There are many complex parts to manage when running an e-commerce business: manufacturing, technology and taxes are only some of them, but sometimes, the hardest part is getting people to see your products and be aware of your brand. It costs a lot of time and effort to get your products and website to the top of search engines and a lot of money to advertise properly.
This is where marketplaces come in handy, playing the role of digital showcases that allow brands and wholesalers to show and sell their products to web shoppers all over the world.
In addition to Amazon, the most world-famous marketplace, there is a large variety of marketplaces that are distinguished by:
Having your own webshop remains an important strategy for your e-commerce business: it is customizable and an effective tool for establishing brand identity, increasing credibility, obtaining user insights, implementing marketing strategies and bringing the customer into your personal shop. Then why should you start selling on multiple channels? Here are some of the main advantages of marketplaces.
If you want to grow your online business and sell more, you should be where your customers are. And guess what? Your next customer might be looking for a product on a marketplace at this very moment. According to various studies and research, the search for a product begins on marketplaces, for around half of the online shoppers.
Therefore, running a business solely through a webshop may end up being a losing game, especially when your potential customers start shopping in other stores! To take advantage of this situation, it is good to consider starting to use marketplaces, which have the power to get potential clients in front of your product.
The internationalization of your brand or your products is also a great advantage to be taken into account. With the use of marketplaces as sales channels, you can easily reach shoppers in different parts of the world, making your dream of selling abroad come true, and therefore, again, to sell more and reach more clients.
Brand trust is essential for retaining customers or acquiring new ones. The most famous marketplaces have been able to play very well in this field: Amazon or Zalando shoppers, in many cases, trust those products just because they are listed there: if they buy a product on one marketplace, they know from experience that they will receive it in a short time and that it will have to meet specific quality standards.
Therefore, having product listed on marketplaces certainly helps raise the level of trust in your brand.
Increasing sales channels means increasing sales themselves. This often leads to concerns and difficulties: keeping up with all the orders and being able to fulfil them quickly and without running out of stock is not an easy task. When you have many orders, finding the space to store your products can be a problem.
By leaving the stock management thoughts to the marketplace, you will have no need to find room for storage and you'll avoid warehousing fees and returns hassles.
These tools also help to win the Buy Box because they offer advantages to loyal customers, such as free delivery or quicker transport options, and your products and business will stand out from competing vendors.
In a nutshell: a time and effort saver.
Marketplaces are an open sea, and standing out from your competitors is a challenge. To get the most out of your product content, some marketplaces have introduced the possibility of improving your product descriptions with rich data: high-resolution and interactive images and videos, detailed and accurate specifications, comparison charts and file attachments.
These solutions, Amazon's A + Content or Walmart's Rich Media Content, could be an extra benefit where brands can use specific landing pages with banners and links to their website to showcase their product in a more visual way than a simple and anonymous product page.
In case of very high competition, this is a great way to differentiate and get your brand and products to the top.
In this article, we mainly focused on some of the advantages of choosing marketplaces as a selling strategy, but this might also lead to some drawbacks.
It is always good to do some research before starting to understand if your type of product is suitable for selling on multiple channels, learn the costs of the marketplace in question and understand if your business can support them.
It is important to choose the marketplace according to the type of product being sold. For example, if yours is a niche product, perhaps a large marketplace like Amazon may not be the best choice.
Selling on marketplaces can often lead to a lack of relationship and direct brand-customer communication, which is not always seen well. Therefore, it is good to try to build and maintain relationships with customers and communicate your brand and products in the best possible way. You can do this by encouraging them to visit your webshop or follow your social media profiles, making them feel important and listened to, keeping them updated about news and promotions, and maintaining their trust.
Maintaining a strong brand identity can also be done through the information on the products on sale, and this is especially important if it is sold on multiple platforms. Keeping all this information under control can often be a real nightmare.
In this case, it is crucial to make sure to have a single source of truth for your product information, to share clear and consistent content over all sales channels.
To sum this up, do some research to understand which kind of marketplace might fit your business and needs, and make sure you have everything prepared before starting…and you’ll be ready to start scaling up your online business!
Discover the key to e-commerce growth: PIM systems can transform your ecommerce business, enhancing content quality, streamlining operations, and ensuring seamless distribution across channels.
Stephan Spijkers, co-founder of pimvendors.com, talks at the KatanaPIM booth during the WWVD 2024. His insights into the fusion of PIM and AI shed light on how the product data management landscape is being transformed.