Adding Marketplaces to Your Selling Game: Tips from a Market Leader


February 5, 2021

Selling online without selling on marketplaces means missing huge revenue streams. This entire landscape has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. Today, more than half of buyers skip search engines like Google and go directly to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Zalando or La Redoute to find the products they need. There are now well over 100 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.

That means it’s no longer enough to simply list products. Any online merchant who wants to maximise opportunities on these channels must first master a mountain of mission-critical steps. From competitive advertising to automated pricing and fast fulfilment, there is a lot to consider.

I had the chance to sit down with Derek Conlin, Senior Director, Global Business Development, Strategic Alliances, and Corporate Development at ChannelAdvisor to get expert insights into how businesses can take advantage of online marketplaces.

Here are his six tips for success.

Take Advantage of Comprehensive Advertising Options

Success with selling on marketplaces starts when listings land in front of the right, ready-to-buy customers—at just the right time. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Every marketplace is unique and offers different advertising opportunities. For example, sellers who advertise on Amazon tend to grow two to three times faster than those that don’t. 

“In leveraging the full range of marketing options on Amazon and other marketplaces, successful sellers understand it is not a one-and-done process,” said Mr. Conlin. “They continually monitor campaigns and make adjustments using a wide array of advanced strategies: targeting competitor ASINS (Amazon, Standard Identification Number), mining keywords, setting up budget notifications during peak sales days and more.”

Create Optimised Product Content

Why do some products get stuck at the bottom of the page, with low ratings and fewer sales, while others rocket to the top of the product results and have hundreds of reviews? A big part of the equation comes down to optimised product content.

It’s not just what merchants list that matters, but how their listings are structured. Product titles, images, descriptions, keywords and categories have a significant impact on how often your products show in marketplace search results. Furthermore, accurate, rich product content is often what compels consumers to make a purchase. 

“As your product data is fed to marketplaces and transformed into listings, high-quality content can be the difference between a product that stands out and one that gets buried,” said Mr. Conlin. “That is why a growing number of retailers and brands are relying on algorithmic data feeds to ensure product information not only meets the unique standards of each marketplace but gets noticed as well.”

Engage with Consumers

More meaningful interactions with consumers on eCommerce marketplaces can have a direct impact on sales and revenue. According to ChannelAdvisor estimates, 54% of consumers make decisions based not on product price or features, but on customer service. 19% say it is the most important factor when deciding which brands and retailers to buy from.

“Taking steps to provide exceptional consumer experiences isn’t just good for a brand’s reputation. It’s also a way to capture repeat purchases,” said Mr. Conlin. “On marketplaces, this will take many different forms. For one, companies need to proactively monitor their reviews. Recent research reveals that 80% of consumers trust companies with a lot of customer reviews. It’s not just the positive reviews that matter; responding quickly and effectively to negative customer comments will increase trust for 80% of consumers.” 

Solid returns processes also go a long way in securing customer loyalty. While many consumers avoid sellers with strict return policies, the opposite is true of the more generous ones: 96% will continue to buy products from a brand after having a positive return experience defined by hassle-free policies, free return shipping and automatic refunds. Better yet, more than 60% will purchase new products to replace the items they’re returning.

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