Whether you’re already an online business owner or you’ve just been thinking about opening a web store, any serious e-commerce selling strategy needs to give some thought to Amazon and eBay.
If you’re like most business owners, you already have. Combined, Amazon and eBay draw more than 300 million customers every month and generate over $200 billion in annual revenue. Amazon generated $60 billion during the 2017 holiday season alone! Whether online shoppers are looking for books, movies, music, hardware, clothing, or just about anything else, Amazon and eBay are sure to have it.
So it’s not hard to understand why many business owners on the web look to these e-commerce titans with a certain amount of dread. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Imagine if instead of having to compete with these e-commerce players, you could put them to work for you?
Selling on Amazon and eBay is easier than you think. As everyone knows, both companies offer means of selling products on their websites. But an even better solution is to integrate your e-commerce platform with Amazon and eBay directly and use your web store to manage your presence on these sites, turning them into virtually unlimited new channels for your online business.
Integrating with Amazon and eBay works in pretty much the same way as integrating with your ERP. The product, order, and customer information “sync” back and forth between your web store and the site you’re integrated to, giving you central control through your online boutique. Shoppers on Amazon and eBay can browse and purchase your products without ever having to visit your store, and you can invoice and fulfill their orders without having to log into Amazon or eBay.
It’s not a magic bullet, of course. Selling successfully on Amazon and eBay presents unique challenges. For one thing, it’s highly competitive. Almost anyone with access to a computer can set up a seller account and start moving merchandise, so you will need to give a lot of careful consideration to the e-commerce strategies you’ll use to make your products stand out.
One critical question you’ll need to answer is how you’ll brand your marketplace presence. Even though your Amazon and eBay channels are integrated with your web store, they are wholly distinct. Since you define your marketplace presence through your Amazon and eBay accounts, you may choose to treat them as extensions of your web store, or you could sell under another brand entirely. This might mean offering all the same products at the same prices across channels, or a selection of products at different prices.
Whichever direction you take, another issue to be aware of on Amazon and eBay are competitors who copycat your brand, attempting to capitalize on your hard-won success by counterfeiting your products and listings. This can be one of the more annoying aspects of selling on these websites, so you will want to give some thought to strategies for minimizing and responding correctly to these situations if they occur.
Above all, it is important to monitor your marketplace presence for this kind of activity. The ease of integration means that you are able to manage your channels without actually having to log in. But it nevertheless remains important to touch base with what’s happening on the sites you’re integrated to, even if only to remain competitive with pricing and the latest products.
Another vital reason for regularly checking in with Amazon and eBay is to be aware of what your customers are saying. Marketplace shoppers often leave detailed feedback not only on your products but on the service they received, the amount of time it took for their order to arrive, the condition it arrived in, and so on. Your reputation as a seller is critical to your success on Amazon and eBay, so it is crucial that you read and respond to all your customers’ concerns promptly.
If you’re ready to open your web store for business to the largest online marketplaces—or even if you’d just like to know more—you’ll want to check out our new white paper on Amazon and eBay Marketplace Integration. It goes in-depth on how marketplace integration works, weighs the opportunities and implications for your business, and shows you step-by-step how to integrate your web store to Amazon, eBay, or both.
Download your copy here.