While ecommerce platforms like Amazon have seen a steady increase in sales over the past few years, the same can’t be said for everyone: eBay and Jet.com’s sales are decreasing.
According to MarketPulse, eBay sales in the U.S. went down by 9% in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the number of items sold globally decreased by 4%. eBay’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) also slipped—in 2018, it was $89.8 billion, but in 2019, that number dropped to $85.5 billion.
Walmart’s Jet.com had a similar struggle in 2019, though their numbers are far more dramatic. Site traffic dipped to a record-breaking low in December 2019 with 1.4 million visits—compare that to December 2016 when Jet had 33 million visits. Traffic on Jet was slashed by 82.5% in December 2019 compared to 2018, and according to MarketPulse, the site is “one announcement away from being offline.”
According to eBay’s interim CEO Scott Schenkel, eBay’s low sales can be attributed to two things: the company’s decision to reduce marketing that isn’t attracting buyers with high lifetime spending and increased internet sales tax.
eBay’s choice to pack its search results with sponsored ads may also have something to do with it, according to MarketPulse. Third-party merchants are having to spend more on fees in order to compete, meanwhile eBay has struggled to capture the traditional retail market like Amazon has as it’s transitioned away from auctions. In its attempts to stay relevant and competitive, eBay has struggled to catch up, even while being second only to Amazon in terms of sales.
Jet’s low sales tell another story. In 2016, Walmart purchased Jet in an attempt to increase its reach to urban and millennial buyers. Jet failed to live up to those expectations, and Walmart has since drastically cut advertising for the site. Jet’s retail, technology, marketing, analytics, and product teams have been integrated into Walmart’s online business instead, Reuters reports.
Is it worth it to sell on online channels outside of Amazon when companies like eBay and Jet are struggling to catch up?
Amazon is a big fish in the ecommerce pond, and while it’s easy to assume the company’s cornered the entire online market—Amazon had a 20.5% sales increase in 2019 and its product sales were up 13.1% from 2018—other online retail platforms are thriving. Walmart is one.
As it’s shifted to become a leader in online grocery delivery, Walmart has seen its yearly online sales numbers increase. As of November 2019, Walmart’s online platform had seen a 41% increase in sales ahead of its expected growth rate for the year. Not only is Walmart seeing sales growth, but it’s easier for third-party merchants to compete there than it is for them to compete on Amazon.
Walmart’s widespread physical presence allows them to use their stores as warehouses and move product to customers quicker and cheaper than they might get them through Amazon. Merchants also pay less fees on Walmart than they do on Amazon. Jet might be on its way out, but Walmart has found ways to be relevant and sellers are finding success using it as part of their omni-channel presence.
Another channel that could be optional for your online sales is Google Shopping. While Amazon has picked up most ecommerce searches, buyers using Google Shopping are taking less time to complete a purchase. Shoppers using Google typically know exactly what they want to purchase. Google operates differently than Amazon, but it’s another platform continuing to compete in 2020.
It’s important to keep in mind that while platforms like Jet seem to be on their way out, eBay is still competing for the time being—it still ranks number three beneath Amazon and Walmart when it comes to online platforms. Time will tell if eBay, like sellers looking to move more product online, can adapt or die.
Want to know more about omni-channel selling and how your brand can compete online? Contact one of our experts at Pattern at (888) 881-7576 or read more on the Pattern blog.
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Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.
In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.
From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.
According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.
From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.
It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.
A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.
Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.
The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)
Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.
Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.
Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.
Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.