Turning a local business into a global business doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. Ecommerce platforms like eBay have actually made that transition fairly seamless for entrepreneurs like Nicolaus Wolfrum.
Wolfrum runs an eBay store for his dad’s business, Jim’s Automotive Machine Shop in Greeley, Colorado. At first, Wolfrum simply worked at the shop during breaks from college. But he soon realized that selling surplus parts online could lead to a whole new revenue stream for the business.
To make this transition simple, Wolfrum turned to eBay. And he thinks that plenty of other small businesses can do the same. He recently spoke with Small Business Trends’ Ramon Ray about the initiative in our exclusive Smart Hustle Report.
He said, “Ebay is a great platform, because there’s almost no risk up front. It doesn’t cost you a bunch of money, like selling on some platforms does. So, what I would say is just take the items that you know are popular in your local customer base and just try it.”
There are plenty of methods you can use to increase sales on platforms like eBay. But Wolfrum believes the best course of action is usually to just put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Wolfrum said, “You just have to think about what the buyer is going to be thinking, as they’re scrolling down through that page of 20,000 listings. What’s going to make them click on your product?”
You can listen to the entire conversation below.
How to Grow Your Business Globally Online
And here are some specific insights that can help you grow your business globally online.
Include Pictures with Details
When people are shopping in stores, they get to see the product up close. So you have to try to mimic that experience as much as possible when listing products online.
Wolfrum said, “I would say one of the biggest things I learned is to have really good pictures, that are really descriptive, so you can see all of the details of the items you’re selling.”
Focus on Fast and Free Shipping
Another difference between buying products in person versus online is the shipping process. But customers today especially don’t want to wait very long to receive their purchase or pay extra for fast shipping.
Wolfrum added, “They want it free, and they want it fast. So, that’s why right now, I’m working with Ebay’s new guaranteed shipping program, that I can guarantee that my items are going to be there, in either three days or less, or two days or less, and trying to make sure that the buyer’s confident that, when they buy this product, it’s going to get there as quick as I say it’s going to get there.”
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Once customers make purchases, they often have questions or concerns that you’ll need to address. And you need to make that a priority if you want your online business to succeed.
Wolfrum said, “So, one thing that I always do is, as soon as somebody contacts me with an issue, if it’s something that I need to ask for more advice about from, maybe my dad, who has more experience in the automotive industry than I do, or something like that. Or, I need to check with one of my warehouses to see what went wrong with that, I’ll message that person back as quick as I can, saying ‘Hey, just so you know, I’m getting on top of this, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.’ So that makes it clear that I’m not just ignoring their message.”
Image: Nicolaus WolfrumMore in: Smart Hustle Report