Now that Amazon has truly entered the Dutch market, more and more online retailers are asking themselves what the best strategy is: go full on marketplaces, focus on your own webshop, or a combination of both? In this blog we will discuss the advantages of combining both and give 7 tips to sell more via these channels.
We mainly focus on Amazon, but the tips also apply to other marketplaces and comparison sites such as bol.com and Kieskeurig.
It is not necessary - and probably even unwise - to suddenly offer your entire webshop assortment on a marketplace. Research in advance which of your products have real potential to sell well in Amazon's 24 categories. Often products with little competition, a large search volume and a good margin stand the best chance. If all goes well, you have an idea which products are based on sales in your own webshop. Start with a small selection and then expand.
Marketplaces are a very interesting channel if you want to reach a larger target group within the Netherlands and Belgium. Do you want to expand further? Then you can easily offer your products in other European countries via an international marketplace like Amazon. This way you don't have to launch an international webshop directly, but the channels can complement each other well.
The bit of experience that you can add to your own webshop is not possible on a marketplace. That's why it's especially important that your products offer something unique.
If you create your own products, you have the advantage that there is little or no competition. However, you do have to take care of all the correct and complete product information yourself. If you sell standard products, you have to be creative. Merge two or more existing products into a combined offer (e.g. multiple phone accessories) or add a fun gadget (e.g. a printed drinking bottle to a fitness machine).
If your own webshop is powered from a PIM system, like Logic4 all-in-one software, then product information can probably easily be delivered to the marketplace via a product feed.
In both your own webshop and marketplaces: you don't do it for a while. Don't have the time or knowledge to maintain all channels? Then don't do it or outsource it. Information on your own website that is not correct will result in less conversion. But if your information on Amazon is incorrect or you don't respond adequately to customer queries, you can simply be suspended.
You can make it easier for yourself by working with one system in which all information about products, orders, customers and finances comes together. Do you use Logic4 webshop & business software in combination with the EffectConnect integration? Then you save a lot of time in maintaining your webshop and marketplaces.
Your own webshop will not appear in search results in Google directly from the top of the page. Therefore you need to build your ranking through good text, images, reviews, ads and traffic. The same goes for marketplaces. From Google Shopping, visitors come to your website via an advertisement. However, advertising on Amazon is a lot more expensive (see also Tip 6).
Moreover, you should try to win the 'Buy box'. This button is used by 80-90% of the visitors to buy a product. The alternative suppliers receive hardly any attention. Find an experienced employee or agency who knows all about this. That will save you a lot of headaches.
Nobody wants to sell a 'no'. Having an overview of your current stock is therefore always crucial, no matter what sales channel you use. You need to know what you have in which warehouse and this needs to be updated in real time on the webshop and the marketplace(s). A webshop platform with an integrated order- and stock module is indispensable. Especially if you use dropshipment and/or Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) in addition to your own warehouse.
FBA means that you place part of your stock with Amazon in the warehouse. They then take care of the entire order processing and customer service. This provides a lot of convenience, but also less control and higher costs. A general advice is to start with self-delivery to the customer and later only place a maximum of one month's stock of the running products at Amazon.
If you receive more and more orders from your own webshop, the costs for your webshop will remain the same. If you receive more orders via Amazon or other marketplaces, the costs will increase because you pay per product sold. You have to take into account a fixed monthly rate, sales commissions (€0.81 to €1.01), referral fees (7% to 45%), import and fulfilment costs, overhead and returns. Amazon, for example, keeps 20% of the commission as a return fee.
Marketplaces charge a commission to make the products available to a wide audience. It is important that you include these costs in a correct calculation when determining your selling price, so that you don't make a loss. So per sales channel there are different volumes, margins and revenues to be expected. A PIM system with advanced price management helps you to set all costs and margins correctly.
Manually entering all your products in your webshop and at the marketplace is very time consuming. The same goes for processing the incoming orders in your back office. A central PIM system can automatically feed your webshop with all your products. If you attach a data feed, such as the EffectConnect Feed Manager, this will all be done automatically. The feed is an XML file containing up-to-date product information including stock, prices and descriptions.
If you use the EffectConnect FeedManager in combination with a Logic4 webshop, you can not only easily sell via Amazon, but also via bol.com, Marktplaats, Beslist.nl, Kieskeurig, Google Shopping and many more parties. That will save you a lot of time.
Our most important tip is to see Amazon and other marketplaces as an addition to your own webshop. Use the marketplaces to be found quickly and get more brand awareness. Then try to attract customers to your own webshop. Marketplaces and affiliate channels certainly belong in an omni-channel strategy, with your own webshop as a basis.
Logic4 is an all-in-one system for webshop and back office. Especially made for wholesalers and retailers who want to integrate all their online and offline channels. More than 500 functions for sales, purchasing, stock, orders and finance are in one central system for all employees. Re-typing, waiting for synchronization and frustration surrounding integrations are a thing of the past. Do you want to get more out of your webshop and marketplaces? Then contact us for an online demo.
Do you want to fully set up your e-commerce environment to be able to sell well via marketplaces? Then download our whitepaper on 'The ideal application landscape for sales via marketplaces'. Make use of it!