There have been a lot of transitions for the e-commerce industry in recent months. But even in the midst of so much change, one thing has remained the same.
There’s never been a better time for brands to sell on e-commerce marketplaces.
Most shoppers still trust manufacturers over social media and new sites when researching products, and many believe at least 40% of their spending will soon go to brands. We’ve seen brands increase sales as much as 30% year over year, and reach consumers in as many as 90 countries, simply by expanding their marketplace presence.
However, there is a catch.
To be successful on marketplaces — both now and in the future — there are several essential strategies you have to get right. Brands that sell successfully on eBay, Amazon, Catch and other marketplaces tend to follow three very distinct phases.
As you consider your options for reaching consumers on these channels, we encourage you to first take a moment to consider each stage and make sure you’re fully prepared before diving in.
First, there’s the successful launch.
During this phase, the primary goal is to get compelling product information in front of purchase-ready consumers — without causing channel conflict.
This is a highly important first step, and should not be overlooked.
Based on ChannelAdvisor’s experiences with thousands of online sellers, this phase typically involves several key tools and techniques including:
- Registering the brand in verification and registration programs such as the eBay Verified Rights Owner program and Amazon Brand Registry program
- Adding Where to Buy technology to your website to maintain strong relationships with retailers
- Using product feed management tools to ensure your product data is accurately mapped and thoroughly optimised for each individual channel
- Using business rules and lookup lists to find and fix marketplace listing errors
Next, you’ll need to build a winning strategy.
As soon as you’ve moved through the stages of phase one, it’s time to start thinking about specific steps you can take to improve performance and get an edge over your competitors.
Creating a plan to win on marketplaces involves several key components, such as:
- Gaining a thorough understanding of your competition by regularly reviewing product- and category-level data
- Developing competitive pricing strategies that will help you win more of the Buy Box and best offer positions, and get your products in front of purchase-ready shoppers
- Getting comfortable with opportunities to promote products and deals on each marketplace where you sell
Lastly, it’s important to continually defend your position.
We’ve seen many brands celebrate a successful marketplace launch, only to find a year later that their listings are being pushed aside by new entrants into their categories.
To achieve long-term success, vigilance is key. You’ll need to take steps to continually defend your position and protect profit margins. Competitive benchmarking, advanced advertising, automated repricing and expert account management can all help ensure you’ll not only secure but also hold on to top-selling positions.
The profit potential of marketplace selling can be massive, and is an important avenue for all brands to consider. But rather than diving in headfirst, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to approach each step with deliberation and careful planning.
We go over each of the three key phases in detail in our new white paper: The Three Phases to a Winning Marketplace Strategy for Brands. Whether you’re ready to advance your marketplace selling strategy or are still considering your options, we highly recommend giving this resource a thorough read. In it, you’ll learn:
- The exact components brands should be prepared to tackle at each phase
- Proven tools and techniques that can help ease each process
- Specific recommendations on how to use the ChannelAdvisor platform to get (and stay) ahead of competitors