As the world becomes more digitalised, it’s no surprise businesses are offering their products and services online.
Marketplaces have become the go-to for many companies as they can offer greater visibility and a wider audience. In turn, this can help generate more conversions, and who doesn’t want that? However, it’s not as simple as listing some products and waiting for sales to come flooding in. Instead, businesses have to make sure their product listings are appealing enough to stand out from the competition.
Marketplaces can help yield a lot of profit, but they can also push companies aside if their competitors are doing better than them.
To have the best chance of making sales, here are eight mistakes to avoid when listing on third-party websites.
Major Mistakes to Avoid
1. A Poor Product Description
The product description is one of the most important aspects when trying to make online sales. With this description, businesses can further market their products by mentioning their key features/benefits and other important information.
Let’s say you are searching for a new plant pot on a marketplace and found two listings with the same product and price. However, one has an informative and detailed description whilst the other doesn’t. Which one would you choose? The first one, right?
These descriptions give potential customers real insight into the product they are interested in buying. It helps them make informed purchasing decisions and spend their money wisely.
What to Avoid
Spelling mistakes, bad grammar and incorrect punctuation on product descriptions can decrease a business’ credibility and trustworthiness. The same goes if the content is in all lowercase or uppercase. It would suggest the company put little thought and time into this listing. When this is the case, it begs the question: if the description is low quality, could it be that the product is too?
There’s no doubt long descriptions are much better than no descriptions. However, how a business presents the content can impact a consumer’s buying decision. If this content is shown as a massive paragraph with no cuts or “breathing space”, it won’t look appealing. On the other hand, if it is structured with several short paragraphs and bullet points, it will be more readable and clear to the consumer.
The same can be said for the content itself. As mentioned, businesses can use the product description to promote their offering. For this reason, the copy has to be clear, concise, informative and to the point. If a business babbles too much, the shopper will be put off and look elsewhere.
Finally, the description should fully reflect the product offered. If you’re trying to exaggerate the content or failing to add vital information for marketing purposes, customers might feel scammed and demand a refund. It could be because you have added the incorrect size, the wrong materials, a false item count or inexact delivery dates and options. The truth will always come out in the end, so might as well be honest from the start to avoid possible repercussions.
2. Low Quality Visuals
Visuals can help potential customers get a real understanding of what a product looks like.
Nothing is less appealing than a small, low-quality image within a product listing. Again, it poses the question: will the product be low quality too?
In all honesty, an image that is small and blurry will not make a sale. Consumers need a solid representation of the product. They need various high-quality pictures; we’re talking about different angles and closeups. Also, does the product come in different sizes or colours? If it does, show them with visuals. You need to give them as much information as possible with the space you have available on your listing. So, one way to achieve this is by having multiple high-quality images to represent your offering.
The purpose of these visuals is to give potential customers a vivid idea of what they might be buying, so it makes no sense to use a blurry image.
Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, even on product listings.
3. Adding an Irrelevant Title
Two main factors will determine whether a consumer will click on a product listing when browsing an online marketplace. The first is the image, and we’ve already mentioned what mistakes to avoid. The second one is the product title.
Product titles are crucial. It helps shoppers figure out more about the product before clicking on it. It also helps search engines, through keywords, understand where and when to showcase this listing.
So, the worst thing a business can do is to write a random, short title that fails to give an initial insight.
The things to consider when writing a product title are:
- Brand name
- Series and model name
- Form factor (e.g. shape and size)
- Unique identifiers (e.g. colour, capacity, pack size etc.)
The best product titles are the ones that are concise and relevant. Also, keep in mind that the ideal length is between 75 to 100 characters. You want it to be informative but not too long that it will push potential customers away.
4. Having an Excessive Price
One of the main things shoppers care about when buying something is the price. All they want is to find the best value for money. It’s nothing new; we all do it. With so much choice online, we want to find the product that ticks all our boxes, including price and delivery cost.
So, a mistake a business could make is setting a price without first looking at its competitors. It doesn’t mean you have to be the cheapest on the market; you still need to make a profit. However, put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. As a consumer, how much would you honestly pay for this product? That answer could give you a rough idea of what price to set.
If a business wants to make sales on third-party platforms, it should avoid increasing its price and becoming the most expensive in the marketplace. If they do, they won’t generate any conversions and will even lose potential customers.
Nowadays, shoppers have options, and if they see a better deal elsewhere, they won’t hesitate to abandon their cart.
5. Selling Stock You Don’t Have
Another mistake online businesses can make on marketplaces is selling stock they don’t have. It could rarely happen, but if it does, you will risk disappointing potential and existing customers. These shoppers could even write a negative review about this experience which, in turn, can influence other future consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Therefore, make sure to constantly monitor and update your stock levels.
If your company finds itself without products, just change the status to “out of stock” and add a message in the product description if needed. This way, you can safeguard your reputation and, who knows, consumers might return to your listing when the product is back in stock.
Other Minor Mistakes to Avoid
6. Uploading and Mapping Products Incorrectly
Uploading and mapping products onto a marketplace is a vital task. One that if not done properly, can cost you customers.
It can be very off-putting to find an incomplete product listing or a product in the wrong category. Not only will the business lose credibility, but it will also run the risk of not making sales.
So, as a business, it could be helpful to spend some time making sure your product listing is as perfect as possible, to the point where you would think: Yes, I would buy this. I’m sold!
Also, make sure to add your products to relevant categories and subcategories and map them accordingly. No shopper wants to see a pair of socks in the electronics category or pet food in women’s fashion; it just looks unprofessional. Also, by doing this, you will help consumers easily find your listings and purchase your products if interested.
7. Not Listening to Customer Feedback
A mistake that an online seller, or any business for that matter, can make is to ignore customer reviews and feedback. Whether positive or negative, this content can give you a real insight into your customers’ thoughts, opinions and experiences. It can tell you what you are exceeding at but also what needs improvement.
If you ignore this, your customers will keep experiencing these issues. However, if you act upon this feedback, you’ll increase your chances of success and exceed your customers’ expectations in the future.
8. Being Reactive Instead of Proactive
Finally, it’s not enough to be reactive when selling on a marketplace but, instead, to be proactive. In other words, keep an eye out for things.
For instance, have there been any purchases you haven’t confirmed or are there any messages or queries from potential customers that you haven’t answered?
It’s also good to keep in mind questions like: is your product listing up to date? Or is there a new competitor on the marketplace stealing your customers? If so, what can you do about it?
To be a successful online seller, it’s crucial to be aware of what’s happening and acting on it. It’s always better to prevent a bad situation from occurring than to react to something that has already happened.
You Are Ready to Sell on Marketplaces!
We hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of what listing mistakes to avoid when selling on marketplaces and other third-party platforms.