Marketplaces: Small Business Growth
Criteria analysis and policy verification make all the difference
The marketplace is nothing more than a virtual shopping center. An e-commerce platform that brings together several companies at the same electronic address. And being in a mall can be extremely advantageous, as shopping centers attract consumers. The same logic applies to the online world.? Yes. It is a useful tool for any company, especially those of micro, small and medium size, which can obtain digital visibility with a low initial cost, since the entrepreneur will not need to set up his own website. In addition, investment in marketing will also be lower, as this task will be carried out by the platform. In this way, the company will be able to diversify its audience and increase its profit, giving greater flow to its products or services through SEO (Search Engine Optimization, in Portuguese, Optimization of Search Mechanisms) developed by the virtual mall.
But it is not enough to enter any marketplace. It is necessary to check the reputation of the electronic address, the volume of views and, of course, if that virtual space suits your business. If the entrepreneur sells fitness products, for example, he cannot place the store on an automotive sector platform. “So will I have to go with my competitors and companies in similar or connected industries?” The answer is yes. It’s much better to face the competition than to stay in an unreliable marketplace that no one visits. SEBRAE _There are several guidelines on the subject. Specialists from the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service say that it is necessary to look for a robust platform, capable of offering, selling and facilitating financial transactions.
In an article published on the Sebrae Consulte website in February of that year, the institution’s consultants gave the following advice: “From the choice of platform, it’s time to understand that, in the marketplace, your brand will have rights, obligations, possibilities, and obstacles. And, mainly, that if your company is not organized, well managed and with a healthy cash flow, there is no marketplace that will do it for you. He is just a commercial possibility.”
Taking this into account, it is necessary to apply some strategies, such as the ones we will mention now, also suggested by SEBRAE:
- Practice competitive prices;
- Make promotions and discounts, creating coupons or lightning deals;
- Categorize items in an organized way;
- Present products in a clear and neat way, with a good photo for each product;
- Keep your stock up to date and only sell what you have to deliver. If a product runs out, remove it from the site until replacement is carried out;
- Create differentials for your brand’s products, as competition is inevitable;
- Keep an eye on the competition. See what others are doing well and copy what is applicable, improving each idea as much as possible;
- Price your product well to avoid losses;
- Serve customers promptly and attentively. Understand that on the internet your store is open 24 hours a day and the customer must be served whenever he wants. Having a good sales robot or an on-call service may be necessary;
- Give interesting payment terms;
- Give good freight terms;
- Stipulate realistic and interesting delivery deadlines for goods;
- Conquer praise and positive evaluations with your products and service;
- Build a good reputation as a seller, treating well the consumer who entered your virtual space;
- Keep in mind that the customer can return the merchandise; therefore, it is necessary to build a reverse logistics strategy to collect the product and exchange or refund the amount spent by the consumer;
- Take care of the after-sales service so that the customer returns to buy from your store.
By following these tips, your success in a marketplace will be natural and organic. But you have to understand that there are some risks. Partners of the e-commerce platform may be dependent on that email address. If the site goes down, the brands of the companies hosted there go with it. Consumers may also only remember the marketplace and not the store where they bought it, thus making it difficult to recommend the company to others. In addition, the stores that are in that virtual space can create a false dependency, thinking that that is the only option they have, which is not true. It’s just another sales strategy. It is worth remembering that it is possible to be in several marketplaces simultaneously.
It is also important to explain that these collective e-commerce platforms are usually divided into four types:
- B2B (Business to Business) — where companies sell to other companies;
- B2C (Business to Consumer) — traditional model, where companies sell to consumers;
- C2C (Consumer to Consumer) — where consumers can sell to other consumers, as in Mercado Livre, which is a type of marketplace;
- And Niche Platforms — these are marketplaces aimed at certain segments, such as the fitness or oenology market, for example.
In a survey carried out by E-Commerce Brasil, Lojas Integradas (VTEX) and B2W, 52% of micro and small entrepreneurs in the country showed a preference for marketplaces as a sales tool on the internet. In other words, this is a growing trend. In fact, 30% of respondents are selling only through e-commerce. But they complain about taxes, difficulties with logistics and competition.
According to the website Mercado e Consumo, the main products sold through e-commerce in Brazil are related to home and decoration (26%), followed by fashion (24%), beauty (12%) and electronics/telephony (11%). Information technology and sports/leisure are tied at 10%. In addition, the states that most buy products over the internet are São Paulo (89%), Rio de Janeiro (75%), Minas Gerais (69%), Rio Grande do Sul (42%) and Paraná (40%).
Today we have 41 million Brazilians consuming on the internet and that number is only increasing. Therefore, marketplaces can be an excellent option to keep a little piece of this market. At Águia Sistemas, we can help, especially when it comes to Intralogistics. Contact us.