Marketing in Marketplaces – Looking beyond Discounts
If we had to look at the most common myth associated with online marketplaces, it has to be that only discounts drive sales on these platforms. True that etailers treaded the discounts route previously to get in the favourite list of customers. And in the interim period, the other avenues could have been ignored by online sellers.
But now that discounts have taken a backseat, it’s time we give due credit to the other avenues at disposal for multiplying online sales. Like any other business tactic, what works for one need not work for another. Finding the right combination of tools that work for you is the key to a successful online selling venture.
Here’s a quick look:
Use marketplaces like your own ecommerce website
In the marketplace vs. own online store debate, the most prominent point is that marketplaces give you a ready channel for your business. Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal etc. give the benefits of high traffic, visibility, marketing and so on, even if you have only a small inventory. You have the luxury of adding more products to sell based on your growth. All these albeit the cost of building and marketing your own site, and without foregoing your offline channels.
Find niche or high demand product category/categories
Selling what everyone else sells could be crippling your sales. You are competing with many other sellers targeting and marketing to the same set of customers that frequent the marketplaces, since a single page shows all products of the category. So if you are selling a product which 20 others sellers also have, the likelihood that you’ll make a sale is slim to none – especially if you’re not the cheapest option.
Options like Amazon’s much coveted ‘Buy Box’ on a product page is a guarantee to customers that the product is of the assured quality and value pricing. The chance of a customer clicking on ‘Add to cart’ for this product is significantly higher, as compared to a listing that’s not featured in the ‘Buy box’. In another instance, you could get pushed to the second or third pages of search results which reduces your chances of making a sale.
Hence, it becomes essential to opt for marketplace options that can give you an edge above the rest and marginalise competition.
Price products carefully
Many businesses undercut their own profits when selling on Amazon and Flipkart in the hopes of jumpstarting sales. This is never a smart strategy. While some merchants may sell their products too cheap, you’ll be better off pricing yours fairly so that you can make a profit. Don’t forget to factor in the monthly fee for selling on marketplaces and shipping costs when you determine how to price your products.
Opt for Product Ads on marketplaces
We see so many advertisements around us for the simple reason that they get customer attention and sell products. Even in a marketplace, ads promote brand visibility and product recall in a customer’s mind. Also, these are quick to set up and there are multiple options available to fit anyone’s budget.
For example, Amazon offers an advertising program not unlike Google’s AdWords. Using this program is a smart idea if you don’t want your items on a competitor’s site, but want to take advantage of Amazon’s traffic. You’ll be charged per click, and prices vary depending on the category that you choose. Popular categories can cost more than Rs 10 per click, while others are just pennies per click.
Market your products off-site
To maximize your chances of success on marketplaces, it pays to start producing content about your products that you can distribute on a blog and social media channels. Why not post a link to your product listed on Amazon as a status update on Facebook? Or, write descriptive information about something you’re selling on your blog. Every additional piece of content you provide will increase the chances to get your product on the radar of your potential customers.
Sponsored Products, which are relatively new, allow you to promote individual products using keyword targeting.Per marketplace’s own display, these ads should appear below the search results. But the placement in the search results may vary based on your products buying history as well as the bidding price on each marketplace. These campaigns drive an excellent ROI and can give a best-selling product a ton of visibility.
Headline Search Ads
The headline search ads appear above the results as a banner.
With headline ads, you can direct users to nearly any page on marketplaces, including a brand page. The seller can either link a banner ad to a particular product or also a list of products of the same brand. The user should keep in mind the metrics like CTR (Click through rate) and DPV (Detailed page views) before investing in headline banner Ads.
Product Display Ads
Unlike the other ads in Amazon and Flipkart’s advertising arsenal, these ads aren’t targeted with keywords, but rather by selecting where you want your product(s) to appear.When you’re building this ad, you’ll see a search box you can use to find relevant products. You can target relevant complementary products. This Ad space is generally used to target competitor’s products.
Tie up with a growth partner
It is but obvious that a business may not have the resources to dedicate enough time and effort on the above. Even if one has the team, they might not know the right way of utilising the above options to maximise scope for desirable change. It is best to tie up with a growth partner like Browntape to find the correct marketing solution for your business. There are many benefits:
You are free to focus on the production or procurement of your products
You can formulate growth and expansion plans at the right time
You know if your ecommerce operations are aligned in the right direction for growth
You won’t have to waste resources on unnecessary marketing
You get access to a knowledgeable and professional team