Cracking the Marketplace Code: Small Steps, Big Impact for D2C Brands

April 3, 2024
5 min

When it comes to growing your D2C business, it’s not always about taking big leaps to get where you want to go. 

In this month's edition, we're shining a spotlight on the world of marketplaces, uncovering the power of small yet impactful strategies to elevate your brand's presence. Whether you're a newcomer or aiming to expand your footprint on marketplaces, incorporating little moves that add up over time will help pave the way to reaching your goals. We’ll dive into specific tips to boost your reach in the section below.

Navigating Marketplace Entry

This process relies on Point of Contact (POC) interaction. Either the marketplace reaches out to you, or you initiate contact through their website or by connecting with one of their POC representatives via mutual contacts. Following this, commercial discussions occur, and you undergo onboarding by submitting necessary documentation, with the timeframe varying. Upon successful onboarding, you'll receive a purchase order (PO) for which you'll need to supply the inventory.

What Challenges Should D2C Brands Be Aware Of?

One significant challenge arises from the necessity for sufficient working capital. Meeting the 10-20 minute delivery window requires maintaining inventory across multiple dark warehouses, leading to a substantial increase in inventory relative to sales. As payments are contingent on sales, this could strain working capital. Moreover, if your business deals with perishable goods, this challenge may escalate. In cases of lower-than-anticipated demand in certain areas, you might face the dilemma of either liquidating excess inventory or managing its return, potentially resulting in losses.

Weighing Benefits Against Costs:

Delivering products within 10-20 minutes cultivates stronger community ties and enhances brand visibility, consequently attracting consumers who value speed and innovation. Moreover, this strategy promotes agility and adaptability by enabling rapid adjustments to changing market trends and consumer preferences due to its proximity to the market.

We spoke to Yash Thombare, Founder, ClapStore Toys, who has successfully navigated his brand on Amazon marketplaces. According to his insights: Once your product is distinctive and occupies a prominent position, accompanied by strong organic sales within 2-3 months, the Amazon team reaches out to you directly, offering assistance to enhance your visibility. His advice is to refrain from overspending on marketplace ad campaigns and instead focus on attracting genuine consumers and accumulating reviews to drive product sales.

To kickstart, create a cluster for your brand and ensure a nationwide presence so that consumers can access your products promptly. Obtaining GST registration for multiple states is necessary. The initial targets should include Maharashtra, Bangalore, Haryana, and Telangana. Following these steps, you can anticipate a 40% increase in sales. Additionally, maintaining communication with your relationship manager is crucial to ensure visibility for your brand.

Given that Sales = Traffic x Conversion, we engaged in a conversation with Ripunjay Chachan to explore the most effective strategies for maximizing its impact.

1. Focus hard on direct sales: How can you get potential customers to search for you? The solution often lies in robust brand-building strategies encompassing content creation, advertising, events, PR efforts, and more.

2. Enhance Visibility in Category Searches: The more you sell, the higher the likelihood of marketplaces showcasing your brand in relevant category searches. Ensure accurate product mapping to avoid appearing in irrelevant searches. Optimize page content to increase your chances of appearing in search results.

3. Experiment with Bundling: If your product category permits, consider bundling products. However, adhere strictly to marketplace bundling guidelines. Bundles offer unique offerings, boost Average Order Value, and enable the trial of new products.

4. Understand Platform Dynamics: Tailor your approach to match the audience, interface, delivery mechanisms, and fee structures of each platform.

5. Optimize Product Listings: Utilize keywords, images, descriptions, and pricing strategically to capture attention.

6. Leverage Marketplace Promotions: Seize opportunities for featured placements, sponsored listings, and discounts.

7. Offer Exclusive Deals: Encourage purchases with exclusive deals tailored for marketplace customers.

8. Maintain Competitive Pricing: Strike a balance between competitiveness and profitability.

9. Focus on Customer Experience: Emphasize seamless ordering, swift shipping, and responsive support to enhance customer satisfaction.

10. Adapt Products for Local Preferences: Tailor your offerings to align with regional preferences and habits.

11. Monitor Performance: Regularly analyze sales data and feedback to refine your strategy and drive continuous improvement.

In conclusion, it's important to adapt and iterate continually. Flexibility and adjustment in response to market conditions and feedback are key to sustained success in this space.