Could non-performing SKUs get you kicked-off a Marketplace?

Slow business is not a good sign especially for big brand marketplaces. So what happens to your products when they do not perform well? Does the marketplace kick them to the curb?

“Delisting non-performing SKUs is not a common practice among most online marketplaces. However, fashion portals Jabong and Myntra are known to remove non-performing SKUs from their platforms. They do formally inform the seller about delisting their products before actually doing so,” says Category Manager Devashish Naik, from Browntape, the multi-channel order and inventory management firm.

Does lack of sales mean you’ve spent a fortune on a bad product or is your marketing strategy a bit off? Most often it’s the latter. A common belief in online retail is, you cannot promote your products on marketplaces except through marketplace advertisements. But the truth is there are other means.

How to revive your product sales before hitting the clearance sections!

There are a couple of ways to jumpstart your online sales before deeming a product clear for clearance sales.

  1. Product popularity influences product sales

Everyone likes what’s popular and creating a buzz. How do you do that on an online marketplace though? One way is through reviews and ratings. We’ve already informed you that more than 50% of online sellers make online purchases only after reading product reviews. If you do not have the necessary reviews you could lose out on consumer attention towards your product. No one really wants to make a purchase if they don’t know other consumer’s experiences with it.

Another thing is, the lack of product reviews can result in people thinking your product lacks quality. In case you run an online store it’s better not to show the number of social media shares and likes, unless you are experiencing exceptional sales.

  1. Use the limited edition strategy

People are always looking for “one of a kind” things. Why? It’s because rare commodities are admired a lot more. If you sell products with distinctive features you need to capitalize on this. If you sell limited edition or exclusive merchandise make sure you highlight that feature. If a commodity appeals to the consumer and is limited in quantity, the consumer will feel the need to make a purchase. The buyer usually weighs the costs of not owning the product or where else will he find something like this again.

You can also create an urgency to make purchases by engaging in limited period sales. This will require you to reduce product prices. This can get you the necessary visibility you need even if for a limited period.

  1. Product bundling

If you have a product that’s selling well, you can combine it with your non selling products. Let’s look at cosmetics. Say you sell anti-wrinkle cream but this is one of your non-moving SKUs. To push sales you can combine it with other cosmetics like body lotions, hair oils, body scrubs and other beauty products that sell well. Maybe even make it a gift set. You can combine the same price of all the products or provide them at a lowered rate so the whole combination looks appealing.

  1. Discount pricing on large volumes

If no one wants to buy one of your products make them buy two or more! You can offer the product at a high price on first purchase then at a lower price on the following purchase. You could offer two units of the same product at a discounted rate, provide a buy one get one free option or buy one and get the second at 50% off. 

  1. Know what you’re selling

No one wants to buy something they do not understand. Every purchase whether impulsive or well thought out has a reason. Just because the given product is pretty and shiny does not mean the buyer will pay good money to own it. This is where good descriptions with valid information come in. Sure pretty words are intriguing, but are they informative enough? Also are you providing descriptions relevant to your own products? You can use inform consumers through written information and visuals like images and videos for better illustration of what your product is and what it does.

  1. Use price anchoring

People love to compare prices. Sometimes consumers also compare the prices of two products that are totally different but serve the same purpose. Let’s take an example of cell phones. Phone A is worth Rs. 11,000 and comes with a 5 megapixel primary and 1.5 megapixel secondary camera. Phone B from the same brand and with the same features is worth Rs. 9,000 and comes with a 5 megapixel primary camera but no secondary camera. The consumer will go for the second option because the secondary camera on phone A is not very significant.

The anchor price in this case is Rs. 11,000. By purchasing the Rs. 9,000 phone the consumer isn’t losing much. This technique can be used more freely on an online store. In case of a marketplace, similar products and their pricing will appear during the product search. So the consumer will come across both phones and will compare their features. However, there are chances a consumer identifying another seller with even lower prices, this will affect your sales. To avoid that from happening you need to maintain competitive prices.

If your products don’t begin to sell like hot cakes in spite of the techniques, take a look at your competition’s products. You can determine their sales based on the reviews they receive, their prices and search popularity, You could try paid ads too on marketplaces to promote your products if you see great potential in them.

How have you dealt with products that don’t sell?

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