At its simplest, marketing for online sellers is getting the word out about your products or services. However, if it were that simple, more people would be good at it, and good right away. We both know that’s obviously not the case, as marketing is an inherently more complex process than could be described in one sentence, particularly if you’re a third-party marketplace seller. Here RepricerExpress will give offer some tips that will work best for third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Rakuten Play.com merchants as well as online webstores.
Own Webstore and eBay
If you solely sell online via your own webstore or on eBay, then the full spectrum of marketing activities are open to you.
- Inbound marketing: Your primary focus with this type of marketing will be original, quality content, and you’re going to want to share it with your customers. Think blogs, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, white papers and the like, and you’ll have a good idea of where inbound marketing takes place. The whole idea of this type is draw customers in by showing yourself to be an authority on a particular topic, as well as establishing a solid online presence.
- Outbound marketing: There are a lot of similarities between inbound and outbound marketing, such as both being one-directional, delivering a certain message, and targeting specific demographics. However, the biggest difference is the selectivity of outbound marketing, which is far narrower than inbound. Here, you’ll practice things like email campaigns, telemarketing, and getting your brand known at industry trade shows.
- Direct marketing: Instead of trying to target a small handful of people (outbound) or reaching a specific demographic (inbound), you’re discarding that in favour of quantity. The idea is that if you can potentially reach a huge number of people, your odds of getting them to click to your site or purchase your products will be higher, too. How do you do this? Telemarketing, direct email campaigns, POS transactions, and even snail mail.
As you sell more and store your buyers’ details, you’ll be able to exploit more and more of the marketing activities outlined above. With so many competitors ‘out there’ on the Internet, it’s important to know why you’re different or why a prospective buyer should buy from you. Establish that initially and then market that message to the world!
Selling on third party marketplaces brings a much larger pool of potential customers to you, but marketing to those customers poses its own challenges.
Is there anything you can’t do on Amazon? Our sources tell us the answer is very nearly a firm no. You can go the independent route or take part in Fulfillment by Amazon, use the site as a part-time hobby or go after Buy Boxes competitively, and add uniqueness to your offering by bundling products.
On the down side, you can’t really market yourself as your own seller too much on Amazon, as they greatly want you to be part of the Amazon family and those you sell to are for all intents and purposes, Amazon customers. But what you can do is stand out within the marketplace.
It’s important to remember the core of Amazon’s algorithm when it comes to the Buy Box: competitive pricing. The formula, on the surface, is quite simple: sell more than your competitors and gain more recognition. If you can do this by having software take care of your prices and constantly best your competitors’, it’s one of the most direct routes you can take to winning another Buy Box.
There’s a lot more customisation you can do here, as Rakuten allows you to really make your store your own. They also offer regular promotions that help you along with your goals, with the most common one being matched with an ecommerce consultant.
The second thing you should be taking advantage of when it comes to marketing is Rakuten’s PopShops, which does double duty:
- Lets you put up coupons for your products, and
- Lets you sell space on your store to affiliate networks so they can place ads.
Rakuten also has the capability for you to upload videos and rich media images. As you know from our many blog posts on the topic, being able to highlight your products in multiple, visible, quality ways goes a long way in moving your merchandise.
Finally, Rakuten’s Play.com is a competitive marketplace that encourages open competition, so you’ll need to ensure your prices remain competitive at all times—RepricerExpress is one of the few software solutions that caters for both Amazon and Rakuten Play.com sellers, with a few Gold Star merchants on the books, to boot.