We get it. Really, we do. Buying online is convenient. It’s cost-efficient. And it opens you up to a whole world of products you may never discover by shopping in stores alone.
But with the incredible growth of e-commerce in recent years — global sales topped $2.3 trillion last year — we’re starting to get the sense that you might not know just how many options you have for discovering new products and offers online. And we just can’t bear the thought of you missing out on all that the modern e-commerce landscape has to offer.
So we’ve decided to spill a few secrets of successful sellers. In working with more than 2,900 manufacturing brands and online retailers, we have a pretty good sense of how you can get the most bang for your digital buck.
Below are four of our top recommended ways to maximize the wide array of available products, prices and promotions when getting your shopping done online.
1. Leverage Google Express (Powered by Google Shopping Actions)
If you’ve seen a search result like this when looking for products recently, you’ve experienced this program in action:
Introduced in early 2018, Google Shopping Actions connects consumers and sellers through search. Whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or Google Home device — and whether you type in the Google search bar or use the voice-activated Google Assistant — Google Shopping Actions will surface results from a wide variety of sellers.
You can then add any number of products to a universal Google Express cart. Whether your order is with one single retailer or five different sellers, you’ll have options for free, fast delivery. Other shopping benefits include:
- No membership required
- No annual fees
- Shareable lists
- Instant checkout with saved payment credentials
- 1-click reordering
- Personalized recommendations
You can even shop specifically with your preferred retailers — loyalty programs and all. (And if you discover a new favorite seller while you shop, simply opt-in to their marketing for future promotions and deals during the checkout process, without ever having to leave Google.)
Because Google Shopping Actions uses a pay-per-sale model for sellers, more and more online retailers are starting to participate in the program. This is especially true as e-commerce platforms make it easy to integrate Google Shopping Actions alongside all of their other online sales channels — and as the average basket size for participating merchants increases 30%.
Sellers: If you haven’t yet explored Google Shopping Actions, now’s the time. Learn more in our on-demand webinar, The Google Shopping Actions Advantage. Then fill out this form to discuss your options with an e-commerce expert.
2. E-Commerce Pricing Strategies
You’ve probably noticed that the same product is often available at different prices by different sellers. But did you know that the same seller might price a product differently based on the channel? Or based on demand?
The branded manufacturer with a cross-channel pricing strategy might offer a product at one price on the company’s website, and then list the same item at a different price (and with different shipping options) on Amazon or eBay as a way to attract new customers.
Many sellers also use a method called performance-based pricing. With this technique, a product’s price is automatically adjusted based on how many orders are being placed. When the orders are rolling in, the price will increase. When demand dips again, so does the price.
Bottom line: It pays to shop around.
Sellers: If you’re still new to Performance-Based Pricing, see what you can do with it here.
3. Niche E-Commerce Marketplaces
If you’re like many other online shoppers (56%, to be exact), you probably go straight to Amazon when you’re looking for a specific product. You might also check with eBay, Walmart, Jet or Overstock.
What you may not realize is that there’s a vast array of e-commerce marketplaces catering to niche shopping needs. For instance:
- In a mobile app called Wish, thrifty shoppers can use Pinterest-style mobile wishlists to “save big”
- Dealbar offers baby, health and medical supply products at discounted prices through a unique “Group Deal” feature. The higher the number of customers that join a Group Deal, the more a seller is able to lower their price
- Hungry for discounts on luxury fashion? There’s an e-commerce marketplace for that, too. Bluefly specializes in high-end European designer and American contemporary brands
These are just three examples from more than a hundred marketplace options you have for finding the best deals and offers. And more e-commerce sellers are adding new listings every day as they, too, discover the benefits of these niche channels.
Case in point: One online seller who spoke at ChannelAdvisor’s User Conference had never heard of home goods marketplace Wayfair until our e-commerce experts suggested it. It wasn’t long until the niche e-commerce marketplace became the company’s biggest source of revenue, in turn leading to even more product options and promotions for consumers.
Sellers: If you’re serious about growing your business, marketplace expansion is a must. Successful online retailers have increased gross sales as much as 1,250% after expanding beyond eBay and Amazon.
4. Free Two-Day Shipping
Truth be told, as a consumer you virtually never have to settle for a seller who doesn’t deliver an order to your doorstep within days. Once costly and time-consuming for many online retailers, free two-day shipping is increasingly becoming the standard for online selling.
The reason? Retailers and manufacturing brands now have a bevy of options for meeting these expectations. From drop shipping to third-party logistics (3PL) providers, there are all kinds of ways online sellers can get items to you quickly and affordably.
Sellers: If you’ve been struggling to deliver quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, affordably, it may be time to evaluate your process. Having too many manual steps or dashboards to manage can make it extremely difficult to meet consumers’ fulfillment expectations. For ideas you can use to simplify, streamline and automate deliveries, check out ChannelAdvisor’s fulfilment solutions.
In conclusion: These are just a few of the countless ways e-commerce sellers are striving to connect with consumers, grow sales channels and optimize operations … all to make online shopping more convenient and affordable than ever. They know consumers are constantly finding new ways to discover and buy online, and they want to ensure you’ll choose their listings — instead of their competitors’.
Sellers: If you want to be sure you’re staying ahead of your online competitors, we highly suggest subscribing to the ChannelAdvisor blog. Our e-commerce experts keep it updated with weekly industry insights, trends and commentary.