Over the past decade, we’ve seen the emergence of eCommerce sites that sell products from different brands.
Some of them own inventory, some of them don’t. The latter, which are called “marketplaces”, just make it easier for different brands to sell their inventory through their platform. They are nothing else than well-known online platforms that attract customers for them at a fee per product sold. But how much does selling in marketplaces help a brand’s strategy? Let’s dig a bit deeper into it.
Optimizing Your Product Listings or Feeds for Marketplaces
While much has been written about how to optimize product pages, much less has been said about how you can improve and optimize your content when you upload your inventory in a marketplace.
First of all, it is important to take into account the rules and criteria required by every specific marketplace. You must then create a feed of product data following the formatting for every single one of them.
Products need to be uploaded:
- in the right categories,
- with a relevant product title,
- a proper product description,
- keywords in the form of attributes,
- following terminology that matches the tone-of-voice of the chosen channel
Creating a shopping feed that meets the format required by a marketplace (CSV, XML, etc…) also involves complying with their image quality specifications. Big marketplaces increasingly tighten their visual content policies in order to standardize all their product images and keep image quality high.
For instance, they might require:
- that every item has a number of product views,
- that all images comply with requirements (e.g. have pixelation or blurriness levels under a certain amount),
- that product image size is bigger than 1000×1000 pixels so that products appear in the results list
- that the item occupies a certain amount of space within the image.
Centralizing Product Data Management to Sell Through Marketplaces
One of the most defying challenges for brands/retailers selling online through different channels is the organization of data. Most businesses with online selling activities work with systems like:
- Excel files, where they keep all product details, SKUs, etc.
- ERP systems including some product data that needs to be pushed to the eCommerce platform.
However, more and more digital retail operations are shifting or including Product Information Management (PIM) systems to their software tools in order to centralize all their product data to distribute it to different selling channels.
This enables you to push, for instance, product listings directly to your partner account in marketplace sites, and simultaneously to other channels. This helps brands and retailers have all product details and information synchronized between different platforms.
Automating Data Creation and Marketplace Formatting
Listing high volumes of product data when the number of requirements is so big becomes a hard task. You need to take into account that you want your new products to be sent regularly to marketplaces for sale and that you will need to push every update from your systems into the product feed in the marketplace.
In order to make it easier to upload and manage products in multiple channels, PIM systems map the data they have to every marketplace formatting requirements and output the data accordingly into that channel. However, in order to be able to create content at a fast pace and for multiple language regions, tech innovators have come up with an even better solution.
AI-Assisted PIM systems are now able to automatically generate product attributes and categorize items based on a picture, using Computer Vision. Moreover, they can automatically output the data in different languages following different formattings for different sales channels and marketplaces.
Additionally, marketplaces sometimes assign a scoring for product placement according to the completeness of their partners’ product listings. This affects product visibility in the marketplace. Therefore:
The richer your product data is
the better positioned your products will be
the higher the conversion rate will be.
Speeding up Image Quality Analysis
Product information is not the only area where AI is optimizing team efforts. As we’ve seen, marketplace requirements for image quality are increasingly higher. But verifying all product images and every single one of their views can be a nightmare for your online teams.
AI-assisted solutions have started providing assistance to merchandising teams that have to deal with thousands of product images and want to sell through marketplaces. By leveraging the full power of Computer Vision, brands and retailers can easily detect and amend images including some non-complying features for marketplaces, such as blurriness, excessive compression or missing views.
- Shows alert messages whenever an image does not conform to requirements.
- Warns the user in case the product is missing one of the views required by the marketplace.
- Indicates exactly which quality defect makes the image unsuitable.
This is how teams can speed up their performance by only focusing on images whose defects have been automatically detected instead of verifying every single one of them.
All in all, if you sell through marketplaces, you can help bring your business to success by increasing your sales substantially. The key lies in taking approaches that will help you make the most out of it.