The first feeling that comes to mind when mentioning Bol.com, Amazon, or eBay is often that of a threat. Bol.com is an old acquaintance; Amazon and eBay are new upcoming marketplaces and many more will follow. But new or old, they have become indispensable and are claiming their market share. So, a threat. After all, who can compete with these big companies?
It is a fact that these big companies are an online store themselves with their own strategy to dominate the market. They have probably been selling the product you want to market for a long time. You can’t compete with them with your own small webshop. Certainly not when you consider that the success of a webshop depends to a large extent on your SEO and SEA strategy. That’s what the big boys are good at. Just search for a product on Google; Amazon and Bol.com are invariably on the first page of search results.
But these large companies are not only a webshop but also a marketplace. Rather than seeing them as a threat or competitor, embrace them as an ally. After all, they offer you the opportunity to offer products to a very large target group via their technological infrastructure. If you do it right, the marketplace can suddenly help you with a whole new market across multiple countries in Europe.
What exactly is marketplace marketing?
Everyone is talking about it, but what exactly is marketplace marketing? A marketplace is a place where sellers promote their wares and buyers look for the bargains.
From marketplace to online marketplace
A marketplace in online marketing terms is the same. It is an online marketplace (market square) where on one web address, i.e. one URL or domain name, countless sellers and buyers come together to buy and sell. Marketplace marketing is the marketing of products or services via such an online platform.
Started as a webshop
However, there are two differences from the traditional market. The most obvious difference is that the marketplace discussed in this article is online and virtual.
The second difference is less clear but important. Today’s marketplaces usually started out as the online store of a company. When these webshops became successful, they thought: what’s the next step? How can we get even bigger?
Growing into a sales platform
It didn’t take too long before these companies realized that they could also open their sales platform, their webshop, to other sellers. For a small fee, they could use the existing technology and reputation of the web shop. Those who go to Amazon, for example, usually don’t realize when they buy something from another company on the platform. After all, you assume that you simply buy something from Amazon and that it also comes from Amazon.
How did marketplaces become so important?
In the world of online marketing, things can scale very quickly and enormously. As mentioned, some online stores that got there early and proved successful found that they could also set up their technology, awareness, infrastructure, and distribution network for other sellers (third party sellers). Online marketplaces became important quite suddenly.
From webshop to sales platform
The large webshop became a sales platform where other companies also started selling products. In this way, these webshops became more than a webshop; they became a marketplace. They started facilitating the sales activities of others.
Search in a marketplace
The next development was that consumers soon realized that if you are looking for a product to purchase, it was much more convenient to search directly on the platform instead of using the search engine. So, there was both a trend from webshop to platform on the supply side and a trend from Google to marketplace on the demand side.
The consequence? The marketplaces grew enormously in turnover and traffic.
Why sell my products on a marketplace?
Why should I sell my products on a marketplace? The answer to this question has partly already been given in the above. The marketplace is not a short fad but an important lasting trend in online shopping. And yes, because the platforms out there are often very large and offer both a large reach and a good customer journey for the consumer.
Another argument why you should consider a marketplace is that online sales are becoming an increasingly important part of our economy. If you want to grab your share of online sales, you will have to do everything to be present and visible online.
Betting on multiple channels
There’s one more thing. You might think: ‘I have a webshop and I can handle it just fine’. Of course, it is true that having your own webshop is important. A webshop is a wonderful way to bind customers to your own brand. But the problem is: traffic!
That’s where the difficulty lies because the large platforms hijack a lot of potential buyers. There is another problem. The large marketplaces have a sophisticated customer journey with an ease that you, no matter how good your webshop is, can never be matched.
Marketplace marketing next to your webshop
So, it is advisable to consider marketplace marketing. You don’t have to stop sales through your webshop or traditional sales channels. You have to be active on several channels at the same time.
Do you need help in your marketplace strategy?
It may well be that you dread setting up yet another new sales channel with all kinds of requirements and conditions. It is all impossible to keep up with. But marketplaces are hot and therefore the place to sell your products.
So don’t let a lack of expertise or time hold you back. For example, you can consider whether external help is not appropriate here. We advise and supervise the entire process of becoming active on online marketplaces. Our trained marketplace advisers will help you with creating and supporting the integration and optimization of your brand on marketplaces.
Helping your brands grow within current markets and expand internationally, that is our objective.
Book a free introduction call with one of our trained marketplace specialists.