Do you know what a Marketplace really is? I am almost sure that you have already bought or at least heard of someone who has purchased a product or service on this type of Online platform. And it is not for less, since it is a new opportunity to give greater visibility on the internet to businesses and vendors from different sectors.
When we are starting with our store or eCommerce, it is usually difficult to break through so much competition that exists today in terms of Internet sales, to the point that, if this is your case, you may have even considered closing the business in more than one occasion.
Therefore, today I bring you a possible solution, so that you can boost your sales: it is about being part of a Marketplace, so that you can benefit from that visibility, trust and comfort that they bring to their customers. Stay with me and I will tell you how you can take advantage of this type of digital platforms.
What Is A Marketplace?
The term Marketplace could be translated as “Market”, that is, it is an e-commerce website in which different sellers participate offering their own products or services, while transactions are processed by the operator or owner of said market On-line.
On the other hand, I like to explain this definition comparing it with what a shopping center in the Off-Line world more or less does . In them you find shops of different owners, which allows you to offer a wide variety of products and services in one place, but the operational management is coordinated by the head of the shopping center.
What Are The Characteristics That Best Define A Marketplace?
These stand out mainly for having a large volume of products, to the point that it is possible to find practically any type of item. It is precisely this characteristic that makes a large part of the users come to them as the first option, since there are many possibilities of finding what they need.
There are many examples on the Internet, among them the most famous and used are Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Alibaba . Today it is very difficult to find someone who does not know at least one of these platforms, since they are true “giants” of online sales.
Another attractive feature of these platforms is that anyone can sell on them .
You do not need to be a company to be able to create a seller account on Amazon, eBay or AliExpress, or even register as a freelancer, it is simply a matter of creating your account and uploading the products you want to sell.
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How Does a Marketplace Work Exactly?
We used the comparison of Shopping Centers before, and these platforms work in a similar way, since they do the functions of an intermediary, that is:
A website that brings together stores and consumers to carry out their transactions.
Of course, although they are intermediaries, they usually intervene in transactions in the form of regulations and services for users, whose objective is to protect both sellers and buyers.
This is the reason why people consider it “safe” to buy from sites like Amazon, a practice that is as common in the West as going to your neighborhood store.
Of course, to be able to buy or sell on them, it is necessary for the user to register .
The registration process for buyers and sellers may vary by platform, although in general they have quite a few similarities between platforms.
Another point that must be clarified is that these platforms not only contain products, it is also possible to find online markets specialized in services and even in search of work.
Therefore, there are different types depending on the offer you find in them:
- 1. Those working as InfoJobs, CompuTrabajo or Trabajando.
- 2. Those of services such as Trivago or Airbnb.
- 3. Those of products such as Amazon, eBay or AliExpress, already mentioned above.
Why Might It Be Interesting To Join a Marketplace?
You already know what a Marketplace is, but why create an account in one? Well, there are many reasons to join one, whether you already have an online store or not.
Let’s start with a key point, platforms such as Amazon or eBay are widely used by users looking to sell online, but without having to create an online store from scratch.
These online markets make it easy for their users to have a place to start selling almost immediately , the comparison would be that they allow you to manage an already built store and which you only need to supply with products.
With this said, if you are thinking of starting an eCommerce, but you do not have much money to invest in a hosting, a domain and other requirements (although this would be ideal), you can easily go to one of these platforms and start selling your products. There, the investment will be much less than if you created an online store from scratch.
Do you know about affiliate programs? Maybe it’s a good reason to join
In addition, it is not only about sites that allow you to start an Online business quickly and easily, but even if you do not have your own product, it is possible to sell, thanks to their affiliate programs that allow you to sell third-party products on your website or your social networks thanks to referral links.
Yes, the profit is much less than selling your own product or even buying and reselling, but you have to consider that the investment in the product is non-existent , since it does not cost you money to get an affiliate link for the products offered in these websites.
Therefore, if you are interested in starting to work with an affiliate program, I recommend that you try one of these Marketplace , since they not only have a huge variety of products, but people often trust a lot of products from Amazon , for example.
What Type Of Market Do Marketplaces Target?
If I had to choose, I would say that to a very general market; As we have been talking, these platforms offer an absurd number and variety of products, and an enormous number of stores.
This makes it the perfect place to search for any type of thing you can imagine …
To give you an idea, it is estimated that more than 65% of Spaniards with Internet access turn to the Marketplace when they want to search for information on a particular product or to compare brands and models.
It is considered an almost mandatory stop before making any purchase , mainly in sectors such as technology or entertainment.
And if this were not enough, a study by Elogia, has resulted in 88% of cases, platforms like Amazon or eBay are the first thing that comes to people’s minds when the need to compare a product arises or when asked about an eCommerce.
With this, you can already get an idea of how well established the Marketplace is for Internet users.
In case you were wondering, the products of the technology and communication sector are the ones that are most often sold on these platforms , both in Spain and in various parts of the world.
Then followed by fashion, toys and beauty products.
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What Are The Advantages Of Being Present In These Marketplaces?
Now what is the good thing about being present in them? Well there are several advantages and benefits, among the most important we highlight:
1) It is a good place to start your online store
If you do not know how to start with your own eCommerce or do not have the resources to do so, the Marketplace is an excellent alternative , even taking into account the negative factors that this type of platform has.
There are several ways to sell on them, so they are a good starting point for your online business.
2) It is an extra channel to get sales
Now, even if you already have your own eCommerce, it is still not a bad idea to join a Marketplace, keep in mind that this would be one more sales channel to take advantage of .
Having it is not going to generate losses, and you can sell with complete peace of mind and without investment, so why not?
3) It has a huge reach
Earlier I mentioned that approximately 65% of Spanish Internet users access these platforms to investigate, and a large part of them make their final purchases on them.
This translates into a huge reach , unlike waiting for customers to come to your eCommerce, a platform of this type already has an established clientele, and a huge one, which you can reach.
4) Users trust a Marketplace more than an eCommerce
Gaining the trust of Internet users is important, who would buy from a brand you don’t trust?
In fact, one of the reasons why some users do not buy new eCommerce or from brands that are just starting is precisely because of mistrust.
It will be good? Will it be a scam? Will my product arrive? Is my card safe?
In Marketplaces, this distrust is considerably less , mainly in the best known as Amazon.
That is why it is easier for users to trust you if you are selling in a Marketplace than in your own eCommerce, at least when you are just starting out.
5) It is much easier to export your products outside of Spain
If you plan to sell abroad, doing it through a Marketplace is relatively easier than doing it on your own.
These platforms offer you a series of services that facilitate exporting your product abroad, making them a good alternative to start selling internationally.
6) Forget about search engine positioning
Have you ever doubted if you will find Amazon in the first places of Google for transactional type keywords?
Well no, right?
And it is that, based on the fact that this and the other search engines try to offer users the best results in their SERP, given these advantages that I am showing you, this platform is surely one of the favorites today for the purchase of products of almost all.
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7) Automatic Cross-Selling
If you have used Amazon, for example, you will know that the platform automatically does Cross-Selling , recommending to users products that have been purchased together with the product that they are thinking of buying or that have something to do with it.
Statistically, your products will also be included within these recommendations , mainly in certain sectors such as technology or beauty, where this sales technique is quite easy.
8) It is easy to use
Unlike an eCommerce, where you are in charge of managing everything, a Marketplace works much easier , at least speaking from the point of view of a seller.
It does not represent a great difficulty for sellers when managing their online stores.
What Are The Negative Factors Of This Type Of Platform?
If there is a rule in life, it is that most things are made up of both positive and negative factors, and Online markets are no exception.
They have some negative factors that you may not like. Among the main ones it stands out:
1. There is great competition
Entering one of these digital “shopping malls” means that you are willing to compete, and not only with similar products, but even with the same product.
This is mainly true of those who do Dropshipping or who are selling through affiliate programs.
Remember that you are not the only one out there selling on the Internet, and unfortunately, the ease offered by these platforms allows many people to sell on them.
2. It monopolizes a large part of the online market
Earlier I mentioned that there are many people who first choose to enter these Marketplaces to search for a product or even during the research stage.
And some people even prefer Amazon or eBay rather than go shopping at a store.
This can give you an idea of the large part of the online market that these platforms take , to the point of leaving many large production companies unsatisfied, who are forced to compete within these different niche market sites .
3. Customers are not yours
When someone buys you a product on these mega platforms, in most cases they think they are comparing it to them.
In addition, most of them do not allow you to advertise or contact the people who have bought you, without doing it through their own communication channels (almost always for a fee).
4. It is impossible to do a complete study of your clients
One of the points that can be quite annoying, even more than the competition, is that these platforms do not share the information of the users who buy from you , so it is practically impossible to study your customers to find out who they are. the ones that are buying from you.
Therefore, if you plan to create a Buyer Persona based on Amazon or AliExpress, you have it quite complicated, not to say that it is impossible.
5. Piracy and second-hand products are also present
It is no longer just competing with the same product, but doing it even taking into account second-hand products or even exact copies .
He considers that this is quite complicated due to the low prices that they can have.
It does not apply to all products, but it is not a rarity either.
6. Commission for sales and other services
You will surely wonder where they generate profits, if a large part of the products they offer are not their own.
The answer is simple, and it is in commissions. Generally these sites charge a small commission for each sale you make satisfactorily .
A priori it is not a very large monetary amount, but it is noticeable the more sales you have and it is hardly a negative factor that strongly influences the decision to join or not any of these platforms.
Still, it is important to add it to the list.
Keep in mind that commissions vary according to the platform you join , in addition to that they may have other services that also cost some money, such as advertising your products within the platform, deliveries or extra services.
You could say that these are some of the negative factors that most affect those who sell within a Marketplace, so it is difficult to find worse problems than these.
As it has sporadically verified through all this analysis, we have not only made clear what a Marketplace is, but if you were surely considering the possibility of using it as a technique that would help improve your sales , it will surely have helped you make up your mind
Certainly, it happens like all other Marketing and sales strategies: well applied and applied to the right products, it could greatly boost your benefits as a creator or seller.