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"The leading marketplaces and how to sell successfully on them"

Excerpt: Due to their enormous reach, online marketplaces are increasingly being taken into account in B2B and B2C when designing their own e-commerce strategy. We show which online marketplaces are leading in Germany and give you tips on how to market your products successfully on them.

"Over 50% of e-commerce purchases in Germany are made through online marketplaces."."

Source: byrd, "The top 10 online marketplaces in Germany", 2022

As the global e-commerce industry grows faster than any other sector, more and more retailers are planning to take their online business to the next level by additionally selling their products on the leading online marketplaces.

"This year, global e-commerce sales will surpass $5 trillion ($5,000 billion) for the first time, accounting for more than one-fifth of total retail sales. By 2025, total spending is estimated to exceed $7 trillion."

Source: Insider Intelligence, Global Ecommerce Forecast, 2022

Below is an overview of the top 10 online marketplaces in Germany, measured by monthly traffic volume:

Source: Own representation, based on "byrd,: The top 10 online marketplaces in Germany, 2022"

Why you should use marketplaces as an additional sales channel

"Amazon is by far the most popular online marketplace worldwide, with an average of 5 billion website visits per month. The second most visited marketplace is eBay, with around 3 billion visits per month. Both platforms also see the most traffic from mobile devices worldwide."

Source: Statista, Leading Online Marketplaces Worldwide, 2022

But online marketplaces geared to B2B are also experiencing a boost and are thus becoming increasingly important for manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. After all, corporate customers are transferring their experience from the private sector to B2B e-commerce and making similar demands on B2B marketplaces.

"The global B2B e-commerce market was estimated at $6.64 trillion in 2020 and is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.7% from 2021 to 2028."

Source: Grand View Research, 2020

B2B marketplaces can have different focuses. The most common form are procurement marketplaces. They bring buyers and suppliers into contact. Consequently, companies benefit from a broad product catalog and quick and easy purchase processing. If you would like more information on how manufacturers and wholesalers can build their own B2B marketplace, download our latest whitepapers PIM with marketplace functions: Improving Productivity and
Agility with a Professional Trading Platforms for free.

Advantages of marketplaces

The key figures listed clearly demonstrate how many additional potential customers can be reached on marketplaces. They also demonstrate how important a presence on marketplaces is for further brand building. Other advantages of marketplaces:
– Customers often start their customer journey via search engines, especially via Google (approx. 85% market share in Germany and approx. 87% market share worldwide (source: Statcounter, 2021)). Customers often enter product categories and specific requirements. When looking at the search results, it is noticeable that numerous online marketplaces are represented in the paid area, in the organic area and in the shopping area. For search queries with generic search
terms, e.g. ,automatic watch men, online marketplaces achieve better visibility than online stores. Finally, the individual retailers represented on the marketplaces also benefit from this visibility. In the case of specific search queries relating to brands or online stores, the ranking of the companys own online store can of course be better.
– Marketplace operators have a special interest in constantly expanding their reach. Accordingly, they run elaborate and costly marketing campaigns in order to prevail over other providers in e-commerce. The marketplace merchants also benefit indirectly from this marketing expenditure.
– Internationalization via online marketplaces is easier and faster to accomplish than via your own online store.
– Most marketplaces offer a professional online store with a well-designed infrastructure that is
perfectly tailored to customer needs. An own online store, which is technically mature, will
hardly reach the level of personalization of large platforms.

– Marketplaces can be used to sell returns (B-stock). This allows the companys own online store to retain a certain exclusivity.
– Marketplaces can also serve as instruments in market research, in the form of test stores. Before a new online store is elaborately designed and launched, marketplaces can provide valuable knowledge about the acceptance of products.
– Marketplaces can improve traffic for a merchants own online store by building a bridge to the merchants own store. For example, retailers can offer only a partial assortment on amarketplace. However, the complete assortment including special services is only sold in their own store. Vouchers for ones own online store that are enclosed with a marketplace order are also a good way to increase customer loyalty to ones own company.
– Many marketplaces offer additional services so that warehousing, returns processing, financial processing and customer service can also be handled directly via the platform operator. This makes online marketplaces interesting for small and medium-sized manufacturers and retailers as well.
– Customers are familiar with the different marketplaces, which guarantees the customer experience. At the same time, retailers benefit from the trust generated by the platforms image.
– Almost all marketplaces offer interfaces to manage product information more easily. In this way, enriched and updated product information from a PIM system such as prodexa Cloud can also be distributed seamlessly to the individual marketplaces – and in the correct file format. Manufacturers and retailers who already use a PIM system for their online store and other channels can thus also conveniently distribute their product data to marketplaces.

How do you find out which marketplace is most suitable for your business?

Each marketplace has a different orientation and focuses on a different target group. The sales
guidelines also differ from marketplace to marketplace. For example, the sale of some product categories is not allowed at all on some marketplaces. Therefore, you should check the following questions before setting up an account on a marketplace:
– Are there any restrictions on the product categories that may be sold on the marketplace?
– Is the sale of new and/or used goods permitted?
– Are products offered via auctions or via fixed price?
– What sales fees does the marketplace operator charge? Are there different sales tariffs for traders?
– Which sales commission is charged for which product category?
– How big is the competition on the respective marketplace? Your product categories should already be represented, but should not be too competitive.
– What advertising options does the marketplace offer?
– How does the platform deal with ratings? Can sellers and/or buyers be rated?
– What interfaces does the marketplace offer for smooth merchandise management?

Tips for selling through online marketplaces

Even though the leading online marketplaces differ, there are tips that can be listed for all platforms:
– Marketplace analysis: Which products are in demand on the individual online marketplaces? Can I meet this demand with my product portfolio?
– Competitor analysis: To sell successfully on marketplaces, you need to stay competitive.
Observe yourcompetitors offerings and offer your customers added value, e.g., through detailed product descriptions and visual content in product communication.
– Keyword analysis: The search bar within a marketplace provides insights into which products are frequently searched for. You should include these keywords in an appealing product title and product description.
– Complete product data: To avoid high return rates, provide your customers with as much product information as possible. Transmit this to the marketplace in the correct format (e.g., titles, descriptions, availabilities, prices, units of measure, brand, GTIN, material, size, shipping methods, etc.). If you sell your products on several marketplaces, central data management in a PIM system is an advantage. This is because the PIM system provides optimized product data feeds for the different marketplaces based on the complete and validated data sets and synchronizes them automatically as soon as adjustments are made in the PIM system.
– Engaging product presentation: pictures say more than a thousand words. Accordingly, in addition to detailed product descriptions, meaningful product images, product videos or 360° animations should also be included in product communication. A PIM system with a module for digital asset management can help distribute media across channels in the optimal formats.
– Internationalization: The larger marketplaces offer merchants the opportunity to sell across borders. In practice, however, this is used too rarely. The hurdles are comparatively low, especially if the translated product information is also synchronized directly from a PIM system.
– E-commerce SEO: Marketplaces define their own ranking factors and algorithms that determine the visibility of products. These are primarily aimed at optimizing product content such as product categories, product descriptions, product features and multimedia. You can find a detailed article on this topic here.

Conclusion

Online marketplaces are a great way to sell products additionally, as merchants benefit from the platform´s reach, image and trust. Each marketplace has its own advantages and disadvantages as well as its own guidelines, which need to be aligned with your own business model in advance. However, all marketplaces have one thing in common. In order to be listed better in search results and attract the attention of customers, high-quality product data and multimedia content in product communication are a must. In order to master the increasing requirements for high-quality product information, PIM systems support companies in efficiently managing their product data and distributing it in the correct format to the various output channels. We would be happy to demonstrate to you in a free and non-binding online demo how you can use the prodexa Cloud PIM system to efficiently prepare your product data for a wide variety of marketplaces as well as for other output channels.

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