Knowing the best way to sell on a marketplace is a skill many merchants are constantly developing, in order to further improve their business. However, what many often forget to consider is selling across multiple marketplaces. $1.97 trillion being spent globally on the top 100 marketplaces in 2019. So you can imagine the possibilities a multichannel strategy can open up. But how exactly does a multichannel strategy work? And what are the best ways to approach it?
What is a Marketplace?
A marketplace is a type of shopping channel, used in eCommerce, where merchants can list their products to be purchased. On a marketplace, you will likely find multiple sellers, potentially even for the same items. You can make your purchases directly through secure channels within the website itself.
By collecting a large selection of products together in a single place, marketplaces help to streamline the shopping process for customers, and therefore also help merchants with their sales and visibility.
The Biggest Marketplaces
Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace and has a global presence. Although Amazon has separate domains for different nations, you can still sell to other countries if you choose to. And because of Amazon’s large customer base globally, it is a must use as a merchant.
As a world renowned leader in eCommerce, Amazon is also a trusted brand, with an easy checkout system, and is constantly evolving. All these positives outweigh the slightly higher than average fees, maintaining its presence as an integral selling platform.
Latin America’s biggest marketplace, Mercado Libre is the place to go for online shopping across several countries. With their own fulfillment centers across Latin America, and the ability to sell between nations, this marketplace can be a great way to reach new markets and new customers.
Another popular marketplace with worldwide presence is eBay. Initially started as an online auctioneering website, eBay now allows sellers to choose from selling products as part of an auction, or for a set price.
Popular with 1-time sellers and long term sellers alike, the brand has developed a good deal of trust between buyers and sellers, making it a great starting point for many merchants.
Founded in 1997, Rakuten is the biggest and most successful eCommerce marketplace in Japan. It also has substantial success around the remainder of Asia and the world. Rakuten is the ideal place to start if you are looking to enter the Japanese market. The marketplace sells a wide range of products, similar to that of Amazon.
Craft site Etsy is the place to go to sell homemade products. As another marketplace with a worldwide reach, it is the ideal place to sell your most unique products. The downside is that each purchase requires a separate fee, which can sometimes put consumers off.
Part of the AliBaba Group, AliExpress is a Chinese marketplace that ships worldwide. The site sells a wide range of products and is renowned for its low costs to both consumers and merchants. Similarly to Rakuten, it is one of the largest and most influential Asian marketplaces, and therefore a great place to sell.
What is Multichannel Strategy & Why is it Effective
A multichannel strategy is when you attempt to advertise and sell your products across anything more than a singular channel. The aim of this strategy tends to be growth in one shape or another. It could be anything from increased reach, to more leads or sales.
This strategy tends to be effective because it increases the chance of customers coming across your product, whether they shop on one channel, or another. However, it is also a great way to find ways to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising. This is because you can often find channels where fewer competitors are present, or more of your demographic shop on. Therefore, increasing the profitability of your product advertising.
Multichannel strategies also help to ensure that your demographic completes a purchase. Many potential buyers begin the purchasing process, but do not finish it. One reason for this is the lack of familiarity with a channel, or even a lack of trust in it. By using a multichannel strategy, it is more likely that a customer can choose to buy your product from their preferred channel. This means they are more likely to complete the purchasing process, and avoid cart abandonment.
Multichannel Listing Software and How It Can Streamline Your Advertising Process
Multichannel advertising can often be a time consuming, and challenging process. This is where multichannel listing software comes in handy.
Multichannel listing software allows you to automate your product listings by setting up a data feed. This feed of data ensures all your data is entirely accurate, and up to date, whilst also giving you the ability to control exactly what you want to show in your listings.
The best listing software on the market will cover all the requirements of multiple channels, including titles, product descriptions, stock, and much more. It will automate and refine the process of listing large quantities of products across multiple platforms, saving you time and gaining you traction.
4 Advertising Strategies for Selling on Multiple Marketplaces
Focus Your Advertising Around the Advantages of Each Marketplace
Each marketplace has its advantages and disadvantages. Some will be designed for specific niches of products, whilst others will focus more on the service they provide for customers. The differences between these marketplaces are something you have to take note of, as some will be a better place to sell than others for your business.
You should also try to keep in mind the advantages of each marketplace when designing your ad campaigns. Aim your campaigns at the type of customers likely to visit that channel, and ensure that the channel itself is attracting your demographic.
Gain a Better Understanding of Your Customers & What Catches Their Eye
As with any brand, you will have a target demographic. But who exactly are those people you are targeting? By gaining a better understanding of your customers, and creating a buyer persona, you can find out which marketplaces are the most likely to be useful to you.
There are a number of questions that you can ask when it comes to creating that persona, including:
- What is their age range?
- Do they have common interests?
- What do they value most in regards to the purchasing process?
- What is their occupation?
- Do they make one-off purchases or buy regularly?
- What kind of things draw them in?
- What drives their purchase decision?
There are few ways in which you can get this information from the customers, the most obvious being reviews and surveys. You can also gain insight by asking current customers to sign up for newsletters that require them to enter details, as well as even use the questions as a way of interacting with your buyer community on social media. To get the most out of it you may want to know more about what data governance is.
Use software to automate and refine your advertising
Data feed software is a great way to automate your advertising and save you time when selling across more than one channel. However, the advantages don’t end there. Data feed services can also help to refine your advertising on platforms. They can do this in numerous ways, from optimally structuring your titles to creating custom labels so you only advertise your most profitable products. With data feed optimization you can also easily start with dynamic remarketing ads which help to maintain your customer retention rate on the appropriate level. Here you can read about how to boost your customer retention on the example of the automotive industry.
By using a data feed, you can not only make your ad budget go further, but you can also create more effective, cohesive advertising across all your platforms. In turn, this will help to give you a good idea of where your best chances at success lie.
Avoid Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Being seen across multiple marketplaces can only be beneficial, right? Well, that isn’t always the case. If you attempt to sell your products across too many marketplaces, you risk spreading yourself too thin, even with automation software.
When you decide to sell across multiple marketplaces, you need to ensure you keep it to a level you can efficiently maintain. By going overboard, you risk your adverts becoming neglected, which could result in inaccuracies or even issues with your advertisements. A neglected advertisement could then deter customers from buying from you again, and could damage your brand image severely.
You can also create excess work, for very little reward in some cases. Therefore, you should try to gather and use data effectively. That way, you can decipher which platforms are the most beneficial for you, and which are worth selling on again.
Selling on multiple marketplaces is undoubtedly a challenge. However, it can be a very fruitful one. By following these strategies, you can ensure you get the most out of your multichannel campaign. You can push your advertising budget that little bit further, whilst finding newer, more effective ways to reach your target audience.
Main Post Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash