7 Ways to Ensure Exposure on OpenSky

The exposure of your brand on OpenSky is directly tied to a few very specific factors. Learn them, and make sure all the boxes are checked.

Product Requirements

Quality product images 

OpenSky sets a high bar when it comes to images, and that’s because it’s critically important factor in your success. We’re lookin’ out for ya.

Members respond to quality images – they drive more engagement (loves, comments, smiles, purchases) and also help to boost the equity of your brand.

Have a look at the Most Popular section on OpenSky – it’s full of products with amazing images because that’s what shoppers respond to.

Learn more about images that help you sell here.

Inventory 

Inventory is another factor the impacts your exposure. Products with little to no inventory have a high potential to sell out quickly, which isn’t a great experience for the shopper browsing OpenSky.  A best practice would be to get your inventory levels set to 5 or more so your product can drive multiple sales when given prime real estate in OpenSky’s shopping experience. When your product dips below 5 units, be sure to update/order/make/create inventory. It’s always a good rule of thumb to have 5 units available on OpenSky.

Product Type – Choose Wisely

OpenSky’s product creation wizard allows you to set up products in a few different ways. Be sure to choose the right option when you create a product to so it can get the exposure it needs to succeed.

Products that have multiple colors or sizes should be set up as a product with a variation.

Products that require free form input from a shopper should include a customization option. To accomplish this, check the box that reads: “Allow customization and special requests.” when creating your product. This adds a required free form text box to the product page that allows a shopper to include additional information that you need to complete their order. For example, perhaps you’re selling an item that requires a custom name or initials – if so, this option is for you.

Pro Seller Tip: If you’d like a shopper to select from a few different predetermined choices, be sure to create a product with variations and steer clear of trying to accomplish this by including a customization option.

Product Descriptions & Details

Product descriptions and details are a critically important part of the shopper’s purchasing process. In fact, products with clear and in-depth information convert at a much higher rate, which is why OpenSky boosts them on the platform.

OpenSky’s product creation wizard allows you to bubble up very specific product information in two ways:

  1. Product Descriptions – a summary of your product that inspires the shopper to buy.
  2. Product Details – the nuts and bolts about your products. This section is great to include very specific info like size, weight, materials, care instructions, etc.

When it comes to creating Product Descriptions and Details that help drive sales, it’s important to share info that’s easy for a shopper to parse through.  A quick copy/paste of a chunk of disorganized copy will help get info on the page quickly for you, but won’t be the best way to ensure the shopper’s experience is hassle-free. Don’t cut corners. Take time to make it the best it can be.

Categorization

Take time to categorize your products properly. Otherwise, they won’t find their way to shoppers that are most likely to love or buy them.  In the end, this could be the make or break between the amount of exposure your product receives.  Make sure to complete this very simple and easy requirement as soon as possible. Here’s a post about why Categorization is so important to your success on OpenSky.

Brand Requirements

Logo, Cover photo & “Our story”

Your logo and cover photo are similar to the window display in a brick and mortar store. Without these creative assets, shoppers will have a hard time identifying with your brand, let alone trusting it as a place to spend their dollars.

Here’s an example of a business that’s made the most of their storefront, using the brand elements (cover photo, logo, welcome message) to create an inviting atmosphere to follow and shop.

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Use the “Our Story” section of your profile to share details of your company with the community – where you’re from, how you’ve built your business and what makes your products so special. Add content like videos, photos or press accolades so shoppers can build a relationship with you and your brand.  With these assets in place, your store has a higher likelihood of being boosted into emails and into site placement.

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Financial Info

OpenSky prioritizes merchants that have filled out the Payment section of their profile. This info is critically important to making sure fulfillment and payments can happen without a hiccup for the sake of the shopper. Without this info, you cannot qualify for placement in emails, or on the site.  (And you also can’t get paid in a timely way. And we really really want to pay you on time, and without hassle.)

If you haven’t filled out this section of your profile, please take time to do that today by visiting the Payments section of your store profile.

Thats it… 

After you’ve checked all these boxes, OpenSky will begin to work your brand into site placement and emails more frequently.

From there, you can impact your exposure with regular activity that drives the popularity of your brand and products.

Activity includes things like:

  • Number of Follows
  • Number of Published Products & the performance of those Products (loves, comments, purchases)
  • Number of Posts & the performance of those Posts
  • Participation in our rewards and free shipping programs

To learn more about how to get exposure, see what the best merchants are doing here.

Use Notifications to Spread the News & Drive Sales

The team at OpenSky has developed a variety of ways for brands to communicate promotional information to their followers. We ensure that your promotional activity reaches the shoppers that are most likely to engage with it (and buy) without drowning their inboxes and mobile phones with an overload of messages.

Learn the different forms of notifications (both email and mobile) and how you can trigger them to reach followers and drive sales.

Storewide Sales

There are many factors that come into play regarding storewide notification sends, however the most important is the discount amount. In order to trigger a storewide sale notification, offer up the best discount possible, as the savings you provide to shoppers weight heavily in the sending algorithm.

Power Seller Tip: OpenSky sales data shows that shoppers tend to respond (opens and clicks) to storewide sale notifications of 30% off or more, so be mindful of the value you’re providing to your followers.

Promotional Notifications

There are a variety of promotional notifications that reach shoppers on a daily basis. You can reach your followers via notifications by setting up promos with discounts, free shipping, exclusivity, limited quantities, and more. For example, run a sale over 40% off and we’ll tell your followers that there are big time savings to be had. Or run a sale on one of your best sellers, and we’ll be sure to let followers know.

Categorization: The Secret To Exposure

Categorizing your brand and products correctly is essential to providing the best shopping experience for OpenSky members.

When a product is categorized correctly, OpenSky is able to expose your products to members with purchase intent for that specific type of item.

In fact, in order for your products to be found on many of the most trafficked pages on OpenSky–i.e. the homepage, special collections, explore pages, collections–your items must be accurately categorized. 

Optimize your OpenSky sales today by making sure you’ve properly categorized your products. Here’s how to make those updates:

1) Set your Primary Business Category

In your Dashboard, hover over the Account tab and select Details.

On this page, select your Primary Business Category (just below your email address)

  • Fun
  • Health and Beauty
  • Home
  • Kids
  • Food and Kitchen
  • Men
  • Women

Select which area best describes the majority of your products. On occasion, a Merchant can fall into two categories.  Set the primary business category up to reflect the most likely way a shopper would browse to your brand. And then use product categorizations to give product level categorization.

2) Product categorization

In your Dashboard, click on the Products tab then click Edit.

Next, hit the Edit button next to “Product Info” (see below)

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From there, all you’ll need to do is set the category and sub categories (as seen below)

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Save the page and repeat this on all other products.

Once you’ve taken the time to categorize your products, you can have confidence in knowing that your brand will now be showcased to the OpenSky members most interested in purchasing your products.

Site Upgrades: Homepage & Follow Stores Widget

This week OpenSky released two upgrades that will improve the site experience for shoppers.

  • A new Homepage
  • A new Follow Stores widget

Not only do these changes benefit members, but also give brands (you!) more exposure on OpenSky.

Placement on the new homepage and Follow Stores widget is based on the same algorithm that’s used to populate items/stores in browse, trending, and emails. Factors like the quality of images, activity, followers, and loves are all taken into account. *Read this post to learn how to be a top merchant.

1) Homepage

Our redesigned homepage gives the shopper a variety of ways to uncover trending products and new brands on OpenSky. Users will find a variety of entry points in to our site experience, whether it be by collection category, trending problems, theme, etc.

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A few of the sections users will now find on the homepage include:

  • Recently Loved
  • Most Loved
  • Fresh Finds
  • Recommended Products
  • Recommended Stores

Haven’t seen the new homepage? Have a look: OpenSky.com

2) Follow Stores Widget

The Follow Stores Widget is located on the left side of the feed and provides OpenSky members with the a quick and easy way to follow multiple brands.  The number of Followers a brand has is directly correlated to the exposure their products get, and in turn the sales they drive. The hope of the OpenSky team is that the Follow Stores widget drives more follows for you, and as a result, more sales.

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#MarchMadness

marchmadness

marchmadness

March 13th marks the start of OpenSky’s 2014 #MarchMadness Sales Event. Use this four-day event as an opportunity to give your sales a boost.

The Details

When: Thurs, March 13 – Sun, March 16th
Official Hashtag: #MarchMadness
How to participate: Visit your posting tool and schedule a #MarchMadness post. That simple, that easy.

How to Participate + Merchandising Tips

Create a #MarchMadness post.

Post about any of the products you’d like to showcase in the sale by selecting the #MarchMadness option in your posting tool. By selecting this option, your post will automatically be set to run during the set duration of the event and include the qualifying hashtag. Creating a post this way ensures that you’ll be included in the main hashtag page where most shoppers will be trafficking the site during this event. It also increases your chances of being included in emails promoting this sales event via our automated exposure algorithm. Read more about hashtags here.

Start scheduling your #MarchMadness posts today to increase your chances for additional exposure. Early bird gets the worm.

Offer a discount of 30% (or more) off MSRP

During the #MarchMadness sale, shoppers will have an eye out for value – so do your best to give it to them. Understandably, this kind of promotion may not apply to all merchants, but if you can swing it, take advantage of the opportunity to drive sales.

Merchant Success Tips

1) Try discounting from the MSRP of your product, and not the current sale price. This will give you a little more wiggle room with pricing and margin, while still providing value to the shopper.

2) Can’t afford to discount all of your products (and inventory) at 30% off MSRP? No problem. Pick one of your best products and run a sale at 30% off, but only offer limited quantities at the sale price. This way, you can limit the losses and risk, while still ensuring participation, even if at a minimum.

Don’t worry about Rewards Credits

During the #MarchMadness event there won’t be any major credit event that coincides with the sale. Yes, there will be select shoppers who have previously unlocked credits or new members who join and receive credit, but by and large that’s a small subset of OpenSky members. That being said, don’t spend too much time factoring rewards credits into the equation.

Best of luck giving your March sales a boost!

Create a Smart Shipping Strategy that Drives Sales

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eCommerce experts agree that the cost of shipping is arguably the biggest factor a shopper considers before hitting the “Buy Now” button.

As an online retailer, working to optimize your shipping strategy and costs should be a top priority.  Low shipping costs to the shopper means more orders for you, so it’s worth taking a little extra time to ensure this experience is as good as it can be.

Here are a few tips for creating a shipping strategy that helps you drive sales on OpenSky.

1) Take advantage of discounted shipping rates via the OpenSky/Fedex Alliance.

Use OpenSky’s exclusive partnership with Fedex to receive up to 30% off your Fedex shipping costs. Include code: VJ8HDM to claim your discount. Learn more about our Fedex partnership here

2) Utilize Tiered Shipping

Tiered shipping is a way for you to provide shipping discounts for every additional item a shopper adds to their shopping cart.

Tiered Shipping is set up when you first create a product, and can be edited at any point via your Merchant Toolkit. Tiered shipping has two elements that you must enter on all listings – a Primary Shipping Cost and an Additional Item Cost.

  • The Primary Shipping Cost is the amount a buyer pays when the item is shipped on it’s own.
  • The Additional Item Cost is the amount added to the cart of a shopper when items are purchased and shipped together.  Additional Item Costs apply when a buyer purchases multiples of the same product or different products from you at the same time.

Here’s an example:

  • Item 1
    • Primary Shipping Cost = $8.00
    • Additional Item Cost = $2.00
  • Item 2:
    • Primary Shipping Cost = $7.00
    • Additional Item Cost = $1.00
  • If Item 1 and Item 2 are purchased together, the total Shipping Cost to the buyer is $10.00. We use the highest primary Shipping Cost and it’s specified Additional Item Cost.
    • Primary Shipping Cost: $8.00 (higher of the two items)
    • Additional Item Cost: $2.00 (specified Additional Item Cost associated with the Primary Item)
  • If three of of Item 2 are purchased together, the total combined shipping cost to the buyer is $9.00. Here’s how it breaks out:
    • Primary Shipping Cost: $7.00
    • Additional Item Cost: $1.00 (2 items ordered) = $2.00
    • Total Shipping Cost: $9.00

Over charging on shipping may help you make quick cash but it will deter more and more fans from becoming buyers. Make it easy and create an incentive for an OpenSky member to buy multiple items from you at one time.

You can set up tiered shipping via the standard Product > Edit functionality in your Merchant Toolkit.

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Read more about tiered shipping here.

3) Bundle products to reduce shipping costs

Some Merchants are able to subsidize shipping on high priced products when they have more margin dollars. (i.e. when it costs $5 to ship an item that sells for $100, Merchants usually offer free shipping). If you have lower priced products, try bundling them together in order to increase the order value. Once the order value is high enough, give the customer a break on shipping by reducing the cost or shipping it for free. Reward a customer for spending more money with your brand. It’ll pay off in the long run.

Read more about bundling products here.

4) Opt-in to OpenSky’s Rewards Free Shipping Program

Visit the Promotions tab in your Merchant Toolkit to opt-in to the Rewards Free Shipping Program. When opted in, you will automatically participate in any sitewide free shipping event that’s planned by OpenSky (these happen only once or twice a month). These free shipping events drive a sizable lift in sales volume, and give more exposure to brands/products that participate in the Free Shipping Rewards program.

Learn more about our Credit and Free Shipping Rewards Programs

Here’s what the most successful OpenSky merchants are doing

The secret to success on OpenSky?  Well, it’s a combination of a few specific tactics that help to simultaneously drive followers, exposure and sales. Take a page out of the playbook of the most successful merchants by following the pointers below.

Product imagery. First and foremost, ensure that your product images are high quality.  Top selling merchants invest in high quality imagery. As an online retailer, you don’t have the luxury of a customer walking into your store and engaging with the product in person. Your images need to do the work for you. On OpenSky, quality images correlate to clicks, page views and loves. That yields more followers and in the end, more sales. Consider giving your brand an image makeover, whether that be through free photo editing tools (referenced in this previous post) or via more traditional paid methods.

Activity. The most successful merchants visit OpenSky every day–whether it be to make a post, share a comment or smile at a shopper. Carve out time to stop by daily to engage with the community, and you’ll see an increase in followers, fans and shoppers.

Promotions.  On OpenSky, shoppers often start their visits looking for new promotions. Yes, shoppers browse and buy full price products, but sales are usually where they start their shopping journey. Best selling merchants don’t go against the grain on this–they take time to figure out a sales strategy that works, and incorporate it into their regular OpenSky activities. Consider doing the same. 

Rewards Program.  Participating in the Rewards Program gives you more exposure on the highest selling days of the month (credit events), making it no mystery that participation will help your brand get in front of more people with purchase intent.

If you’re focusing your time and energy on what’s listed above, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Good luck!