You’ve gotten your wholesale license or eCommerce business license, your products are ready to sell, you have an eCommerce marketing strategy in place, and you’re ready to grow your business. If you haven't looked into marketplaces yet, now is the time.
But first, what does marketplace mean? A marketplace is anywhere sellers and buyers come together to exchange goods and services. Of course, there are different types of marketplaces that cater to different audiences.
Among different marketplaces are the relatively new eCommerce platform and the classic retail store. Some marketplaces may only use a B2B business model, whereas others are direct to consumer. Still others, like a subscription business, combine the two and include selling to both businesses and consumers.
BlueCart’s own online marketplace has 95,000+ buyers already active on the platform with dozens of products for sale. Take advantage of this built-in audience and enjoy industry-lowest payment processing fees as well. Book a demo now to learn more.
While making your products available on a marketplace app or website is a good start, selling them consistently is even better. Getting to this point requires thoughtful evaluation of customers’ needs and leveraging the right kind of marketplace business model.
Marketplace Selling: A Checklist
There are several items you need to have in place so you can wow your prospects from day one. Here’s what to prepare before you list goods on a marketplace:
- Thoroughly research the marketplace. Simply because there are many marketplaces out there doesn’t mean you should list your products on each one. Take time to research marketplaces you’re interested in and the types of brands they tend to carry. Listing your goods in a marketplace that’s relevant for your ideal customer is the best approach. Selling online is one of the best side hustles for people that want to make extra cash.
- Make sure your products are in stock. This is particularly important for high demand products. While it usually takes time to build brand recognition on a new marketplace, it’s wise to be prepared for faster upswings in sales. Maintaining appropriate stock levels keeps your fill rate high and ensures your eCommerce shipping process runs on time.
- Verify that your WMS is running smoothly. A WMS, or warehouse management system, coordinates the inflow and outflow of everything in your warehouse. It’s critical to successful inventory management, eCommerce shipping companies, and warehousing overall. If your WMS dashboard shows any errors or isn’t connecting to other software, straighten this out before you launch products for any new buyers.
- Have some safety stock prepared. Safety stock is a reasonable amount of extra product(s) kept on hand. It ensures you can still ship orders on time even if your supplier is delayed. Safety stock works extremely well for non-perishable products but can be challenging for perishable goods. If you sell food or drinks, look into freezing or refrigerating items that would otherwise go bad in a couple days.
- Ensure your shipping and handling is ready. Two-thirds of customers say they want low- or no-cost shipping and one in five say they expect fast shipping. Such statistics show that shipping is nothing to joke about. Make sure that your warehouse management process flow is perfected so customer orders can get delivered quickly.
Once these tasks are completed, you’ll be set up for operational success. Instead of spending precious time in the nuts-and-bolts of your business each day, you can commit more energy to marketing, branding, and customer retention.
Tips for Selling On Marketplace
Getting your products listed on the marketplace is step number one, but making sales consistently is step number two. It takes more than a catchy name and a product people like to increase eCommerce sales.
Here are tips you can rely on time and again for selling in an online marketplace:
- Use high-quality photos. It’s no secret that the world of eCommerce is fast-paced and driven by convenience. Since customers can’t go to a store and hold your product in person, they have to rely on images. It’s for this reason that your product photos must be near-perfect. They are any customer’s first impression of your goods, so they should instantly convey an item’s quality, function, and value.
- Offer flash sales and bulk order discounts. Marketplaces tend to be fast-moving and if you don’t catch customer attention early, it’s harder to win back later. A proven method for garnering attention is by offering discounts and flash sales. Everyone loves a good deal, and if it’s someone’s first time interacting with your brand, they’ll remember you favorably. Periodic discounts also help keep your sell through rate high. BlueCart makes discounts and sales effortless, whether through your eCommerce store or in our marketplace.
- Keep your digital catalog updated. As you add and remove goods from your product line, your catalog should be updated accordingly. Whether you use both print and digital catalogs or strictly online listings, information that customers see on a daily basis should be accurate. You can repurpose the images in your catalog for other efforts too, like eCommerce content marketing. Save even more time and effort with BlueCart’s very own, best-in-class, web- and mobile-optimized eCommerce product catalog design.
- Put real effort into your branding. Where marketing consists of the tangible words and images you promote your company with, branding is everything about your business that is intangible. This is part of what makes branding challenging. It requires getting inside your customers’ minds to see your business the way they do. When you do this, though, it becomes far easier to position your products in a natural, desirable way.
- Provide more value than your competitors. When customers have so many brands and products to choose from, it’s no wonder that customer retention is difficult. Buyers want products that offer the most value for their money, and as a business owner, this can be challenging to rise up to. Focus on what makes your product unique and maximize it--both for the product itself and its marketing. Buyers love novelty and will naturally be drawn to what is new.
- Take note of your best-selling products and most popular seasons. It’s tempting to think that your customers love all your products, all the time, but this is rarely true. Most businesses see at least a small spike in traffic or sales during particular times. Review your business’s trends carefully and plan how to capitalize on them. You can leverage eCommerce email marketing to send buying incentives at key times.
Putting these types of eCommerce marketing strategies to use can grow your business by leaps and bounds. Many businesses are skilled product or service providers but don’t have a sales and marketing engine to take them to the top.
By intentionally looking for what your customers value most and giving that to them, you’ll be well ahead of the competition. Watch for marketing campaigns that deliver on your eCommerce KPIs, then continue to funnel a portion of your sales into them.
Smart Sales Strategies Succeed
At times, growing your business in an online marketplace can feel like visiting a new country. You’re building relationships, learning how to speak the language of buyers, and putting your best foot forward.
Over time, buyers will recognize your value and choose your products more often. This gives you more freedom to make new products customers love and enhance your existing ones.