Most online retailers have a love-hate relationship with
flash sales and high value promotions. It makes sense, especially if you’re
executing promotions on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon or Newegg:
advertising steep product discounts to football stadiums of ready buyers may guarantee sales, but if your inventory, fulfilment and service ducks aren’t
in a row, flash sales can crash and burn – fast.
Fact is, the opportunity afforded to online retailers
through the various promotional programs available on marketplaces outweighs
the potential risk. All you need to do is make sure you know you’re prepared,
and instead of biting your fingernails, you’ll be celebrating successes. To
help you determine how to execute a successful promotion on marketplaces, here
are four steps you can take to make sure you’re ready to reel in those sales
without any problems!
1: Finalize Product Details Early
Once you’ve secured the promotional deal with your
marketplace of choice, it’s not time to rest on your laurels. The marketplace
will give you a deadline for passing along all the necessary information about
the products you’ve selected to promote, but it’s best to finalize details 48
hours in advance of that deadline. It’s often the case that online retailers
secure the deal, and then wait until the last minute to finalize the product details
with the marketplace, which usually causes a frenzy on the eve of the promotion
if any information is missing!
Prepare, negotiate and ensure the marketplace has all the
details necessary to launch the promotion well before the deadlines, and you’ll
have a calm lead into a big storm of orders! Plus, your marketplace partner
will be much more at ease, and the readiness on their end will remind them that
you’re a great merchant to work with in the future. After all, one promotion is
great but ten is even better!
2: Remove SKUs from Every Other Marketplace
By nature, promotions require that you lower the price
dramatically on a subset of products. If you’re selling on multiple
marketplaces, don’t forget that steeply discounting prices on one marketplace,
even if for a limited time, may violate price parity rules of all the other
marketplaces through which you sell. So, why not just lower the price across
the board? That’s the easy way out, but, truth is, that violates the agreement:
promotions are exclusive to the marketplace through which you’re offering
them. Be honest! Don’t risk breaking a
relationship with a marketplace that could offer you valuable opportunities in
Fortunately, removing the SKUs of the product(s) in the
promotion is a minor inconvenience. In ChannelAdvisor’s software, retailers can
easily block an item entirely to stop it from listing on select marketplaces.
This helps you maintain the integrity of the promotional contract, and also
further helps mitigate the risk of overselling! Be sure to take care of
removing listings a full day in advance of the launch of your promotion.
3: Plan to Ship on Time
Time and time again, online retailers underestimate the
impact of promotions on sales. It’s likely that orders will skyrocket, and all
within a very narrow window of time, so ramp up your warehouse and fulfilment
operations appropriately to avoid chaos. If necessary, bring in additional
staff to your warehouse, and if you drop ship or use a third-party fulfilment
system, let them know ahead of time what will be happening. Make sure they know
to expect an influx of orders and will be prepared to ship items in a timely
Your fulfilment process and timeliness will have an impact on
whether or not the marketplace will allow you to execute another promotion on
their site. Don’t be the retailer that doesn’t follow through – or the
marketplace won’t come knocking again! Show that you’re a qualified partner on
the deals by preparing fulfilment operations appropriately.
4: Beware the Impact of Deals
We’ll say it again. Don’t underestimate the
impact of promotions! Here’s the proof: below is a screenshot view of a
ChannelAdvisor seller’s dashboard during a Newegg promotion. Notice the huge
spike in sales! Promotions are the perfect opportunity to boost your GMV, take
advantage of the established audiences on eBay, Newegg, Amazon and other
marketplaces, and further awareness of your brand and products!
so…how do I do that?
Marketplaces like eBay,
Amazon, Newegg, Rakuten.com Shopping and others each offer unique promotional
and flash-sale opportunities for online retailers. Typically, merchants can
apply for these promotions through the marketplace website or by speaking to their
Do you have
promotional plans for your business? Are you considering launching sales on
Amazon, eBay or another marketplace?
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Blog Post by Natalie Sink, Digital and Content Marketing Strategist, ChannelAdvisor