Challenges faced selling on different marketplaces
Let us directly start with some basics and then you would understand where and how to sell on eCommerce marketplaces. Also, what are the benefits of selling on marketplaces?
What is Multichannel eCommerce Selling?
The main concept behind the multichannel selling is that your product should be viewed by maximum visitors of a city or a country you are targeting. In multichannel selling, a person aims to expand their business by selling on multiple channels. Multiple channels might be brick and mortar store, own web store, eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and other local and international marketplaces.
The growth of Multichannel eCommerce Selling
We are already aware of the present scenario of shopping among different age groups. Due to busy schedules, the latest trend of sending personalized gifts and a range of options available on different websites, most of the people prefer shopping online. Very few of them still prefer going to a number of shops and spending long hours shopping. So, it’s a matter of choice for everyone. But if you sell something that is available nowhere else then your product gets the maximum attention from many buyers.
Do you Know? According to a survey multichannel selling has shown a sharp growth and almost 77% of the seller’s selling on Amazon also sells on other Marketplaces.
NOTE: There is the latest news about Amazon.com that it has removed the parity price restriction of selling on a more discounted amount on other ecommerce marketplaces
With time this decision of selling on other marketplaces at a lower price than what you are selling on Amazon (of other countries) might come into effect. Well, this is just a prediction, I cannot guarantee.
So now back to the topic, let us now focus on the major challenges faced by sellers while selling on different eCommerce marketplaces
Catalog Management: Every marketplace has a different image and data standards. Suppose if you are thinking of selling on Amazon, eBay and Etsy then you need to list three times while you are intending to selling on these marketplaces. Upload the images 3 times and change the data as per the marketplace suggestions. Doing this for multiple marketplaces definitely becomes a very tedious task.
Inventory Management: You need to maintain consistency and synchronization while selling on multiple channels. This is the worst part as sometimes the seller forgets to update the changes after selling the product. If by chance the order arrives and the product is already out of stock then it’s a big hit to the seller’s image.
Order Management and fulfillment: As per the research conducted by the Harvard, sellers lose 50% of the customers to the competitors as they go out of stock. This process comes under order management as the order comes in. You have to first process the order, pick, pack and then ship it. It might happen sometimes that the seller might forget to deduct the stock from all the marketplaces and this leads to a bad image. Inefficient order management can largely affect the ecommerce business. Order processing and fulfillment are processes that are often prone to human errors.
Market Reconciliation: While setting up your business on multiple ecommerce marketplaces there might be chances of hundreds of transactions occurring in a month. There would be new orders, returned orders, fulfilled orders, accounting part where payments received and deposited to the customer and vendor’s account. Manually keeping the track of all these transactions is highly impossible. You also have to abide by the different states tax policies and eCommerce marketplaces policies. Managing all this manually would become utterly exhausting.
To overcome the above challenges, you need a standardized software that can not only handle your listing on multichannel ecommerce platform, but also helps you to manage orders, and process them. There are many software’s in the market that also handles the accounts and shipping. The platform follows the streamlined process and the entire process is automated. Using such software, you can focus on more other important things like you can invest your time on strategic marketing.
Ecommerce is a very competitive world and the retailers should be extremely agile and flexible if they are selling into multiple channels. If you want the visitors to come to your site and experience your brand and become your lifetime customers, then you need to think differently. Your items should be viewable as the customer searches the product on Amazon or Google. If you want to sell more then choose the best multichannel platform that can help you to “Sell anywhere and Sell more”.
Brief know-how of some of the eCommerce marketplaces (With Pros and Cons)
Amazon: This is a gigantic platform with approximately 85 million visitors per month. If you strictly follow the algorithm rules of Amazon, the retailer can easily get people in front of their products. In this ecommerce marketplace, you gain new customers and the chances are that they may purchase from you again. The checkouts and fulfillment processes of this platform are the best, where customer satisfaction is of utmost priority.
Every marketplace comes with few downsides that include:
- Reselling on Amazon comes with a marketplace fees that varies as per the category.
- There is a restriction on branding your business
- You cannot capture the personal information of the customer and so in the future, you are unable to market the products in front of them.
eBay: Like Amazon, eBay also has a huge base of enthusiastic shoppers. The platform has a very easy-to-use interface for listing, selling and managing inventory. Through eBay, you get the opportunity to sell on international markets.
The disadvantage of selling in this eCommerce marketplace is:
- The fees vary depending upon the product you sell and the method you use to sell.
- The sellers feel that the policies are overly generous on the buyer, as the 180-day return policy.
Etsy: Ideal for sellers interested in selling artisanal, hand-crafted and vintage items. Etsy is known to have the best customer base that are passionate like-minded shoppers. Retailers find it very easy to set up a store and sell on this ecommerce marketplace.
The disadvantages of this ecommerce marketplace include:
- Vendor fee that is coupled with PayPal charges sometimes add up quickly, thus eating up the profit margins.
- Some retailers complain about the few options available for customizing the store.
- With few categories onboard, the Etsy platform is bit competitive.
There are a number of other channels in the eCommerce world where your product might be on the top or might not sell. You have to do a bit of research and experiment as well.