Marketplaces are a brilliant way to expand your business, increase your reach, and boost your sales. But, like any technical endeavor, there needs to be a certain amount of understanding before you get started. One of the key tools in growing your marketplace channels is an aggregator. So if you don’t know what one is, we’ve got you covered. And if you do, then we’ll be giving you some extra info on getting the most from them.
Starting with a quick definition, a marketplace is a webshop that combines many sellers on one platform. Amazon is the most well-known example as the world’s largest, but in the Netherlands, we have Bol.com, which is the largest one based here. Marketplaces give more potential customers more access to your products, and that is an exciting proposition for any business.
Bang For Your Buck
The original trend in marketplaces was to be the biggest. Sure, there is value to be gained there, but now we’re seeing more niche marketplaces popping up. Marketplaces that do a better job of servicing customers who are looking for something more specific, rather than the generic products you can often be served on the biggest marketplaces out there. The niches that are being tapped into aren’t just product based, they can also be built around geography, price point, and really any particular USP that a business has. Brands are noticing this and want to get involved.
But, to manage all the marketplaces that are out there, you need an aggregator. Aggregators allow you to pick and choose the marketplace that fits your brand and then integrates with it. If you’re a high-end or luxury consumer brand, you might not want to feature your products on a commodity transaction platform that is aimed at low prices. Aggregators cut out the effort involved with manually maintaining connections between your business and marketplaces. As soon as you’re selling on more than a handful of platforms, it just becomes inefficient to do it manually.
Examples of aggregators include Tradebyte, Channelengine, and Channable and some of these aggregators have more connections to more marketplaces, specific functionality that can help your business, or even different pricing models, but what they really allow is a huge expansion of your potential reach for a minimum investment. In short – bang for your buck.
So if that sounds like something you want to do or something you’re already doing, what is the best way to connect to the aggregator yourself? Simple. It’s an Omnichannel Retail Platform (ORP) that acts as a seamless piece of middleware to help your systems and marketplaces communicate through an aggregator.
ORP To The Rescue
There are so many pieces of data associated with your products that an aggregator needs to know. Just as a starting point, to create an effective listing on a marketplace, for every product you’ll need images, descriptions, stock count, warranty period – everything. You normally need to map products, categories, and names between your own environment, including your ERP, CRM, and customer service platform, and the aggregator. This mapping is one of the things ORP does.
With Wolfpack’s ORP, you can drag and drop the names of your data fields to what they should match with on the aggregator. Very often, an aggregator is set up to have generic field names which might not match what your business uses in its own systems. Our ORP helps you to solve that issue quickly and easily. After you’ve made the amendments, all new products can be automatically pushed to the aggregator without you having to touch a button.
There’s also deeper considerations of things like stock or orders. You might not want to sell your complete stock to the aggregator if you have other channels where you need to fulfill customer orders. That means limits need to be set on what an aggregator can ‘see’. For orders, if you’re operating at any real scale, then manually taking orders from an aggregator and inputting them into your systems just isn’t feasible. You need a tool that handles all this, and that’s Wolfpack.
Getting on more marketplaces is a logical step in the omnichannel journey. If you’ve started your own webshop, but you want to add more channels – try marketplaces. If done right, it can be the springboard to a massive jump in scale.
Looking to grow your marketplace presence with aggregators? You need to start with the right ORP. Reach out to Wolfpack today to find out more.