For many Australian small businesses, the decision to select which eCommerce channel to join forces with is often an agonising one. Whether it is eBay, Amazon, Facebook or their own website, Australian businesses need to synchronise all elements of their marketing and business repertoire, as well as their shipping solutions, to maintain a consistent and complementary offering.
Australian small businesses need to integrate and consolidate their delivery repertoire to maximise success and profitability in the long term.
Reputation and proven success
It is imperative that you use a website platform that it is designed for and which has a strong track record in eCommerce and fulfilment.
There are simply no short cuts with this: by handpicking the proven and successful website platforms, you will have less issues as you continue to grow. In turn, your shipping will also be more seamless and less labour intensive and arduous. Always do your research.
In Australia, when it comes to sales channels, eBay is the go-to platform. eBay’s longstanding presence and foothold in Australia for more than 20 years, equates to 74 million visits per month and holds 22 per cent share.
Facebook and Instagram also enable sellers to target their desired market easier and accurately giving them a greater audience with marketing ROI improvements.
Amazon is a relative newcomer only starting in Australia in the past few years but gaining momentum with around three per cent share. Catch.com.au, Kogan and Mydeal.com.au are other up and coming marketplaces to consider.
Using a multi-channel approach not only gives you far more options to sell in many different places at the same time, but you have more opportunities to market to your own customer base regularly also, however, this is not easily the case if you only sell on eBay or Amazon. Selling via your own website also removes the costly marketplace seller fees, leaving you much more money in your own pocket.
The main benefit of businesses using an online marketplace is they take care of the marketing and businesses can gain access to a huge marketplace of buyers looking for similar products to yours. This alleviates the need for businesses to come up with their own marketing campaign which may hit or miss depending on your experience.
However, there is a cost charged by the marketplaces ranging from a few per cent up to 35 per cent or more of your sale price. The challenge is to way up the margin left over after paying seller fees and whether it’s worthwhile (i.e. some products will be better suited to marketplaces then others).
Harmonised shipping strategy
A synchronised shipping strategy for all channels is imperative in creating a consistent and unified customer offering.
If you offer free shipping on your webstore, it is imperative that you offer it also on all other sales channels. Consistency in your shipping strategy is important to engage and secure loyal customers on different platforms. eBay heavily pushes sellers to offer Free Shipping at checkout. This is great with speed at checkout for customers and is becoming an expectation from many consumers, particularly for small or lightweight goods.
Shipping is one of the understated, but crucial elements in getting your e-commerce right from the start. Regardless of your size or offering, it is fundamental that you master the art of shipping across all your channels so your customers can benefit.
Steve Visic, Director of Sales, Smart Send