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What is a Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Marketplace And Why is it The Future of Retail?

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What is a Multi-Vendor Ecommerce Marketplace And Why is it The Future of Retail?


We live in an age of convenience, and few things are more convenient for the consumer than the multi-vendor marketplace. Right now, multi-vendor marketplaces are emerging everywhere, with new ideas and new platforms popping up all the time.

Slick, fast, reliable, and you only have to input your data once – from the consumer’s point of view, multi-vendor marketplaces are perfect.

From the vendor’s point of view, it’s a bit different. You want your products to be displayed to their best advantage. You want your branding and your brand presence to be consistent. You want a certain amount of integrity. You want to build loyalty. Hopping onto a multi-vendor marketing platform can feel like sacrificing all of this.

But it doesn’t have to. It’s great to have your own, well-designed, perfectly curated ecommerce site, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re relying solely on your own site to bring in conversions.

The hard truth is this: unless they’re deeply engaged with your brand, customers often can’t be bothered to create an account on your own personal platform. They are sick of filling out forms, they are deeply concerned about ecommerce security, and they don’t want to sign in every time they want to re-order your product.

If you don’t have a presence on a multi-vendor marketing platform, you will lose sales. What’s more, you won’t benefit from the advantages that the multi-vendor marketplace has to offer.

Remember, jumping onto a marketplace doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own ecommerce platform – it just gives you an extra string to your bow.

Still not sure? Let’s break multi-vendor marketplaces down for you:

What is a multi-vendor marketplace?

Think of a multi-vendor marketplace as like an online department store. It’s a platform through which different vendors can distribute their products/services, all in one place.

Different vendors distinguish themselves through things like digital signage and clever SEO. Revenue is distributed to the relevant vendor following purchase. But from the point of view of the customer, everything is done via one platform.

Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are classic examples of multi-vendor marketplaces. Individual vendors can list their products/services on the platform and will get the revenue paid directly to them (after costs), but all the ecommerce processes are handled by the marketplace platform itself. For example, Amazon does not take you to the individual vendor’s site to process your transaction – it handles the checkout process itself.

What are the benefits of a multi-vendor marketplace?

Consumers and vendors alike love multi-vendor marketplaces for a variety of reasons:

It’s rich in technology: a good multi-vendor marketplace will provide more tech than you could manage on your own. For example, their checkouts will be fast, secure, and fully optimized. They’ll have a slick app, strong multicloud or hybrid cloud architecture, a large online presence, dedicated support teams, and so on. All of these advantages become yours when you join.

●They have a great user experience: good multi-vendor marketplaces are fast, intuitive, and supportive. This gives a great customer experience and keeps consumers coming back.

●Everything can be done from just one account: ask customers what their ecommerce frustrations are, and having to create new accounts in every online store comes near the top. It’s frustrating to have to enter your info over and over again. With a multi-vendor marketplace, customers only have to create one account to shop for everything they need.

●Customers increasingly prefer trusted multi-vendor sites over niche, independent websites: that is as much a matter of ease as it is of preference – it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for on a site that you know, that you already have an account with, and that lets you order what you want in a single click than it is to track that product down through the web.

●Customers trust multi-vendor marketplaces: the days when people would click and convert on random adverts that popped up on Facebook are gone. You can have the best ad copy in the world, but many consumers will still head to (for example) Amazon in order to search for your product and read the reviews before purchasing. If they can’t find reviews on a known and trusted multi-vendor site, you’ll lose leads.

●It increases the conversion rate: all in all, less customer frustration means more sales. Most vendors find that their average ecommerce conversion rates rise when they join a good multi-vendor marketplace.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There are disadvantages to everything, including multi-vendor marketplaces. You should consider these carefully before setting out your stall.

What are the drawbacks of a multi-vendor marketplace?

Everything in business involves compromise, but joining a multi-vendor marketplace may involve more compromise than you’re comfortable with. Consider the following before taking the plunge:

●You can’t always do things your way: depending on the model of multi-vendor marketplace you use, you may have to compromise on certain things. For example, you may find that you have to display your products in a way that suits the platform but which may not show them to their best advantage.

●You might have to change your business model: for example, to meet multi-vendor marketing demand, you may need to go wholesale. What is wholesale? Well, rather than making products to meet direct consumer demand, wholesale involves manufacturing in bulk and delivering to a fulfillment warehouse so that demand can be met at speed whenever it occurs.

Amazon, for example, strongly encourages retailers to go wholesale. However, it’s not always viable for smaller businesses to opt for a wholesale model, as it involves a lot of upfront cost for uncertain rewards.

●Certain products/services may not be allowed: it’s not uncommon for multi-vendor marketing platforms to have strict site rules (not allowing the sale of risque or controversial products is a common one). You may find this limiting.

●Data analysis can be more complex: for example, mapping a digital customer journey is harder when your customers interact with your products via a third party (e.g., the multi-vendor platform). A good multi-vendor marketing platform will give you decent analytics options, but you may still have to dig a lot deeper to find relevant insights into your customer behavior data.

What to look for in a multi-vendor marketplace

You can offset a lot of the disadvantages of a multi-vendor marketplace by being clever about the marketplace you choose. Here are some things to consider before taking the plunge:

●Does it fit your niche? If you’re on point with your marketing, you’ll know your market niche, target audience, and so on. Make sure that your marketplace fits that profile.

For example, if you are targeting a socially-conscious audience who avoid giving trade to Bezos, Amazon is probably not the platform for you – but Etsy might suit. On the other hand, if your customers like speed and convenience above all else, Amazon or eBay are probably the way forward.

●Does it fit your business model? As mentioned above, if you craft individualized pieces and the marketplace prefers you to deliver wholesale, something like Amazon is probably not for you. Look for something that can let you fulfill your orders and follow your business model in a way that works for you.

●What is the customer service like? This is as relevant for you as it is for the consumer. As a vendor, you need to feel supported and listened to.

For example, some multi-vendor marketplaces offer things like a regular free online conference, and dedicated helplines for their vendors, while others leave their vendors to work things out their own way. If you prefer to be more independent, choose a marketplace that’s less hands-on. If you need the support, look for a marketplace that provides it.

●Is it worth the money? Multi-vendor marketing platforms provide a lot of advantages – but they don’t do so for free. They will take a cut to cover their costs. Look into the potential ROI of any multi-vendor marketing platform, and be realistic about your prospects. You don’t want to end up spending more on a subscription than you gain in sales.

●Where are your competitors? Sometimes, it’s a good move to set yourself up on the same platform as your competitors. Sometimes, it’s not. Your market research will tell you what’s a good strategy for you – but it’s definitely worth looking into before you click that sign-up button.

Multi-vendor marketplaces are the future

For trust, security, and ease of purchase, you can’t beat a multi-vendor marketplace. While you might need to make some compromises when posting your products, we think that the advantages far outweigh these issues – especially if you choose your marketplace carefully.

In the years to come, it’s likely that multi-vendor marketplaces will only rise in popularity, so we recommend taking the jump now in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Of course, if you can’t find the perfect multi-vendor marketplace for you – you can always build your own! Who knows? Your platform could be just what vendors and customers are looking for.



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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 

Meaning… 

DXP 

Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 

Welcome 

Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 

DAM 

Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 

PIM 

Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 

Web 

Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 

Personalization 

Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 

ODP 

Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 

 

So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 

 

Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | www.optimizely.com 

 

Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  


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