Using Marketplaces for D2C customer acquisition

Jun 13, 2020    |     Amazon, Direct to Consumer eCommerce, eBay, eCommerce, Marketplaces

97% of Australian online shoppers use marketplaces, all of which have strict policies that prevent brands from having direct customer engagement outside of marketing and customer service. This poses the question – how can a brand leverage marketplaces to acquire new customers and create brand loyalty?

Marketplace selection

Marketplaces are a fantastic way to expose your brand to new audiences and customers. The first step in customer acquisition through marketplaces is the beginning of any customer acquisition plan – defining your audience. Once defined, as a brand you must understand the value that each marketplace represents.

For example; if your brands target demographic is people over the age of 49, you most likely wouldn’t list your products on ASOS or The Iconic. The key here is to understand the audience of the marketplace and then understand the category performance of your product on the marketplace. Customers + category performance = opportunity.

Product assortment

There are some common mistakes brands make when listing/selling product on marketplaces:

  • Selling direct to the marketplace – learn about the risks associated with selling directly to Amazon here.
  • Selling the same product assortment on every marketplace
  • Selling their entire product assortment on marketplace/s

Defining channel/marketplace roles is a key process of any multi-channel eCommerce strategy which should always include defining individual product assortments. If you sell all of your product or the same product in every channel/marketplace your customers won’t have reason to engage with your brand directly.

A common misconception is that you shouldn’t sell your most popular product on marketplaces. If you intend to use a marketplace for customer acquisition without your most popular product, consumers aren’t building a fair representation of your brand. However, you most definitely shouldn’t sell all of your most popular product. Again, you need to give customers a reason/s to want to engage with you directly.

Creating a unique product and brand experience

The benefits of selling direct to consumer through an owned asset like your website are abundant:

  • Higher margins
  • A controlled environment that you can tailor specifically to your brand
  • Customer data & insights
  • Reduced cost of sales, to name a few,

This poses the question; how do you migrate a customer that has bought your product on a marketplace to your website?

By restricting product catalogues on marketplaces you have the opportunity to create a unique brand experience on your website and thus providing a reason for your customer to engage with your brand directly. Here’s an example of how one of our customers, an FMCG brand and manufacturer with a significant brand portfolio, is acquiring customers through marketplaces:

They list a mixture of core product lines across eBay (AU) and Amazon (US & AU) and use Mysale & Catch.com.au for clearance and end of line stock.

Amazon and eBay are used for customer acquisition by listing popular product in smaller volume formats (e.g. 275ml & 500ml) of high selling product using different promotion strategies on each marketplace. Their website, however, lists all products including high volume formats (e.g. 1L) and bulk packages (e.g. 2x1L) that are exclusively available on their website, in addition to listing new product before they hit supermarkets and having a catalogue of limited edition products available throughout the year.

They expose their brand to new customers in Amazon and eBay with popular products and then acquire that customer on their website when they’re looking for what else that brand can offer.

Tyler Jarratt
Head of Partnerships
Enrich Trading Group

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