Increasing sales and customer reach through marketplace selling


Search and shopping behaviours have rapidly changed, adapting to the “new normal” following COVID-19.

With more people than ever shopping online and with more retailers having expanded into eCommerce, online share of voice for some has been diluted.

According to digital eCommerce solutions specialist, Kooomo, this new landscape means retailers need to go that extra mile to stand out, and one way in which greater share can be achieved is through marketplace selling.

Sales on marketplace sites accounted for 58% of global web sales in 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis. While it’s crucial for retailers to have their own eCommerce presence, enabling them to completely control the branding and user experience, there are a number of benefits for some retailers to be discovered through marketplace selling, especially in today’s post-COVID landscape.

Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo says, “Marketplaces are like digital department stores – they carry a certain amount of trust and familiarity for consumers and can expand your reach which, in turn, increases your revenue. There are different types of marketplaces – such as pureplay sites including Amazon and eBay and category driven sites such as Farfetch – so while considering if you want to have a presence on marketplaces is the first step, you then need to also consider which type of marketplace is best suited to you, depending on your price point and category.

“All marketplaces technically minimise the amount of legwork needed to gain visibility in a crowded space and, as audiences continue to adapt to new trends, it’s vital for retailers to follow suit and ensure they’re meeting their consumers where they are. While each retailer will need to consider whether marketplace selling is right for them, if it is an area you’re interested in, you need to ensure that your digital eCommerce supplier allows you to integrate with the key channels you wish to be present on.”

In recent years the general public’s search habits have changed and retailers therefore need to consider whether their audience’s habits have changed too, and consequently adapt. According to a 2018 consumer survey, nearly half (46.7%) of all searches start on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, compared to 35% on Google[1].

Ciaran adds, “The consumer is now savvier than ever when it comes to researching their desired products – and while search engines offer functional results, they tend to be more generalised. Marketplaces can shorten the research path and allow for a more refined search pertaining to features such as price, quantity, colour, ratings and reviews, especially category marketplaces where consumers are often more focused in their desired products.

“Additionally, you cannot take for granted the immense increased amount of traffic that your product might experience by being available via marketplaces. Customers use marketplaces twice as often when searching and researching products in comparison to Google, putting your product precisely where it needs to be to gain traction.”

Ciaran also notes that other benefits offered by marketplaces are simplified shipping and currencies, and increased reputation: “Shipping and local currencies are looked after by the marketplace provider. Further, if you’re a relatively new retailer, you stand to reap the benefits of ‘secondary loyalty’ as customers have already put their trust in these marketplaces previously. If customers are happy with what they’ve purchased, they’ll likely return to the Marketplace to buy it again.”

Ciaran concludes, “Businesses and consumers alike seek out convenience and marketplace selling can deliver in regards to both. With giants like Amazon, eBay and Facebook already built into so many consumers’ buying processes, as well as category specific sites being frequently visited, many steps of the brand awareness process are eliminated. This can free up retailers time to focus on other aspects of their business.”

Through Kooomo’s technology partners, users have assured connections to marketplaces which reduces costs and grants access to a more competitive solution for broadening successful marketplaces like eBay and Amazon or Farfetch and other niche marketplaces.