eCommerce sellers should always be looking for ways to expand their your business. How can you expose more of your products to more potential customers?
You best opportunity for growth could be selling on online marketplaces.
Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, TMall, and Rakuten, provide eCommerce sellers access to new, large audiences to introduce products to. In this article, we’ll show sellers why selling on online marketplaces provides an opportunity for growth.
Selling on Online Marketplaces
Your eCommerce webstore sales could be reaching a point of stagnant growth. Your current marketing efforts can only bring in a certain amount of traffic. This often leaves sellers struggling for new ways to bring in more sales by reaching more customers.
You shouldconsider selling on online marketplaces.
eCommerce sales continue to rise among total retail sales. Customers are choosing to shop online more often. In response, there are now many different types of online marketplaces to serve different audiences.
Marketplaces like Newegg focus on electronics. While, Etsy is for hand-made items. This allows the marketplace to appeal to a certain target market. This could be market that you also want to target.
As to which marketplace makes the most sense, it depends on your business type. But whatever that marketplace is, they all represent an opportunity for growth for eCommerce sellers. See how:
Marketplaces have low entry barriers for sellers. You don’t have to create or develop your own selling platform, but instead you use the marketplace’s already established platform.
The only costs you incur are a listing fee and a small percentage of each sale that goes to the marketplace. When you’re just starting out, these costs are nominal compared to those of building your own selling platform.
Sellers also forgo spending money on resources for marketing. The marketplace is responsible for the look and feel of the customer experience.
This can be a large burden lifted off sellers who do not have the time or money to invest in marketing. You can spend your money otherwise, while still getting access to a new market.
For established sellers, this can be a problem. You won’t have the same control over your brand image and customer personalization. But, most sellers are willing to give this up because of the low entry costs.
Because you’re selling on the marketplace’s domain, set up of your storefront is usually easy and fast. Most marketplaces allow you to create a seller account in a few minutes. You could upload product listings and start selling in the same day.
You won’t have to spend weeks getting up and running. This factors makes marketplaces very appealing to sellers, especially if it’s a new part of your eCommerce strategy.
Brand and Product Expanded Exposure
Marketplaces give you easy access to larger, untapped audiences for your products and brands. These new potential customers can lead to an increase in sales.
As of August 2015, these were the most popular retail websites in the US, ranked by unique visitors (in millions).
Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Etsy.com, and Sears all have their own marketplaces. Your brands and products can be put in front of these large audiences.
If you’re looking for a way to reach more customers, marketplaces give you fast, easy access to new markets.
Test Out New Markets
Not only do marketplaces expand your brand and product exposure, they also give sellers the opportunity to test out new markets in a cost-effective way.
Instead of investing in marketing resources, or building a new eCommerce site, sellers can strategically select a few products to list on a marketplace that serves a new market for their business. This presents a low risk way to test out new markets.
Sellers can use this strategy for new products, or test our international markets through marketplaces such as Amazon.
If you increase sales, you can expand the number of products you sell. If you don’t, you didn’t waste a lot of time and money in the project.
Keep Up With Your Competition
In 2015, Amazon reported that they had over 2 million third-party sellers on their marketplace. If you’re not selling on online marketplaces, then your competition probably is.
Do some research to see if your competitors are already selling on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. If they’re not, then you’ll want to be the first one to tap into the audience. If they are already, you’ll want to keep up with your competition.
This way you can keep your brand fresh among your competitors for your customers.
All of these factors combined make selling on online marketplaces a good opportunity for growth for eCommerce sellers.
The Cons of Selling on Multiple Marketplaces
It is relatively easy to get up and running on multiple marketplaces. But, selling across multiple online channels can make your business more difficult. Managing all your products for these different channels can quickly become a mess.
How you list your items on your webstore is not the same way you’ll list on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. All marketplaces have their own set of requirements, categories, and rules when it comes to listing products.
Different marketplaces also serve different markets. This can lead you to only selling certain products to different channels. That’s a lot of organization for you to take care of on a daily basis.
The organization of your products can become cumbersome, before you even know it. Listing becomes a labor-intensive job that requires a whole team of employees.
The most difficult task for sellers becomes creating and publishing their listings, according to unique requirements for each marketplace.
Sellers often end up settling for poor product information. Or, they spending hours, even weeks, prepping product data to be listed. This overshadows many of the benefits of selling on a marketplace.
These difficulties shouldn’t stop you from using marketplaces to grow your business though.
If you’re going to grow your business by selling on online marketplaces, then you need to put in place a product information management strategy.
Product Information Management Strategy
Your product information management strategy should be built upon having accurate, consistent product listings across all of your sales channels. Your customers should have the same experience whether they’re on your website or any marketplace.
To do that you’ll want to undertake product information management best practices such as:
- Managing all your products in one, central location
- Publishing your listings to all sale channels from one location
- Define products by attributes and product types
- Edit products in bulk for product data standardization
- Organize products by collections
These types of capabilities make it easier for you to consistently produce high quality product listings. Your listings will have rich product information that gives customers the confidence to buy your products.
But, how do you manage your products in such a way?
Why Sellers Need a Product Information Management System
Most eCommerce sellers are tempted to manage their product information through either their eCommerce platform or Excel.
Both of these systems fall short. Your eCommerce platform isn’t built to manage and publish listings to marketplaces. You don’t want to just copy your webstore listings and post them on Amazon. You won’t meet Amazon’s requirements for your products.
Excel is a quick, but often messy alternative to your eCommerce platform. You’ll be stuck managing multiple spreadsheets of different types of data.
This can lead to poor data quality. In some places, you might have the color green as Green, and other as GRN. It’s hard to catch and fix these types of mistakes.
Sellers need a designated system built to handle complex product information management. This type of software is called a Product Information Management (PIM) system.
PIM systems have the robust tools needed to manage all of your product information. eCommerce sellers can upload, edit, and then syndicate their listings to all of their sales channels. You’ll create accurate and consistent listings across all of your sales channels.
Read our article on why you need PIM to be the master of all your products.
What To Do Next
Growing your eCommerce business is hard. You have to find new ways to reach more customers. Online marketplaces present a new opportunity for sellers to access untapped audiences. Consider selling on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten, if you want to expand your business.
Check out our guide about evaluating channel expansion opportunities. Learn what the best growth strategy is for your business. Click the image below to get your free eBook!
Take a look at Pahdah’s Online Flea Market. No signup fees, no listing fees, no monthly fees. Commission is around 8% and they actively market their vendor products through social media, feature videos and member emails. http://www.pahdahsonlineflemarket.com/
Citify.ca is an online market place for local shops, wholesalers, suppliers, and home base businesses to sell their products and services to local, across Canada, and international shoppers. It is free to open a shop, collect online payments. Citify only takes a 5% commission after a sale. All transactions are through PayPal secure, encrypted payment system. http://www.citify.ca/