Pattern ANZ GM Merline McGregor discusses the three key features that may make marketplaces attractive for growing your brand.
Considering the revenue and people impact of 2020, many brands are now looking to diversify into additional channels in an effort to maximise growth whilst protecting their strong brand ethos or existing channels.
Over the past few months Pattern Australia has fielded many enquiries about launching on marketplaces, the suitability of the channel, and the models available for brands seeking growth in Australia and internationally.
Brands now want to de-risk themselves from a single point of failure and accept that single or double channel investment strategies such as their own ecommerce store combined with bricks and mortar may be self-limiting; whilst local and global multi-brand platforms present opportunities for brands including incremental revenue, increasing audience awareness and market share.
In 2021, brands have accelerated their ecommerce capability and are actively recruiting ecommerce talent or agency support to help them in their next phase of digital growth. When sourcing channels for incremental revenue, marketplaces should be part of any brand’s consideration set.
Marketplaces are multi-brand platforms that provide all the necessary features and structure to allow you to concentrate on what brands do best, trading and marketing the brand and product to new audiences.
Many marketplaces including Amazon, Kogan.com and Temple and Webster all reported a doubling of sales during the 2020 pandemic.
Other marketplaces including Catch, eBay and The Iconic also reported strong sales growth, citing growing customer databases, conversion and enhanced awareness of marketplaces as reasons for their growth.
Here are three key features that may make marketplaces attractive for growing your brand.
1. Customer Experience
Most marketplaces have been built on robust platforms and do not require any type of management or oversight from the brand. Marketplaces are generally feature-rich, and have invested heavily in their Customer Experience proposition, from site navigation, product listing pages and all the way to the checkout.
Your brand will benefit from years of customer research and data scientists optimising and refining the user journey to drive conversion. Most brands find that marketplaces typically have 2x – 3x higher conversion rates than their DTC stores, due to the enhanced customer experience and additional features provided. Some brands report even higher statistics.
One brand we work with has a 2% conversion rate on their website and has a 15.2% conversion rate on marketplaces.
Subscription based free shipping is an invaluable conversion driver; as is seamless checkout including stored credit card details, multiple addresses and shipping options.
For smaller brands, a lot of these features are unachievable on their own websites due to resource, experience or budget.
The major marketplaces invest in their brands, and acquire traffic and customers aggressively, especially to their key categories and focus brands.
Many marketplaces own the top organic product listing due to sheer size and volume of traffic.
Brands can take advantage of these marketing programs by driving traffic to their own product pages or storefronts, or work with the marketplace marketing and account management teams to take advantage of brand driving activities including promotional deals and PR stories.
If your brand is struggling to achieve cut through or you need to acquire new customers, marketplaces may be a good opportunity to expose your brand to new audiences.
3. International Opportunities
Many brands we speak to would like to take their brands global but do not know where to start. Depending on which marketplace you launch on, you have the ability to utilise ‘Global Store’ functionality to make your brand available in almost any other market in the world.
In a release regarding Amazon Australia’s performance in 2020, Amazon reported over $370m in global store sales shipped from their parent company in the US to Australia.
There are considerations when doing this, in relation to market fit, paid marketing and organic optimisation, and ensuring that you have the right logistics support in place, but it is generally a lower cost option compared to developing another website instance in local currency with local payment options.
Any new venture requires consideration and an element of knowledge and understanding to get started.
If you are unsure about whether your product or brand would be a good fit for marketplaces, please contact us at email@example.com to talk through your growth goals and how we can help.