The ecommerce marketplace sales model is growing increasingly popular, particularly for SMBs that lack the resources to generate a variety of sales, marketing and advertising activities independently. The largest marketplaces include Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, Alibaba.com, and Google Express, but there are thousands of smaller marketplaces worldwide. According to Shopify, global marketplace platform provider revenues are expected to more than double from $18.7 billion in 2017 to $40.1 billion in 2022.
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What Makes a Marketplace Successful?
The tricky part for marketplaces is to get both sellers and buyers on board. If successful, marketplaces can help online enterprises offer more, sell more and save more. Sellers in marketplaces can significantly reduce operational, logistical and promotional expenses while being exposed to large volumes of already existing customers. From the buyer’s point of view, the marketplace must offer convenience, competitive prices, a wide range of products, as well as easy matching.
How to Attract Sellers and Buyers
One of the key ways for a marketplace to attract sellers and buyers alike is by offering an orderly, large and data-enriched catalog. Product catalog optimization is crucial and here’s why:
1. Catalog size
One of the main reasons buyers are attracted to marketplaces is because of the sheer volume of products being offered in one place. Shoppers can easily browse among a wide variety of similar products under an umbrella marketplace. Sellers can conveniently offer a wide range of their products. However, for this formula to succeed, the marketplace must display the merchandise in an orderly and informative manner within the ecommerce product catalog, thereby preventing confusion.
2. Easy product discover
It is clearly in the interest of both the seller and the buyer to ensure easy product discovery. Shoppers are frustrated by unfriendly browsing experiences, which cause abandonment and loss of sales for the seller. The marketplace must ensure that the browsing and search experiences are streamlined. In addition, by displaying comparable products on the same page, the marketplace ensures a wide variety for the customer to choose from and a larger display of merchandise for the seller.
3. Data consistency
When comparing products in a marketplace, potential buyers seek as much information as possible about each item. Consistent data enables them to make detailed comparisons between the products’ main characteristics and determine which suits their needs most. Sellers are able to display a broad range of similar products, increasing chances of potential sales. Extensive and consistent data encourages on-the-spot purchasing decisions. The marketplace can make use of a product catalog management system which automatically provides and updates all of the relevant data for each product.
4. Increased organic traffic
Online shoppers regularly use search engines to find the products they are seeking. Sellers want as many searches as possible to be directed to their sales sites. No less than 40% of marketplace traffic is based on organic searches. By adding more specific data to procurement catalogs and inserting proven search words, marketplaces can attract 20% more organic search results.
5. Customer loyalty
Buyers want to feel that they are being offered a comprehensive choice of quality products at fair prices, while sellers seek to generate return customers rather than one-time buyers. A marketplace that offers maximum information about a wide range of merchandise, as well as product rankings, inspires trust in buyers. For sellers, this kind of confidence can be nurtured with special offers and personalized rewards to inspire long-term loyalty.
An optimized catalog for ecommerce marketplaces can significantly contribute to increased sales, satisfied customers and larger marketplaces – a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Interested in learning more about how catalog enhancement can make your marketplace thrive? Click here.