The very first EffectConnect Marketplaces Event is a fact. Experts of various well-known marketplaces such as bol.com, Blokker, HomeDeco, Kaufland.de and Wish gathered digitally on Thursday May 20, 2021 to discuss the latest market developments and how one can stand out from the crowd in the continuously evolving marketplaces landscape.
Did you miss it or didn't have any time yet to look back the event? Then have a look at this blog post, in which we summarize the key take-aways.
How can you differentiate yourself in the current marketplaces landscape?
The developments in the marketplaces landscape have accelerated since Covid-19. Consumers are buying more online and start their search for products more often on a marketplace. This buying behaviour is not a trend anymore, but is embedded in every day life.
This enabled a large increase in the number of sellers active on marketplaces. This calls for a well thought-out sales strategy. We discussed this matter with the experts of the different marketplaces. They gave valuable tips which your organisation can use to differentiate on marketplaces.
Search for opportunities within product categories. Look for white spots in product categories. For example, bol.com indicated that there are often budget- and premium product offers available, but no middle class products, while people are actually looking for this.
We cannot emphasize this enough: make sure you offer good quality product information. This really makes a difference in closing a sale. A well described title, clear pictures (don't forget interior pictures in the Home & Living industry) and an extensive list with product properties are crucial to be succesfull on marketplaces.
If you want to conquer foreign markets with your organisation, it is important to immerse yourself in the local market. A Belgian or German customer is different from a Dutch customer. They use different search words for exactly the same products. Keep this in mind when you draft your product information. And don't underestimate the importance of speaking the local language: research has proven that your conversion rate increases when your tone of voice is near native.
It is also important to determine on which foreign platforms you want to position your product offer. It might be a challenge to differentiate yourself on a large, open platform such as Wish, but you can be succesfull by focusing on popular and niche categories, proper product information and clear pictures. As Wish gives you access to consumers in +100 countries, it might be difficult to position your products in such a way so you appeal to every consumer in each country. You could use specific tools, for example the OpenDC tool from Greenhouse, which gives you the option to offer dynamic content. For example, you can choose which pictures should be shown in which country.
Also, keep in mind the new VAT rules for selling abroad that apply as per July 1, 2021. As from that moment onwards, you will always have to calculate the VAT according to the country where the consumer is residing. Make sure you have a solid cross-border sales strategy. In the end, adding a foreign marketplace is no different from opening a brick-and-mortar store abroad!
Sharing knowledge and partner programs
Many marketplaces offer support to sellers by means of education and promotional activities. Blokker offers Criteo for example: a tool to put your products in the spotlight. They are also the only marketplace player that offer the opportunity for consumer to order a seller's products in a physical Blokker store.
bol.com offers a partner Academy with e-learnings, whitepapers on how to grow your business and a season readiness event (online or at a physical location) so your organisation is ready for the upcoming season. They also have a partner reward program in which you can earn free advertising budget or coaching hours at no cost.
Kaufland.de offers marketing support: extra reach via SEA and display advertising are included in their monthly subscription. Next to that, you can use paid marketing activities such as sponsored product advertising, website advertising spaces, campaign pages and a brand shop.
Home Deco is a true inspirational marketplace and unique in its kind. They combine inspiration with purchasing via blogs (editorial content) and user content (pictures of users about products which they bought). BrandWeLove is a nice example of content in which once a week, a brand is highlighted in a blog. This is done organically and a well performing partner can add its product information to such a blog post and thus showcase their products. HomeDeco also offers a dashboard for sellers so you can monitor your performance on the platform. They also provide data to their partners, to give insights in the search behaviour on the platform.
Wish also offers a form of inspirational shopping. Wish uses a unique algoritm in which product- and customer data is combined to personalise the feed for the user. Products are matched on basis of demographic data, hobbies and interests. This happens real-time as soon as you use the app. Wish positions itself as digital marketing expert: it is the largest advertiser on Facebook and Google with a broad retention program to retain users. Next to that, you can use services such as ProductBoost: an advertorial program which highlights your products. Or CollectionBoost: a service specifically for branded-, seasonal- or theme products in a certain period. They also offer wide support to their partners to grow succesfully on marketplaces.
Use the help that is offered to maximize the returns on your online sales strategy.
Part 2 of this blog takes a deep dive on the subjects that were discussed during the round table session with the experts from bol.com, kaufland.de, Blokker, Wish and HomeDeco.
You can also view the entire EffectConnect Marketplaces Event here.