DIGITAL INTERACTIVE SERVICES
Scaling your business: Leveraging marketplace management to grow
Gone are the days when buyers would spend hours at shopping malls perusing products they want. Today’s customers are tech-savvy, and they have their marketplace in their hands, quite literally. They just need to browse through digital marketplaces on their smartphones to choose products and place their orders.
Business dynamics have changed because of the shift of buyers from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce stores. Businesses no longer require expensive retail spaces or even stock inventory. But they do need a strong online presence to attract customers. The e-commerce industry, which experienced a fillip during the pandemic is expected to grow at a rapid rate.
Here are some interesting data about the e-commerce industry:
- In 2023 e-commerce sales are expected to experience a growth rate of 10.4%.
- Data shows that 24% of retail sales will be online by 2026.
- The e-commerce market is expected to reach a whopping $8.1 trillion by 2026.
This is good news for e-commerce business owners.
But do you have a marketplace management strategy in place to scale your business?
What is a Marketplace?
Simply put, a marketplace is an e-commerce platform where sellers of different products converge to sell their products. Some common examples of the marketplace are Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, etc. These platforms can be understood as digital shopping malls with a wide variety of products. They provide a link between buyers and sellers. However, just like a retail store space, they do not provide promotion of the products. The sellers are responsible for managing the inventory, marketing, etc.
Buyers love digital marketplaces because of the convenience they offer. All products are labelled and categorized making it easy for them to compare products and make purchasing decisions. Besides, they don’t have to wait in long checkout queues because marketplaces offer simple and quick checkouts. They can shop at any time from any location.
How to build a marketplace growth strategy?
Establish your goals
Establishing goals for growth gives a direction to your strategy. Business goals are not limited to earning a certain amount of revenue, there must also be a focus on building a strategy that is resilient and agile.
Foster a growth mindset
Building a growth strategy is not the task of only the leadership or marketing. All members of the organization must have a growth mindset and work cohesively towards a common goal.
You can assess the effectiveness of your growth strategy only if you have specific metrics to measure your outcomes. Metrics like Gross Merchandise Value (total sales value of products sold on your marketplace for a specific period of time), Average Order Value (indicates sales value per transaction), etc., are good indicators.
Leverage the power of data to understand your audience better and create strategies tailored to their needs. The data analytics and predictive power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are highly effective in gathering insights about your audience. Data also helps identify the best channels for connecting with your audience and building customized strategies.
Inbound marketing strategies will lead your buyers to you! Strategies like SEO, SEM, and Social Media marketing will help increase the visibility of your brand and aid conversions.
Monitor the defined metrics to assess your progress. Tweak your strategy for better outcomes.
While a well-planned marketing strategy can help boost your revenues, you need to focus on the nuances of marketplace management for better outcomes.
How to Manage Your Marketplace Effectively?
- There are numerous marketplaces on which you can list your products. However, not all will be the right fit for your product. Choose the marketplaces that are best suited for your products.
- Create a consolidated product catalogue for different marketplaces. A single repository of all product data streamlines inventory management.
- Ensure that you categorise different product variants with unique SKUs for each.
- Make sure that the product description is complete including specifications, features, etc. Also, include high-quality photos and videos of the product.
- Broaden the reach of your product by offering bundles and kits alongside individual products.
- Offer features like the option to customise products where possible.
- Although some marketplaces like Amazon have options for order fulfilment services, it might be better to outsource order fulfilment to a third party. This is because outsourcing ensures that the shipping process is uninterrupted.
- An important factor in effective marketplace management is ensuring that your product gets noticed by the algorithm of the marketplace. Then the algorithm will push the product so that it gets noticed by a wider audience. Therefore, make sure that you optimise the listing.
- Make sure that you offer convenient shopping experiences to your buyers on social media platforms as well.
- A golden rule for seamless marketplace management is to automate whatever you can!
Technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) can play a critical role to boost your marketplace management strategies. Rule-based processes like product listing can be automated with RPA. Bots can take over the task of listing products in different marketplaces without human intervention. AI can handle the analysis of huge amounts of data, and ML can forecast customers' demands. As a result, inventory management can be optimised.
Buyers have moved away from traditional marketplaces to online marketplaces. Amazon, Flipkart, and eBay are some of the big players in the “market.” Listing your products on multiple marketplaces helps you reach a wide market. However, choose the right mix of marketplaces that are best suited for your products and strategise your marketplace management to scale your e-commerce business.
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