Updated: Apr 19
In our experience in helping brands grow aggressively on the digital Marketplaces, Amazon very often ends up being one of a brand’s largest selling channels (with only Big Box and Walmart providing more revenue).
There’s just one problem with that. Amazon is no longer a well kept secret. …to anyone. Brands have rushed headlong into Amazon selling in recent years, especially since the onset of the Pandemic. Big companies are now pouring millions into advertising.
Believe us, you can still grow on Amazon. We help brands of all sizes do it all the time. But it isn’t exactly an untouched frontier. If you’re going to grow on Amazon, you need to be harnessing technology to leverage advertising with surgical precision. It isn’t exactly easy money anymore.
Walmart.com has become equally competitive, and the need for precise, targeted advertising is just as vital. Walmart.com isn’t exactly the exciting new frontier it was three or four years ago.
Allow us to introduce you to Enterprise Marketplaces.
What is an Enterprise Marketplace? So glad you asked. An enterprise Marketplace is…
…an online selling site
…operated by a retailer or manufacturer
…that allows third party sellers to list their faire
In other words, Enterprise Marketplaces are online commerce platforms with a vertical – or more narrow - focus. They are usually built around a brand or retailer with a much more limited focus than we see from Amazon or Walmart.com. Consumers turn to them for a curated shopping experience within a very specific interest, ie, specialty diet alternatives, eco-friendly makeup, fine home décor, computer components, etc.
Examples include: CrateJoy (Subscription Boxes), Mable (Wholesale Food), Michael’s (Arts and Crafts), Thrive Market (Food, Beauty), Home Depot (Home Improvement), Fitness Marketplace (Fitness Products), Houzz (Home Décor), Land’s End (Clothing), Fruugo (Electronics and Toys); etc, etc, etc.
Not sold yet? Maybe these benefits to Enterprise Marketplace selling will change your mind.
Enterprise Marketplaces aren’t all that competitive. If advertising is even an
option, it isn’t nearly as expensive or technically demanding as it is on the bigger online Marketplaces. Youmight even find that you have little or no competition at all for your product niche.
Reach new customers. Shoppers on Enterprise Marketplaces aren’t there looking for a deal. More often than not, they’re simply there for the Marketplace experience. Curated
shopping experiences, loyalty programs, shared values, and depth of selection; this is why consumers trust these Marketplaces. As a result, you have the ability to reach customers that just aren’t shopping on the bigger Marketplaces.
Make a compelling argument for retail buyers. Marketplace selling can get you and that hard- to-convince Buyer access to highly compelling data. Total sales, conversion rates, and even sales by region; once you leverage their Marketplace, buyers can see from their own data exactly how your products do, not only with their customer base, but by specific regions. That allows them to reduce their risk buy buying for stores where you products have sold best online.
Get in early and establish a solid foothold. Enterprise Marketplaces are launching almost
weekly. Some of them are connected to major retail chains. Consider BedBathAndBeyond.com, which only recently launched it’s 3rd Party access in November 2021, but comes to Market with the brand clout of more than 1,000 brick and mortar locations and millions of customers. Imagine if you could get into this pioneer selling environment early on. Go on, close your eyes. Do you see it? Now quit daydreaming, and go do it!
Before you start, check out these three keys to Enterprise Marketplace success.
1.) Cast a wide net. If we could predict which brands were going to do best on what Marketplace… Well, then we would predict which brands were going to do best on what Marketplace. The truth is that we have launched some relatively lesser-known brands on certain Marketplaces and watched them take off like wildfire. We’ve launched some large incumbent brands that have fallen flat on those same Marketplaces, but taken off on others. Our recommendation? Create a sustainable system out of Enterprise Marketplace launching, and then continue launching in perpetuity.
2.) Serve the Marketplace and know their customer. BustBuy.com is not ToysRUs.com is not ThriveMarket.com. These Marketplaces off customers with very verticalized assortments and experiences, and they tend to attract a specific type of customer. Unfortunately, brand owners have fallen into the trap of treating all Marketplaces the same. We learned the technical skills to sell on Amazon, then replicated them on Walmart.com. But learning what customers expect on these Enterprise Marketplaces can endear your brand not just to the customer, but to the Marketplace leadership as well. Figure out what these unique customers expect, then give it to them.
3.) Work with your account manager. The bad news is that these Marketplaces
are not Amazon. The good news is that these Marketplaces are not Amazon. While you shouldn’t expect the kind of selling volume you are getting on Amazon, the smaller relatives sizes of these Marketplaces can make it shockingly easier to get the attention and interest of Marketplace decisionmakers. Our team has successfully negotiated referral rate deals, matched promos, and custom data – and we’ve done it more than just a few times. Imagine achieving that sort of collaboration with Amazon or Walmart.com. Need a hint? It isn’t going to happen.
Ready, Set, Go. Business is about stepping out. In this case, it’s a no-brainer. In most cases, there are no up-front costs. Just point, aim, and shoot.
Learn more about how Elite Commerce Group helps to launch brands on Enterprise Marketplaces by emailing us at Growth@EliteCommerceGroup.com, or visiting us at https://www.elitecommercegroup.com