The New Omnichannel Approach: Expanding your Amazon business to new MarketplacesAugust 01, 2023
For many eCommerce brands, the only marketplace they’ve had to worry about over the last few years is Amazon. There’s a good reason for this: 50% of product searches begin with Amazon, making it the most popular starting point for online shoppers. Yet as the eCommerce space continues to grow, even businesses that have traditionally stuck to a single marketplace are recognizing that there is potential for growth if they expand into other channels. Some are hesitant though, as they lack a playbook for scaling their business and aren’t sure if the return on investment will be worthwhile.
Though transitioning away from a single marketplace approach can seem intimidating, the value of exploring multiple online marketplaces is increasingly apparent. Amazon is still the leader in the field, but over the last few years, we’ve seen a wave of alternatives hit the market, with eBay, Shopify, and Walmart all stepping up as serious competitors. There are also a number of popular services that offer tools that allow brands to launch their own eCommerce operations and sell directly to customers.
Despite facing some challenges, utilizing multiple marketplaces offers several advantages, one advantage being consumer reach. There are hundreds of millions of online shoppers in the US alone, but if you only sell through one platform or marketplace, there’s a good chance that many of them will never see your products. Branching out into other marketplaces means you will be able to reach shoppers who would otherwise be out of your reach.
Additionally, markets are prone to sudden changes, from shifting prices and fees to new platform-wide rules and policies. This means that if you’re only selling through one marketplace, you’re at a far greater risk, as it only takes one ban or questionable platform change to completely upend your business. Investing in multiple marketplaces circumvents this problem, giving your room to adapt and adjust in response to market disruptions.
Companies are beginning to recognize these benefits, hence the growing interest in expanding into new marketplaces, but they still often get stuck on how to do it. Working within a new market comes with its own unique challenges and considerations, particularly when it comes to product or operational costs, shipping expectations, and return policies. To determine if a market is worthwhile financially, you need a baseline to plan from so you can calculate how much volume you’ll need to make your desired profit. This requires a thorough understanding of how the platform operates, including technical considerations like search engine functionality and marketing strategies.
There’s also the question of what your target audience looks like – some platforms have large customer bases, while others are smaller and more specialized. Customers’ needs evolve and change over time as well, so brands will need to consider what marketplaces are most relevant to their audience’s current and future needs, conducting extensive market research. This is one area where PointStory can offer some much-needed support as we help clients through in-depth data analysis to identify what retailers and marketplaces most closely match their target audience. We also help with the approval process, which can sometimes be long and cumbersome.
In the increasingly competitive eCommerce space, companies need every advantage they can get. Going from a single marketplace to a multichannel approach can seem daunting at first, but with preparation and the proper support, it can be a huge benefit for brands. When coupled with an effective digital advertising campaign, companies can use the transition as a way to drive growth and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
PointStory offers end-to-end solutions for launching on 70+ different marketplaces and retailers; from go-to-market strategy, content development, fulfillment solutions, marketing, and advertising to final delivery to the customer. Connect with us to learn more.