Who would have thought that the year 2020 will start off on such a grim note? With the news going berserk on reporting Covid-19 Outbreak numbers and the businesses re-adjusting to the new normal, we are left with little to feel enthusiastic about life-after-covid19.
The upside is that now is the time to get a grip on the skills and concepts you always wanted to learn to grow a business from home. So, we’ve put together this helpful guide to help you understand how to rely on the amazing online marketplaces available to out there. Read on!
Og Mandino, the author of the best selling book ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ wrote, ‘Always do your best. What you plant now, will harvest later’. Well, to put this in the context of online marketplaces, there has never been a better time to invest in them.
Consumers spent an estimated $3.46 trillion online in 2019, up from $2.93 trillion in 2018. Global eCommerce sales are only expected to grow at a faster pace, with internet penetration being at a modest 16.4% at the moment.
Anybody can guess that online marketplaces and online businesses in general, will see astounding growth in the coming years. Couple that knowledge with know-how about which products to sell in 2020, and you have a winning combination!
If you are a business owner, then you may want to seriously consider taking your business online (that is if you haven’t already). Even if you are an online business owner, you will do well to take advantage of online marketplaces (again, if you haven’t done that already).
Search your .store domain NOW!
What Is an Online Marketplace?
For you to be as profitable as you possibly can, you first need to understand what exactly an online marketplace is. By understanding what an online marketplace is, you’ll be better able to identify the best markets for you to start your brand.
Each of the available marketplaces in today’s industry has its unique audiences, fees, and competition. For you to be able to judge better if you’re making the right decision, understanding the different strategies for each unique marketplace will help to ensure that you’re able to get off on the right foot as your starting your journey.
An online marketplace is a website that allows people to sell different products to a large variety of buyers. Some of the most popular online marketplaces in the industry are:
- Google Express
However, all of the above-listed options are general online marketplaces. If you’re looking to enter into a niche-specific marketplace, there are thousands of different options for you to choose from.
Keep in mind that anytime to send your company’s specific goals before entering into an online marketplace. You also don’t have to enter into several market places at once. It’s a good idea to enter into one at a time to get a feel of the platform to decide whether your company has the ability to be successful on it or not.
Why Are Online Marketplaces Such A Good Idea?
Online’s share of total business is about 16.4% of which two-thirds come from eCommerce. Online marketplaces are taking the lead in this growth. Amazon has become a household name around the globe and Alibaba has the same status in China. Even others like Flipkart and Lazada need no introduction.
Online marketplaces are so well known because users love spending time on them. Amazon, unsurprisingly, is one of the leading search engines in the world. This means a large number of people directly search for products on Amazon, circumventing Google as a search platform.
In such a scenario, it only makes sense that your products are available in these marketplaces. Here are some quick reasons why:
- Ready user base
Online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Flipkart have been around for a long time. These companies were able to grow at a time when the digital revolution hadn’t taken place, and have built sizeable user bases.
Most new businesses can’t build the kind of reach and base that these online marketplaces already command. It is only logical that eCommerce businesses take advantage of the potential customers who buy or have the intent to buy from such platforms.
Reaching out to the same number of customers on your own would cost a bomb, and would most likely turn out to be a futile exercise.
Unless your business already boasts of well-known brands, selling on online marketplaces is a good idea. Since potential customers already have an affinity towards these online marketplaces, there will be a positive rub off on your brands as well.
- Ready to go
Your eCommerce website needs time and effort to be built, however, online marketplaces are ready in most respects. They make it super easy for you to sign up as a reseller, upload your product pictures and description, and also offer shipping services.
You can save a considerable amount of time while you build your eCommerce website.
How to Get Started Selling on Online Marketplaces
Are you ready to start learning how to get started selling on online marketplaces? There are tons of things that you can sell online, but understanding what products are the most profitable and don’t have much competition for you to compete against is where things get tricky.
1. Choose The Right Platform
Online marketplaces come in many shapes and sizes, and choosing one for your business may be difficult. What’s important is that you link the decision to your business needs.
You need to consider a few factors like:
- Market fit
- Reseller partnership fees
- Cost of publishing all your products
- Extensions and plugins
Of course, the first factor to consider is the market fit of the platform. Does it have a sizeable audience within the geographies you are planning to target?
It is also important to carefully consider fees, commissions, extensions and plugins, support and other costs before committing to an online marketplace.
Backtracking this decision may cost a lot of money which can be easily avoided if you spend some time doing the research.
2. Find Products to Sell
As you start getting to plan what products are going to start selling online, you can break down bear hunt by answering one question: are you interested in selling products that everyone needs or are you interested in selling niche products that only appeal to a specific group of people?
Selling products that are commodities will make it difficult for you to gain traction in it’s oversaturated markets, such as on Amazon and eBay. However, if you’re interested in selling niche products, your target audience may not be that large, and it may take you a little while to start getting attention from your target audience.
To better understand what products you should be selling, take a look at the tips below:
- Solve Problems
When you’re looking around to find a product to sell on an online marketplace, you should look for a product that solves common problems. This doesn’t mean that you have to create a brand new product to start selling, as a product that you find and sell can be an improved version of a current solution.
- Find Something You’re Passionate About
If you’re interested in selling products that help people solve their problems, the next avenue you can take is selling a product that you’re passionate about. For example, if you’re passionate about cooking and baking, you could try selling products that are related to the kitchen and bakeware niche!
- Create Products Around a Brand
If you’ve got a great idea for a brand image, start choosing products based on your brand image. By doing this, you should really make sure to have an understanding of who your target audience is.
Once you understand who your target audience is, you’ll be able to select unique products that appeal to your target audience!
3. Use High-Quality Product Pictures
Product pictures play a big role in a customer’s purchase decision. High-quality pictures double up as visual branding cues that eCommerce businesses can use for social media posts and other marketing purposes.
Generally, two types of images are required to sell products online.
- Product pictures
- Context or lifestyle pictures
Good product photography need not be expensive. So don’t fret if you are on a limited budget. There are numerous tips, tricks, and hacks to win at product photography on a budget.
4. Write SEO-Friendly Product Descriptions
Another factor that influences potential customers to buy products on online marketplaces is the product descriptions. If they are well-written and influence the customer positively, chances are that he/she will buy the product.
However, poorly written descriptions can have the exact opposite effect. Here are a few tips to ensure you ace product descriptions:
- Keep your target audience in mind: ask yourself, what is it that they would want to know about the product
- Keep the descriptions simple and avoid using jargons
- Use bulleted paragraphs to make descriptions easy to read
- Apply regular SEO rules to product descriptions as well
It’s advisable to include relevant keywords in your product descriptions so your product appears on search results on the marketplace as well as on Google or any other search engine.
The more effort that you put into developing your product content, you’ll help to encourage more buyers to click on your listings and see the potential of the products that you’re selling.
You can begin optimizing your product content by creating descriptions that sell your product, optimizing at your product titles with the right keywords, and finding ways to improve your images.
It’s also about finding out who your ideal buyer is and building your entire marketing strategy in brand around appealing to those people.
5. Invest In Product Marketing
There are many avenues to promote products on online marketplaces. The good news is that PPC marketing will help here. Similarly, you could also run digital marketing campaigns by relying on Instagram and Facebook to place your product in front of many more target customers.
Beyond digital advertising, you can continue to run social media campaigns and keep updating your website to create awareness about your products. Instagram marketing is a big hit among businesses that are selling online and you could explore that as a means to drive traction to your product.
Search your .store domain NOW!
With most big online marketplaces you can add a widget to a landing page on your eCommerce website. This will allow customers to directly land on your product page with a single click.
A smart way to do this is to get a custom branded, easy to remember domain name that redirects users to your website. Several eCommerce businesses use a .store domain to channel people to their online marketplace store from their website or vice versa.
6. Automate Your Pricing
You can set automated pricing on online marketplaces for your product/s. Since these platforms tend to be dynamic, the advantage is that you don’t have to manually evaluate and keep changing the pricing of your products.
Also, customers on these platforms are used to options and price hunting, hence it is important to offer a price that is a win-win for you and the customer.
7. Think About Shipping
As you’re getting started selling on online marketplaces, it means that you would have to find ways to diversify your shipping options. Depending on what products you’re selling and what marketplace you’re using, some companies will offer programs to help you with shipping. Amazon is famous for its Amazon FBA program, which allows companies to have their orders fulfilled and shipped out by Amazon.
However, if you aren’t selling on the Amazon platform, it’s best that you learn about the different shipping options and rates. You may end up using a combination of USPS, FedEx, and UPS to ship out your orders depending on their size and weight.
8. List On Multiple Online Marketplaces
Your chances of reaching more customers and selling products are higher when you list on multiple online marketplaces.
So, eventually, you need to prepare for this. There are platforms that allow you to list on multiple marketplaces by uploading your data only once.
You can depend on well known multi-channel listing software brands are Sellbrite, Geekseller, and ChannelAdvisor.
What Are the Benefits of Selling on Digital Marketplaces?
If you’re not sure about what the benefits are of selling on online marketplaces, there are many unique benefits that each channel has to offer. Let’s take at what benefits you can reap from getting started selling on an online marketplace:
1. Faster Times to Launching
If you’ve never said products online, getting started with an online Marketplace is a great way for you to begin building a brand and creating revenue for your business. All of the traffic that you generate on an online marketplace can encourage more traffic to be driven to an e-commerce website that you set up later.
All you have to do to get started on an online Marketplace is to upload the products that you’re selling and you’ll start generating sales!
2. Massive Customer Base
Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Walmart attract their own monthly visitors. If you’re looking to get your products in front of millions of monthly viewers without having to pay for advertising fees, getting started on an online Marketplace is a great way to do so.
3. Lower Cost
Online marketplace options offer reduced costs in comparison to running your own e-commerce site. Many of the popular online marketplace options offer options for people to start using their marketplace for free.
The only thing is that you have to worry about with the majority of all my marketplaces is paying a monthly fee or percentage of each sale that you make on The Marketplace.
If you were trying to start selling products from your business without an online marketplace, not only would you have to pay for some company to host a website, a domain, cost of inventory, but you’d also have to invest thousands of dollars upfront in marketing costs!
How You Can Build a Better Online Brand While Selling on Marketplaces
From countless sellers across marketplaces to pure-play eCommerce websites to social media stores, consumers today have thousands of options to shop online. The best way to cut through the competition is to have a distinct brand identity that helps you stand out. Right branding is more critical now than ever.
However, brand building is often ignored by marketplace sellers. Sellers may be under the incorrect impression that brand building and brand loyalty are tough to build on marketplaces. With scores of other sellers offering the same or similar products on marketplaces, sellers may be tempted to instead spend all their resources on vetted techniques such as product listing optimization.
1. A Smart Domain Name
When it comes to effective branding and building customer trust in your business, your domain name plays a critically important role. It is the first touchpoint for your customers to get an understanding of what awaits them when they land on the site.
A subdomain such as https://www.etsy.com/shop/desnoir is hard to remember and your customers will associate it more with the platform than with your store. However, with a simple, innovative domain name such as www.desnoir.store you can set up a redirect to your aforementioned Etsy store and yet brand it as your own online store.
2. Slick Site Design
A website that is easy to navigate about and one that also takes into consideration the user journey translates into a superior web experience that in turn makes for a brilliant brand experience. Design your business website to clearly highlight core information such as your contact details and ‘the about’ section. Smartly design your product pages to include customer reviews and informative product descriptions.
Having a robust, functional site and a brand not only allows you to scale your business up but it also protects your business if the marketplace that you’re selling through were to become obsolete. You’ll have a ready customer base that you can now direct to your site instead of your marketplace.
3. Clever SEO
Include smartly crafted content sprinkled with your target keywords. Create a blog page where you can add content frequently and target long-tail keywords. SEO is the ultimate hack for organic marketing and will help your site to rank higher on search engines. It is also a great way to establish authority in your niche.
Once your site starts ranking higher for relevant keywords, thereby bringing new customers, you’ll see more traffic to your marketplace products (assuming you’ve linked them from your site). For instance, customers who search for a keyword such as vinyl art may land on your site, if it is optimized for that keyword, and purchase from your site or from your marketplace store.
4. Social Media Activation
Consumers today look to social media not only to discover new products but also to vet their legitimacy. Create dedicated social media handles and post actively. Linking your social handles to your site gives added backlink traction and doubles up as social proof. Having a page for your site on these channels is a great way to engage and connect with your target audience.
How to use your domain name to get your brand more visibility?
1. On Social Media
Social media offers the perfect opportunity to hammer your branding through branded short links such as leatherbags.store/sale. Having links such as this in your Tweet or Facebook post is a great way of garnering more exposure.
2. Across Banners, Content, and Merchandise
Your marketing materials such as banners, hoardings, and bespoke merchandise can have a specific link that is easy to remember and encourage visits, a link such as jumpsuit.store/contact.
3. For Special Sales such as Black Friday
Mega sales such as Black Friday are great branding avenues. A domain name like electronics.store/blackfriday will not only be memorable but also very enticing.
4. Associate it to a Product Category
Use your domain name to associate it with a flagship product that you sell on your site. For instance, if you are a candy store, you can highlight your category through a domain name or a branded link such as candy.store/gummybears.
5. On Business Cards and Email Signature
Your business cards and email signatures are more than just a way to get in touch with you—they are branding opportunities too. For instance, if you’re sending client information about sneakers, your email signature can include the link to the whole category – janice.store/shoes.
The Importance of Understanding Online Marketplaces
By having a solid understanding of the different types of online marketplaces that are available in the e-commerce industry, you’ll be able to choose the best platform to begin building and developing at your brand.
We hope that after you’ve finished reading this comprehensive guide, you’ll feel much more confident selling products online and getting comfortable in menu online marketplaces.
Are you interested in learning more about how to begin developing a brand to sell on online marketplaces? We’re here to help you! Click here to learn more.