5 Tips for a Winning Online Marketplace Store
Selling on marketplaces isn’t rocket science, but it’s not that simple either. Learn how to set up your online marketplace store for success with these five easy steps.
Selling on marketplaces can position your products in front of millions of potential new customers. However, simply listing your products on an online marketplace won’t automatically lead to sales. Unless you’re already a household brand, you’ll have to sweat a bit more than that.
Listing products on a marketplace is pointless if you just use it as a catalogue. Your products may be out there, but are you getting views? Are you generating interest? Are you making sales?
There are plenty of ways to win on marketplaces. Here are our top five tips to get you started on your marketplace journey.
Choose the right online marketplace
When it comes to online marketplaces, there is no one size fits all. In fact, there are multiple platforms that offer a broad range of products that target specific buyers. When you think of an online marketplace with a variety of product listings, you may be thinking of Amazon. If you’re selling in Australia and New Zealand, you need to consider where people are shopping.
There are other marketplaces pointed at specific categories such as fashion, sports, electronics, and more. If you want to find the best marketplace for your products and customers, then you need to look at what you’re selling and consider who you’re targeting.
For example, you don’t want to list your skateboarding products on a marketplace aimed at people over the age of 50. Likewise, selling clothes on a marketplace that usually features furniture will make your store out of place. It’s best to do your research on buyer demographics before signing up for any marketplace.
Don’t limit yourself to one platform, either. More often than not, the businesses that win on marketplaces have multiple sales channels. There are hundreds of online marketplaces to choose from. Knowing your target customer will allow you to identify which platform can deliver the best results.
Follow online marketplace standards
It’s important to note that marketplaces have strict standards for product listings. Not following them could result in the suspension of your account. The next three points are standard best practices that will help your customers find and buy your products.
1. Use this format for your product titles
Online marketplaces want their sellers to use consistent titles across their platform. The clearer the title, the easier it is for buyers to find your products.
Follow this format for the perfect title:
[Brand] + [Product Name/Type] + [Quantity/Size/Colour]
Don’t dump all your keywords in your product titles as this will look messy and create confusion for potential buyers. Instead, add relevant keywords in the product description or the keyword section.
Here’s a list of things to avoid when writing product titles:
- Using product codes or numbers
- Using synonyms or duplicate words
- Spelling mistakes and typos
- WRITING IN CAPS
Stick to this formula for every listing and you’ll be right on track. It will put you ahead of so many competitors who still make basic mistakes. This will also keep the marketplace administrators happy.
2. Write clear product descriptions
Did you know that the average human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish? If you want to catch people’s attention, then you need to do it within 8.25 seconds. This is why it’s key to write product descriptions that are clear, concise, and complete.
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. What information would help you make a buying decision? Be direct in describing the product by adding important details such as brand, colour, size, materials, and how it’s used. If you’re not telling people what they need to know, then they will likely click out of your page to look for another seller.
Listing specs in bullets is a great way to lighten the read for potential customers. Additionally, don’t forget to provide a short but detailed account of what makes your product unique and the call to action to buy from you.
3. Use high-quality images
Lastly, include high-resolution images in various angles to accurately represent the product. This way, consumers have a better idea of what they’ll receive.
Great images help you convert more sales and deliver a better online shopping experience.
Think of your online marketplace store as your shop window or sales floor. Customers want to visualise how your product will look in their home or when they put it on. High-quality images give them the confidence to buy now.
On the other hand, avoid using images that are low quality or have watermarks as customers may perceive them as cheap or lower quality products. Marketplaces such as MyDeal, Amazon, Catch, and Kogan have strict rules that reject products that have images with watermarks. Additionally, don’t use pictures showing multiple products unless you’re selling them as a bundle. Otherwise, customers may tag your listing as misleading when they receive only one item.
Reading product reviews is often the final step before customers make a buying decision. Having high ratings and positive reviews from previous customers will give new ones the confidence to buy today.
Quality reviews may lead to sales and they’re also a good avenue for after-sales services. Use less-than-stellar reviews as insights on how to improve your offerings or service. This shows customers that you care about their feedback and ultimately leads to a boost in your brand reputation.
Respond to queries as quickly as possible
In such a competitive space, the speed at which you respond to customer enquiries can impact your sales and revenue. Replying in a timely manner can influence impulsive shoppers to buy from you now instead of looking for another seller.
A customer who’s shopping around is more likely to shortlist sellers who respond fast. If you take 12 hours to respond or not respond over weekends, then you will likely miss out on sales.
While a quick reply is great, do remember that speed isn’t everything. The accuracy of your replies also impacts the customer’s buying decision. Providing all the requested information shows a high level of customer service that can ultimately convince shoppers to buy from you. This also applies to after-sales services as it helps you avoid order cancellations and negative reviews.
Embrace emerging technologies and out-of-the-box integrations
Managing an ecommerce website requires a different style and approach from managing an online marketplace store. You set the rules for your website and are free to position your products as you see fit. With an online marketplace, you’re bound by their selling rules.
You can make marketplace management easier on yourself with technologies that streamline how you list your products, support your customers, and fulfill your orders across different platforms. There are plenty of integration tools that will connect your ecommerce site to your marketplaces.
ChannelAdvisor and Maropost provide centralised platforms for multichannel management needs. Tools such as Omnivore, Codisto, and CED Commerce help streamline product importing, inventory management, pricing management, and order processing.
Learning and integrating these technologies allows you to manage your sales channels and implement online marketplace strategies more efficiently.
Start your online marketplace journey
Whether you’re a new seller or an established brand, selling and winning on marketplaces can be challenging and requires focus. Given these points, there are ways to set your online marketplace store up for success.
Alternatively, you can hire an ecommerce manager to help you go further with your sales strategies. Ozzca is here to help you!
Ozzca is a retail marketplace solutions provider that serves Australia and New Zealand. We can help you with all the steps mentioned above plus more. If you need an expert in marketplace strategies, please contact us at Ozzca@ozzca.com to get started.