How to market your brand for more sales in Second Life:
Part one: Vendor Marketing
My experience: I was previously a designer back a few years ago. I currently blog for designers and I’m also an avid shopper. I have been studying marketing techniques for a while to help friends and myself. In the end, do what is right for you and your business but if you want an unbiased opinion then read below:
A. Make all vendors look the same. Make a template that all your products could use. It’s important to keep everything clear and concise. Have the description, logo and permissions all in the same place for each vendor. (You will want your customers to see important details right away. If they have to search for information; they will leave.)
B. Add your logo to each vendor. It’s important for brand recognition. Eventually, customers will look for that logo in other places / events. Make the logo prominent but do not overwhelm the picture with your logo. (note You will want the customer’s eyes focusing on the product in the picture first and then the other details)
C. You do not need to add the price to the vendor. What is good to have on a vendor is: Name of item, logo, and permissions. Customers can just click on the item and see the price.
D. Unpacking: It’s best to make your item set to buy and have it unpacked automatically into their inventory once they pay for it. If a customer has to unpack two or more times; it gets very frustrating. Some designers like to make these fancy unpackers but it’s really not necessary.
E. Put a landmark to your store with the item you are selling. Sometimes, customer will buy your product at an event and will visit your store later. (Note I have wanted to revisit a store to buy an item in a different color and nothing is more frustrating than a package with no landmark. Then you have to see if the properties will list the designer and it’s amazing how many items will not have the creator’s name on it. Make it easy for people to find your store!)
F. Keep your profile updated with current store landmark.
G. If, for example, you make shirts and those shirts come in different colors – Do not make a vendor poster for each color – either make a box to the side with color samples to purchase or make a Hud that will change the color texture of the shirt to different colors.
H. Set prices at a reasonable rate. Nothing more annoying than seeing a shirt for L450 when most shirts sell for around 200 to 250L. Do a market comparison. (Note if I see something unusually high in price; I will just leave no matter how nice the items are because I’m assuming the rest of the store is high-priced too. Most Second Life people are on a budget. I’m not suggesting making it low-priced either – just a fair market price)
I. Do not clutter your store walls with vendors. Space them out and give each one its own area.
J. People hate these: It’s a vendor where you put in all your products and you have to flip thru the vendor to see everything. If I have to stand flipping thru something; I will just leave. I know those are low prim and designers like to put them in satellite stores, but I would recommend getting rid of that ugly vendor and just putting 4 to 5 products in your satellite store.
K. Cam shopping: A lot of people are cam shoppers because sometimes it’s a pain in the ass to walk around especially if it’s laggy. Make your store uncomplicated – one to two rooms. If you need an extra floor; just make it one upstairs.
L. They are also a lot of color blinded people. (Especially men) If you have color swatches up; add a written description under the color box like “Red” “Blue” “Orange” This will help a lot of people.
M. Make all fonts on the vendor easy to read and large enough to see.
N. Make vendors super easy to use. You want sales. You don’t want them sitting there spending time on how to figure it out.
O. Have a demo even for makeup. If your product is something the customer needs to try on; have a demo available. If you make houses; it would be a good idea to have a demo rezzer somewhere on site.
P. Test, test and more test! Test all your vendors and all your huds. Make sure the textures and everything is working. Have a friend test them too.
A. A rule to remember when making a vendor picture: You are selling a fantasy. You are trying to sell a product that people will want to buy. Understand your target audience and design your vendors around them. (Not what you want to see) For example: If you are making Kawaii products, then your target audience would like to see vendors with the color themes of shades of pinks and other pastels. The fonts could be on the bubbly side. Everything should have a very girlie fun feel to it. Etc
B. Colors are very important for the design of your vendor and the design of your store. Try to avoid any clashing colors. Keep picture backgrounds very simple. If there’s a lot of distraction; that’s less time somebody is focusing on your product. Your vendors & store should have the same theme thru out it. Pick out a few complimentary colors and stick to that color theme. There’s a lot of color wheels on the internet that can help you find color themes.
C. Models: If you are using your avie to model for your vendor pictures, do not copy another designers style. Not only will it confuse customers about which store they are in but it’s also classless. There’s a particular shape & skin that I noticed a few designers all use because I guess they think that look is cute but I really encourage you to display a unique style. True Story I was camming around at a shopping event and I went pass two different designers with the same look on their vendors. I had thought I was camming the wrong way. I thought the two vendors were the same person.
D. Tattoos & Piercings: Unless, you are a tattoo designer, cut down on the full body tattoos in your pictures. If I’m focused on your tattoos, I’m not focused on your products. Plus, most people seem to like wearing really dated ugly full body tattoos. (WHY????)
E. Going back to color theory, you want to highlight your product as the main focal point. I noticed this grave error that a lot of people do; maybe they don’t realize how important it is or they just don’t care. I see avatars in vendor posts with white hair, blue eyes and really abnormal tanned skin holding or wearing a product. When you have that look and then try to display gold jewelry, for example, those are really clashing colors. You have cool & warm undertones trying to mix together and it looks like a dog fight. You’ll want every background color in your picture to bring out the color of your product. If you must have your avatar in a picture; then pay attention to the following: Hair, skin, clothes, jewelry, eyes, nails and makeup colors. Make everything blend and don’t let the background colors be louder than the product color.
F. This is going to sound shitty but I promise you; it isn’t. If you use your avatar in your vendor pictures than make sure to update your avatar’s look. Don’t wear flexi or prims. Wear mesh – mesh body, hair and clothes. If you look dated; your customers will think that you don’t put much in your looks so therefore you don’t put much effort into your products.
Remember, you are selling a fantasy and looking like a dated flexi noob is not part of that.
Thank you for reading and I hope you got something out of it.