Today, we’re delighted to bring you the second post in this series written by Iain Butterwick, EMEA Territory Manager at MIA Member Reverb.com; the largest online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling new, used, and vintage musical instruments. In his day to day, Iain leads a team of gear experts who help sellers across the UK and Europe increase their sales online. In this article, Iain presents some top tips on how to best prepare for the most wonderful time of the year and some techniques you can use during this time to help increase sales and customer loyalty…
Here is Iain’s first article in the series, in case you missed it.
In my last article, I talked about what sellers should be doing to prepare their online shops for the Christmas season. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s time to talk about some techniques you can use during this time to help increase sales and customer loyalty.
Here’s the secret: Many of the things that make your brick-and-mortar location a great place to shop can be adapted to make your online store a destination that customers want to visit again and again. From customer service to sales tactics, at the end of the day, they’re all used to achieve the same goal: To get your inventory into the hands of eager players.
As more consumers shop online this season than ever before, consider the following cues you can take from your in-store experience and adapt to take your Reverb shop to the next level.
Showcase Your Exceptional In-Store Customer Service Online
Customers with questions online should be responded to as quickly as possible–just like you would in your store. Especially this year, when people are spending more time online than ever before, consumers expect businesses and brands to get back to them in near real-time.
To ensure you can communicate quickly with customers who visit your Reverb shop, consider downloading the Reverb app, which allows you to manage communication from wherever you are. You can also automate portions of the process through tools like the Reverb Offer Bot, which enables you to automatically accept, counter, and reject offers based on perimeters you set.
Another trick? Dedicate an employee to running your online store just like you dedicate a salesperson to your showroom floor. Since buyers come to Reverb specifically looking for gear, we’ve found that our community is very knowledgeable and likes to ask questions. Many of our top sellers have a dedicated team member running their Reverb shop to ensure that online customers get the same exceptional customer service and expertise online that they would in-store.
Build Customer Loyalty the Same Way You Build Relationships In-Person
Just like customer service, the sales tactics that you use in your store can also be used online. When a player is in your store and strikes up a conversation, you use it as an opportunity to learn about what they’re looking for and make helpful recommendations. The same should apply when you get a message online. When players inquire about the gear in your shop, tell them what you love about the particular piece of gear they’re looking at and provide recommendations for how they could use it.
Negotiation is a very typical part of buying musical instruments in-person and should also be part of your online strategy. On Reverb, you have the option to allow buyers to “make an offer” on the gear you have available. In fact, most used orders begin with an offer and half of all counter offers from a seller result in a sale. If you can, we also recommend sending an offer when you answer customers’ questions—they’ve already demonstrated interest and the discount could be exactly what they need to make the purchase.
A friendly conversation or expert recommendation can go a long way when working to build meaningful relationships with customers online. I talked to a seller in London who told me that he’s built such great relationships with customers from all over the world through his Reverb shop that it’s not uncommon for one of them to stop by the store when they’re in town!
Those things that make your store special—a knowledgeable staff, high-quality customer service, and more—can also make your online shop stand out. As consumers increasingly shop for music gear online, put thought and time into your interactions to increase sales and build customer loyalty that will last long after the holiday season.