Online marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, and Mudah are growing rapidly. With customers dispersed across multiple marketplaces, selling where your customers are is crucial to having a successful online business.
Online marketplaces allow sellers instant access to a large number of customers at a lower cost, require a simpler setup and enable sellers to gain good profits without putting in huge sums of money.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the advantages of expanding into multiple marketplaces, followed by challenges of managing several marketplaces and how to overcome them.
First up, why should you expand into multiple marketplaces?
Why bother putting in additional work to sell on numerous platforms when managing one is challenging enough? It is worthwhile for several reasons:
Customers are guaranteed and daily traffic is on the rise
As of 2021, Shopee and Lazada have a combined customer base of close to 70 million. That is, once you’ve posted your products to marketplaces, you’ll have instant access to millions of customers. Just think about how many people you can reach if you sell on multiple platforms.
The ready-to-use customer acquisition tool that marketplaces provide reduces the time and cost of obtaining new customers.
Maximising Product Discoverability
Considering the diversified product types, sales channels and customer types, your business will greatly benefit from different solutions across multiple platforms. Selling on several marketplaces is great for shoppers who are constantly on the lookout for high-consideration items or just the best deal (free shipping, lowest price, good rating etc.). To put it another way, shoppers will research more by comparing prices, features, and reliability across multiple marketplaces.
Selling on Shopee, Lazada, Mudah, and other similar platforms allows you to pitch each of these customers in a different approach while still closing sales. Even if the first presentation of your products fails to pique their interest, you may be able to persuade them to purchase on the second or third occasions from other marketplaces.
You wouldn’t want to depend for your business’ success on one single marketplace, even if you may make money this way. This is because if anything happens to it, you’ll have to start all over again.
Truth be told, not only do you have limited control over your store, you must also adhere to the strict and ever-changing rules and regulations that might affect your profit margin as a marketplace seller. As a result, selling on several platforms allows you to minimise risk and maximise profit.
Challenges for Selling on Multiple Marketplaces
Selling on multiple marketplaces can have its downsides in the real world. How do you overcome or alleviate these problems? Here are some tips that can help you.
1. A lack of inventory management
Poor inventory management costs a fortune each year. Sellers face this problem when having multiple inventory listings that need to be manually tracked across different marketplaces. Picture this – having countless products on Shopee, Lazada, Mudah and other online marketplaces – this complicates inventory management because you’ll have to log into multiple marketplaces to monitor and manually update each and every inventory.
This will eventually lead to overselling or overstocking because you won’t be able to strike the ideal balance when it comes to allocating your inventory. When demand is high on one marketplace (sold out), but the performance is poor on another, even distribution may lead to overstocking. Ignoring the inventory count, on the other hand, may lead to overselling, where the sum of orders from multiple marketplaces exceeds existing inventory.
Solution: Inventory management that is centralised
Many ecommerce platforms provide inventory management that automates many of these tasks, allowing you to consolidate your inventory in one place. As a result, you’ll have the same inventory across all of your marketplaces. When an order is placed in one of the marketplaces, the amount of inventory you have will be deducted from other marketplaces.
From a single dashboard, you can also get a centralised low-stock notification to avoid running out of products. Once you update your inventory count, it will synchronise across different marketplaces and other accessible sales channels accordingly.
2. Repetitive Tasks
Entering the same product details, images and pricing repeatedly across multiple marketplaces – does this sound all too familiar to you? This can be frustrating, and even more so if you have created a new listing and have to make minor amendments. If this does not result in burnout, it will undoubtedly allow for human error.
Because each marketplace’s layout and format for uploading product information is different, when it comes to product upload, sellers may need to spend a large amount of time and take extreme caution.
Solution: Sync Your Product Catalogue in a Single Click
Upload all of your products to an ecommerce platform (such as EasyStore) and have them synced to several marketplaces at the same time. You may also import products from marketplaces into the ecommerce platform and vice versa.
It eliminates the need to log into each marketplace separately to post product information or complete a quick task, and it allows you to manage your entire product catalogue for your marketplaces, online shop, social media pages, and all other sales channels from a single place.
3. Confusion for Orders
When you sell on multiple marketplaces, keeping track of all of the incoming orders from each platform can be a lot of hassle. Due to the complexity of handling several marketplace dashboards when you have orders coming in from multiple marketplaces, you may lose out on orders and sales.
This will cause delays in completing orders and, in the worst-case scenario, a penalty from the marketplace, which will take a toll on your scoring and seller privileges.
Solution: Sync Orders across All Sales Channels in Real-Time
With orders synchronised throughout all sales channels, when anything is sold, a marketplace order management system eliminates the need for manual data entry. Instead, orders from all supported marketplaces are consolidated into a single dashboard. When an order is received from the marketplace, the respective marketplace logos will appear in the admin panel. This will help you manage your orders and identify your customer source, which will help you avoid order processing errors, and unnecessary duplications.
Some ecommerce platforms even offer mobile apps (such as EasyStore Mobile App) that provide real-time order alerts, allowing you to fulfil all orders in bulk. This bulk-fulfilment feature can help you avoid human errors during the order packing process.
4. Inconsistency in data
You will notice that every marketplace has its own reporting insights structure and layout if you compare the performance of different marketplaces side by side. This forces you to manually standardise the report from different marketplaces, which will impair your productivity as a business owner, and evaluating the provided data can consume quite a bit of time.
Solution: Report on All Sales Channels
Ecommerce platforms have a solution in store for you to organise and display your business performance from multiple marketplaces under a single dashboard, allowing you to keep track of your business insights in a smooth manner. In turn, helping you to save more time and making it easy to view and compare data at a glance.
On top of that, you may filter the report based on the sales channels via which you are selling, making it easier to examine performance data and providing you with a standardised report to track.
Taking the next step!
Ready to sell your products across multiple marketplaces? It can take up a lot of time and effort to list countless products to a new sales channel, and it can be very challenging to manage all these sales channels. Fret not, we’re here to help! Talk to us today to find out the right way to reach customers via online marketplaces.