Sell on more channels through marketplaces
Most retailers start a business by focusing on one sales channel. That usually is your website. On the other hand, consumers have many opportunities, contact points, and places to shop. Therefore, retailers need to find ways to sell in more than one place.
In the article, we will look at the channels through which you can sell your products, in addition to your online store? What are marketplaces? What are their advantages, and how to prepare to list you catalog there?
Digital sales channels
Digital sales channels are direct (own) and indirect (third party). The direct channels are those such as the company’s website, the sales team and actions they are doing, and any events that the company organizes. On the other hand, the indirect include affiliate and referral programmers, auctioneers, social networks, and marketplaces.
What are marketplaces?
These are online stores that sell products from various companies, distributors, and retailers. The concept is borrowed from physical markets, where many businesses gather at a specific place and sell products. Some of the most famous marketplaces in Bulgaria are – Amazon, Emag, OLX, Facebook marketplace, Etsy, Allegro, Wish, and Instagram shopping.
The main advantages for retailers are:
- Ability to reach a large audience;
Customers have always been looking for a place where they can buy everything they need. That makes marketplaces preferred for shopping online, as they provide a wide variety of products, save time, and are convenient.
- Use of the store’s established reputation by retailers;
- Taking advantage of the promotional activities of the platform, which are established and recognizable;
Many of the marketplaces organize large-scale promotional campaigns, which leave an echo behind and over time have established themselves. Campaigns around Black Friday, Christmas and other holiday discounts are held every year on these platforms and are awaited by consumers who have already shopped there. This is a great opportunity for any business to access these potential customers without the need to introduce additional advertising resources.
- Ability to collect feedback on product attitudes;
Due to the vast number of retailers in the marketplaces and the growing amount of products with each passing month, the platforms encourage consumers to leave feedback on the quality of the products they bought. That helps other customers to choose the best option, as well as retailers to improve their products.
- Monitoring of competitors;
Marketplaces allow you to track what your competitors are selling, compare prices, quality, etc.
Why selling on marketplaces is good?
As we said, online marketplaces allow retailers to reach big audiences, which is a good enough reason to start selling there. But there are also great opportunities to start retailing in other countries or to test a new product for a market.
How to prepare for sales in marketplaces?
The basic rule in online commerce is that the customer buys when there is enough information. That is why you should strive to give the most informative product descriptions and provide quality product photos.
Another essential step is to plan the delivery. What kind of transport will you use – courier delivery, drop-shipping model, or delivery organized by the platform? The delivery method has to be convenient for you as a salesman and for the customer. You have to pay attention to the order to be received as soon as possible.
However, all of this should lay on a solid base that you can build by regularly product, descriptions, prices, and stock updating. If your product portfolio is extensive, it is a good idea to consider automating the manual work. The reason why is that manual work usually leads to many errors. And the unpleasant situations with customers who have ordered a product with an incorrect price or one that we do not have in stock will be more and more.
PIM systems (product information management systems) are here to help you with that automation. They centralize the product information and sends it to all sales channels (on your online store or various distribution channels and marketplaces). So, using a PIM system, you will have equal information (descriptions, prices, images, etc.) on all channels. Аnd that helps for the overall branding. On the other hand, through their ability to integrate with ERP and warehousing systems, they prevent the possibility of erroneous stocks. We will talk about them in more detail in our following articles, so stay tuned.