Since the mid 90’s online marketplaces have been bringing buyers and sellers together in ways that were never possible before. Unlike traditional ecommerce sites that sell their own products and services, online marketplaces do not own any inventory; they showcase products from a wide variety of sources and facilitate the transactions.
Online Marketplaces Benefit Both Buyers and Sellers
For consumers, online marketplaces offer convenience and savings. They’re one-stop virtual department stores that offer everything from general merchandise, hospitality and recruiting, to hospitality, real estate and small business assets. They offer a broader assortment than any downtown shopping mall and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime for free.
For sellers, online marketplaces offer a venue where they can reach a large audience with relatively little effort at a low entry cost. They also allow sellers to test out new markets and keep up with their competitors. Yet online marketplaces have to be used effectively in order to reach consumers and generate sales.
Here are 5 ways to grow your business through online marketplaces:
1. Choose the Appropriate Online Marketplace.
Not all online marketplaces are created equal. If you’re selling general merchandise, such as books or clothing, you might reach more customers on Amazon or Ebay. If you are selling handmade jewelry, you might reach more customers on Etsy. To reach the most customers, choose the dominant marketplace for your product or service, the one that reach the largest audience of buyers and sellers.
In a recent Business Brokerage Press survey, BizBuySell was rated the top online marketplace listing exchange for businesses for sale. It also scored highest for ease of use, overall service and highest percentage of buyer responses.
2. Learn About All Your Membership Features.
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make with online marketplaces is not using their membership properly. As a user, get to know all your account tools and features. Understand how they work and how they can help you sell. Search the help menu for any educational materials, such as product tutorials, videos or upcoming webinar. Take full advantage of everything you’re membership has to offer and maximize your sales potential.
3. Create a Great Listing.
No matter how great your product or service, you need to have a great listing to grab the attention of buyers. Your listing must be well-written and include all the pertinent information buyers will want to know. Key elements of a great listing include:
- Keep your listing succinct and to the point. Include all the essential facts and highlight unique qualities, features and benefits
- Don’t embellish or exaggerate. Don’t be misleading to customers. Establish a positive relationship with customers from the very start.
- Add great photos. This is your opportunity to grab buyers’ attention. If you can’t take a good photo, then consider professional stock photos.
- Be easy to contact. Always be accessible in case a buyer has additional questions. Otherwise, you could lose a customer.
4. Monitor Your Performance Metrics.
Once your listing is published online, take the time to understand how well it is performing. If you’re not getting very many visitors, you may need to adjust your listing, change the title, or add photos. If you’re competing against similar listings in the same category, you may need to upgrade your listing to receive additional exposure.
5. Leverage Additional Media Channels.
Cast your net as wide as possible. Get the word out and let other know about your new online storefront. Depending on your niche market, this may include sharing your listings on social media, featuring them on your website, sending emails to your established customers, or even writing about your products on your blog. There are multiple ways in which customers may find out about your products or services.
What All the Leading Online Marketplaces Have In Common.
Successful online marketplaces provide high value for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, this translates to a high quality selection of products, an optimal user experience for search and selection, as well as great customer service. For sellers, this includes getting their products in front of the largest number of buyers, unique placement in niche markets through partnerships and curation, plus innovative selling tools to stand out from competitors.
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