Online marketplaces are quickly dominating the retail sphere. With ecommerce only becoming more popular as time goes on, in every sector, from fashion and apparel to electronics and homeware, this trend is set to stay.
Research showed that in 2019, 57% of all online sales took place via a digital marketplace. Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented amounts of people turning to online shopping to fulfill their consumer needs due to public health measures that have kept people home more often. Therefore, it’s likely to assume that this figure has risen since then and that online marketplaces now host the most online transactions by a considerable amount.
Industry insiders have noted that these platforms are attractive not only to consumers, but retailers too. Offering an opportunity for shoppers to access a number of their favorite brands all under one roof. Whereas retailers can more easily scale-up their sales operations, stepping more smoothly into new markets and tapping into new consumer bases.
Read on to discover the reasons why brands should harness the increasing success of online marketplaces for growth.
Grow a new consumer base quickly and effectively…
A major benefit of selling through digital marketplaces is that it’s a quick and easy way to introduce and grow brand awareness in both new and existing markets. Whereas brands may be new to a certain region, the likelihood is that a range of marketplace players will already be established, and popular in that location.
Selling through these will provide increased marketing opportunities and grow brand awareness within an unfamiliar market. The association with an already trusted and established platform will give new customers the confidence they need to purchase from an unknown name. This way retailers are able to save on marketing costs, using a shortcut to meet new audiences on the sites they’re already visiting frequently.
Integrate easily with an existing customer-friendly setup…
Setting up operations in a new country or region is often complex and costly. When stepping into a new market, selling through an existing platform simplifies the process, and in most cases saves on both time and costs while securing the best solutions for both retailers and their customers.
Online marketplace giants have both the experience and expertise to drive growth for brands amongst new customers, with the logistical, technological, and operational network already in place. Plus, a customer-friendly setup with regards to both the sales and returns process, alongside customer experience management.
For many stand-alone brands and retailers, the complexity and wide-reaching coordination needed to launch in a new forum is overwhelming. With everything from sales to returns, and marketing to customer service to arrange, online marketplaces offer a turnkey solution for a smooth scale-up operation.
Tailor a product selection for a particular market…
Digital marketplaces offer a stage on which merchants can showcase a particular product selection to a new audience. Winning the attention of new consumers by promoting their global best-sellers or finding out what items are most popular in any given region. Marketplaces provide an opportunity to experiment and learn what works best in each market. Sellers can use this to grow and encourage future sales; adding more items to stock that the retailers know for sure their new consumer base will be receptive to.
Gain access to established market data and insights…
With a variety of brands and products onboard, online marketplaces are able to tap into vast amounts of market data regarding consumer behavior and shopping trends. Selling on these platforms gives merchants access to these valuable insights and expertise. Data that can inform future business decisions and help to improve operations.
For example, online marketplaces often have integrated features designed to use customer feedback to improve the sales process. On many platforms’ customers may leave reviews on products, or be required to state the reason for a return. Information such as this informs brands of where they can improve, perhaps in terms of sizing or product quality etc. Using data to fix commonly reported issues only allows for future growth.
Simplify customer service responsibilities…
Another integration made possible by partnering with an online marketplace is customer service capabilities. Very often these platforms have their own customer reach-out channels, such as web chats, phone lines, or emails to help consumers with any issues they may experience during the sale or return process. Having access to this, not only provides shoppers with a consistent customer experience, but it also saves your brand time and money on these, often costly, resources. An existing setup takes the complexity out of launching in a new market, diminishing the need to form an in-house customer service operation in that region.
Online Marketplaces and Consumer Returns
At Cycleon, we see returns as an opportunity to grow brand audiences, win new customers and increase customer lifetime value, securing future sales. That’s why we offer smart solutions that help retailers to optimize their consumer returns flow. This includes marketplace-compliant products that allow clients to quickly and easily integrate with online marketplaces so that they can scale-up in new markets with much less complexity and cost.