and straightforward eBay handle, thrift.books has a profile image that reflects the store’s purpose and a bio that tells people exactly what to expect. thrift.books also has a product-related keyword (i.e., “used books”) in its profile description. The seller has an excellent reputation, with over 800,000 positive ratings and several glowing reviews.

5. Put your most important keyword in your title

After you’ve done your keyword research, decide on the most important keywords on your list and use them in your listing title.  

Resist the temptation to include too many keywords, as this will make your titles long and difficult to read. Remember that you can always include additional keywords in your description.

eBay-listing-example-product-title

6. Use related keywords in the description

Having your main keyword in your product description is great, but overusing it will lead to a wordy description that doesn’t read well. Instead, look for synonyms of your keyword and use them throughout the text.

Another way to make your content easier to read is by using headers to break up the text.

7. Keywords should make up 5% to 7% of your description  

eBay recommends having a keyword density of 5% to 7% in your descriptions. So, if you’re describing a product in 200 words, you should use your keywords and synonyms 10 to 14 times.

eBay-listing-example-description

8. Have unique identifiers in your listing

If applicable, include unique identifiers such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), and Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN) in your listings.

According to eBay, unique identifiers help its search engine direct buyers to the right items, ensuring that shoppers find what they’re looking for.

eBay-listing-example-item-specific

9. Use images to give buyers different views of your products

Upload clear images of your products and make sure they showcase your items from multiple angles. You want your product photos to show off the various features of your products, so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting. The goal is to drive sales by giving people more confidence in their purchase decision.  

eBay-listing-example-pictures

If you’re Printful customer, use our mockup generator to create different types of mockups that showcase your product.

eBay SEO: What to Avoid

So far we’ve discussed what you should do to improve your rankings. Now let’s move on to what you shouldn’t do when trying to get your listings to rank on eBay.

1. Stuffing your titles and descriptions with keywords

Keyword stuffing is a big no-no in any SEO strategy. It creates a poor user experience, as it makes the text difficult to read and raises red flags with search engines, which can lead to penalties and poor eBay rankings.

What should you do instead? Don’t overuse your keywords; follow eBay’s recommended keyword density of 5-7%. And remember to write for human beings, not search engines.  

2. Clickbait in your titles

You may think that using attention-grabbing or click-baity terms like “wow!” or “must-see!!!” would help your listings, but these words do nothing for SEO. Buyers don’t search for these terms so you’re only cramming your titles with unnecessary words and characters.

3. Using hidden text

Trying to hide text by making it invisible or by changing the color so it disappears into the background is unacceptable and violates eBay’s search engine guidelines, which can lead to poorly-ranked listings — or worse — your account getting penalized by eBay.  

Tools for eBay Listing Optimization

While you can get plenty of SEO and keyword ideas using eBay’s native search bar, consider using third-party tools that offer deeper insights into keyword search volume and competition. Having that data helps you identify the best keywords, so can make sure you’re using terms that your customers are searching for.

Here are a handful of eBay listing tools that can help your SEO strategy.

1. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is an app built specifically for eBay for surfacing terms relevant to your products. It pulls the data from real search queries that buyers enter when using the eBay website or mobile app.

The free version generates a limited list of keywords that you can copy and export. The paid version delivers more keywords and includes data around search volume and popularity.

eBay-SEO-tool-keywordtool

2. Keywords Everywhere

This is a free browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox that displays metrics like search volume, competition, and CPC whenever you search for keywords on engines like Google, Bing, and eBay.

What’s cool about Keywords Everywhere is that you don’t have to leave eBay to get the info you need. Unlike other SEO tools, which require you to open a new tab, this plugin displays keyword data right on eBay’s website, so you don’t have to switch to a different tab or window to view the SEO metrics.

eBay-SEO-tool-keywordseverywhere

3. Terapeak

Terapeak is a comprehensive eBay tool for advanced sellers. It lets you do everything from surfacing top eBay keywords to analyzing market trends. Terapeak analyzes millions of transactions to provide figures such as average prices, sales totals, and average shipping costs.

Boost your presence on eBay

Increasing your eBay traffic and visibility through SEO boils down to providing the most relevant information to your customers at the right time and place. You can do this by:

  • Identifying the keywords that your customers are searching for
  • Incorporating those search terms into your product titles and descriptions
  • Building a strong seller profile by optimizing your page and, more importantly, being a great and trustworthy seller who keeps customers happy

Just like with everything in life, SEO takes time, so be patient. The best thing you can dois start optimizng your store today to see the results sooner rather than later.

8 Must-Try Mother’s Day Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Store

8 Must-Try Mother’s Day Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Store

While most would agree that mothers deserve loving appreciation all throughout the year, every time Mother’s Day comes around, people go a little extra, showering moms with gratitude and gifts.

According to the latest report by the National Retail Federation, Mother’s Day is the third biggest spending holiday in the US. This comes as no surprise, as 84% of Americans agree they celebrate Mother’s Day every year. 

Source: National Retail Federation

Besides, did you know that last year Mother’s Day spending reached $23.1 billion? If you think people spend this money on flowers and cards only, you’re wrong.

Source: National Retail Federation

Unless people are taking their moms for dinner or day at the spa, they buy clothing and accessories (36,9%), jewelry (33,5%), books or CDs (20,8%). This means that ecommerce businesses can successfully market their products for Mother’s Day.

This year, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 12th, so you’ve still got more than a month to prepare your store for shoppers who want to spoil their moms. And in case you’re short of ideas, don’t worry, you’re at the right place! I put together some actionable advice that can help your online store grow during this heartwarming holiday.

1. Create a page dedicated to Mother’s Day shopping

First things first, take a good look at your products. There must be something you can position as a Mother’s Day gift, even if it’s not directly related to this holiday.

American clothing and accessories retailer Anthropologie grouped together a bunch of their products that would make every mother smile. On their list you could find pretty much everything they sell: clothing, home decor pieces, beauty and wellness products.

But that’s not the main reason why I brought up Anthropologie. You see, they created a separate page on their website dedicated to Mother’s Day gift shopping.

This page makes things easier for visitors who enter the website exclusively looking for Mother’s Day gifts. It can also come in handy when trying to convert regular visitors into Mother’s Day shoppers, as not everyone who’s browsing Anthropologie might think of it as a place to purchase gifts for moms.

However, you can’t create a page for Mother’s Day gift shopping and expect it will skyrocket your sales. You need to think of how to promote this page or make it more searchable in order to drive more sales.

A common practice is to display a popup on the landing page that takes users to the holiday sale section. If popups aren’t your thing, use promo bars or simply replace the regular Sale section on your website’s navigation bar to Mother’s Day Sale.

2. Put together a gift guide

Nobody can deny that gift giving is a rewarding experience. Gift hunting, on the other hand, is a whole different story. We’ve all been there, spending countless hours on the internet trying to figure out what would make the perfect gift for someone important in our lives.

With Mother’s Day just a month away, people are starting to worry about how they can surprise their moms this year. To help these people and gain extra exposure for your products, put together a gift guide.

You can write an insightful blog post presenting your ideas and linking to your products. That’s exactly what organic skincare and makeup brand 100% Pure did a couple of years back.

If writing isn’t your cup of tea, create an infographic instead. People love them, as taking in visual information is easier than reading an article. Besides, infographics are engaging and easy to share.

As you sit down to write your blog post or create an infographic, think bigger than the generic “Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day.” Every mother is different, so try to offer something for every type of mom:

  • active
  • traveler
  • foodie
  • crafty
  • booklover

Once you have the gift guide ready, make sure you share it with your audience. Publish it on your social media accounts or deliver it to their inboxes.

3. Offer product personalization

Personalization is one of the biggest trends of the year and ecommerce specialists predict it’s here to stay as more shoppers are veering away from store-bought items and favoring one-of-a-kind products.

Even though personalized items are popular all year round, they’re perfect for special events and holidays like Mother’s Day.

personalized-mothers-day-tshirt

There are two ways how you can go about introducing product personalization to your store. You can add a brand new limited edition product to your collection an make it customizable. Or, in case you already offer mom-themed products, you can make the most popular piece customizable.

If you’d like to give customization a go, there are a couple of ways you can do it with Printful.

4. Create a mom-focused board on Pinterest

There are 175 million active users on Pinterest. 93% of them say they use Pinterest to plan their purchases, and 87% admit they’ve purchased something because of this platform. If this doesn’t convince you to create a Pinterest account for your online store, I don’t know what would.

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine. People use it to get inspiration for their DIY projects, home makeover, or gift shopping for holidays like Mother’s Day.

As people evaluate search results by how appealing each pin looks, you need to upload content that is visually appealing if you want visitors to start paying more attention to your products. So pin only high-quality images and group them together not only by the topic, but also by their color scheme. The more aesthetically pleasing your pins and boards are, the better.

Learn from the American retail giant J.Crew. Their official Pinterest account has several boards, each with a clear color scheme.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner more people will be scouting the web for products that would make great gifts for moms. Make your brand visible on Pinterest to get discovered by shoppers who prefer finding inspiration through visual information.

5. Host a giveaway

Hosting giveaways is a great way to accelerate the growth of your email list, increase sales, website traffic or social media following and engagement. You can, of course, host a giveaway at any time, but it’s easier to tackle people’s interest weeks before special holidays like Mother’s Day.

The French skincare company Caudalie was running a Mother’s Day giveaway on their American website. Prizes include gift sets, a round trip to Paris, a cooking class, and more. All you had to do to enter is submit your email address – it’s that simple.

With this giveaway, Caudalie is growing its mailing list. A customer interested in giveaway prizes won’t think twice about giving their email address. For Caudalie, that email is an invaluable piece of information that can lead to more sales.

But running a successful giveaway isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to offer something truly valuable and desirable if you want your customers to participate. Also, your giveaway should be fairly easy to enter. In other words, don’t make people answer a 20 question survey to win a digital “Thank You” card.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you need to promote your giveaways as much as possible. It’s not surprising that a giveaway on its own will bring little to no results to your business if nobody participates. So walk an extra mile to promote your giveaway and encourage customer engagement.

6. Run special Mother’s Day promotions

Throughout the years, businesses have taught shoppers to expect special deals with every upcoming holiday. Mother’s Day makes no exception. These are the two most popular forms of special offers customers will expect from you this Mother’s Day.

Promo codes

Promo codes make a great incentive to buy. Besides, it benefits both the customer and the business: customers get to purchase products they want at a lower price, and the business generates more revenue.

By giving out promo codes days before Mother’s Day can increase customer retention. You can also attract new customers as 78% of window shoppers agree they would buy from an unknown brand if they had an opportunity to redeem a promo code.

There are several types of discounts and offers you can introduce to your customers in the form of promo codes. The most popular are:

  • percentage-based discount
  • dollar value discount
  • free or upgraded shipping
  • free gift

If you’re using Printful, keep our fulfillment time in mind when running special Mother’s Day promotions. It usually takes us 2-7 business days to fulfill orders, and then shipping time is on top of that.

Successful promo code campaigns have a clear objective, let it be growing brand awareness, introducing new products or decreasing cart abandonment. So think strategically what you can offer on Mother’s Day and how running this promotion will benefit your business.

Let’s say you own a clothing store, and your best selling product is women leggings. If you recently decided to add kids leggings to your store and would like this new product to get more exposure, offer a promo code for matching mother and child leggings.

Free delivery

Did you know that 9 out of 10 consumers admit that free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more? And that’s not all, orders with free shipping tend to be around 30% higher in value.

As your website is likely to get an increase in visitors before Mother’s Day, you want to give those visitors an extra reason to stay and shop. If you can’t afford to offer free delivery with each purchase, have it as an option for orders with a certain cart value.

7. Promote your special Mother’s Day deals

Since you’ll be spending quite a bit of your time preparing your store for Mother’s Day shoppers, it’s just natural you expect all of your hard work to pay off. That’s why you need to get your hands on different communication tools that let you promote your newly published Mother’s Day shopping page, special deals, or giveaway.

Set up email campaigns

As we know, email marketing remains as one of the most popular ways to keep customers up to date with your business. So it comes as no surprise that delivering promotional Mother’s Day emails is something you should have on your content calendar weeks before the big day.

If you’re looking for Mother’s Day email ideas, here are a few:

  • Mother’s Day reminder or countdown
  • special Mother’s Day deals
  • last-minute deals
  • order deadlines
  • ongoing offers that are not directly related to Mother’s Day
  • best-selling products
  • abandoned cart reminders

As you’re preparing Mother’s Day email campaigns, keep in mind that your customers’ inboxes will be swamped with similar emails from your competitors. That’s why you should pick subject lines carefully and spend some time putting together an eye-catching email design. Most importantly, segment your email list for maximum user engagement.

Deliver web push notifications

Another communication tool that can help you promote special Mother’s Day deals is web push notifications. These short messages (usually not longer than 120 characters) are delivered to subscribers’ desktops or mobile devices, even when they’re not on that particular website at the time of notification delivery.

Source: MaxTraffic

With average click-through rates as high as 27%, web push notifications are a high-engagement communication tool that can help your store not only retain more customers, but also inspire first-time purchases.

Use this tool to communicate similar content to your Mother’s Day emails, just be more careful with the frequency of your messages. It’s known that the more notifications are sent in a day, the less engagement they get over time. So save it for your extra special news.

Be visible on social media

I know, social media, what an unexpected turn of events! But in all seriousness, you need to keep your social media accounts up and running at all times if you want to communicate with your audience in a timely and engaging way.

When it comes to social media marketing, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, especially in the days leading up to Mother’s Day. Only focus on social media platforms that will reach your target audience. And concentrate on creating quality content that’s fun to consume and easy to share.

Remember, you won’t be the only store promoting special Mother’s Day deals. In order to stand out from the competition, you need to think of a different angle to present similar ideas in an engaging way. Whatever you decide to do, keep your brand voice consistent.

8. Run an influencer marketing campaign

According to a report by Linqia, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing last year, 92% of whom found it to be effective.  

Even though Mother’s Day is one month away, you can still reach out to influencers to promote your brand or certain products on your store. But instead of aimlessly asking for a shoutout, carefully think about what exactly you want to promote through your chosen influencer.

Back in March last year a clothing and home accessories company Next ran an influencer marketing campaign to promote their next-day delivery subscription.

This delivery option wasn’t something new Next wanted to introduce to their audience. Quite the opposite, it’s something Next decided to repromote using Mother’s Day as an occasion to encourage more customers to take the plunge and subscribe to the service.

What’s so smart about this move? Next gets a great chance to retain and re-engage Mother’s Day shoppers later. Think about it. If you had the chance to receive your purchases the next day for free (since you already paid those £20 when you ordered your gift), wouldn’t you be tempted to shop at Next more often? I know I would!

Don’t think of Mother’s Day influencer marketing campaigns as a way to promote products related to this holiday only. Think outside the box to make the most of the exposure that influencers can offer.

Over to you

Mother’s Day is the third biggest commercial holiday in the US. Luckily, as a store owner, you still have a month to prepare for the Mother’s Day shopping craze. Work not only on attracting new customers, but also on retaining existing ones. Most importantly, think of this special occasion as a chance to grow your business.

This article was originally published in April 2018; it has since been updated.

7 Best Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives

7 Best Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives

You’ve done your market research, decided on the perfect theme for your brand and made plans to take the world by storm! But suddenly you realize there are banners, product photos, and promotional material you need to create to launch and grow your store – you’ve found yourself in a need of a photo editing software.

If you’ve heard of Photoshop, you’re probably also aware that it’s quite an investment. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of free alternatives to Photoshop. I’ve spoken with the Printful graphics team, and we’ve come up with a list of options suited for both graphic editing newcomers and seasoned Photoshop users.

So, if you’re looking to reimagine your ideas as a design, showcase your products on your store, or promote them on your blog and social media accounts, we’ve got you covered!

But, before diving in, let’s explore Photoshop.

Photoshop and Creative Cloud

Adobe-Photoshop-Creative-Cloud-example-screenshotSource: Adobe Blogs

Adobe Photoshop is an industry-leading raster (pixel-based) image editor used to create unique graphics and edit photos. It’s packed with many useful tools for resizing, color adjusting, and retouching images. Photoshop used to be a program you could buy from Adobe and use to your heart’s content. But since 2013, it’s a part of a monthly subscription-based service – Creative Cloud. Photoshop is included in multiple plans starting with Photography plan ($9.99/month).

Creative Cloud is a marvelous software for experienced designers and is a great investment if you’re planning on expanding your business or employing a designer team. Creative Cloud offers many useful features like storing and sharing your projects and even working on them at the same time. It’s the perfect graphic design environment.

If you’re a casual user or a total newcomer to graphic editing, Creative Cloud could seem overwhelming or impractical. That’s because even the slightest change to an image – like a decoration on a sales banner – or even just opening software-specific files like .psd (Photoshop Data file) requires a subscription to access the editing software.

So, if you’re testing the waters and don’t want to invest in Photoshop or have experience using Photoshop and want to try something a little different,
you might be interested in free Photoshop alternatives.

1. Photopea
Photoshop-Alternative-Photopea-example-screenshot

Use it for: DTG, Cut&Sew, Poster & Canvas printing, Sublimation, UV printing, Photo editing, Social media graphics

This might be the Swiss army knife of free alternatives to Photoshop. Not only does it look like Photoshop, it also has many of its features. Photopea offers pre-made sizes and templates for posters and social media graphics. All in all, it’s the perfect software for both Photoshop users and total graphic design newcomers.

Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, Browser
File Format: .PSD, .PNG, .JPEG, .PDF, .SVG, .GIF
Color Space: RGB

PROS CONS
  • Multifunctional
  • Multiple languages
  • Pre-sized templates
  • Online and downloadable
  • Same hotkeys as Photoshop
  • Similar to Photoshop in layout and tools provided
    (transparent background, measuring tool, adjustment layers etc.)
  • Exports files in vector formats
  • Suitable for fixing most common issues with print files
  • Small delay on the Brush tool
  • Ruler provided only in .px
  • Doesn’t include common fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Georgia
  • Online version requires an internet connection – files won’t save if the browser crashes

2. GimpPhotoshop-Alternative-Gimp-example-screenshot

Use it for: DTG, Cut&Sew, Poster & Canvas printing, Sublimation, UV printing, Photo editing

No list of free Photoshop alternatives would be complete without Gimp. This software has established a strong presence in the graphics editing world and has built a strong community. It’s the perfect software for editing small files and creating simple designs.

Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux
File Format: .PSD, .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, .PDF, .EPS
Color Space: RGB, CMYK (only with a plugin)

PROS CONS
  • Multifunctional
  • Multiple languages
  • Pre-sized templates
  • Document history
  • Text filters and effects (e.g. Warp)
  • A large community that offers support
  • Many tutorials online
  • A little slow
  • Different UI than Photoshop
  • Different hotkeys than Photoshop
  • White residue around designs with transparent background
  • The Brush tool isn’t very smooth
  • Isn’t suited for professional designers

3. KritaPhotoshop-Alternative-Krita-example-screenshot

Use it for: DTG, Cut&Sew, Poster & Canvas printing, Sublimation, UV printing, Photo editing

Krita is the only raster graphic software on the list suited for creating seamless all-over print patterns. It’s great for basic photo editing, It does, however, need some getting used to. Since it’s made with artists in mind, it has a highly customizable Brush tool and can be linked to graphics tablets.

Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux
File Format: .PNG, .PSD, .JPEG
Color Space: RGB, CMYK (see Color Managed Workflow for Print)

PROS CONS
  • Multifunctional
  • Multiple languages
  • Wraparound tool
    (perfect for creating seamless patterns)
  • Great Brush tool with multiple customization options
    (works with graphics tablets)
  • Easy hotkeys that can be changed
  • Very thorough manual
  • Lags when working with very large files
  • Lags when opening RAW photo files
  • Text tool that needs getting used to
  • Different UI than Photoshop

4. InkScapePhotoshop-Alternative-InkScape-example-screenshot

Use it for: DTG, Cut&Sew, Embroidery, Poster & Canvas printing, Sublimation, UV printing

If you want to take things to the next level, I suggest checking out vector editing software. As such, InkScape is a handy program for creating print files of any size. That’s because vectors are made of objects such as lines, curves, and polygons and designs created on vector editors can be resized without damaging their quality. This means that each design made on InkScape can serve both for small prints – a personal brand image on an inside label – as well as bigger ones – posters or canvas. IncScapes Measure tools also make it a handy program for creating embroidery designs. InkScape has no size limit and even offers options on tweaking your document file. But, similar to programs like Photoshop, it has a learning curve.

Price: Free
Platforms: Windows, macOS (using XQuartz), Linux
File Format: .PDF, .EPS, .SVG, .PNG, .PNG
Color Space: RGB

PROS CONS
  • Multiple languages
  • Trace Bitmap tool (transforms pixel-based images to vector designs)
  • Great Measure tool
    (useful when making embroidery designs)
  • Great Brush tool
  • Text effects (Warp, Bend, Distort, Convert to a path)
  • Custom DPI when saving
  • Possible difficulties editing raster files
  • Different hotkeys than Photoshop

5. CanvaPhotoshop-Alternative-Canva-example-screenshot

Use it for: Social media graphics, Poster & Canvas printing

Canva might not be the most obvious choice of Photoshop alternatives, yet it’s a useful platform for any designer. Their free toolkit is quite extensive and their paid plans offer even more editing possibilities. It’s great for designing posters. It also lets you post your creations straight to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and others. Canva for Work also offers a feature named Brand kit, which makes branding each graphic exceptionally easy.

Price: Free (Canva for Work is $12.95/month)
Platforms: Online Browser, Also available for iOS and Android
File Format: .JPEG, .PDF, .PNG (transparent background only available with paid plan)
Color Space: RGB

PROS CONS
  • Easy to use
  • Multifunctional
  • Multiple languages
  • Wide selection of templates, from prints to social media
  • Library for storing designs and photos
  • Canva for Work has a 30-day free trial
  • Useful tools (e.g. Brand kit, Resizing, Transparent background) locked behind a paywall
  • Limited choice of fonts

6. DesygnerPhotoshop-Alternative-Desygner-example-screenshot

Use it for: Social media graphics, Poster & Canvas printing

Desygner is an online platform, which is great for creating poster designs and social media graphics – you can post designs straight to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It has a desktop app as well as separate mobile apps (iOS and Android) for more specific design needs. Desygner Premium offers the Brand kit feature which is a great tool for establishing a uniform style for each created graphic.

Price: Free (Desygner Premium is $9.99/month)
Platforms: Online Browser, Also available for iOS and Android
File Format: .JPEG, .PNG, .PDF
Color Space: RGB, CMYK (only available in .PDF)

PROS CONS
  • Easy to use
  • Multifunctional
  • Multiple languages
  • Wide choice of templates
  • Library for storing designs
  • Wide selection of images and graphics
  • Free Resize tool
  • Free Design apps with Desygner Premium
  • Useful tools (e.g. Brand kit, PDF editing) locked behind a paywall
  • Limited choice of fonts
  • No warning about decrease in file quality
  • Few social media integrations

7. Pablo

Photoshop-Alternative-Pablo-by-Buffer-example-screenshot

Use it for: Social media graphics

Pablo by Buffer is a great starting point for a social media and graphic design newbie – it’s completely free! The program lets you post your creations straight to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Feel free to play around with Pablo’s design options, but remember that it’s not meant for making print designs!

Price: Free
Platforms: Online Browser, Also available as Google Chrome extension
File Format: .PNG

PROS CONS
  • Easy to use
  • Wide selection of images
    (provided by Unsplash)
  • Linkable to Buffer account for faster social media scheduling
  • Suited only for social media graphics
  • Limited template selection
  • Limited choice of fonts
  • Few social media integrations
  • Only 72 DPI

Which option is the best for me?

 
Free
No paid features
Easy to use
Good for print desgins
Good for photo editing
Good for social media graphics

Creating print files

If you’re looking for a software for creating print designs, look no further than Photopea, Gimp, Krita, and InkScape. Check out Canva and Desygner for making poster and canva designs.

Our graphics team also recommends ordering color swatches and checking out our color correction tutorial. For more details, be sure to read our color matching disclaimer.

For more info on print requirements, be sure to check out our blogs on Everything You Need to Know to Prepare the Perfect Print File and RGB vs CMYK: Guide to Color Systems. Don’t forget to read Printful File guidelines under each product to see which formats and sizes will work the best in each case!

Photo editing

For editing pictures for your online store and blog, use Krita, Photopea, or Gimp.

Social Media Graphics

To create engaging social media content, it’s best to use Canva, Desygner, Photopea, or Pablo.

Final Thoughts

The first step is to determine what you want the software to do. When that’s done, choose the programs you want to try out and play around. If you wish to see the software in action, check out our video on the top 5 free graphic design apps—find the best fit for you!

If, however, you want a well rounded free Photoshop alternative, I’d suggest Photopea – it can be used as a design tool, has a set of social media templates and has the same adjustment layer and photo editing tool options as Adobe Photoshop.

By now you’re probably either ready to dive into the vast world of photo editing or more confused than ever. If it’s the latter, don’t you worry, I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions. And, if all fails, you can always hire a professional our designers know what’s best for Printful fulfillment. I wish you the best of luck with your endeavors!

How to Market Expensive Products So They Look Like A Steal

How to Market Expensive Products So They Look Like A Steal

Expensive products are judged by their quality, looks, value… There’s a lot that goes through a customer’s head when they’re making decisions. And in the end, everybody blames the price tag to be the common reason why people don’t buy a product. However, if the only thing you and your customer see is the price tag, your selling tactics might need an update.

Tell me if this rings a bell:

You launch your premium products. You’ve set the prices to reflect the quality, invested time and creativity. Nobody’s buying. You’re now doubting the expensive price tags. The promos aren’t working out, either. You apply a quick fix and lower the prices. Orders start coming in, but your strategy for marketing expensive products has fallen flat. Sad.

Know what’s even sadder? Your customers would actually buy your higher-end products. You just need to give them a reason, added value, anything that would make them think “Wow! These leggings are only $90!? What a steal!”

Let’s make this happen for you with these 8 tips on how to market expensive products!

Ditch the discounts

Discounts are a bulletproof way to lure in new customers and satisfy your existing fan base, right? Not in this case. If you’ve just started marketing your more premium products, you’ll want to steer clear from discounts. Why?

Products on sale tend to have a cheaper vibe, even the high-end ones. Would you want an expensive product to have a cheap vibe? Of course not. You’re offering a high-quality product and that price tag is there for a reason.

Another argument to ditch discounts is that customers tend to get hooked on lowered prices and expect a discount with every order. So when they hop on your store and see your expensive items with no discount they hop right off.

Keep your expensive product prices as they are from the beginning. If you’re still searching for a way to delight your customers, offer them free shipping. That’s just one of the many ways how to sell a product without lowering its price tag.

Offer-free-shipping-example-Fab

Source: Fab

Use smart pricing and selling tactics

If you think that changing a price from $10.00 to $9.99 guarantees more sales, you’re not the only one. A study on the use of odd pricing in the retail sector revealed that 90% of the prices end with either 9 or 5. It’s a psychological pricing strategy called odd pricing and used to make products seem cheaper.

And while there are numerous studies that support this odd pricing tactic, when it comes to marketing premium products – you might want to avoid it.

A study carried out in 2013 examined if and why consumers prefer round prices. The researchers observed the spending habits of a study group across two different pay-what-you-want situations and one self-pumped gasoline purchase.

The majority of participants showed a tendency to pay in round prices with no real explanation. Perhaps it was their subjective liking or some sort of oddly satisfying feeling they got from it.

Rounded prices may also contribute to a feeling of luxury. Since prices ending with .99 create a sense of a cheaper deal and sale, round prices portray the opposite. Maybe that’s why luxury brands like Prada, Balenciaga, and Burberry tend to stick to round pricing.

Use-round-pricing-example-Prada

Source: Prada

Reformat price tags

A study by Cornell University investigated the impact of price presentation on consumers’ attitudes. They found that restaurant-goers were more likely to spend more when they didn’t see dollar signs or decimal points on the menu ($12.99 → 13). Would you agree that a pair of leggings for “$89.75” seem pricier than the same pair for “90”?

Our brains are magical, and there’s plenty of ways to trick them. This study on price presentation proved that displaying prices in a smaller font size changes the perceived cost.

Prices in larger sizes got more attention than those in smaller sizes. So in the case of marketing expensive products, format prices in a smaller size so they’re harder to notice.

Play around with the price tags for your expensive items and don’t stop at removing the currency sign – see what happens when you change color and alignment.

Connect with your customers to upscale your products

The first thing you should understand before writing a product description is your customer. Say they’re looking for a t-shirt. Are they looking for something trendy? Minimalistic? Or do they just want something cozy to lounge around in at home?

Once you’ve cracked the motivations driving your customers, you can mirror their feelings back to them via your product descriptions. And when that’s done correctly, your customer reads the product description and makes an order thinking “Heck yea! Just what I wanted!”

Connect-with-your-customer-example-Everlane

Source: Everlane

One way to link your product with the customer is to use sensory language – words related to the five senses. Take this ICONSPEAK product description for example. They included sensory words like warm and sunny, which all work on your subconscious. Plus, the story they’ve written paints the picture of holiday heaven – you can easily see yourself wearing that tank-top.

How-to-write-product-descriptions-example-ICONSPEAK

Source: ICONSPEAK

Here’s a list of sensory words you can use in your copy. Understand the product you’re selling and the consumer behind it. Look at the product features and figure out what sensory words will make it stand out. Keep in mind your customer’s aspirations.

Create a story that justifies the high-priced item

To be successful in marketing expensive products, you should give your 100% to product presentation and let the price tag be just the price tag. Yes, it may read contrary to the previous points where we heavily covered pricing, but you should invest most of your time focusing on product value.

Today’s consumer won’t buy an expensive product if they can’t relate to it. So help them understand your product by highlighting why it means the world to you. Tell your brand story wherever and however possible – especially if you’ve created the designs from scratch and each product is made to order.

Startup Vitamins is an example of how to sell a product based on the story behind it.

Create-story-product-descriprion-Startup-Vitamins

Source: Startup Vitamins

This product description is like an open friendship request. It describes the heart and soul of what went into the design and the meaning behind it. And if you, as a customer, can run with it – it’s likely you’ll accept that friendship request and order the product.

So what goes into creating the perfect product description? That’s entirely up to you. But I do advise you to always include your unique selling proposition (USP) in the description. A USP is a clear statement that addresses:

  • the direct benefits of your product;
  • how the product will solve your customer’s needs;
  • what distinguishes your product from the competition.

If you’re more into showing than telling, check out Printful’s production footage where you’ll find videos of products and processes you can use for your marketing campaigns – free of charge!

Add quality visuals for high-end products

We shop with our eyes first, then we connect our brains to the process and start making decisions. To nudge your customers into purchasing your premium products from the get-go, quality visuals are a must. Focus on these four tips:

  • Create photos that customers can relate to easily

Some ecommerce business owners fixate so much on identifying their expensive product via its description and promos that they forget they can do the same through photos. Keep your customer in mind and use your product photos as a tool to target them.

Let’s say your target audience is startup owners interested in styling their office. Use this info and plan your photo shoot so the product translates to a startup office vibe. You’ll mirror your customer’s wishes and they’ll be more likely to buy the high-end product because they’ll feel it was what they were looking for.

Add-photos-customers-can-relate-to-example-Printful

Source: Printful

  • Add high-resolution product images

You’re trying to sell quality, experiences, and emotions – go for hi-res images. Aim for the minimum of 800×800 pixels, ideally 1200 to 1500 pixels in width/height. Plus, you’ll be able to use a detailed preview by adding a zoom-in tool to your shop. Just keep your page load time in mind and compress your images – they’ll still be high quality, just smaller in size.

  • Use video and 360° views as product marketing tools

Product videos increase conversions because they show the product and its benefits in a more effective way than a photo. Did you know that ecommerce shoppers are 64-85% more likely to buy an expensive product after watching a video of it? ASOS has some good examples of product videos.

Using-videos-in-product-descriptions-example-ASOS

Source: ASOS

If you want to take your product visuals to the next level, use 360° product views. They’re trickier to master, but are certainly doable with beginner guides to 360° product photography. Sunglasshut uses 360° views in their product descriptions, see them by enabling the 360° view.

  • Have at least one macro shot so customers can see your product up close

What do customers do when browsing in a real-life brick-and-mortar store? … that’s right, they pick stuff up, they touch it, and they feel it.

Use-macro-shots-in-product-descriptions-example-ASOS

Source: ASOS

Macro photos of your products showing off their material, details, and finish are a way to connect your customer and your product online. The more your customers spend time interacting with your products, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Place another, more expensive product next to it

Selling a mug for $40 seems ridiculous, especially if you have mugs selling for $25 at your store. But, what if I told you that you could get away with selling a $40 mug by introducing another mug, one that you’ll sell at a $50?

When presented with three different pricing options for a similar product, the customer is more likely to choose the middle pricing option. A study on consumer behavior regarding product pricing viewed how introducing a newer, pricier product option lead to more sales for the original, cheaper product.

A kitchenware company Williams-Sonoma had listed a $275 bread-maker in their print catalog, and while it was a quality product, nobody was buying it. The sales changed when they introduced a similar bread maker for $429 and positioned it next to the $275 bread maker. The sales of the $275 bread maker nearly doubled because next to the new $429 model it seemed like a bargain.

So if you want to make your expensive product appear reasonably-priced, put a similar but more expensive product next to it. Keep in mind your goal is not to sell the new product but to drive sales by making the original product seem inexpensive.

Place-other-pricing-option-products-example-Wazer

Source: Wazer

Pro tip! Give no more than three product pricing options per category. Make it easy for your customers to choose the happy medium so you can sell the product you originally intended to sell.

I suggest leading with the most expensive product. If your customers see the first price as expensive, they’ll enjoy the following lower price.

Be open to experimenting

Marketing expensive products is all about testing what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to what other luxury brands are doing – how they’re pricing and using visuals in product descriptions, etc. Perhaps you find something you could use in your product marketing.

Remember – marketing tactics that work for someone who sells leggings may not work for someone who sells home and living stuff. Same goes for the target audiences at play, and the bottom line here is (and you know this already) to know who your customer is.

Have your customer in mind and experiment, experiment, experiment! You’re introducing expensive products to your store – you don’t know how your customers will react to them. Maybe they’ll love them – maybe they’ll need some convincing to fall in love with them. You don’t know that. But you’ve now read through these 8 tips on how to market expensive products and probably already have an idea in mind to try out. Go and make that idea happen, have fun experimenting with marketing expensive products!