24 Best Selling Sites and Marketplaces to Sell Products Online
Curious about selling online? Or perhaps you’re just confused as to which sales channel to choose to sell off your Russian doll collection? Previously, a yard sale or flea market would have been your only option if you wanted to sell your hand-made goods or used items.
Today, the internet and ecommerce have made it possible for anyone to sell anything. You can get started with little to no investment, thanks to online marketplaces. Online marketplaces or selling sites are simply sites that allow multiple sellers to list their items for sales at a fee.
Amazon is a well-known example of an online marketplace. However, there are many more niche-specific options available to sellers in any niche. We’ll take a look at the best options available to anyone looking to sell online today.
Best Sites to Create Your Own Online Store
Online marketplaces are great because you have access to built-in traffic which means a lot of potential sales. However, that also means your products/offers will be displayed side-by-side with other possible competitors, which may not be good for some items.
This is where starting your own store comes in. This is a hugely popular option for entrepreneurs looking to sell online. If selling on an online site or marketplace is like owning a stall at a flea market, having your own website is like owning your own storefront.
This makes it a great choice, especially if you’re looking to build your brand, eliminate listing fees, and not compete with other sellers on the same site. Creating your own online store gives you the flexibility of listing as many products as you like without having to pay extra.
The good news is, there are lots of options when it comes to choosing an ecommerce store builder. The boom in ecommerce has brought many beginner-friendly, no tech experience required ecommerce platforms into existence.
Let’s take a look at the top four below.
Most Comprehensive Beginner-Friendly Online Store Builder for Ecommerce and Dropshipping Businesses.
Shopify is arguably one of the most popular, beginner-friendly, all-in-one ecommerce store builders available today. Boasting over one million businesses and owning approximately 11% of the global ecommerce market share, Shopify is simply a force to reckon with in ecommerce.
Some of the platform’s most outstanding features include its multiple payment gateway integrations. This gives store owners a lot of options when setting a storefront. You’ll even be able to find a region-specific payment gateway option like Klarna for the EU market and Paypal for the US market.
Apart from that, Shopify’s drag-and-drop page builder makes it easy for beginners to create and customize their websites. You’ll find a helpful selection of modern and professional-looking themes to help you build your store’s brand too.
The only thing you’ll need to get started with Shopify is your own domain name, as the platform is a fully hosted ecommerce solution. That means there’s no need to buy web hosting. And if you’re looking to start a dropshipping business, Shopify is a great option too.
It’s fully integrated with Oberlo and Alibaba dropship marketplaces, so you can easily link your store to your dropshipping supplier. The platform also has a well-populated app market that allows for integration with several third-party apps.
Getting started is as simple as signing up for Shopify’s free 14-day trial. Paid plans start from $29.99 per month up to $299.99 for advanced plans. Learn more in our complete Shopify review.
Best Option for Enterprise-Level Tools and Software Integrations.
BigCommerce was one of the frontrunners in the ecommerce platform space. The company started in 2009 and aims to make ecommerce simple for small to medium-sized businesses. The beauty of using BigCommerce is it can be used by folks of all levels of experience.
Thus whether you’re a complete beginner or a skilled programmer, BigCommerce has customization options for you. You can use its simple drag-and-drop page builder to create a custom storefront or use CSS/HTML to create a completely new page from scratch.
BigCommerce doesn’t charge additional fees to use third-party payment options plus you can list unlimited products even on its cheapest plans.
Apart from unlimited products, BigCommerce also integrates with dropshipping marketplaces like AliExpress, Modalyst, and Spocket. So if you’re looking into dropshipping, then BigCommerce is worth considering.
What’s more, the platform’s multi-currency support means you can sell to your shoppers in a currency they prefer. This feature is uncommon on most other basic ecommerce plans.
BigCommerce has three pricing plans, ranging from $29.95 per month for its standard plan up to $299.95 for its Pro plan. You can also choose its Enterprise plan for custom pricing options. Not sure how Big Commerce stacks up against Shopify? Read our BigCommerce vs Shopify review.
Most Beginner-Friendly Store Builder with Multiple Theme Customization Options.
Wix is better known as a website builder and started out as a free ecommerce platform. It has however improved its ecommerce features recently. Now it includes lots of impressive functionality that make it easy to create a storefront in seconds.
For starters, Wix offers integration with over 40 payment gateways and charges zero fees on transactions with third-party payment gateways. It also has its native Wix payments platform that also offers affordable rates per transaction.
You’ll have access to its standard drag-and-drop page builder, but Wix takes payments a step further by offering an A.I powered page builder called Wix ADI. Simply enter details about your business and answer a few other questions concerning your preferred design.
The page builder will then create a unique, fully customizable website based on your details. Apart from creating customized web pages, Wix also offers a comprehensive suite of marketing tools called Wix Ascend.
This built-in marketing solution will help you organize all the different aspects of marketing your business, including social media, email marketing, omnichannel sales and even nurturing leads. You’ll also have access to complete analytics reports about your store's performance.
Wix ecommerce plans range from $17 to $35 per month, making it an equally budget-friendly option. You can check out our full Wix pricing guide to help you choose the right plan for you.
Ideal for Clean, Contemporary Website Design and Aesthetic-Focused Brands
Compared to its competitors, Squarespace may not have as much of a market share but it definitely has features that make it a great alternative. Squarespace offers clean, contemporary, and unique ecommerce templates based on your niche.
Squarespace also offers multiple payment gateways with minimal charges apart from the card processing fee. You’ll not need to purchase hosting with Squarespace as it’s a hosted platform, so all you’ll need is to register your custom domain.
Creating your web page is as simple as using the platform’s easy drag-and-drop builder. You can take advantage of its appointment scheduling feature which lets you incorporate appointments into your website. This is perfect for service-based businesses.
You can also create a members-only area as part of your online store or even post your menu or bouquet of services if you’re in the hospitality industry. Squarespace pricing for business ranges from $18 to $40 per month.
If you love the Squarespace aesthetic but aren’t sure if the platform is a right fit for you, check out our list of Squarespace alternatives.
Best Marketplaces to Sell Your Products Online
Most Popular Online Marketplace for Unique and One-of-a-Kind Products
This selling site is one of the new kids on the block in terms of online marketplaces. It popped onto the online selling scene in late 2010 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Bonanza boasts of over 50,000 sellers and 30+ million items.
What makes Bonanza unique is the fact that it charges based on what it calls “final offer value” as opposed to listing fees. Most other online marketplaces will charge you a fee per product listing.
Bonanza bills you based on the final price your customer pays plus a percentage of shipping fees if they exceed $10. Thus, you don’t pay anything for listing your products until you make a sale. This is perfect if you want to start selling online with zero cash upfront.
So for example, if your customer buys items worth $40 with a shipping fee of $15, Bonanza will charge you a 2.5% selling fee based on $40+$15=$55 being the total sale value. Hence you’ll pay $1.375 as a selling fee.
If your total sale exceeds $500, you’ll pay an additional 1.5% flat rate on the amount that exceeds $500. So if you’re looking to avoid listing fees and spending money without first making some back, Bonanza is for you.
Best Online Selling Site for Both Auction and Fixed Price Items.
With 1.3 billion listings and 182 million users, eBay is number two on this list with good reason. The platform has been one of the pioneers of online selling since 1995 and allows you to sell everything: from the mundane to the weird.
eBay claims to be a worldwide marketplace and rightly so, as it has multiple subdomain sites for different countries. Thus your items are sure to get seen by lots of shoppers across the globe. Its pricing however involves many layers.
For starters, you’ll pay a non-refundable listing fee in addition to a final value fee.
Final value fees are charged on the total order value plus part of the shipping fees and may range between 10 – 12% depending on the category of product. Apart from these, there’s also an insertion fee for listing your product in multiple categories.
Thus it’s worth keeping these in mind before listing your product on eBay.
Best Choice for Reaching a Large Audience and High Volume Sales
Amazon is arguably one of the biggest, if not the biggest online marketplace in recent times. The ecommerce giant boasts of an average of 400 orders per minute! With lots of traffic and a well-oiled order fulfillment system, Amazon is a good place to start selling online.
It has plenty categories for just about every product under the sun, all you need to do is make sure you list your product properly. With its built-in customer review and rating system, you don’t have to worry about finding and showing social proof for your products.
Amazon has its own native payments solution, but shoppers can still pay via any means which they find convenient, be it Paypal, Apple Pay, and even Google Pay.
If you’re looking to try dropshipping, Amazon’s fulfillment program, Amazon FBA will simplify your order fulfillment process. In fact for dropshipping, you may do better combining both Amazon and Shopify.
Amazon’s pricing however can get tricky. If you plan to sell more than 40 items monthly, then you’ll need to pay for a professional selling account which bills at $39.99 per month. Apart from that, each item sold attracts a fee that is calculated based on the item dimensions and value.
If you don’t plan to sell as many products, an individual seller account is a cheaper option. You’ll pay $0.99 per item in addition to a percentage fee that is determined by the product category.
Best Free Marketplace for Establishing Credibility and Building Close Buyer-Seller Relationships
VarageSale was started by a Canadian school teacher who wanted to create a place where merchants with a real identity could trade. Unlike other classified listing sites, VarageSale requires sellers to use a real profile image, name and create a personal bio.
This means buyers trust sellers more compared to a “faceless classifieds site” where you can’t tell who is legit or not. VarageSale requires you to have a Facebook verified profile with your real details so buyers will actually know you.
Posting products on the platform is free. Buyers can reserve items or schedule an offline meeting too for product pickup or exchange. Payments are done using Stripe and the best part is, VarageSale currently has no seller or transaction fees for merchants.
Best International Online Marketplace for Both B2B and B2C Product Sales
AliExpress is a part of the global B2B commerce giant Alibaba group and boasts of approximately 20 million visitors daily. AliExpress exists as a hybrid B2C and B2B marketplace. So shoppers can order both retail and wholesale quantities on the site.
AliExpress also makes it possible to add a dropshipping supplier to your store and has products in virtually almost every possible buyer category; from household items to automobile parts.
In terms of fees, AliExpress doesn’t have fixed fees but charges between 5-8% commission per transaction. The exact percentage is determined by the product category. You however won’t need to pay listing fees per say.
Ideal Marketplace for Unique Handcrafted Goods, Niche Items and Collectibles
Etsy is your go-to marketplace for niche items, antiques, collectibles, and handcrafted goods. The site has a staggering 86.3 million users and is the preferred option if you’re looking to build a lucrative business around handmade goods.
Listing your products on Etsy comes with a $0.20 fee per item, which is renewed every four months otherwise the listing expires. Apart from listing fees, Etsy also charges you 5% of every transaction as a transaction fee, on top of 3%+ $0.25 for processing.
Processing fees are location-dependent and transaction fees don’t include the sales tax for US and Canada sellers. If you choose to charge a separate shipping fee, that comes with a 5% fee as well. Check out our quick guide to getting started on Etsy.
A One-of-a-Kind Wholesale Marketplace for Both Brick-and-Mortar Stores, Solopreneurs and Online Brands.
Handshake is a wholesale and retail marketplace that is owned and run by ecommerce powerhouse, Shopify. The platform allows merchants to sell unique items to both retailers and wholesalers, be they an online store or a brick-and-mortar store.
The Shopify team vets sellers it admits as suppliers on the platform. So if you want to be a wholesaler on Handshake, you’ll need to have unique, high-quality products first after which you can submit an application.
Handshake is unique because it integrates directly with Shopify. Thus shoppers get to enjoy the ease of use, convenience and reliability of Shopify’s website. The best part is Handshake is completely free to join us. No fees whatsoever.
8. Ruby Lane
Best Option for Vintage Enthusiasts, Collector’s Items and Antiques
Ruby Lane has established its reputation as the go-to marketplace for antiques, collectibles and vintage items. The website reportedly receives an average of 1.8 million unique visitors month-to-month.
Setting up shop on Ruby Lane won’t cost you anything upfront. You won’t have to pay listing fees, but you will have to pay $54 monthly maintenance fees for up to 50 product listings. There’s also an additional 6.7% transaction fee per order up to $250.
Thus, if you’re looking to sell to buyers who are loyal or passionate about a particular item, brand or collector’s item, Ruby Lane is the way to go.
Ideal Marketplace for High End, Uniquely Designed Decor Pieces and Furniture
This site’s name sounds like what it mainly deals in; home decor and furnishings. Chairish is a niche online selling site with a focus on high-quality home furnishings and furniture. The site offers over 450,000 products of high-end, design-driven home décor products.
Listing your items on Chairish is free and takes only minutes. There are multiple seller plans, with varying commission rates between 10 – 20% in fees. That means 70 – 80% of your selling price comes back to you in profit.
The only paid plan is the Elite plan which goes for $149/month. Chairish has a curatorial team that reviews your listing to make sure all listings are high quality. The team goes a step further to even edit your photos and post them live.
Shipping is handled for you so you don’t have to worry about order fulfillment and logistics. So if your niche is high-end decor and home furniture and you’re looking for enthusiastic buyers, then Chairish is your ideal platform.
Most Well-Regulated Marketplace for Selling or Exchanging Electronics and Gadgets.
Looking to sell tech gadgets like an old iPhone or GoPro? Then Swappa is your ideal marketplace. The site was created to allow both buyers and sellers to have a trustworthy platform to trade everything from laptops, phones, cameras and lots more.
Swappa has a stringent vetting process for all products before they get listed on the site, to ensure only products in good working condition get listed. This means no junk products or inferior quality gadgets. On top of that, all payments are backed by PayPal’s protection.
Listing your item on Swappa is free. If you want an extra visibility boost for your listing, you can pay an additional $5 as a flat fee. Any other fees are added to the final price of your listing, meaning the buyer pays those fees with their purchase.
So if you’re a complete gadget freak and have a stash of tech pieces you’d like to trade, Swappa is the marketplace to go.
Ideal Online Marketplace for Local Businesses and Sellers.
If you’re looking for a really great local marketplace to sell items, then Facebook marketplace is the way to go. Started in 2016, the goal of Facebook Marketplace was to bring people with shared interests and communities together to support buying and selling.
Initially, ecommerce payments had to be done off the platform, but recently Facebook has integrated ecommerce support. So now Facebook Marketplace is linked to Shopify and allows shoppers to shop just like it is their own online store.
The platform doesn’t charge a fee for you to list items, but you do have to follow Facebook’s strict guidelines as a merchant on their marketplace.
Premiere Online Selling Forum for Free Classifieds.
Craigslist is one of the premier online selling sites that started in the early 90’s. It was originally started as an email distribution platform where friends shared local events in the San Francisco Bay area.
In no time, it grew to become an open marketplace on the web now covering over 700 cities and more than 70 countries. It’s essentially a mashup of free local classifieds and a forum with lots of things.
Creating a listing on Craigslist is free, but the platform’s free and open nature makes it prone to scams. It has little to no regulation by the company and hence you don’t get company support if something goes wrong.
Choose Craigslist if you want to find local buyers or sellers and meet in-person to close deals.
Ideal Online Marketplace for Electronics and Gadgets.
Newegg is your go-to online selling site for all things technology as it claims to be “ the number one marketplace for all things tech.” So think computers, computer parts, smart home gadgets and gaming accessories.
The California-based marketplace has a large number of distribution facilities in both Canada and the United States that boost its global reach to over 50 countries. Creating detailed product pages is easy and your listing could reach up to 36 million customers.
Newegg’s demographic is mainly millennials and some of the Gen Z age brackets, so if that’s the audience you are targeting, Newegg is an excellent choice. The site also offers marketing tools to help you succeed like its daily deal emails and unique seller programs.
Just be sure to offer great customer service and avoid any prohibited items. Newegg’s membership fees range from zero fees for standard membership to $99.95 for enterprises. They also charge a sliding commission between 8% and 15% per sale.
Ideal Online Marketplace for Foreign Merchants Looking To Sell In Japan.
Rakuten is one of the largest, Asian-based online selling websites operating out of Japan. Its diverse marketplace provides ecommerce, communications, finance, and many other services.
It may not be as popular as other competitors like PayPay Mall, but reports claim it does better in terms of actual sales. Rakuten offers a near endless list of product categories like books, clothing, subscriptions and much more.
Rakuten boasts of over 115 million customers globally and upwards of 50,000 merchants. If you want to sell on the platform, you’ll first need to have your business registered in the US or Japan. The other alternative is to apply through a service partner.
Best Online Marketplace for Businesses Looking To Trade In The Middle East.
Flipkart began as an online bookstore but quickly evolved into a vibrant and well-populated online marketplace. You can buy just about anything in any category from clothes to gadgets and even groceries. It started in 2007 and is based in India but ships globally.
The platform is backed by Walmart and is giving Amazon a run for its money as it is the leading online marketplace in India. So if you’re targeting the Indian market, Flipkart is the best choice to break into the market.
Flipkart charges a combination of fees including fixed fees which are fixed based on product category and a collection fee which is about 2% of the selling price. Additional fees may be incurred depending on if your item is prepaid or postpaid.
Ideal Marketplace for Businesses Targeting The Chinese Market.
Taobao is China’s leading online selling site and is currently one of the largest online marketplaces globally. The platform initially started out like eBay and ran auctions but today most of its products are new merchandise with fixed prices.
Taobao is owned by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and offers an extension of its website as Taobao deals. Buyers can check seller background and ratings on the site which helps make it more secure and merchants are allowed to create their own storefront on the site.
In terms of fees, Taobao is free to use and allows merchants to list items for free. It however charges a 0.55% commission per sale and an additional 0.1% fee for transfers over 3000 USD.
Unfortunately, the Taobao website is not available to foreigners to register directly. They may first have to register a Chinese company and use that company to open a store. The site also conducts business in Chinese, so an onsite translator would be helpful.
Most Community-Centred Online Selling Forum for Local Businesses and Solopreneurs.
Another community selling-based site, Nextdoor works similar to Facebook and Craigslist. Nextdoor adds a more personal touch by allowing users to share events and activities in their surroundings or neighborhoods.
For example, you can post about your favorite restaurant or weather updates in your area. Nextdoor works like your neighborhood buying and selling hub with a forum. This means buyers and sellers have to meet in person to transact business.
This makes the site more secure for shoppers but requires users to create a personal profile with real details to allow them to use it. There are no listing fees for posting your products on Nextdoor.
Ideal Marketplace for Fashion and Lifestyle Products Targeting The German Market.
If you’re targeting the German market, Otto is your go-to online marketplace. It is the second-largest online marketplace in Germany that focuses on lifestyle and fashion merchandise.
Otto started out as a mail-order company that sold less than 30 types of shoes but grew rapidly to over $60 million annually before 1960. Now, Otto’s products are mostly sold online and it allows third-party retailers and branded products too.
Its active customer count stands at over 9 million, making it Amazon’s biggest competitor in Germany. To sell on Otto, you’ll first need to register a business in Germany and acquire a German tax ID.
Next, you’ll pay approximately $47 as a monthly fee for listing products with a sales commission that varies based on what you’re selling but is in the range of 15 – 50% per product sold.
19. Mercado Libre
A Full-featured Marketplace for Products Targeted At the Latin American Market
For sellers based in or targeting the Latin American market, Mercado Libre which literally translates to “free market” is the right option. The platform serves some 18+ countries including Mexico and Argentina and is the most popular online marketplace on the continent.
The site is reported to have exceeded $4.3 billion in one quarter and sold almost 600 million items in the same quarter of 2020. Sellers have the option to sell in any of the site’s 20 main categories or 123 smaller categories.
The good news is US-based sellers can sell directly on the site and there are no listing fees. However, the site has a minimum product sale price and charges a commission per product sold which varies based on the product category. You may also pay long-term storage fees per unit item if your items stay in their warehouse beyond 60 days.
Most Budget-Friendly and Beginner-Friendly Marketplace for Pre-Loved Clothing Items.
Looking to declutter your closet and get rid of old clothes? Try Vinted. The online marketplace is one of the few marketplaces that exist to sell mainly second-hand clothing. All you need to do is post a photo of the piece of clothing you want to sell with its size.
The company is based in Lithuania and boasts over 45 million members. Branding clothing pieces posted on its site as “pre-loved”, Vinted is perfect for either the bulk retailer or the individual looking to get rid of a few old clothing pieces.
What sets Vinted apart from other online selling sites is that it charges zero fees to sellers. So everything from listing your item to closing the sale is completely free. All fees are passed on to the buyer and are charged on top of your item selling price. Unless you have unique shipping instructions.
Best Marketplace for Unique and Exclusively Available Products.
Walmart is one of the most popular brick-and-mortar supermarkets in the US but it boasts of an equally impressive online marketplace. The site is patronized by a whopping 440 million customers and even has affiliate partnerships with other niche brands like Jet.
Just like its physical stores, Walmart has an array of categories on its website for just about everything. What’s more, Walmart doesn’t have any membership or listing fees. It only charges commissions on sales.
Commissions range from 8% to 20% on gross sales per product, depending on which category the product is in, but on average the commissions are at about 15%. The catch is Walmart is an invite-only marketplace.
This means you’ll need to apply to become a third party retailer on the site.
Biggest Benefits of Selling on Online Marketplaces
You may have heard all the hype and success stories about selling on online marketplaces, and may be wondering why the hype? Selling on online marketplaces offers a number of benefits to both experienced or established online retailers as well as folks who are testing the waters.
Let’s take a quick look at the major perks of using an online marketplace.
1. Start Selling Almost Instantly
Marketplaces are fairly easy to use and allow you to launch your business in next to no time. This means you can start making sales (and cash) the same day you launch. All you have to do is sign up or apply to become a retailer on the site and start listing your products.
Simply upload or list your products on the site correctly so you benefit from the site’s built in traffic to start generating revenue. Be sure to start promoting your products on other platforms including social media and forums to help drive more sales.
If you already have a website for your products, take advantage of the marketplace and find smart ways to drive some of the website traffic to your site.
This could be via email or through a built-in widget on the marketplace that lets shoppers directly add items to their cart on your website.
2. Streamlined systems and programs
For someone with no online selling experience, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do at what time. From marketing to order fulfilment, most large marketplaces have simplified the steps from getting your first sale to complete order fulfilment.
For example, Amazon has an efficient and almost completely hands-off order fulfilment called Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon). All you need to do is get your items to Amazon’s warehouse and they will handle the rest. eBay has its version called eBay global shipping.
In terms of marketing, Amazon and Google both offer access to Amazon Advertising and Google Shopping actions. These tools are designed mainly to help sellers get the most out of their marketing efforts.
3. Endless Flow of Customers
Online marketplaces are exactly that…marketplaces. This means just like in a real market, there are throngs of shoppers browsing these sites on a minute-to-minute basis looking for items to buy.
That saves you from having to drive traffic to your website from the get-go, which in and of its own can take some time to figure out. Many consumers begin their shopping searches on large marketplaces too.
For a new seller, this means your listing can start getting attention from the site’s visitors especially with the right product content. The right copy and description mean your products are more likely to show up in a product search hence giving you a greater chance of selling.
Tips That Will Help You Sell More Products Online
So now you’ve settled on which marketplace you’d like to sell your items on, but how do you increase your odds of succeeding with your new venture? We take a look at a few top tips to help you succeed.
1. Make your product content relevant
When shoppers are browsing an online marketplace, they’re probably seeing 100s if not 1000s of products competing for their attention. You’ll need your listing to stand out, and that means having concise yet punchy product copy.
This means your product content should be relevant. Product titles need to be straight to the point and in the language, your shopper most likely would type in the site’s search bar. It should also be listed under the right category so it is easier to find.
Include all other important information like the item’s condition i. e brand-new or second-hand, sizing guides for clothes or shoes, and allergen information if appropriate. The next step is to make sure your product copy contains the right keywords.
Using the right keywords increases the likelihood of your listing getting found and eventually bought. Always review product copy for typos and mistakes before publishing!
2. Consider Advertising
Most of the popular online marketplaces have lots of traffic and likewise, lots of competitors. Sometimes your listing gets shown next to a strong competitor with more reviews. This potentially could drown your listing.
Advertising will have your listings displayed on top of most other competing offers in your category which will drive sales and visibility. Use whatever tools the site offers and on your own site, use exit intent pop-ups, and other attention-grabbing techniques to convert more sales.
Use social media to drive awareness of your products and drive more leads to the website.
3. Make Checkout Easy
On most online marketplaces, you may find yourself stuck with the existing checkout process they offer. However, make checking out as easy and straight to the point. So shoppers can buy without stressing or dealing with a complicated signup process.
On your own website, you can include guest checkout and/or one-click to order options so there are fewer obstacles in the order process. If the checkout process is too complicated, you’ll lose sales.
Make a checkout process you yourself would happily use to checkout without too many steps. More steps mean more friction and eventually lost sales.
4. Improve your shipping strategy
Shipping costs and methods can make or break your conversion rates and the total number of sales. It helps if you offer more value for money without worrying about additional costs from shipping.
Explore shipping vendors and options and choose those that would be the most convenient. In fact, more and more shoppers are leaning towards free shipping. You don’t have to offer free shipping, but you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
You can also add a flat rate to cover shipping costs in your listing price. Your choice of shipping carrier also influences the cost and speed of delivery which affects your overall customer experience. Choose a carrier that offers discounts on bulk shipping.
5. Outstanding Customer Service
A great customer experience is important to building a strong customer base when you’re selling online. One poor customer service experience can cost you up to 33% of your potential client base.
Responsive customer service helps to build trust and reassurance in your brand. It also helps you get great reviews, lots of recommendations plus repeat business. One way to build customer confidence is to offer a no-questions-asked money back guarantee if possible.
Moneyback guarantees make customers more comfortable shopping from you for the first time. If you’re selling on a marketplace like Amazon, some of these policies may be already built-in.
Finally, ensure that your support team or staff are competent and well-equipped to handle customer complaints and solve issues. They should be friendly, polite, and patient. Asking for feedback after contact with your support team will help you maintain high-quality customer support.
Business Strategies for Selling on Marketplaces
Selling on an online marketplace can be both exciting and tricky. There’s the benefit of having your products seen by millions of potential buyers. But on the flip side, your products are being shown side by side with directly competing products.
So how do you make your products stand out from the crowd?
1. Use SEO to Optimize Listing Visibility
Most large online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have their own built-in search engine through which shoppers look for what they want. Using the right keywords in your product titles and descriptions increases the likelihood of your product getting found by shoppers.
The more keywords occur in your product title, the higher up they would appear in the search results. The higher up it appears, the more click throughs you’ll get which increases your chance of a sale.
Just be mindful not to stuff keywords in a way that seems unnatural or unlikely to be entered by a shopper. Also it pays to put in some time to do keyword research to find both tags and keywords that are relevant to your product listing to include in your descriptions.
2. Build and Show Off Positive Reviews
If you’re completely new to the marketplace, it might be tough to convert the first few sales simply because you may not have as many reviews as your competitors. That’s why it's important to ensure a great all-round customer experience first.
Now motivate customers to share their testimonials and reviews (if they are already good) in exchange for a free gift or discount on their next purchase. This will go a long way to helping you build positive reviews faster and hence gain more buyer confidence and sales.
3. Create An Iron-clad Money-Back Guarantee and Refunds Policy
In the online selling space, money-back guarantees are equivalent to a boost in trust and credibility. New shoppers will feel more confident about choosing to purchase from you because they know they can get their money-back in case of any issues.
Try to get some reviews when you do fulfill a money back guarantee too so potential buyers will see your guarantees are legit. In some cases, the marketplace will already have this offer built-in, like Amazon does. But in other cases, you’ll have to offer it.
4. Use Urgency to Convert More Sales
Urgency here simply means anything that would motivate a buyer to complete their order process. On your own website, you may use a countdown timer or limited time deals. But on a marketplace, you can include discount coupons and promo codes under your listing.
Amazon for example incorporates a “subscribe and save” option under products which may be ordered more than once, like supplements, beauty supplies and other household supplies.
There’s also the timer option that tells you to order within a certain number of hours if you want same day delivery. Abandoned cart emails sent using a good email marketing service should also help in this regard.
Online Selling FAQs
Online selling is the simple process of listing or publishing a product or service on a website or online marketplace for sale.
Selling online allows you to reach a wider market demographic be it locally or internationally compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Also it comes with fewer overhead costs compared to traditional retail including less staffing and zero costs to rent a space.
You also get to keep your storefront open 24/7 because anyone, anywhere can make a purchase from your site at any time. Selling online also makes it easier to scale your business and expand rapidly, without necessarily having to spend more.
To start selling online, you’ll first need to have items on hand or sourced from a dropshipping supplier that you’re looking to sell. Next you’ll have to choose your online marketplace or selling site of choice to sell your items on.
If you’re looking to sell on your own website, sign up for a Shopify account and follow the prompts to set up your own store. If you prefer an online marketplace, sign up to the platform of your choice. Next create your product listing with photos and relevant copy.
You’re now ready to start selling online!
The best platform to sell online depends on the kinds of products you want to sell, the market you are looking to sell to as well as your profit margins after fees. A good pricing strategy will come in here.
For a brand new seller who’s experimenting with products and looking to eventually build a long-term business, it would be a good idea to experiment with both Amazon and Shopify.
So you simply set up a Shopify store but sync it to Amazon so that you can benefit from Amazon’s FBA program.
Arguably fashion items and accessories top the list of the most popular items sold globally. More and more people are opening niche fashion accessory shops that sell everything ranging from vintage clothing to second-hand clothes.
Some of the best-selling product categories include fashion and clothing, skincare or beauty products, health supplements, tech gadgets and phone accessories. In recent times, ebooks and digital courses have also become hot niches to sell in.
Selling online has its perks but also has its downsides. For starters, you will face stiff competition from other new and well-established brands that already have an online presence.
If you choose to sell in an online marketplace like Amazon, your products will be displayed side by side with direct competitors which may make it harder to convert sales. There’s also the issue of dealing with refund requests and complaints from unhappy customers.
Some online shoppers are notorious for returning goods at the slightest issue which can lead to lost time, money and frustration.
Another potential issue is dealing with tax laws in different jurisdictions from yours, that’s if you’re aiming for a broad or international market.
Selling on an online platform is a great way to get started in ecommerce. You can build an additional stream of income using items you may already have on hand from anywhere in the world. It’s also beginner-friendly and involves minimal start-up capital.
If you choose to sell on an online marketplace, you’ll benefit from free traffic and instant visibility to potential buyers. This makes selling online a great way to test out product ideas and get feedback before launching new products.
For beginners, most large online platforms also offer easy but effective marketing tools to help you get the most out of their marketing efforts.
Ready to Start Selling Online?
Selling online is a simple way to start generating some extra income on the side or build a brand for the long-term. There are two main ways you can get started selling online, either using your own storefront on your own website or by using an online marketplace.
Online marketplaces are great because you get instant access to a large customer base and well established systems for marketing and fulfilling orders. Amazon and Etsy are both great options to get started with if you’re looking to explore marketplaces.
Your own website allows you to build a strong brand without the distractions of direct competitors on the same site. Shopify is a great all-in-one online store builder solution that will allow you to create a professional-looking and high-converting store in minutes.