It’s amazing how fast the market can shift. Fortunately, small retailers aren’t constricted to physical stores to reach customers and sell products. There are tremendous opportunities to sell and drive additional revenue by starting an online business or e-commerce store. And when times are tough, that online retail space might be your business’s best bet for weathering the storm.
But when it comes to online marketplaces, there are a lot of factors to consider. How much time do you want to spend customizing and setting up your shop? Do you want to build your audience or tap into a larger marketplace? Do you want to have ongoing communications with your buyers, or are you comfortable with single sales?
Whatever the answer, deciding where to sell your products online can diversify and expand your online presence. Check out the six best online marketplaces to sell your products.
Squarespace gives users full control over their websites, from organization to prices and sales. Squarespace also offers a variety of easy-to-use, customizable templates so that any business owner can create something beautiful and functional. Plus, you can track inventory and keep goods in a catalog, so they’re easy to market. And Squarespace integrates with other commerce platforms, so it’s easy to connect the dots.
Here are a few more reasons to put your retail vision on Squarespace:
- Layouts fit your products. No matter how you want to showcase your products, Squarespace has a design to suit your look.
- It’s user-friendly for consumers. Squarespace makes the checkout process easy and has multiple payment options, including PayPal.
- It supports brand loyalty. After a customer completes a purchase, you can send them a survey about their experience.
- Customers get accurate shipping costs. Squarespace can tell your customers how much it’ll cost to ship their purchases.
- It’s easy for customers to leave reviews. Squarespace makes it easy for shoppers to read and leave reviews that can help boost your product visibility online.
Unlike Etsy or Amazon, business owners have full control over their company’s Shopify site, from look and text to prices and discounts. Shopify makes it easy to build a website that reflects your brand, with customizable templates, color palettes, and more. Plus, Shopify customers can perform single-touch checkout for any store hosted on the platform.
Here are a few more reasons to choose Shopify for your online retail space:
- It comes with built-in SEO tools. Shopify gives users tools to increase site performance, which may increase site visits.
- It offers free and paid themes. Give your site the look you want, and keep it within your budget.
- Feature product videos and 3D views. Some products sell better in motion. Market your products with high-quality web components.
- It helps you market products. Shopify makes marketing your products easier than ever with Kit, an automated virtual assistant. You can even create Facebook ads with a text message.
- It’s easy to access. Get the Shopify app to manage your website and evaluate performance from anywhere.
Etsy has made a name for itself as the go-to marketplace for buying handcrafted and handmade items online. And there’s very little upfront labor. Sellers don’t need to upload stock photos, pick a theme, or agonize over color schemes. All you need to do is upload your inventory and start selling. Plus, Etsy processes payments on a secure, SSL-encrypted platform. It also offers fraud detection systems to protect sellers and buyers.
Etsy charges a minimal fee for each item listed and takes a small percentage for each transaction, plus a payment processing fee. And if you’re a business owner who appreciates fare stakes, Etsy keeps its rates uniform for all merchants.
Here are a few more reasons to put your products on Etsy:
- Access quality customers. Sellers gain access to a targeted customer base that’s logging in to purchase items like yours.
- Get time-off options. Etsy sellers can team up with other vendors to sell their items through collective stores. When you need to take time off, you can network with sellers who can keep your store going.
- Network with wholesale customers. Etsy Wholesale gives sellers access to wholesale clients who may want to sell your items in their stores. Etsy charges a one-time fee and commission on every item sold under this option.
- Get simple selling options. Etsy’s suite of marketing tools makes it easy to create promotions and coupon codes for your customers.
eBay remains one of the most familiar and longest-standing e-commerce marketplaces. Sellers can list almost any item on eBay. But sellers offering books and media, holiday decorations, and office supplies tend to do better on eBay’s marketplace. eBay allows sellers to customize their storefronts with banner images, featured products, larger product photos, product categorization, a customer newsletter, and more.
eBay offers seller protection, managed payment options, growth tools, and inventory optimization. And if you’re selling on eBay, you will be charged two fees, among others: an insertion fee and a final value fee. eBay calculates final value fees on the total amount of the sale and charges this fee per item.
Here are a few more reasons to sell your products on eBay:
- eBay gets heavy traffic. eBay is a household name and a trusted e-commerce site, thanks to its longevity. As of 2015, the site had more than 2 billion transactions per day.
- You can sell big-ticket items. In the past, eBay has been the auction site for everything from bunkers to yachts. So if you sell big-ticket items, eBay might be your best bet.
- Sellers get multiple selling options. Unlike other e-commerce sites, eBay lets sellers set specific prices or put products up for bid.
Amazon is the titan of online retail, consistently dominating more than half of all retail sales online. It’s also likely one of the first places to come to mind when you consider selling products online. If you’re interested in selling on Amazon, to its 150 million monthly unique visitors, Amazon offers two selling plans.
There is no monthly subscription fee with the Individual plan. Instead, you pay a small fee per item sold, plus other selling fees that vary by category. The Professional selling plan comes with a monthly subscription fee, plus per-item selling fees that vary by category.
The Professional Seller program offers sellers additional benefits:
- Use of spreadsheets, feeds, and other tools to load inventory
- Access to seller reports
- Top placement on product detail pages
- Over 20 categories with the option to sell in an additional 10 categories
- Customized shipping rates
- No per-sale closing fee
6. Facebook Marketplace
Listing on Facebook Marketplace gives you the potential to reach thousands of customers every day. But unlike more traditional e-commerce platforms, Facebook is less “store” and more “yard sale.” Shoppers might search the marketplace for specific items and base their likeliness to buy on proximity.
That said, plenty of sellers find success on Facebook. Goods like refurbished furniture, unique vintage items, and decor sell well. And once you list an item, it’s easy to promote. Retailers interested in selling on Facebook Marketplace should pursue this option if they want to limit sales to their immediate community.
Here are a few more reasons to try out Facebook Marketplace:
- It’s easy to use. Putting an item up for sale takes minutes. Simply snap a picture, jot down a description, and set your price.
- It’s free. Facebook Marketplace does not charge users for listings, no matter how many items they’re selling.
- It supports open communication. Facebook allows for easy communication between buyers and sellers.
Diversify your cash flow, reach new customers
There is no one-size-fits-all e-commerce site, but there is an e-commerce site out there that will fit your business. Whether your products are handmade, shipped overseas, or filled with tech, there’s a retailer out there who wants to partner with you.
Whatever you decide, putting your products online can help your diversify your cash flow. And in challenging times, it helps to have options. Give your store a new path for success with an online retail space that will generate new revenue and relationships.
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