Digital Interactive Services

Marketplace management challenges and strategies

Online e-commerce marketplaces offer a quick and easy way to reach your customers. The past two years have highlighted the importance of online marketplaces as the world went digital in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many businesses expanded their operations on online marketplaces, not everyone succeeded. Many faced challenges in effective marketplace management and failed to implement a robust marketplace strategy.* To benefit from the $5.55 trillion e-commerce and online marketplace industry, one must understand the main challenges in effective marketplace management and the marketplace growth strategies to overcome problems in the marketplace.

Main challenges in effective marketplace management

Selling on multiple marketplaces comes with its own set of challenges - from competition, data security, and economic uncertainty to returns or refunds. Marketplace businesses themselves face the ‘chicken and egg problem,’ where there are two groups of customers - the buyers and sellers. Without quality buyers, sellers will hesitate to get onboard. On the other hand, without sellers, buyers will have no incentive to purchase the marketplace services. And thus, there arises a need for quality service from every stakeholder involved. Let’s look at a few challenges faced in effectively managing a marketplace.

  • Understanding listing and ranking:
  • Every marketplace has a different system for organising, listing, and ranking available products. Sellers often focus on the rules of a particular marketplace and neglect the others, resulting in mismanagement of a multi-channel marketplace presence.

  • Redundant work:
  • If you have a presence in multiple marketplaces, you may end up adding or modifying listings repeatedly. This repetition can add redundancy to your marketplace management workload and leave room for human error.

  • Poor demand forecasting and inventory control:
  • When selling on multiple marketplaces, you need to ensure that there’s sufficient inventory to fulfil all the orders. A failure to accurately forecast demand can lead to poor inventory control by either having too much stock on hand or too less to fulfil orders. Such inventory mismanagement can potentially become catastrophic for your business if inventory management is not in sync across all channels.

  • Poor user experience:
  • Without an immersive and easy-to-navigate product page, customers will face poor page experience and struggle to view your product offerings. Such experience can result in customers losing interest in your product offerings, leading to high cart abandonment rates.

  • Poor retention rate:
  • Many online marketplaces often focus on acquiring new customers by offering sign-up bonuses or first-purchase discounts. However, such strategies can fail to retain the existing customers or motivate repeat purchases. And, without repeat customers, it is difficult to sustain an online marketplace effectively.

Strategies for effective marketplace management

The past couple of years has given the online marketplace industry a boost. With amenities and services at one’s fingertips, customer expectations of frictionless and seamless experience have gone higher, making the marketplace a complex structure to manage. However, with the right technology and practices, a marketplace can be managed effectively. Here are a few strategies to consider.

  • Standardised listings and SKUs:
  • A standardised way for formatting your listings and SKUs can help you easily track the different listings and reference them while managing inventory. Such standardised processes can include creating titles, descriptions, and other components of your listings. This can also reduce potential human error while managing multiple listings across different channels.

  • Listing automation solutions:
  • Listing automation solutions is critical for a multi-channel seller. Investing in such solutions can eliminate redundant work of managing listings across multiple channels and improve efficiency. Moreover, listing automation solutions can discover and quickly resolve any listing errors that can hurt your business.

  • Inventory management solutions and outsourcing fulfilment:
  • Effectively managing inventory, especially for a multi-channel seller, can be extremely tricky. Investing in inventory management solutions can help sellers create a centralised inventory catalogue and track sales on different marketplace channels 24 x 7. Such solutions also offer tools for demand forecasting and managing your supply chain effectively. Moreover, outsourcing order fulfilment operations can simplify your inventory management tasks and make them more cost-effective.

  • Engaging product page experience:
  • Your product page is the main goal for guiding customers to navigate an online marketplace where they can discover the product, interact with it, and then make a purchase decision. An engaging product page — with interactive content and immersive experience (powered by augmented reality) — can build credibility and trust among the customers and encourage them to make a purchase.

  • Effective analytics and reporting:
  • Businesses need to have access to customer data, behavioural patterns, and purchase decisions, which is critical for marketplace growth. These insights can allow you a peek into your customers’ minds, understand their expectations, and design a user experience accordingly. However, this is impossible without effective analytics and reporting.

How can Infosys BPM Help?

Infosys BPM Marketplace Management Services can help you overcome the marketplace management challenges and implement growth strategies effectively. With services such as brand governance, catalogue management, marketing operations, customer support, and reporting and analytics, you can effectively manage your marketplace listings and overcome challenges to deliver a seamless online shopping experience. Leverage the experience and expertise of the Infosys BPM team to effectively manage your marketplace presence, avail holistic marketplace management solutions, and grow your marketplace presence.

*For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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