The ecommerce landscape continues to shift in different directions to meet customer needs. Before, consumers preferred going to a physical store, where they could touch, smell, and see a product before making a purchase. Fast forward to now, and people prefer to shop online from the comfort of their own homes.
These figures prove that the growth of online shopping isn’t slowing down anytime soon. While the online space is lucrative, it is highly competitive, and customers’ attention is now seen as a currency. A very expensive one, for that matter!
All this begs the question: how do you ensure that your brand is a customer's preferred choice? We'll tell you how and who's winning the race for attention.
Your web store is your foundation
While selling through a third-party sales channel like Amazon, Etsy and eBay have been the norm for a long while, the rise of direct-to-consumer commerce (DTC) has not gone unnoticed. Many brands have decided to open up web shops and sell directly to their customers. It has gained so much in popularity that it’s expected to account for 6.6% of total consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales.
But why is it your foundation?
Creating your website on platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify and WooCommerce means that you have complete control over your store. You can build personalized relationships with your customers, which is vital when you're trying to fight for their attention. It allows you to improve loyalty, and gain brand advocates who will root for you, buy from you, and help bring traffic to your store.
When you have a website, you can also track and measure data using analytical tools to provide you with information to improve your content and ensure it resonates with your prospects and, ultimately, converts. Your customer information, such as their browsing and purchasing history, is useful data for future use when trying to target them again to become returning customers.
And, you get to retain 100% of your sales revenue instead of having to split it with third parties such as eBay. This channel charges £0.35 ($0,49) for listing products and an additional 10% final value fee on the sale price. Amazon, however, charges a flat fee of £0.75 ($1,04) per item sold if you have less than 35 items you're selling each month. This doesn't include additional costs like PayPal charges per transaction. So, while your web store is the foundation you need to build your brand outside of popular sales channels, it doesn’t stop there.
Marketplace integrations will open you up to new markets
As effective as your web store may be at bringing you sales, you need to understand your competitors’ end game. You have competitors who are trying to attract the same customers you’re trying to retain, and you have marketplaces that are helping them reach new markets and sell everywhere your customers are.
We say this because more than half of online shoppers still choose to start their shopping journey on their preferred online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart Marketplace, or Etsy. As it is, only 19% begin with a brand or retailer’s website ... so why are they choosing marketplaces over a brand’s website?
1. Competitive pricing
Because of the increased competition in marketplaces, sellers try to win over customers with competitive prices or discounts. This is beneficial as they have these unique offerings on a platform where customers can shop other brands too.
Customers prefer this as they're able to shop through various products and get a reasonable price. (Plus, some channels offer loyalty points to regular consumers, which is always a winning tactic for consumers trying to stretch their money.)
2. It’s more convenient
Convenience is what will set you apart online, and marketplaces offer that. Third-party sales channels have simplified the shopping experience for customers. They’re looking to purchase different types of items in various departments. Marketplaces allow them to add these into one cart without hopping from one web store to another. Whatever they might need, they can add it into one cart and have it all delivered on a set date. They don't have to move from one web store to another, which kind of gives them the feel of traditional shopping at a mall.
3. Trust has been built
While ecommerce has been around for years, there are still customers who find it difficult to trust a web store, especially when it comes to online transactions. Marketplaces, on the other hand, offer cash on delivery options and efficient return policies, which also continue to solidify trust between the consumer and marketplace. And, lastly, for any product sold on a popular marketplace, consumers already trust it because it's linked to a giant like Amazon, for example.
These three factors grab customers’ attention and tell you why they lean more towards marketplaces. So, what do you do when you can’t beat them? Join them!
Success today means utilizing both
It isn’t a battle between web shop vs. marketplace and who can get the customers’ attention. Instead, it should be web shop + marketplace = multichannel success.
As we said, having a web store is your foundation. It’s the place where your returning customers can go when they just want to purchase from your store. It’s the place where you have full ownership of your products, a place where you don’t have to abide by any regulations or only sell certain products. However, sales channels will help you reach a wider audience, bring awareness to your product/s, drive traffic to your site and help you get more sales, which is an all 'round win.
Without the use of popular sales channels like Amazon, Walmart, and more, you are limiting your sales. But to truly improve your chances of getting sales on these channels, you need quality content that stands out from the rest. To ensure that this is possible, you need a PIM tool. A next-generation PIM like Plytix is designed to help you create quality content that's sellable as well as to help you win with content syndication and distribution without dealing with spreadsheets.
Plytix is a perfect collaboration tool for efficient product content management. It will help you maintain product data in a consistent manner, and optimize content to drive sales and higher rankings. After all, the goal is to create content that ranks high and grabs the attention of your prospects regardless of where they are.
To see the tool in action, book a demo with our sales team and discover how Plytix can help you win the battle for customers’ attention on various channels!