Selecting an eCommerce Marketplace for your Business
Thursday, March 31, 2016Kelly Nelson
Selling on a marketplace has become a very popular form of eCommerce in today’s business world. With easy access for both newbies and enterprise-level sellers alike, marketplaces can significantly expand a merchant’s reach and increase revenues if used correctly. They are both convenient and cost effective, thus are becoming the eCommerce channel of choice for many. With that being said, how do you determine which eCommerce marketplace is best for you and your products? We’ve included an unbiased summary of each of the notable options to assist with your decision.
We have used Amazon first here because it is probably the first one that comes to mind for online marketplaces. Not only does it offer a wide variety of product categories, but almost anyone can sell on it. You are able to set up your store and products as long as you follow their rules. This truly is a marketplace for just about anything (there are obviously exceptions to the rule), and is one of the first places people check for the things they need to purchase.
Who should sell on Amazon?
As long as you’re selling something that falls into one of their product categories and doesn’t conflict with any of their rules and regulations, you should be able to sell on Amazon. See here
for Amazon's selling rules and policies. Even Amazon sells on Amazon! They’re a brand all on their own. This is also a good avenue for when you are selling in large quantities.
Unlike Amazon, there are no first party sellers here. eBay is a great “one-of-a-kind” space. They’re bidding model also makes it extremely unique. In addition, an eBay seller will be required to pay for each item listed. Finally, eBay is truly a transaction between the buyer and seller; there is no middle party to act as a liaison.
Who should sell on eBay?
Sellers on eBay are generally one of a kind sellers, or they have a product that is hard to find. That is why their bidding model works so well. If you are selling in large quantities, this is probably not the marketplace for you. For more on eBay vs. Amazon check out our more detailed comparison
Etsy is mostly a B2C marketplace. It’s a great place for artisanal and vintage items. One of the more unique qualities of this site is that it is also a form of social media. It is similar to other popular networks in that each user can create a user profile. Because of this, they like to consider themselves more of a P2P model (Peer to Peer) where users can interact with each other and converse about the products they are selling.
Who should sell on Etsy?
Etsy is a great tool for entrepreneurs with a very specific product. Sellers generally make hand crafted items. The quantities (because of their hand made nature) are generally smaller than Amazon but bigger than eBay. It falls in between the two platforms. Generally speaking, if you have a hand-made product you want to turn into a small business, Etsy would be a great place to start.
Rakuten had its humble beginnings in Japan as another option for online marketplaces. The merchants on this platform are able to go beyond their local markets and expend to a bigger demographic of customers. This is mainly because in the beginning, this platform was for Japanese merchants that needed a better way of expanding their customer base beyond their local markets. The U.S. version is transitioning from Buy.com. This was designed to provide the lowest price for given items. Rakuten is very focused on seller visibility and improving branding opportunities for their merchants.
Who should sell on Rakuten?
Rakuten has a large focus on branding and making sure your name gets out there. Merchants who want complete control over their brand would be wise to consider this platform. This is also a great platform for niche products. The one drawback to Rakuten is that it is relatively new and not well known so traffic can be lower.
Newegg is heaven for the techy within us. It’s a platform where you can order your electronics as well as electronic parts. It’s a great avenue for sellers who are in the consumer electronics industry. Although you can purchase and sell in other product categories, technology seems to be what they pride themselves on.
Who should sell on Newegg?
As we made it clear above, this is a great area for those sellers who are looking for something specific to the tech industry. From digital cameras and laptops to hard drives and computer monitors, this is the platform for selling all types of tech! Are you using any other marketplaces in your eCommerce strategy? Let us know in the comments below. Happy selling!