The numbers are in: a 2016 Pew Research Center study confirmed that almost 80% of Americans shop online, with 43% shopping online “weekly” or at least “a few times a month.” More and more Americans are making purchases in the convenience of their own homes.
While this presents challenges to brick-and-mortar stores, it also provides incredible opportunity for manufacturers willing to venture into the world of online marketplaces. Marketplaces operate as their name suggests: they allow multiple sellers to sell products on one website. Three of the top marketplaces are Amazon, eBay and Google Shopping.
Amazon – The most popular marketplace with the largest product selection and the most sellers. Customers love Amazon Prime’s 2 day free shipping and the helpful product reviews.
Google Shopping – The search engine turned verb has turned its sights to capturing sales. Google’s algorithms identify product matches with search results and place shoppable links above the search results, making it that much easier for consumers to make a purchase.
eBay – Known for its vintage treasures, eBay is trying to reinvent itself as a marketplace for old and new. Curated collections give the marketplace a high-class vibe while daily deals still appeal to bargain hunters.
Selling on marketplaces expands brand’s product reach significantly and provides additional branding opportunities. Realistically, most products are already on Amazon, even if not listed by the brand owner or manufacturer.
For retailers who want to sell on marketplaces but don’t want to deal with the complexities and challenges of navigating marketplaces, a successful strategy can be to limit sales to a small number of authorized resellers. Ideally, these resellers should be experts on the marketplaces, bringing additional value to the brand. When unauthorized sellers get hold of product, they often engage in price wars as a method to gain sales, which can really damage brand perception. That’s why the best practice is to monitor producing pricing across all marketplaces. Sound time-consuming? We have a tool to help manage price monitoring. Perispect monitors Amazon (US, UK, DE, FR, JP), eBay, Google Shopping and Yahoo Shopping so you don’t have to.
Capitalize on the omni-channel approach by developing an e-commerce strategy for entering online marketplaces, selecting trusted marketplace resellers and monitoring pricing and sellers.