Quick Hacks Business Models eCommerce Strategy

11 Tips to increase sales on marketplaces

Jan 17, 2020 10 min read

Author:

11 Tips to increase sales on marketplaces

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Many people ask us whether to sell on marketplaces? or how to increase sales on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Etsy, etc.?

The reason why I am getting such questions is that more sellers are joining the world’s top marketplaces with a hope to increase sales with the increasing competition for the existing ones and themselves. Also, it is difficult and costly for small merchants and even to brands to have their own stores, market it and drive mammoth traffic. 

Considering the competition and the urge to increase sales and earn better ROI, I thought to come up with a list of actionable tips on how to sell more on marketplaces instantly.

11 Actionable Tips to Increase Sales on Marketplaces

1. Select marketplaces that match to your product category

I don’t buy apparel from Amazon. Similarly, my wife won’t buy groceries from Flipkart. Customers have a clear agenda of what to buy from where.

I would prefer buying apparel from Myntra, and smartphones from Flipkart.

You need to carefully choose the marketplaces to sell your products there. If you try to sell fashion on Amazon, the sales would be less compared to on Myntra.

Being present on generalized but large-scale marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart gives you the advantage of reaching a mass audience. 

But, niche marketplaces (that only sell a few product categories) allows you to reach your target audience. 

That’s the reason why selecting the marketplaces that match your product categories is the first step to increase sales on Amazon-like online marketplaces.

Begin with understanding your target audience, their preferred marketplaces, and your product categories. Based on this research and analysis, choose the right marketplaces.

For example; if your target audience is working professionals and you sell Home Décor products, you should list your products on the top home decor eCommerce websites and not on Flipkart or other such sorts of. 

Tips to increase sales on marketplaces - select niche marketplace

2. Understand their promotional plans and use it

Marketplaces have hundreds of brands selling products that fall into your product categories. What are the chances of your products being at the top of others in those categories? Quite less! And, if your products are not on the top, how much is the probability of you getting the orders? Super low, right?

So, you need to improve your product visibility to earn sales.

Most marketplaces have their own promotional plans that you can benefit from. Advertising through bidding on keywords (user search queries) and ad space, Google Shopping ads, and more are the ways marketplaces use.

The more you advertise, the more you earn visibility. Enhancing your visibility is directly proportional to increasing sales.

Here is an example of increasing sales on Nykaa using their advertising programs-

How to increase sales on marketplaces, Nykaa - advertising on marketplaces Image Source

Before you advertise, you need to be ready with the following answers-

  • How much do you target to sell through each marketplace?
  • How many profits do you think you will earn after getting orders?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you ready to spend consistently for a few months?
  • Are you ready with enough stock before investing in advertising?

Identifying your budget and your readiness to spend it consistently will help you increase sales on marketplaces instantly.

3. Focus on fulfillment strategies and plan

If you remember, I just asked you, “Are you ready with enough stock before investing in advertising?” That’s the point I’m going to elaborate on here.

Selling online has a great challenge- understanding how much to keep in stock, where to keep, for how long, how to contract with the fulfillment agencies, and more.

You consider this as a challenge because you’re not sure how many orders you’ll have in a day. The orders may increase especially when you advertise but it’s difficult to predict the day and time.

But, when you opt fulfillment by marketplaces, you’ve got a better plan. Why am I saying so? Because of the following benefits- 

  • Better space for your inventory

Being marketplaces, they have many, larger and safer warehouses where it becomes feasible for you to store your products.

Even if you have only one product, you can send it to their warehouses.

The sellers selling more products on their platform may get special benefits such as unlimited storage spaces on some marketplaces.

  • Faster product delivery

Marketplaces offering one-day and two-day delivery services have a large network of fulfillment. The moment they receive an order, they start its processing.

If you choose fulfillment by marketplaces, you can deliver your products faster compared to if you manage it from your end.

  • Efficient logistics and shipping management

When you receive orders, you’ve to pack them, provide them to your shipping software solutions company or delivery partners, and ship them.

For international orders, you need to spend more time, money, and effort for the safety of your products.

Managing shipping and logistics can be tiring and even time-consuming. 

Marketplaces have trained resources to manage it entirely for you, without your involvement.

  • Easy returns management

What if you get a return request? You have to again spend on picking the order from your customer, packing the same, and take it to your store. Though it’s expensive, you need to manage it on your own.

If you go for fulfillment by marketplaces, you only have to pay the marketplaces, and they’ll take it further.

  • Reduced inventory shipping rates 

While transferring your inventory to the marketplace fulfillment centers, they might offer you some discounts on shipping rates. So, you save your cost there as well.

  • Exceptional order fulfillment for other stores

When you choose fulfillment by marketplaces, they provide fulfillment services even when you get orders from your personal and other online stores. You just need to configure certain settings within your stores.

  • Unbeatable customer service

As marketplaces have resources working 24×7, your order can be processed at any point in time. Even when your customers have queries, they can reach out to the marketplaces and get them resolved instantly.

  • More sales

Say for example, when you are shopping on Amazon, you may filter products that are fulfilled by Amazon or eligible for Prime delivery. Similar to yours, there are millions of customers of Amazon. You can take that benefit to get more sales.

Here is how to increase sales on Amazon using FBA

How to increase sales on marketplaces - Amazon FBA

One of the main purposes of using the marketplace’s fulfillment network is to gain customer confidence and earn their trust. Once you have it, you’ve won half of the game in increasing sales.

4. Try to get reviews and ratings from the products sold on the marketplace

Product reviews act as a crucial factor for customers while they are making a purchase decision. According to statistics published by Brightlocal, 91% of millennials trust online reviews, and 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews.

When it comes to product reviews and ratings, I highly encourage sellers to gain as much as organic product rating + detailed reviews. You may feel that getting reviews from actual customers is challenging.

Tips on increasing sales on marketplaces - social media engagement can drive better product reviews

Image Source

Today, customers don’t expect a perfect quality product, but also an unforgettable customer experience when they shop online. 

If you excel at providing both of these, you’re likely to get un-asked product reviews. But, customers tend to forget sharing their experiences due to their priorities. Hence, it becomes your responsibility to remind and encourage them to share your reviews on marketplaces.

Here are a few ways to get product reviews on marketplaces-

  1. Email campaigns
  2. Loyalty programs
  3. Social media posts

More positive reviews have a greater influence in making more sales in marketplaces.

5. Work on value-based pricing strategies

There are five types of pricing strategies common across businesses-

  1. Cost-plus pricing – calculate your costs, add your margins, and decide the cost
  2. Competitive pricing – look at competitors’ prices and decide your pricing
  3. Value-based pricing – identify how much your customers would find worth to pay you for what you’re selling and then reach to a number
  4. Price skimming – begin with a high price and lower it as per market demands
  5. Penetration pricing – enter into the industry with a low price for an easy win and then increase the pricing
  6. Psychological pricing – set pricing that has certain psychological impacts such as $99, $199, etc.
  7. Bundle pricing – identify products to be combined for sales and set single pricing instead of different
Tips to increase sales on marketplaces - value-based pricing strategy Image Source

In value-based-pricing, you price your products based on the value customers see in the product. This strategy helps you build better customer relationships, strengthen your brand name, increase profits, and deliver an unbeatable customer experience. 

So, keeping value-based pricing on marketplaces drives more sales.

6. Craft comprehensive and creative product description

Even though your products are listed on marketplaces, it doesn’t mean you’ll get more sales. You need to work around in making them look more appealing.

On a large marketplace, when you are selling a product or an SKU which many other sellers are selling; usually you don’t have control over what images are being displayed.

But when you are selling unique SKUs, you have full control over what product images and descriptions you want to place. Make the best out of it. Focus more on having compelling product images. Short product videos give a better idea about your products, which is why it’s one of the top conversion hacks to drive sales.

Product graphics are not the only thing that helps in conversions and hence, you need a product description that sells. Such product description must have,

  • Product features and benefits
  • How-to-use section
  • Product care tips
  • Company or seller information
  • Comparisons
  • Warranty, guarantee, and support information
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An example of a product description that sells on marketplaces like Flipkart- 

How to increase sales on marketplaces, Flipkart - Product description

7. Choose suitable marketplace listing software

One marketplace is never enough to drive sales and become successful. Hence, you need to sell across multiple relevant marketplaces. 

But, managing inventory, orders, earnings, and more becomes challenging across all the marketplaces. How would you identify the no. of orders you got from last month or year? How much revenue did you earn last month or year?  If you calculate all such data manually, it won’t be efficient. Also, you have to invest time and resources to do so.

A marketplace listing software can help you list your products on all eCommerce websites in one go. You can store, track, and manage orders, transactions, and revenue in one place.

How to increase sales on marketplaces - using marketplace listing software

Image Source

While selecting a marketplace listing software, choose the one that supports all the eCommerce websites on which you are selling your products and has all the features you require (product management, analytics, and reporting) and comes with marketing and monetization tools.

So, you just have to focus on selling more products while marketplace software will take care of managing inventory, orders, and everything else. 

If you’re an Indian seller, you can start with Unicommerce. If you are a seller living in the US, you can go with Sellbrite and Ecomdash. Ensure that you are trying the software in-depth during the trial period before making any purchase.

8. Create fantastic product combo offers

Product combo offers come under the bundle pricing strategy that we discussed above. 

Combining multiple products into an offer with single pricing helps you double your sales on marketplaces.

Ways to increase sales on marketplaces - using combo offers Image Source

Besides, you can create combo offers based on occasions and festivals. For example; you can launch product combo offers for Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. 

Choose the combo days based on the product categories you’re selling. If you sell baby-care products, you can create a Children’s Day combo in which you can include baby cream, baby powder, and other commonly used baby products.

9. Play with product attributes well

Product attributes make your products searchable on marketplaces. The better you’ve mapped your attributes, the more they get displayed on their category pages.

Look at the filter options available on your product category page, and set-up your product attributes accordingly.

If your product has multiple sizes or colors available, add them all so that when customers search for such sizes and colors, your products are not missing on the search results page.

How to increase sales on marketplaces, Flipkart - setting up the right product attributes

Image Source

If your shoes are two or three-colored, you can add all the colors in product attributes while listing them on marketplaces. So, if a customer is looking for shoes having a white or grey or red color, your shoes pop up on the top of the category page.

So, play well with attributes to increase sales on marketplaces instantly.

10. Choose the right keywords

You cannot ignore this because it is the third most essential things to do to optimize your product pages for SEO.

Billions of people visit marketplaces for a product search monthly. Your competitors are also selling on the marketplaces where you’re selling. With such demand and supply, you need to understand that it’s tricky to be always in front of your potential buyers. 

Until & unless they reach your products, it’s difficult to convert them. Hence, you need to use the right keywords to help marketplaces show your products on the top.

Choosing the right keywords and mentioning those keywords in the product title and product description is very crucial to increase sales on eCommerce marketplaces. 

How to increase sales on marketplaces - Etsy's placement of right keywords

When you are listing a new product on the marketplace, make a list of the most relevant terms and keywords a customer would search for. Include the most important one in the product title and others in the product description. 

This way, your product has much higher chances of getting displayed in search results when a customer is finding something on marketplaces as well as the search engines. 

11. Improve customer service

Working on customer experience campaigns is not optional these days. Marketers believe they are good at providing awesome customer experience while customers not much agree with that. Check out a stats below-

How to increase sales on marketplaces - marketers vs consumers statistics by eMarketer

When you provide exceptional customer service, customers rate your brand better. As a result, your seller rating on the eCommerce marketplace increases. If this happens, potential customers are likely to purchase products from you instead of another seller.

Providing exceptional customer service gets you more repeat sales on marketplaces. Hence, here are a few ways you can impress your customers and drive more sales-

  1. Plan a customer appreciation strategy
  2. Manage returns or exchange efficiently
  3. Provide recommended products when they visit next
  4. Send emails on their special days with special offers
  5. Come up with social media campaigns to drive engagement

With these ways, you can engage your customers better which ultimately increases the chances for repeat sales on marketplaces.

You have the opportunity to sell to billions of marketplace customers

Every seller has a dream of selling more when they join marketplaces. But, it’s a combination of strategy, best practices, the right resources, and performance analysis that can help you sell more and scale up faster.

Use these 11 actionable tips to increase sales on marketplaces. Once you have results to share, let us know in the comments below. 

Let us do the hand holding for your eCommerce growth

We are a group of experts who have more than 50 years of collective digital commerce experience. We guide eCommerce business owners on how to plan, execute strategies, and drive more sales on marketplaces. Share your business name and list of marketplaces you want to grow at [email protected] and we would love to help you take it to the next level.

Happy selling!

Vatsal Shah is a co-founder of Pragmatic Consultancy and DIMC and has transformed various IT, E-Commerce, Chemical, Retail, Service sector organizations for 15 years now. Vatsal has been invited as a speaker by WordCamp, Meet Magento, GTU, ETail India, AMA, GLS University, etc. As a business coach and mentor, he has influenced more than 48 organizations in India, China, the UK, Africa, and the USA and trained more than 4700 people. Vatsal is the most artistic personality at eComKeeda because he is an amazing singer, dancer, artist, gold medalist in the corporate writing, and so much more.