All the predictions claiming Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday to be a high-intensity sales period stands true. Adobe Analytics predicted the online purchase to the amount of $23 billion between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. It predicted Cyber Monday to be the highest sales day at $7.8 billion in sales and majority of the sales were accumulated by selling on ecommerce marketplaces.
As the pundits have guessed it, the period between Thanksgiving & Cyber Monday witnessed the highest sale period with $24.2 billion. The individual contribution of each day is as follows:
|Day||Sales ( in billion U.S. dollars)||Increase (y-o-y)|
|Small Business Saturday and Sunday (combined)||6.4||25% each day|
Source: Adobe analytics & CNBC
The overall period from November 1 – 26 drove $58.5 billion in online sales, a 19.9 percent increase, with every day generating over $1 billion. Ecommerce marketplaces got the biggest share of the online sales. The Amazon marketplace sellers also witnessed a 20% y-o-y increase on black friday.
What will you find in this article ?
Time to reflect and prepare:
Now that the peak season has passed and sales are normal. It’s time to reflect and find out the mistakes that wronged you. What product you expected to go big became a failure? Which one surprised you? Which marketing strategies helped you see the light of the day and which one backfired?
There are multiple things to analyze. Each needs careful evaluation for miscalculation will only bring misfortune. If the right metrics aren’t tracked, right conclusion can’t be made and thereon.
However, there is one thing you should definitely answer, Were you selling on marketplaces at all? If the answer is no. The aforementioned data will only tell you where you lost.
Benefits of selling on ecommerce Marketplaces:
1. Seamless payment processes:
Choice of payment processes differs from region to region. The developed world prefers Paypal whereas Asians generally don’t. Chinese use Alipay and Wechat and Indian prefer COD. However, it is a credit card is the most popular method of payment across the world.
It is here marketplaces provide great assistance to online merchants. They can choose generally from larger payment methods available. These marketplaces have partnerships with leading payment gateways, also it results in the lower transaction fee.
2. Established Fulfillment network:
Like payment systems, people across geographies have different tastes for their preferred fulfillment method. The U.S customers want direct delivery to their doorsteps whereas French also expects the same but with some collection points. Therefore it adds to the complexity to the operations and adds constant innovations to that, therefore relying on 3P fulfilment partner or, adhering to marketplaces’ fulfillment service should be followed.
3. Localized Listings:
People are more comfortable in their native language and technologies are also embracing these. Listing on marketplaces also gives you an edge here. You can easily localize your marketing and merchandise strategy. It is easy to translate the product information and create a copy that resonates with buyer aspirations.
4. Deeper Insights:
Marketplaces have analytical tools and have deep insights on what matters the most, what makes users hit “Add to Cart”, what are their preferences which of the products can be a hit and which potential disaster. Leveraging their intelligence and insights sellers can reach to the complete new buyers which otherwise would have been completely inaccessible.
5. M-Commerce presence:
Though desktop holds the bigger share of eCommerce sales, the majority of the product searches takes place on mobile. As these marketplaces are rich with resources, they built their mobile apps that adhere to lates customer preferences and ever-evolving technological changes.
However, not every marketplace seller succeeded in 2018 as well. So what to do to get your marketplace numbers soaring in 2019. Here’s the list.
Tips to selling more on ecommerce marketplaces
1. Choose the correct Ecommerce marketplace
The first and foremost key is to figure out which marketplace to sell to. Everyone knows about the market leader Amazon. Then there is eBay, Etsy, Walmart, Jet.com, and many more.
However, the key is to zero down on the right set of marketplaces. Amazon, eBay, and Walmart are the universal marketplace i.e. they host sellers from almost all of the categories. One con of selling on these popular ecommerce marketplaces is the high competition is inevitable.
There are multiple things to take into consideration before you choose a particular marketplace. To summarize everything into one sentence you must analyze if the marketplace is the congregation of the buyer personas you want to sell to; if the leading product categories of the marketplaces coincide with your product categories; is ROI from selling on a particular marketplace worth it.
If you have an answer to all of the above questions, you would have figured out the answer to your question to some degree. For example, Newegg is a great place to sell all things related to computer and related appliances. Not only this here you can sell t-shirts as well. However, I-love-Android type t-shirts are likely to perform better here. The reason is quite conspicuous – Newegg caters to gadget-lovers and geeks.
Similarly, wish.com is great at generic brands. If you’re not a high-end premium brand, this is the marketplace to consider. Majority of the sellers, on this website, are based out of China, and customers are willing to wait for 15-20 days to receive an affordable product.
However, if you’re a category killer and marvel in a particular product category, Walmart is the best place to sell your products. Following infographics contains the data of the major marketplaces, product categories, buyer personas and countries of their presence.
2. Join Marketplace’s Fast Delivery Program:
Amazon has FBA, eBay has Guaranteed delivery, Sears has Fulfillment by Sears, Wish has Wish express. Every marketplace has their own fastest mode of delivery.
There is a reason behind it. The faster delivery promise is responsible for the massive success of Amazon Prime. In addition to millennials, this benefits those late-risers who always shop at last moment.
Faster Delivery was the key ingredient of Amazon Prime’s success
Although the aforementioned stats are bit older, however, they put things in perspective as to why Amazon Prime was hugely popular. Therefore, enrolling for faster delivery programs ensures you to generate higher visibility for your listings at marketplaces. The following table contains the list of ecommerce marketplaces and their corresponding ecommerce fulfillment services:
|Ecommerce Marketplace||Fulfillment Network|
|eBay||eBay Guaranteed Delivery|
Walmart has also partnered with 3P logistics and shipment companies empowering its sellers to ship faster. It encourages sellers to subscribe to its 2-day delivery services.
3. Optimize Product Content:
As the festive season is in full swing, it’s the time of the year where everyone gets involved in merrymaking and exchanging gifts. However, a large customer base exactly doesn’t know what to gift, here is where you can score big. You may enter the relevant keywords in the Title and descriptions. Choose from the following keywords, most relevant, to your listings.
Add Tags and define Attributes:
Mapping the categories of the products is the most important and the necessary step which the seller must keep in mind. The step puts their products in the right places.
Though Category mapping lands you the product at the right places, almost all of the sellers do that, so what makes your listings to stand out. It is the additional attributes and product tags. The advance attributes works as an adjective to the product to increase the search visibility.
Etsy and Wish have product tags, whereas, Walmart, Bonanza, and Sears have additional attributes and meta tags. These attributes and meta tags are the additional product information which as seller use to reach their products.
The attribute option empowers sellers to enter the details, preferred by Walmart for Internal Search Rankings or they’re entered by Walmart Customers such as Brand Name or Release
The more the better. Every marketplace considers positive reviews when ranking the products for a particular search. Although, no one reveals their exact ranking algorithm, nonetheless, products with good ranking always find a place on top positions.
Walmart Search: Shoes with high reviews occupy top positions
Amazon Search: Small Appliances with high reviews occupy top positions
Etsy Search: Most Popular items at Etsy Home page with high reviews also occupy top positions
Now that it’s a proven fact that, customer reviews do influence search rankings of the items, it is quintessential for your to ask buyers to share a positive experience with your product.
3. Great Customer service:
Customer service is the make-or-break factor. Amazon and Alibaba are the thriving examples. They’ve proved that ecommerce is a service industry than a product-driven industry. It’s all due to the uber service they provide to their customers. Therefore, all of these marketplaces want sellers who can provide an uber experience.
They’ve laid down certain metrics too to track the performance of the sellers which are as follows:
- On-time shipment
- Accurate products shipped
- Cancellation rate
- Returns due to damaged or defective products
- Emergency updates to product information
- 90 Day Seller Rating
- Customer service escalations
- Acknowledge order within time-frame
- Shipment confirmation notice during a fix time duration
- Refund request redressal time-period
- Promptness in a customer’s call response
- Promptness in a customers email response
4. Use Native Ad Platform:
The digital advertisement has increased over the years. There are several factors responsible for it – a paradigm shift in consumer’s behavior towards digital and the ability to measure the response and effectiveness of a campaign to a higher degree.
Facebook and Google, almost, have the duopoly on the digital advertising. However, in this data-driven world, there are several other avenues coming up. In this regard, the majority of the ecommerce marketplaces have come up with their own native ad platforms.
Since they’re familiar with the customer responses and their shopping behavior and the buyer personas purchasing from it, their advertising mechanism has a higher affinity to convert a visitor into a buyer.
Therefore, it is advisable to invest into the native ad platform of these respective ecommerce marketplaces. Following is the list of ecommerce marketplaces that offer native advertising and their corresponding ad platforms:
|Ecommerce Marketplace||Native Ads Network|
|Walmart||Walmart Media Group|
|Bonanza||Bonanza Turbo Traffic|
The advantage of using Native Ads Platform over other types of the promotional platform is ecommerce marketplaces are strategically better placed to understand the needs of the customers making a purchase from their platform. Therefore, the conversion rate is better for Native Ad platform.
5. Choose Marketplace Listing Software
As multichannel is becoming the go-to strategy for online sellers, merchants are looking out for more avenues to reach their dedicated audiences. However, with the increased number of channels, inventory and order management, if done manually, becomes gargantuan. Usually, online sellers have thousands of SKUs which are needed to be listed to multiple channels.
Added to the complexity is when every channel has their own set of guidelines to be followed. It becomes cumbersome a task to manage the listings in this case. Therefore, it is highly advisable to opt for a Marketplace Listing Software in 2019.
The software not only helps to deduce any upload errors, but it also makes the movement of large item data across channel a seamless operation. It alerts the sellers whenever any product is in violation of any marketplace guideline or any order comes.
Additionally, features such as auto-order accept, compatibility with 3P shipping app makes this solution an end-to-end solution for all things related to online selling.
Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, and Etsy and others are the most popular marketplaces customers use to make a purchase. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are the open marketplaces that don’t require sellers to get approved before listing their items. However, to sell on Walmart the sellers need approval, read the blog How to sell on Walmart: A Complete Guide.