The Case for Incorporating More Marketplaces in Your Marketing Mix in 2022

If there is one thing the last couple of years in Digital Marketing has taught us, it is that relying solely on one or two marketing channels, is a bad (and potentially disastrous) business strategy.

Therefore, one must not sit and wait until CPC and CPM prices on marketing channels reach the sky, but rather consistently and vigorously test and explore alternatives to the already established marketing channels. Otherwise, what will eventually happen is that your margins will become their margins, due to the very nature of the auction-based systems.

The purpose of this post is to introduce you to a variety of marketplaces that can be incorporated into your marketing mix to both fuel growth and make your business less dependent on the big advertisement players in e-commerce (Facebook, Google, Amazon).

The Case for Online Marketplaces – in General

First and foremost, let’s take a look at why being present on online marketplaces (Amazon included) can be highly beneficial for your brand in the first place.

  • 47% of digital purchases worldwide happened via online marketplace platforms. (Statista)
  • 14% of consumers would prefer to shop at an online marketplace for a first-time purchase. (Statista)
  • 37% would prefer to make repeat purchase at an online marketplace. (Statista

Now that shall be enough to convince any e-commerce owner or marketeer that taking a closer look at online marketplaces may not be a bad idea.

4 Online Marketplaces to Look Into Today (Amazon excluded)

ASOS

With distribution in over 235 countries and over 1650 brands listed on the platform, ASOS is very interesting marketplace to look into for fast-fashion brands. The median price of all brands on ASOS is USD $26, making it lucrative for brands those audience is looking for fast-fashion. The top categories on ASOS is jumpsuits, accesories, and shorts

Zalando

Another lucrative marketplace in the fashion space is the most visited marketplace in Europe with an average of 380 million visitors per month, namely Zalando. Although they are “only” distributing to 17 countries, the median price is relatively higher than on ASOS, at USD $48. The top categories on Zalando are shoes, dresses, and jumpsuits

Zalora

If you are looking for a stronger presence in the East, Zalora might just the marketplace you are looking for. It is the biggest marketplace in Southeast Asia and serve an average of 2 million customers month. They offer a wide range of categories from sportswear, fast fashion, to ethnicwear. The median price is at the same level of ASOS, at USD $26

Ebay

Moving a bit out of the fashion category, there is the second largest marketplace in the world, namely Ebay. The platform was initially focused on auctions and peer-to-peer selling, before transitioning to a model of online shopping similar to Amazon. The best-selling categories on Ebay is mobile phones & accesories, video games, health & beauty, and home & garden – so there is definately an opportunity to grab for brands in categories other than fashion here.

On a final note, there are many more marketplaces out here, and there is surely one or multiple marketplaces which your brand can benefit from – even though your product might serve a very niche category. As with everything else, remember to do your own research on the marketplaces and make sure that you are choosing the ones which are right for your business.

10 Largest International Online Marketplaces For Selling Your Products Globally

Before the COVID-19 epidemic, internet marketplaces were already thriving, and they’ve only accelerated their growth since. According to a recent survey, 62.5% of global online spending occurred on international marketplaces like Amazon and eBay last year.

If you want to sell items online internationally, you have never had a better time. From personal skincare and cosmetics to apparel, interior design and electronics, there is a market for virtually everything you might want to offer online through marketplaces.

In this publication, we’ll look at some of the greatest international marketplaces to sell your items as well as how you can make the most of your efforts.

Are you unsure where to begin your search for the best global ecommerce marketplace? Let’s take a look at some of the industry’s major players. Even if none of them are suitable for you, you’ll have a point of reference to build on.

1. Amazon

Amazon is the most well-known E-Commerce marketplace in the United States, pulling in more than $125 billion in revenue during the last quarter of 2020. Amazon provides a large delivery range for selling internationally by having an amazing shipping infrastructure that sends to over 100 countries across the world. The marketplace also has various local stores, allowing you to target consumers in specific markets through a more localized approach. They do, as an example, have a website for Japan (www.amazon.co.jp), for France (www.amazon.fr) and for Mexico (www.amazon.com.mx), meaning that using the standard .com isn’t necessarily the only way to go.

Amazon provides a variety of tools to assist sellers. You may fulfill orders yourself or choose Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and have Amazon handle all product storage, packing, and shipping for you. You also have international sales management tools, such as tax collection.

2. eBay

While Amazon is the most well-known online shopping site, eBay is the second largest internal marketplace in the United States. While it lacks the same number of followers as Amazon, if you’re selling niche items that are meant to appeal to consumers who frequent eBay as their preferred market, this might be useful. The demographics on which eBay thrives include people

One of the benefits of selling on eBay is that fees are lower than those charged by other global marketplaces, making the platform ideal for businesses on a tight budget. On average, eBay’s fees amount to 10% to 15% of your total sales volume.

3. Cdiscount

Cdiscount is a rapidly expanding France-based online market that now has ten million active users. Vendors may use it to establish a shop with no start-up costs and no sales restrictions. In addition, you can list new and used items in various categories, with no limit on the number of goods in your catalog.

Cdiscount provides on-demand fulfillment where you deliver the items to their warehouses when a new purchase is made. The company then sends the order through its logistics system in 24 hours. Cdiscount is a fantastic choice for internet retailers looking to expand into France because of all this.

4. Zalando

Zalando is a German ecommerce firm with operations in 23 different nations throughout Europe. Fashion is the most popular area for Zalando’s online marketplaces, which offer a diverse range of items in many categories.

Zalando also has a professional, multilingual support staff to assist with seller registration. Shop setup and product listing are straightforward and quick with their help. Merchants may use Zalando Fulfillment Services (ZFS) to tap into Zalando’s global connections, expertise, and markets. ZFS is composed of comprehensive warehouse locations across Europe and has logistics and operations partners in various European countries.

5. Rakuten

Rakuten is an e-commerce company that sells to over a billion clients worldwide and operates in more than two dozen nations. As a result, it has earned the moniker “the Amazon of Japan.” Rakuten has a number of features that set it apart from other foreign marketplaces.

R-mail – Rakuten’s proprietary e-mail tool – helps sellers create and maintain relationships with buyers globally so that they can become loyal customers over time. The site offers a help center with an ecommerce consultant who can assist you in your seller’s journey. The marketplace also has a cashback program called Super Points that may help boost customer loyalty on the site.

6. T-Mall

T-Mall, a subsidiary of the E-Commerce website Taobao, was founded in 2008 under the Alibaba Group. Its primary target market is B2C (Business to Consumer). T-Mall’s goal is bold and prudent, as the platform allows both Chinese and non-Chinese firms to sell their items in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. T-Mall distinguishes out from the competition thanks to its rigorous standards for quality and reputation.

When we consider the rankings of China’s top websites based on traffic volume, it is apparent that T-Mall leads the pack, even compared to China’s most popular search engine, Baidu. Chinese consumers spend an average of 7 minutes per day using the app, which is more than twice as long as they spend on JD.com, which is one of T-Mall’s major competitors in China.

7. Flipkart

Flipkart is a prominent ecommerce business in India that made $4.6 billion in revenue in October 2021. The site began as an online bookstore before expanding into other product categories like apparel, furniture, grocery, and travel.

Flipkart offers a number of reasons to sell on its market. It has a simple user interface and charges nothing to set up a merchant profile. When you list an item, you may reach out to over 200 million users. You won’t have to worry about how you’re going to deliver items to your clients when you sell on Flipkart. Flipkart’s fulfillment network of 10,000 delivery agents and 200+ pick-up locations guarantees quick delivery of your items while also allowing you to protect yourself from losses through its Seller Protection coverage.

8. Mercado Libre

The most popular ecommerce platform in Latin America is Mercado Libre. Mercado Libre receives over 650 million monthly visits, with Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico accounting for 80% of those visits, according to a Web Retailer study.

Mercado Libre is an all-around internet store that features a wide range of items. It enables merchants to sell products in more than 150 categories, including fashion, electronics, sports goods, house and garden, and smartphones and accessories. It is possible for foreign companies to take payments in US dollars and provide services in local currency. Accepted members of Mercado Libre’s Global Selling program can receive these benefits and more by listing and collecting payments in US dollars.

9. Lazada

Lazada is a major online marketplace in Southeast Asia that was established in 2012. It is available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

As the leader in the E-Commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia, Lazada has 155,000 merchants and 3,000 brands serving more than 550 million consumers through its marketplace platform. With more than 300 million SKUs available, Lazada has the most comprehensive selection of goods in numerous categories including consumer electronics, household items, toys, fashion, sports equipment, and food.

10. Blibli

Blibli is one of the most popular online marketplaces in Indonesia, with thousands of items available to purchasers from across 15 different categories. Because to its emphasis on selling genuine, branded items, it’s recognized for being a reliable vendor.

Blibli has a worldwide seller program to assist international vendors expand their operations in Indonesia. You may list products for free, but you must have a valid business registration and bank account to join the program. As an international seller, you can ship your items to Blibli’s fulfillment center, which delivers throughout Indonesia and provides 24 hour local-language customer service support.

Local E-Commerce Payment Methods To Consider When Internationalizing

Understanding the best payment options for online enterprises targeting a global audience is critical, yet in order to sell in certain local areas, you must first understand how preferences differ from one region to the next. Some markets, for example, have a stronger preference for cards, whereas others prefer eWallets.

There are numerous methods of payment which are used globally, which aren’t necessarily similar to the “usual suspects”, which I’ve written an article about here.

In a country, local payment methods can vary from 10% to 50%, so keep that in mind when building an E-Commerce presence in a new market, especially if it’s an “exotic” territory compared to your home market.

Europe

In general, most European buyers prefer cards or eWallets for their online purchases, with different markets showing distinct preferences for certain online payment methods.

PayPal is popular in Germany, with 32% of online consumers using it. In comparison, just 16% of French customers use PayPal. Germans are also quite fond of SEPA Direct debit, which they utilize for one-time and recurring payments alike. SOFORT and Klarna is also very popular in the German market.

In the Netherlands, iDEAL is the most popular payment option, with 44% of consumers selecting it as 2Checkout’s 2019 digital benchmarks report shows. It comes as no surprise that online customers like iDEAL, a standard internet banking-based payment method with a high adoption rate on the internet.

By contrast, in countries with a lower banking penetration, such as Russia, eWallets are more widely embraced. In Russia, payment methods include Qiwi wallet, Yandex Money and WebMoney.

Shoppers in France, which has a high degree of banking penetration, may pick their cards. However, as a merchant, you must still be aware of their preferences. According to 2Checkout’s benchmark research, 14% of customers here prefer Cart Bancaire, a local payment option that is only available in this market.

In Turkey, 17% of consumers prefer local credit cards, but they do so because these local credit cards have installment capabilities. Here, 80% of card transactions are done using installment cards.

North America and Latin America

In the Americas, credit cards and debit cards continue to be the most popular online payment methods, with over 50% market share in each region. Beyond cards, however, preferences differ considerably.

Most North Americans use their PayPal or other preferred digital wallet, whereas most South Americans rely on a local credit card with installments. In Brazil, for example, almost a third of internet buyers opt for local credit cards with installments. If you’re selling on the Brazilian market but haven’t set up Boleto Bancario payments yet, it’s time to call it a day. Brazilian consumers use a variety of alternative payment options, with 13% paying with their Boleto Bancario and 28% utilizing local credit cards that include payments. Only 20% of the cards in use here support foreign currencies, so unless your payment provider accepts these payments, you’ll need a Brazilian business partner to have a strong positioning in the market.

Asia Pacific

In the Asia-Pacific region, mobile/digital wallets are preferred by more than half of all online transactions.

When it comes to digital wallets, and shopping through mobile, Chinese consumers are the most enthusiastic, with AliPay and WeChat Pay taking up the majority of the entire market. They have over 1 billion users, a penetration rate of over 90%, and a market share of well over 90% between them. Alipay has 520 million active users; WeChatPay has 300 million active users per month, meaning that if you are to operate in the Chinese digital space, it is a prerequisite to have one or both of these payment methods. Asia Pacific’s second-favorite method is bank transfers, which follow cards.

In Japan, more than 5% of people prefer Konbini, a cash-based payment method that allows customers to place orders online and then pay in a convenience store. This is in particular a payment option which is used by individuals who don’t hold a credit card, as they can pay with cash in their local convenience store. The convinence stores include – but are not limited to – 7/11, FamilyMart and Lawson. JCB payments are also very popular among the Japanese consumers, with the card’s large usage – more than 55 million JCB cards are in use in the country.

Africa

Due to the fact that a large part of African internet customers do not have access to conventional banking services, mobile payments and e-wallets as an alternative online payment approach are becoming more popular in these areas.

Mobile wallets are popular among buyers in Africa who purchase online, yet cash on delivery is preferred in countries like Egypt, while others still use prepaid cards.

8 Things To Do When Internationalizing Your E-Commerce Business

Internationalizing your E-Commerce business can sound like a substantial project, especially when you want to localize your activities in all the new markets that you are about to enter. However, due to the substantial improvements which have taken place from a operational and technological point of view in the past decade, creating a global infrastructure for your E-Commerce business does not have to be as complex as it may sound – and you (and your team) don’t necessarily have to even leave your current physical location to realize the project.

Things to Consider When Internationalizing Your E-Commerce Business

1. Bespoke Website for Each New Market

Similarly to other major successful E-Commerce business (e.g., Amazon, Zalando, Asos, THG) I definitely suggest that you should develop a localised website for each market in which your firm operates. By fulfilling various requirements for each website (which will be outlined in the next sections) the idea is to create localized consumer facing experiences which will make the customers comfortable as their shopping experience resembles the experiences of actually shopping on a local website from a national company. The localised setup will naturally increase confidence and trust, and thereby the appurtenant conversion rate on the website – even though that and your company might not be physically present in the country form which the consumer is from.

2. Local Languages

By launching a new country-specific website in the local language, it will be easier for the national consumers to navigate around on the site. Think about yourself: Assuming you are from an English speaking country, you would most likely not visit and shop on a website in an Italian or Spanish language. It’s the same mentality in most Non-English countries. Even though the English language in many ways is seen as an ‘international standard’, consumers from Non-English speaking countries still very much prefer to shop on websites in their local language. If you already have an English flagship website, then you don’t necessarily have to hire – say – a Spanish person to be able to launch a Spanish store. Your master information from the English page can easily be translated through freelancers whom you can create a close partnership with. In many countries where local marketing channels doesn’t necessarily have to be used to grow an online business, one English speaking E-Commerce Manager will be able to manage several localized stores through a network of external or internal translators.

3. Local Currencies

Adding the local currency does naturally increase the conversion rate as consumers always prefer to shop in their natural currency. It’s a habit. Even though the credit card fees might be the same, it’s almost certain that 10 out of 10 would always pick his / her national currency in a transaction, if it’s available. For this reason, it is always suggested to launch the local currency on every local sub-site which you may launch. If you only have one master store, then it is suggested to have multiple currencies on that store – ideally covering all the markets which the website has a present in.

4. Local Payment Methods

Similarly to the local currencies, local payment methods will also reduce the checkout abandonment, thereby increasing the conversion rate on your website. Alternative Payment Methods (APM’s) – also known as digital wallets – have become of substantial importance in the past years, and in some countries it is in fact close to impossible to build an E-Commerce business which only accepts credit cards and other more basic payment solutions like Paypal. In China, the majority of the transactions do as an example take place through Alipay, WeChat Pay and a few other APM’s – more than 50% of all transactions do in fact take place through APM’s. So regardless of where in the world you’re launching, make sure to implement the right APM’s from the very beginning, as this will enhance your conversion flow. A separate article will be written on APM’s at a later stage.

5. Local TLDs – Country Level Domains

So this one is actually tricky. Whether to launch a localized E-Commerce setup through Top-Level Domains (TLD’s) or subfolders have always been a large discussion point in the E-Commerce community. However, I’ve always been a strong advocate of a localized setup through TLD’s – and here is why. When using a country level domain structure (i.e., when a German website as an example uses the .de domain, a French uses the .fr domain, and a Korean uses the .co.kr domain) the presumption of consumers is usually that they are shopping from a national company. A foundation for the store is here created, where consumers can feel completely comfortable, as the domain structure doesn’t deviate from the local competitors. This is the absolute most important tricker to facilitate conversions; that is, trust. Having just one .com website, which then has several other languages in a dropdown is also a good solution, but will never be the same a launching a local store with a TLD. With people becoming more digital and e-commerce savvy over time, the importance of TLD’s will slowly vanish, but for now I would still very much do it. The main downside is of course, that you’ll have multiple stores that are separated from one another when launching them with local TLD’s, and this means that your SEO strategy in particular have to be executed on a more granular level.

6. Local Logistics Partners

As a function of the rapid adoption of E-Commerce in the past decade, consumers expectations towards your service level have also sky rocketed. In the past years, the delivery times have been reduced exponentially on a year on year basis, now reaching a level where many brands have same-day delivery in certain markets. Having a one week delivery time is simply just not acceptable any longer, which is why it is very important to establish an adequate operational infrastructure from day zero. The good news is that most international courier companies now have established a global infrastructure which allows them to ship goods cross-border from one day to another, meaning that local storage for fast deliveries isn’t a necessity anymore. Large brands such as Zalando, The Hut Group, and others, fulfill a global demand from just a few warehouses globally. In fact, I’ve once worked for a brand which generated +£100 million in a country, without having any local storage our people situated in the country. The point here is that you can create an international e-commerce setup with just a few warehouses globally – even one is enough in the beginning – the only requirement is just that you find a 3PL partner which has good agreements with courier partners that can deliver to all your core markets within a short time period.

7. Local Customer Service

Having a customer service function which is localized for your core markets is very important to consider early on in your internationalization journey, in the markets where the average English language skills of your target customers aren’t very high. Of course, if your brand primarily targets English speaking markets, as well as markets where the target consumers on average have adequate English language skills (e.g., Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and the like) then an English speaking customer service agent can be sufficient. However, if you enter various different markets, where the target consumers don’t have adequate English language skills, then customer service agents for each of these markets will become important. If you are a part of a company which have limited capital, then it is recommended to use other functions internally for this work stream on an initial basis, where the “pressure” from the consumers isn’t very high. In case you have a Country Manager or Market Manager structure in your company, then these functions can manage the customer service work stream in the initially, whereafter local agents can be hired internally or externally when the amount of tickets / inquiries exceeds a certain level.

8. Local Campaign Strategy

A local pricing and campaign strategy can be crucial for your success when localizing, especially if you are internationalizing across multiple territories which are very different from a cultural perspective. Establishing prices for your product(s) / service(s) is more an art than a science, and the campaigns which you may be running from time to time will differ substantially if the markets that you operate in vary a lot.