With thousands, if not, millions, of online stores available for consumers to choose from, what can you possibly do to sell more?
Aside from offering your products and services solely on your e-commerce website, leveraging online marketplaces is another effective way to increase your chances of being found by a wider range of online shoppers – thus, giving you more sales opportunities.
What an online marketplace is
An online marketplace is a website that facilitates the sale of different products and services from multiple third parties, whereas the transactions are processed by the operator of the marketplace. They are like digital versions of usual department stores that sell almost everything to everybody.
Because it’s more convenient for online shoppers to buy from a single website that offers product ranges that are more diverse than one store can offer, online marketplaces appeal to them. With marketplaces, consumers can shop for almost anything without having to visit different websites.
Listing your products and services on online marketplaces has its pros and cons. It can increase awareness for your brand and sales, yes. However, with every sold item, a percentage of your profit or sales goes to the marketplace operator. But, the sheer sales volume makes it all worth it.
The top 5 online marketplaces
After determining what online marketplaces are and the advantages it can bring your business’s sales potential, how do you choose the best marketplaces to list your products and services? To help you make your choices, here are the top online marketplace platforms you can choose from:
Amazon, which was originally an online bookstore, has grown to be a multi-billion corporation that sells all types of products, including electronics, appliances, art pieces, toys, food items, and much more. At present, it is considered as the largest online marketplace in the USA. It already has 11 global marketplaces that operate in Europe, North America, and Asia.
- Large and rich product selection
- Seamless e-shopping experience
- Nearly 184 M visitors per month
- Increased views for your products
- The need for competitive pricing
- Monthly, referral, and other fees
- 15% commission for most categories
- Limited control and customer insight
Next to Amazon, eBay is another one of the largest online marketplaces in the USA. However, unlike other online marketplaces, you can sell your items on eBay either at a fixed price or in an auction format. It doesn’t only focus on the shopping experience too. It also provides online sellers with tools and features to make it easier for them to feature their brand.
- Entirely built for sellers
- Over 164 M active buyers
- Better control of customer details
- Varied payment and shipping options
- Fees can be a bit complicated
- The need to figure out shipping and fulfillment solutions
- Risk of scams and fraud
It is no doubt that Facebook is the most popular social platform today. With almost 2 billion active users every month, brands can take advantage of the exposure to billions of potential customers as well. With the Facebook Marketplace, anyone can easily set up an online store and tag their products to specific locations of their target customers, free of charge.
- Over 1.94 B active users per month
- Convenience in listing products
- No listing and transaction fees
- Little/no protection for buyers
- Lack of rating system for both buyers and sellers
Etsy is a peer-to-peer global online marketplace that focuses on handmade and vintage items, and unique factory-manufactured items. Founded in 2005, it’s one of the most popular online marketplaces. To date, it has 1.8 million active sellers, 30.6 million active buyers, 45 million items for sale, and annual gross merchandise sales of $2.84 billion in 2016.
- Low listing and sales fees
- No binding monthly payments
- Perfect for arts and crafts items
- Smaller market and niche
- Suggests competitors’ shops
- Limited branding opportunities
Since their launch in 2007, Bonanza has always been a seller-centric platform that offers sales opportunities to entrepreneurs. It is known as an online marketplace for clothes, accessories, home and garden items and supplies, collectibles, art pieces, and a lot more. In 2016, it was awarded as the “Most Recommended Marketplace” by eCommerceBytes.
- Free listings and lower fees
- Marketing campaign tools
- Exposure to Google and Bing
- Easy-to-use import features
- Difficulty in selling duplicate items
- High bounce rate (49%)
- Smaller market as compared to Amazon and eBay
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the perfect online marketplace. In the end, you still need to determine and choose which online marketplace is best fit for your brand, products, and services. Give your business a chance to sell more!