Building your own independent web presence and selling on a marketplace are not mutually exclusive concepts. Some of the best brands do both.
An omnichannel strategy is your best option for growing your brand in 2022 — and one that integrates marketplaces can be used to to great effect.
A recent study found that 44% of product journeys begin on marketplaces.
Online marketplaces both appeal to consumers and empower sellers. As you consider your options and explore varying ecommerce models, here are six ways you can benefit from selling on a marketplace.
Trust & convenience
If you want to show your customers they can trust you, accessibility and transparency are a must — together those aspects demonstrate care, and that care builds trust.
Marketplaces make your brand accessible, provide full disclosure on everything, and maintain a consistent, familiar customer experience. Shoppers trust the medium; they don’t second-guess the process. That built-in trust is a big part of what makes marketplaces so convenient.
In a 2021 survey, 70% of online shoppers cited marketplaces as the “most convenient” way to purchase goods. Peak convenience tends to stem from that built-in trust, consistent usability, and subscription packages, which incentivize customers to get the greatest value through timely purchases.
Marketplaces make shoppers more likely to buy, even if they’ve never heard of you.
Greater brand visibility and positioning
Online brand visibility can be an ongoing struggle. A major benefit of selling on marketplaces lies in their active, robust audiences.
Online shoppers often default to their preferred marketplace for their shopping wants and needs. If your brand is there, your products are in position to convert. This can eliminate some of the work that goes into driving traffic and managing leads.
Rather than attempting to build a following all on your own, you can leverage the credibility of a marketplace to attract more customers for a lower cost. It’s not just about initial acquisition either, marketplace shoppers tend to return to the platform — and often to your products. As a marketplace seller you can easily improve your visibility among your target audience and even expand to other demographics as well.
Additionally, because marketplaces rely on extensive product data, your marketplace product listings often get far greater search engine positioning than they’d be able to garner on their own. Strong SEO practices for optimal marketplace reach also means higher rankings on popular search engines.
Broad payment processing options
When it comes to online payment methods, more is better.
Now more than ever and increasingly so, people like to pay for things in different ways. A 2019 survey found that 80% of American buyers prefer to use debit or credit cards while 80% of European consumers appreciate alternative methods.
On your main site you should offer as many methods as possible to not deter shoppers when they’re checking out. That said, there are a number of factors that influence your options:
- Processing fees
- Scale and cost-based availability
- Location, speed, hosting-based technicalities
- Personal preference
Marketplaces have payment processing down to a science, one that sellers don’t need to worry about one bit. They have perfected the payment process so customers are given a flawless experience while businesses enjoy a higher ROI.
Payment processing through marketplaces is secure, convenient, and comes in a variety of options.
Faster, more reliable shipping
Fulfillment expectations for online stores are rising.
When it comes to making a purchase, 40% of shoppers say that a delivery time of two days or more would prevent them from buying; additionally, 63% of buyers expect products to arrive in three days or less.
As an online seller, you want to provide the highest quality experience from screen to delivery, but that isn’t always feasible. One of the biggest hurdles to customer success is less-than-perfect shipping, which is largely out of your hands the moment you ship off a product. Not to mention, the troubles of returns and refunds.
Marketplaces offer automated services that eliminate the burdens of order fulfillment at little extra cost to you. Once you consider the range of post-sale processes and overhead costs, the premiums of services like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) are a small price to pay for the immense value they grant.
With the right marketplace fulfillment solution, any small to medium business can scale their brand without impacting quality or availability.
Streamlined inventory management
Poor inventory management can lead to a slew of issues, all of which negatively affect your customers and your bottomline.
Fulfillment services like FBA and WFS automate inventory management processes and solve some of the most common ecommerce inventory challenges such as:
- Managing products in different locations
- Communicating between suppliers
- Overselling and/or overstocking
- Limited data insights
- Manual sales management
- Return and refund processing
When you embrace marketplace automation, you streamline inventory management and fulfillment logistics, and get actionable insights to improve your processes.
If you’re thinking of using a marketplace to scale your business, then having an effective inventory management system is imperative. Bear in mind that scaling a business doesn’t just mean handling more sales, it also increases your costs across the board (manufacturing, fulfillment, marketing, etc.). Automated inventory systems allow you to fluidly scale your brand while keeping costs low.
Small to medium businesses often have great products that would appeal to a worldwide audience.
Unfortunately, there are many technicalities to marketing a global product. From marketing to fulfillment and beyond, you risk your reputation if you attempt to appease a global audience without the right tools.
Marketplaces create universal shopping experiences for buyers all around the world. They enable you to pursue cross-border selling while avoiding all the common pitfalls and struggles of localization.
Thanks to a built-in international infrastructure, you can rely on a good marketplace to help you sell to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Leveraging marketplaces to boost your brand
Buying from marketplaces is easy, convenient, and enjoyable. Brands selling on them tend to see consistent sales as well as additional value in the form of credibility, search engine performance, global reach, and more.
If you’re looking to expand your business to a marketplace, you’ll want to make sure your products are set up for peak performance. Marketplaces require more product data than you might expect — and the stronger your products, the better your results.