Multi-channel expansion is always in the minds of entrepreneurs and founders. But expansion could mean a strain on time, budgets and resources.
With consumers’ attention split across several channels – from social media, traditional and online ads, word of mouth, brick-and-mortar stores, catalogs and online marketplaces – which channel should you expand to first? Expansion would also require upleveling marketing efforts to further build a brand and acquire a new audience.
What if we told you that expansion into marketplaces best fits the bill.
If you’ve shopped on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, JOOR, Lazada, or The Iconic, you’ve visited an online marketplace.
As the name suggests, it’s not tangible or reachable physically but can be found online. It’s a type of eCommerce site where multiple third parties and vendors provide info on products and services. The transactions are handled and processed by the marketplace operator.
Related blog: Selling in online marketplaces: Your ticket to growth
Related blog: Amazon Inventory Management Add-On with TradeGecko
|MARKETPLACE||TYPE OF BUYERS|
|MercadoLibre||South Americans in search of electronics, cell phones, home & garden, fashion. It’s the 8th most visited site in the world; can sell across the whole of Latin America.|
|JOOR||Fashionistas searching for luxe brands, clothes and accessories.|
|Jumia||South African shoppers can buy television sets, appliances, hardware and fashion from this Nigerian marketplace.|
|Lazada||Largest site in Southeast Asia (owned by Alibaba) with 23 million active buyers searching for electronic gear, computer parts, motorcycle parts, homeware, toys & fashion accessories.|
|Wayfair||Homeowners and apartment dwellers in need of furniture and home accessories delivered to their front doorstep.|
|Houzz||Started as an inspiration platform among architects, interior designers, and homeowners. Now lists furniture, decor, lighting, storage and more.|
|Etsy||Buyers looking for handcrafted, artisanal goods.|
|Alibaba||Provides C2C, B2C, and B2B sales services via web portals, including electronic payment services, shopping search engines, and cloud computing services. Beauty was the fastest moving product. China’s middle-class are looking for high-quality products to satisfy discretionary spend and increasingly sophisticated lifestyle.|
|Fnac||Large French eCommerce site with 15+ million unique monthly visitors. Europeans looking for consumer electronics, eBooks and media shop here.|
|The Iconic||Australian online fashion and sports retailer with more than 1,000 local and international brands and 60,000 fashion and sports products for men and women.|
Starting your multi-channel expansion with online marketplaces first can provide your business with additional streams of income, access to new audiences and high volumes of traffic, and a well-funded and marketed infrastructure.
However, in order to stand out in saturated markets, you need a strong brand and a fantastic product that people will write home (or on social media) about.
Put the customer in the center of your channel expansion strategy and drive them back to your eCommerce store for repeat purchases.
1. Improve values derived from online marketplace
2. Encourage customers to transition from your online marketplace listings by:
3. Create a positive emotional feeling with fun packaging
4. Mind your parcels
5. Include a personal note and your contact info with returns and exchanges
As you expand, continue to experiment. Ensuring you have inventory, product listings and orders flowing smoothly is the key to your success.
Having the ability to forecast demand will help you estimate your future sales quantity and place purchase orders for your stock on time to meet the demand. This will help to prevent your products from going out of stock or from over ordering variants that aren't selling well.
Inventory management and highly advanced demand forecasting technology can be at your fingertips.
Give your business the upper-hand and start a free trial today