Companies are already spending big bucks to become known within the eCommerce space, with a 2020 report showing $12.5 billion spent in 2019 in the U.S. alone. What may be even more stunning is the amount of that money spent on ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Walmart. That number is expected to blow past the $38 billion mark by 2024.
These stats show that advertising on eCommerce marketplaces is popular, but is it effective? With so many brands jumping on board, one can only assume they see good value on their returns, but there are also some key perks to running ads on these platforms. Here are some of the highlights for those considering taking the plunge.
1. They dominate search
The days of Google owning ALL of the search traffic may be over... Stats show that over 60% of product-specific searches by Amazon fans start on Amazon, making this marketplace the new search engine most people can’t really live without. That number goes even higher if the customer has Prime and shops the marketplace; 8 in 10 began on the shopping site. Advertising here puts you in front of those searchers and gets you exposure to those shoppers who wouldn’t usually start a product search on Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
2. You can capitalize on reviews
Whether a customer just recently caught your ad on social media or they have been aware of your name for years, reading reviews has been shown to help 93% of shoppers make the transition from interested to invested. Customers buying a high-value item will naturally be more hesitant to buy something with bad or no reviews, so offering ads on the marketplace boosts your chance of being purchased there and getting subsequent reviews. It’s a happy win-win cycle for brands with high-quality, crowd-pleasing offerings. Since many shoppers use reviews as a deciding factor, you can help guide them to the products they will be most happy with – yours!
3. International markets shop there
One way to get more customers is to take your business abroad, and eCommerce marketplaces have made it almost seamless to advertise to new markets you may have never explored before. By placing ads in categories popular overseas, you can tap a new customer base by simply tweaking your geographic parameters. While shipping and customer service is another aspect to consider, if you are merely looking for a doorway to new markets, marketplaces’ pre-built ad machines are one possibility to consider, since they are already optimized to reach international buyers.
4. You can experiment with new offerings
Just search for any popular brand of items on Amazon or Walmart, and you’ll see house brands as one of the top offerings for your query. This rise of the house brand has proven one thing: products sold on marketplaces fit a “now” need, not necessarily a need to associate with a brand, and people are willing to take a chance on another brand that seems high-quality if it helps them solve a problem for a little less money. This may be the best place to advertise things that are a little outside of your main offering or that haven't tested as well with your core, brand-loyal audience.
5. They are ideal for establishing trust
Marketplaces are already trusted by buyers, including with payments, shipping, and satisfaction guarantees. If you are a new company without a long track record, you can use marketplaces to get trust immediately. You'll get access to the large advertising network, tools, and tracking that established brands have, so you just need to avoid disappointing new buyers, and you could see your trust rating soar. (Remember those product reviews we talked about?)
One thing to note here is that, while it’s very easy for a new company to hop on eBay, Amazon, or another marketplace and start making sales, keeping your seller status requires more work. Be sure to follow the terms of service very carefully, as they do vary between sites. Establishing trust with customers begins with establishing it with marketplace admins. They hold the keys to making it big and can take them away if you don’t play by the rules.
6. They drive sales through their own marketing channels
If you don't have access to a 20,000-member email list, that's OK. There's another way to reach thousands (or even millions) of buyers, and that's through the marketplace's own marketing channels. Sure, that next Prime Day email won't likely mention your small mom-and-pop shop by name, but it could spark interest in the category you sell in or inspire new customers to scroll through deals where they'll come across your store.
Email newsletters, Prime Day, and eBay Bucks promotions are just a few ways people are buying through these platforms. If you can't afford to offer your own deep discounts and pay for mass marketing lists, you can still benefit from theirs.
Bottom line: People love to shop on marketplaces. By advertising through them, you won't have to reinvent the wheel or fund a massive marketing budget. Partnering with the right ad management solution, however, can help you stretch pennies, so you reach thousands of more buyers than going it alone.
If you're not quite ready to take the plunge into marketplaces just yet, but you're eager to grow across paid social, paid search, and/or through lifecycle marketing, see how our team can help you scale.