“Copywriting is the most undervalued aspect marketplace selling,” says Tony Preedy of Fruugo as he points to the relevance of this form of direct marketing in today’s ecommerce.
Speaking to Tamebay, Tony Preedy, who joined the company as chief commercial officer at the end of 2018 highlights the importance of the traditional way of advertising products to shoppers. He says that many sellers often undervalue the ability of copywriting to ‘sell’ their products. However, well-indexed item information is vital to differentiating a product offering. It is critical to forming a solid product strategy. Otherwise, if coupled with other prevalent forms of marketing without getting the copy right, it would prove to be ineffective.
‘Testify your passion that went into the creation of a product’
Visible product information to both consumers and search engines is a trial-and-error journey. However, sellers who hone this skill will bear the fruits of sales. Merchants that accompany their product information with relevant keywords, a well-written description and persuasive copy are the ones that succeed, says Tony. He says that some sellers list products with a low-quality copy, with one of two lines of text and then wonder why they’re not found. As a solution, Tony encourages sellers to get creative. Testify your passion that went into the creation of a product, says Tony. This means giving shoppers a peak of the behind-the-scenes so that they feel an element of exclusive access to sellers’ operations.
‘Sellers need to approach shipping skillfully’
Consumers are almost irrational on the subject of shipping, says Tony. He puts this down to the seamlessness of delivery which has transformed shipping into an invisible part of a shopping journey. In order to keep abreast of consumers’ demands, sellers need to approach shipping skillfully. What we find is that successful sellers are absorbing their shipping prices into the price of a product, says Tony. Successful global merchants are either following such a tactic or aligning their shipping cost to stay in touch with local standards. This way, sellers’ cross-border and domestic last mile service looks consistent and rational.
Tony says that Fruugo sellers independently fulfil their delivery promise. He says Fruugo doesn’t touch customers’ parcels. Fruugo works as a medium to facilitate the first-mile experience, leaving merchants to ace the last mile service. We take an order in a local currency, says Tony, using a local payment method so when an order is processed we notify a merchant to dispatch a parcel to a customer.
However, the marketplace’s customer service team supports the sellers’ last mile service on two occasions. First, when a customer raises an enquiry asking about the location of their parcel when the tracking data is not apparent. Second, when an enquiry doesn’t get resolved fast enough, so the team steps in to smoothe the waters.
‘We’re not like Amazon, they’re famous for mining seller data’
We are not like Amazon in that regard, I think Amazon is famous for using seller data to identifying products that they can sell themselves, says Tony. He adds that sellers often find Amazon competing with them on their most successful products. Tony says – Fruugo never does that. We only use the seller data to monitor customer experience, says Tony, so that merchants are shipping when they say they will and responding to consumer enquiries in a timely fashion. We also use it in our data-science team where we’re looking at which sellers are listing the most attractive and competitive items to direct that insight into our advertising spend.
‘Marketplaces are becoming an accepted way of transacting’
Customers all over the globe are using marketplaces to find products, says Tony. It’s becoming an accepted way of transacting. More sellers are joining online intermediary platforms. However, they’re not putting all of their eggs in one basket. Many merchants have started with Amazon and eBay, says Tony, but if they want to achieve the growth they have experienced in the early years they are finding it necessary to have a multi-platform presence. We’re now seeing sellers coming to Fruugo to generate sales growth.
‘We’re going to start operating a series of specialists marketplaces’
Concluding the interview, Tony pointed to the ongoing focus of Fruugo. We’re going to start operating a series of specialist marketplaces, says Tony. A prime example is Cosmetics Megastore, a marketplace specialising in retailing beauty products and cosmetics which beauty care sellers can join to promote their goods.