You have a small business and are looking to expand your business Marketplaces. You realize that the only way to grow is to operate on platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, Shopify, among others. You have what you believe are the right products and are raring to go.
However, before you launch fully into the marketplaces, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid. See our exhaustive list below.
Marketplace Expansion; Mistakes to Avoid
Find below common mistakes that could have a massive impact on your business.
1. Not having a good understanding of your customers
You are not likely to succeed in business, leave alone expand it, without having a good understanding of your customers. You have to know what they want and what influences their purchasing decisions. With this understanding, you can target your communication and provide information that is relevant to them.
2. Lack of An Action Plan
A clear action plan is an integral part of a business strategy. You may have the best goals ever, but without a plan on how you will achieve them, it becomes of no use. The only way to achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as well as to reach your target audience, requires a well-thought-out action plan.
3. Ignoring What Is Happening in the Marketplace
As a business person, you cannot ignore what is happening in the marketplace. Constantly monitor industry news, and take advantage of any new trends as a way of bringing in customers.
Also keep a close watch on what your competitors are doing, so that you learn from them. It will help you avoid costly mistakes.
4. Ignoring the Marketplace Demand
Launching a business into a new marketplace requires that you have the right infrastructure, a proper plan of how to manage your customers, and the right sales channels. You will be able to know what your customers are demanding and react appropriately.
Having a good sales team is a good idea, and keeping a close watch on customer reviews and feedback will also provide invaluable information.
5. Not Identifying Gaps in Your Skill-Set
You need proper resources to run any kind of business. If you realize that there are specific gaps within what you have, you should immediately take appropriate steps to correct them. Expanding into the marketplace will bring in new demands which you will not be able to respond to if you have a skill gap.
6. Not Doing Your Market Research
You cannot hope to successfully expand your business if you do not understand what is happening. Investing in market research will help you avoid this costly mistake.
7. Not Paying Attention to Value and Differentiation
The marketplace will most likely have people who are offering the same products or service as you are. The only way you can hope to stand out is if you show the customers what value they will get by buying from you. Your product should have enough differentiation, so that you get a firm foothold in the market place.
8. Trying To Do Too Much At Once
Invest enough time and resources into your business expansion. It is not something that will happen overnight, and you should, therefore, be careful about how much you take on. Do not try and rush the process because that will be a sure recipe for disaster.
9. Not Having A Customer Proposition
Not having a clear customer proposition will result in a poor marketing strategy. What range of products are you offering, how does your pricing compare with what is in the market, among other considerations.
Think about product customization and exclusive products to target a niche clientele. Also pay attention to product listings, shipping, and prices as they will have a significant impact on how well you rank on the search engines.
10. Choosing the Incorrect Marketplace
Selecting the wrong marketplace will hurt your business. It is, therefore, essential to understand what your business needs are. Once you do this, embark on thorough market research for the right platform for your business.
Being on the wrong platform will make you lose brand equity, forcing you to squeeze your margins thus less profitability. Your target audience will determine the marketplace; it, therefore, requires that you have a proper understanding of who you are talking to.
11. Lack of Alignment in the Internal Teams
Your internal team structures have to be in place. Make sure you have accountability structures, common goals, and consistency. You will need to incentivize those who are working with you so that they can work towards achieving your business aims
12. Not Using or Under-Utilizing Features in the Marketplace
Many of the marketplaces have some great features that can benefit an enterprise greatly. You can use the features to display your products attractively. It will also determine product descriptors, price presentation, among others. You can also talk about variety, quality or any other features using different images and titles.
The use of videos will also help your products stand out. User reviews are also critical; people are likely to buy from a business with excellent customer feedback.
13. Ignoring the Value of Data
Data is vital for any business because it will guide whatever activities you do in the future. Establish proper systems to gather data and look for ways to get as much of it as you possibly can. A platform like Amazon has the Premium Amazon Retail Analytics, which will help you collect rich data. Make sure you receive it regularly so that you make any relevant changes in your operations as soon as possible.
Expanding a business into new Markets is an exciting prospect for any business. You get access to a broader customer base and can generate more revenue with the right marketing tactics. Be careful about what you do, how much you take on, and which marketplaces you opt for.
Use our tips above to avoid falling into business pitfalls. Take your time to do your research so that you have a real understanding of what expanding means for you and the business. Use platforms like Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, among others because they offer significant benefits to businesses.
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