June 15, 2021

How to Boost Ecommerce Performance Through Marketplace Optimisation

Online marketplaces can be an effective way to amplify your reach in a new market. But how do you make your product or brand stand out in these crowded platforms? Read on to find out. 
Over the past 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted ecommerce performance across the globe. With physical shops forced to close due to social distancing measures, online sales boomed, encouraging a growing number of businesses to focus on their digital strategies to make the most out of this channel.  
For example, the UK saw a 74% year-on-year rise in online retail sales in January 2021, the biggest growth rate since March 2020, when the first lockdown started. Globally, the share of ecommerce sales across all retail transactions rose by 3 percentage points between 2019 and 2020, the UN pointed out. 
This landscape of strong ecommerce performance opened up big opportunities for organisations looking to expand their digital operations, not just in their domestic markets but also into new territories.  
Marketplaces: optimise to stand out 
When beginning an international journey, many businesses may opt for online marketplaces rather than setting up their own e-shops and ecommerce systems. These platforms can help firms have presence in a market quickly without the commitment and investment of developing, implementing and/or maintaining their own ecommerce technology. They can also be a way for brands to amplify their potential reach when they are already operating in a market. 
Online marketplaces were among the biggest winners of the pandemic. For example, Amazon’s sales jumped by 38% in 2020, with marketplace sellers estimated to have sold an additional $95 billion worth of products compared to 2019. Likewise, eBay experienced a 30% growth in revenue between March and June last year. 
While these platforms are effective channels to reach consumers, they are also very crowded, with dozens of competitors seeking to attract potential customers. When consumers look for a specific product, countless results may come up, but users rarely scroll past the first few results: according to Search Engine Journal, 70% of Amazon customers never click past the first page of search results. 
Optimising product copy to stand out and rank highly in internal search results is therefore crucial to avoid getting lost in a sea of similar products and gain visibility. 
So how do you do it? 
Start with these five steps: 
Research keywords. When looking to achieve a prominent position in search results, understanding what your target audiences are looking for online and how they are looking for it is essential. Conducting extensive keyword research is vital to optimise your content based on the words or phrases your local consumers are searching for that are relevant to your product or brand. Even if the new market shares the language with your domestic one, users might be employing different terms to look for the same product: think sweater (US) vs jumper (UK), or the multiple variants of the Spanish word for ‘t-shirt’ used across different territories (camiseta, playera, polera, remera). 
Create engaging, market-specific product copy. Crafting new product copy, specifically created with the new market in mind, or localising existing copy is the best way to achieve effective, appealing product descriptions. Direct translation can result not only in poor copy quality but also lead to errors or unintentionally misleading copy, which in turn may contribute to downgrading your place in search result pages. This is where you will make your product shine, so highlight its best qualities and advantages over competitors’ options. Make sure you describe your product clearly and effectively, using the keywords you researched, making it informative yet snappy.  
Give your product an attractive name. In a crowded marketplace, listing names are never just a name: they are an essential tool for attracting customers and inviting them to browse your products. They should not only make an item unique but also explain what it is or does. So, having a good product name, that is both eye-catching and informative, is key to standing out among competitors and contributes to a better ranking in search results. Base your listing’s header on the keywords you researched, but make sure you are not trying to fit as many keywords as possible: this can lead to the listing being downgraded by the marketplace’s search engine algorithm.  
Find the right images. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words. When a potential customer is scrolling through a long list of products quickly on a marketplace, a good image may be the thing that first catches their eye. So, taking the time to find and create appealing, high-quality images or videos that reflect the best qualities of your product is not only important to stand out, but also to improve the chances of ranking higher in search results pages. When it comes to international marketplaces, it’s also worth considering the type of imagery that is most appealing to the target audience. Is a product packshot more appealing than a lifestyle shot, for example? One easy place to start is checking out your competitors on your target marketplace.  
Implement ongoing optimisation. Optimising your product copy for marketplaces is not a one-time thing; on the contrary, it is an ongoing process. Search engines tweak their algorithms continually, so reviewing your copy on a regular basis to ensure it maintains a good position in results pages is essential. Likewise, the way consumers search for products may change over time, so an ongoing assessment will help you to remain prominent. 
Native-language specialists: vital for marketplace success 
Optimising product copy for marketplaces is all about getting insight into the local target audience and capturing all the local nuances of their language to steer them towards your product. This is why working with native-to-market talent is essential, as they will be the best ones to create and advise on effective, adequate-for-the-market terminology and phrasing. Partnering with a trusted language service provider, with access to a pool of top SEO specialists and copywriters, will help your content shine and support your global ambitions. 
At THG Fluently, we are providing multilingual SEO and PPC services to the retail and ecommerce sectors. As part of retail giant THG, we know what it takes to give organisations the support they need to gain visibility in search engine results pages and online marketplaces. So, if you’d like to learn more about how we can support your business with our marketplace optimisation services, feel free to get in touch.

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