Online marketplaces now account for 52% of all global web sales in 2019. If you want to get your business booming, right at the center of an enormous customer base from all across the world, you’re going to want to start using things like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and other massive marketplaces online.
That doesn’t mean this is going to be easy. There’s a lot of competition on these sites, meaning you have to develop a full management, accounting, and marketing strategy for your online presence. Here are some of the most effective ways to boost your sales.
Have a wide range of products when you start out
Automate your marketplace management
Optimize your product sheets
Use professional visual content
1. Have a wide range of products when you start out
When individual vendors start-up on their own websites, they usually make sure they’re only selling a limited range that will get sales. That’s not what you want to be doing with online marketplaces. Even for small companies with limited stock, spreading out all your products and putting as much online as possible is a surefire way to get your online presence off the ground.
It’s recommended that you post as much of your catalog as possible online if you really want to guarantee a good place in the search results. We’re talking about Search Engine Optimisation here - making sure your products appear first in a search on these massive banks of data used by millions of people - which requires a range of different products that could possibly come first for a very particular search. This is how you first get a marketplace business started.
If you sell electronics, for example, don’t just have your most popular item available, because you’re probably not going to be the only one selling it. Above is an example of what comes up when you just search Dell into Amazon. You have advanced touchscreens and small mobile adapters all there. Smaller, more specific accessories can still make you big revenue because of their attractiveness to specific buyers and niche markets which these sites encourage.
Most of these marketplaces have commissions, of course, which means you need to think about eventually cutting down overtime on what sells the best and what sells the worst. Removing an item from your online catalog is easy and takes no time at all, but when starting you really want to go for this shotgun approach and attack to occupy as many gaps in the market as possible.
2. Automate your marketplace management
To really expand your marketplace strategy, you have to start automating a lot of the processes that take place on a daily basis. There are loads of different programs for marketplace management available online, like Pattern which even offers to buy the inventory you plan to sell to fully automate the marketing process. Software like this lets you save time by avoiding time-consuming micromanagement, reducing errors in online details, and improve your selling processes.
These marketplace manager programs, keep a regular track of your performance and update your stock in almost real-time. Some, like Seller Dynamics, for example, feature unified stock control and automatic repricing to match demand. These programs can carry out commands on a regular schedule quickly and efficiently and help you manage your online presence without hassle.
Most of all, don’t forget to keep an eye on your competitors’ prices. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the cheapest out of all of them (even if marketplaces do encourage sellers to try to be the cheapest to beat the competition) because that’s ultimately going to reduce your profit margins.
Keep your prices within reasonable limits, but add a differentiator that sets you apart, like an extra service or an extra stamp of quality, like free shipping! According to a study by Paypal and ComScore, 72% of internet users prefer to buy products if the shipping price isn’t too high.
Essentially, show some extra value of your brand to the customer.
3) Perfect your product sheets
More than 1 in 3 internet users has made a search and then a purchase on an online marketplace in the last 6 months
The quality of your product sheets will ultimately determine the visibility of your products once they’re online on your chosen platform. All the details, descriptions and keywords you use - as well as the visuals - are an essential part of maximizing the reach of your product pages on marketplaces. Product profiles that reach the first few results of the site’s search engine are much more likely to turn into eventual purchases and sales. That’s why it’s important to optimize your products’ pages and present the items accurately and effectively.
To really perfect your Search Engine Optimisation you’re going to want to think about these five points:
A relevant title
Bullet point lists
Titles and other smaller details on the profile can have an enormous impact on how the products sell and where they appear in an internal search. A product with a poorly detailed description and irrelevant information will most likely be returned. What’s more, if your descriptions or your titles are incomplete, the products won’t be able to reach their maximum target audience.
It’s important to integrate details like the brand or the model of the article to give the searcher something specific to look for in the marketplace search bar. More than 1 in 3 internet users has made a search and then a purchase on an online marketplace in the last 6 months.
Adidas is a good example of a company that has mastered the product sheet on online marketplaces. The trainers above have a clear title showing the brand, the precise model of shoe, the product type (trainers), and the different color options. Also, there are several different photos available, and even a video showing the product in action.
On fashion marketplaces, the return rate usually sits between 15 and 20% on average, due to a lack of coherent visuals and inaccurate product photos. Making an effort so that all your articles are easy to find for online shoppers by filling in titles and full descriptions for products on these websites is absolutely essential.
4) Use professional visual content
More than 75% of online customers say that product photos have the biggest impact on their buying decisions online.
In a marketplace, the image quality is particularly important to highlight certain parts of the product and show customers the quality of the item. They have to give a clear idea of the product in question and be eye-catching enough to increase your clientele.
On Etsy, a marketplace for small brands, hand-made and vintage goods, 90% of users say that image quality is the number one thing that convinces them to make a purchase.
Poor product photography can lead to fewer clicks, higher return rates, and fewer sales, so it goes without saying that your visual content should play a major role in your marketplace selling strategy.
Here at Meero, we know about the real impact of professional photos on massive online marketplaces from our work already with these sites in a wide range of industries from Just Eat, to Expedia. Not only that, but we’re currently revolutionizing the way professional photography for brands works.
Each different marketplace has different rules regarding their photo layouts. On Amazon, for example, the photos have to be at 1000 x 1000 pixels minimum and have a totally white background, whereas on something like Etsy they have to be at 1500 pixels minimum with anything you want in the background.
Here’s a table with all the different info for different marketplaces with the recommended image sizes as well as the kind of background required:
This is where Meero can offer a real advantage for your visuals: we can adapt our offers to each of the guidelines for different marketplaces and optimize our solution to whatever desired format. Meero can fulfill any visual content no matter the requirements quickly and efficiently.
Wherever you are in the world, Meero can guarantee you a cameraman or even drone operator nearby specially adapted to your content requirements. Lifestyle photography, 360 photos, product videos - our network of 58,000 product photographers can carry out any of these tasks and more. Meero provides you with a large choice of options and regularly edited, high-quality images in 24 hours.
Thanks to our tried and tested photographers all around the world, the companies that have made use of Meero have seen an average 2.8 times increase in Click-Through Rate.