Selling products via national and international online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Ebay, and Alibaba, is becoming a popular strategy amongst eCommerce companies. Recent research by the eCommerce Foundation suggests that marketplaces will own almost 40% of the global retail market in 2020.
In order to stay a relevant player in the market, many retailers are looking for ways to incorporate marketplaces into their strategies. By doing so, internal processes need to be adapted as well. Companies need to make sure they can handle incoming orders, returns, and customer service via new channels.
An online marketplace is a website that offers a place for companies to sell their products. Marketplaces do not own inventory themselves, they only facilitate a way to present products for online sellers.
This creates a convenience for online shoppers. For them, it becomes easy to compare prices from different sellers. Also, shoppers can stay in one place to find various products, instead of going from shop to shop.
Online marketplaces also offer sellers convenience as marketplaces assist them by organizing (a part of) payments, fulfillment, and customer service. Of course, this is not free. Marketplaces make money by asking fees. Nonetheless, the marketplace model is becoming more popular, due to the advantages it provides:
Products become easier to find.
As shoppers increasingly look for products via marketplaces, your products will become more visible. Also, new audiences that would otherwise not visit your webshop can be addressed.
Create a greater level of trust and transparency through reviews. Many marketplaces have a review system in which shoppers are actively asked to share their opinion on products they bought. The more trustworthy and positive reviews you get, the more likely people will be to buy your product.
Making use of the marketplace’s popularity and familiarity
Many consumers have a couple of specific places where they buy their products. They will not easily buy products from another shop. Marketplaces have become familiar to many shoppers today. Investing in a marketplace is a great way to introduce people to your products and service. Gaining brand awareness and creating a good customer experience via marketplaces is valuable for your shop!
Selling via Online Marketplaces: Having the Right System in Place
Investing in a marketplace is an exciting opportunity. Yet, it also means you will have to invest in systems that help you to succeed with this opportunity. Installing an ERP system is a great way to support marketplace sales. When deciding what ERP will meet your business needs, there are few important items to take into consideration:
Handling incoming orders from the marketplace
Online marketplaces usually offer different methods to keep track of orders. Information about orders can come in in many different forms, such as XML files, Excel or CSV. Returns and refund information may be handled in the same way. It is important that your ERP supports these formats.
Tracking individual customers (across channels)
Customers can be tracked in many different ways. Ask yourself what information you would like to receive. Is it enough to know that your customer ordered via a marketplace, or do you want to know more specific information? A customer might buy in various channels, yet show up as a new customer every single time. ERP systems can help to recognize names, addresses or client numbers. This will help you to get more insight into your customers.
Managing warehouses, replenishment, and shipping
Selling via online marketplaces means establishing a new fulfillment process. Your ERP system needs to have the flexibility to manage processes for different channels, which may have their own rules for warehousing, replenishment, and shipping.
Keeping product information synced
Information about products may change. Prices, availability, and categories might change over time. Therefore, make sure your ERP system can communicate these changes to the marketplace’s software in order to keep information synced.
Anticipating on growth
Lastly, adding a new channel means that you might start selling more items. Therefore, your ERP system must scalable and have to flexibility to handle a growth.
Marello and Online Marketplaces
Marello is designed to provide you with ERP features that are needed to manage all aspects of your business, including selling via marketplaces.
The possibility to work with comprehensive features for Order Management, Order Fulfillment, Customer Management, and more, makes Marello one of the most suitable ERP systems for marketplace sales. Marello treats marketplaces as any other sales channel: centralizing processes and making it easy to manage and track sales across various channels. Furthermore, Marello is very flexible and scalable, making it adaptable to all business situations.
See how Marello works in our demo, and start incorporating online marketplaces into your sales strategy today!