Looking after a few products is easy but once you get to thousands of SKUs and selling on multiple places, you need to have a tight hold on how to manage your products. In today’s episode, Brad will walk you how to manage thousands of SKUs across multiple systems without losing your mind. This process alone will shave off hours of work and give you back control.
Get a PDF copy of the transcript and the Product Planner by clicking on the button below.
Howdy, Brad Younger here, and welcome to today’s episode. This is Episode Number 2 and it’s all about managing hundreds and hundreds of product listings across multiple marketplaces and how you can do it and keep your sanity at the same time. There’s a few things we’re going to cover, but I can imagine if you’re starting to sell on Amazon, you’re starting to sell on other platforms. Maybe Catch of the Day, the iconic other platforms that are out there, other marketplaces.
If you don’t have a good plan in place, you’ll end up losing your mind about how each of the products are performing on each of the platforms and you’ll find that sales just really start to drop. So how do you go about managing hundreds of products then across multiple marketplaces?
Like I mentioned, so the first thing is have a good plan. Are you going to go out there and list every product on every marketplace, which is fine if you want to do that. Are you just going to do certain products on certain marketplaces. Maybe some marketplaces are better off more for getting rid of the older stuff. Maybe some of the platforms are better for your brand new stuff and not have any older stuff on there. So just have a think about each of the marketplaces and how you’re going to use them and have that plan in place.
Next step is break it down. So you start chunking down groups of products. You can do this by a season, you can do a by maybe type of product. It’s just easier to handle in groups. And you can actually review each group in a smaller lot and then you’ll get a better feel for what’s going right and what needs to be updated for each of those product groups.
Next thing, really important, and I think I’ve been hammering this home in the last few podcast episodes. It’s something that I see a lot of brand owners get wrong is to make sure that you understand the rules for playing on each of these marketplaces. So be sure to understand how the product listings need to look. Do you need unit content on each of your product listings compared to what’s on your own website, for instance.
Using unique descriptions. It’s not going to be profitable to create unique descriptions for each of the marketplaces. Are there platforms that are going to be okay with not having unique description versus others? Just understanding those requirements will help you in putting that plan together and what sort of effort you need to do for each of the product listings.
Next thing is being meticulous with detail. This is extremely important when it comes to managing across multiple marketplaces. The number one bit of information you need for good product management is a good sku. So sku is an identifier for each of the unique variations that you have. And it’s very important to have such a unique identifier. Sometimes you’ll want to use the bar code, for instance, and that’s okay. You can use the barcode.
There’s a couple of reasons why you might want to consider using a really good sku. The first thing is most systems are designed to use the sku, they’re not designed to use a barcode for when, doing things like creating orders. When that order information comes down, they’ll use the sku instead of the barcode. Like I said, there’s no reason why you can’t use the barcode as the sku.
But on the second thing is, the sku is what I’ll print out or what will be shown on your packing list. So it’s good to be able to identify products quickly. The skus are … generally you can put in whatever you like in there. So it’s good to come up with a good sku that helps identify the products. So it has information in it like the season, the color, the size, the brand, the … I don’t know, style code, for instance. If you get all that stuff into the sku, that makes the sku … If you’re walking around or you’re asking somebody some information that identifies the product really quickly, if you get a good sku in place. So it’s really good to make sure that you have a really good sku identifier across all of your products.
A lot of platforms are going to require that you have unique content, so unique descriptions, so they don’t want you just copy and pasting what you have on your website into theirs. Some platforms don’t mind it. If you think about the major impact there, that would be search engine ranking. Do you want to fight with some of these bigger marketplaces for that first place? Probably not.
And what you can do is if somebody is looking at your brand name and the item, you’ll end up with four or five different listings if you’re selling it in four or five different places, if they have unique content for the description on each of those five different places. So that’s five different places they can go to find your product and buy your product. Now you’ll get different margins, obviously, with different places that they’re going to buy it, but you’re more likely, you’ll earn a purchase as opposed to them finding somebody else’s or finding an ad that somebody else put up there. So uniqueness is important. Make sure that you have a nice unique product description.
And review your product’s performance. So make sure you’re meeting things like KPIs. I did a cool episode, it was episode number 14, I think it is. It’s called killer KPIs. Just go and have a listen to that and you’ll see how reviewing the product performance will help you get more sales because the more that you’re selling a product, the more chances that those products are going to be included in things like promotions.
And lastly, be sure to be using a central product tracker. Now you don’t need to be tracking all the information, you don’t need to make this hugely complex, but have a good understanding about where you’ve got each of the products listed and the basic information that’s in there.
We’ve put together a simple spreadsheet that you can download. It’ll track things like the product name, season, the sku, and also you can put in what channels that you’re publishing those products on, so that you can track where you’ve got each of the listings and maybe you can put in some information about what that listing is about. Are you trying to clear it? You can do something simple just by maybe putting the price that you’ve listed on there will let you know that you’re trying to clear those products on that particular channel.
So you can use that as a really good starting place to start to manage your products. You don’t necessarily got to go back and bring in all your previous products. It’d be a good idea for you to do that over time, but as a good starting point, just start with your next season or your next set of products that you’re going to release.
So that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you’ve learned a bit about how to manage hundreds of product listings across multiple marketplaces. Be sure to download the product tracker. It’s just below. Just click the button and we’ll send you a copy to your inbox.
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Looking forward to the next episode. See you then.