Improving Online Marketplace Efficiency

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As a savvy online retailer, you’ll already know that the more places you list your products, the more opportunities you’ll have to sell them. But not all online marketplaces are created equally and therefore the listing-for-the-sake-of-listing strategy might not be the most efficient approach to doing business online.

Smart retailers focus on the channels which they know will work for them. For an online marketplace to deliver results it must first offer critical mass in terms of buyers, sellers and available products. Remove just one of these components and you’re on the road to nowhere, wasting a ton of time and resource listing products for a limited or even negative return.

This is just one reason why we advise online retailers to focus their main efforts on the three leading online marketplaces in the UK – eBay, Amazon and Flubit (via the SKU Cloud eco-system). These are the only three online marketplaces that can guarantee critical mass and therefore deliver significant sales for serious sellers.


Who Benefits From Your Investment

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to completely dismiss other marketplace opportunities – but until they can guarantee critical mass, any investment in listing your products will primarily be to the benefit of the marketplace and not the retailer.

Note: This is one of the reasons why Flubit originally launched as a “private offer” service, matching products with consumer requests before transforming into a fully-fledged online marketplace in April 2017. It enabled the Flubit team to actively seek products out (even if they weren’t available from existing retail partners) and ensure both buyers and retailers enjoyed a positive shopping experience.

We thoroughly recommend testing other marketplaces – but keep your tests small until there is a real and proven opportunity to scale. Over the years there have been countless online marketplaces that have promised to challenge the dominance of eBay and Amazon but in the long run have just proved to be a distraction, wasting retailers’ time and money (because time is money).

Consider This: The time invested in listing to an as-yet unproven marketplace (or in any other form of online marketing) could be better spent sourcing new products, negotiating with existing suppliers or fine tuning strategies you currently employ on proven sales channels.


Be More Efficient

It’s always worthwhile evaluating marketplace efficiencies, even when you are dealing with tried and tested platforms like eBay and Amazon. Not all products work well on all marketplaces. Products that deliver a healthy return on eBay might not be so lucrative on Amazon (and vice versa). There are also a number of factors you’ll want to consider, including the cost of listing specific products, frequency of sales, final value fees, issues relating to customer support, feedback, competition, etc. It might sound counter-productive but you might find certain online marketplaces more profitable if you reduce the number of SKUs available to each platform and optimise accordingly.

There is of course one online marketplace where it is possible to list your entire catalogue with zero risk. Because Flubit does not charge retailers any listing or final value fees and only sells products on behalf of retailers with a guaranteed margin in place, all sales will deliver on their promises.

As for upfront investment in listing, if you currently use a multi-channel retail solution like ChannelAdvisor, Volo or Linnworks (contact us for full list of partners), listing your products could be as easy as ticking a few boxes.

But there’s more…

When you list your products on via the SKU Cloud eco-system (the software which powers the marketplace), your products are also seamlessly distributed to a number of high profile online shopping destinations managed by big brand publishers and online communities – again at no cost. And as a savvy online retailer, you’ll already know the value of this proposition.

Could you be a more efficient marketplace seller? Speak to an advisor today about listing your products on Flubit and the wider SKU Cloud eco-system.

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