Internet Marketing - eBay Doesn"t Tell You How and Why Customers Buy

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An artist friend and I spent a couple of hours last week looking at small oil paintings on eBay and learning what is selling.
It looks as if you can make a killing selling your art on eBay if you can just paint a competent picture with flowers, fruits or vegetables grouped with a reflecting object sitting in front of a dark background.
Get your canvas and paints ready, right? Wrong.
Just because something is selling doesn't mean you can sell the same thing in the same venue and get the same results.
You've got to look at the entire buying process, that is, what is the customer doing from beginning to end and how is the seller engaging with them throughout the entire life cycle of the sale.
When my artist friend and I pulled back and looked at the total buying experience for the paintings, we realized that a long term and involved dance was happening between the artists and the buyers.
In fact, eBay was nothing more than a shopping cart in this context.
The demand for this category of paintings on eBay is generated by competent online and offline marketing outside of eBay.
The artists have a following that they've created through blogs, social networking, training programs, magazine advertising, e-mail marketing, and other tools.
Many of the artists participate in a "daily painting" practice in which they produce and offer a painting a day.
This is the flywheel of their business because it gives them a daily basis for reaching out to their contacts and customers.
So there is a lesson here.
A public sale is often the easiest part of the buyer/seller experience to see, but as a marketer you need to look well beyond that to the total buying experience.
How did the customer find out about the product? Why did they want or need it? How did they conduct their research? What criteria did they use in their selection? How many exposures to the offer or vendor did it take before they made the purchase? Who are their buying influences? How and why people buy are just as important as what they buy.
In your quest to be a successful Internet Marketer, be sure to look at the whole customer buying picture.
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