A marketplace is a platform for businesses to extend their offerings to a new level. With advancements in technology, online marketplaces have seen a resurgence. It grew in popularity and offered convenience to both shoppers and businesses. This model offers convenience, sales growth, and provides a next-level customer experience.
Table of contents
- What is an Online Marketplace?
- Types of Online Marketplace
- Benefits of Using Online Marketplaces
- Best Online Marketplaces
- Tips for Selling on an Ecommerce Marketplace
- Online Marketplaces as Additional Channel For Selling?
What is an Online Marketplace?
Online marketplace is an e-commerce platform that connects buyers and sellers within one platform. The operator of the online marketplace does not own the inventory. Instead, it offers third-parties a platform to sell, buy, and exchange their products and services.
In the last few years, we have seen a tremendous rise in the popularity of online marketplaces. As it offers convenience and more outreach, businesses are turning digital away from brick-and-mortar. Some of the best examples of understanding online marketplaces include Amazon and eBay. These e-commerce marketplaces offer millions of products from different vendors from all over the world.
Types of Online Marketplace
Online marketplaces are divided into three main models. These include vertical, horizontal, and global online marketplaces. Let’s understand each model defined below.
Vertical Online Marketplace
You might have shopped on a shopping platform for one particular product offered by different brands. In a vertical online marketplace, different vendors sell many products under one category. It means this type of marketplace focuses on individual niches. That specific category could be clothing, jewelry, shoes, and others.
Horizontal Online Marketplace
It’s a combination of vertical and global digital marketplaces. For example, it offers a wide range of products from different categories. But all the products are linked by another common factor. Etsy is one of the best examples of horizontal online marketplaces.
Global Online Marketplace
As the name implies, the global online marketplace offers an unlimited range of products. It is the most complex and popular type of marketplace. Products are not restricted to category or product type. They operate on a large scale, and retailers from different parts of the world sell different products on one platform. Amazon, Alibaba are two of the best examples of this marketplace.
Benefits of Using Online Marketplaces
With the rise in popularity of e-commerce marketplaces, these platforms offer benefits for both buyers and sellers.
Digital ecommerce marketplaces have become a sigh of relief for buyers. Shoppers can shop and choose from a huge variety of products on a single platform. With the ease of sitting on a couch, these marketplaces enable customers to shop from any part of the world. So much so, they also get amazing discounts, deals, and even cheap logistics offers.
Moreover, with the help of buyer’s protection online, it ensures that they get what they paid for.
Sellers or businesses collect a huge amount of revenue from selling on online marketplaces. This includes attracting a large number of customers with no boundary restrictions. They can attract customers with the help of SEO rather than spending much on traditional marketing. Though they do have to pay a commission to the platform for every purchase, that’s more than offset by increased sales.
Also, it is much easier to set up your business online rather than brick-and-mortar. All you need to do is verify your business, apply, create your store, and list your products. You are good to go!
Best Online Marketplaces
Following are the best online marketplaces for buying and selling products. The overview is as follows:
Let’s delve deeper into the popularity of these online platforms!
With more than 220 million users globally, Amazon is the largest online marketplace. It is a popular selling site for every category and product type. As per the company’s official website, Amazon sells more than 4,000 units in a single minute, which makes it a giant e-commerce platform.
The fact that Amazon fulfilled shipments is an appealing feature for most retailers.You are not bound to pack and ship every single product you sell, and the same goes for inventory management. Moreover, Amazon also takes on the responsibility of returns, which makes it stand out from other platforms.
eBay stands on second spot as the top online marketplace in the world. It has a vast global reach and market share. It operates in more than 190 countries and serves over 180 million worldwide shoppers.
Started in 1995, it first started its businesses by selling used goods. This platform offers selling opportunities for sellers who want to sell or auction their products. One of the key benefits of eBay is its ‘Sellers’ Hub’. It helps you run promotional ads, print labels for shipping, and more.
Etsy offers a bundle of creativity. Etsy’s online marketplace is a hub for creative sellers. Using this platform, buyers can find special yet creative items. This marketplace is particularly designed to offer handmade and unusual items. Best suited for sellers who are creative, artists, collectors, and those who deal in vintage items.
The basic purpose of this online marketplace is to empower sellers to sell what they love. All you need are good, high-quality pictures of your product that perform best on Etsy. High visuals attract more buyers.
AliExpress is also one of the top online marketplaces in Asia. This platform was created in 2010 and has become one of the top B2C platforms. This platform is operated in more than 230 countries, which makes it among the top online marketplaces in the world. It allows businesses to reach new customers and sell their products. Using categories and product types, sellers can easily enlist their products. Choose shipping and payment methods, as well as pricing and listing your product.
Japan-based Rakuten is the third-largest eCommerce marketplace in the world. It offers business owners opportunities to sell their products globally. Without regional restrictions, you can choose from different categories on Rakuten. From home appliances to hardware and accessories, you can sell everything here. It offers friendly shipping and payment options and lists products on the platform.
Sellers can access tools such as analytics, shipping calculators, research tools, and more. Using If you want to grow your customer base and increase sales, Rakuten is a great platform.
Flipkart is an Indian-based e-commerce marketplace. In 2018, it was acquired by Walmart. The company was launched by Amazon’s employees. This marketplace introduced products like laptop bags and tablets. Later, it expanded its product range and categories, adding things like travel kits, furniture, groceries, and beauty.
Tips for Selling on an Ecommerce Marketplace
Choose the right marketplace
The first and foremost step to successfully selling your product on an e-commerce marketplace is to choose the right platform. Find the perfect fit for your product. Every platform has its own rules, regulations, and services.
Some marketplaces might be free to list on. Others might charge a fee or take a commission on every sale. However, you need to evaluate the costs and benefits of accessing a specific marketplace’s customers.
Use Top Marketing and Advertising Techniques
Like all businesses, ecommerce marketplaces offer different advertising techniques. Advertising is necessary to keep your products visible and reach maximum eyeballs. Each marketplace has its own rules for advertising.
Optimize Your Listings
Once you have a marketplace to sell your products, it’s helpful to think of product listings like your own website. Showcase your brand and introduce products in a way that is most appropriate for each marketplace. If you’re selling on multiple marketplaces, consider a management platform that allows you to manage everything from one location.
Use SEO and experiment with new ways to write content. You can write optimized content. It means choosing the right keywords and adding them to the title and description of your listing. Every marketplace has different ranking policies. You must choose the one that works best for your store.
List Top-Performing Products
Online marketplace algorithms feature top-performing products on top of search pages. If you want your store to stand out and attract more sales, display top performing products on your main page. Along with that, you need to add testimonials and reviews that you have received from customers. It develops trust among customers and increases credibility.
Online Marketplaces as Additional Channel For Selling?
If you want to boost your sales, consider selling on online marketplaces. You can choose the e-commerce marketplace according to your product type and category. You will find a myriad of online marketplaces to list your product, depending on the demographics you want to target. To identify the suitable marketplace for your business, consider its fees, requirements, and categories it offers. If you want to reach a wider audience, you can choose big marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and others.
Featured Image: Seven Senders