What are marketplace integrations? It’s a question that we hear a lot, but there’s a more foundational question that’s more important to answer first: What are marketplaces?
An e-commerce marketplace is a platform that allows multiple vendors to sell their products to customers in a single online location. Marketplace integrations are the processes and technologies that allow these vendors to connect their own e-commerce systems to the marketplace platform.
What are the benefits of using marketplace integrations?
There are several benefits to integrating with an e-commerce marketplace. First, it provides vendors with access to a large pool of potential customers who are already shopping on the platform. This can help vendors to increase their visibility and sales. Second, it allows vendors to streamline their sales processes by using the marketplace’s payment and fulfillment systems. This can save them time and reduce their operational costs.
To integrate with an e-commerce marketplace, vendors typically need to use API (application programming interface) technology. This allows their own systems to communicate with the marketplace’s platform, and to share data such as product listings, orders, and shipping information. Some marketplaces provide API documentation and support to help vendors with the integration process.
Once a vendor’s system is integrated with the marketplace, they can manage their sales and fulfillment through the marketplace’s platform. This allows them to track their orders, manage their inventory, and provide customer support. Some marketplaces also provide additional services, such as marketing support and analytics, to help vendors improve their sales performance.
What are the different types of marketplaces?
There are several different types of e-commerce marketplaces, each with its own unique features and characteristics.
Using marketplace integrations to sell as a third party (3P)
When brands consider listing on e-commerce marketplaces, the first thought is often Amazon — and with good reason. For years, Amazon has been the shopping destination of choice for millions of consumers worldwide.
However, these are far from your only avenues for growth. Successful sellers have been known to increase gross sales significantly simply by extending beyond major marketplaces to list on others such as Rakuten, Walmart and Newegg.
But brands are presented with a two-sided proposition: They can find new customers and better curate their brand on marketplaces, but they risk spreading themselves too thin and paying the costs associated with new channels: marketing, warehouse storage, fees, fulfillment, etc.
To make the most of marketplaces, you’ll need to get several essential strategies right. Brands that successfully sell on marketplaces tend to follow three distinct phases: 1) launching successfully, 2) building a winning strategy and 3) defending your position.
Can I integrate my website or webstore with a marketplace?
Yes, it’s possibly to sync your websore inventory with your products on various marketplaces via a centralized platform.
By managing the full scope of your activities across multiple marketplaces from within a single, centralized platform, it’s exponentially easier to maintain a strong presence across a wide range of channels. For instance, you can:
- Streamline promotions and digital marketing by building, managing and measuring campaigns from within one consolidated interface. For example, by relying on the ChannelAdvisor platform and managed services team to build strategic Amazon Advertising and digital marketing campaigns, ASICS increased their year-over-year revenue by 41%.
- Increase sales with centralized marketplace management that allows you to take advantage of the full scope of selling features. Using a platform built around a single integration point makes it easy to simultaneously manage product data, inventory, orders and more on over 140 marketplaces around the globe. Scarpetta Shoes, for example, expanded their brand to over 20 marketplaces and saw a revenue increase of 1000%.
- Compete on fulfillment by engaging a third-party logistics provider capable of two-day shipping from multiple locations. Carefully vetting 3PL providers to find a true expert you can trust to warehouse, pick, pack and ship your goods — and provide exceptional customer experiences in the process — will allow you to truly make the most of every marketplace opportunity.
What are the most popular marketplaces?
ChannelAdvisor has integrations with over 400 marketplaces and retail sites across the world. See a full list of our integrations here.
Should I connect to multiple marketplaces?
The entire e-commerce marketplace landscape has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. There are now hundreds of marketplace options for brands and retailers, each with its own set of rules, requirements and built-in audiences. With billions of product listings competing for the attention of millions of consumers, the stakes are higher than ever.
If you’re serious about growing an e-commerce business, marketplace expansion is a must. Different consumer needs are met on different marketplaces, and having a presence across channels keeps your flow of inventory strong.
The key is to determine which marketplaces are the best fits for your product catalog. Getting your products in front of the right consumers might mean moving beyond the marketplace giants. Or it may be time to start selling to international consumers through options such as Amazon Global Selling and eBay Global Shipping.
The key to success is streamlined growth. Before expanding to new marketplaces, have a process in place to keep marketplace management from becoming overwhelming. For most e-commerce companies, the easiest solution is relying on one centralized platform that’s built to integrate with dozens of different marketplaces for optimized listings, fast fulfillment and more.
What are some best practices for selling across multiple marketplaces?
Joining new marketplaces comes with a number of challenges, from lack of channel-specific expertise to thinning profit margins. Yet, these challenges shouldn’t stand in your way to multi-marketplace success. Winning across marketplaces requires a holistic approach that takes your strategy beyond simply listing products.
To ensure you don’t miss a crucial step, follow this checklist to start developing a cohesive plan for managing multiple accounts — without draining resources.
Align your e-commerce teams
Too many brands still operate in silos. But aligning your teams, from marketing to sales to finance, is critical for a united front that impacts brand growth. To accomplish this goal, we recommend the following actions:
- Regularly meet with cross-functional teams to discuss and set up marketplace goals, strategy and other considerations.
- Elect a project manager to oversee progress, conduct research and keep everyone on track toward a common objective.
- PRO TIP: Don’t overlook taxation. New marketplaces open you up to new tax considerations, and a tax expert can play a critical role in helping you navigate the complexities.
Strengthen your relationships with retailers
Expanding across marketplaces can be a touchy subject if you have existing retail partners that already sell your products. Be sure to set expectations and inform retailers what your marketplace expansion will mean for your ongoing partnership through the following steps:
- Develop a clear and transparent messaging strategy.
- Consider creating authorized/exclusive partner programs.
- Enforce a minimum advertised price (MAP) agreement and closely monitor your channels.
Clean up your marketplace product catalog
What does your product content say to shoppers? Improve your chances of marketplace success from the start with clear, organized content that entices shoppers instead of chasing them away. Start with the following:
- Include key content fields like titles, descriptions, images, bullets, specs, pricing and keywords.
- Tailor content to the audience where possible.
- Regularly audit your listings and update content as your goals and products change.
Select the right inventory for marketplaces
Your listings can and should vary from marketplace to marketplace. Sometimes, this is due to the agreements you set with each platform. Identify optimal options through these steps:
- Study your contracts to adequately comply with first-party inventory regulations.
- Review your sales data to identify top marketplace performers.
- Consider a 1P (wholesale) / 3P hybrid approach. Incorporate an inventory and order management system to avoid overselling or product shortages.
- PRO TIP: Make the most of bundles and variations. Bundling products into a single-SKU offering isn’t just a best practice. It’s also a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and inspire consumers to spend more.
Maximize the visibility of your products on marketplaces
Did you know your product detail page placements are responsible for up to 50% of ad sales? A diversified retail media approach broadens your reach and gives shoppers multiple touchpoints to interact with your brand. Be sure to:
- Make the most of advertising opportunities offered by each marketplace/channel.
- Incorporate multiple ad types for greater reach.
- Monitor ROI on each channel and make adjustments as needed.
- Take advantage of advanced automation.
Price your products strategically
Set your prices too high, and you’ll likely be undercut. Set them too low, and you risk missing out on revenue. Find the pricing “sweet spot” by following these steps:
- Understand and follow any predetermined pricing agreements.
- Identify demand fluctuations and reprice compliantly.
- Monitor competition constantly, and know where you’re losing.
- Leverage deals, promotions and/or free shipping where possible.
- Watch for opportunities to offer discount bundling.
- PRO TIP: Automate your pricing. Don’t have time or expertise to monitor prices manually? Try an automated repricer to do it for you.
Fulfill your products fast and affordably
Fast, reliable fulfillment is so important that it’s now directly correlated to customer satisfaction. To ensure customers receive their deliveries on time:
- Carefully vet your 3PL to meet your business needs.
- Use a shipping software suite if fulfilling from your own warehouse.
- Build a broad, diversified network that includes marketplace-specific options.
- Take advantage of marketplace fulfillment services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Walmart Fulfillment Services.
- PRO TIP: Optimize fulfillment location logistics with automation. Automate your order routing so orders are instantly sent to the best warehouse for that shipment based on destinations, delivery fees, product availability, etc.
Overall, e-commerce marketplace integrations can be a valuable tool for vendors who want to expand their reach and improve their operations. By connecting their systems to the marketplace’s platform, they can access a larger customer base and streamline their sales processes, which can help them to grow their business and compete more effectively in the online marketplace.
How ChannelAdvisor can help
With more than thousands of customers selling on more than 400 e-commerce channels worldwide through our channel integrations, ChannelAdvisor keeps you ahead of the latest marketplace trends and ensures you’re maximizing every opportunity. We make it easy to connect with customers, optimize operations and grow sales channels.
Want a hands-off approach? Try ChannelAdvisor Managed Services
Named the #1 channel management provider to the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 Retailers for ten consecutive years, ChannelAdvisor is known for its long-standing expertise in e-commerce. Our account managers ensure you’re making the most of every opportunity — and our Managed Services team works to optimize your product data, resolve errors, manage promotions and set up daily deals.
Most importantly, we strategize with you to customize an action plan for growth — whether that means maximizing your presence on Amazon or choosing the right mix of additional marketplaces for expansion. And thanks to our longstanding relationships with Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others, you’ll be first to know about new opportunities as they emerge.
Our in-house industry experts can help you:
- Fine-tune your advertising strategies across Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more
- Develop competitive pricing strategies
- Accurately forecast inventory
- Benchmark against the competition
- Show consumers where to buy your products
- Take your business across borders
- And much more!
Want to learn more? See our platform in action.
ChannelAdvisor is a leading multichannel commerce platform whose mission is to connect and optimize the world’s commerce. For over two decades, ChannelAdvisor has helped brands and retailers worldwide improve their online performance by expanding sales channels, connecting with consumers across the entire buying cycle, optimizing their operations for peak performance, and providing actionable analytics to improve competitiveness. Thousands of customers depend on ChannelAdvisor to securely power their e-commerce operations on channels such as Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart and hundreds more.
Want to learn more? See our platform in action.