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Seller Management: Best Practices for Online Marketplaces

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Seller Management

Dropshipping is emerging as an impressive alternative to online selling. 7 out of 10 people want to dropship instead of selling directly on marketplaces. Experts say “lack of fair opportunities, missing seller education, and limited seller support are the prime reasons, sellers are leaving marketplaces”.

With sellers leaving marketplaces to dropshipping, the e-commerce landscape will suffer excessively. Lesser sellers will lead to the monopoly of few, and lack of competition will drive prices high and customer experience will take a dip too. In contemporary times, sellers are losing money because they have almost no support from marketplaces. Lack of education related to catalog creation, management, and enhancement are leading to product return, where sellers have to pay for shipping and reverse shipping.

Also Read: 23 E-commerce Statistics Every Leader Needs to Know

What are the common Problems Sellers are Facing?

Catalog Management

A lot of these online sellers are shop owners and wholesalers, these people have no prior experience of selling online. It is the fear of losing their business to online marketplaces that are driving them towards online selling. Lack of catalog creation, management, and enhancement support is putting them in a tough situation. They are failing to upload their products properly, missing attribute values are affecting their rankings and bad catalog is adding to increasing return rates.

Low Pass Percentage

 Sellers are unable to get their catalog or listing approved and lack of seller support is delaying their onboarding process. With every passing day, the competitors are gaining momentum, rendering these sellers obsolete.

Brand Interference

With desperate sellers tricking marketplaces in ranking their products higher either by altering attribute values or by listing fake details, the genuine sellers are losing their ranking. Brand interference is just another problem that is making it tough for genuine sellers to survive.

All these innocuous problems are affecting sellers extensively and marketplaces need to get attentive and offer incomparable seller support. With marketplaces agreeing to help sellers, almost all these problems will vanish and turn these marketplaces into a fair battleground.

Must Read: 5 Catalog Quality Checks for High Converting Catalog

Best Seller Management Practices Marketplaces can Follow Are

1. Seller Onboarding

If online marketplaces truly want to render a quality customer experience and receive referral offers, they must strive to have as many quality sellers as they can. By indulging aggressively in seller onboarding, marketplaces can successfully offer their loyal customers multiple options to chose from. With every seller you add, the chances of fulfilling customer requirement increases. These sellers can be further checked on varied quality parameters to ensure only quality products are being delivered to the customers.

2. Seller Education

65% of e-commerce returns are due to mistakes from the retailers themselves. With marketplaces investing in seller education the chances of products getting returned decreased. With lesser products being returned, both seller and marketplace will make more money. Marketplaces can either share literature or assist sellers with online training sessions.

Marketplaces can reduce return rates and offer better customer experience just by helping these sellers getting used to seller central. Through rigorous training, sellers will get to understand the nitty-gritty of online selling and will be able to create top-notch listings on their own.

Also Read: 10 Tips to Improve Seller Performance on Online Marketplaces

What are Some other Benefits of Educating Sellers?

Improved Passed Percentage

Marketplaces follow a set of checks to ensure that catalog/listing updated by sellers is fit for the store or not. These checks, traverse catalog for errors, missed details and for the authenticity of products.

Since new sellers are not that well-versed with the online tools, they fail to update their catalog correctly, which decreases the overall pass percentage. With the pass percentage going down, the workload of quality checkers will increase, they will be burdened with correction and enhancement tasks. Seller education is an integral seller management practice because it trains the sellers and at the same time help marketplaces save time.

More Catalogs to Choose from

Marketplaces can empower sellers through seller management practices like seller education and make more money. With the improved seller experience, the sellers will add more products and bring in referrals too.

3. Offer Fair Chance to win Buy Now Button

Sellers are not allowed to create a unique listing for a product if it is already being sold on the platform. The new sellers are bound to sell through the previously created listing. Such limitation makes competition for the Buy Now button an important part of online selling.

At times marketplaces limit the chances of independent sellers winning the Buy Now button for a lot of listing because a seller, who is directly affiliated or connected to them is selling it too. Such unfair practices have created dissatisfaction among sellers. Also, when independent sellers are not allowed to compete for the Buy Now button, a monopoly gets created, which leads to price hike and customer experience takes a dip.

Just by letting, independent sellers compete fairly for the Buy Button, marketplaces not only inspire more and more sellers to join but also allow customers to enjoy quality service from multiple sellers. The increased competition coaxes, every seller to offer their best pricing, faster shipping and provide quality after-sale service.

Also Read: How E-commerce Platforms can Benefit by Improving Product Discovery?

4. Buyer’s Perception

When sellers follow the varied rules of an online marketplace deliberately then they gradually start to move upwards in search results. A seller who follows the paradigm laid by marketplaces intricately will witness a gradual and long-lasting rise in rankings. While results are gauranteed but rank improvement takes time.

Some sellers are in a hurry to rank at the top and drive sales hence they end up trying shortcuts. They indulge in activities that are not permitted to rank higher and affect the ranking of other genuine sellers.

Some of the Common Malpractices Sellers use are

Adding Incorrect Attribute Values

Just by adding wrong attribute values, sellers can improve their ranking and create Brand Interference.

Brand interference is when Addidas shoes start to reflect in the search result for the Nike Shoe query. Sellers deliberately put such keywords in their catalogs to rank higher and steal orders.

By Selling Fake Products

Fake or imitated products are often named “Adipas & Reebuke”, which confuses both the marketplace and customers.

What is the Solution?

Buyer’s Perception allows marketplaces to run a check on the catalog and discover any such brand interferences. Through Buyer’s Perception, marketplaces can identify sellers who manipulated attribute values and also discover common cheating practices and then rebuild their soft quality checks accordingly.

Must Read: 10 Customer Delight Ideas For eCommerce Industry You Must Try in 2019

Conclusion

The E-commerce boom is here and everyone wants a piece of it. While some are going through the rigorous process of catalog creation, management, enhancement, and shipping to gain the requisite monetary benefits, some are just relying on malpractices. Everyone who is relying on malpractices is affecting the experience of genuine sellers, which is leading a discomfort among sellers.

Sellers are getting demotivated and they are planning to either quit or shift to your competitors. With your competitors already focussing on seller management, they are going to win the E-commerce war.

Now is the perfect time for online marketplaces to put in the requisite efforts related to seller management and stop them from going away. By increasing the number of genuine sellers and reducing fake sellers, online marketplaces can increase their revenue and offer top-notch customer experience as well.

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