As the market shifts, brands are turning to Amazon and other marketplaces to increase visibility among potential customers and capture more sales.
But as brands develop marketplace strategies, it can be difficult to manage each marketplace’s varying rules and regulations. Nuances have emerged across each marketplace in terms of programs, audiences, pricing strategies and tactics for success. To maximize conversions and sales, brands must understand best practices for each channel.
Understanding marketplace nuances
So what’s important for brands to keep in mind as they consider expanding sales on each marketplace?
- Amazon: While Amazon may seem like the most natural first step for many brands, there are several components that play into a successful sales strategy on the marketplace giant. The key to success on Amazon is meeting the marketplace’s standards with accurate product information and imagery, low error rates and fast and reliable shipping.
Amazon rewards sellers that meet its standards with high seller ratings, and punishes those that don’t. Amazon will actually kick off sellers with consistently low ratings. However, top performing sellers enjoy perks like high search rankings, sponsored products or a spot in the coveted Buy Box. In turn, these perks generate more visibility and awareness — a perfect example of Amazon’s flywheel effect theory.
Additionally, Amazon’s success means sellers face high competition and difficulty differentiating. Along with ensuring quality customer service and earning high seller ratings, sellers that invest in advertising on the site gain increased visibility and ultimately drive more sales.
- eBay: One of the original marketplace powerhouses, eBay focuses only on third-party sellers and also offers an auction format. The marketplace is great for resellers so long as they implement a solid pricing strategy based on the type of products for sale. For rare products, sellers find success setting prices low and letting bidders raise the price. For competitive products pricing could mean missing out on profits. Instead, list the product at the price you actually want.
Also, certain products tend to sell better on eBay compared to other marketplaces. While Amazon is known for household items and books, eBay is known for electronics, such as laptops, game consoles and smartphones. In fact, the top five highest selling items on eBay are electronics.
- Jet.com: One of Jet.com’s most unique features is its multiple orders per cart feature. When users add more products to the cart, they can earn more discounts. Sellers can opt into this rules engine to offer unique discounts based on the number of items a user adds to his or her cart. While this feature can help all brands drive higher average order values, it’s particularly helpful for smaller brands looking to earn visibility and name recognition on marketplaces.
- Walmart: Walmart is newer on the scene, but offers a great opportunity for newer sellers that struggle to gain visibility on Amazon — or current Amazon sellers looking to diversify. Walmart is less competitive and enforces fewer rules. The marketplace is home to a few thousand sellers, compared to Amazon’s two million, which means Walmart tends to be more accommodating to sellers (e.g. they don’t get punished for low seller ratings). But despite the relatively low number of sellers, the site tends to attract a loyal customer base thanks to its brand name recognition.
Work with a partner that knows marketplaces inside and out
Even with a solid understanding of the nuances among marketplaces, it can be tough for brands to keep up on their own. Many brands (and retailers selling on marketplaces) work with technologies and consulting partners that have relationships with marketplaces. This gives them the ability to to offer tailored strategies to help sellers grow.
The right marketplace tools enable brands to house their entire catalog in one place, and alter the product selection for each marketplace based on its customer base and competition. In addition, a good partner can ensure that product information like naming conventions, attributes, size and color meet the standards of each marketplace.
A marketplace strategy is a must for brands, but navigating the various sites without the help of a partner that truly understands the industry inside and out is no easy feat.
Learn more about CommerceHub’s marketplace offerings today.