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E-commerce marketplaces turn local businesses into national companies in a few clicks

August 8, 2019 | By Brandon Clark

E-commerce marketplaces turn local businesses into national companies in a few clicks

Imagine you have a company that directly manufactures and sells electric skateboards to a local market. The business operates a real-world physical location as well a smaller digital presence that operates on an e-commerce platform. Your skateboards come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, and are extremely popular. There is a demand and appreciation for your products, but the ultimate question is, how do you expand on that?

Is the best option to continue your local marketing efforts? Should you attempt social promotions in outside markets to expand your product reach? Video testimonials? While all these strategies are important and merit attention, there is a better way, a simpler way. You can achieve many of your marketing goals at the same time by using a plain text file known as  a product feed.

A product feed, sometimes referred to as a shopping feed or product data feed, is a list of products and attributes of those products organized so that each product can be displayed, advertised or compared in a unique way. The product feed contains images, titles, SKU numbers, attributes, ad copy and more details than I can list here (depending on what you are selling). Think of the product feed as a digital inventory of all your products online, updating in real time as products are bought and inventory shrinks.

Now that your company has a product feed, the next step is to find e-commerce platforms that will take it. These can include but are not limited to:

          Price comparison websites

          Affiliate e-commerce networks (resellers)

          Digital marketplaces (Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, etc.)

          Social networks (Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest)

Product feeds are accepted throughout multiple e-commerce platforms and provide a cost-effective way to reach an expansive audience. The reason they’re so effective is that the e-commerce platforms available are pulling content from your feed to list your products in as much detail as possible, providing exposure to a new audience interested in your products.

With your feed you can advertise the same product on Google’s shopping network and the largest online retailer Amazon. Get your electric skateboards shown alongside your competitors’ products on comparison sites and appear organically in the Facebook marketplace.  The advantage here is that you don’t have to develop a marketing strategy for generating your own audience and helping them along the search funnel, but rather you can appear in the places that shoppers already exist.

But remember, not all marketplaces will be a good fit for your electric skateboards. While Amazon or Walmart will most likely have your audience, Etsy (unique, handmade goods) would not reach the same consumers.  Once you find that marketplace, though, it’s easy to grow your product presence.

Join us at our upcoming Lunch and Learn on Sept. 25, where we will discuss how to manage and grow your business through these digital marketplaces!

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