This afternoon, at our 2015 User Conference East, business analysts Alison Held and Michelle Hood take the audience through the ins and outs of several new marketplaces, as well as cover key marketplace insights and navigation tips.
Michelle starts off the session by demonstrating what could happen if a seller only sticks with just one channel. She tells a saddening story of an Amazon seller who got suspended. Since he had all his eggs in one basket, his business performance suffered drastically because he didn’t have any other channels bringing in revenue.
Is your business prepared if something like this were to happen? Do you have other channels to bring in GMV if one goes up in smoke?
Michelle goes on to explain that marketplace diversification is the best strategy here. An online seller should always be evaluating the marketplace landscape. (Ps. Access Channeladvisor, ChannelAdvisor’s blog and the SSC are great resources to stay in-the-know!) A seller should not just have a presence on Amazon and eBay, but also emerging marketplaces.
What does an “emerging marketplace” mean? Simple. Think of an emerging marketplace as all marketplaces that are NOT Amazon or eBay.
Michelle and Alison continue to explain the differences and key insights about some of the big players in the emerging marketplace field:
1. Rakuten: Established in 1997, but worth mentioning because onboarding comes at a low cost. You have the ability to design a storefront and the marketplace doesn’t compete with other merchant’s listings. Rakuten’s best selling categories include Electronics, Sporting Goods and Health & Fitness.
What’s Unique? Rakuten gives you the flexibility to list in variations or single items. Note that if you’re selling on Rakuten outside of ChannelAdvisor, your GTIN, MSRP and MPN have to match.
2. Sears: Sears offers a variety of categories, but the most popular is Lawn & Garden. With ChannelAdvisor’s recent Autumn Release, you can use our Sears Categorizer to streamline the onboarding process. Use mapping suggestions from the Sears Categorizer to list products under the correct category automatically
What’s Unique?: Time to get items listed on Sears takes 48-72 hours. Advanced setup options are available for sale price start and end dates
3. Newegg: This marketplace has a mostly affluent, tech-savvy male audience, however the female demographic has grown considerably since its 2011 launch. Newegg is known for its Automotive, Computer Hardware and Electronics category.
What’s Unique: You have to get manufacturer approval in order to sell on Newegg, as well as fulfill orders with 72 hours.
4. Jet: This recently launched marketplace should be on your radar. It’s one of our top marketplace performers by GMV and it already has more than 10,000 customers with a 23% repeat buyer rate. Since it’s a new marketplace player, it has a wide variety of products because the company wants to ramp up its catalog.
What’s Unique? Jet doesn’t have the ability to view “your” listings. You must have Amazon credentials entered into ChannelAdvisor in order to use the Jet Categorizer.
5. Wish: This is a social commerce app and site used by over 100 million global users. It’s the top 10 shopping app for both iOS and Android. It offers a wide variety of products, but is known for its apparel and accessories.
What’s Unique: Most traffic comes from the app, so use tags (i.e., keywords) to help promote your products. Wish is also cracking down on brand authorization. If you’re sending brand name items to Wish, you’ll receive a notice that the brand needs to be authorized.
Are You Ready to Expand?
Many of these emerging marketplaces are feed based and label driven. So as you’re deciding which marketplace is a right fit for your products and business, Allison and Michelle make the following launch preparation suggestions that well help get your products seen:
- Variation parent and all child SKUs must be on feed label. Products in variation must be sent as a variation to the marketplace.
- Manage marketplace catalog using specific labels.
- Identify subcategory, item class and category first, then drill down to specifics.
- Determine data requirements and fill gaps with custom attributes, business rules, lookup lists.
Test Your Knowledge
To see how competitive you are on a marketplace, our speakers walk the audience through the following exercise of being a secret shopper:
Emerging Marketplaces Cheat Sheet
The following are vital links for getting started on each marketplace discussed.
- Newegg Subcategory http://sellerportal.newegg.com/Guideline/Newegg_Subcat_List.xlsx
- Sears Item Class http://seller.marketplace.sears.com/SellerPortal/pages/catalog/upload/upload.jsp ?mnu_ovr=create#
- Rakuten Category ID http://ssc.channeladvisor.com/sites/default/files/Buy.com%20Taxonomy%20Docu ment.xls
- Processing and Communication Frequency http://ssc.channeladvisor.com/howto/reference/communication-frequencymarketplaces
- Jet Getting Started Guide http://ssc.channeladvisor.com/howto/marketplaces/jet-marketplace/gettingstarted
- Wish Getting Started Guide http://ssc.channeladvisor.com/howto/marketplaces/wish-marketplace/gettingstarted
Best of luck and happy selling!
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor