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Should You List Your Products on Third-Party Marketplaces?
The presence of third-party marketplaces are becoming increasingly more abundant. For the first time ever, Amazon has outpaced search engines as the first place a consumer product search originates.
Should I sell my products on a marketplace?
- Grow sales
- Reach new markets
- Quickly build brand/product awareness
- Mitigate fraud risk
- You don’t own the customer
- Limited control of customer experience
- Selling costs can be prohibitive
- High support requirements
Which third-party marketplace is right for my business?
Target markets in third-party marketplaces:
If you don’t have anything in that category, the next place to look would be your standard stock items. Regardless of what you list, review listings to see if similar or the exact same item exists on marketplace, find out the going rate and determine if you can compete.
Budget – Finding the Goldilocks zone in third-party marketplaces:
What complicates things is that most platforms won’t let you list items for a higher price than you sell them for on your website, meaning you can’t raise your prices on the marketplace to account for their fees. You also can’t create a price war with yourself to push traffic to your site by undercutting your prices on a third-party marketplace. So, if your prices are already rock-bottom, your margins just got that much tighter.
While also reviewing costs to sell, look to see if the marketplace offers advertising to help promote your offering. For instance, Jet.com and Walmart.com don’t allow advertising, however Amazon and Ebay do. Amazon’s advertising is on a cost-per-click basis, similar to Google Adwords. Ebay’s advertising is unique in that they have different rates per category. With Ebay you also have the option of making your listing stand out with upgrades such as bold text, larger pictures and many other options.
It’s critical to understand how you will manage inventory that is potentially shared with your other channels. Your strategy here may vary depending on the types of products you are selling. If you are selling discontinued, slow moving or closeouts product lines with limited and finite inventory you may need to update said inventory more frequently than if you are selling your primary product lines with high inventory availability.
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