Selling on Multiple Marketplaces
The online sales world can be a battleground. Customers are acutely aware of their options nowadays and usually more than willing to search the web for a few minutes to make sure they’re getting the best deal. Old school sales and marketing techniques have needed major renovations in recent years. And gone are the days of exclusivity. A successful sales campaign in the modern world involves multiple marketplaces. You’ll need a multichannel sales strategy if you intend to be competitive.
But with the overwhelming amount of online shopping happening these days, how can you make sure you’re making an impact? Just selling on multiple channels alone won’t be enough, you’ll have to be smart about it. Here is your definitive guide to making the most of your multi-channel strategy.
Automate where you can
This might hurt a little if you come from a small business background, but the less manual attention paid to your shipping and sales processes, the better. Online marketplaces thrive on fast, accurate results, and you’ll have a lot more of that if you go automatic. There are three main areas you should focus on when automating: pricing, shipping and inventory.
Automating your pricing
In the old days, you could count on a few sales from people who didn’t have the time or the desire to traipse all across town or make half a dozen phone calls just to double check that you were offering them the best price. Not so with the internet. Remember, all your competitors are just a quick Google search away.
The history of product pricing is a long and storied tale. But with today’s economy, it seems that fixed prices are once again falling by the wayside. Most online retailers adjust product prices daily, sometimes to test for the most effective prices, and sometimes as a reaction to data from a customer’s shopping habits. At the very least your price fluxuations should reflect your current business details. It’s a good idea to sync your price with how well a product is performing.
Automating your shipping
Speedy shipping options are pretty much expected by most consumers at this point. Even if you offer the best deal, a customer may still flee to the website next door if they need their product more quickly than you can get it to them. Tools like intelligent order routing make sure you’re shipping products in the cheapest and most convenient manner.
Automating your inventory
It should be obvious that inaccurate information on a digital storefront is a disaster for any seller. If you’re selling from multiple sights, then you’ll want to be extra careful that your product information is updating in real time across all platforms. There’s no room for human error with this. If your product sells out on eBay at two in the morning, then the Amazon page needs to update automatically to reflect that.
Expand your horizons, but don’t spread yourself too thin
Amazon may be far and away the best marketplace to be on right now, but that’s no reason to get complacent. Setting yourself up on multiple sites is simply good practice. You’ll be missing out on a lot of sales if you skip other popular sites like eBay or even Walmart’s ecommerce platform (if you’re willing to jump through all of their hoops for admission).
So the most important lesson of the online marketplace is to make sure your product is available on multiple popular sites. The second most important lesson is that you don’t go overboard with it. Spreading yourself out amongst too many storefronts can make managing your sales and inventory nearly impossible, even with automation. The key is to find your specific sweet spot. How many platforms can you handle before the work is no longer outweighed by increased profits? Most places offer easy to use data tracking software to keep track of your sales and other important information. Make the most of this data and use it to judge whether a platform is worth your effort or not.
Fine tune your advertising
Not every website can be Amazon.com. In fact, the harder a competitor tries to mimic an existing platform, the quicker they usually fail. What this means is that different online marketplaces have different niches they cater to. While you can certainly find used products on Amazon, people still gravitate towards eBay for that “yard sale” style of shopping through someone else’s attic. Etsy is exclusively for handmade items. Overstock is basically an online Bed Bath and Beyond. So keep this in mind while you create your ad campaigns. Which site are you trying to draw people to? Which platform is the best fit for your particular product? This may take some trial and error, but just remember that not all ecommerce sites are the same, and your marketing should reflect that.
How Listing Mirror Can Help
If you are looking to streamline your multi-channel ecommerce business, consider using a top-of-the-line software such as Listing Mirror. Our multi-channel listing software makes selling on multiple marketplaces effortless, thanks to such features as inventory syncing and central inventory management.
Sell More. Work Less.