Online marketplaces are a fantastic way to reach thousands of customers from one platform. Take Amazon for example: 150 million unique monthly visitors, all looking and ready to buy something. This enormous opportunity for eCommerce sellers only gets better – with the unrestricted ability to expand to new marketplaces, reaching additional audiences.
For those businesses looking to take the jump, we’ve gathered the top eCommerce experts’ advice on how to expand to a new marketplace successfully.
Why expand to a new marketplace
Expanding to a new marketplace (known as multi-channel selling) is a popular growth strategy for many eCommerce businesses and brands. Why?
46.7% of online shoppers start their search on Amazon. If you’re not on Amazon, you’re missing out on those customers; and, if you are only on Amazon, you’re missing out on the 53.3% shopping elsewhere. Expanding to a new sales channel gives you access to a new audience – one that finds a marketplace and sticks to it for all of their future purchases. And, with new audiences, comes more reviews, recommendations, and sales.
Building a recognizable brand in a world with thousands of big names, small names, and everything in between is challenging. Multi-channel selling helps to create brand recognition by increasing your visibility. Anyone clicking between marketplaces to find the lowest price, compare sellers, or source out more reviews will come across your products repeatedly – building recognition and trust – both the foundation for any long-lasting customer relationship.
Different marketplaces have different seller tools, bringing more benefits to your business. You can win the Amazon buy box, run Walmart Promotions, and appear on eBay Guaranteed Delivery fast shipping program – tools that increase clicks and push conversions.
Online marketplaces change their rules, search engine algorithms, and fees all of the time. Sticking to one marketplace puts you at the mercy of these changes – meaning you have to accept them and adapt quickly or take your business down while you move to another sales channel. Being on several marketplaces avoids this, as well as meaning that you can strategically sell your items on different marketplaces to minimize your marketplace fees.
And, finally – it’s what we’re all after, after all: profit. New audiences, more visibility, and different marketing tools all bring with them more clicks, conversions, and profit.
Tips for expanding to a new marketplace
Expanding to a new marketplace is an exciting point in any eCommerce business’ journey, but it’s not without its difficulties. We’ve scoured the top eCommerce experts on the web to find the best tips for expanding to a new marketplace successfully, starting with:
1. “You need multiple sales channels.”
Relying on a single sales channel opens you up for disaster – no matter how big or successful you are on that channel. Research each sales channel’s audiences, fees, and competition – then pick more than one to expand your business onto.
2. “Be visible in as many touchpoints as possible.”
Customers take many different paths on their route to purchase, making being visible in multiple touchpoints crucial for continued engagement and communication. Be on various social media platforms, use email marketing, and push for online reviews to stay on everyone’s radar.
3. “Automate as much as you can.”
Selling on a new marketplace can be time-consuming, with more tasks and responsibilities to take care of. Ensure that it doesn’t take over your life, by automating as much as possible. This not only creates additional time for you to grow your business, but it also guarantees consistency for your customers and staff.
4. “Invest in solid logistics.”
Shipping standards matter when expanding to a new marketplace – especially if you want to appear at the top of the search results. Ensure that you deliver items quickly and correctly by using a third-party fulfillment provider who is experienced in shipping fast at low costs.
5. “Ensure you aren’t overselling and you’re never out of stock.”
It’s easy to become out of stock and oversell when your inventory is split over more than one marketplace. Using a multi-platform stock management solution helps to avoid this sticky situation by live updating your stock levels across sales channels – avoiding negative reviews, lost customers, and low search ranking.
6. “Understand how the buy box works.”
The buy box is the holy grail of online marketplaces and works slightly differently for each sales channel. But, they all have one thing in common: conversions. Take the time to understand how the buy box works for each marketplace, and then put everything into motion to win it.
7. “Drive conversions with social proof.”
Customer reviews play a big part in the success of marketplace sellers. Leveraging this social proof should be part of any plan for expanding to a new marketplace. Create a system for soliciting reviews through emails and promotions, and respond to them all – good or bad.
8. “Appear on fast shipping programs.”
Taking part in the fast shipping programs offered by any online marketplace is a great way to get a leg ahead of your competition. They generate more traction through fast shipping tags, guaranteed delivery, and placement in filtered search results, which leads to more sales and profits to invest in your expansion.
Top tip for expanding to a new marketplace
At Deliverr, our biggest tip for expanding to a new marketplace is to take advantage of all the expertise that is out there. Whether that’s reading this blog and listening to expert eCommerce advice, investing in the tools to help, or using experienced solution providers to fulfill your order – it all helps when trying to conquer the eCommerce world.