When it comes to building your business online, there are a number of options at your disposal. You can either choose to start an eCommerce website and sell directly to your clients or sell through marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. If you are wondering whether it’s worth migrating your eCommerce store to marketplaces such as Amazon, this article will help you to make the right decision.
We’ll also discuss the best marketing strategies for online marketplaces and what you need to do to ensure a smooth start.
What is an Online Marketplace?
An online marketplace is an eCommerce website that offers buyers different products from different sellers. There are over 150 online marketplaces globally. However, the most well-known marketplaces in Ireland are:
- Facebook Marketplaces
These platforms offer sellers an opportunity to reach new customers and grow their revenues. Here are a few reasons why you should consider migrating your eCommerce store to these online marketplaces:
Benefits of Selling on a Marketplace
1. Improve your sales
You can expect to see an increase in sales and traffic, along with improved conversion rates. This is especially true if you’re selling products that are already being sold by other vendors on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba. They offer:
- Increased customer loyalty and brand awareness
- Enhanced customer retention rates
- Improved brand credibility/equity and customer satisfaction
2. You’ll increase your brand visibility
Migrating to an online marketplace will also increase your brand visibility. This is important because brand visibility helps you to grow your business and attract new customers. Did you know that many of those consumers start with marketplaces when they want to purchase products? According to Marketing Charts, 63 per cent of product searches by buyers start on Amazon. Only 33 per cent of consumers start their search on retailer websites. You need your brand to show up on Amazon’s search results.
3. Global marketplaces help you expand your business globally
Global marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay can help you expand your business globally. They have a large customer base and a large inventory, meaning that they are able to sell items in different countries. Many marketplaces have enormous built-in audiences of consumers who regularly shop at these sites. As of February 2022, Amazon had over 2.2 billion web visitors globally. eBay has approximately 159 million active buyers worldwide, according to Statista.
Your potential customers are already there. This is your opportunity to make sales beyond your geographical location.
4. Additional customer support
These global marketplaces can also provide additional customer support if you need it. You will have access to global customer support teams in native languages without needing to invest extra in customer support.
These teams can help with issues like shipping and returns, customer service questions, marketing and advertising, and website management. If you’re running an eCommerce business that does business globally, these services are invaluable because they allow your company to scale without having to hire additional staff members.
5. Integrating with an established platform is easier than starting one from scratch.
Integrating with an established platform is easier than starting one from scratch. You’re using a tried and tested platform, so you don’t have to worry about how it works, how secure it is or if it will scale as your business grows. Instead of spending hours testing different hosting solutions and shopping carts, you can focus on growing your business and engaging consumers.
In addition to the convenience of having someone else handle the infrastructure, there are also other benefits: If there’s an issue with the platform itself (like an outage), Amazon can help resolve these issues quickly because they have more resources at their disposal than any single eCommerce site could ever hope for. In fact, they often have access to resources that no other company has — such as free cloud storage space worth billions per month!
6. Save time
If you’re selling on Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba, the marketplace has already done all of the heavy lifting for you, including setting up your payment system and shipping system.
That means that you can focus on getting more orders instead of spending time trying to figure out how to accept credit card payments and ship orders. This saves your business time and resources so that it can grow faster!
Online Marketplaces to Start With
There are a lot of online marketplaces you can build your eCommerce business on. But you don’t need to go after all of them at once. You should determine the platforms which are the best fit for your brand.
Some of the global online marketplaces you should definitely consider getting on include:
- Amazon: Amazon is a goldmine for retailers and brands with over 200 million Amazon Prime members. Buyers spend an average of €1,400 per year on the platform and can help you to boost your revenues. You can choose to fulfil the orders yourself or use or rely on Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
There are different individual selling plans to help you set up your store on Amazon and get started immediately.
- eBay: eBay is another powerful online marketplace with a huge share of the global online market. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about setup, monthly, or annual fees. You only have to pay selling fees- insertion fees when creating a listing and the final value fee after selling.
- Facebook Marketplace: If you are just getting started on eCommerce, Facebook Marketplace is another great platform to consider. This is not just because of the over four million active users in Ireland and 2.93 billion users globally. It also doesn’t have any listing fees or commissions for making a sale.
Another great global online marketplace you should consider is Alibaba.
Even if you have your own eCommerce website, it’s still worth registering on the three online marketplaces.
8 Digital Marketing Strategies for Increasing Sales on Online Marketplaces
Seven out of 10 online shoppers make their purchases from international eCommerce sites. This is why it’s important to get on international marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplaces, and Alibaba. An eCommerce business should not be restricted to domestic sales only, you should expand your online business to international audiences.
But only top-notch digital marketing can help you to reach these audiences and convince them to patronize your brand. Here are a few digital marketing tips that can help you to grow your sales on online marketplaces:
1. Strive for more and better reviews
The best marketplace marketing strategy you can deploy is providing social proof. Get as many genuine user ratings as you can. If they are good reviews, the better. But even if they aren’t positive, you shouldn’t sweat it. You can turn around negative reviews and use them to improve your online reputation. Send reminders to your clients asking them to write a review in the marketplace.
2. Tailor your marketplace marketing
Every online marketplace is not only different but also focuses on different types of clients. Amazon doesn’t work the same way as eBay or Facebook Marketplace. You have to adapt your marketing strategy to each of these platforms for maximum effectiveness. Also, avoid copying your competitors because what works for them might not work for you.
Fortunately, some marketplaces such as Amazon and Facebook provide guidelines to help you market your business. We can also help you with Amazon marketing.
3. Leverage social media marketing
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now TikTok can help you to attract traffic to your store in a marketplace. Your social media marketing strategy should focus on doing more than just viral content (spoiler alert: there’s no given formula for viral content). Instead, try to reach out to potential customers on these platforms and increase your brand visibility.
You can also use paid ads on these platforms for targeted campaigns.
4. Try referral marketing
Referral marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your sales. Buyers are more likely to trust a product referral than any other marketing gimmick or catchy ad slogan. Encourage your existing customers to bring in new buyers by offering discounts and offers for referring a friend to your product page.
5. Don’t forget about SEO
While online marketplaces will give you access to a large pool of ready audiences, you still need SEO. It will help to drive traffic to your personal page. Use relevant tags and keywords, and optimize your page so that your listings appear higher in search results. There are two types of SEO you should deploy:
- Onpage SEO: This includes optimizing tags, meta descriptions, and permalinks. You should also pay attention to the quality of content, keyword density, and internal linking.
- Offpage SEO: It includes external linking that drives traffic and increases engagement on your profile.
6. Optimize your landing page
Ensure that your landing page is informative, easy to navigate, and user-friendly. You want the page to offer customers the best possible experience. And there’s no better way of doing this than optimizing every aspect of your landing page. It should have everything customers need to have to make a purchasing decision.
Always treat your marketplace as your own eCommerce website.
7. Provide quality product content
Never neglect product information. Keep in mind that buyers want a value proposition, not just a list of your product features. One of the ways of becoming the buyers’ favourite is to give accurate and valuable information.
Be creative and unique. Provide all the information that your competitors would overlook, and always write new product descriptions when listing new products. Don’t duplicate content, it could harm your search engine optimization (SEO) and scare away potential customers. Remember to use attributes, precise labels, and keywords, and add complete titles.
8. Focus on localization
Lastly, always focus on localization. As much as 7 in 10 buyers shop from international sites, 75 per cent of customers want to shop in their own language. Localizing your marketing strategy will help you to reach customers in your target markets. And this goes beyond just setting up Google Translate on your marketplace page. Localize everything, from the site navigation to product descriptions.
An effective local SEO strategy is needed for this.
More importantly, you can only develop an effective marketplace marketing strategy if you know your customers. This is why proper market research and detailed buyer personas are very crucial. Know who your target audience is, the demographics that define them, their purchasing behaviour and motivations, and how you can address their needs.
Grow Your eCommerce Business with Effective Marketplace Marketing
Online marketplaces allow you to reach larger audiences than if you were running your own eCommerce website. You can potentially boost your business by reaching new markets and audiences that may not have been available before. Even if you’re already selling on your eCommerce website, building a profile on one of these platforms will help grow your sales and revenue by allowing access to more buyers.
We can help you to get started on online marketplaces by developing bespoke digital marketing solutions for your business. We have years of experience helping Irish businesses expand beyond our borders.