MF 354 : More on bulk actions and a great Poshmark case study
Updated: Aug 29
Last week, I took a look at Poshmark's bulk listing actions with a deep dive into sharing. As video was 2020's big enhancement (see episodes 309 and 330), I believe bulk listing actions ("bulk actions") for short, will earmark 2021's big change for the platform. This upgrade also represents a marked shift for the business model itself as we're starting to see more power sellers, including retail businesses like my dad's, using the platform to build ecommerce scale.
While sharing multiple items is the biggest game changer in my opinion, Poshmark's other bulk actions are also notable and worth an expanded discussion. I haven't used these yet but can already see the value for Poshmark inventory management and as a strategic tool to increase sales.
Bulk Action: Offer to Likers
One powerful tool in your sales arsenal is private offers to likers. As I've discussed (episode 209), a "like" signals interest in your listing and your Poshmark store. Often, a buyer is someone who will have liked the item beforehand. Thus, running a sale to those who like your item can move the needle towards a buy. Our first year on the platform we ran a Black Friday sale, which buyers could participate in by liking our items. From there, we made offers that included discounted or free shipping.
Once you activate an offer, it notifies the likers with a 24-hour time frame to take advantage of the reduced price and shipping discount.
The tricky part is doing this for a large catalog. In 2018, we had to do this manually for every item, which at the time was around 300. Today, we have well over 1200, which would make running a similar sale cumbersome and tedious.
Now, with the bulk actions you have to ability to do this with multiple items.
"Back in my day, we had to do this one listing at a time ..."
Click on the tool icon at the top right.
Select Make Offer to Likers.
Select a discount percentage (you can also type in your own).
Add a shipping discount (required).
Select the items you want to apply the sale to.
Best practice tip: use the filter to narrow down your items if you want to apply the sale to a subset from your closet.
This will apply the discount to all the items you tag and notify the accompanying likers. For sellers with large closets, this can be a huge time saver and a great way to leverage events like Black Friday to move inventory.
Bulk Action: Edit Listing Price
Another important inventory management tool is editing the listing price. You can mark down or up the price of a listing, which will enact a more permanent change that is visible to all of your visitors. While you can do this by editing the listing itself, the advantage of using the "edit listing price" option is that 1) it's quicker and 2) it will display the percentage increase or decrease at the top-right of the listing.
Price changes can serve as additional marketing.
If someone happens upon the listing or a liker has been following it for a while, a price reduction may give that person added incentive to buy, especially if they're on the fence. Buyers can even sort through your closet according to items that have recently had a price drop.
Conversely, a listing may become more valuable if it's a coveted collector's item, in which case a price increase may be warranted.
As with offers, sellers can now increase or decrease prices of listings in bulk.
Bulk actions are a significant advantage for sellers with large Poshmark inventories and for sellers that plan to build their Poshmark stores. This new enhancement also makes an attractive option for established retail clothing businesses that are looking for out-of-the-box ecommerce solutions.
Poshmark case study and grade
Exactly, a week ago, I got a text from Izzy, a friend of mine who also happens to be a former business school classmate. She mentioned that her sister-in-law Rose was interested in starting a clothing boutique and was lost in a sea of bar codes, platforms, and other technicalities. This brought back a flood of memories from 2016 when I was trying to help my dad take his brick-and-mortar shop online. I talk more about this on the Poshmark mini-series (see episode 202).
I asked Izzy to give me a call and we got into a great conversation about starting a business online. Naturally, I shared our experiences with ecommerce platforms, including Poshmark.
I gave them some pointers and as of the recording of the episode (on Tuesday), they had around 600 followers and 8 listings. Today, as I'm writing the blog, they have 941 followers and 12 listings. By the time this episode airs tomorrow, both numbers will have increased and they will be well on their way to their first sale.
They built up a store with active listings and in less than a week gained close to a 1000 followers. And they did this without a major social presence while juggling full active lives. So, how did they do this so quickly?
To answer this, I'll do an analysis based on some of the fundamentals I covered in the mini-series. After that, I'll give them a grade. This may prove helpful to you if you want to start a Poshmark business as a side hustle or new venture.
Wow! Make sure to follow @izzyandrose on Poshmark.
Out the gate, Izzy and Rose make a strong first impression. Before they put up their first listing, they created a snazzy, memorable store name and branded their boutique with a nice header photo and avatar. Poshmark is a very crowded market place with new sellers opening accounts every day. Standing out is a lot harder than it used to be. Too often, I see new sellers that don't put the time into their store's branding, using a generic or randomly generated name and bland placeholder graphics.
The little things add up and investing time into your branding can and will attract attention.
A great listing should tell potential buyers as much as possible about an item. It should evoke emotions with its imagery and give detailed information in the header and body. When buying anything online, a buyer wants to feel some kind of connection to the item. Izzy and Rose make effective use of photos, showcasing their listings from multiple angles, against bright light so buyers can see the item up close. Their closet also uses descriptive copy for both the title and the body of the listings. As I've talked about on the mini-series, Poshmark is part search engine.
Text is an important part of building up the SEO juice on the platform and on search engines outside of Poshmark.
Proactive and Participative
I've talked about how Poshmark listings are like digital pets from the 1990s. You have to walk them, feed them, and give them attention otherwise they will wilt and die. Similarly, you can have a snazzy store and great listings but if you don't participate in the Poshmark community and be active with your listings, they'll fall by the wayside. I made this mistake when we started in 2018, treating the platform as a "set it and forget it" place to list wares. We didn't close our first sale until four months in despite growing our store and doing the things above. It wasn't until I started being proactive and participative in the Posh community by sharing, liking, following, and attending Poshmark parties that we really started gaining momentum with our followers and with sales. Izzy and Rose took this advice to heart and started being proactive and participative from launch day by sharing their listings, following and liking other Poshers, and responding to comments. More importantly, they've been doing this every day, finding spare minutes within their busy schedules to be proactive. It stands to reason why they now have close to a 1000 followers in less than a week (I'm betting 1000+ by tomorrow when the episode releases). In contrast, I know one seller who's been on the platform for four years with less than 300 followers. Her listings are ok with nice pictures and descriptive text but I've noticed she doesn't reply to many comments. And yet, she still has some sales under her belt. I can only imagine how much more successful she would be if she put in one or two minutes a day into her store.
If you're serious about being a seller on Poshmark, being proactive and participative will set you up for sales and success a lot quicker than being passive on it.
Leveraging new tools to stand out
While there's greater competition, Poshmark has added new tools and enhancements that not everyone is fully utilizing yet. Stories, video, and style tags are three that come to mind. In the past year, Poshmark has integrated these powerful and prolific features that are native to social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Stories and video allow sellers to better engage with potential buyers, giving them a more intimate and detailed look at listings. I'm surprised that more sellers aren't using videos for their listings as it takes all of 5 seconds to shoot some footage on your phone and upload it as part of the creation process. If you want to create professional looking videos with voiceover narration and music, I cover how to do so in just a few minutes on episode 330 on the mini-series. More recently, Poshmark added a style tags to the listing creation process, in which a seller can add up to three keywords to their items. Style tags act as a powerful indexing taxonomy, similar to hashtags on social media. Adding these allow buyers to find your listings more easily and gives the platform more metadata to understand what you're selling and who best to show it to.
Izzy and Rose have leveraged these tools from day one and I firmly believe it's a big reason why they've built up a following so quickly. They're using stories to introduce visitors to their store and create a personal connection with their customers and followers.
They're also using video and style tags to enhance their listings. While photos are a tried and true staple, video is truly king when it comes to media.
Your phone is a portable studio.
Izzy and Rose are off to a very strong start. They've created a strong first impression with their branding and are using good visuals and text for their listings. More importantly, they're taking care of their "digital pets," giving them just a few minutes of time and attention each day; being proactive and participative in the Poshmark community.
Areas to work on / suggestions
There are two things that I recommend Izzy and Rose focus on to continue building on their momentum, both of which they're already doing or planning on doing:
Set up a studio: this can be a corner of your house or other designated area. You can decorate it simply or elaborately. That's up to you. The most important aspect is to have good lighting for photos. Consistency in environments will become part of your brand.
Incorporate more video: We now use video for every new listing since the feature was released earlier this summer. If I had the time, I would go back and add it to all of our prior listings, especially the higher end and more expensive items. Izzy and Rose are using video and once their studio is set up, I recommend they create short videos for every listing.
Get a mannequin (extra credit): I've shared on the mini-series how clothes look better on forms than on hangers. The best way to showcase the curves and nuances of a garment are either to use a live model or a mannequin. If you're just starting out, using hangers or laying them flat against a clear backdrop is fine but once you generate some sales, consider investing in a mannequin or form. Since Izzy and Rose are serious about their Poshmark business, they've already ordered a mannequin, which will make their listing photos stand out even more.
Overall, Izzy and Rose are off to a strong start and I'm excited for what lies ahead on their journey. Given what they've accomplished in just one week, I see great things ahead for both of them.
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