Multichannel retailers can reach more customers and drive more revenue by selling through online marketplaces such as Amazon.com, Buy.com, eBay and other top comparison shopping services. But in order to optimize the experience in these crowded marketplaces and become a preferred seller, retailers can benefit from implementing Marketplace Optimization (MpO) tools.
MpO tools provide retailers with recommendations for intensifying sales in web marketplaces. For example, Toynk Toys, an independent retailer of toys and costumes, applied MpO to maximize its position in several market segments. In October 2011,utilizing MpO tools from Zoovy, a provider of e-Commerce tools and services, Toynk Toys increased its online sales by 359% and number of online orders by 391%, compared to the previous year.
Rolled out last year in time for the October selling season, the busiest time of year for Toynk Toys, Zoovy's MpO tools helped Toynk experience its best year in its history.
Zoovy’s MpO solution is designed to increase sales via marketplace sites with a series of techniques that help merchants improve their seller ranking on a particular site. The Zoovy’s solution analyzes data to best match the ranking algorithms used by marketplaces to select preferred vendors. The tool automates product management, listing, sales, inventory, shipping and accounting processes for complete online storefronts and auction management tools.
For example, Zoovy MpO allowed Toynk to closely monitor its competitive online prices and adjust according. During the October 2011 selling season, the retailer repriced up to 1,000 items each day, according to the sales volume of each item.
The MpO strategy “empowered us with very effective techniques for improving our position in marketplaces,” stated Dave Madoch, Toynk Director of Web Development. “We now have a better understanding of what is important to marketplace rankings and can make adjustments as we go to maintain a strong position."
Focused On 3 MpO Principles For Toynk to maximize its position in targeted marketplaces, the retailer focused on three specific MpO tenets: increasing inventory availability across multiple marketplaces:
1. Increasing inventory availability. Traditionally, Toynk held a limited amount of inventory across a few marketplaces. For the 2011 Halloween season, it altered its approach to carry more inventory and a larger variety of items across numerous marketplaces. Toynk seamlessly added several new marketplaces supported by real-time inventory tracking to reduce errors and overselling. By spreading its increased inventory across multiple marketplaces, Toynk was one of the last retailers with available inventory during the busy Halloween costume season, and could keep selling.
2. Positive customer feedback. Because it is vital for sellers to receive positive feedback and have their marketplaces continually rank high, Toynk began to scrutinize its feedback so that any negative issues could be rectified immediately. It also used a new, automatic feature from Zoovy that e-mails a customer feedback request shortly after an order ships.
3. Repricing. Price frequently is the largest competitive advantage sellers have. Repricing involves keeping tabs on what other sellers are offering for the same item and either matching or beating the sale price, the shipping cost, or both. Up to 1,000 items were repriced every day during Toynk's successful 2011 Halloween season.
Since marketplace site sales strategies are constantly changing and evolving, “the key is to arm your business with the expertise to better navigate the competitive online waters,” said Brian Horakh, Founder and CEO of Zoovy. “Much like SEO, achieving success with MpO is not a start and stop process, but one that requires continuous vigilance along the way."