An enterprise marketplace is a transformational platform: one that offers your customers access to a greater assortment of products, at competitive prices, from sellers they can trust. These benefits make it a cornerstone of long-term business growth, so pairing it with a world-class marketing plan is essential.
That plan must center around two distinct audiences to grow sustained revenue. The first is comprised of your existing customers, who will be thrilled to find more of the products and brands they need. The second is from new customers. With new items come new buyers, and the chance to build brand loyalty through an exceptional experience. Combined, they lead to an increase in both order size (roughly 15%), and the frequency of purchases; along with an average net revenue for marketplace operators of nearly $15,000 per seller.
Do you have a plan in place to capture these two valuable audiences? Below is everything you need to know when putting a marketplace marketing plan together for before, during, and after launch.
Before launch: develop your plan
The development of a comprehensive marketing plan must be built into your marketplace launch from inception, running in parallel to business planning and platform implementation. It should include both how you’ll introduce your marketplace to your target audiences at every touchpoint, as well as how to embed marketplace assortment in core promotional campaigns. While marketplace products should be seamlessly incorporated into existing channels, you can get creative in how you promote them. Maybe they’re part of an email marketing campaign, a rotating banner on your home page, or even a paid advertising promotion.
Catch.com has a dedicated tab to marketplace deals right on their homepage
A coordinated awareness campaign, including a press release and media push, is crucial to recruit quality engaged sellers for your marketplace, build excitement for the launch, and showcase your organization’s digital leadership. At Mirakl, we often work with our customers on a joint press release to share the news of the marketplace launch, promoted through both your organization’s owned marketing channels and through industry and customer-facing publications.
When getting ready to launch their marketplace in 2019 Sprinter, part of ISRG (Iberian Sports Retail Group), placed an emphasis on an ambitious marketplace marketing plan. This included a press campaign, dedicated marketplace email, and even a video.
Sprinter was able to capitalize on the resulting momentum, registering 4-digit growth during 2020, and a 60% increase in sales in 2021. Today, the Spanish market leader in sports eCommerce has grown its marketplace to include more than 800 brands and enjoys an average marketplace order size of €60.
“At every step of our marketplace plan, we’re using marketing to help us grow awareness of the marketplace, recruit sellers to grow our assortment, and continue to increase GMV," says Queena Lin, International eCommerce, and Marketplace Lead at Sprinter. "As we continue to scale our marketplace growth, marketing is more important than ever.”
During launch: spread the news
Once the big day has arrived, be sure to kick things off with a bang by releasing another announcement to let everyone know your marketplace is officially live. It’s also important to think about how you plan to engage customers directly. Prior to launch, Super-Pharm - the leading Israeli pharmacy chain - put together a well-oiled marketing machine that continues to power marketplace sales growth in the months and years following the launch.
In addition to utilizing their mobile and website banners to promote the marketplace, they also printed a biweekly promotional flyer with dedicated spaces for marketplace items and deals. This flyer has helped several of their trusted, third-party sellers effectively advertise - bringing in new shoppers and opportunities for Super-Pharm.
After launch: promote regularly
Following launch, you’ll need to give marketplace items equal weight on the site to drive sustained growth. This means adding them to regular promotions and marketing campaigns, not hiding them in a separate area. Having marketplace products incorporated into your existing channels also carries the additional benefit of helping to drive traffic to your site, through improved search engine optimization (SEO), leading to an average 34% increase in overall website traffic.
With an expanded selection you’ll rank higher and more frequently in popular search engines like Google and Bing as potential customers browse the web. This boost in search results allows you to stay top of mind with your existing customers, while also finding new ones. Plus, since you’re helping shoppers locate and buy what they’re looking for, you’ll build brand loyalty and increase the chance they’ll come to you first the next time around. With an intentional SEO strategy, this becomes an ongoing benefit that will scale as your marketplace assortment grows.
Get the complete guide to marketplace success
With a comprehensive marketing plan, you’re one step closer to launching and scaling a successful enterprise marketplace. As you work to put together this strategy there are a number of other components you’ll need to consider. For a complete checklist, be sure to read our 11 Essential Best Practices for Enterprise Marketplace Success.
This definitive playbook, full of real-world examples and in-depth case studies, will walk you through everything you need to know from concept to launch and beyond! Download the Marketplace Best Practices eBook today and accelerate your growth with an online marketplace.
Written by Joe Sawyer
Chief Marketing Officer at Mirakl