Some things in life just don’t work out. Relationships, jobs, diets, and that marketplace listing that’s doing nothing for your profits. Knowing when and how to remove a product from your online marketplace is crucial. Wait too long, and you’re wasting warehousing space and listing fees. Act too soon, and you could miss out on sales that ads and free shipping could create.
This article looks at when and how to remove a product from sale, in the least profit-damaging way.
When to remove a product from a marketplace
Removing a product from your online marketplace isn’t ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary to prevent long-lasting profit damage. There are four main circumstances when you need to consider removing your product before it’s sold out:
1) There’s an error
The most obvious reason is that there is an error with the listing, the product, or the supply of the product. You need to make the listing inactive until you’ve solved the error to prevent damaging your brand image and unsatisfying your customers.
2) It’s not selling
Some products just do not sell, no matter how long you wait or how much money you plow into promotion. If you’ve persevered and it’s still not selling after checking the box on listing best practices, it’s time to save your listing and warehouse fees and remove it from sale.
3) It’s not profitable
Other products sell really well, they just don’t generate a profit. Loss-leaders can work when they encourage shoppers to buy other products and spend more, but if they’re not then it is time to remove and save your listing, warehouse and shipping costs.
4) It’s impacting your ratings
Finally, if a product is prompting a lot of negative customers review, you need to delist and delete pronto to avoid damage to the listings that you want to keep.
How to remove a product from a marketplace
Bad products happen to even the most successful eCommerce businesses, but it’s how you approach the removal of a product from a marketplace that sets apart the experienced from the amateur online sellers. You want to try and squeeze as much money out of the product first, before resigning it to the bin.
Is removal the right choice?
Before initiating the steps to remove a product from an online marketplace completely, first question if removal is the right choice.
If an item isn’t selling or generating a profit, try to first increase sales through:
- Fast shipping tags
- Working with multiple sales channels
- Offering free delivery
- Improving your customer service
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to start your removal strategy.
1) Try to sell out
If it’s still necessary to remove your product, first you want to cancel any reorders and sell all remaining stock. You can accelerate this by:
All of the big online marketplaces have CPC advertising programs, such as Walmart Performance Ads, that promote the listing on search results, product pages, and category pages. This increases the visibility of your product, which increases the chances of a sale.
To improve the chances of sale even further, list the product on a fast shipping program such as eBay Guaranteed Delivery. This gets the listing a highlighted fast shipping tag, as well as the appearance in any filtered search results, and it’s a conversion-winning tactic that encourages shoppers through the checkout.
It almost goes without saying that offering a discount will encourage more sales, but you can further enhance the success of discounts by promoting it visually, through channels such as Walmart Promotions, and combining it with free shipping (another customer favorite).
Finally, a great trick for moving items quickly is to bundle it with a more popular item. This will speed up the depletion of your stock and, if offered at a discount, can improve customer happiness and spending.
2) Sell remaining stock in bulk
Once you’ve exhausted trying to sell your remaining stock to casual consumers, you might try selling your remaining items in bulk. Offer special bulk pricing and see if others go for the bait. It’s also possible other providers may out your stock if you’re offering low enough prices.
3) Pull the SKU
Once you’ve eliminated your remaining supplies either to customers, sellers or the garbage, it’s time to pull the SKU from your sales channels.
Removing an item from Amazon
Making your Amazon listing inactive is simple. From the Manage Inventory page, find and select the product you want to remove, click the Action drop-down menu at the top of the page, and select Close Listing to make it inactive, or Delete Product and Listing to remove it permanently.
Removing an item from eBay
To cancel an eBay listing, head to the Seller Hub, click End a listing (under shortcuts), enter the item number, confirm the reason for ending your listing and click End My Listing.
Note that auction listings must have no bids or have at least 12 hours left on the auction; otherwise you’ll need to sell it to the highest bidder.
Removing an item from Walmart
To remove an item from Walmart, head to the Seller Centre and Manage Items. Select the product you want to delist and click Retire Item. It can take between 24-48 hours for the item to completely deactivate.
Removing an item from Shopify
In Shopify, to remove an item, you must head to the Products page in Shopify Admin. Select the product you want to remove, click Actions and select Delete selected products.
To remove a product from Shopify, go to the products page in your Shopify Admin, select the product(s) you want to delete, click Actions and select Delete selected products and confirm.
Removing an item from multiple sales channels
If you want to delete multiple items across multiple sales channels, you can do this in bulk using your multi-channel listing software.
No one lists a product on an online marketplace with the intention of removing it before it’s sold out, but mistakes happen, and that’s all part of growing a successful eCommerce store.
Reduce the impact of an unsuccessful item by taking steps to increase sales using fast shipping, marketplace promotions, and free deliveries, and then remove the SKU following these easy steps.