The entire marketplaces landscape continues to expand and transform at an incredible pace. There are now well over 140 marketplace options for brands and retailers, each with its own set of rules, requirements and built-in audiences. And with billions of product listings competing for the attention of hundreds of millions of consumers, finding the right marketplaces and maximising your presence is more important than ever.
That means it’s no longer enough to simply list your products on a few popular marketplaces and hope for the best. Brands and retailers that want to make the most of these channels must first master a mountain of mission-critical steps. From competitive advertising to automated pricing to fast fulfilment, there is a lot to consider.
Below, we’ll break down four proven best practices for marketplaces success. If you want more, we outline these tips plus two more in an eBook on multichannel selling published by our partner ShipStation. [You can find the full eBook here.]
Synchronise your inventory
If you’re selling products on more than one channel, you’ve likely run into one of the most frustrating problems a seller (and a customer) can encounter — overselling. This can easily happen when a product sells out on one marketplace, yet the inventory count fails to update in real-time across your other selling channels. For a customer, there are few things more aggravating than completing a purchase only to discover the product is actually out of stock.
Unless your catalogue is limited to a handful of products, it’s best to use a trusted inventory management solution. It’s the easiest way to synchronise product quantities across multiple marketplaces. In addition to preventing the unnecessary scenario of overselling, the right solution should also make it easier to expand to new marketplaces or other channels as your business grows.
Optimise your product content
There are product listings people see, and there are product listings people buy.
The difference? Optimised product content.
It’s not just the product you list that matters, but how your listings are structured. Product titles, images, descriptions, keywords and categories are often what compel consumers to move from browsers to buyers. And the more convincing the content you use to describe your products to the world, the more likely a listing will be to rise to the top of search results and drive more purchases.
As your product data is fed to marketplaces and transformed into listings, high-quality content can be the difference between a product that stands out and one that gets buried — which is why a growing number of retailers and brands are relying on robust data feeds to ensure product information not only meets the unique standards of each marketplace but gets noticed as well.
Structure your pricing strategies
Now that shoppers are acutely aware of the wide range of options for purchasing the same product at different prices, it’s no longer your item details and imagery alone that capture attention. Having a structured pricing strategy is essential to marketplace success. Two of the most critical elements to include in your strategy are:
- Algorithmic Repricing is a necessity for competing on any major marketplace. Whether you want to adjust pricing based on the competition or guarantee more Buy Box wins without sacrificing margin, repricing tools will ensure those changes are made in real-time. Make sure you use a system or tool that aligns your competitive prices across channels — think Amazon and eBay as well as Walmart and Catch — so you can keep your pricing consistent across marketplaces.
- Velocity Repricing is another key strategy that permits you to automatically adjust product prices according to sales trends. You simply set your criteria and then watch as prices are automatically adjusted up or down based on the latest sales data. If sales dip, so will the price. When orders occur with more frequency, the cost of that item rises once again. Whether you want to extract more margin on fast-selling products or lower prices when sales start to slow, velocity pricing is a strong strategy to have in your arsenal of marketplace best practices.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to choose between these two pricing strategies. In fact, for maximum impact, a combined approach is recommended.
If there’s one major challenge every e-commerce business has faced, it’s visibility. Even the experienced ones. Until you develop a solid digital marketing strategy, standing out on marketplaces will always remain an uphill battle. Without the right ads, your listings may never rise to the top of search results or reach the right customers. Marketplace success starts when your listings land in front of the right customers, with the right copy — at just the right time.
Best way to achieve that? Make the most of the advertising opportunities offered by each marketplace. In leveraging the full range of marketing options on Amazon and other marketplaces, successful sellers understand it’s not a one-and-done process. They continually monitor campaigns and make adjustments using a wide array of advanced strategies: targeting competitor ASINS, mining keywords, setting up budget notifications during peak sales days and much more.
Taking the Next Step
Selling across multiple marketplaces can completely transform your business. However, to be successful you have to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, following these four proven practices should allow you to connect with more customers, optimise operations and, ultimately, grow sales.
For a comprehensive look at multichannel selling from ChannelAdvisor partner ShipStation, as well as two more marketplaces best practices, check out this eBook.