There are different types of marketplaces. Firstly, there are Horizontal Marketplaces, generalists offering a comprehensive inventory of products to a broad range of sectors. That is where you will find the likes of Alibaba.com and Flipkart.com.
Then, there are the Vertical Marketplaces. These are specialist-focused and tend to deal with one type of product or industry. For example, in the automotive industry, buyers and sellers meet at sites such as Car-Part.com or PartsMarket.com. In machinery, that could be Klarx.com. In tools, Tolexo.com.
Local B2B marketplaces connect buyers and sellers within a specific country or region, such as Railali.com in Indonesia and ManoMano.com in Europe. Then there are product, service, and hybrid marketplaces. Some marketplaces offer more than one type of business model.
Essential Steps for Selling on Multiple Marketplaces
Embarking on a multi-marketplace selling journey? Here are seven crucial steps to ensure success without the hassle:
1. Research Your Options
Not all marketplaces are created equal, and choosing the right one can make or break your strategy. Begin with high-volume platforms like Amazon, then explore niche marketplaces suited to your vertical or target region. Leverage reviews, competitor analysis, and your network to unearth hidden gems. Stay updated on evolving markets, and don’t miss out on emerging opportunities.
2. Select Your Marketplaces Strategically
Align your brand with suitable marketplaces. Choose platforms that resonate with your brand identity, especially if you cater to a specific niche or industry. Tailor your presence based on your brand image and target audience. Research what marketplaces are used by your target customers, as one of the main reasons to sell on marketplaces is to expand your customer base.
Embark on your multi-marketplace selling journey armed with these key steps for a successful and strategic approach.
3. Optimize Your Pricing
Craft a pricing strategy that resonates across all your marketplaces. Set optimal prices and maintain consistency. Consider factors like Buy Box’s presence and the potential impact on brand perception. Stay vigilant to prevent online sales from cannibalizing your website sales.
4. Decide what Products to Sell
Decide what product assortment you want to offer on each marketplace. It should be aligned with the marketplace’s customer base, product categories offered, and geographical presence. You may select to reserve your most valuable and complex products for sale on your own website only.
5. Understand Your Fulfilment Requirements
Pay close attention to fulfillment options offered by a marketplace. Ensure smooth sailing with proactive fulfillment planning. For B2B2C scenarios, where products move between manufacturers, distributors, and end consumers, plan meticulously. Some marketplaces offer fulfillment services, while others make fulfillment the seller’s responsibility.
Evaluate outsourcing third-party logistics but be mindful of potential trade-offs in control over last-mile delivery and customer experience.
6. Find the Right Advertising Options
Navigate the advertising landscape on multiple marketplaces. Understand each platform’s advertising platform intricacies and tailor your strategy accordingly. Dive into paid vs. organic search, sponsored ads, influencer marketing, and more. Leverage the unique features of each marketplace to make a lasting impression. Decide on advertising budget allocation across different channels.
7. Research how to Connect Your Back-End Software
For seamless operations, your back-end systems need to be integrated with marketplace platforms. This integration not only streamlines processes but also facilitates effective inventory forecasting for timely stock replenishment.
That is an often-overlooked challenge when adding marketplaces as new sales channels. Each marketplace has its own requirements for the format of product data and integration mechanisms.
These integrations need to be automated, and you need to decide if the internal IT team can do this or if you need to invest in additional software that knows how to prepare and transfer products, prices, and order information to and from different marketplaces.
In the age of AI, there are solutions to lighten the workload across your organization.
While the opportunities of scaling onto multiple marketplaces are tremendous, you need to ensure you’re set up for success.