Why you should list your products on marketplaces
You’ve reached a point where your ecommerce site has been successfully launched, and you’re confident that your product will be in-demand and generate leads. You’ve already started social media pages for your brand, and you’ve started to consider offering promotions and competitions to be rolled out. However, you might still have questions about whether you should use marketplaces to sell your products. You might be thinking that your ecommerce site is ready to bolster sales, but we’re going to discuss some reasons you might not know that highlight why you should also be listing your products on marketplaces.
Diversifying your sales channels
By selling on marketplaces, you are rapidly increasing the number of people who can access your product. If you optimise your product listings correctly, there’s no reason why you can’t use multiple channels and marketplaces to advertise your product. Keep in mind that there are typically sellers fees for marketplace transactions – usually, a percentage of each sale made. It’s a wise strategy to start with a select few channels instead of listing everywhere at once, as you’ll pay less in sellers fees.
When using a marketplace, you’re tapping into existing traffic rather than trying to create your own traffic like on your own website. It’s much harder to generate traffic on your own! As an example, Amazon has around 206 million visitors every month – which is a significant amount of traffic to utilise that can quickly boost your sales volumes.
It’s highly unlikely that a single ecommerce store can muster up these figures quickly, especially after launch. Existing marketplaces have had years to distinguish themselves as world-class ecommerce stores, so it would be silly to not leverage their power.
New customer acquisition
We’ve already mentioned that marketplaces have tons of visitors per month. These customers trust marketplace platforms for a number of reasons, and therefore, marketplaces yield higher conversion rates. Think about it – there’s already a ton of traffic and lots of trust due to past purchases… So what’s not to love?
Selling on a marketplace allows you to tap into an existing customer base – even if they’ve never heard of your brand before.
People enjoy shopping on marketplaces because they are safer when compared to boutique online stores – you know that their prices are relatively stable, their shipping is efficient and the overall service is good. These factors may be unknown with a smaller store, and may not encourage buyers to consider your products when compared to one being sold by a trusted marketplace. You’re able to borrow the credibility that other businesses have taken years to build – which can instil customer trust and credibility for your product later. Similarly, many people have already signed up to marketplaces, so accessing your product will be easier.
Global selling opportunity
Marketplaces are extremely useful for selling across borders without having to do any translation work on your website. You might not be an instant best-seller in any foreign country, but you can benefit from increased visibility – and you can now compete with smaller ecommerce sites around the world. You might find that you have a lot of popularity in a region that you’d never considered accessible before!
Marketplaces are growing
Projections for customer sales from marketplaces are at around 66% for 2022 – up from 50% in prior years. This means that you could be missing out on over half of online shoppers – and therefore, potential customers. The reason that marketplaces are so popular is that they’re trustworthy, efficient and have a large selection of products at varying price points.
In addition, it’s clear that people like to research products online before committing to a purchase – and this mostly happens at larger marketplaces. It’s reported that in 2019, around 81% of customers researched products online before buying – meaning that initial interactions with businesses are happening online.They have lots of regular customers who trust the marketplace to offer a huge variety of products.
Ease of access
One benefit to joining a large marketplace as a seller is a relatively easy process that makes it simple to get started. The marketplace will take care of shipping, web design, hosting and all financial transactions – which can save you a lot of time and money. You don’t need to invest in developing as you would with a standard ecommerce website.
While selling on certain platforms can take away a fully branded packaging experience (ie. your product comes in a branded box), you’re gaining an opportunity to really impress your customers with your product packaging and design, as well as any personalisation you may include, such as thank-you notes or promo codes. You’re able to instead focus on making the post-purchase experience highly enjoyable for your customers.
Be part of a niche community
Never underestimate the copious amounts of categorisation that has already happened – especially if you’re selling a product from a popular category. There’s a chance that there could be entire marketplaces for a single category. For example, Etsy is known for handmade and craft goods while there are also electronics-heavy ecommerce sites. Gumtree is a good marketplace for secondhand goods. If you join a niche community, you might increase your chances of finding a customer looking for your specific product.
If you find you aren’t selling as well as you anticipated, the only cost you have incurred from using a marketplace is the seller fee, which is dependent on sales – so there isn’t much risk when getting started. This is a small price to pay in exchange for the prospect of earning large profits. You can always adjust your listings on different platforms relative to their performance – just because you can be listed everywhere doesn’t mean you should be.
Gaining an extra channel
Once you’ve agreed to using a marketplace, you’re essentially giving yourself some more room for your product. You can use this channel for extra marketing – this is true whether your brand is established or just starting out. Putting your brand on a marketplace is a great way to gain visibility for your brand, and you could even tailor specific marketing campaigns to increase marketplace traction.
Marketplaces can also be used as a ‘testing ground’ for your ecommerce business. Do you want to test the waters with products of different price points, or introduce a totally new product to your offering? Testing on a marketplace is relatively risk-free, and may help you learn which direction you should go in when you’re ready to grow your product range.
Access to marketing data
Marketplaces are insightful as they give sellers data about their sales volumes and metrics. If you use a marketplace, you can gain information such as click data and reviews, which are conveniently built into the marketplace already. You can use this to improve your product and understand more of your customers’ experiences. It’s wise to look at how potential customers currently search for products, as this can help you market yourself in better ways. Maybe your keywords are a little off and can be better tailored to match high-volume search queries – you can access data that can help you with this!
Promotions and Loyalty programs
Marketplaces make it easier to offer coupons and promotions to their customers, with the addition of a faster response time.Quicker responses allow sellers to make changes as needed, and is beneficial for the seller and buyer.
Joining a marketplace will also grant you access to any loyalty programs that are offered by the marketplace itself – such as Amazon Prime for example. Amazon Prime is one of the most popular loyalty programs, and it’s noteworthy that Prime subscribers spend around double the amount that non-subscribers spend! This is a target audience that you can utilise.
Reduced Marketing Costs
Operating a promotion on a marketplace is relatively cheaper than running one on a standalone site. As an ecommerce brand, you can join in on any promotional campaigns that are run by the marketplace. Therefore, you don’t need to dedicate as much time or energy to start an easy marketing campaign.
Some popular marketplaces you might consider include Amazon, Gumtree, Takealot, Etsy and Newegg. Remember to research the appropriate marketplace for your category of products, and you may find a well-matching marketplace.
In conclusion, it’s abundantly clear that there are many benefits to joining a marketplace. Remember that joining a marketplace doesn’t mean that you’ll need to abandon your ecommerce store. Marketplaces are very popular and offer high traffic rates, reduced marketing costs, minimal risk, increased visibility for your brand , a global selling opportunity and the potential to grab new customers. Using a marketplace can help you easily boost your sales and gain regular customers that might not have found you otherwise. Deciding on your marketplace involvement is something to consider when launching an ecommerce business. It’s good practice to research all of possible marketplaces before commiting to one, even if it’s just for an initial trial period.