Best practices on Marketplaces

Holiday Season Best Practices on Marketplaces

Online marketplaces have been coming into their own over the last couple of years. In 2015, Amazon and eBay alone accounted for 29.1% of all U.S. online retail sales. That’s massive!

Recent research indicated that over half of all online shoppers now begin their product searches on marketplaces like Amazon, instead of search engines like Google or Bing. With brick-and-mortar retailers facing strong headwinds at the same time, the importance of online marketplaces to retailers and brands is only going to grow this holiday season.

Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of essential best practices you must implement to sell and grow on the top marketplaces this holiday season.

Best Practices on Marketplaces - Amazon

It’s Time to Embrace Amazon Prime

Amazon’s Prime program has seen stupendous growth in 2015 and 2016. Prime members on Amazon, now outnumber non-members with 63 million Prime accounts reported at last count. Prime members spend more than twice what non-members do annually ($1200 vs. $500). They shop more often too, making them a “Prime” target for sellers.

Capture this lucrative audience by leveraging Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) or Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) programs.

Maximize Visibility for Your Products

Amazon’s Sponsored Products program is the quickest way to drive visibility for new products on the platform. It also helps with better discoverability for your products already competing for the Buy Box.

Another important way to grow visibility for your product assortment is to optimize your product data with key search terms relevant to your products. Here’s an in-depth look at optimizing product data for organic search on marketplaces.

Step Up Those Promotions

We’ve all heard it over and over, online shoppers love free shipping deals. We’ve found free shipping offers to be almost as effective as Prime deals in driving conversions during peak periods.

Use the Promotions tool within Seller Central to set up a variety of promotions, including free shipping and percentage off discounts targeting holiday shoppers. Amazon’s Lightning Deals are another useful promotional platform that are now available self-serve, to all sellers.

Expected Customer Service Levels

  • 24 Hrs. for questions
  • 3 Business days for claims

 

Best Practices on Marketplaces - eBay

Data Quality

Focus on improving the quality of your product data to help them surface more often in search and browse sessions on eBay. Pay close attention to Product IDs, item specifics & attributes to ensure a high quality score.

Visibility

As with Amazon, eBay hosts millions of products on its marketplace, making it tough for your products to stand out from competition. Maintaining low prices on eBay helps increase visibility.

Promoted Listings is a Cost Per Acquisition(CPA)-style program for driving increased visibility to your products. The placements serve in the 4th and 5th slots in eBay’s search results, providing a more native ad experience.

Metrics

While maintaining good metrics (read “strong performance”) on any marketplace is critical for your bottom-line, eBay rewards sellers who exhibit top-rated metrics with high visibility and consequently, higher conversions.

What metrics matter in this regard, you ask? Your Transaction Defect Rate and Cases Closed w/o Seller Resolution are the two most important metrics to stay on top of.

Expected Customer Service Levels

  • 24-72 Hrs. for questions
  • 3 Business days for claims

 

Best Practices on Marketplaces - Jet

Images Make a Difference

One of the newest marketplaces on the block, Jet.com lays strong emphasis on high quality product images. In fact, we recommend our Jet.com sellers to list not just one great image, but multiple high quality images, that showcase their products to the best advantage.

Jet also allows you to set up close-up shots or “swatch images” to showcase fabrics or textures of your product in their “Swatch Image” field.

Descriptions & Bullets

Unlike other marketplaces; on Jet, it’s best to go with product descriptions in complete sentences, with all necessary information about the product included. Use bullet points to cover information that is not already there in the product description. Jet allows for five bullets on each product page at this time.

Attributes

Don’t miss out on spelling out the correct attributes for your products. Attributes like size, material, color, assembled dimensions, etc. help customers make more informed purchase decisions. Including the right attributes helps your products surface in browse sessions with very specific filters or long tail keyword searches on marketplaces.

 

Expected Customer Service Levels

  • 24-48 Hrs. for questions
  • 24 Hrs. for escalated claims

 

 

Best Practices on Marketplaces - Walmart

Work to be Visible

For Search – Use SEO best practices in your item descriptions and titles. Pay close attention to optimizing important elements like Product Name, Images, Bullets, Short and Long Descriptions to maximize visibility on Walmart’s fledgling marketplace.

For Browse – Map your products to the right categories to ensure they surface on relevant sessions. Add required and optional attributes to your feed to increase your chances of visibility and conversion.

Here are some quick pointers for key optimization elements that enhance visibility:

Product Name

  • At least 50 characters in length
  • Create a unique product name that isn’t used elsewhere
  • Include the Brand name and any specific attributes that make the item stand out

Product Description

  • At least 500 characters in length, with a maximum of 1000 characters or between 5 to 10 sentences
  • Include the Product Name
  • Include the Brand name
  • Include keywords describing the item’s features and benefits

Long Description

  • At least 1000 characters in length with a maximum of 4000 characters or a list of between 10 and 30 features and benefits
  • Include the Product Name
  • Include the Brand name
  • Make sure that your list Includes the keywords that describe the item’s features and benefits

Shelf Description

  • Include the 3 most important benefits and features of your item
  • Include keywords in the description
  • Include your image filename in the item’s image URL. Keep in mind that the maximum URL length is less than 2000 characters
  • Include as much of the Product Name as you can

 

Pricing

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to maintain price parity with sellers on any marketplace. Walmart is no different.

Use Walmart’s Smart Pricing Reports to identify products within range of the Buy Box and work on making them more competitive. The reports will tell you how price competitive your products are and whether you’re achieving price parity with other sellers.

Unleash those Promotions

Use Badge promotions, such as “Clearance” or “Reduced” to draw attention to your listings. Cart promotions help drive conversions. For instance, the “Peekaboo Price” cart promotion allows for price to be displayed only upon checkout.

Images that Pack a Punch

Help your products stand out with images that grab the eye. Don’t forget to include alt text for your product images to help them be more visible in search and browse sessions.

Alt text must include at least 25 characters with a maximum of 150 characters or between 5 to 30 keywords. Remember to include the Product Name, Brand name and any of the item’s keywords that describe the image in your alt text.

 

Expected Customer Service Levels

  • 24-48 Hrs. for questions
  • 24 Hrs. for escalated claims

 

 

Best Practices on Marketplaces - NewEgg

Invest in Merchandising Promotions

Take advantage of available promotions during Q4, with unique merchandising opportunities in the crucial holiday months of November and December

Access Your Product Portfolio

Curate your gifting and trending items for merchandising promotions. Mind your pricing – stay competitive by keeping an eye on competitors’ prices especially during the holiday season.

Sell exclusive products? Make it obvious and leverage your products’ exclusivity to grab more eyeballs.

Improve Product Content

Help your products stand out from competitors by taking advantage of Newegg’s A+ Content Services. These services help you build robust product page content for your high velocity SKUs, thus improving conversions.

Expected Customer Service Levels

  • 24 Hrs. for questions
  • 48 Hrs. for claims

 

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