The Value Of Being First To Market - 3 Key Reasons
Marketplaces are growing at double the rate of overall eCommerce as consumers look for convenience and a wider range when shopping online. The opportunity on marketplaces is undisputed, however, the greater value in marketplaces is being one of the early adopters of growing sites. Defining yourself and your brands in a new marketplace can have an abundance of benefits both in the short and long term. See what you are missing out on by putting off that decision to go live...
This one may seem obvious, but the amount of time and effort involved in trying to update and optimise legacy data that another seller has uploaded on catalogue structured sites should not be underestimated. The process can be arduous and once the data is optimised, it can take a while for organic rank to improve.
If you’re the first to sell a product, you can ensure that the data is optimised and enhanced for SEO from the get go. This should never be skimped on or rushed past. A good listing is great for conversion and if the data on the back end isn’t up to scratch then your listing won’t get visibility in the first place.
When you’re first to market, you can carve out the category to make yourself the established seller of a brand/product. By growing sales and reviews before other sellers you are better placed to represent your brands and make your mark.
As soon as you are competing with other sellers, the brand image loses cohesion as different sellers often use different representations or product formats - this can dilute the brand’s identity on site. This can have a negative impact on the brand - if products are poorly represented then the buyer will link their negative experience to the product or brand, not the reseller. If you are a brand owner, having a presence on a site can also be beneficial for resellers, even if you don’t want to sell directly yourself, as you can ensure your brand image remains strong.
Beyond protecting the brand, you can also use the opportunity to take control of brand strategy. When competition is limited, you have greater freedom to present your brands on the channel. Whether you’re looking to expand the brand presence or provide a limited, exclusive range, you can ensure the brand is presented in a way that suits your wider business strategy.
As more sellers begin to sell in the space, you will undoubtedly lose some control within the category. However, as an early adopter, you have the opportunity to win over the algorithm and grow conversion history ahead of the curve; allowing you greater prominence over other sellers.
If you can carve out the category and grow market share before other people get a chance to compete, your organic sales rank will allow you to save money on marketing going forward. As a leader in the category, the majority of organic search will direct to your listings, thereby further improving your sales rank comparatively to new sellers. Especially with OnBuy, where a large amount of search traffic comes directly from search engines, holding the majority of the market share is extremely valuable.
Using this initial period to grow reviews and reputation on new platforms will provide you with fantastic seller metrics to continue to grow your sales. Even if you’re not sure what the market is like for your product, trying a range and making some initial sales will have a great impact in the longer term. Also, if you make less than £500 a month on OnBuy, they’ll waive your next month’s listing fee anyway!
A greater market share in turn gives you far more control over pricing. With less competition, there is less need to price aggressively to win sales and price erosion is limited. As long as your product is still competitively priced, you have a higher chance of securing sales without having to lose out on margin just to compete in the space (it’s worth noting that this is a fairly short term advantage - once other sellers begin competing on price, pricing may become more aggressive).
Once you’re established on a platform, it makes it far easier to expand to new regions. Your sales history and existing data can lower barriers to entry when selling across new regions. By repurposing existing content, you can use your presence to test new regions at a relatively low cost. Additionally, using existing content hugely shortens the time needed to get live.
Being first to market gives you a head start on competition, but also increases your prominence when you’re initially introduced to a new region which may be unfamiliar with you as a product or brand. Sellers are far more likely to trust an unknown seller if they are selling on a well reputed country specific site.
Additionally, as one of the first to market, you can build a relationship with the platform from the start. Marketplaces such as OnBuy are keen to help sellers as much as buyers and the earlier you join, the better you can establish this relationship before other sellers are in the same space. Account managers can support with marketing opportunities, promotions, and sometimes can even help to fast track any issues or appeals. The value of these relationships cannot be overstated!
Each of the points above feels like a good enough reason to go live on a site, but combined the reasoning is hugely compelling. Being first to market is a fantastic opportunity to put your mark on the platform. Avoid missing out on the traffic and sales opportunities that are already there while preparing yourself for growth - don’t put it off until your competitors are owning the space.
About Rich Insight
Rich Insight aims to help sellers setup and grow their marketplace channel globally. We help unlock sales, brand awareness and operational efficiency on third party ecommerce platforms through leveraging our marketplace data, technology and service expertise.