Online marketplaces are key for anyone who want to earn more this holiday season. Understanding how powerful selling channels like Amazon and eBay work should be a top priority for anyone who sells online.
Why is it so crucial for business owners to expand their online options for selling?
While total retail sales dropped by nearly 20% in the early months of the pandemic, eCommerce nearly doubled.
Retailers must make quick pivots and meet a growing demand to get products in front of consumers in new ways.
Let’s look at how to find the best avenue to sell online and why marketplace selling could be a big boost to your holiday sales.
What is an online marketplace?
An online marketplace is typically a large eCommerce site that allows people to sell their products. All transactions are usually handled securely on the platform, and some work with popular marketing tools.
Retailers and other sellers can use marketplaces to reach a much wider group of buyers across a larger geographic area than they could reach on their own.
Examples of online marketplaces
Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Wish, Google Shopping, Alibaba, and Walmart are all examples of online marketplaces where you can sell products.
Each offers a specific set of features and requires a fee to use their setup.
While it costs you a portion of your profits to use them, the bump in exposure could increase sales enough to make it worth the cost.
Why selling on an online marketplace is a good idea
If you sell things, you are probably always looking for the next best way to reach buyers and grow your business. An online marketplace can give you access to new customers, as well as a possible boost to sales.
Let’s look at the top reasons you might want to try marketplace selling:
- Increased sales
- More effective marketing with integrated tools offered by some marketplaces
- A broader, more established customer base
- Higher customer satisfaction levels
- To stay ahead of competitors
While it might take some time to start seeing the benefits, listing your products on a marketplace could lead to sustainable growth for your startup.
How to sell on a marketplace
Step one is to weigh your options and decide if you want to:
- List your products on online marketplaces OR
- Have their own online store
A third option is to do both — run your own online store AND sell on marketplaces.
Let’s walk through your options.
Should you sell through your own online store or a marketplace?
It’s important to review these points to see what seems like the best fit for your business.
Pros of selling through your own online store:
- You have complete control over how you run and promote your business.
- You can collect customer emails and follow up with buyers to make more sales.
- You don’t pay a commission on your sales. All profit are yours to keep.
Cons of selling from your own shop:
- Your budget could limit how many people see your products online.
- Getting your website to show up in search results can be time-consuming or expensive.
- Expanding beyond your local customer base can be challenging.
Pros of selling on an online marketplace
- Potential to get your products in front of a massive audience.
- Built-in promotions through marketplace ads you pay for.
- The option to increase sales with features such as shopping cart emails [Note that this feature is included with GoDaddy’s DIY store builder].
Cons of selling in an online marketplace
- Commission or listing fees will eat into your profits.
- No access to customer information like emails — so no chance to build a relationship.
- Could lose momentum if you ever switch or leave the marketplace.
- No control over decisions, as big marketplaces will have processes and rules in place for you to follow.
Why not have the best of both worlds?
A better strategy could be to both create your own online store while also leaning on the strengths of more established marketplaces.
This option increases exposure and sales while giving you some degree of control.
It might sound like a lot to manage, but there’s a way to do it effectively — with seamless marketplace integration.
GoDaddy’s Online Store offers huge benefits to retailers
Want a solution that allows you to have your own store and makes it easy to sell on other popular marketplaces?
GoDaddy's do-it-yourself store builder can help you reach Canadian consumers, while streamlining your management of multiple stores. It’s simple and easy to set up.
See how easy it was for one Canadian entrepreneur to build an online store herself with GoDaddy.
Thanks to GoDaddy’s marketplace feature, you can quickly list the products in your own store on popular marketplaces like:
- Google Shopping
- Facebook and Instagram too!
You benefit from these channels’ massive traffic and exposure while being able to interact directly with customers on your own online shop.
Another huge benefit is that your GoDaddy Online Store manages your inventory across all channels and syncs any sales across all connected marketplaces.
You never have to worry about running out of stock or trying to track inventory from multiple platforms by hand.
What are some of the features small sellers love about GoDaddy’s Online Store?
- Easy, secure payment options for customers.
- Seamless integration with the most popular marketplaces.
- List up to 5,000 products with multiple images.
- Easy wizard helps you choose and add keywords to help customers find you online.
- Has email and social media marketing tools built in.
- Offers flexible shipping options for you to choose from.
- Mobile responsive design means your shop looks and functions perfectly on any device — smartphone, tablet or desktop.
- PLUS you can even manage your store from your phone!
Scroll through our quick-start templates to see if there’s a look that suits you. Then just swap out the text and photos to make it yours.
Pro tips for the win
In many ways, marketing to boost sales through online marketplaces is similar to successful marketing anywhere else.
Be sure to use social media posts, emails, and content marketing to drive people to your marketplace listings.
Every post or email should send those who click BUY NOW to your products pages so they can buy right away.
Here are a few strategies to make sure your online marketplace selling is effective:
- Do research by checking out others selling similar products.
- Start by selling your most popular products first.
- Price according to each platform.
- Provide excellent customer service (e.g. returns, exchanges).
- Invite customer reviews — these encourage others to buy from you.
- Electrify your product listings with photos, detailed product descriptions, keywords, even videos.
- Offer promotions to help encourage customers to buy.
- Provide free shipping if possible to stand out from the competition.
Marketplace selling expands your visibility
Customers have come to expect the convenience of shopping online, which means marketplace selling is a good way to increase the number of people who see your products.
Extending your reach to larger markets can raise your business visibility, increase your sales, and bring new customers in the door. Embracing online sales is easy when you lean on streamlined integrations that do the heavy lifting for you.
The Christmas season brings in considerable revenue for retailers. Selling online is a vital step to capture your share this season and in years to come.