It’s not easy shipping goods abroad, which is why some smaller brands may avoid the process altogether. As a result, they miss out on an international customer base and a variety of sales opportunities. So how can these smaller brands act like bigger brands and take the plunge in expanding their online offerings globally?
The answer is marketplaces – simple, convenient and easy to use, retailers of all shape, size and sector can benefit from the extensive reach and agility that these one-stop-shop e-commerce portals can provide.
Whether it’s Amazon, eBay or newcomers such as Fruugo, thanks to marketplaces, online retailers can list their products across multiple countries in only a few simple steps. In an instant, these retailers are connected to new regions, audiences and prospective shoppers, enabling them to become truly global players who can compete with the biggest and brightest in the industry.
Here are just three of the many benefits that marketplaces can provide, and the reason why retailers can’t afford to ignore the role they play in today’s e-commerce landscape:
Marketplaces are one-stop-shops, acting as intermediaries for individuals and businesses to trade with each other. The simplicity for retailers of all sizes doesn’t just stop at the benefits of the marketplace’s giant customer user base. These websites also offer a wealth of services and tools, such as ‘buy it now’ buttons, multiple listings, analytics and auctioning facilities primed to offer convenience and ease for sellers. Services such as Fulfilment by Amazon provide smaller retailers entering the marketplace with multiple delivery options, leading to improved fulfilment capabilities and customer service.
As a one-stop-shop, marketplaces have been a retail game-changer, allowing customers to visit one website to fulfil all their shopping needs. The concept of a retail site where products and services are sold via multiple third parties is a very attractive proposition for both time-poor consumers and retailers alike.
Reach Across Borders
According to data from Pitney Bowes, 66% of consumers have made a cross-border purchase online (buying a product from another country), and two-thirds of consumers use marketplaces as their first port-of-call when it comes to shopping online. So it’s clear that marketplaces already hold a lot of weight with consumers.
By listing or partnering with players like Amazon, eBay, Fruugo or other marketplaces, retailers can increase sales conversions within new customer groups, build a better brand presence in non-domestic territories and boost search engine results overall.
Some marketplaces go beyond domestic visibility, offering different country-specific versions of their website, in different languages and currencies. When a retailer lists on Fruugo, for example, their products can go live on up to 32 different country-specific versions of the Fruugo website, in 17 different languages.
By employing the help of marketplaces, brands and retailers are therefore not only enabling consumers to add products to their shopping carts from foreign retailers, but they’re also equipping themselves with a fully localised presence in multiple countries. Both of these benefits facilitate the significant scaling up of their e-commerce business whilst simultaneously helping to eliminate problematic translation issues, international customer services, foreign currency exchange, and online marketing overseas.
With 55% of consumers starting their product searches on marketplaces like Amazon, there is no arguing their popularity. Customers don’t just enjoy the simplicity, but also the personalised experience they get from online marketplaces. Dynamic product recommendations, fast shipping, reviews, quality and consumer-generated content all add to the appeal. As a result, marketplaces can be effective at building customer trust and loyalty. This is great news for retailers, who are able to tap into an already loyal customer base, particularly given the fact that acquiring new customers can cost five times more than retaining existing ones.
As the saying goes, ‘you have to be in it to win it;’ and this certainly rings true with online marketplaces. From reaching across borders to expanding your customer base and building a loyal following, marketplaces are not just a one-stop-shop for online shoppers to overcome logistics complexities and VAT implications, but also for retailers and brands looking to achieve a global reach with ease. As some of the largest databases of sellers in the world, all brands should be looking to join the retail ranks within marketplaces in order to build visibility, boost competitiveness and literally go the extra mile for customers wherever they may be in the world.