Selling on marketplaces is an opportunity some brands are missing

As Australia undergoes its intermittent lockdown within different states, the bridge between shoppers and businesses still stands: online shopping. But as some brands load their operations onto key offsite channels such as Google Shopping, Facebook and more, they often neglect selling on marketplaces. 41 per cent of all online global spending occurs through marketplaces, which means a missed opportunity of strong incremental sales growth for the long-term.  

Retail is continuously fluctuating as the environment the pandemic creates continues to develop multiple “knock-on effects”. In June 2021, Australia’s total retail turnover fell month-on-month by 1.8 per cent as a result of the mini-lockdowns, unemployment, limited mobility between states and border restrictions. Despite this, it’s had a year-on-year rise of 2.9 per cent.

Now is more imperative than ever for brands to invest in selling on marketplaces, as continuous convenience, deal-seeking behaviour and safety remains a priority amongst Aussie shoppers – and global shoppers too. 

Online marketplaces are renowned for this and became a focal point for many businesses to reach consumers. Here’s a snapshot of the major players over the past year: 

  • eBay AU: 1 million more shoppers flocked to eBay during the first year of lockdown.
  • MyDeal: Revenue was up 175 per cent YoY, and active customers grew 157 per cent in Q3 2021.
  • Kogan: Gross sales up 198 per cent YoY in first half of 2021.
  • Catch: Revenue increased by 112 per cent in second half of 2020.

So how does selling on marketplaces really benefit brands? 

Brands can sell to a ready-made curated audience 

Marketplaces are “traffic heavy” because of their trustworthiness, product variety, product content, deal discovery and delivery options. Could it be any more convenient? By having a ready-made audience to sell to, brands must get their products in two shopper hotspots to get discovered: product categories and product searches. 

Go multichannel

Now imagine doing this on multiple of the right marketplaces. Being present where shoppers are is essential in e-commerce, as “channel-hopping” is part of the shopping journey. Developing a multichannel strategy grows exposure and becomes a safety net that takes away the pressure of selling on one marketplace, to diversify sales and lessen the load. 

Sell cross border 

Shoppers are open to foreign products on marketplaces, as long as it’s a good deal (and trustworthy). Marketplaces provide an opportunity for cross-border expansion to help you branch out into different territories, build your brand name internationally and acquire new customers. 

So, what selling on marketplaces tactics should brands leverage? 

Tactic 1: Optimise your content 

Your content helps compel shoppers into purchasing products. As the product data feed is the foundation of listing your products, it needs to: 

  • Be fully populated with key product data attributes.
  • Have accurate, correct, relevant and up-to-date information.
  • Be normalised with everyday words and phrases used by real people.
  • Contain extensive detail but digestible descriptions.
  • Meet each marketplace feed requirements.

Many brands are investing in product feed management software to optimise their listings, stand out in front of target shoppers and facilitate shopper purchase decision. If a product data feed contains incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate, and inconsistent information, products can be disapproved, or not show. 

Tactic 2: Category mapping

Getting products discovered in product categories is essential for brands, as shoppers often drill down the marketplace menu for inspiration or a good deal. By not mapping categories into the correct marketplace categories, it can be detrimental to product visibility and have products appearing in the wrong place. This can result in low engagement and sales.  

Tactic 3: Leverage promoted listings

Taking advantage of promoted listings in marketplaces that offer them like eBay, can power product visibility to get products in front of more eyeballs. 

Tactic 4: Create a seamless shopping experience

Shoppers are put off by wrong information on available quantities. Managing multiple channel feeds, orders and inventory data gives brands the control they need to ensure they’re not selling out of stock items and orders are updated to keep order statuses accurate. This facilitates a positive customer experience.

Tactic 5: Give your shoppers delivery options

Providing a variety of delivery options can convert first-time buyers into repeat sales. Whether it’s fast and free shipping, Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), click & collect and so on, it makes shoppers feel more safe and comfortable shopping for your product. This increases the likelihood of conversions, and the safety consumers are looking for. 

If you are interested in selling on marketplaces, our platform can help. Explore your growth opportunities.

About the author: Andrew Thomas is the co-founder of Intelligent Reach, an award-winning product marketing platform that helps brands, retailers and sellers get their products discovered on online channels and marketplaces.