The great potential in e-commerce is used by those who think beyond their own online shop. Marketplaces, price comparisons, e-mail marketing and other channels are required if sales and reach are to be optimized. Marketplaces are also suitable for the test on an international stage.
With e-commerce growth, there is no end in sight and only relying on the own online shop, or even with the shop only on Google, means to forego growth and sales. The volume goes beyond the own shop. The biggest opportunity for more reach is in marketplaces. Multi-channel marketing is the keyword here.
The entry into the marketplaces is less complicated than often suspected. The systems already in use often already allow a direct or indirect connection to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, real.de and many others.
Let's take a short look at a few advantages and disadvantages of marketplaces.
- Calculable costs – especially for CPO deals
- Low implementation effort
- Easy way to test pricing strategies
- More reach outside of your own shop
- New customer group (especially price sensitive users)
- Simple internationalization
- Low added value of customer data
- Depending on the service thought of the marketplace
- Customer expectations mostly different than in the shop
- Reputation management not in your own hands
- High price pressure with high competition at the product level
Many online shop operators are deterred by the limited amount of data they learn about their customers when working with a marketplace. Understandable, because if the customer is actually just a customer from the marketplace but not owned by the company to the shop, it can be built from little to no regular customer. Marketplaces should therefore be sensitively examined whether they fit the strategy. More reach with positive contribution margin – that's where the marketplace strategy has to be aligned. If this does not work, you should win as many shopper data as possible.
Connection via interfaces
In the first step, selling products via marketplaces means transferring the product data to the respective marketplace via an interface. This works with data feeds. Manually no marketplace must be served. Interfaces allow the exchange of information almost in real time. Above all, information such as:
- product data
- Address and payment information
- status information
Product data are mainly: product name, EAN, prices, product images and description. The data is mandatory so that products can be listed on a marketplace. If a customer orders, payment and address data are transported back to the merchandise management system via the interface. In addition, a status is transmitted in both directions. From the shop or PIM etc. there is the status of availability. The marketplace gives the status of the payment. Finally, only the shipping status is exchanged.
Marketplaces in Germany
There are many exciting marketplaces for the German market. Some of them have international offshoots and thus also have the opportunity to gain initial experience outside of Germany.
Shop owners should definitely keep an eye on marketplaces and try them out. Customers who go through marketplaces, or even price comparisons, are often those who will not land in their own online shop. Loyal Amazon customers who have already deposited all of their data there and appreciate the service of the platform, with their e-commerce queries i.d.R. already directly in Amazon. It's almost impossible to transfer them to your own online shop.
Cover picture: ID 102496318 / Rawpixel / depositphotos.com