A roundup of selling on online marketplaces
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As an ambitious player in the eTail space, if you want to make it big you need to adapt to a scenario where your business processes and systems enable you to sell on the eCommerce marketplaces apart from selling from your own website. Marketplaces like Amazon, Shopclues, Flipkart, Lazada, etc. are platforms where individual Sellers, eTailers, and Retailers can sign up as an authorized entity and get started quickly with selling their merchandise to a readily available, large set of ever-growing customer base without the hassle of implementing a full-fledged tech infrastructure for this channel.
Key Benefits of selling on online marketplaces
Convenience in setting up your online presence
It’s quite easy and fast for a seller to set up its online presence for eCommerce transactions since they are selling on the marketplace’s domain. One can create a seller account on most marketplaces in a few minutes that enables one to upload their product listings and start selling on the same day. Whereas for eTailers, it is a quick method of expanding their already existing online presence thereby adding to their revenue stream
Low Entry Barriers
Marketplaces equip sellers with low entry barriers for eCommerce transactions, both, in terms of time and cost. With the already established platforms of the marketplaces made readily available, you don’t have to create or develop your own selling platform, which calls for investments in time effort and financial resources. When you tie up with marketplaces, the only cost you have to incur are a basic listing fee and a small percentage of each sale that happens through the marketplace. You also need not worry about spending money or other resources for marketing, as the marketplace, which has already acquired a large customer base is responsible for the look & feel, promotions and customer experience.
Increased Awareness for your Offerings
Some of the leading marketplaces provide the registered entity (be it a seller, eTailer or a Retailer) to augment their marketing activities via creation and promotion of their brand pages using keyword-based search and display adoptions. They also provide detailed analytics to gauge the effectiveness of these marketing campaigns and understand the customer behavior.
Test out new markets
Not only do marketplaces expand your brand and product exposure, but this indirectly gives the selling entity the opportunity to test out new markets in a cost-effective way. Sellers can use this strategy for new products or test out international markets through marketplaces such as Amazon, Lazada etc.
Challenges that you will face while selling on multiple marketplaces
Integrating & Fulfilling orders across multiple marketplaces
While, it is relatively easy to tie up and get going on multiple marketplaces, selling and most importantly managing & fulfilling orders across multiple online channels can be a real challenge. Managing all your inventory and orders for these different channels can quickly become a mess unless you invest in a solution that allows you to seamlessly integrate orders, inventory, fulfillment, and returns of multiple marketplaces from a single interface
Cataloging/Listing your products
How you list your items on your webstore is not the same way you’ll list on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart. All marketplaces have their own set of requirements and rules when it comes to listing products. The challenge here is, how to adhere to the customized requirements of different marketplaces and upload the most accurate and relevant catalog info on multiple marketplaces.
Here are some examples of the emerging trends of how more and more retail entities are making their presence felt in the eCommerce marketplaces to ramp up sales, revenue, and profits.
- The recent tie-up of DH Gate, China (the second largest e-commerce player in China after Alibaba) with shopclues.com, India
- American retail major Walmart is learnt to be exploring ways to tie up with leading e-commerce marketplaces in India, including Flipkart, ShopClues, Grofers and Bigbasket to tap the growing online retail opportunity eight years after it entered the country
- com, a leading eTailer of quirky gift products selling through its own website, now sells on leading marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart
- PrettySecrets, a leading lingerie brand in India had humble beginnings with their own webstore and in the recent times have forayed not only into brick n mortar but also in global marketplaces like Amazon, Lazada
Here are some interesting statistics that bring to light the recent trend of more and more sellers flocking on to online marketplaces to scale up their revenues and profits quickly, and how fast the online marketplaces are growing
- Global marketplace Amazon reported that the seller base in Amazon.in grew by 160% in 2016 from the previous year and the count of sellers was more than 1,40,000 in 2016
- Flipkart’s FY16-17 sales figure is expected to grow by 40%
- Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace, offers more than four million products, across a wide range of categories from 40,000 sellers
- Alibaba till date has invested closely US $ 2 billion in Lazada (a leading southeast Asian eCommerce marketplace) that boasts of over 100,000 merchants and 80 million + SKUs available to customers
As the overall scenario of selling on marketplaces and their respective Gross Merchandise Values hint major upswings, Vinculum Group, a global software company enabling the eCommerce ecosystem with SaaS-based products for Multi-Channel Order management and fulfillment has been instrumental in enabling over 300 small and medium-sized sellers and leading eTailers to sell & fulfill on multiple marketplaces globally with its SaaS-based software which helps manage orders, inventory and returns using a single screen.
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