E-commerce is an industry that’s constantly changing. New technologies ranging from personalisation to operations management systems to robust fulfilment networks are opening up plenty of opportunities for various types of merchants. For instance, a growing number of manufacturers are selling direct to consumers, specifically through online marketplaces. The manufacturer direct-to-consumer (D2C) movement is bene fitting consumers by giving them the access and shopping simplicity they desire from their favourite brands.
IN A RECENT CASE STUDY, BE QUIET! (…) NOTED THAT SELLING ON MARKETPLACES LIKE NEWEGG ALLOWED THEM GREATER CONTROL OVER PRICING AND ACCESS TO A WIDER AUDIENCE.
“Manufacturers joining global-oriented marketplaces are discovering how effective this sales channel can be while being harmonious with their traditional bricks-and-mortar channel,” says Sophia Tsao, chief marketplace officer at Newegg, a global e-commerce platform. “This movement has grown popular because it’s giving manufacturers greater insights over sales cycles, margins and customer data. More importantly, manufacturers can control their branding and content presentation.”
Manufacturers are specifically recognising the value marketplaces offer with regards to introducing new products into the market, she says, “Because each marketplace commands a unique customer base, we’re seeing manufacturers craft campaigns targeting specific segments within the marketplace’s customer demographic.” Marketplaces can also help manufacturers support branding continuity, reducing channel conflicts among other sellers and improve operational efficiency. In a recent case study, be quiet!, one of Germany’s leading PC hardware case and cooling solution manufacturers noted that selling on marketplaces like Newegg allowed them greater control over pricing and access to a wider audience. “Competition on marketplaces is intensifying because more brands and resellers are targeting marketplaces as a sales channel,” says Tsao. “That’s forcing brands to examine how they can streamline business operations, minimise costs, and reduce cannibalisation across their partner channels so that they can focus their attention toward developing their businesses and gain customer mindshare.” Branded manufacturers considering marketplaces should be mindful of some of the challenges they may face and enquire how that particular marketplace solves those issues. “Maintaining branding continuity across multiple product listings from dozens of sellers isn’t easy,” Tsao says. Various sellers, including the manufacturer, may sell the exact same item, but there can be glaring differences in how the product is presented. Poor product representation impacts not only sales, but also negatively influences consumers’ perception of the overall brand.
“It can become very dif cult to manage,” she explains. “This lack of continuity demonstrates that brands desire greater control over this channel.”
Selling direct to consumers is a challenge that requires manufacturers that are accustomed to traditional linear buying methods – such as distribution to resellers and resellers to the end consumer – to put the infrastructure or technology in place to fulfil smaller end- consumer orders directly. To address these challenges, Tsao says manufacturers should evaluate where their strengths are, what resources they have and what areas they need additional support in, then look for a vendor to help them fill in the gaps. “Partner with a marketplace, such as Newegg, that has go-to-market strategies in establishing a sound marketing plan and has a robust fulfilment infrastructure in Shipped by Newegg (SBN), which processes customer orders, handles shipments and manages customer service and returns,” she states. “This gives sellers more time to focus on their core business.”
Manufacturers have a unique opportunity to leverage the selling opportunities that marketplaces offer them, and now is the time to think about which one best suits their unique needs. “Newegg has a longstanding history of providing brands with the tools and marketing channels to successfully establish market share,” says Tsao. “Whatever the brand’s goals are, access to an arsenal of marketing and operational resources can drive incremental sales and help the brand establish its presence. The type of white glove service Newegg provides is what most manufacturers can’t find in other marketplaces”
Photo: Sophia Tsao, Chief Marketplace Officer, Newegg Global Marketplace