Do you still google or do you already crawl?

Sebastian Klumpp

Marketplaces, competitive analysis, pricing, BuyBoxes and the customer experience play crucial roles for success in e-commerce. Discover the potential of data analysis and automation to optimize market strategies and to position yourself successfully in an extremely dynamic market.

Marketplace revolution: a power shift in e-commerce

Retail has returned to normal growth after the effects of COVID and eCommerce continues to record positive growth effects. Of particular interest is the rapid rise of marketplaces, which are expected to account for around 52% of e-commerce revenues in the DACH region by 2024. Manufacturers in particular play a decisive role in this area, increasingly selling their products via marketplaces and bypassing traditional wholesalers in the process.

The rise of new players

The dynamics of the e-commerce market can be seen in the example of SHEIN. SHEIN, an emerging player in e-commerce, uses data analytics and automation to implement a forward-focused real-time fashion strategy. By crawling social media channels and major platforms and using price comparisons and inspiration from competitors, the Chinese company is able to quickly identify current trends and virtually post merchandise. These are only produced and shipped when they are sold out. This enables SHEIN to operate efficiently and agilely, allowing them to grow faster than their competitors and better serve their customers' needs.

The future belongs to marketplaces, and companies that recognize this trend early and use it wisely will be successful in the long run.

Data-driven assortment optimization in e-commerce

In the age of data-driven transformation in e-commerce, companies are opening up a wide range of opportunities to optimize their assortments and portfolios in a targeted manner and to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive market. Through automated data collection and the use of machine learning, products can be specifically compared with competitors and assortment gaps can be detected.

The battle for profitable distribution channels

In e-commerce, deciding on the right distribution channels is a key point in the competition between brands and traditional retail. This is because brand manufacturers are increasingly striving to establish a presence on online marketplaces, as these often promise higher profitability than traditional retail. But this battle requires a strategic approach to assess whether assortment in each marketplace makes sense at all, and whether a multiple presence can increase profitability. Data-driven analysis of sales channels enables companies to make informed decisions and position themselves successfully in the e-commerce market.

Success through smart pricing

Price dumping is frowned upon, but in a market where products are comparable and 60-70% of German buyers make their decisions via price comparison portals such as Idealo, price plays a central role. In order to remain competitive, brand manufacturers must permanently track prices and identify price trends.

In this context, BuyBoxes such as those at Amazon or Otto play a decisive role. Brands and retailers alike fight to land their products in this coveted box and therefore  significantly increase their sales opportunities.

Although price is undoubtedly a linchpin in e-commerce, quality and supply also play a crucial role. Companies must differentiate themselves and make their added value clear in order to survive in the competitive environment. The combination of attractive prices, a strong brand positioning, and effective data analysis are the keys to success in the dynamic e-commerce market.

Win the digital shelf

In e-commerce, competition is raging for visibility and availability on the digital shelf. Intelligent data analysis is crucial to check whether and how one's own products are listed and to identify bottlenecks at an early stage. In this context, sponsoring and paid advertising are gaining in importance, digital commerce is becoming the new advertising platform, while the global advertising market in newspapers is shrinking. Success in e-commerce requires a skillful strategy in the battle for the digital shelf.

Use customer reviews

The customer experience is of decisive importance when it comes to presenting the brand in the best way possible. Therefore, customer reviews offer enormous potential for improving products and uncovering customer needs. Unfortunately, however, the evaluation of reviews is often still neglected. Yet intelligent analysis of thousands of reviews could provide valuable insights. Brands can discover how they compare to their competitors and which attributes and values are rated particularly well or poorly. This knowledge can be used for product development and marketing to strengthen the brand and increase customer loyalty. The integration of this acquired data into existing systems, such as PIM or ERP systems, enables better use of the data and allows strategic derivations. After all, in order to achieve sustainable success, the customer experience must not only be analyzed, but also implemented in corporate processes.

Conclusion

Optimizing marketplace strategies is a complex process that requires a variety of approaches. In addition to monitoring the competition and prices, it is crucial to win the BuyBox and improve the customer experience. Data-driven approaches and automation can play an important role in gaining valuable insights and implementing efficient strategies. Brands and retailers that make targeted use of these approaches can hold their ground in the increasingly strong e-commerce market in the long term and increase their success.

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