Ecommerce & Marketplaces Newsletter – Mar 10th, 2023
Welcome to the 95th edition of our Weekly Newsletter – E-commerce & Marketplaces, your weekly source for the online marketplace and eCommerce best practices, news, and actionable insights. Inc.com’s story talks about how to take the best stuff from the meteoric rise of e-commerce and inject it into your physical locations. E-commerce and physical retail are not meant to compete; instead, borrow and share best practices and work harmoniously to improve customer experiences. Modern Retail reports that more specialty retailers are launching their own marketplaces. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels recently announced the launch of its online marketplace, Paperless Post, unveiled an online marketplace for event-related products in July. It will take a lot of work for the specialty retailers; maintaining the quality of products and service, especially with third-party kicking in, can be challenging. MarketingWeek covers how brands are marking International Women’s Day 2023; from Durex’s ‘orgasm gap’ stunt to Amazon’s efforts to support woman-owned small businesses, the story looks at how seven brands are engaged with International Women’s Day this year. Amazon Prime’s growth has slowed, but Walmart’s subscription service is growing steadily with high-income online shoppers; that is the crux of the story from Digital Commerce 360. While Amazon is still the bigger operation, Walmart is slowly gaining on Amazon’s massive e-commerce lead by attracting younger, higher-income customers. Walmart’s physical stores also offer it a substantial competitive advantage. In the Forbes Technology Council piece, Angus Ward – CEO of Beyond Now, provides excellent tips on growing business with a B2B marketplace. Read this and more in this week’s edition.
Notable news from the past week
Three E-Commerce Lessons Companies Should Apply In-Store
E-commerce is on the rise, or maybe you’ve heard? Of course you have, but the actual numbers are staggering, to say the least. According to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce figures released in February, e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 (Q422) grew 6.2 percent to the highest level in history: $299.12 billion compared with $281.58 billion in Q4 2021. Q422 sales also marked another milestone: 2022 was the first time annual e-commerce revenue exceeded $1 trillion. So, yes, e-commerce is doing well. However, physical retailers are also experiencing an exciting comeback phase.
More Specialty Retailers are Launching Their Own Marketplaces
Specialty retailers are the latest group to jump on the online marketplace train. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels recently announced the launch of its online marketplace, which would give shoppers access to 750,000 curated new products from third-party sellers. Paperless Post, which built a business around sending online invitations for over a decade, unveiled an online marketplace for event-related products in July. In January, David’s Bridal unveiled Pearl a planning platform and vendor marketplace that could help brides find venues, photographers and caterers, among other services.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), which takes place today (8 March), is ‘Embrace Equity’. The campaign calls upon businesses and individuals to think beyond equal opportunities and understand that people come from varying circumstances, meaning they need different resources and opportunities to reach equal outcomes. There’s no doubt some progress has been made in the representation of women and their opportunities in the workplace over the last decade, but significant barriers and inequalities remain.
Walmart Chips Away at Amazon’s Lead With Wealthy Online Shoppers
Walmart Inc.’s online subscription service, Walmart+, is growing — and narrowing the gap with Amazon.com Inc. in a key demographic: affluent shoppers. Walmart+ launched in 2020 as the grocery chain’s answer to Amazon Prime. Today, it resonates with higher-income households eager to fend off inflation. At $98 a year, Walmart+ costs $41 less than Prime and offers many of the same perks, including shipping discounts and video streaming. Walmart’s subscription service also has benefits Amazon can’t match, like discounted fuel at gas stations around the US.
Imagine you go to a local departmental store and find it disorganized and cluttered with items out of place, no systematic aisles, and instead of products neatly stacked on designated shelves you see them randomly placed next to each other. Moreover, many price or product description tags are missing and inaccurate. Would such a confusing and uninformative shopping experience make you return to that store again? The answer is an obvious ’No’.
E-commerce was the winning formula during the pandemic, offering the convenience of self-serve and shipping everything from books and groceries to beauty products and wine. Most online stores or marketplaces, though, are simply a digital channel in front of an existing linear (“sell to”) business model. Its undoubted popularity with the born-digital generation and changes in automation, cost efficiency and SG&A reduction mean it is now rapidly being applied to B2B.
To be upfront: there aren’t any Marketplace SEO guides that are available on the web that I would consider to be high quality, relevant or useful. And I figure that I’m well-placed to tackle the topic. This is based on my experience being engaged for SEO consulting (will provide proof of credentials) with successful online marketplaces over the years. My goal within this guide is to provide an outline of the top 5 tips that SEO Managers for Marketplaces should keep in mind to achieve long-term success with SEO. The guide also seeks to answer the question ‘What is Marketplace SEO?’, alongside examples.
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