When you’re running an ecommerce business, establishing a presence on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay has become more important than ever. Both Amazon and eBay offer an incredible amount of visibility for your brand and products – and that’s something that is especially significant for smaller businesses.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies when selling on eBay and Amazon. Pricing is often dictated by the marketplace, and it’s possible that your profit margins can take a hit.
To offset the potential downside, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of selling on marketplaces. You just need the right plan.
Here are four tips to help you effectively launch your products on an online marketplace:
- Check Out the Competition
First things first – do your research.
Whether you’re selling books, jewelry or Star Wars collectibles like Jett’s Toy Hutt, it’s important to take the time to research how similar products are being priced on the marketplace. Then ask yourself: Are my prices within range of the market going rate? If the answer is no, you may want to consider adjusting your pricing to stay competitive.
- Build Your Website
The next step is to build your own website.
Remember, an online marketplace should not be a replacement for your website, but rather an extension of it. Marketplaces can help drive traffic to your business’s site, which is where you hold the greatest control over your products’ pricing and profit margins. Bonus points if your website is also mobile-friendly.
- Don’t Forget Shipping
Once you’ve built your website and established your pricing, it’s time to focus on making sure your customers have a seamless experience, even after they’ve made a purchase.
Shipping is one of the most critical make-it-or-break-it factors for customers, so it’s important for online retailers to offer a variety of options – such as free shipping, next-day or standard shipping.
You’ll want to look for shipping software that can integrate directly with a marketplace storefront. Shipping software eliminates the need to check for new orders or manually post-back mandatory tracking information. The software will do the work for you, so you’ll have more time to focus on your customers.
- ‘Socialize’ Your Business
Never underestimate the power of social media, especially since 84 percent of online shoppers use at least one social media platform.
Hosting creative promos and online giveaways through social media can help provide a “human” face to your business, and get you connected to your customers – as well as drive traffic to your marketplace.
For example, in 2009, JetBlue ran a promotion on Twitter that gave out a total of 1,000 free round-trip tickets to those who followed the hashtag JB10NY on Twitter and literally followed JetBlue around Manhattan. JetBlue tweeted clues to help guide their followers to three different locations in Manhattan where free tickets were available to anyone who arrived with a specific object that was listed in the tweet. How’s that for a creative campaign?
Now, you’re all set to launch your product with confidence and take advantage of the benefits that an online marketplace has to offer! Do you have any secrets for selling on eBay and/or Amazon? Share your tips in the comments below.