Any online seller who’s looking to sell more and grow his business understands that marketplaces is a great way to do so. The only problem is, it’s highly competitive.

Can you imagine competing against thousands of other businesses for that coveted spot on the search page? If you want a high product ranking, you should understand the game of strategies and tactics. Once you understand the factors that generate a high ranking, you can optimize your product listings and generate better results.

So, how do you attain higher rankings from marketplace search engines ? Here’s a playbook that we use to rank number #1 with multiple brands and products.

How ranking on Marketplaces works

Marketplaces have advanced ranking algorithms  – its purpose is to determine the order in which products are shown to shoppers in search result

Ranking is most heavily based on these 2 key factors:

1. Sales Velocity

This is determined by the total sales in the past 180 days (6 months). The more sales the better.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate, or CVR, is a % of shoppers who view your product page that buy – for a specific keyword. The higher the better. Low: 7% or less. Average: 10%. Great: 20%.

These are the 2 big ones, so that’s where the focus should be. But there are some other things that are factored into ranking as well.

Other ranking factors:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is the % of shoppers who see your product in the search results that end up clicking on your product to view the detail page. The average CTR on general marketplaces is about 0.5% - For niche marketplaces like Mano Mano and Fonq, this number is higher.
  • Reviews & Rating: Customer Happiness! Marketplaces wants its shoppers to be happy - so that the returning customer rate is higher.
  • External Traffic: Marketplaces likes products that bring visitors to their site. This includes links to marketplace products that are on social media content (or ads), websites, or blogs. That's why we work with affiliate partners and build external marketplace email audiences.
  • Seller Rating: Customers can share feedback about on-time shipments, communication, etc. A higher seller rating is good for ranking as well as winning the buy-box.
  • Delivery time: The numbers don't lie. The faster the delivery time, the higher the conversion rate. Because marketplaces make more money, and customers prefer the fast shipping.

Another way to look at ranking: all the marketplace on the market are there to make MONEY. So they reserve page 1 for the products that will make them the most money which, at the end of the day, are the ones that get the most sales – e.g. the most clicks and conversions.

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Here’s a small breakdown of how we do it:

Just throwing your product online is not done - everything must be well thought out from the start. That's why we use this playbook. If the strategy is well thought out, you're chances of succes increase significantly.
Curious how we handle this? Let’s dive into it:

  1. Build a strong foundation

The saying: “Rome wasn't built in a day” is 100% correct. Very few self-claimed experts or agencies talk about this. It is always about ads, outside traffic, giveaways but not about the necessary foundation like:

  • How do your competitors differentiate themselves
  • What keywords do they use
  • What is their delivery time
  • What is the overall quality of their product listing
  • What is their price point
  • What's their performance score
  • What are your USP's
  • What are your brand values
  • How do we distinguish ourselves

These and so many more are questions are things you need to map out clearly before you start.

One of the most important things to do is keyword research. Certain keywords have a higher chance of appearing in search results for multiple queries, increasing traffic and boosting your sales velocity.

First, you need to research what the best keywords are to rank on. There will be some major keywords that describe the item, such as “dog food,” as well as more specific terms, such as “dry dog food” and “grain-free dog food.” There will also be niche terms, such as “dog food grain-free weight loss.”

Your brand wants to have a mix of these terms. The major keywords will have a lot of competition yet generate the most traffic. The more specific keywords will generate less traffic but typically have higher click-through rates, as the traffic is more focused. The niche terms will drive only a small amount of traffic but will have very little competition, making it easier to rank high for those terms and get top exposure.

The goal for your brand’s product is to rank high in search results, appearing on the first page for as many keywords as possible for maximum exposure. Typically, the larger brands in the industry will focus their attention on ranking high for major keywords, while the smaller brands with less budget will have more success focusing their attention on more specific keywords, where the competition is less aggressive.

  1. Create strong product listings

A marketplace product listing or product page is loaded with all the data that a customer needs to know about your brand. It comprises images and videos of your product (including promotional content from brands), a product description that outlines the item’s features in bullet points, customer reviews from those who have already purchased it, as well as technical details for those interested in what makes this item appropriate for them.

Marketplace product listing optimization is the process of enhancing the presentation of your items on the marketplace product detail page to increase clicks and conversion rates. It is one of the most useful tactics for moving your product to the top. In order to be successful, you must excel in this area and ensure that the following fields are perfectly curated:

  • Product title
  • Photos ( 3D renders or lifestyle images )
  • Bullet points
  • Product description
  • A clear CTA
  • Reviews
  • Seller feedback
  • Backend keywords
  • Questions and answers

Marketplace product listing optimization is fundamental to crafting a tailored and memorable experience for your customers. How to create the perfect product listings, we'll get into that in a later blog. Because this is where we can talk for hours.

  1. Have your review strategy on point

For your business to stand out among a sea of competitors, you need to have heaps of good online marketplace reviews – these can be hard to come by, but nothing beats the fact that marketplace reviews are essential if you want to rank number 1.

A number of studies have proven this point. For example, as aforementioned, one report found that 88% of consumers read reviews before a purchase. A Podium report states that ****3.4 is the average star rating required for a customer to consider engaging with your business. And 56% of consumers say that a business’s responses to reviews changed their perspective on the brand.

Fortunately, we have already written a blog about the strategies we apply to our clients and our own brands. Be sure to take a look, it contains great insights.

4. Ensure sufficient stock & lightning-fast delivery

Today’s consumers expect fast and free shipping wherever they shop online.

Marketplace business models has set the standard when it comes to ecommerce shipping: Two-, one-, and even same-day shipping have become the norm.

You as a marketplace seller need to keep up with these fast-evolving customer expectations by providing fast, free shipping — or risk losing business. 38% of customers say they’ll never buy from an online seller again following a negative delivery experience.

On the other hand, if you offer a great customer experience all the way through delivery (and returns, if need be), you’ll reap the benefits:

  • Customers will be more likely to buy from you again
  • They’ll tell their friends and networks about the awesome experience, driving new business
  • You’ll see increased sales and revenue
  • Fewer shoppers will abandon carts
  • And much more…
  1. The launchday is the most important

If the four steps above are on point then you can plan your launch day - advertising your product in the beginning is a major way to boost sales velocity. Basically, this is paying marketplaces extra money (on a pay-per-click basis) to be shown to more shoppers. This combined with outside traffic like email campaigns, Facebook & Instagram ads and the algorithm is going to fall in love with your product listing.

Some best practices we always recommend:

  • Turn on PPC ads after 3-5 reviews: because shoppers typically don’t buy products with 0 or 1 reviews.
  • Basic PPC campaign setup for launch: Turn on 1 Automatic campaign, 1 Manual campaign focused on your main target keywords, and 1 Manual campaign with keywords that have your brand name in it (because you want these stats to be kept separate).
  • Starting budget: we usually start out with a daily budget of €50 or €100 per parent EAN, GS1 depending on how aggressive you want to be.

OK! These are 5 small tips on how to rank on page 1 on marketplaces. Of course, there are tons more details to know, but this is a small roundup! Regardless of whether you work with us or not, we promise you will learn cutting-edge information during this free 1:1 conversation that you can implement right away on your own without our help to see results. For some of you, you’ll get it right away and won’t need our services. Others may just want us to do it for them from the start.

So, as your very next step to rank #1 on different marketplaces and get additional revenue for your business click the link below and sign up for your free video call.⬇️