Last week, Real, CDiscount, EPrice and EMAG announced that their “one account to rule them all” model is now ready for users. Whilst it hasn’t been a secret that they were planning to work together, they have pressed the magic button which allows online sellers to connect all their accounts through the International Marketplace Network.
Today, Jesse Wragg, Managing Director at eCommeleon takes a look at the pros and cons of the International Marketplace Network. On the one hand if you already sell on either Real, CDiscount, EPrice or EMAG it enables you to easily list on the other three marketplaces extending your reach, but equally it’s unlikely to be as effective as translating and localising your listings for each marketplace on an individual basis.
If you want to really do justice in each country you’ll want to tweak your feed for each marketplace. (eCommeleon enables you to upload your product data and it can then help you map, convert and optimise it for each of these channels and validate it with each channel’s rules and requirements).
So how does the International Marketplace Network work?
My interpretation of the IMN is that it’s the cross-channel equivalent of Amazon’s ‘build international listings’ tool. That is, sign up in one locale/channel, press the right button and “pow”; you’re listing and selling across multiple marketplaces in multiple countries.
In theory, it sounds great. The practice remains to be seen, particularly as Amazon has plenty of issues between it’s own marketplaces (attributes getting confused, EANs not working properly etc.), so it will be interesting to see how this cross-platform technology works when having to deal with very different systems.
Is it worth it?
In general, the IMN seems to be a bit of a no-brainer, as long as you don’t mind exporting the CSV with your orders and uploading it into your system. What they don’t say is how this can be managed alternatively. For example, Real & Cdiscount both integrate well with Linnworks for order management, ePrice & Cdiscount with ChannelAdvisor. Does that mean that you could now view your orders from Real in ChannelAdvisor via the Cdiscount connection? If so, that’s something to write home about. If not, sellers using a system such as this will just need to make sure that they’ve got a decent buffer on their inventory in order to avoid over-selling.
What to watch out for
Machine translation. It’s getting better, there’s no arguments about that. But when you look at the trouble Amazon has with converting listings internationally via the build international listings tool, it’s easy to see that machines can’t yet be trusted to automate the process of converting data from one marketplace to another; even marketplaces under the same hat. Whilst it’s nice to see that Real, Cdiscount, EMAG & ePrice are working together to take on Amazon, sellers should still remember that these are still different beasts unto themselves and whilst the technical integration is now alive and well, we’re working with multiple channels which each have their own requirements.
Let’s imagine that Cdiscount allows you to use 250 characters on titles in your category, but Real only allows 200. Sure, the system can machine translate from French to German, but what will your German title look like on Real after it’s been machine translated and had 50 characters sliced off the end?
If you’ve got an account with any of the four International Marketplace Network partner marktplaces, you’re now able to sell on any of the rest, quickly, simply and at the click of a button – It’s a quick and easy way to expand your international reach and ideal if you want to test the waters on a new marketplace in a new country.
But, if you are serious about listing on all four channels channel you might as well do it properly. Just as you tailor your feed for each international Amazon or eBay marketplace why wouldn’t you spend the time to do the same for Real, CDiscount, EPrice and EMAG?