Sellers, Do this or stop blaming Marketplaces

When I talk to sellers, everyone talk about –

  • Marketplaces shouldn’t force sellers to follow policies.
  • Issue with cancellation or refund policies.
  • Overnight made, policies and commission structure.
  • Breaking the laws by unstructured pricing and foreign funding.
  • Sellers affected by marketplaces owned private label brands.

Why?

At Early stage of eCommerce, experts had impression this will kill traditional retailers but opposite to it eCommerce emerges with a new platform for traditional retailers and forced retailers to work on internet strategies to promote their stores online.

To make process easy, marketplaces (heavily funded by foreign investors) came in existence and helped sellers to launch them online. This was the big change in game and experts appreciated marketplaces and sellers realized marketplaces have changed the way we do trade in India.

Sellers appreciated marketplaces and they realized marketplaces have changed the way we do trade in India.

When marketplaces website launched, they tied-up with retailers and on-boarded them to sell online through their platform. As time goes on, sellers started getting new orders and marketplaces started processing lakhs of orders every day, which gives them a clear insight into the pulse of market. They have a very good idea about what Indian consumers want and at what price point.

Major e-commerce players in India are still depending on VC funds to handle daily operations and steep marketing costs. Now they started looking for profit and return on investments. As soon as they get customers insight, they launch own private label brands with competitive pricing then existing marketplace’s sellers. This improves higher margin to marketplaces and huge loss to old sellers on the platform.

Private label brands owned by marketplaces improve higher margin to them and huge loss to old sellers on the platform.

Now the question is, what sellers can do?
Can small retailers compete with big, heavily funded eCommerce businesses?

Before we move forward, you need to understand why customers leave you and move to other seller. Have a look at below graph:

why customers leave sellers

If your customer knows you care, then you can hang on to 68% of your customers. Deliver services where your customer can powerfully reshape your identity as a brand, and compel your customers to stay with you, rather than go to other seller.

If your customer knows you care, then you can hang on to 68% of your customers.

  1. Launch your own website – The reality is, people are shopping online. Not having a digital storefront means you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. I understand, the first question you will have in mind, how can you compete marketplaces with your small single seller website. Click here to know “Problems faced by small business owners in building a business website?
  2. Narrow your niche – What most of the sellers do? Just after launching website, everyone start investing in SEO and Social Media promotions to capture large customer base and start planning to increase your sales area. My friends, instead of promoting it globally, first promote your website in your area, your existing customers should know your new store address.Atleast, customers who shop online due to lack of time and convenience will prefer your online store instead of any portal that is out of reach in case of any problem with product. With time, you can increase your sales area and look forward for new customer base.

    Atleast, customers who shop online due to lack of time and convenience will prefer your online store

  3. Personalize Recommendations – Marketplaces can serve up personalized recommendations, but nothing beats the personalized service you can provide to your customers. You can also introduce personalized offers, seasonal discounts that marketplaces can’t match.
  4. Go beyond commodities – Few customers shop from marketplaces for items they couldn’t find in nearby area. Atleast, based on requirement you can showcase those items on your website and offer time duration as earliest that can be provided to customers.
  5. Flexible Payment Options – Customers always prefer stores who offer flexibility in payment. If your business suits, offer partial payment options, monthly payment schedule, split payments. Giving shoppers more options for how they pay could be just the thing that sets you apart from your competitors.
  6. Loyalty programs to reward the best customers – Marketplaces offer points and cash rewards to their customers. A good loyalty program can gives the consumer a big incentive to shop from your online store.

Do you have an online store or planning to start online? How are you competing with existing marketplaces giants? Let us know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Sellers, Do this or stop blaming Marketplaces”

  1. Great article, I think marketing and capturing nearby customers would be a good idea. Let me do, will keep you posted with my queries. Thank you

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