What should you should know before your start selling on marketplaces

Selling on marketplaces can give your e-commerce business a huge boost, but if you don’t arrange it well in advance, it can quickly become a cluttered whole. It is therefore important that you are well informed, so that you can focus on growth instead of putting out fires afterwards.

Why centralizing your e-commerce operation is so important

Years ago we only sold through our own webshop. It was easy to oversee, we process all orders via our WooCommerce cms, with a PostNL plugin for shipping labels. But when bol.com opened their platform to partner sellers, we were quick to act. It started off peacefully with a few orders a day. In one tab the webshop was open and the other tab was for bol.com. So far this was all fine.

The problems started a few months after we started selling on bol.com. The amount of orders exploded and in the meantime we also had a separate channel for bol.com Belgium (due to other delivery promises) and we also opened an Amazon and Etsy channel. This soon went completely wrong.

It was complete chaos. With an express train of orders coming in, driving massive growth for the company, with no central system, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when it would go wrong.

Stock was not updated properly between channels, so if someone bought something on our own webshop, the stock on bol.com was not correct and because of this an item was often sold twice. However, you can only send what you have in stock, so that meant we had to cancel orders. Bol doesn’t like this and they started handing out strikes to us for this. We soon got a 5th strike*, temporarily closing our channel.

* bol.com gives strikes to partner sellers who do not operate according to their standards. After 7 strikes, your sales account will be closed permanently. You can then no longer log in to your sales account and your assortment is no longer visible on the website. After this you can no longer sell via bol.com.

This is of course disastrous for your potentially important part of your turnover and you want to avoid this at all times.

We should have seen this coming, but mostly we were surviving with blinders on. Getting rid of orders, buying new stock and also keeping customers happy via customer service was a race against time every day.

In addition, the extra turnover from all the extra channels was quickly factored into our budget and we did not think we could just pull the plug to put things in order.

The most important lesson from the above experience is: manage all day-to-day e-commerce matters from one central point. This ensures efficiency and clarity within the various teams/tasks in your company.

If you place everything in a central place, you have one browser tab open, from which you can put products online centrally, create shipping labels, process orders, you can also arrange a large part of your customer service and, not unimportantly, keep track of your stocks. , for example with stock counts, placing purchase orders and entering new stock.

Stockpilot was created in response to the problem described above. We were looking for an affordable solution that is intuitive to use even for the entire team, from the product & content managers to the warehouse employees in your e-commerce company.

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We wish you the best of luck with your e-commerce adventure!

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