Nearly 218 million people are expected to shop online in 2023.
Online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and others may also get a chunk of this online shopper influx. If you sell on any of these platforms, there’s an excellent opportunity for your brand to maximize customer interactions and drive important KPIs.
But there’s a problem.
You have to cut through this competition and gain visibility to benefit from the expected uptick in shopper traffic. And doing so may require more than just a basic toolkit of marketing and advertising strategies.
You may eventually have to hire a professional marketplace agency to steer your business through rough waves of rising competition and get it on the shore of online success.
But how do you find the right people to trust your business with when there are zillions of other agencies, all claiming to be the best? This blog will tell you.
What Does A Marketplace Agency Do?
Marketplace agencies help businesses optimize their sales and operations on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and more.
Ecommerce or marketplace agency can often be used as an umbrella term covering different agencies specializing in diverse areas of marketplace and ecommerce.
You may come across an Amazon agency that specializes in Amazon-related tasks and strategies. There may be a full-service marketplace agency as well, like Accrue, that can help your brand grow across marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and others.
Full-service marketplace agencies will offer a wide array of professional-standard services such as product listing optimization, pricing strategy building, marketing and advertising, fulfillment, marketplace SEO, and more
Working with the right agency, you will find the help you need to navigate the complexities of selling on multiple marketplaces and diversify your income streams to reinforce your business’s online presence.
Hiring A Marketplace Agency: A Good Idea?
The thought of having someone else, an outsider, take up the reins of your business might make you skeptical of hiring a marketplace agency.
It may feel like moving into the passenger seat of your precious car and giving control over to someone else.
The truth is, a good marketplace agency will take the time to understand your business and its values and will align with them perfectly. This will ensure that hiring a marketplace agency doesn’t feel like letting a stranger take over your business.
Moreover, by working with the right people, you will also have complete control over all your business decisions while working closely with a team of experts on a shared objective – your success.
The reins of the business remain in your hands, and you get marketplace experts driving your business toward success? That could be a win-win.
Now that you may be okay with the idea of hiring a marketplace agency, let’s talk about how you can find one.
Tips on Choosing the Right Marketplace Partners
Yes, working with a marketplace agency is a great idea. It brings success, growth, profit, and whatnot. But all of this comes only when you partner with the right people.
Here are some tips on how you can find a reliable (and relevant) agency for your brand:
Define Your Goals
Hiring a marketplace agency is a huge investment. So, before choosing one, you need to identify why you are looking for an agency – the requirements you want the agency to fulfill. And for that, you first need to list these requirements yourself.
Clearly define what you hope to achieve through working with a marketplace agency.
Is it only marketplace advertising that you want for your brand? Or are you looking for an agency that can take up tasks across all your online business verticals? Or are you looking for an agency that can help your brand expand across marketplaces?
This will help narrow down your options to agencies that specialize in the services that you need.
One of our clients asked us to help them with their highly-seasonal product launch. Team Accrue worked on various areas of the business, from seasonality analysis to inventory management and even advertising.
Leveraging our diverse service catalog, expertise, and insights, the brand experienced 10x impressions and 100% increase in sales.
Area of Operation
Where is your business located, and what regions does it operate in? This is the second question you want to answer for yourself, and then hire an agency that aligns with your answer.
If your business is located in North America, and it’s the North American audience you want to serve, you would be better off working with a North American marketplace agency. These experts would understand the local economy and audience nuances better. And this understanding will reflect in your business strategies.
Your requirements may evolve as your brand grows. You need to work with an agency that can scale its resources so your brand can continue relying on them for better support.
Data and Analytics
Safe to say, data is pretty important when you talk about marketing. And even more so when trying to build a strong online presence. This is why you need to ensure the marketplace agency you work with places strong emphasis on data and analytics, so your brand can move ahead with data-driven decisions and get closer to its goals.
You want to work with agencies that have a proven track record for success in your industry or with a business that is similar to yours.
You can confirm the agencies’ experience through their case studies, testimonials, and the agency blog. These resources, especially case studies and testimonials will reflect the agency’s expertise as well as the industry they are most active in.
For example, if a company has lots of case studies talking about how they helped health and wellness brands reach their goals, you would know this agency operates in the health and wellness category and would understand its nuances.
You would also want to cross-check any claims the agency makes in its case studies by doing some independent research.
For example, if an agency talks about how they helped their client’s product rank higher and got more traffic on the product listing, you can search for the product-relevant keyword and see if the product really ranks on the first or the second page.
Accrue helped one of our clients launch their products. Our strategies helped the brand experience a 150% increase in traffic and a 75% growth in sales. Today, the ASIN ranks on the first page for relevant keywords.
Moving on, see if the agency has experience working with businesses the same size as yours.
Small businesses have unique requirements and limitations. An agency experienced with handling small business growth in online marketplaces would know how to maneuver your brand around these complexities.
So, this is the kind of agency you want to work with if you have a small startup or business.
Communication is of utmost importance when working with a marketplace agency. Make sure you figure out how the company communicates with its clients and see if that aligns with your preferred communication style.
Technology and Innovation
The online marketplace industry moves fast. Innovations are popping up every now and then, and you need to have a firm grip on the right tech tools to keep your edge.
Therefore, ensure the agency you work with not only stays ahead of the curve regarding marketplace innovations but also uses the right tools for all processes to provide the optimum levels of efficiency.
Your brand has a personality. It may have its own set of values and a message that it wants to disseminate to the audience. Partner with an agency that understands your brand’s personality, absorbs its values, and aligns their strategies with them so you can work in cohesion.
To Sum It Up
Picking one agency from a myriad of companies offering similar services with similar promises of expertise can be tricky. But you need to make sure you work with the agency that’s best for your brand, so your investment can actually go into growing your business.
Start your agency hunt by narrowing down your options. Eliminate all the agencies that don’t specialize in the services you need. Also, cross off the ones based outside your operation region.
Continue by corroborating the claims an agency may have made on their website by diving into their case studies and blogs and see if the results align with their claims.
Also, never undermine the importance of strong communication and solid data analysis skills. If a company lacks on any of these fronts, you may want to cross them off the list.
Accrue is a full-service agency dedicated to helping brands grow and unlock new milestones on Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and other marketplaces.
We have helped brands like yours with successful product launches, built sustainable brand growth, and driven the right KPIs.
Share your marketplace goals with us, and let's start working toward them.