In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Gapstow Design is featured as one of the Top E-Commerce Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.
With over 4 billion active users on the internet, it’s easy to see why experts say e-commerce is a big deal and should be part of any company’s sales strategy. Once you make the decision to move forward with the decision to sell online, you’ll notice that there are a lot of different online marketplaces that you can list your products on.
Then comes the hard part. My suggestion as an e-commerce consultant is always to focus on a couple of online marketplaces that will be most beneficial to your brand and reach the people within your targeted demographic. How do you know which is best? We’ve created a list of some of the most popular choices, and provided a little bit of information on each that might make your decision easier.
I think at this point it’s safe to say that Amazon is “THE” online marketplace on which online retailers can sell their products online. Founded in 1994, Amazon now boasts over 300 Million active monthly users and over 8 Million daily users! Last year, Amazon spent something like $3.4 Billion on advertising. The marketplace features millions of products encompassing categories like decor, fashion, kitchen, appliances, pet care, and everything else that you can think of. So, whether you’re a brand new company looking to launch a new product and hoping to sell it online, or an existing business who is looking to expand your e-commerce footprint – Amazon NEEDS to be on your list.
The benefits of selling on Amazon:
- 75% of shoppers shop on Amazon “Most of the time“
- International Reach – Easily expand to other countries
- Low marketing cost – Amazon wants shoppers to buy through their online marketplace. They advertise for you!
- Sponsored ads put your products in front of your ideal customer
How to be successful on Amazon:
- Optimizing your Amazon listings is important
- Maintain positive ranks and get lots of positive reviews
- Customer service is KEY. Amazon expects their sellers to be 100% Customer-focused and even requires a 24 hour response window from all of it’s online sellers.
- Strategically using Amazon PPC advertising can help a lot when used correctly
- NEVER underestimate the power of Amazon FBA – if this model works for your product/company – utilize it.
Founded in June 2005, in Brooklyn, New York – Etsy has marked its presence in probably every country around the globe. What sets the marketplace different from the others is that attracts the artists, craftsmen who generally deal in homemade jewelry, crafts, housewares and more.
The Benefits of selling on Etsy:
- The customer base is targeted
- You can create custom orders
- The marketplace facilitates wholesale business
- Fee structure is more conducive to small startups and home-based creatives
How to be successful on Etsy:
- Be Unique – offer products, designs, and options that your competitors don’t/can’t
- Make a personal connection with your buyers
- High-quality images of your crafts. can make a huge difference!
Like Amazon, E-Bay is another of the pioneers in online shopping. This online marketplace boasts about 160+ million active monthly shoppers. E-bay allows online retailers to sell both new and used products. (Amazon also does this, but most shoppers associate amazon with new products and E-Bay with used products)
Benefits of selling on E-Bay:
- Generally shoppers who prefer E-bay, tend to avoid Amazon – coupled with selling your products on amazon, this expands your brand’s reach
- E-Bay utilizes Google Shopping fantastically on behalf of it’s sellers
How to be successful on E-Bay:
- Know your products well – be specific and honest about the condition of your products
- Make sure to use SEO-friendly phrases on the product pages
- Keep customers happy and reviews positive
Jet online marketplace is one of the “youngest” in the industry (established as a marketplace in 2015). However, they’ve quickly grown to be the 4th largest online marketplace internationally. Jet offers the ability to sell almost anything, makes the process super-easy, and integrates with most major e-commerce shopping platforms (like Shopify and BigCommerce).
The benefits of selling on Jet:
- 4th Largest Online marketplace on the internet
- Less competition than on Amazon and E-Bay
- Owned by Walmart
How to be successful at Jet:
- Listing SEO is SUPER Important. Optimize your listings to make sure the right people find them
- Customer service and product rating/reviews are king here
You may have already heard of a little company called Walmart. They had a big year last year, posting revenue of just over $5.3 Billion (about 3 times more than Amazon). Although thriving in the brick-and-mortar retail space, Walmart opened up their online marketplace to allow online-only sellers to join and utilize their e-commerce power. Items appear in search results on Walmart.com alongside other items – putting your products in front of the massive market that Walmart has command over.
The benefits of selling on Walmart.com:
- A solid base of over 300,000,000 visitors every month
- Excellent customer Service
- Built in credibility
- Easy to use once you’re through the setup process (we’d recommend hiring a consultant to help w/ Setup)
How to be successful at Walmart:
- Walmart requires specific revenue statistics of all it’s sellers- Don’t lie, they know!
- Your product data should be accurate – again, they know!
- Focus on building a good and clean track record, and most importantly (on all marketplaces)
- Keep the prices reasonable – that’s how Walmart got to be so successful
Newegg was the second largest online retail store. Eventually it turned into a marketplace. With more than 10.5 million products and an award-winning website, Newegg is focused on providing tech-savvy gadgets for the shoppers. While Newegg does sell other product categories, if the product that you hope to sell is technical in any way, you’ll do well to make sure your products are available on Newegg.
The benefits of selling on Newegg:
- Access to the US Tech-Friendly market – Geeks and Nerds alike LOVE Newegg
How to be successful on Newegg:
- Take advantage of the Newegg seller programs to increase your audience size.
- Utilize the built in advertising options offered
Bonanza is an alternative marketplace, sellers create online booths for their items, which are listed at fixed rates. With no cost for listing your products on the marketplace, the sellers have to pay 3.5% closing fee on sales under $500. While most of our clients don’t see a whole lot of additional revenue, the added search engine optimization and brand awareness that comes with listing your products on marketplaces like Bonanza.
The benefits of selling on Bonanza:
- Free listing of the products
- Automatic Amazon / e-Bay / Etsy / Shopify / CSV import or sync
- Free SEO for your products – that will direct potential customers to your site.
How to be successful at Bonanza?
- Abide by their rules
- Optimize your listings with Search engine optimization
Established in 1999, Alibaba has carved out a massive niche in the online marketplace industry – catering largely to manufacturers looking to sell their products to companies all over the world. While we suggest this online marketplace to our clients who are manufacturers and are able to mass-produce product, many of our clients who use Alibaba in their everyday business practices are actually customers. Many businesses worldwide use Alibaba to facilitate arbitrage businesses (buying products and selling them for a profit).
The benefits of selling on Alibaba:
- Largest worldwide market
- High-dollar, high quantity wholesale orders
- Sell low priced item as well as high dollar items easily
How to be successful at Alibaba?
- Low prices are the key to success at Alibaba. (wholesale pricing)
- Competitor research is ridiculously important to make sure you’re competitive
Choose the Right Marketplace for Your Business
There’s the list! It’s important to know that this is not a complete list of online marketplaces. These are, however, a great place to start your e-commerce journey. Settle into one or two at a time. Once you’ve established yourself on those, then possibly discuss moving onto other platforms. As you move forward there are plenty of online resources to help you.
There are e-commerce agencies who help companies to list their products online as well. Whether you choose to do it yourself, or hire an e-commerce agency to help, you’ll be on your way to growing your business in no time when you list your products for sale on the online marketplaces that we’ve discussed in this article.