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How to optimize your marketplace sales

packages in delivery van Increasingly more marketplaces are shifting from a wholesale model to a seller’s model. To be successful on th marketplaces, you should optimize all aspects of your account to outperform the competition. This article will show you how.

We have split points you should optimize into two parts, qualitative and quantitative:

qualitative

    • Product catalog
    • Content (feed optimization)
    • Promotions & Advertisement

quantitative

    • Customer Experience
    • Inventory
    • Pricing
    • Financial Metrics
    • Marketing Metrics & Efficiency

Qualitative

 

Product catalog

The first high-level item you should optimize is your product catalog. Determine if you are selling products that match the buyers in the marketplace. Moreover, you should determine if a marketplace makes economic sense for your products. Ensure that your margins will support the pricing and shipping expense of selling those products. Choose the products that have a good chance of competing, and recognize that selling on a marketplace might be different from selling in your store.

Feed optimization

Feed optimization is one of the most important levers to pull as a marketplace manager. Keep in mind that you are optimizing your content for the marketplace search engine. Read the guidelines of the marketplace in question and adhere to them the best you can. Here are the main things to optimize for:

  • High-quality and meaningful imagery
  • Product characteristics (as many as you can name)
  • Text (use relevant keywords)
  • Correct categorization
  • Pricing

Promotions & advertisement

Most marketplaces have hundreds or even thousands of products in each category. It can take a while for the marketplace in question to start indexing your new product placement correctly. Many factors determine where the marketplace algorithm will show your product in the search results. To give your placement an ‘interaction boost,’ you should consider running a promotion or advertisement. How you can analyze the results of your marketing efforts is discussed in our article about marketplace analytics. 

Depending on how many products you sell and the number of marketplaces you sell on, you should consider promotions and advertisement software tools. These will save you a lot of time, as well as increase revenue.

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Quantitative

Customer experience

Messing up your customer service could get you permanently banned on most marketplaces. That is why you must have your customer experience squared away. These are the main metrics to “keep in the green”:

  • Response time
  • Return rate
  • Shipping time
  • Order cancellation rate
  • Chargebacks
  • Customer reviews (and ratings)

Inventory

Inventory is one of the easiest parts of marketplaces to optimize for. There are many tools out there that help you streamline this. The main metrics to keep an eye out for are on-hand inventory and unhealthy inventory. You can imagine that without software, multiple marketplaces, and many products, inventory management can become chaotic. Ensure your inventory is always updated in real-time between your webshop and marketplaces to prevent selling a “no” and negatively impact your order cancellation rate.

If you’re interested in obtaining a quote for outsourcing fulfillment, you can use the form provided here. We have partnerships with multiple fulfillment providers (all of which are GS1 certified) so you can get quotes from various partners and choose the one that best fits your business needs.

Pricing

This area is easily optimized with a software tool. A software tool like e-tailize allows you to automatically reprice and adjust prices per product and channel to make sure you are always getting the best bid for your desired ROI.

Financial metrics

The main financial metrics are sales, and ad spend. Sales are the number of units sold multiplied by the sales price. An ad can be split into digital and non-digital. When working with marketplaces, you will mainly focus on the digital aspect. But e-tailize will allow you to add your non-digital metrics to your analytics as these will help you determine a high-level strategy and valuable insights.

Sales and ad spend are not metrics you will analyze daily. See them as indicators of the path you are on. You will, however, adjust your ad spend on a daily or weekly basis. How you change your ad spend is determined by your analysis of the marketing metrics & marketing efficiency.

Marketing metrics

Once you start spending on marketplaces, you will pay based on either impressions or clicks. These metrics are more of an indication than anything else. See these as a ‘proof of pay’ from the marketplace. These metrics are not actionable. That is where the marketing efficiency metrics come in.

Marketing efficiency

The marketing efficiency concepts are the bane of your existence as a marketplace analyst. If interpreted correctly, you can adjust and allocate your spending so that efficiency will become optimal to your desired scale. We have broken it down into great depth in our article about marketplace analytics.

Final thoughts

If you want to make the most of the marketplaces, whilst being as efficient as possible. You should consider a tool like e-tailize. e-tailize makes product and advertisement management easy. We have extensive data analytics tools to give you insights into the market, competition, your products, and ads. We use algorithmic clustering to predict valuable keywords, and we use AI to help you optimize inventory, marketing spend, and customer support.

Tip: you can read more in this article about data gaps, or you can read this article about optimizing your product flow.

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