Marketplaces - why they are an essential part of your eCommerce strategy

Globally, the top online marketplaces in the world sold over $3 trillion in goods in 2021. Sales through platforms operated by the likes of Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and others accounted for two-thirds of worldwide ecommerce sales in 2021.


Selling on online marketplaces as well as your eCommerce site will drastically increase the reach of your products. Not only are you reaching more potential buyers, you can also enter new territories with speed and ease, increasing sales volume and revenue.







Benefits of selling on marketplaces

  • Quick access to vast numbers of potential customers.

  • Fast launch times, streamlined processes and protections against the risk of unpaid bills, fraud and disputes.

  • Lower costs and/or the possibility to optimise your acquisition costs: benefits of scale and efficiency.

  • Built-in tools and ecommerce solutions.

  • Increase brand and product awareness from the marketing power of the marketplace: its visibility on search engines, its audience and reputation.

  • Customer loyalty - marketplaces tend to draw the same customers back over and over.

  • The possibility to advertise your products further, for example Amazon Advertising or eBay Promoted Listings.

  • Great testing grounds with less risk, if you want to trial new products.

  • Sell internationally with ease, so you can expand your reach to other countries with minimal effort.

Retailers who sell on even just two separate online marketplaces see as much as a 190% increase in revenue over those who sell in just one, so having a multichannel marketplace strategy is essential to maximise sales.



Choosing the right eCommerce marketplace


Depending on your business, the marketplaces you choose to sell on need to be aligned with your objectives and goals. For instance, you may want to test the success of a new product or a new international market. Alternatively, you may have stock you want to clear swiftly.


When deciding on the online marketplaces you want to sell on, here are some of the things you’ll need to consider:

  • What are the key customer personas you want to target and where will you reach them? For instance, B2B buyers won’t necessarily shop on the same channels as B2C or D2C consumers.

  • The type of products you want to sell on marketplaces. There are sector-specific marketplaces that simply won’t be compatible with your product range and others that could be a perfect match for what you sell.

  • What marketplaces are your competitors using? If they’re present on a marketplace, you should be also. On the other hand, if they’re not on a marketplace you’re considering this could give you the opportunity to get a head start. A good place to start would be to search by product type.


Top marketplaces


There are hundreds of established online marketplaces. Whatever you’re selling, or whoever you’re selling to, there‘s sure to be a perfect marketplace for your business. Consider the audience and locations that you’re trying to reach and research what marketplaces operate in those areas.


You’ll often find relevant marketplace listings in the search engine results for your own products. If you’re after those search impressions, the marketplaces will be too! To summarise, you need to search for your best keywords in the areas you want to grow. Below is a list of some of the most popular marketplaces

Amazon

Needs no introduction: The world’s largest online consumer marketplace, with an unparalleled global distribution network and over 5.2 billion monthly visits.


eBay

What started as the world’s first online auction site is now a marketplace that had over $100 billion in merchandise sales in 2020. It generates 1.7 billion monthly visits and has 174 million, active global shoppers.


Etsy

Etsy is the global marketplace for unique and creative goods and generated over $10 billion in sales in 2020 and has over 440 million site visits per month.


Walmart

This household name in the US had global net sales of $555 billion in 2021 and generates 410.3 million monthly visits.


Cdiscount

A leading French marketplace with over 36 million site visits per month. Cdiscount generated over 2 billion in sales in 2021, with most of the revenue coming from the French market alone.


Mercado Libre

One of the most prominent marketplaces in Latin America with around unique 140 million users. The marketplace generated over $25 billion in merchandise sales in 2021.


Taobao

The shopping destination for Chinese consumers. In 2021, it generated $635 billion in sales and received over 329 million monthly visits.


Shopee

Shopee has become one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in Southeast Asia, with over 90 million monthly average active users.


zalando.com

A key player in the world of fashion eCommerce sales with nearly 135 million monthly visits.


Rakuten

A multinational eCommerce company based in Japan. It has 575.8 million monthly visits and generated revenues of over $13 billion in 2020.



Fulfilment


Great, you’re now listed on multiple marketplaces that fit with your objectives, target audience and product range. Sales start flooding through and you need to ship out all those new orders from new customers to many countries around the world.


This can be daunting at first, but with the right shipping partner and shipping tools the process can be simple and predominantly automated. Costs need to be managed too and shipping providers rates can vary drastically from one service to another and from one company to another.


It can be a minefield, but our cross-border shipping experts are available to help guide you through the process for free, helping you save money and time while maintaining and growing customer advocacy and lifetime value. To find out more simply contact us and one of our experts will be in touch with you.