Marketplaces can boost your online sales - Craig MacCallum

According to the British Retail Consortium, UK consumers cut back spending in all areas apart from holidays last month, with retail sales falling by 1.1 per cent as cost of living pressures soar. Online sales have taken a major hit since the start of the year.

Craig MacCallum, Founder and CEO, Optiseller
Craig MacCallum, Founder and CEO, Optiseller

Build your brand on the marketplace

In my view, sellers who are just starting out online should focus on marketplaces first. It is the best way to get your store out there and build trust before building your own transactional site. According to Mirakl’s State of Online Marketplace Adoption survey, 70% of shoppers now find marketplaces to be the most convenient way to shop. Marketplaces are the perfect platform to launch your business to millions of shoppers. Even established businesses can expand their reach on marketplaces. It is a cost-effective way of getting your products in front of the right audience and build brand awareness. Starting to sell on marketplaces may seem like a daunting task but it shouldn’t be. To help overcome those initial difficulties, we built our eBay Data Optimisation Platform to guide sellers through the process of onboarding to eBay with the best quality data.

Market Research

There are currently around 19 million active seller accounts on the eBay marketplace, so it is vital to do background research to get set-up for success and stand out from the busy crowd. Using all the tools available to maximise visibility and exposure on these marketplaces is crucial, particularly as consumers will still be looking, but not spending to the same extent as before. Online sellers have just a few seconds to grab a buyers’ attention.

With such strong competition on the marketplace, it is common for sellers to think that dropping prices is the best way to win a sale. This is one of the last things I would advise sellers to do; of course, the odd offer and promotion is beneficial, but being the cheapest isn’t essential to selling success on marketplaces. There is plenty of work you can do to attract sellers to your product and give them the best possible experience. Instead, think about your product placement. Listing in the wrong category is like storing your product in the back of your store, where no one is looking for it. Understanding what and who you are marketing to is laying the groundwork for a successful, optimised store.

Social Selling

Retailers should be using marketplaces and social channels to reach people where they already are. Put yourself in the position of the shopper, who are you trying to sell to, what are their daily habits, where do they find information and interact? Social selling, when done properly, enables online sellers to develop a connection and engage with shoppers in a completely new way. Think of social selling as modern relationship-building, much like TV advertising used to do. And, of course, it is essential that sellers conduct market research and learn from their data to maximise their effectiveness.

What I have learned from my years in the industry is store optimisation could be the difference between a sale or losing out to your competitor. It may seem like a lot of hard work, but you will reap the benefits.

Optiseller is an e-commerce platform that helps over 54,000 online retailers to better control, manage, and monitor their performance on marketplaces. Optiseller is used in over 100 countries and has analysed over 1.1bn products. It reviews over 70m listings every week.  

For more information on how Optiseller can help you, go to: https://go.optiseller.com/scotsman06

Craig MacCallum, founder and CEO, Optiseller

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