3 tactics to choose the most suitable marketplaces for your brand

One out of two users shop online through marketplaces

According to the latest Connected Shoppers Report by Salesforce, on over 10,000 consumers around the world, 47% of e-shoppers choose to buy on marketplaces.

Among them, almost one out of two shops through websites such as Amazon, Zalando, eBay, Etsy, Privalia. According to the research, there are three factors explaining marketplaces success:

  • affordable prices
  • fast shipments
  • wide choice of products

Being found on eShopper’s favorite platforms is crucial for most companies. Actually, according to the report, consumers interact with a brand, on average, through 8 channels. Among them there are, precisely, marketplaces.

However, not all e-commerce platforms suit features and goals of each brand.

How to choose those that can boost online sales without jeopardizing the brand positioning, margins and traditional distribution?

In the complex and multifaceted marketplaces scenario, here we provide 3 strategies to identify the most suitable online sales channels for your business:

1. CONSIDER THE MAIN PRODUCT CATEGORY AND THE TARGET OF EACH CHANNEL

Leaving aside the generalist marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay), each platform is, more or less, oriented on just one or a few product categories. This is the case of Farfetch for luxury fashion, Spartoo for footwear, Zalando for fashion and Etsy for handicraft products.

The right strategy is to map marketplaces focusing on your own product category.

Another key factor to consider concerns the audience to which the marketplace is addressed. For example, 90% of users of the french platform La Redoute are female, aged between 20 and 45. La Redoute is an interesting channel for all brands aiming at this target.

2. ASSESS THE MARKETPLACE POPULARITY IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF INTEREST

Amazon seems to be the dominant marketplace nowadays, with its 304 million users and almost 200 million monthly visits. But is it so everywhere? Data suggest to carefully evaluate the marketplaces popularity in the countries of interest.

In the Netherlands, for example, the most used channel for online shopping is Bol.com, a generalist platform attracting an average of 42 million monthly visits (Amazon doesn’t even appear in the top 5 marketplaces ranking in this country). In China Amazon is “only” the fifth most visited marketplace, after the Alibaba group websites and JD.com. In Germany, Otto and Real.de are the key online channels to cover, even if these two platforms remain completely unknown outside the German borders.

Web traffic and marketplaces popularity are two aspects that brands cannot overlook in the countries of interest.

3. CHOOSE MARKETPLACES IN LINE WITH YOUR OWN BRAND POSITIONING

In terms of perception, selling on eBay is not the same thing as selling on Farfetch.

Each channel enjoys a positioning which, due to the halo effect, also extends to the products it offers.

It is clear that luxury items can hardly be offered on platforms like eBay. Likewise, it is very unlikely that low-cost products will be sold on Galeries Lafayette, a platform recognized for its image of exclusivity and elegance.

To protect the brand positioning, it is important to study that of marketplaces.

In order to guide brands towards the most suitable channels for their own business, we have developed the Complete Marketplace Map which illustrates:

  • the most promising geographic areas for your brand online sales
  • the 5 most popular marketplaces in each analysed country
  • all the marketplaces from all the analysed countries, divided by product category

Download the Map for free.