Retail eCommerce is predicted to grow at a rapid pace and reach $6.5 Bn in 2023.
Are you going to grab a part of that cake?
The answer entirely depends on whether you are going to expand your selling activities to marketplaces or not. 97% of online shoppers shop on marketplaces. That’s a striking number, right?
That’s why in this article you’ll learn:
- What is multichannel selling
- How to choose between top marketplaces
- Some hot marketing tips to boost sales across all channels
Let’s dive in!
What is Multichannel Retail?
Multichannel retail is the practice of selling products through different sales channels. By providing customers with a wide choice of sales channels and convenience to shop at the preferred medium, multichannel sellers maximize revenue and customer loyalty.
Why is multichannel important today?
Modern shoppers want to be able to choose from many options, which only marketplaces can offer. In fact, 28% of U.S. shoppers start their online product hunt on Amazon. That’s an enormous number of customers, and online merchants can’t afford to lose the chance to convert them. Today, consumers tend to go to marketplaces, browse through the products and choose the best options.
Tips on Choosing Between Marketplaces
Today, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are the top marketplaces that attract millions of customers because they offer a wide product assortment and the ability to compare prices and features from an enormous number of sellers on a single platform.
Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the U.S. and one of the biggest worldwide. In 2018, Amazon grabbed a 49% share of the US e-commerce market. In the same year, the number of monthly users was 20.6 million.
So, why do a lot of people choose Amazon?
- There are over 2.5 million sellers on Amazon, so customers have plenty of choices.
- Customers are more likely to buy from Amazon, as it has a strong brand image, which is a big trust factor.
- Fulfillment by Amazon is a great solution for sellers who don’t want to deal with warehouse operations and associated costs. By sending your merch to Amazon, you enable the marketplace to take care of storage, stock, shipping, returns, customer service, etc.
Being one of the biggest marketplaces worldwide, Amazon provides many opportunities for sellers. But the marketplace is extremely crowded.
- There is always a battle for the lowest price positioning, which is quite difficult to win.
- Branding is very limited on Amazon, as it leaves a little space for it. You can only distinguish your products with unique product photos and descriptions. As a result, customers stay loyal to Amazon and not to sellers.
Product categories including apparel and accessories, cosmetics, electronics, home and garden décor, kid toys, and pet items sell best on Amazon. Be aware that other sellers know it too, making competition really tough.
With 180+ million active buyers, eBay is one of the largest marketplaces globally.
- eBay has a global shipping program, which makes it easier to sell internationally. You only need to deliver your products to the eBay hub, and the company will take care of international shipping.
- eBay does not tell you what you should sell. You can sell almost any type of new and used products, including cars to yachts. With the auction features, you can sell unique items and see how much people are ready to pay.
- The platform is very easy to use. It doesn’t take much time to start selling, which means you can quickly test the waters and see how eBay works for your eCommerce business.
As with any other marketplace, the competition is quite tough. Still, there is a lot of room for new merchants.
eBay is designed for sellers who have a unique offer. Vintage collectibles, old books, paintings, or even packages of branded products – all of these are great choices to sell on the eBay platform.
In 2019, the number of active buyers on Etsy reached 45.7 million. A lot of people visit the marketplace in search of handmade products, vintage items, and craft supplies. If you run a store that is selling similar items, Etsy is your place.
- A huge customer base opens up new opportunities. Etsy is a marketplace that does not require any technical skills. You can easily create an account, add product listings, and start selling within hours.
- The marketplace is a great place to offer handmade products and everything that falls into similar categories.
Even though you can sell a lot of products on Etsy, there are some product categories that generate more sales. These include jewelry, clothing, home accessories, kid toys, and baby items.
We’ve defined the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular marketplaces. The best path to follow is to test each marketplace and see how it works for your business. That’s what multichannel selling is all about, after all.
Tips on Managing All the Platforms at a Time
If you decide to pursue multichannel selling, you will have to deal with the transfer of your products from Magento or Shopify to other platforms. The creation of product listings and their management requires a lot of time if done manually. Luckily, there are a few options to help you out:
- Extension and plugins. There are special extensions for Magento and Shopify designed to help sellers automatically transfer products from their stores to marketplaces.
The only downside of such solutions is that they often support integration with only one marketplace, don’t provide synchronization of orders between sales channels, and even if they do provide it, they fail to sync them quickly.
Many marketplaces, Amazon including, penalize for product shortage and sometimes even suspend sellers in case of repeated shortages.
- Multichannel listing platforms. Unlike extensions, these solutions are superior in terms of provided functionality and integrations. You can easily sell on Amazon, Etsy, and eBay without the need to constantly switch between solutions. Sellbery, for example, provides 17 integrations and offers a 15-minutes synchronization interval. It means, if someone buys a product on Amazon, the information about the order is synced with your store and other marketplaces and stock data are adjusted accordingly. As a result, you avoid overselling and the threat of being penalized for it.
Tips on Marketing Products on Amazon, eBay, & Etsy
Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are global marketplaces with thousands of sellers competing for customers’ attention.
How to make your products stand out?
Here are some tips:
- Include keywords in product titles and descriptions to help customers find your products.
- Don’t participate in pricing battles. Instead, aim for a superior shopping experience.
- Display high-quality photos of the products you are selling. Consider hiring professional photographers, if you don’t have the necessary equipment and skills. Photos should display a product in detail, from different angles, and even in life-like situations.
- Offer great customer experience, as it is one of the most important things in e-commerce and one of the ways to be different from the competition. Try to always be there for your customers, answer their questions, provide additional information and quickly address all the issues that might arise.
- Consider social proof as your main weapon. Try to get positive customer feedback and generate positive customer reviews. The availability will make you stand out among the competition and make you more trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers.
Being a successful seller means always exploring new opportunities and looking for ways to expand your business.
Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are great marketplaces to bring your business to a new level. Try all three and see which one fits your business objectives and needs.