As a retailer, you might be confused as to why your merchandise isn’t selling, even though you’ve invested a lot in a well-designed brick-and-mortar store, website or both. Whether physical or virtual, you need lots of traffic for your enterprise to be successful, and getting traffic isn’t easy, especially if you’re a newcomer to the game. When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising, and you’re facing traffic and visibility issues, selling in multiple online marketplaces levels the playing field. It’s one of the best ways to get eyeballs on your inventory and make sales.
Why Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces offer a host of benefits to retailers. For starters, online marketplaces tend to be widely recognized brand names themselves, and as large corporations, they have the ability to reach millions of consumers worldwide in a way that you cannot. So by the time you list your goods for sale in a particular online marketplace, the consumers are already there. Say you own a designer eyeglass store. Instead of waiting for consumers to get to know about you, consider listing your inventory of designer-brand sunglasses in an online marketplace, such as Amazon or eBay. Consumers are unlikely to be looking for your business’s name per se, but they are looking for the brands you sell, and that’s how you make sales, even when consumers don’t know exactly who you are.
The other nice thing about online marketplaces is that some of them cater to niche markets. If you sell niche products, say auto parts or handmade winter hats for example, it only takes listing your products in an online marketplace that serves your niche, such as Etsy for those handmade hats or Newegg for auto parts, to gain access to that specialized audience.
Marketplaces for Canadian Retailers
When you’re ready to sell through online marketplaces, choose those open to retailers located in Canada. Many online marketplaces exist, but these are the major ones that serve the Canadian market:
- eBay – sell a wide range of merchandise through standard and auction-style listings.
- Amazon – sell a wide range of merchandise, and ship it directly from your business location, or let Amazon ship the merchandise for you through its fulfillment program.
- Etsy – sell crafts handmade by you or others. You can also sell handmade goods on eBay and Amazon.
- Best Buy Canada – sell electronics in the marketplace of this widely recognized brand.
- Newegg Canada – sell electronics, auto parts, sporting goods and more in this diverse marketplace.
Tips for Selling Online
Online marketplaces come with built-in traffic, but you still have to put your best foot forward to make sales. Take great photos of your merchandise; bad photos can be sales killers. Include keywords in your product listings, so consumers can find and buy them. Going into an online marketplace, it’s a good idea to sell your brand from the start, so customers can visit your website and buy from you directly if they so choose. Bring your brand to the forefront by placing a sticker or label on your products that has your business name, logo and web address — even if they’re already brand name — and including branding on your invoices.
To get the most out of selling in online marketplaces, think multiple channels. Consider listing your products on two to three marketplaces, or as many as are applicable, to get your products in front of the maximum number of consumers. That’s really the only way to run with the big dogs.