If you’ve ever shopped for a product online, chances are you’ve browsed more than one marketplace. Very few people shop exclusively on eBay, Walmart, Jet.com, Sears.com, Newegg, or even Amazon. Most consumers are searching the best deal available, and will spend a few extra minutes comparison-shopping between marketplaces to find it.
So why do so many e-commerce companies continue to do business just on Amazon or another single sales channel? Why aren’t more sellers using multi marketplace listing software to reach shoppers everywhere they possibly can?
When it comes to looking for a product, 56% of consumers go to Amazon first. Amazon has captured more than half of initial product search traffic—once again proving its status as the linchpin of the e-commerce industry, right?
Not so fast. Before your e-commerce company constructs a sales strategy on top of a single factoid, check out a few more things the same data show:
- 85% of consumers are likely to consult Google at some point in the purchasing process.
- 78% of consumers say they may search elsewhere even if they find what they’re looking for on Amazon.
- Amazon dominates searches in product categories such electronics and computers (73%), digital entertainment (56%), and books (58%), but has nowhere near as large a share of search traffic in categories such as furniture (35%), sports equipment (30%), or garden supplies (29%).
If you look beyond the headlines, you can see the plethora of opportunities available to sellers who take a multichannel or omnichannel approach to online retail. Indeed, the numbers sellers should be paying attention to are the double- and triple-digit growth rates of companies that have expanded into multiple marketplaces.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about using multi marketplace listing software to quickly, easily, and effectively supercharge your multichannel growth.
What is a “channel"?
A channel is any place you sell your products. Channels can be online or offline. Examples of channels include Amazon, eBay, your web store, shopping carts on social media sites (e.g. Facebook and Instagram), as well as any physical, brick-and-mortar retail locations you may operate.
What is a "marketplace"?
When we use the term “marketplace,” we’re referring to e-commerce sites on which third-party vendors can sell products directly to consumers. Marketplaces are where sellers compete for consumer attention (i.e. by winning the “Buy Box”). Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, Etsy, Rakuten, Newegg, Google Shopping, and Sears are all examples of marketplaces. Websites belonging to brands such as Wayfair, Target, and Best Buy are sales channels for those companies, but are not considered e-commerce marketplaces—because they aren’t open to third parties. So, if you sell on Walmart, Jet, and your own web store, you’re active on three channels, two of which are marketplaces.
What is multi marketplace software?
Multi marketplace listing software is what sellers use to manage their presences on various marketplaces. This kind of solution is also referred to as “multichannel listing” or “multichannel e-commerce” software, or really any combination of “multi-,” “channel,” “listing,” or “e-commerce” with “software,” “solution,” or “platform.” Basically, it’s the set of tools you use to coordinate and synchronize sales of the same products across various marketplaces, without losing your mind or wasting hours of every day manually creating and updating listings, adjusting prices, and fulfilling orders.
How does multi marketplace listing software work?
Every multi marketplace listing solution is different. That said, most follow a similar process:
- You sign up to use or download the software.
- The software provider trains you to use the platform and works with you to optimize it for your business.
- You organize your listings—for instance, by matching SKUs across marketplaces and removing duplicate SKUs.
- You upload your current listings and connect your sales channels and vendors. Many providers will handle marketplace and vendor application programming interface (API) integration for you, so you don’t need to worry about forcing your software, channel presences, and partners to play nicely with each other. From here, you can change settings for each channel and vendor integrated with the software.
- Depending on the solution you use, you may have the option to create a repricing strategy or set repricing rules, so your prices automatically rise and fall (between predetermined minimum and maximum amounts) in tandem with marketplace conditions and sales trends.
- When a customer places an order, you receive a notification, and can use the software to browse shipping rates, choose a carrier, print labels, and get the order out the door.
- Once an item is purchased, that item’s inventory automatically updates across channels. Many platforms will also send you low-stock alerts when an item is close to selling out.
- Again, depending on the solution, you may be able to view and export multichannel sales reports.
What are the benefits of using multi marketplace listing software?
- Sell more products. More channels mean more potential customers and more opportunities to make a sale.
- Save time and money. Multi marketplace listing software empowers you to manage the entire sales process in just a few clicks. You can expand your reach without suffering through the associated administrative growing pains.
- Gain peace of mind. Imagine how many potential mistakes and gaps you can avoid with automated repricing and order management and fulfillment.
- Find and take advantage of growth opportunities. With more time and energy on your hands, as well as capabilities such as sales reports and repricing, you’ll never miss a chance to beat your competition.
- Satisfy more customers. Multi marketplace listing software not only simplifies the process of expanding into more channels, but ensures you keep all your new (and existing) customers happy by fulfilling their orders on time, with minimal errors.
How do you choose the right software for your business and get started?
Just as there are channels outside of Amazon, there’s more than one multi marketplace listing solution out there. E-commerce businesses should take the time to research, try out, and compare different software platforms.
How do you know which is the right solution for your company?
Ask the following questions:
- How much does it cost?
- How easy is it to use?
- What kinds of features does it offer?
- Which channels does it integrate with?
- What sorts of businesses are using it?
- What do those businesses have to say about it? How have they benefited from using it?