The holiday shopping season is just around the corner (it’s already November!). This is perhaps the most important season for brands as they gear up to drive sales and make the most of the holiday shopping season. However, this year’s holiday shopping season is going to be unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic, as we all know by now has redefined what “normal” is. Earlier this year, physical retail stores were shut amidst the lockdown. As a result, online demand and eCommerce exploded. Those brands that already had an eCommerce website moved their focus to driving online sales while others rushed to build one.
Marketplaces saw a tremendous increase in popularity, demand and sales this year. In fact, sales exploded to the point that Amazon had to temporarily block shipments of all non-essential items to prioritise the fulfilment of essential products because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, it was reported that Amazon’s stock value went up by over 60% this year and profits have been skyrocketing. Similarly, Walmart’s online sales nearly doubled at the end of Q2. You can see our data on the growth of eCommerce this year on our eCommerce impact tracker here.
Due to resurgence of cases across Europe, there are once again varying levels of lockdowns being imposed across the continent. With the new restrictions in place, one can extrapolate the many customers will heavily depend on online to do their holiday season shopping this year. It is imperative for brands to ensure that their marketplace strategy is on point for the most important shopping season.
Marketplaces are highly competitive as thousands of brands are directly competing with one another. It can be a challenge for your brand to stand out and drive conversions. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind to help improve and optimise your marketplace strategy ahead of the holiday shopping season:
1. Choose your marketplaces wisely and customise for them
Choosing the right marketplaces is integral to your strategy. They each have different offerings, rules and policies, but most importantly have a varying customer base. It is important for you to understand which marketplaces have the right customer base and can drive the highest conversions for your brand. Reflect on your past data to see which marketplaces have performed the best for your brand and leverage it to build your strategy. Further, consider the key markets that you want to target and consumer preferences in those countries.
In our eBook on the Changing eCommerce Landscape for White Goods across Europe, we provide insights into the German market. We also discuss consumer preferences and habits, along with the most popular marketplace based on our data. You can get more insights for markets across Europe here.
Though the basic concept of marketplaces remains the same, it is important to adapt your strategy to suit the different types of marketplaces. Some may be niche marketplaces on which clients expect more detailed information about your products. You are also more likely to be competing with brands that offer similar products and perhaps even specialise in them. Users on niche marketplaces are likely to be more interested in your industry and can expect more in-depth information. So, choose your marketplaces wisely and then tailor your strategy for those marketplaces to drive higher conversions.
2. Optimise your product detail pages
Your product detail page is super important, to say the least. It is where customers get information about your company and your product when shopping in a marketplace such as Amazon. Shoppers decide within seconds whether they want to further engage with a detail page or go back to search results. Hence, it’s vital to ensure that these pages are spot on and have the right information about your company, product and policies. Don’t forget to mention the key selling points that might help the customer make a decision swiftly.
When writing out your product detail pages, put yourselves in the shoes of the customer. This will enable you to understand the type of information they may be looking for beyond just the information about the product. They may also want to know about your company policies such as returns, warranty of products, payment options and delivery.
Images are an important aspect of the product detail page, especially since the customers can’t see it or feel the products. Your main photo should clearly show what the product is. The size of the product should be clearly indicated as well. Additional photos can provide varying angles of the product, and, if relevant, lifestyle imagery such as people wearing it or using it can be provided as well.
3. Ratings and Reviews – more important than ever!
Ratings and Reviews are arguably the most important factor when selling on a marketplace. Shopping online and finding the right product can be a task for many consumers, especially with thousands of options on marketplaces. Ratings and Reviews are a key part of the consumer buyer journey today as they influence the consumers purchasing decision. They can be the edge you need to convert the customer that lands on your product page but might also be looking at competitor products.
In addition, positive feedback is extremely important as 84% of online shoppers view online reviews as personal testimonies. Customer reviews are also trusted more than product descriptions. Further, this can help to create trust between a buyer and a seller. When consumers come across a well-rated product, they are more willing to trust the brand, and the product and, consequently, purchase it.
Ratings and Reviews are also important for some marketplaces to build authority. For example, positive consumers reviews on Amazon give you the ability to build your brand and authority as a seller. They also help you to qualify for Amazon’s seller offerings like the Buy Box, rank higher in search results and help you improve the buyer experience.
Positive product reviews build credibility and social proof, which in turn helps to improve your sales and conversion rates. While both feedback and product reviews have a major influence on shoppers’ buying decisions when it comes to your products. But what’s the difference between them?
Want to learn more about optimising your eCommerce strategy?
Looking for more insights on navigating this year’s holiday shopping season? Watch our on-demand webinar as our experts Mark Gilroy and Patrick Meenan discuss how brands can succeed this holiday shopping season. We at ChannelSight have a team of experts that can help you understand your customer’s needs better and implement solutions that can help you build a data-driven eCommerce strategy. Contact us today to book a demo with our team of experts.