Best Online Marketplaces for eCommerce Selling
Being an eCommerce retailer, it is a bit challenging to find out the best marketplace for your business as the success relies majorly on the same.
The marketplace you select, determines your target audience and how you reach to it. It helps you figure out new ways to enhance your customer experience. You not only need to list the policies and rules, but also, put your products under the right category. Every eCommerce marketplace caters to a buyer community and a set of audience.
eCommerce Marketplace choice not being strategic can be a big impact on the reputation of your business. Finding the correct online marketplace for selling your products or to target the audience is equivalent to deciding for your shop’s location.
Even if the current eCommerce marketplace is working fine for you, it is always good to go for the latest and updated options. Let’s learn about some major online marketplaces in detail and find out which one helps you take your business to a new extent.
In the blog further, I am going to talk about the best eCommerce marketplaces with their benefits and cost.
What is an Online Marketplace?
An eCommerce online marketplace is a kind of eCommerce website or a mobile application where businesses provide products and service information and sell their products with the help of third parties. The transactions for these products get processed by the marketplace operator.
Let us find out how does it work!
Online eCommerce Marketplace helps businesses sell their products where the marketplace operators take care of the consumer transactions. The participating wholesalers and retailers deliver the products orders placed by the customers. There are multiple additional capabilities that an online eCommerce marketplace should have such as catalogs, forward or reverse auctioning, advertisement, ordering, trading exchange functionality and many more.
The marketplaces aggregate products and services from the wide range of providers. On these online marketplaces the selection and availability of products is a little higher than that of the vendor specific online retail stores.
Benefits of Selling on Online Marketplaces
Top online marketplaces keep coming up with the new ideas of keeping the customers happy. The selling channels have this ever-increasing popularity of online sales and eCommerce marketplaces.
Marketplaces are willing to go to great lengths in order to make things like marketing, selling and fulfilling easy for the retailers and brands. Some major benefits of selling on Online marketplaces are mentioned below:
- Established Plans and Programs: All the established marketplaces have plans and programs in place to help the businesses meet the consumer expectations.
- Quick Launch: Marketplaces are an excellent place to generate revenue and build the brands that work to drive traffic to their eCommerce websites.
- Huge Customer bases: Many online marketplaces to sell, have a built-in-audience that shop regularly from these sites. Many of those people start with the marketplaces directly, if they are planning to buy a product.
- Faster Payments: Users do not have to stand in the long queues to make the payments of the products they buy. eCommerce marketplaces have their own payment gateways that make the payment process easy-going for the users.
- Easy to Compare: Users can easily compare the features and prices of the products on different eCommerce marketplace platforms while shopping online.
- Increased Profit Margin: The easy to navigate feature of the eCommerce marketplace platforms results into placing more and more orders that increase the profit margin for the businesses.
Top Online Marketplaces for eCommerce Pros
Creating your business website is no longer enough for the brands and products manufacturers to beat their competitors. The growing trend of eCommerce marketplaces cannot be ignored. There are so many brands that make use of these platforms along with their own business websites, ensuring that they do not miss a single chance of maximizing their sales and profits. Being a part of the best eCommerce marketplace benefits the business in different ways. It helps the sellers strengthen their relationships with the buyers. Let’s have a look on to some top ecommerce marketplaces and get to know about their costs and benefits.
Amazon is one of the best eCommerce online marketplaces. It is, in fact a marketplace giant that has millions of Prime Members of its own. The brands while marketing with Amazon, automatically get this set of consumers that spends around $1400 every year while shopping on Amazon. Prime members are the prioritized members of Amazon. Whether you yourself fulfil or rely on Amazon provided service – FBA (fulfilled by Amazon), making your products available for the prime members could be a big difference to your brand.
Amazon provides an individual plan for your brands if you want to start immediately but you would need to apply for the professional plan permission if you are looking to deal in some categorized products.
Amazon provides the professional selling plan for $39.99 per month with the per-item selling fees that varies by category, plus referral and variable closing fees.
The individual selling plan is for $0.99 per sale with selling fees as per each product category.
Amazon has offices at 12 locations in which the popular ones are in the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan and Spain. It is the best option for the retailers looking for the global exposure.
eBay has been one of the best online marketplace websites. It was established in 1995 and became popular in early 2000s. Since Amazon is increasing its Prime membership fees, eBay is coming up more in the picture. Although it has presence in 100 countries worldwide and has 23 international sites with 6.7 million sellers in year 2017 particularly and has been selling products in 190 global markets.
The expansion of this marketplace gives the businesses access to a set of 168 million active buyers across the world that generate $95 billion of annual gross market value altogether. In this way, the brands get plenty of opportunities to grow and expand with in 190 markets around the world.
In order to sell the products on eBay, users pay an insertion fee while creating the listing and a final value fee when the item gets sold. There is no set up for any monthly or annual fee for the retailers and marketers.
eBay provides the listed products information on its eBay catalog, sports card accessories, the fashion categories and many more. It also provides a business efficiency guide, free business consultation and seller development resources, that has particularly been designed for the merchants who are successfully selling their products.
Walmart is the other popular and well-known eCommerce marketplace name for sellers trying to set up their business online. The brand is a well-established brand and has recently updated its website to make it look more appealing to millennials. The marketplace is willing to add more personalized and local elements with special shopping experiences.
The company has also joined hands with FedEx and created the FedEx Advantage program that offers a 37 per cent discount if orders placed on Walmart get shipped through FedEx. The marketplace follows a strict approval process. It takes around six weeks for the sellers to get an approval if they apply without any official Walmart Marketplace integrator.
The company prefers the sellers who:
- Carry recognizable Brands
- Based in United States
- Have a huge variety of products
- Provide excellent customer service
- Able to accept International returns
On Walmart, Seller referral fees varies by product category and gets calculated per sale.
is an ecommerce division owned by Walmart, but its marketplace is totally separate from the parent company. This US based marketplace got launched in July 2015 and is growing fast. With more than 4 million customers, the company has a unique approach to eCommerce. It has an algorithm that offers discounts for the shoppers on the items as they shop – “the more you buy, the more you save”.
The company offers a wide variety of product categories. The marketplace tends to have a higher cart checkout price and cheaper prices than Amazon. Although the company doesn’t have a huge customer base, but it makes up for this with easy integration, attractive deals and more personalized seller pages that draw in more customers.
Etsy marketplace is popular for all kind of typically handmade, novelty and vintage items. It has become a de-facto marketplace for the sellers and contains over 54 million members, more than 198 million sellers in 83 countries across the world and over 35 million buyers.
This marketplace provides certain benefits of selling such as:
- Provides the sellers a targeted customer base that tend to find the handmade items that can’t be found anywhere else easily
- Offers sellers an option to customize many of their items
- Allows sellers to partner with other sellers and sell their items together using collective stores, that provides more flexibility and saves time
- Marketing tools of the company makes it convenient for the customers to create promotions and coupon codes
- Etsy doesn’t offer any subscription plans or the packages for the sellers like other marketplaces, it charges a minimal amount of fee for the items listed
- Marketplace offers Facebook integration
Etsy provides first 40 listings for free. It charges $.20 per item to be listed for four months with 5 per cent of transaction fee.
The fact, that Facebook has over 2 billion of active users, creates a huge possibility of broad exposure for brand and products. This social media giant reaches thousands of users every day. Although people sell and buy online using their business or personal pages or via Facebook advertising, the platform now allows online sellers and retailers to do the same from a single place, the Facebook Marketplace.
Creating Facebook Marketplace is altogether a new concept for this social media platform, which is better for the startups that sell products to their own communities, but Facebook is hoping it will make the marketplace get up and going very soon. The marketplace is working on becoming a challenging competitor for all the already established online selling sites.
Facebook Marketplace doesn’t charge the sellers for the listing and gets the products viewed by the members of the local community first. It doesn’t provide any protection for the buyers or the sellers and left all the work up to them from shopping to delivery of the products.
With the benefit of no listing fees, Facebook Marketplace is an attractive option for established or new sellers alike. It provides an easy process for selling of the products that is different for individuals and merchants.
com, that is formerly known as Buy.com, is an online marketplace owned by a Japan based owner. Marketplace provides a wide range of product categories, that include electronics, health and beauty, sporting goods, office supplies, auto parts, home furnishings and apparel.
Although this eCommerce marketplace dragged down some U.S. sellers in 2017, it has since updated its selling operations with new merchant products, tools and services.
Rakuten.com costs the sellers $33 per month with the commission and an item fee of $0.99 per item. Unlike other online eCommerce marketplaces, on Rakuten, the sellers get a personal account manager, called as an eCommerce Consultant (ECC) and they can design their own storefronts.
Rakuten is the fourth largest online marketplace platform in the world and one largest online eCommerce platform in Japan for 80 per cent of the entire local population to make purchases.
Key operating principal of this eCommerce site is based on the Japanese concept called ‘Omotenashi’ that encourages providing personalized and high-quality service. This measure states that the marketplace encourages the more direct relationship between sellers and buyers and motivates each seller to deliver a unique user experience.
There are some important metrics of the marketplace such as over 100 million of active users, 8 to 12 per cent seller fees, JPY 19,500 (roughly $175) monthly fee. The eCommerce platform allows 16.4 million pages views per month. The biggest eCommerce platform of Japan operates in over 29 regions and countries with a membership base of more than 1 billion people across the world.
Alibaba is an outstanding online marketing engine for sellers, retailers and suppliers, but sellers new to the marketplace should keep in mind that it can take a long time to rise to the top of the marketplace’s search results.
Alibaba started business with 18 people and has more than 22000 employees, at present. The marketplace currently claims around 80 per cent of online sales in China.
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day is the most profitable day of this marketplace. On November 11th, 2016, the day generated more than $18 billion in revenue in just 24 hours.
At present, Alibaba has reached out to billions of products buyers all over the world, including manufacturers, businesses, distributors.
Pricing is not particular for the sellers and retailers as it is different as per the nature of the products. It is even free for some products and there are also transaction fees and subscriptions in some cases.
Various benefits of selling on Alibaba are as follows:
- Access to a huge number of international suppliers that deal in wholesale prices
- Get started for free
- Way to enter the Chinese Market
- Free membership is also available
- 7 million pages views per month.
Alibaba has various revenue models for different types of sellers, giving them quite a competitive benefit.
Wish marketplace has more than 11 million active users. It is a great and one of the most popular shopping apps in the world. Wish charges no listing fees for the sellers and provides built-in tools for marketing and promotional purposes.
Few major benefits and metrics of the marketplace are mentioned below:
- Around 75 million active monthly users
- 15% of the item with the shipping’s value makes the seller fees.
- No Monthly Fees
- 9 million pages views per month
This eCommerce marketplace has been so successful that both Amazon and eBay have introduced special sections on their website (eBay’s Less than $10 and Amazon’s $10 or Under) that aim at competing with Wish marketplace’s discount offers and prices.
Bonanza is a good alternative eCommerce marketplace like eBay and Etsy. Sellers can list their products for free on Bonanza. It is the preferred choice for sellers and retailers who specialize in home, art, fashion and beauty. Although the marketplace is working on including other categories as well.
Bonanza doesn’t charge any listing fees, but it does charge monthly fees (a bit high in comparison to other marketplaces) with a percentage of the selling prices of the products, based on tier level categories as Titan, Platinum, Gold or Free.
Sellers on Bonanza also get the studio quality photos of all their products and the benefit of Google shopping integration. Bonanza syncs the products with the other online stores that the sellers deal with. According to more than 12,000 sellers, Bonanza is the great eCommerce marketplace that they most likely recommend to a friend, over Etsy, eBay or Amazon.
Bonanza is one online ecommerce marketplace of the best choices for sellers and retailers in the fashion industry that has 25,000 registered businesses. On this ecommerce marketplace platform, the sellers pay 3.5 per cent closing fee on the sales under $500 with no listing fee on the products. Some major benefits of selling products on Bonanza are as follows:
- No listing fee on the products
- Automatic import or Sync with the current dealers and marketplaces
- Takes responsibility of advertising and listing on Google, Bing and many other buyer channels
- Free distribution and sales consultation
- Vendors can keep around 97% of the amount they make from selling on Bonanza
- Strong communication channels between consumers and sellers
- Over 2 million views per month
Bonanza site has a simple navigation and process of registering the sellers. The website allows users to create profiles, post comments and upload pictures. It allows both, ecommerce merchants and individuals sell their items and create selling booths and profiles.
Kroger is the largest grocery chain in America and was founded in 1883 in Cincinnati. While talking about ecommerce, Kroger may not be the first name to pop in your head, but in 2018, this legendary grocery chain grew their digital sales by 58%.
To become a supplier or vendor with Kroger, a retailer can apply through their website. A Kroger supplier or vendor can only apply and manage their vendor accounts with the marketplace through Kroger’s Supplier Hub.
To successfully become a Kroger supplier, one must be certified by a third-party agency, complete registration in Kroger’s supplier management system, and meet their selection criteria.
An electronics and hardware online marketplace, Newegg has more than 40 million customers in more than 20 countries. It is the obvious choice for anyone who wants to sell electronics or hardware online.
Newegg has a seller application on their platform that can be filled out by anyone who wants to sell on Newegg. After you have been approved as a Newegg seller, you can start listing out your products and sell them.
You have the freedom to ship your orders by yourself or opt for SBN (Shipped by Newegg). The platform pays their sellers on a weekly basis and offers three different plans.
The Standard plan is free and allows up to 5,000 listings, the Professional plan costs you $29.95/month and lets you put out up to 10,000 listings, and the Enterprise plan costs $99.95/month and offers unlimited product listings.
You can customize your Newegg landing page by putting up featured products, attractive banners and even videos. The buyers can rate you between 1 and 5 eggs and this is the rating that future buyers will check before they decide to trust you. Newegg requires the sellers to ship their orders within 72 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).
Even though jet.com is owned by Walmart, but the marketplace is entirely independent of the parent company. The site rewards customers for buying in bulk, hence a great place for sellers who can deal with bigger quantities who are called Jet Retail Partners.
The Jet Retail Partners can only connect with Jet only through API integration, because you cannot manually upload listings through .csv. In order to sell on Jet, you must be sure that you have the technical capability to handle it.
Retailers can apply through an application on their website. Their standards, much like Walmart are pretty high, so you must be prepared for a long-drawn approval process.
Jet charges a commission which is calculated with the following formula.
Commission = Applicable Commission Rate * Retailer Price + Dollar Based Adjustments.
The Retailer Price = the Item Price + Shipping Price
Jet lets you add in a lot of information about all the products including the SKUs, unique IDs, multi-pack information (if applicable), inventory in stock, and prices. Apart from this you can write descriptive titles for your product listings and even include your brand name in it. However, one important thing to remember here is that if your Order Defect Rate or ODR goes more than 2% you may get suspended from the platform.
Know for their sheer variety of products and affordable prices, Overstock sells closeout and new products in different categories like home décor, furniture, bedding, apparel, and more.
A business or entrepreneur can submit an online request form to join their Supply Network. Upon joining this supply network, their products can be listed on Overstock’s online stores. This goes a long way in helping businesses (or entrepreneurs) gain digital visibility and a channel to introduce their products in the online marketplace.
There is very little information available about how much Overstock charges businesses for selling on their marketplace. However, the listing fees can be between $0.10 and $3 with additional charges for enhancing the listings.
On Overstock you, as a supplier you are responsible for order fulfilment and hence need to make sure that your stocks and inventory is managed well. The reporting and analytics feature on Overstock lets the suppliers get insights on the performance of their listings. Additionally, you can also avail their customized services for driving growth.
A Scandinavian online marketplace, Houzz has an expansive range of sellers across more than 900 neatly organized categories of home products.
To start selling on Houzz all you need to do is get in touch with their Seller Support team. Once they approve you as a Houzz seller, you can start creating your listing and then sell your products through the Houzz Seller Central.
Houzz charges a 15% commission on all products sold by the sellers through their marketplace. The marketplace is very strict about the product listings. The listings should be descriptive, clear, formatted, categorized, and must highlight feature benefits as well.
The listings for your product must be updated and have accurate data at all times. In case your listing needs to be updated, make sure that you mark it as inactive till you can update it. Another point you must keep in mind is that your shipping costs may never exceed the industry rate.
All the online marketplaces for ecommerce are not the same, as only some of them would be suitable for your specific industry. Review all the eCommerce sites, do your research, have a look at your competition and check if it makes sense.
Go for Multi-channel selling and scale your business!
Don’t be afraid of investing in new eCommerce marketplaces. Whether you are working on your newly established business or you have been selling for a longer time, eCommerce marketplaces should be the most focused part of your strategy.
Be careful, while choosing as it is going to be the major factor in your online marketing business success. Select the online eCommerce marketplace that works fine for you and take your business to the new heights.
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