4 Reasons Why Selling Your Stuff Via Online Marketplaces is Killing Your Brand

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4 Reasons Why Selling Your Stuff Via Online Marketplaces is Killing Your Brand

Online marketplaces tout unparalleled convenience and the potential to dethrone the physical store. Yet there are risks to your brand when using them.

When Amazon, E-bay and powerhouse online marketplaces were first launched, many people were initially sceptical of them. Security of online purchases and the inability to inspect merchandise before buying were cited as prevalent reasons for hesitance. Years of brand building as a trusted retailer that had money back guarantees and free shipping were enough to tip the balance towards the anticipated retailer of the future.

Online marketplaces make it easy for anyone to sell products and it has never been easy to embrace their inner entrepreneur. However, branding can take a serious hit, especially when you have little control over the finer details of product positioning. Simply put, when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. The following branding death traps can nip your entrepreneurial dream in the bud

1. Excessive Price Promotions

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When sales slump, massive discounts are an easy way to revive your sales. After all, few can resist a great bargain. Slashing prices as a response to a downtrend in sales can hurt your brand immensely: Customer will get used to buying only during sales and stocking up with bulk purchases to tide them over to the next sale. When your brands become associated with cheap discounts, people also tend to devalue the emotional attachment they have to your brand and will just as easily switch to another cheaper alternative. This usually causes a further reduction in prices to counter the resulting sales slump and the vicious cycle continues to cut into your profit margin.

To move away from the habitual discount approach, it’s always best to effectively brand yourself as different from your competitors. Always emblazon the differences in intended use and experience, along with the exclusivity of your product. Consider value-added offers that seamlessly tie into your product and extend your repertoire.

2. No Control Over Advertising Placements

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Online marketplaces usually make creative and advertising decisions themselves and this keeps the costs down. This is very alluring for company cost cutters.  Entrepreneurs have limited say on where, when and how their ads appear online. This led to some very risky product placements. When left to mere automation, high-value items with luxurious branding can at times get placed in the same ad set as a sub-par product of dubious associations.

3. Making Your Brand More Measurable But Less Memorable

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Digital Marketing Metrics and Branding

The digital marketing trend has become so fixated on the measurability of marketing stats that there seems to be a major deviation from branding and its memorable star power. While most major labels pay major advertising dollars to create ads that maintain their product in the public consciousness, digital marketers tend to have a hyper-linear perception of marketing returns. For every ringgit spent there is an expectation of four times more in the way of sales leads.

The lack of an overarching branding strategy and impulsive bursts of product promotion drivel can be off-putting to customers. They tend to dissociate themselves from products that have no long-term presence, as they don’t see a reason to stay committed to a brand that does not have a sense of longevity.

4. A Lack of Trustworthiness From Design Flaws

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Online marketplaces are plagued with design flaws that compromise on product display. For example, product descriptions are not updated and are even removed from the product display list. This is usually done to declutter the space for aesthetic purposes. The problem lies in that the product description is an integral piece of information, and the instantaneous judgement call to click on an item is heavily influenced by it.

Not ensuring a visual hierarchy for ad images is a death sentence. Countless promotional images have too many elements that are busy and distracting. This dissuades customers from engaging with the visual.

These major brand killers are detrimental to any fledgeling business. Beware of these issues and always evaluate your brands’ presence in online marketplaces.

If you’re interested in branding, found out how you can use digital marketing tactics to attract customers to your restaurant.

Malcam Prasad About the author

Learning to play with words like cats play with food. Self expression has never been a problem. The words I live by: "Charisma and Talent are poor substitutes for skill"