Updated: Sep 14
Online sales have taken to the skies over the previous decade and show no signs of slowing down. Especially with giants such as Amazon, eBay, and Flipkart making online shopping safer, faster, and more convenient, the new go-to strategy for brands is to get more face time with visitors.
The marketplace model allows brands instant access to millions of online shoppers. However, the competition is stiff, and getting noticed becomes a herculean task.
Just as you want your website to rank higher on search engines, driving sales on marketplaces requires you to optimize your product listings to show up first. As simple as it may sound, with a large number of sellers in virtually every product category, simply listing a great product is often not enough.
Today, we help you understand Marketplace Optimization (or MPO) – a concept fairly similar to Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), dictating the best practices to cut through the clutter and catch the eye of customers on online marketplaces.
Understanding Marketplace Optimization
Getting MPO right is fairly simple. But winning with MPO means being extremely consistent and paying attention to the finer details. As a rule of thumb, you need to ensure that every product listing is accurate, concise, and clear.
To get started with marketplace optimization, you need to understand which signals to target. These signals are pieces of information that you can use to share specific details with potential customers.
Such information has to be relevant, updated, and accurate. Here are some of the most important signals that you need to focus on to appear on search results on marketplaces.
The title of your product
The description of your product
The images or videos of your product
Answers to frequently asked questions about your product
Highlights and features of your product
Advertisements for your product
Best practices for Marketplace Optimization
Here is how you can optimize different sections of your listing to drive more traffic to your product pages.
1. Optimize your product title
The product title is the first thing a customer is likely to see about your listing. Therefore, it is critical that you showcase your product with keywords and important information in the title. The title must include the brand name, the type or category, and preferably the physical attributes such as color, size, and quantity. Further, it must include some distinguishing features.
The order in which you place the information in the title can significantly affect the ranking of your product. Therefore, you must ensure that the most important information that users are likely to search for is covered within the first sixty characters of your title. Depending on the search volume, adjust the location of the keywords. For example, when it comes to apparel, people are likely to search for [colour] or [material] followed by [clothing_type]. Thinking like your customer ensures that you get these signals right at all times.
2. Optimize your product description
The product description is the second most important part of your listing. It will contain details of the product, information about its attributes , and details of the purchase such as warranty information. A product description must contain high-quality content to ensure that algorithms recognize them as credible sources of information.
Further, platforms such as Google often use product descriptions to display products in SERP snippets.
Accurate product descriptions that are clear and unambiguous will be recognized by the marketplace algorithm and ranked higher in search results. On the other hand, do not attempt to stuff the description with keywords in an attempt to rank higher since the marketplace algorithm will identify the malpractice and penalize your listing by moving it lower in search results.
3. Optimize product FAQs
One of the best ways to make a sale is to answer all questions about the product and make the value proposition clear to the buyer. Here, FAQs are a lucrative method to help customers resolve most of their queries before making the purchase, reducing the time to make a decision.
A list of FAQs must be prepared and posted with your listing. The answers to the FAQs must be brief, direct, and clear. Marketplace algorithms understand the quality of your answers and rank your product accordingly, therefore, when you give the best and most relevant answers to your customers’ FAQs, the algorithm rewards you by ranking you higher.
4. Understanding product reviews
Product reviews are extremely important for your brand to build credibility. Star ratings and detailed reviews oftentimes cinch the deal for you. Reviews are a way for customers to understand the value of your product, verify the quality as mentioned, and evaluate the worthiness of the purchase, all seen from the eyes of a neutral third-party. Therefore, getting and maintaining a flow of positive reviews for your listing is necessary to make more sales.
Marketplace algorithms are developed to reward listings with a higher number of good reviews on the platform. However, seeking genuine feedback from customers is difficult and fake reviews can easily get flagged and result in penalties from the marketplace. Therefore, you must deploy measures to prompt your customers to leave a review. Some common ways to do this are through email communication and customized messages to direct customers to the review for sharing their purchase experience.
Further, it is important that you reply and address even the negative reviews to help maintain the authenticity of your listing. It is virtually impossible to deliver a perfect experience to every user, however, the goal is to extract a better average customer experience over time.
5. Understanding featured listings
Features listings are a great way to grab the attention of customers in a marketplace. They are simply sponsored or promoted listings that appear on the top (with the tag that they were promoted) when a user searches for something. Featured listings allow you to get more traffic as you pay to rank higher on results, cutting most of the competition, and avoiding competition with other listings.
Ideally, featured listings must be used during a campaign or a new launch to help build the authority of the product page. As more people click on the listing, you can get more reviews, answer more FAQs, and eventually help your products rank higher on search results organically.
6. Understanding marketplace advertisements
Marketplace advertisements come in all shapes and sizes, however, typically the most popular options found on major shopping sites are :
1. Sponsored Product Ads - These are ads that show up as regular listings, however, with a badge that says they were promoted or sponsored. They show up with the result of the search results, however, typically at the top.
2. Headline Search Ads - These are banner ads that appear before all the search results and often contain infographics or animations to showcase products. They are a great way to promote new products.
3. Product Display Ads - These are ads that appear on different product pages or even websites with the brief of the listing. The ad typically contains images of the product, the title, pricing and quantity information, and a button to purchase the product which redirects a customer to the marketplace.
Growing With Graas : How we help with Marketplace Optimization
Graas helps you optimize your content to drive more sales on leading marketplaces. The Predictive AI Engine delivers insights, metrics, and recommendations to help you understand each marketplace and its audience. Brands can use the platform to understand where to focus their efforts based on the location, demographics, purchasing power, shopping patterns, and other characteristics of the customers.
Graas decodes the entire marketplace and its landscape with better visibility across all your data. It is adaptive and is ideal for everyone from seasoned online sellers to a new entrant looking to capture the market’s attention.
Graas enables you to connect marketplace accounts from a wide range of leading online selling platforms throughout the world. Here are some of the leading marketplace websites that Graas can help you with:
To know more, please take a look at our Marketplace store management and schedule a demo to accelerate the growth of your eCommerce brand on marketplaces and beyond.