Online marketplace tips for the new seller
Online marketplaces present huge opportunities for retailers. ComScore found that websites such as the Amazon marketplace attract more than 103 million unique visitors per month, while eBay garners 64 million unique visitors – and this only counts the two titans of the online marketplace space. For new and established merchants alike, that’s a tremendous opportunity to reach new potential buyers.
There are pros and cons of retailers leveraging online marketplaces to extend their brands and win more sales. On the plus side is the fact that millions of Americans go to these sites on a monthly basis and even relatively unknown merchants can piggyback off the trust of these marketplace giants to engage new prospects. On the negative side is the fact that retailers will be small fish in a big ocean. Facing stiffer competition, they’ll have to price their items competitively. On top of that, they’ll have to pay marketplace fees, which can further erode profit margins.
Although no retailer wants to jeopardize their margins, savvy merchants can incorporate marketplaces into their eCommerce operations effectively, allowing them to minimize drawbacks and capitalize on opportunities. Here are a couple of tips to help merchants utilize these sales channels more effectively:
1. Know the audience, know the online marketplaces
Retailers serve specific audiences, and that segment of customers isn’t always going to visit every single online marketplace. If retail is an operation of efficiency, it’s critical that merchants don’t waste their time using marketplaces that aren’t home to their target audience. A retailer that only sells a few consumer electronics items probably wouldn’t want to use NewEgg, for example.
That’s just the first step. Retailers must know the marketplace conditions as well. For example, if merchants are not willing to set competitive prices, there is little reward in setting up a store as they will only get a nominal number of sales. Online marketplaces have the potential to be money makers, but only after completing the proper due diligence.
2. The customer experience
Expanding your business to online marketplaces can be simple but managing orders and customers can quickly become time-consuming. As Amine Khechfe explains, “It’s not enough to just launch on a marketplace and let the internet take its course – you need to ensure that your customers have a superb experience, even after they make a purchase,” explained Multichannel Merchant contributor Amine Khechfe.
This means focusing on the customer experience before and after receiving a product by implementing the right eCommerce solutions. Retailers can offer customers free, next day, or standard shipping that allows them the freedom to determine when and how much they want to pay for their order to be delivered. This may require direct integration with a shipping solution or taking advantage of Amazon FBA.
After a purchase, a retailer should aim to speed up customer service and provide consistency of service no matter where the customer is purchasing from. eCommerce solutions, such as SalesWarp, make it easier for retailers to view a customer’s lifetime order history across every sales channel, whether it is brick and mortar, online marketplace, an eCommerce platform, or a call center.
An online marketplace presents retailers with numerous opportunities, they just need to be sure they capitalize on these sales avenues effectively.