Selling via an online marketplace can open up multiple avenues for an online seller. But like any other channel of business, it’s always better to be on your toes and keep tabs on every aspect of the platform.
IOS brings to you a ‘back to basics’ checklist to take stock of online marketplace selling.
Gain in-depth information about the marketplace
- Before taking your business online, find out all possible information about the marketplace/s you are considering.
- Some marketplaces are best suited for selling low value items while others might be more suitable for selling bulk products or high valued items.
Pay special attention to your possible competitors
- Do a complete analysis of your competitors’ popularity with customers, their level of quality and also their pricing policy.
- It is better to have a clear idea regarding the strength and position of competitors, which can help you to develop strategies to counter them.
Build an appealing and detailed product catalog
- Unlike in physical stores, online shoppers are influenced the most by how a product is presented to them.
- Make an attractive catalogue that showcases every product in a multi-dimensional view along with basic product details such as the price, size, color etc.
- Keep a separate product information sheet that contains all the details as well as a brief product description, available color choices and shipment details.
Acquaint yourself with the administration systems
- You may not have greater control regarding the selling of goods through an online marketplace as compared to setting up your own website.
- You should acquire knowledge about the rules of the marketplace, like:
- The maximum or minimum limit on listings allowed by the marketplace
- The freedom to promote your brand using their social media channels
- The restrictions on selling your products in certain regions
- The access provided to the customer data
Keep the marketplace charges in mind
- Most sellers join established marketplaces to expand their market reach or to increase sales value.
- Keep a tab on the marketplace charges being levied on you like annual fee, shipment fee, listing fee and so on.
- Factor these while deciding on the prices of your products.
- Shipping options could differ with each marketplace.
- Most marketplaces handle the responsibility of shipping the products to the customers on their own while some leave this task to the sellers.
- In case the marketplace handles the shipping, you might be required to pay a nominal fee to the marketplace for this service.
- Also, the marketplace might add shipping charges to the price of the products (as per the marketplace guidelines), which will result in an increase in the overall price.
Various Payment Methods
- You should be extremely clear about how you will be receiving the payment for the sold products, as there are many online payment options.
Product returns and refunds
- Make sure you get familiar with the marketplaces return and refund policies.
- Most marketplaces have policies where the defected products are taken back by the sellers and they refund the product price after deducting the shipping and handling charges from the final price.
Marketplace dispute resolution processes
- You need to be aware of the dispute resolution policy followed by all marketplaces.
- Almost always, the marketplaces require seller to sign a contract detailing all the terms of the partnership and the method of handling any marketplace-customer disputes.