As an online marketer, finding the best e-commerce marketplace to list and sell your product should be at the top of your e-commerce strategy. This is because each marketplace offers different opportunities and charges different fees. This makes it a little bit difficult to know what works for you and your budget.
To make the job of choosing the right e-commerce marketplace platform easier, we have compiled a list of the best marketplaces available out there with each platform having its unique features. This guide is to help you streamline the best e-commerce marketplace platform that will fit your needs, budget and overall e-commerce goals.
What is an E-commerce Online Marketplace?
An online marketplace is an eCommerce site where buyers and sellers buy and sell products respectively on a single platform digitally without direct contact. This is like an online version of a shopping mall where customers can go to compare products, vendors and brands all in one location and make their purchase.
These platforms often act as an intermediary between the buyers and the sellers, with each platform displaying different fees or commissions according to the seller. Although there is a marketplace that doesn't charge commissions like the Facebook marketplace, however, they are very few and highly competitive.
Online shoppers or consumers go to this website to access the catalogues of various brands and search by product type, price, and other numerous keywords. Their greatest strength is the fact that users can discover and compare endless new products, checkout, and receive items from multiple brands, all within one platform.
Why You Should Sell On An E-commerce Marketplace?
The use of online marketplaces has been on the increase in the last few years and is projected to continue to rise. As of 2020, e-commerce marketplaces accounted for 62% of global online sales and sold $2.67 trillion in products. According to Statista, revenue in the eCommerce market is projected to reach US$907.80bn in 2022. Furthermore, in the eCommerce market, the number of users is expected to amount to 273.7m users by 2025. In 2020, there were over 256 million US digital buyers, and this number is expected to increase to 291.2 million by 2025.
Flowing from the above statistics, it can be deduced that listing and selling your product on an online marketplace has its perks.
1. Access to a Large Customer Base
Amazon is undoubtedly the largest e-commerce marketplace in the United States. As of June 2021, Amazon was the most visited e-commerce site in the United States, recording approximately 2.45 billion monthly visits to Amazon.com. At the same time, the Facebook marketplace has more than 800 million users. eBay has 182 million users worldwide. And Walmart has 11,501 stores all over the globe. As a small business owner, your customer base is very limited and the number of people you can market to might not be much because of budget constraints and some other factors. However, with an e-commerce marketplace, you automatically have access to all of its customers on a global scale with little to no promotional effort on your part. Most online marketplaces like Alibaba and Amazon are already trusted by hundreds of millions of shoppers who check those marketplaces first when they need to buy something. This is a quick and easy way to make sure you extend your general reach to the maximum number of people possible.
2. Helps Build Trust
Trust is one of the most important aspects of any online business or any business. Most people are always sceptical about making a purchase from an unfamiliar e-commerce site because of fraudulent activities. But they will have more trust in familiar e-commerce marketplaces like Alibaba or Amazon due to the credibility they have built over the years.
So when you list your product with a well-known e-commerce site, you automatically share in the trust level they’ve established, even if you haven’t had time to build that trust for yourself. The online marketplace can help your business develop the integrity and credibility that could take years to build otherwise.
3. Leverage their Advertising
Most e-commerce marketplaces don't have products to sell. They rely on other brands using their website to sell their products. This is good news for e-commerce businesses with a limited budget and advertising resources. The marketplace takes care of issues like advertising. So when a marketplace like Amazon or Etsy runs ads on Google and Facebook using their advanced and large resources, your product gets to feature on search engine results. Marketplace like Walmart runs Facebook ad campaigns to drive traffic toward its website. These ads also promote third party products and Walmart bears the cost.
4 Helps Create Brand Awareness
Listing your product on a popular marketplace like Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba help you gain brand awareness and visibility. Shoppers will begin to visit your site directly once they’ve gotten to know you with a top e-commerce site. And they are more likely to recommend you to others as well. You can start marketing to them directly and directing them to your store. This way, your e-commerce business begins to grow and before you know it, you already have a large customer base. As a new e-commerce business, the visibility you get from an online marketplace can be to your advantage.
5 A Quick E-commerce Set-up
Most e-commerce business starts up their business with an e-commerce website like WordPress, WooCommerce and Magento. Not only that, but you also have to leverage some expertise which can be human or artificial intelligence or both. Setting up this will require some amount of capital which you might not have at the moment. But with an e-commerce online marketplace, you don't need to have an e-commerce website and the technicality that comes with it. The online marketplace will take care of that for you. However, you still need some minimal costs per month to use most e-commerce marketplaces, which include a monthly subscription, listing fees, seller fees, and other transaction fees. But these costs are nothing compared to the amount you will need to spend on designing a website and marketing.
Top 6 E-commerce Marketplace to consider in 2022
Amazon is the largest e-commerce marketplace in the United States. According to Statista, Amazon was the most visited e-commerce website in the United States in the year 2021, recording approximately 2.45 billion monthly visits to Amazon. The site also boasts over 200 million Prime members. These customers spend an average of $1,400 a year on Amazon, making it a very lucrative place to sell your products. Amazon has strict product listing guidelines making your products automatically earn the same level of prestige as Amazon products, which drives up sales.
One advantage of listing your product on amazon is the fulfilment by Amazon feature policy. This plan helps users to manage their inventory including packing and shipping and even helps handle returns. There is also an affiliate program where you can work with influencers
Consider selling niche products to reduce competition. You can leverage Amazon Advertising for better product visibility. For effective marketing on amazon, take time to identify top-selling items on the platform. Also, consider offering your products on international Amazon markets. Furthermore, you can enrol in the Amazon Brand Registry to protect your brand and create a better and trusted customer experience
Visit Amazon marketplace for more on their pricing plans. However, they charge an individual selling plan of $0.99 per sale, as well as selling fees based on each category. Then a professional plan of $39.99 a month.
Statistics show that there are 187 million eBay users worldwide with more than 885 million visits per month. There are 190 eBay markets around the world, opening up a wide range of opportunities for marketplace sellers. eBay is great for those businesses that are just starting out because it is designed to help you run your business effectively. Furthermore, the platform gives you insight into product trends to see which of your products are bestsellers, how long it takes you to pick and ship products, and much more.
eBay allows each marketer to list 30 items for free per month. You can choose whether you want a conventional fixed-price listing for selling your products, or a more exciting auction-style listing, instead.
When selling on eBay, make sure you use product photos that are of high quality and advertise your offers with eBay Promoted Listings to reduce competition. You can also optimize your product listing using titles and product descriptions for better visibility on eBay.
To get started on eBay you will have to;
- Register for a business account.
- Add your store policies like payment policies, return policies and shopping policies
- Upload your inventory.
Etsy is another e-commerce marketplace to consider if you’re looking for an already established large audience. It is built for online shoppers looking for unique products making it a place for businesses dealing with handmade, vintage or hard to find products. The platform has over 5.2 million online sellers that serve 81.9 million buyers.
Sellers on this platform work independently of Etsy itself. This means you can personalize their online store and make it reflect your brand.
To sell on Etsy you have to;
- Head to Etsy.com and click on the “Open your Etsy shop” button
- Build up your storefront by creating your brand name, entering your language, your most preferred currency, country and other important details.
- Then you have to choose a shipping method. Note that Etsy doesn't offer a fulfilment service
- This is followed by your bank details
- Add a profile photo, banner, and shop policy.
There is a free monthly subscription and a Plus subscription which costs $10 per month. In addition, there is a $0.20 insertion fee.
When selling on Etsy, you can set up ads with tools like promoted listings and Google Shopping to get as much exposure for your products as possible. You can even create special offers and email them to your subscribers.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the world with over 11,000 brick-and-mortar stores worldwide. It is an online marketplace that allows brands to sell products to Walmart’s established customer base. Sellers are thoroughly screened before they are chosen to sell, making this a highly professional marketplace for high-quality goods.
The platform offers some e-commerce solutions for sellers, including expedited shipping and Walmart Fulfillment Services. If you want to sell on Walmart, you will have to fill out a detailed application and an onboarding process before they are allowed to market on the platform. But if you are accepted, you will have access to over 110 million Walmart shoppers who shop online every month.
Walmart does not charge a subscription fee, insertion fee, or selling fee. But there are some additional fees that are charged if you use the Walmart By Fulfillment program.
5. Facebook Marketplace
According to Statista, the Facebook marketplace registered more than one billion monthly global users in the first quarter of 2021. The Facebook Marketplace is used in 50 countries of the world to buy or sell products. Facebook has over 2.9 billion global monthly active users. Furthermore, Facebook Marketplace has grown since 2016 and is now used by over 800 million people in 70 different countries every month. These statistics show that Facebook Marketplace presents an enormous market opportunity for businesses.
To get started with the Facebook marketplace you will have to;
- Log into your personal or business Facebook account or create a new one via desktop or mobile app.
- Select Marketplace on the left-hand side of the screen on the desktop.
- On the left-hand side of your desktop screen, click on the blue “+create new listing” button.
- Fill out the details of your listing (add product photos, product description and titles, location pricing etc.
- Hit publish
When selling on the Facebook marketplace, you can make use of Facebook ads and Facebook advanced ad technology to market your product. You can also use Facebook's retargeting ads strategy to further market your product.
Listing and selling products on the Facebook marketplace is free.
Alibaba is a Chinese multinational company which specializes in e-commerce, retail, internet and technology. It’s one of the world’s largest retailers and e-commerce companies. The platform is a B2B (business-to-business) global e-commerce marketplace for sellers that are looking to source products from China. Alibaba has a global focus and has an active consumer of 882 million in 2021. The website is in English for English-speaking countries and over one-third of customers are from the US. Since 2019, US users are also able to sell through Alibaba to new buyers from China and other countries. In addition to the Alibaba B2B marketplace, Alibaba Group owns some of the world’s leading e-commerce marketplaces including AliExpress (B2C), Taobao (C2C) and Tmall (B2C).
Marketing your product on an online marketplace can be very lucrative for your online business. This will not only help you sell your product, but it will help your brand gain the right recognition for you to kick start and start marketing your product to your audience on your own e-commerce store.
The great part is that this business model is very easy to set up. You can set it up quickly and tap into an already built-in audience immediately and take advantage of established programs that make it easy to market, sell and fulfil within each platform.
To effectively choose the best marketplace to list and sell your product, you have to decide which marketplaces will be the best fit for your brand. This will be based on your e-commerce objectives, marketplace fees, various features and how they fit your business goals. This guide will help you choose the best online marketplace for your e-commerce business.