Digital marketplaces are exploding.
Valuations of digital marketplaces are increasing at a rapid pace. Since 2020 the total valuation of marketplace unicorns has increased by 70%. Although this may have happened anyway, the pandemic drove both innovation and adoption of digital marketplaces. According to Deloitte, gross merchandise value grew by 81% year-over-year, outpacing the general e-commerce market.
So brands have to take marketplaces seriously. If they do not, they may find themselves playing catch up.
But how do you get started with marketplaces? How should you sell products on other marketplaces? What do brands need to do to take advantage of the huge growth in marketplace usage? Should brands also think about creating their own marketplace channels?
Let’s look at some best practices for selling on and engaging with digital marketplaces.
Let’s dig in.
Best Practices For Selling On Digital Marketplaces – Be Customer-centric
There is no commerce without customers.
Customers in today’s digital landscape expect convenience, transparency and safety. They also want shopping experiences that are personal to them.
But being customer-centric has benefits for brands who are selling on marketplaces too. Positive interactions with customers on marketplaces improves sales and revenue. You can also use customer-centric practices to stay up-to-date with customer sentiment. You can use this data to improve your offering to customers.
Here are some first steps that will help you show a customer-centric mentality on marketplaces.
Return policies – Make your return policies as customer-friendly as you can. While making sure you can maintain profitability.
Reviews – Track reviews on the third-party marketplaces you have chosen to engage with. Engage with customers who might have had a bad experience. This can drive improvements. You should do the same if you are operating your own marketplace platform.
Social Media – Monitoring social media helps you get actionable data on sentiment around your brand.
Privacy Policies – Although most customers will not read them, privacy policies can give some customers peace of mind on how you use their data and how secure that data is.
Best Practices For Selling On Digital Marketplaces – Content, Content, Content!
Content is key for both third-party marketplaces. It’s even more crucial if you are starting your own marketplace platform.
If you are using a third-party marketplace, the content you will have to focus on the most is product copy and imagery. This can tie into marketplace SEO. For example optimized product copy may help you to appear in searches related to your product on third-party marketplaces.
You should also use high-resolution product imagery for your marketplace listings. This makes your product more enticing to shoppers.
If you want to start your own marketplace platform, content will be even more important. You will have more control over what customers see. But you will also have to help those customers with more in-depth information. For example, you will have to create content for your marketplace that addresses customer concerns and pain points. This helps to minimize the amount of contact your customer support staff will have with your customers.
If you have your own marketplace (or the third-party marketplace you are working with allows it) you should consider adding video into your content mix. It’s more dynamic and will help to drive more conversions from your marketplace. You should also consider livestreams, if the products or services you sell on your marketplace are compatible with that format.
Best Practices For Selling On Digital Marketplaces – Advertising
Most third-party marketplaces that a brand might choose to engage with offer a full suite of advertising options. This can be very lucrative for marketplaces. In 2022, marketplace advertising generated $37.74 billion dollars for Amazon.
If you are selling on a third-party marketplace, take advantage of the advertising options that are available. On Amazon this means sponsored products or even product display ads. Average click through rates on Amazon are around 0.35%, which does not seem high. But the huge volume of users means you can get your brand seen by more potential customers.
Best Practices For Selling On Digital Marketplaces – Show Fulfillment Options
Customer expectations on order fulfillment are very high.
People expect next day delivery and real-time order tracking. But this can be very costly and time-consuming for most companies. It is also very complex. Managing orders across multiple marketplaces and channels can be overwhelming.
The answer to this issue is automation.
Businesses should attempt to automate fulfillment processes as much as they can. It also helps you to illustrate strong fulfillment options to customers. Depending on the third-party marketplace platform you are engaging with, you may be able to use their fulfillment services. For example, Fulfillment by Amazon takes a lot of the pain out of this process.
But giving customers visibility is crucial. Businesses should use automated shipment tracking to show customers where their order is and how long it will take to arrive.
If you are starting your own marketplace then you will need to optimize your existing order tracking and fulfillment processes. This can be tough. But companies like MAQE can help you implement robust back-end processes so your customers will know what is going on with their orders.
Should Your Company Start Its Own Marketplace?
If you are considering starting your own marketplace platform, there are a lot of things to consider.
Starting a marketplace is a challenge. There are a lot of barriers to overcome but the potential benefits are huge.
Most companies will need technical, operational and strategic help to start their own marketplace. MAQE has worked in commerce for a long time and we have a lot of experience working with marketplaces. Get in touch with us if you want to talk about building a marketplace for your brand.
Talk to MAQE
Need marketplace help? Talk to MAQE. We have years of commerce experience and we are partners with Adobe and Mirakl. We can help you to build your own marketplace. Or we can optimize your processes so you can better engage with third-party marketplaces. Send us an email via [email protected] to discuss your needs.