So, what exactly is a Marketplace?
From a consumer perspective, a marketplace is an online store that allows them to shop for various products from different sellers. From a business perspective, a marketplace allows companies to sell all their different products on a single e-commerce platform that offers more visitors and reach than their own dedicated online shop could. Thanks to this concept, marketplaces offer an extremely varied range of products (much more than a regular store possibly could), making it an attractive option for online customers. For each sale, the marketplace receives a fee.
As a retailer or brand, marketplaces come with serious possibilities to widen your horizon and sell to people in different parts of the world. But even if you’re less ambitious, it will become increasingly hard to run a successful business in the future without embracing marketplaces as an outlet for your products or services. As marketplaces keep gaining ground online, it will no longer be sufficient to simply have your own online shop or website. In order to increase sales and brand awareness, you need to build a strong presence in the places the draw in the most online shoppers. That’s why it is crucial to find your way into (several) marketplaces.
Even though selling products on a marketplace is relatively easy, it’s still important to have a properly designed strategy that ensures your efforts are successful. This strategy should be customer-centric first and foremost, and always be based on market research. But running a marketplace business is not the same as running your own online shop; pricing, listings, PPC, campaigns, stock, fulfilment, and customer service are often all managed differently. In addition to these operational aspects, it’s data, and more specifically product data, that will determine your success on a marketplace.
When customers shop online, correct data and product information is the one thing they need most of all. Data can literally make or break a sale. Without providing high quality, complete, consistent, and accurate data, selling online will prove to be quite the uphill battle.
Here an example of an listing at amazon that needs improvements:
This is what needs to be improved in this listing:
- The title of the listing is too short (min 150 characters), not clear, and doesn't contain some of the important keywords
- There should always be at least 7 images on a listing - not only one
- The bullet points do not describe the features of the product, and there are not enough bullet points
- The rating needs attention
Example below shows more than competitive 770 results for the keyword “Laptop standaard”.
Managing all this product data can be extremely challenging too. Especially if you have an extensive catalogue, and sell through multiple channels within different markets and countries. Since marketplaces all have their own requirements in regards to product data, managing this information becomes even more complex.
Introducing Product Information Management (PIM) to the equation allows you to face these challenges head on, and turn your strategy into success. A PIM solution provides you with the tools to manage all your product data in one place, from which you can easily publish product data to all your channels, including marketplaces, with up-to-date and relevant information.
Ready for take-off?
To enable a successful digital transformation you need a flexible and comprehensive approach. One that starts with data, but always ends with tangible business outcomes. You’re correct to assume this can be a very challenging undertaking. At SQLI, we’re experienced in helping companies to develop and implement a successful Product Information and Marketplace strategy. Check out our Marketplace services page for more details.