Blog Post - Nils Kijkuit , Nov 6 2018

​Get to know Marketplaces: What value do they bring?

​Get to know Marketplaces: What value do they bring?

Marketplaces are becoming increasingly vital when it comes to customer search. According to “The Future Shopper,” over half of product searches in the UK and US now start on Amazon – not Google. Consumers are increasingly turning to marketplaces like Amazon to find products, not just because of the enormous range that they offer but also the availability of reviews and the likelihood that this is where the best deal on price is going to be. For any seller today, the potential of marketplaces is definitely worth exploring.

Where do marketplaces fit online?

For any brand looking to reach a target audience, marketplaces are a necessary consideration. The right amount of online coverage today extends well beyond simply having an online store. With so many consumers starting product searches on marketplaces it’s a case of be there or miss out – if you want your products to have the widest possible potential reach then a marketplace is a necessary part of an online selling infrastructure. While many have assumed that it’s a stark choice between joining a marketplace or selling direct to consumers via a website, in fact the two work in harmony and are increasingly viewed as two sides of the same coin. At Wunderman Commerce, we advocate a balanced approach.

Why do marketplaces add value?

There are three main reasons why it’s worth considering marketplaces for your products.

1. Customer convenience

Average hours spent online are flattening out, particularly among older generations. While school and university age users might have hours to spend online jumping from website to website, most people over the age of 25 simply don’t have the time to do this. To this huge demographic, marketplaces represent the ultimate convenience. These consumers want to have a great, productive shopping experience online in the shortest time possible and searching for products via an online marketplace is the most obvious way to do this.

2. Driving traffic

There are different types of marketplaces, from those that involve drop shipping of products direct from a seller, to marketplaces that handle their own logistics. However, what all marketplaces have in common is that they tend to take care of the marketing. It’s the marketplace that is generating traffic to its site and attracting customers, often with significantly more clout than many brands could achieve alone.

3. Sales by association

Amazon is not the only marketplace – there are other options that are smaller, some that are closed to sellers other than those that are approved on the basis quality or style. A presence in the right marketplace can give a brand a boost by association with others that appear on the marketplace, particularly if those brands are exclusive or renowned for their quality.

One drawback worth noting…

What most marketplaces won’t yet do is to provide access to consumer data, such as email addresses, in the same way as a direct to consumer web shop will. So, while marketplaces are a key part of online selling, for most brands they are not enough alone.

Here at Wunderman Commerce, we advocate a balanced strategy approach, part of which, we believe, a holistic Amazon strategy is vital. Find out more about our Amazon strategy service here.