Over the past decade, online marketplaces have been unsettling the structure of business and sales. Projected to hit $7 trillion by 2024, their power in the lives of consumers and businesses is anticipated to grow. The best of these online marketplaces are international in design, facilitating cross-border sales for thousands of B2B and B2C companies.
Participating in the right set of marketplaces is important for online growth but the specific set will depend on your sector, size, and goals. Always start small as popular marketplaces have a higher level of competition. Understanding the nuances of particular platforms increases the likelihood of success so do your research and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Developing relationships with overseas partners will help your business to manage the on-the-ground element to cross-border e-commerce. Creating a faultless customer experience is a requirement in ecommerce and having partners to smooth the process of delivery and returns is essential in maintaining customer loyalty and trust.
We live in an age of brands. Belief in a brand plays a huge role in guiding consumer conversion, particularly as social selling has become more influential than over. Making your brand relatable is an exercise in storytelling. Use your e-commerce platforms to tell the story of your brand AND your individual products. Don’t underestimate the power of social media in amplifying your story.
Putting time and effort into building brand awareness on your social media platforms will pay off as consumers begin to identify and relate to your brand mission. Customer reviews play an important role in this process and incorporating these into your social media content strategy will act as social proof for other consumers.
People like to buy from local brands so tailor your ecommerce approach to the locality you are selling into. A localised tactic will enable customers to connect easier with your product as they will be reassured that your brand aligns with their buyer aspirations and culture. Go beyond translating pre-existing marketing and focus on delivering marketing and content custom-created for specific communities. Market insight is invaluable during this process as it will equip you with intelligence on what makes a specific set of customers convert.
Sustaining a competitive pricing strategy is one of the main challenges faced by even the most auspicious ecommerce players. The most successful strategies are flexible, adjusting to real-time demand. When demand is high, your prices should match that accordingly – and vice versa.
It’s well and good having your products on the perfect marketplace but if they aren’t visible to users on the platform then your efforts will be wasted. Maneuvering the marketplace-specific guidelines to optimise your product visibility is crucial. The structure and content of your listings is key: tags, advanced attributes, product titles, images, descriptions, keywords, and categories all play a role in enabling customers to find your products and then ALSO convert.
Taking advantage of the inbuilt software that many marketplaces come with allows your business to operate seamlessly on these platforms. Native ad units are the norm now with online marketplaces and are often more effective as they use internal data, including shopping behaviour and buyer personas, to offer targeted display advertising, sponsored search, enhanced content marketing and email campaigns that drive traffic to your listings.
To thrive in an online marketplace you have to stand out from the crowd and deliver exceptional customer service to retain customers long-term. It will take investment but the rewards will be transformative. Online marketplaces offer to unlock international markets and substantially increase your customer base.
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