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The way we sell products online has drastically changed over the years. Single-store online storefronts are increasingly dismissed in favor of platforms & aggregate storefronts or as you may better know them, marketplaces. Some examples include, Amazon, Ebay, Zalando & Etsy to name a few.

Considering that 90% of shoppers begin their product searches on digital channels, this is hardly surprising. What’s even less surprising, is the year-on-year increase of these numbers.

As it currently stands, around 40-50% of shoppers now start out on marketplaces such as Amazon or Ebay. At the current pace, practically everyone has or will have shifted to the marketplace ecosystem over the next few years – if not sooner.

The clearest difference between traditional online shops and marketplaces boils down to one thing: Customer Choice.

Since its conception, User Choice has always been an integral part of the internet. In the early days however, this freedom of choice was celebrated. As of right now, the freedom of choice we truly have has been drastically diminished, a lot of the time monitored, and all of the time, contested.

Right now, everyone is fighting for choice dominance. Fighting to ensure that our clicks are going to – or will be going – to them. Taking steps to encourage our return if we do end up straying. It’s only natural that this choice would expand to the realm of online shopping, to marketplaces – and so should you.

Marketplaces have the innate ability to benefit both the users / sellers / online shops as well as the marketplace itself.
By listing your store or products, and depending on your desired goals, marketplaces can help with a plethora of desired objectives such as brand awareness, product visibility, or customer outreach.

How does one begin their marketplace journey?

At the beginning of course! And by that, I mean the beginning of your marketplace career.

Like with any new endeavor, you should first consider what your objectives are – and the methods in which you will attempt to reach those heights.

Speaking strictly of marketplaces, there are various goals which can apply to different situations, depending on where you are in your seller journey.

For example, you can make your marketplace endeavors focus to:

  • Increase sales – By offering a wider range of products on the marketplace front and focusing on getting those products more exposure & to a larger bracket of users, you may be able to increase sales exponentially.
  • Increase Brand Awareness – By using the marketplace to focus on a specific item – or subset of items – you can largely tailor the experience to complement your brand, rather than focus on sales and distribution specifically. Think of it as a way to guide customers further down your conversion funnel by offering another point of entry.
  • Access New Customer Segments – By pushing a specific product category that was otherwise restricted to you with brand limitations, etc., you can run experiments and test these products that could allow access to entirely new customer segments, which means, more… brand awareness, sales… more everything!

Ultimately, the goals and objectives you set are entirely up to you and what exactly you want to get out of the marketplace paradigm.

Once your goals and objectives are set, developing an air-tight plan of action is your best bet for success.

There are often misconception when it comes to marketplaces and their structure, thinking that it’s an easier venture, or requires less planning. While for slightly different reasons than usual, this is not true in the slightest.

A lesson to learn early on in the lucrative world of online shopping is that nothing should ever be underestimated.

Marketplaces are no different.

If you run, heck, fly, before you learn how to walk, then you are in for a rude awakening, my dear readers.

There are a lot more elements to take into account than one might think. Too many to risk rushing into  it without consideration and planning beforehand. For example, how will you deal with:

  • Customer questions.
  • Negative Feedback.
  • Finance
  • Legal Issues
  • Ad Campaigns


These are all the constantly moving parts that make up the core marketplace experience – and like any machine, it will only run as well as the sum of its parts.

Before we dive into the how, let’s quickly look at the what (to avoid).

Some common mistakes include:

  • Setting unclear objectives.
    We touched on this briefly. Think about your marketplace approach, don’t just start listing and selling, guns blazing.
  • Pushing the Wrong products.

Consider your marketplace audience. Some items may simply be unsuitable for the way the marketplace is structured (or may simply be unsustainable altogether, based on competition, price, or market saturation)

  • Inconsistency between different channels.

This is arguably the most important factor to be aware of as it pertains directly to your image as a brand.

If different channels (Facebook, Amazon, etc.) are managed by different departments, it could lead to discrepancies such as brand image inconsistencies, or more importantly, fluctuations in pricing.

This is particularly important as the customer journey is now more fluid than ever, often moving from one channel to the next for more ideas, more content, I guess you could call it an enhanced buying experience.

In cases like these, differences in pricing can have incredibly negative effects on the customer so be vigilant of this possibility.

Now that we’ve looked at what to look out for (and what not to do) let’s discuss the steps for success.

Choosing the right marketplace

We’ve mentioned this a few times already but that’s how important it is. Choosing the right marketplace is integral to your success. It won’t matter if you have the greatest product in the history of products if you list it on a platform that won’t support its success.

Furthermore, pay close attention to the entry requirements for each marketplace. Each has varying criteria that you’ll need to follow to avoid possible account suspension.

Next you should very carefully select your products. They should be fewer in number to begin with, easily identifiable to consumers, and should sell well (in a general consumer sens). Ideally these should also be products with low return rates and high ROI.

Creating Your Account

When creating your account, look into all the settings and tools that could help you in any way or give you an edge over your competition. For example, if you are an already-established brand, you can let the marketplace know and they could give you more control or access over your account.

Listing Your Products & Optimising your content

When listing your products, make sure you do everything by the book. Make sure they are in the right category, have appropriate tags and stand out.

Remember, you will now be constantly competing directly with other brands & suppliers, meaning that you want to stand out as soon as possible.

You want to tailor these optimisations (images, titles, keywords, descriptions & tags) to your customers. Specifically towards the audience you’re targeting on the specific platform you are on.

Green Means GO!

Now that the stage is set and everything is in place, you are finally ready to press that Green button that has so intently been staring you right in the eyes for the past few weeks. Congratulations! You are now ready to start selling! (which is arguably the point where the real work starts…) So, what now?

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

One of the most integral parts of selling online, especially within a marketplace. You could say that reviews are the currency of online marketplaces!

This means that as soon as you start making sales, it is important to start gathering reviews immediately. This includes finding ways to engage your customers and guide them to various ways to engage and review your products.

Ad Campaigns and You

Once you have reached a comfortable stage in your current marketplace, it’s time to run some ads. No matter how well you are doing, you could always be doing better (especially if your sales are going well to begin with).

By running these ad campaigns and reviewing the overall results, you can then further optimize both your listings and your ad campaigns based on the data you collect. This data is invaluable as it will not only allow you to better your image, but also allow you to bolster your sales, reach a wider demographic / audience and more importantly, allow you to expand beyond your norm.

Reaching this stage is a wonderful thing as it allows you to start experimenting. Maybe you have a new product you’re not quite sure of and want to see how well it engages with a segment of your current audience. Most marketplaces have analytics and tools that allow you to run any test you like & be the judge of what works and what doesn’t.

More is more

There are limits in what you can achieve per marketplace. As each marketplace targets different aspects or may be more focused on certain objectives over others, you’ll never quite achieve everything you’ve imagined by limiting yourself to one marketplace only.

Thankfully, now that you’ve set everything up, run tests, seen what works and what doesn’t, optimized your content & products and are finally comfortable in this one marketplace, it will be much easier to take what you have learned – and apply it to other marketplaces that are compatible with both your objectives in place & the new challenges that these new storefronts may allow you to overcome.

Date: Friday, 26 November 2021

Facebook is one of the most popular digital marketing platforms on the planet. As the number of Facebook users has grown to more than 2.85 billion active users, its advertising network has also grown to cover a wide range of businesses.

Now many of the benefits of your Facebook presence are quite obvious, but advertising makes things a little more complicated. It is important to understand what Facebook has to offer businesses and how its ad network has been set up to offer many advertising options, before you see how it can help you reach new audiences.

Facebook's market share for online advertising is close to 20%, earning the second place globally, behind only Google. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused unexpected changes in online advertising. Due to the large conversion of the market to eCommerce, Facebook had particularly high turnovers in 2020 and 2021 (so far). In addition the average cpc is lower than last year. As people have adapted their shopping habits to eCommerce and online shopping continues to grow, it makes sense to think about the benefits of Facebook advertising for your business. eCommerce is here to stay for all businesses and the advantages of Facebook advertising over its competitors make it a smart choice.

Facebook's advertising model works with the classic "pay-per-click" model, which has become the most popular online billing model for advertising. For the reasons that made PPC the most popular billing model, for the same reason the benefits of Facebook advertising are also amazing: it is affordable, effective and fast!

So we wrote this article on our blog to help you understand and take advantage of the advertising benefits of Facebook. We have gathered the 5 most important of them for you and your business and we list them below.

How many of them do you already enjoy?

1. It has the best return on investment of all the advertising channels

Entrepreneurs and marketers often wonder: Do Facebook ads really work?

Of course they do!

Wolfgang Digital 2020 KPIs research suggests that ads on Facebook users' feeds are the most effective type of advertising for eCommerce. Facebook dominates with Facebook Feed, Messenger and Marketplace ads, which hold all the top positions in the rankings. In addition, according to Statista, 41% of marketers claim that Facebook gave them the best ROAS (Return-On-Ad-Spending), placing it at the top of the most popular advertising channels.

This puts it even ahead of Google Shopping!

Compared to other ads on different channels, users are more likely to click on ads they see in their Facebook News Feed, making them the best choice to invest in your advertising budget.

80% of all referral clicks on eCommerce websites are made by Facebook and its absolute dominance means that Facebook alone is responsible for 40% of the total revenue worldwide for display ads!

Again a bigger percentage than Google!

 

2. More advertising options for your business needs

Another advantage of Facebook advertising is that it offers a wide range of ad types that some are not available on other advertising channels.

There are many types of ads to choose from and promote your eShop on Facebook:

  • Photo: These are static individual images, plus a caption.
  • Videos: Video ads vary in duration and can be configured to appear in a stream, in a user feed, or in Stories.
  • Stories: Stories are customizable ads that take up the entire screen. It can be video or still images and the click redirects the user to your eShop (or whichever page you choose).
  • Messenger: These ads appear between conversations in the Facebook Messenger application.
  • Carousel: Carousel ads consist of up to ten static images on which the user can slide.
  • Slideshow: These ads display short videos with motion, audio and text.
  • Collection: Collection ads display multiple products in one ad, with which each user can interact individually.
  • Playables: These are interactive demo games that users can preview before downloading the app or game.

One of the benefits of Facebook advertising for your business is that you are not limited to certain types of ads and are not locked into plain text ads (as is the case with Search Ads). These types of ads are best suited for branding, as they enable marketers to create ads with visual, creative and graphic media with videos, photos, text, etc.

 

3. Facebook ads are low cost and bring immediate results

The cost of Facebook ads is determined by many factors (your budget, your ad types, your products etc.), but generally the cost is a few cents per click.

So you can understand that Facebook ads are low cost.

In fact, last year the average cost per click decreased by 6%. And according to data from Wordstream, clothing retailers, caterers and other online retailers receive the lowest cost-per-click (CPC), on average. This means that for you the cost can be 0.01 to 0.70 €. The total average cost per click in all sectors (including expensive sectors such as insurance, pharmaceuticals, etc.) is € 1.45 worldwide but for eShops it is even lower so do not worry.

So ads are ideal for eShops that want to implement both short-term and long-term strategies, as ads can start to bring you revenue and sales once they start running.

Once ad campaigns are created, their Facebook learning period is up and running, they start working immediately and promote your products to thousands of people who have shown interest in them. The ads are normally approved within 24 hours (of course due to COVID-19 there may be additional delays), so you will experience the speed and efficiency of sales from the first days!

 

4. Facebook Retargeting

Retargeting means advertising to an audience or visitors who have already interacted with your brand or have shown interest in your business.

One of the advantages of Facebook advertising for your business is that you can use this strategy to increase revenue, increase conversion rates or achieve better ROAS.

This strategy works by using Facebook Pixel, a small piece of code that is installed in your eShop so you can retarget your customers and visitors. It monitors users along with the various actions they take in your eShop, such as all the Facebook ads they saw before they visited you, the pages they visited, abandoned shopping carts and more.

In addition, Facebook advertising benefits your business by enabling you to include dynamic ads that can retarget users who have previously bought from you!

 

5. Facebook ads will improve your overall performance in digital marketing

The efforts you make to promote your eShop on Facebook are very important and you should continue making them!

Facebook ads can be used to enhance an existing content marketing campaign that you are already run and includes the posts you make on social media, the articles you have on your blog or even the SEO done by your developer. Facebook can help in all these areas.

Ads can help a business get more exposure for their Facebook content and increase traffic to their website. Facebook ads can be adjusted to get more traffic to your eShop, more impressions and improved click through rate (CTR).

Combining your content with the power of ads will bring improved results for you. This is why Facebook is one of the most popular advertising channels out there and small businesses prefer it for their digital marketing activities.

 

As we have seen, advertising on Facebook can combine a wide variety of low cost options and can improve the marketing activities you are already doing. So, do not sit idly by, choose your products, calculate your budget and you will immediately see your sales and income skyrocket!

Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2021

We are very happy to announce that we are getting bigger and expanding our team! After the COVID-19 pandemic, which was tough for everyone around the world, we are looking to broaden our horizons to new markets and in order to do that, we need to find the right people to help us achieve it!

 What is EshopsWithIQ  about:

EshopsWithIQ is reimagining eCommerce and offers businesses a fully automated digital marketing SaaS platform, through which they can sell their products and fuel their online growth. Our solutions help retailers, wholesalers and marketers by providing all the tools they need in order to target the right customers and grow their businesses through new and innovative ways.

 What are we looking for in a candidate:

We want people who want to become part of a team that is driven by the same desire to help eCommerce businesses all around the world! As a candidate we would like you to have passion for innovation and technology. We are looking for people that bring energy and diverse skills with the purpose of producing high value work! As you may have seen on our website and LinkedIn page we are expanding both our marketing  and development teams.

For our marketing team we want candidates that have experience with SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions and will help us enrich our marketing efforts in order to raise brand awareness, which in turn will allow us to help more eCommerce businesses. We want candidates with creativity, strategic approach to product positioning and thinking outside the box, in order to inspire our customers to grow their businesses with all the tools EshopsWithIQ provides them!

EshopsWithIQ is a SaaS solution, so it is obvious that top-notch development must be in place. For our development team we are looking for people with creative front and back end skills in order to build an infrastructure as well as a user interface that generates seamless user experience to our customers and our solutions essential to them! We are using multiple technologies and frameworks and we want you to bring your skills and innovative approach to the table to take things to the next level!

 What are you getting by working with us:

You will become part of a team that encourages creativity, new ideas and innovative work. You will have opportunities to ascend and develop your career path, whilst being in a welcoming and inspiring working environment! Our values and culture are strong and breathe life into the work we do and into what we want to achieve for us and our customers!

 

So prepare your CV, apply to our job openings and become the newest member of our team!

Are you ready to follow us on this journey?

Date: Monday, 20 September 2021

ONE WITH THE FORCE

Star Wars is straight up stupid.

Crazy, isn’t it? How the tiniest phrase can instantly grab your attention. A form of reactionism(?) perhaps. Yet another fleeting stimulus to quell the insatiable Dom of Bore.

Perhaps you’ve seen past my soliloquial charade already, perhaps you’re hanging on my every word… If the latter happens to ring true, focus on one word: ‘Engagement’

When all is said and done, it all boils down to this.

Did I manage to garner your interest and engage you, my audience? If so, I have succeeded.

I have understood my audience well enough to form this amalgam of both topic & ‘genuine’ interest, and have managed to sneak in a little product placement now that we’ve gained solid ground.

And hey, maybe I didn’t. That’s fine too. Maybe calling Star Wars stupid – and meaning it – was the killing blow.

I chose to take that risk, as I choose to look at the results of that action.


Create, Target, Risk, Examine.

Your products are an extension of you. Of your brand (more on that later).

Place yourself in every piece of content you produce and Sell. Your. Self.

Find your Target Audience and the rest will come easily...



A MENTAL IMAGE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

 

...enough. The rest will come easily enough.

Finding your target audience is arguably the most important part of this whole shebang. However, nurturing this newly developed foundation is a different beast entirely.

Learn to treat all of your content in the same way you would any blog post, or twitter blurb. Insert yourself – your brand – into all the nooks and crannies of your blogs, product descriptions, bios, and start building the image you would like to exude.

Block-by-block, post-by-post, all of this starts to add up, eventually coming together to form this image of your product, your brand, of you, that your audience can resonate with.

This content strategy is always a long-term prospect. Don’t expect to publish three posts and suddenly become ‘Reddit King Pete’, or ‘My-Word-Is-Law Jackson’. Though, you shouldn’t be dissuaded either!

The initial content creation push is always the most common roadblock people face when it comes to the consistency that is required in order to brand themselves successfully. However, if you push through that initial slump and get your second wind, you’ll look back and understand how necessary it was to be consistent with both tone and frequency.

Time to put my money where my mouth is and offer you a mental image you can get behind.

 

Imagine your brand is this massive mosaic you’re building. Bit-by-bit, parchment-by-parchment, you’re slowly adding to the whole of something yet unfinished. You can kind of make out bits and pieces and the general image is faintly visible — but it’s still in the making.

Technically, this specific type of mosaic will never be finished as brands are constantly evolving beings of social metadata but once the foundation has been mosaic-ified, that’s it. Everything that comes after that is simply an addition to that which you have built.


TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT….

Wow. Can you believe it’s taken [x] paragraphs to mention the good ol’ conversion funnel? I cannot fathom a marketing article without mention of our dearest friend.

Side Note: If you think about it, funnels are actually terrible metaphors for conversions. Literally everything, like 100% of anything that goes through a funnel, will pass through said funnel.

[Insert Funnel Photo]

Who came up with this concept? *Facepalm Emoji*

Metaphor-validity aside, your content plays a very large role in funneling these converters-to-be through the… well… funnel. I guess.


Too much, and you risk losing their focus. Too little, and issues of trust and authenticity crop up.

Omission, is one thing. Though it should not be confused with Intrigue. There is a very important difference between leaving stuff out on purpose & leaving stuff out on purpose.

For lack of better phrasing; Leaving stuff out without leaving stuff out can (if done correctly) not only enhance the product listing – but can even be used as a brand calling card, if you will.

 

STICK TO YOUR MARLON...


...Brand(o), that is.

When you think ‘Godfather’, you think GODFATHER. (assuming you’ve watched what is arguably the greatest trilogy of all time. If you have not, please immediately stop whatever it is you are doing and proceed to remedy this tragic ailment.)

Movie(s) aside, the importance of branding cannot be overstated. In Mathematical terms:

Understanding Your Audience + Selling Your Feeling = Compelling Branding

Building a successful & compelling brand is the culmination of everything we have discussed thus far. Approach your content in a way that sells your brand, not simply the product.

So, you tell me.

Is it simply Compelling Branding…

 

 

…Or is it An Offer You Can’t Refuse.

Date: Friday, 19 November 2021

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