The Bevilles’s story dates back to 1934, when it began trading in Bourke Street, Melbourne. It sold everything from blankets to saucepans. In the early 1950s, jewellery and diamond rings were introduced into its product line and the rest, as they say, is history. Bevilles now has 23 stores in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia selling special-occasion and everyday jewellery and watches. It also has an online store and a marketplace presence.
Bevilles launched its online store over a decade ago, with its current site going live in 2016. Its presence was growing online across all channels and it knew it needed a way to list seamlessly as it grew its omnichannel strategy.
“Customers are not just shopping direct with retailers but instead the increasing number of marketplaces means that consumers are constantly introduced to new products and new brands,” says Rachael Eade, Digital Marketing Manager at Bevilles. “It used to be that customers went to eBay looking for specific products but with the introduction of more curated marketplaces like Catch and MyDeal, consumers are being told what to buy and offered constant bargains. That’s why I think it’s important to get your brand onto marketplaces so you can be everywhere — even for small brands,” Eade tells us of the company’s multichannel approach.
Before expanding its marketplace presence, Bevilles partnered with ChannelAdvisor. With Managed Services for Marketplaces, Bevilles could launch across a wide variety of marketplaces while listing different products at different price-points seamlessly. After integrating with ChannelAdvisor, Bevilles launched to Amazon Australia in November 2017 and MyDeal in 2019. Bevilles also uses ChannelAdvisor to manage its existing stores on Catch and eBay Australia. With ChannelAdvisor’s support, Bevilles has plans to launch to New Zealand’s The Market when it launches later in 2019. Expanding across these channels in such a short period was manageable, even without in-house capabilities. “Being a smallish business we don’t have the internal resources like a lot of big companies, so we rely heavily on partners like ChannelAdvisor to assist with our online strategy.” Eade explains.
“It’s important to do what you can do in-house easily. For example, we have an in-house design studio to outsource more technical or highly specialised needs,” Eade says.
“Since introducing a number of marketplaces, we find that probably about 15 percent of our sales come through marketplaces now,” Eade tells us. Eade also explains that this figure is incremental, meaning that these are new customers that may not have previously purchased through Bevilles. This reveals why marketplaces are so vital for retailers and why it is so important to strategise and launch seamlessly.
By outsourcing the integrations with marketplaces, Bevilles was able to utilise its team to focus on what they do best. This meant no headaches and the knowledge that a range of marketplace launches were being handled by experts.
“It can be very time-consuming. Be sure to work with a partner that can understand all the different marketplaces, shipping requirements and so forth,” Eade says.
It also means that Bevilles can remain agile, knowing that listing products and adapting its strategy across all marketplaces can be done with ease. “We change our strategies depending on the marketplace,” Eade tells us. “For instance, on Catch we found full price items don’t sell so we only list items on sale. On eBay we sell a lot of watches, even high priced watches, as customers are willing to shop around for limited edition items and know our products are genuine. We also sell a heap of a $2 item and find that by selling these at a very low profit margin, it increases our positive reviews and exposure, so we sell more of other products.”
With ChannelAdvisor, pricing and promotions are managed easily, especially during busy sales periods. For example, Bevilles ran a promotion with Catch last December. “The results were great” says Eade. “The success of the promo was because it was peak gift buying and we were running a 50% off silver promo with prices starting from $14.99, so customers took the opportunity to get lots of lower priced items for Christmas.”
Because it’s difficult to manage ever-changing requirements across multiple marketplaces, Eades recommends retailers partner with a trusted platform like ChannelAdvisor to sell on a diverse set of marketplaces. She offers other retailers this advice:
- “Build relationships so you get told about upcoming promotions, have more opportunities for paid advertising, and will be kept updated with account changes and errors for example.
- Keep track of your reputation on the marketplace platforms. For example, on Amazon we don’t have a high number of orders, so even one late order can mean our overall late shipment rate is very high and we could be penalised.”
The bottomline for Eade is conducting research to make an informed decision. “Find out which marketplaces work for your industry. And definitely find a partner to help you out. It’s not easy to do it yourself.”