Why Retailers Should Be Considering an Online Presence

Estimated read time 12 min read

If you’re in the process of creating an online marketplace for your business, you’re probably wondering what online marketplaces can offer retailers. This article will answer that question and explain why now is the time to make the move and become an online retailer!

What do online marketplaces offer retailers?

Selling on an online marketplace can be a profitable business, but you must use the right strategy for selling your products. There are many benefits to selling on an online marketplace, and it may even be faster than building your own eCommerce website. Online marketplaces are typically well-designed, with an interface tailored to sellers, making the entire process easier for both the seller and the buyer.

An online marketplace model requires everyone in your business to be on board, it requires a fundamental strategic shift. The operations of an online marketplace touch virtually every aspect of a retailer’s business. For example, a fashion retailer may not want to onboard non-fashion products. Likewise, an eCommerce marketplace should allow your products to compete with those of other retailers. However, this approach requires you to work meticulously on your product strategy.

A recent survey by eMarketer showed that Canadians are more likely to buy from Canadian websites than American ones. The Canadian economy benefits from this trend, and consumers are also less likely to worry about customs charges. Compared to the US dollar, the Canadian dollar is cheaper to purchase, and retailers can offer a more reliable delivery time. In addition, the cost of shipping is also lower, so consumers will save money on customs costs. Moreover, many Canadian consumers prefer buying from local retailers when possible, making the retail online environment more favorable for local businesses.

Source: https://www.emarketer.com/content/canada-ecommerce-will-continue-boosted-by-necessity
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Why is now a good time for retailers to launch?

Having an online marketplace can have a huge impact on a retailer’s bottom line. Marketplaces have the potential to expand a retailer’s product range by allowing third-party products to be displayed on their website. In addition, marketplaces can increase traffic and sales for retailers by generating 30X more profit than selling only their own products. However, while these marketplaces are booming, new ones are thriving as well, and a new one can still flourish in a niche market.

A retail marketplace must provide the same level of customer service as a brick-and-mortar store. It must offer fast, hassle-free service and make returns and refunds easy. While marketplaces sell goods from third-party vendors, they are responsible for the quality and delivery of the goods sold on their websites. This creates a double-edged sword for a retailer looking to grow their business.

Some things to be aware of when going online

There are many things to consider before you launch your marketplace, including the target audience and competition. Market research will help you determine what your potential customers are looking for. You will also learn about market trends and customer behaviors. Remember that your marketplace is built around its users, so know their needs and goals. Consider the market you’re launching in and the type of content you’ll be offering. Remember to keep in mind and understand the various advantages and disadvantages of an online marketplace before launching yours.

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Launching your marketplace requires a lot of planning. The first phase of the process involves building up excitement among target users. Before the public launch, use paid ads and social media to spread the word. You can also contact sellers directly to gather feedback but bear in mind that throughout the process, focus on user retention and growth. The marketplace’s growth depends on the type of users it has. As you continue to refine it, you’ll find new products to sell and thereby increase your market share.

The particular type of Retailer for online marketplace

There is no single right or wrong online marketplace to start your e-commerce business. Every type of marketplace is different, including product categories, listing fees, and target audiences. It’s best to know what to expect from each marketplace before getting started. The right marketplace depends on your products, your business experience, your timeframe, and your budget. Here are some tips to help you choose the right online marketplace for your e-commerce business.

Examples of best-in-class marketplaces

Online marketplaces offer a number of advantages for online retailers, but it is vital to choose the right one. Ensure that the fees and commissions you pay align with your profit goals and budget. If you are on a limited budget, marketplaces that charge no upfront fees may be more appealing. Other marketplaces charge a flat percentage of sales or impose higher upfront fees.

The best-class marketplaces for retailers are niche-specific. Single-industry marketplaces focus on a single vertical, allowing customers to easily find what they need. These marketplaces are particularly attractive to sellers who are specialized in one particular product line. A single-industry marketplace, such as StockX, is an example of this type of marketplace. However, you can also create such a marketplace within any industry and target a particular segment.

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Before you sign up with an online marketplace, you should carefully consider whether you need to pay any upfront fees so go through their Terms and conditions and other documents before diving into one. Some of the best online marketplace for retailers today are

  • Shopify
    • It has multiple plans depending on the number of products you want to display, with Shopify Plus being the highest plan for an unlimited number of products!
    • For a list of all stores that use Shopify, visit this link
  • BigCommerce
  • Wix Website builder
  • WooCommerce & WordPress
    • Suits your budget
    • Easy to use (especially for people who already use WP)
    • Millions of plugins (for all kinds of integrations and tasks)
    • You can sell all kinds of products (B2B, B2C, or both)
    • Integrate any kind of payment gateway
    • Open source – can be customized to suit the retailer’s needs
    • Super huge community of developers and experts!
  • Or you can just buy readily-built stores with an online presence and add your products to those stores!

While we’ve had several years of holiday shopping statistics, the future is still a blank. In addition to the pandemic, disruption in supply chains, and consumer preferences, retailers face a variety of challenges and opportunities. However, despite these changes, people will still need to buy things, such as clothing, food, and other necessities. Here are some marketplace trends that retailers should be aware of. As a retailer, it’s your job to stay ahead of these changes.

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Use of Chatbots on your Website

As part of your marketing strategy, you should start incorporating chatbots into your digital marketing mix. Before implementing a chatbot, evaluate your audience. What types of questions do they ask and what types of information do they need? Prioritize what types of chatbots will be most effective, like messaging or search. Hipmunk, for example, promises to answer travel questions and recommend flights based on customers’ preferences. Whole Foods, on the other hand, provides an interactive database of recipes customers can choose to browse.

While chatbots are a great way to provide customer support to those who are unable to speak with a live agent, some customers may still be hesitant to interact with these systems. Some customers prefer to use traditional search boxes to find information or contact customer service agents. Others will still prefer to speak with store associates instead. Whether or not your customers want to engage with chatbots is entirely up to you. For example, a simple chatbot might provide immediate answers to a customer’s question, while a more advanced conversation would be handled by a real employee.

Influencer-based marketing for your Brand

A recent study has found that more than eighty percent of companies are using influencer-based marketing to promote their products. This type of marketing has several advantages for retailers. It has the advantage of building trust and legitimacy with the influencer’s followers. Brands can track which influencers send their leads to specific pages on their site. In addition, it can help build feeds filled with beautiful content, thereby improving your ratings and SEO signals.

With consumers spending less time in stores, influencer-based marketing is a great way to increase awareness of products and brands. Influencers provide an audience with useful information that they can use to make purchasing decisions.

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Clothing brands, for example, partner with influencers of different body types to show how their products fit a variety of body types. Other retail brands align with influencers of different backgrounds to increase the likelihood of sales.

Automated Inventory Replenishment

When you think of automated Inventory Replenishment, think of a refrigerator ordering for products that are in low quantity! And it is not just limited to refrigerators but every device at home or in your office that has consumables, say your printer or your coffee maker! One of the largest and fastest-growing automated inventory replenishment systems is Amazon’s DRS system.

Amazon is now expanding its Dash replenishment system(DRS), forming partnerships with pet food dispenser manufacturers and printer makers. Dash Buttons are physical devices that you can buy everyday products from. Amazon has already partnered with over 200 brands to offer Dash buttons in their stores.

Amazon’s DRS system. Image from https://developer.amazon.com/docs/dash/dash-replenishment-overview.html

Another example of a retailer using the Internet of Things is Macy’s. Its beacons will send notifications to smartphones when an item is running low and will promote discounts for shoppers who have their store app installed.

Artificial Intelligence Assistants

The rise of artificial intelligence assistants has a number of potential benefits for retailers. These technologies are being used to respond to global trends and emerging customer needs. The use of AI in retail can help retailers gain a competitive advantage by helping them predict customers’ needs and make decisions more quickly.

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One example of this is Walmart’s intelligent retail lab, a store that contains a number of innovative technologies, including robots that can be programmed to recognize products and assist customers in their shopping experience.

While the online retail industry has become flooded with options, you need to find the right mix of channels to reach the most customers. In order to increase the likelihood of success, analyze customer needs and choose the appropriate channel to participate in. Using a combination of online and offline channels allows you to deliver the best customer experience. If you are a retailer looking to improve your business, combining online and offline shopping is the way to go.

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Consumers are modifying their lifestyles in order to be more comfortable and hence it is imperative to consider offering virtual tools that focus on mental well-being and self-care. Ultimately, these offerings will boost your brand’s perception and increase customer retention.

What else retailers should know

While commerce platforms are getting more sophisticated, there are still a few things that a retailer should always keep in mind. First and foremost, an online marketplace needs to be user-friendly and have a catalog-building process that is simple to use.

While SEO may sound like an unnecessary expense, it’s actually much cheaper than you might think. The best marketplaces will implement SEO from the beginning and these are just a few of the benefits that online marketplaces offer retailers.

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Order management is also important to keep track of sales. The customer experience can be a key factor in determining which online marketplace to join. A marketplace that is easy to use (easy User Experience and easy User Interface – i.e. stores with an exceptional UX & UI) will help retailers attract new sellers and make their products more accessible to consumers worldwide.

Don’t forget about Payments!

A marketplace should be user-friendly and have a variety of payment methods. The best marketplaces should have a clear product page and different ways to pay. There should also be no hidden fees or commissions or they must be clearly stated to the customer before the payment is received. Some of the well-known payment methods are:

A good marketplace should also have a clear shipping policy and should provide customers with customer support via email or live chat. And, finally, the fees associated with listing products should be reasonable.

Wrapping Up

As compared to brick and mortar stores, the online version of retail is more flexible. The owner of an online store can quickly adapt its website to change the way it looks and functions. Moreover, the financial impact of redesigning a website is much lower and in contrast, a physical store faces competition from similar retailers in the neighborhood. Moreover, a retailer must decide whether a product will sell well online or in person. The latter has to contend with online marketplaces, which are known to offer cheaper prices and faster shipping.

Simply put, the more unique a product is, the more likely it is to be a success, whether online or offline!

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