Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, drop-shipper or an online retailer, marketplaces are one of the quickest and smartest ways for you to expand your reach to hundreds of millions of customers, increase the brand awareness, drive more sales and grow revenue. Because it is always wise to not put all the eggs in a single basket. Selling on your own eCommerce website is just enough anymore. With the rapid growth in the number of online shoppers and the millions of new sellers, the online retailers have to be literally omnipresent across different sales channels aka marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
But is it an easy job to juggle between the accounts to keep them regularly updated and proactively managed? Well, you need an exclusive marketplace management team alongside to manage your multichannel inventory and customer orders if you would like to deliver a seamless online shopping experience and enhance your brand reputation.
Here are some of the tasks that top eCommerce sellers outsource to manage their multi-channel marketplace business.
1. Marketplace Research
Startup or an established seller, it is always good to revisit this research phase to learn and understand what you are getting into. Every marketplace comes with different set of challenges and attracts a distinct set of customers. Whether you are interested in finding a new product that is on demand or you are happy to go with your existing units, it is always good to have someone do a thorough study on various marketplaces and do a competitive research and guide you through the different programs offered by every sales channel.
2. Account Creation
You may wonder what is a big deal about setting up an account. But the truth is there are so many things to consider before you set up an account in a marketplace. For example, when it comes to Amazon, there are different programs to opt for - like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), Seller Fulfilled Prime (SLP) etc and each one offers different benefits. One has to have an in-depth understanding of their product line and what difference it could bring before choosing a particular program.
3. Product Listing and Optimization
When you establish your business in multiple sales channels, it will get tedious to list and catalog the products in compliance with every platform. The more products that you have in line, the more complicated it will get to list and optimize.
A Virtual Assistant can help you to select the right category and list the products carefully or even to create a customized listing for new items and will help you get the products uploaded with the right title, description, product specification and images in accordance to the guidelines given by that particular marketplace. A professional lister will have a better grasp on the product uploads, knowledge of marketplace guidelines and an impeccable understanding of policy changes.
Virtual Assistants also understand your industry vertical and target audience can help you to optimize the Title and description of the listing with the high-volume keywords and easy-to-understand language to make your products more visible and desirable.
4. Photo Editing Services
What if you have a great product and an amazing listing but your images fail to create an impression on the buyers? Having eye-catching product images is the most crucial thing in eCommerce - because “Pictures speak louder than words”. You need a well-equipped professional eCommerce photographer/image editor who has a fair knowledge on the image upload guidelines for main, alternate and swatch photos for the specific marketplace and can deliver you clear and attractive product images with the use of advanced software, which will eventually help you drive more sales.
Image editors can also help you with the image cropping/resizing, background editing, watermark removal, banner creation, logo designing and many such tasks.
5. SEO Services
When you have put your foot on multiple marketplaces, doing SEO for your product listing can be quite challenging and confusing as each marketplace has its own search engine algorithm which works differently. Outsourcing SEO to a trained Virtual Assistant will solve your problem. SEO experts will help you outshine your competitors and achieve a higher position in the search results page with the well-optimized, standardized and updated product data.
6. Fulfillment And Inventory Management
When it comes to selling on multi-channel marketplaces, it is almost impossible to keep track of the order fulfillment and inventory on a daily basis without having a proper system and external help in place. Also, it is tricky since you deal with more than one sales channel and you need to make sure that all your orders are shipped quickly and reached on time. You will also have to pack and ship it if you are opting for a direct fulfillment method.
The same goes with managing the inventory levels across multiple sales channels. Running out of inventory when the product is in the peak demand is a recipe for disaster in the eCommerce world. A Virtual Assistant can help with tracking the fulfillment orders and update the inventory level across all your marketplaces and help you learn the products that are in demand to make a strategic decision on what to reorder from your supplier.
7. Customer Support Services
Maintaining a good rapport with the customers by answering their emails promptly and friendly is crucial for any successful business. But what if you need to answer hundreds of emails loaded with questions, comments and concerns every single day on various platforms? It is not humanly possible to stay up round the clock and handle it all alone. Remember, a good customer support service will go a long way in boosting your brand reputation.
Outsourcing customer support to a well-trained service rep with a pleasing personality and good language skills with telephone and email etiquettes is the best thing you can do to retain your loyal customers.
8. Running Ads/ PPC Campaigns
Running sponsored Ads or PPC campaigns are no child play. It needs certain kind of skills to grasp and master the ins and outs before executing a winning campaign. If one has to invest so much of hard-earned money into PPC, it is better to get it done by someone who knows what he is doing rather than playing around doing trial and error. A PPC expert will walk you through the current trend and will help you execute a campaign that will target the right set of audience and increase your conversion.
High volume eCommerce sellers that sell across multiple sales channels like Amazon, eBay are often overloaded with innumerable tasks and find it overwhelming to cope up with the ever-growing marketplace competition. This is why it is important to find the right resource to delegate some of the things off your plate to focus on the bigger picture. Outsourcing the tasks will not only free up your time but will also help you stay up and ahead amidst an ocean of online retailers.
This is a guest post by John Britto, Founder & Director of Fabongo eCommerce Consulting LLC. Fabongo provides end-to-end services for the multichannel E-Commerce stores, to simplify their business processes and also provide remote employees to the businesses, startups, retailers and manufacturers.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a quick call to learn more about Fabongo.
Feel free to contact John on LinkedIn for any queries.