Online marketplaces drive both revenue and risk for brand manufacturers. 

In its recent report, How Brand Manufacturers Can Manage Messy Online Marketplaces, Forrester analyses data from a global survey of brand manufacturers. 

Many brands are investing in marketplaces to capture some of their fast growth. On average 27% of brand manufacturers’ total sales come from digital channels, and 36% of sales from those digital channels come from online marketplaces. Forrester estimates that two-thirds of 2020’s global e-commerce sales happened on marketplaces. While the growth potential abounds, brands need to be wary of the many risks associated with these marketplaces, including counterfeits, grey markets, plus having no direct connection with consumers. 

Forrester finds that brands can take control of their identities on online marketplaces with these key strategies:

Take a nuanced approach to selling on marketplaces. Boost control over brand image and value by selling on marketplaces that allow you to create a branded storefront. Sell select products via marketplace distribution, such as long-tail and difficult-to-find items not typically carried in traditional retail stores. 

Invest more in DTC selling. 79% of brand manufacturers say that DTC is a focus area for the future, but only 46% say it’s already a strength for their business. Save your best-selling items for your DTC channel, while growing DTC sales with a more attractive direct site and a robust tech stack that includes product information management and price monitoring. 

Reduce grey market and counterfeit risks through e-control. Become better versed in authorized online distribution, and set pricing and distribution policies that the company must follow. E-control programs take policies a step further with data analytics to find compliance issues as well as legally backed unauthorized seller enforcement. 

Engage government relations programs to fight for reform. There aren’t many laws to help protect brands that sell on online marketplaces. However, you can help get new laws passed. You can also contact the FTC if you have hard evidence of unsafe or fake products. Enforcement authorities will take action on your behalf. 

Marketplaces are here to stay, but protecting your brand is just as important as growing revenue. Get all of the details on safely and successfully selling on marketplaces.