Why and how to include ecommerce marketplaces as part of your digital marketing strategy

Chris Attewell



The demand for ecommerce marketplaces has been growing steadily over the years, with global lockdowns in 2020 accelerating this trend as consumers were no longer able to go out shopping. Amazon alone grew 43% YoY throughout 2020, with eBay and others following suit.


With more consumers turning to ecommerce platforms for purchases, they can no longer be forgotten or ignored. There are hundreds of ecommerce marketplaces worldwide, ranging from broad (like Amazon) to niche (like Zalando), so no matter what product you are selling, there is likely to be a marketplace for you.

Why an integrated strategy?


Having an integrated marketing strategy has been consistently proven to reduce costs and increase results over treating each channel in silos.


Marketplaces sit slightly different to other digital channels. Whereas SEO, PPC, and paid social all work towards the same goal of driving traffic (and sales) to your website, a marketplace strategy does the opposite: sales are made on the external ecommerce platform rather than a brand’s own website.


How then, you may be wondering, can we bring online marketplaces in line with your digital marketing strategy?


In this blog, I will look at ways to integrate marketplaces with your wider digital marketing strategy to achieve your wider business goals.

Similarities between search engine marketing and ecommerce marketplaces


Much like search engines, online marketplaces have their own unique algorithms that aim to deliver the best listings to users. As a result, there is a strong need for vendors to optimise their product listings in the same way a website needs to optimise its website pages. Looking at what keywords, copy and CTAs perform well in your SEO strategy is a great place to start when optimising your product listings. It also ensures that, should someone be using an ecommerce marketplace like Amazon to price check your product, that there is a strong sense of consistency.


Many ecommerce marketplace platforms also offer their own form of advertising where brands can pay to get their ads shown to relevant audiences and keywords in an attempt to drive more sales. Again, this is a great opportunity to use insights from your PPC, display and paid social campaigns – which keywords perform well for which product categories? Are there particular audiences who have a high click-through or conversion rate? Utilising first-party data from your campaigns to shape your marketplace advertising strategy is a great way of pulling your strategies together.


You can also use insights from your marketplace campaigns to inform your other digital channels.

Use ecommerce marketplaces to fill in gaps in your digital strategy


Selling via online marketplaces is different to selling directly from your website. Rather than shy away from this, you can use it to reach wider audiences and grow your revenue.

Reach new audiences


Ecommerce marketplaces are a great tool for reaching new audiences for several reasons:

Consumers can use marketplaces to buy one-off items as they do not need to worry about high shipping costs or minimum spend for orders. By selling your products on platforms like Amazon, you widen your reach to users who may not have otherwise considered your brand as they are only in the market for one-off, smaller or cheaper items.


Over half of searches now start on Amazon. Having your products on online marketplaces ensure that you reach individuals who may not use search engines as their first port of call for shopping. Consumers also look to marketplaces to price check and read reviews, which means more opportunity to get your product in front of customers and steal that sale.


Ecommerce marketplaces can also be a great way to reach new international markets. Marketplaces make it much easier for consumers to buy from international distributors, and from a business perspective, it requires a lot less time and money to set up an international marketplace profile than it does to set up a new international website or sub-domain and build authority and brand awareness. Businesses can use online marketplaces to both test the water for international appetite, and to sell to new markets permanently – for example, if you only have a few products you want to sell internationally, or if the market you want to sell to predominantly uses ecommerce marketplaces.

Expand your product offering


One benefit of using an ecommerce platform is that there is less reliance on brand loyalty or brand awareness to get sales. Are you able to source or produce products that may not resonate with your core audience? Online marketplaces can open up the opportunity to sell new products that may not perform well with your target demographic, without the need to create and market a new website or brand.

Keep budgets flexible for maximum ROI


Taking a holistic view of your paid media budgets allows you to better integrate your marketplace advertising with your wider paid media strategy as you can reallocate budgets to improve performance. This might be proactive budget management, such as increasing marketplace advertising budget for sales events like Amazon Prime Day, or it might be reactive budget management, such as moving budget from one channel to another if one channel has a more desirable CPC or conversion rate.

Introducing ecommerce marketplaces into your wider digital marketing strategy can help to grow your online revenue. We have a dedicated marketplaces team who sit within the wider paid media team and can help to align your strategies and drive results.

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