You’re here today probably because you are looking for how to boost sales on a marketplace website.
The online marketplace has many things in common to the physical marketplace or store.
A bespoke website does not automatically translate to sales, neither will quality products; by itself lead to increased revenue.
The internet today as we know it has thousands of eCommerce websites.
Look at the world’s biggest eCommerce websites and you would realize that they are all multi-vendor.
Multi-vendor marketplaces often have huge inventory simply because they allow users to sell products and services on their platforms.
What this piece intends to do is to show you simple ways on how to boost sales on a marketplace website.
At the end of this article, you should be able to identify some key optimization elements to increase sales on your e-commerce marketplace website.
Pillars of Marketplace Sales Growth
Three pillars of marketplace sales growth are website traffic, conversion, and repeat sales. An online marketplace cannot record much success without checking those three boxes.
The purpose of this article is to show you easy ways to boost sales across your multi-vendor marketplace. Before we start, we need to understand what a marketplace is and its characteristics.
What is a Multi-vendor website?
A Multivendor Marketplace is an online store that allows multiple vendors to come together and sell their products.
All the vendors must register on the website and approved by the website’s admin in order to sell their products on the website.
Usually, the marketplace’s admin takes a small percentage (usually between 2% – 5% of sales price) commission from a vendor each time the seller makes a sale on the site.
Some of the topmost multivendor websites today are Amazon, AliExpress, and Alibaba
What are the characteristics of a marketplace website?
- Seller and Buyer Dashboards.
- Product Review Management.
- Easy checkout feature.
- Escrow payment gateways.
- Multi-lingual and/or multi-currency.
- Advanced order management system.
- Bigger inventory.
How to Boost Sales on Marketplace Websites With SEO
The only way any marketplace can become profitable is to find ways to consistently increase relevant website traffic, and drive sales which is typical for businesses.
Do you have a multivendor website and not sure of how to increase sales and conversion? A good place to start is by consulting with a local or professional SEO agency.
Without no further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Generate More Organic Traffic Through SEO
Search engine optimization is the strategy used for getting relevant organic (free) traffic to a website for the purpose of ranking the website better in search engine result pages for relevant keywords.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure that all the pages of the website are well optimized, including backlinks and technical SEO.
Basically, a good SEO strategy for your multivendor marketplace will lead to higher page ranks in SERP.
The basic SEO objective is to make it easier for shoppers or prospective buyers to find the products and services you offer on your website.
Check out this advanced SEO strategies for multivendor websites.
2. Drive Engagement with Content Marketing
Ever heard the phrase “content is KING”?
My guess is that you have already heard a lot about the importance of content marketing.
The bitter pill to swallow is that best products, prices, and ads no longer cut the chase nowadays.
Therefore, you should start blogging. Blogging is important to the overall success of your marketplace because of several reasons, a few of which are:
- it improves your website ranking and/or positions in search engine result pages (SERP) for relevant keywords.
- blogging can help improve website engagement and lower bounce rates.
- blogging can also bring new sellers and improve their offerings.
Content marketing isn’t about articles alone. It encompasses videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, animations, etc.
Also, always make your content shareable on social media.
Never forget to always encourage your sellers and buyers to share your website content with their social networks by adding social share buttons to your content.
3. Go Social with Instagram and Facebook
Facebook and Instagram are the crown jewels of social media with billions of monthly active users and tremendous opportunity for multivendor marketplaces.
Social media success for multivendor is not just about having a brand page on Facebook.
It involves other factors such as the number of followers/fans, audience targeting, user engagement, etc.
Below are some tips that may help to bring more potential buyers to your marketplace from social media:
- Create a unique hashtag for your marketplace and use it on every post.
- Create unique hashtags for your sales and special events.
- Create social contests regularly.
- Create sales around each event and holiday (e.g. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.)
- Show behind the scene moments from your team/departments.
- Use paid social promotion to reach more audience
- Add your website link to your post.
Using social media, the right way can help unlock more sales opportunities for your business.
4. Work with Influencers
We’re in the age of online influencers and they still help businesses to succeed either you believe it or not.
As a matter of fact, a 2020 research by Influencer Hub revealed that businesses make as much as $5.20 USD on every $1 USD spent on influencers.
Collaborating with influencers is super effective in generating sales and revenue.
However, the challenge is finding the right person to work with, which is not always easy.
Some important things you may want to consider before you sign up with an influencer are:
- What’s their niche? – it may not be wise to contract a political analyst to promote your multivendor website.
- Where are they located? – most influencers are local, i.e. they often have followers within their geographical location. You don’t want to contract an influencer whose audience is in Africa when your own target audience in the USA.
- What do others say about them?
- What does your gut say? Somethings you’ve got to trust your own gut feeling about people. Do not ever work with anyone you find irritating.
5. Explore Public Groups and Discussion Boards
Discussion boards and public groups such as LinkedIn groups, Quora forum, and Facebook groups are great places to wisely promote your multivendor brand.
The trick here is to find and join your niche related groups with thousands of members.
That said, the next thing you want to do after joining these groups is to begin to answer questions to build your reputation and gain some trust.
As soon as you become credible enough, you can start leading the audience to your online multi-vendor marketplace platform.
But remember—the usefulness of your answers comes first.
6. Sell More with Offline Marketing
Man is a social being and we sometimes want to feel, see, and touch in order to verify the authenticity of a thing.
This is what offline marketing brings.
While your online marketplace requires lots of time and investments in online marketing, it is still worth mentioning that traditional offline marketing can be just as valuable to your business as online channels.
Some common ways to promote your brand offline are:
- Organize events around popular holidays.
- Take part in trade shows.
- Sponsor an ad at sporting events and/or matches.
- Advertise on billboards and/or banners
- Word of mouth.
7. Go Local
One of the things a customer persona does for you is that it helps you to determine where are the biggest concentration of your online customers.
The trick here is to offer a promotion for these locations. For example, if you have a huge concentration of your audience in Canada, you make want to offer some promotions for your “fur products” in winter.
Another approach is to offer a free to offer free or discounted shipping for those locations.
8. Supercharge Sales on Your Marketplace Website with Referral Programs
Referral programs such as reward points, gifts, or discounts for referring a friend a cheap way to get some potential customers to your website.
It is also a very cheap form of advertising and has one of the best ROI. In fact, a 2019 report by Extole says that customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate and 81% of consumers are more likely to engage with brands that have reward programs.
The advantage of this is that it brings like-minded people who might also be interested in your marketplace products.
This method is scalable as your user base getting bigger the effect increases without any work from your side.
Setting up referral programs is very easy to implement.
9. Use Exclusive “Online-Only” Products
A 2015 report by Tech Cable shows how Jumia sold out 5000 units of Infinix Hot 2 in a few seconds using the exclusive online-only strategy.
The approach was simple, Jumia approached Infinix for this pre-launch exclusive deal which led to an astonishing result.
A good place to start is by discussing the possibility of offering exclusive online-only products with the biggest vendors on your multivendor marketplace.
10. Have a Good Feedback/Review System
As a matter of fact, 91% of 18-34-year-old trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The only thing that sets you apart from other marketplaces are prices and “trust factor”.
Positive reviews act like user-generated marketing, they make people trust you more.
You should also showcase your transparency and customer support skills by properly managing your negative reviews.
11. Advertise your Marketplace with PPC
The online marketplace niche is increasingly becoming very competitive which is why big multivendor marketplaces continue to spend millions of dollars in PPC advertising every year.
One of the advantages of PPC advertising is that it helps you to reach more audience relatively unreachable with your organic efforts.
The focus of your advertising team should be on how to increase the conversion rate of your ads. This is because of the higher the conversion rate, the lower the cost of your ads.
12. Get Started with Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the channels with the best form of conversion, better than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Email marketing offers a more intimate interaction with your audience.
To start email marketing, you should gather an email base.
A welcome pop-up on your website, blog, a series of free webinars, or downloadable guides (or all at once) will get you started.
The good thing about email marketing is that it can be automated. Top email automation tools such as Mailchimp and Get Response takes the huge setup burden from you.
An important part is sending regular and valuable emails to your list which is why you must have a plan.
13. Upsell, Upsell, and Upsell.
Ever planned on buying just one thing from Amazon but ended up buying 5? Never fail to prevent related products on your products or checkout pages.
For example, anyone buying an engagement ring may also be interested in flowers, baby diapers may go with baby food, etc.
Offering related products is a way to supercharge your sales.
14. Loyalty Program – Points Card
Let’s be honest, we all like free things.
Loyalty points and bonuses that expires at a given time for every purchase is one of the most effective ways to gain loyal customers and increase repeat purchases.
A loyalty program is a “win-win” marketing strategy because both sellers and buyers get additional value for every repeat business.
15. Cart Abandonment – Reminder
That’s a whopping 75%, right?
People abandon their cart for many reasons, a few of which are:
- Final price or shipping costs
- Website issues
- Complex checkout process
- Return policies
- Just browsing
The good thing is the cart abandonment remarketing can help you get a chunk of these valuable customers back.
These strategies include:
- Exclusive discounts
- Free shipping
The moral of this approach is that never let any potential customer go without a fight.
16. Make 10x Sales with Affiliate Marketing
Ever received a cut for a deal?
Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
Simply put, you give people a cut for sending buyers your way. Affiliate marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy that has the capability of increasing your sales by more than 10x.
You get other people to do the heavy lifting for you and pay them a percentage of every sale you make from the people they send your way.
Increasing sales across your multivendor marketplace do not necessarily have to be difficult.
Do you have a failing eCommerce store or are you still in the planning phase?
The 16 Reliable Ways to Boost Sales Across A Multi-Vendor Marketplace highlighted above is a place to start.
Do you have more strategies? Talk to us