Online shopping is a booming business. Data from 2014 shows that every 30 seconds, over $1.2 million was spent globally, a number that has surely increased since then. Being the second largest online retail website in the world, only behind Alibaba, Amazon is a major player in this market.
Despite this, selling on Amazon (and a few other sites) is not always fun and games for merchants, mostly because quite often they are not given the chance to build customer loyalty – and these customers rarely know which seller their products come from. In addition, there is a shady (to say the least) habit that Amazon is known to have when a merchant is especially successful: building and selling a similar product for a lower price, thus undercutting the merchant.
But not all online marketplaces are equal, and some actually want to give the power back to merchants, so that they can control the metrics of their own customers. Bonanza wants to empower entrepreneurs for them to build their dream businesses, and has recently developed and introduced a new feature that puts customer data directly into the merchants' hands: the Customer Marketing Tool.
This new tool provides sellers with detailed information about past buyers that can be used in future campaigns, in order to increase important metrics such as customer loyalty, which are valuable to boost sales. The Customer Marketing Tool gives merchants access to different customer info, such as usernames, purchasing history, and messaging history.
The tool can also be used to create custom lists based on multiple parameters – like when a customer made a purchase, how much they spent, and what categories they made purchases from, among many others, which can then be used to craft email marketing campaigns. On their side, customers have the possibility to, at any time, remove themselves from sellers' lists.
Bill Harding, CEO of Bonanza, commented on what makes this platform different from other online marketplaces, as well as the merits of this new tool:
“The gist is that we do not agree with the marketplace orthodoxy of camouflaging the existence of the seller. Amazon is especially bad about this. If the seller is invisible to their buyer, then the seller will be forever dependent on Amazon's buy box to make their sales. We want to help create sustainable, repeating customers for a business. The Customer Marketing Tool is going to give sellers the best possible means to make that happen.
What makes Bonanza's catalog different than Amazon's is how items get placed. For Amazon, sellers often have to fill out a long form to get their item into the right place in the catalog. For Bonanza, we use a type of machine learning to recognize keywords in an item's description such that we can infer where the item fits into the product catalog without a seller doing extra busywork.”