Botify is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Mirakl Connect, the leading marketplace ecosystem that helps marketplace sellers, operators and partners scale their business together. Botify joins an impressive and curated network of leading technology partners that are well-suited to address the unique needs and challenges of the fastest-growing marketplace websites in order to accelerate business growth.
“As marketplaces grow their product assortments to offer unmatched choice to their customers, ensuring this assortment is discovered by the right customers at the right time is essential”, says Alexandre Dauber, SVP of Mirakl Connect. “As the leading enterprise SEO solution, Botify is already helping many Mirakl-powered marketplaces enhance their SEO capabilities, uncovering those missed opportunities and turning them into profitable business outcomes, and we are delighted to welcome Botify to our ecosystem to further accelerate the growth of our customers.”
Alexandre Dauber, SVP of Mirakl Connect
Mirakl offers the industry’s first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform, enabling organizations across B2B and B2C industries to launch, operate, and grow a marketplace business at scale.
Mirakl Connect, the company’s global marketplace ecosystem, brings together sellers, technology partners, and Mirakl-powered marketplaces in one central location. From payments to feed management to insights, Mirakl Connect partners not only help speed time to market, but also drive continued growth.
A marketplace is a type of e-commerce site where an operator hosts and secures transactions of products between its customers and 3rd party sellers.
Sellers are responsible for the products they sell on the marketplace including price, order management and customer care. That said, the marketplace operator can define the level of autonomy and control the sellers have over operations
Let’s take a look at three different examples of marketplace structures:
Etsy is a global marketplace that is most well-known for original, handmade, or craft products. With nearly 4.5 million sellers, Etsy offers a vast variety of unique, often one-of-a-kind products, translating into a high volume of products, but often limited inventory for a given SKU.
FNAC is a French retail marketplace selling electronics and cultural products. On FNAC, you will find a large assortment with multiple sellers offering the same products, making price competition a key differentiator.
Urban Outfitters, a lifestyle retail company, is a marketplace with highly curated products to match the Urban Outfitters sensibility and target customer. The product data, such as description, and imagery, is provided by the brand but must meet specific requirements, which is why it is more reminiscent of a traditional e-commerce website.
While the concept of a marketplace isn’t a new one (ahem, Amazon, eBay), there has been a significant rise in the marketplace model across industries over the past couple of years, gaining even more momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic. With brick and mortar stores closing and customers preferring to shop online , retailers needed a new or supplemental channel to reach potential customers; and one that was easily and quickly accessible.
According to OC&C Strategy Consultants, “in 2020 alone, marketplaces accounted for over $1tn of total western consumer spend” in established retail and travel categories “and 40% of total consumer spend online.” They estimate that ”marketplace growth will continue at 15% per year” and “become as large as direct ecommerce by 2025, when it will account for c.45-50% of online spend.”
E-commerce websites and marketplaces are both typically transactional and inventory driven, so there are some common marketing goals and approaches. However, given the role of the operator as an intermediary between sellers and customers on marketplaces, there are unique SEO considerations and strategies that apply. Below you’ll find a couple of examples of marketplace characteristics that can pose organic search challenges if not addressed properly.
Some of the largest marketplaces have millions of sellers with the ability to offer new inventory all the time. While this enables marketplaces to offer a broad assortment to attract and engage with potential customers, it also leads to an exponential increase in the number of listing pages and website URLs.
This increase in web pages strains crawl budgets, while the ever-changing inventory – new products being listed and others going out of stock quickly – demands high crawl frequency. It’s important for marketplaces operators to understand if search engines are coming back to the website regularly and how much of the website they are discovering.
Since we know pages that aren’t crawled won’t be indexed, and in turn, can’t rank or earn organic traffic, it’s even more imperative to know what URLs the search engines are discovering. Whether they are discovering new content, what causes a seller’s listing to be more favorable in the eyes of search engines than others, and if there are certain trends or anomalies in what they are finding and ultimately indexing.
Botify’s LogAnalyzer enables marketplace SEOs to easily understand which website pages are being seen – and which are being missed, with data to determine why and guide you to optimize accordingly.
Marketplace listing details and product descriptions can come from multiple sellers which means they can be susceptible to incomplete or duplicate content, which can negatively impact search engine indexability.
Giving sellers SEO guidelines and opportunities to add as much unique content on listing pages as well as a broad range of category and product tags can be the difference between a shopper landing on their listing or missing it.
Etsy, for example, provides its merchants with a seller handbook and reference materials which include best practices for SEO and listing visibility.
Ratings and reviews also help to generate more unique content for a given listing page. Every time a customer leaves a review, Google is provided with fresh content to crawl, content that likely contains keywords relevant to the product. Reviews tend to support long tail keywords as they often utilise the same words and phrases used in customer searches; while review components such as star ratings can be included in rich snippets, increasing the click-through rates from the SERPs.
Furthermore, ratings and reviews signal trust to both search engines and customers.
Additionally, Botify’s SpeedWorkers dynamic rendering solution speeds the delivery of pages to search engines, enabling them to discover more of a website, and faster, maximizing render budget, and subsequently, traffic and revenue generated from the marketplace.
Whether launching a new marketplace, expanding a website with marketplace functionality, or looking to scale an existing marketplace, a thoughtful SEO strategy that considers the unique structure of a marketplace, needs of all parties, and common potential challenges can allow for faster visibility of more pages, optimized product pages, and improved conversion. The considerations noted above are just a few that marketplaces face. Botify works with many of the world’s largest marketplaces. If you’d like to speak to a Botify team member to explore your marketplace search strategy, please contact us!