How Online Marketplaces can Improve Sales

As eCommerce continues to grow many retailers have been searching for ways to improve their sales online and attract new customers. Research has shown one of the best ways to reach new customers is to become a part of an online marketplace such as Amazon, eBay or Supply Expert.

Studies have revealed that consumers shop more often at marketplaces because of the convenience and trust in the marketplace brand. By becoming a retailer on one of these websites you will be able to benefit from the trust and security of the brand as well as the vast number of shoppers that use the site on a regular basis.

Many of the top name marketplaces draw in millions of users every month. This increased exposure for your brand will increase the amount of sales you will be able to do as more consumers are likely to come across your products.

More Shoppers = More Sales

One of the biggest attractions of marketplaces is the access to a large number of shoppers.

One study found that consumers shop online at marketplaces 3-5 times a month, which means each time they visit the site there is an opportunity to find your products. While they might not come to the site looking for your product the time they spend searching may led them to you.

Amazon and eBay are the two most popular sites based on the numbers, in 2015 Amazon welcomed over 190 million visitors to its sites each month. In August of 2015 eBay had 98 million visitors. These numbers give you the idea of how many people you could potentially reach and turn into customers. With numbers like these, listing your products on a marketplace gives you a better chance of finding customers with little effort.

As further proof of its powerhouse place in the online market world Amazon boosted profits in the first quarter this year. Marketplace sellers were behind half of the units sold on Amazon, that is up from 48 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

It is important to note that while these top two marketplaces draw in a large number of customers, many shoppers also use niche marketplaces, such as Supply Expert to find the products that the large sites may not offer. Those consumers who are searching for a specific product line or, in the case of Supply Expert, industry-related items know they can rely on the marketplace to offer what they need.

Guard your reputation

Reviews are very important for online consumers. If you have some positive reviews from past customers this will create trust for shoppers who are not familiar with your brand.

The customer service you provide will help ensure you get some positive feedback. You can also use the opportunity to turn shoppers into repeat customers by offering them a discount or special promotion on their next purchase.

It is also important to note that customers distinguish between a retailer and the marketplace itself. Two-fifths of those surveyed indicated they would continue to use the marketplace but would steer clear of any retailer they have had a bad experience with.

Retailer Tips

While there are more consumers using online marketplaces there are also other sellers that you will need to compete with to get sales.

However, there are some ways that you can improve your chances of drawing in new customers. These include:

  1. Getting a user to click through to your seller page is one of the first steps to turning them into a customer. A good way to do this is make sure your prices are competitive. That may mean you will need to monitor them or use price-monitoring tools to see what other sellers on the site are offering. For sites like Amazon having the lowest price gives you the opportunity to be featured in their Buy Box.
  2. Using strong headlines, short descriptions and good images of the products. This is one of the ways that you get customers’ attention. With clear and concise descriptions of your product coupled with several images a consumer will be able to get a feel for your product and, in turn, be more likely to purchase from you rather than a seller who posts only one image and little content.
  3. You can also strengthen your brand by ensuring your name appears nearly everywhere on the product page. Use it in the title, product description and anywhere else on the page you can fit it in.
  4. It is also a good idea not to put all your products up on the marketplace but only the ones that have the widest appeal and sell the best. By only listing the ones that are in high demand you will be able to keep the price low without hurting your margins.
  5. Another way to draw in more customers is to provide good customer service. While a large part of this is done by the marketplace, your company can also add to the experience by answering queries quickly – within hours, not days. You must also respect and abide by the marketplace policies particularly refunds and shipping costs.
  6. Follow up with your customers to ensure they have a positive experience purchasing from you. You can even ask them to fill out a survey that will give you some insight about how to provide a better experience next time.
  7. Also, keep an eye on message boards to see if anyone is complaining about their experience with you. If you do find an unhappy customer respond to them directly and immediately. Try to fix the problem so that their negative experience can become a positive one. This also lets other consumers on the marketplace see that you are a retailer they can trust.
  8. Marketplaces often run promotions throughout the year and it will help you grow your customer base to be a part of them. These most often happen around holidays and you can consider free shipping or gift wrapping as something special you can offer to consumers.

Conclusion

Online marketplaces have been expected to grow to 40 per cent of all ecommerce dealings by 2020, according to one report. As a result of the increasing popularity of such sites many retailers have been starting to use marketplaces to reach a larger number of customers than they can’t from their own websites.

The biggest benefit to joining a marketplace such as Supply Expert is that more shoppers are likely to visit that site rather than your own personal store. However, competition has also been increasing for the attention of the shoppers on these sites.

Therefore, it is good to do some research and put in a little extra work in order to get a good reputation on the marketplace, which will ultimately lead to more sales.