Online marketplaces have transformed the customer’s shopping journey. Even if you haven’t heard about these, chances are you wouldn’t have gone without hearing about Amazon, Flipkart and others. Not only have these brands made the shopping journey very easy but also opened an altogether new door of opportunities for the seller. Selling on an online marketplace has several benefits than setting up a store. But is it worth it in 2021? Let’s find out.
When it comes to selling online, sellers have a handful of options. These are-
- Creating your online store from scratch
- Launching a mobile application
- Signing up to a marketplace
Most sellers prefer one or more of these options to reach out to their target customers. However, the cost associated with each of these vary when put to practice. Creating a store can be full of hassles, and involve a lot of costs.
Moreover, if you are not sure about the success of a business, there is no point investing in it. Online marketplaces on the other hand are less demanding in terms of investment. There’s more to what meets the eye. But, with the passing time, more and more sellers are preferring selling on an online marketplace.
Whether it is the low investment or the guarantee of an audience coming to your shop, online marketplaces are a hit for a variety of reasons. While it seems like it, online marketplaces are not completely free of cost. But, we’ll get to that later. As of now, all you need to know is that it can be a good decision to sell on a marketplace considering a lot of scenarios.
So, if you’ve ever wondered whether it is wise to sell on Amazon, Flipkart and more such places, you’re at the right place. We’re here to answer all your questions about online marketplaces. Find out whether they are worth the value for you!
What is an Online Marketplace?
Statistics suggest that online sellers have skyrocketed their sales in the market up to 1,250 percent, by listing their business on a marketplace. However, to make your business a successful one, you need to identify precisely where to list it.
More accurately, an online marketplace is an ecommerce website that offers products to the customers from multiple sellers. You might have come across the names of the following-
- Etsy and others
These are only the top names that are most widely known when it comes to marketplaces. Alternatively, there are several other small platforms that help in selling successfully. In fact there are several marketplacess depending on the niche you’re interested in. So, if you’re interested in signing up for a marketplace, make sure you research your options well.
Overall, the success of marketplaces across the world is huge. There are more than 100 online marketplaces that you can leverage to sell to the customers. While you do not need to get started with all of them at once, you could take one small step at a time. Find out which channels are best for your business and monitor their fee. Then make your decision!
What are the Real Costs of Selling on an Online Marketplace?
While getting started with an online marketplace is really easy and hassle free. It’s not all pink skies and a bed of roses forever. If you’ve ever tried to register yourself on any of the marketplaces, you would know that there are some costs of selling involved.
Most of the marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart and others will not charge you anything for registration. This means that you can register for free and then start selling instantly. This puts you in an instant position of advantage as you get started with selling instantly. You get access to the audience that is landing on the marketplace and you put your products in their way.
However, marketplaces need to keep functioning. Even though they do not charge you with any registration fee etc. they do charge you in some other ways. Take a look at some of the costs you have to bear for selling on a marketplace below-
- Per Order Fee
- Monthly Fee
- Picking and Packaging fee
- Referral fee
- Transaction fee
- Commission and others
Marketplaces charge commission for all the sales you make through their platform. This is, however, split up according to the different categories of products you sell. So, for example, if you are selling electronics and apparels, the selling fee on these platforms will be different.
In addition to this, the fee charged or respective commision is per order or on a monthly basis. For example, when you register on Amazon, the platform asks you these-
Do you want to register as an individual seller or as a professional one? The answer to this mostly depends on the sales you’re making. So, let’s say if you’ve just started a business and you’re not sure of the orders you’ll be getting, you can sign up as an individual seller. Under this pla, you will be charged the selling fee on a per order basis. There will be no monthly fee charged.
On the other hand, if you are making good enough sales, per order fee might turn into a costly affair for you. For this reason you can sign up for a more professional plan. Under this, you will be charged a monthly fee. When you have a substantial number of orders flowing into your business, a monthly fee is a better option as it turns out to be lower from the per order fee.
Packaging and Logistics
Apart from the selling fee, marketplaces also charge you for packaging and logistics. That is if you do not package and ship your products on your own. Packaging and logistics can have a great impact on your business. When you are selling online, you will need to pick and pack your products efficiently.
Otherwise, your products can be damaged during the transit. While small sellers prefer to package their products and assign a courier on their own, it is often a difficult job. Choosing the right courier company alone can take a significant amount of time and involve a lot of costs.
Marketplaces on the other hand, provide the packaging and logistics services to the seller. This way, you are not only selling but also delivering your products safely from the same platform.
It might not be the best option if you only have a handful of orders, but in the long run when your business grows, it is often a wise option. Alternatively, today there are several logistics companies and selling platforms like Dash101 where both selling and shipping is taken care of.
The various packaging and shipping costs associated can be-
- Order Picking fee
- Fulfillment centre fee
- Packaging fee
- Shipping charges
- Return costs and more
What are the Benefits of Selling on Online Marketplaces?
Marketplaces keep the customers happy. And that’s why you see millions of customers preferring Amazon over any other ecommerce store. These websites have built a reputation with the customer, therefore, became their default choice.
For third party sellers it is great news. Because marketplaces want customers to come back and shop more. They would travel extra miles to onboard reputed third party sellers and get the work done.
Therefore, if you’re selling online, here’s why you should sign up on a marketplace-
Large Customer Base
If you are signing up on a marketplace, you have the advantage of getting access to a large customer base. This is because when you start new in the market, there are chances that only a handful of people will know about you.
But, a marketplace is a store that is known to a lot of people. Customers trust a marketplace and come to shop there. And that’s because it is the reputation of the marketplace that compels the user to buy. When you create a profile there and start selling, you just capitalize on the resources of the marketplace.
Quick Exposure to the Market
If you’re launching your store for the first time, a marketplace will be a good place to get started. That’s because of the fast launch times. In other words, marketplaces can be a great way to generate revenue and get exposure to the market. All you have to do is get approval as a seller and there you go! You can start selling almost instantly.
Alternatively, if you are marketing your business on different platforms, you can add a ‘Where to Shop’ button or CTA. This is a good way to let customers know where to shop from you. Alternatively, this also sends a message that you are selling on a reputed platform and burying from you will be safe and secure.
Sell Unlimited Category of Products
With a marketplace comes the option to sell an unlimited category of products. As a customer when you head to a website like Amazon, you see multiple products being sold on the platform.
This gives the customer the option to shop everything from this one place. And you might have also noticed several sellers selling a plethora of items. As a new business, you can expand your portfolio and start selling any of the various product categories that are offered on the marketplace.
No Worries of Maintaining a Website
No doubt that owning an ecommerce store has perks of its own. However, it also means that you have to do a lot of work on your own including creating and maintaining a website.
Moreover, you have to partner with a payment gateway and ensure that customers at all times have a safe shopping experience. Because if that is not the case, then you might just lose your customers, reputation and a business. On the other hand, when you sell on a marketplace, all of these are taken care of.
What are the Popular Business Strategies for Selling on an Online Marketplace?
Surely the idea of selling on a marketplace will sound fascinating to you. As a business owner, it is obvious that you need a larger audience to sell to, a wider category of products, and a secure experience. But, most sellers shy from this experience because they consider marketplaces to be completely fruitful or disastrous. Alternatively, no matter what stage of the business you are in, the marketplace can be turned into a good experience for you. You can consider the following approaches-
Getting Started with an eCommerce Business
If you are just starting your ecommerce business from scratch, selling on a marketplace can be a good option. It is possible that you do not want to invest in your own store or get into the hassle of hiring staff to manage your store.
In other words, if you are looking for a fast and easy way to make money, the marketplace might be the best place for you to start selling. Not only can you leverage their reputation but also their superb marketing efforts.
Marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart will help you get started almost immediately with selling. The idea is to start by building a profile and getting reviews from your local customers. Gradually, you can move to an international marketplace or other platforms once you have a reputation built.
Taking Your Existing Business to an eCommerce Store
If you have been selling in the market for a while, even then marketplaces can be a good option for you. Whether you’re selling online on your own store or simply have an old school retail store- marketplace can be a profit making opportunity for you. A thriving business is the best place for expansion. So, if you’ re not capitalizing on the opportunity of a marketplace, you are missing out on a lot of sales.
Wondering why? And that’s because there are an unconditional number of customers who want to shop on the platform. All you have to do is present your products to them.
Another interesting fact in this respect is that most customers who shop online check prices on Amazon before making a purchase. Moreover, they also check product descriptions and images to get a complete look and feel of the products. This customer behaviour is not just limited to Amazon but also to other marketplaces as well. So, why not sell your products at competitive prices on these platforms?
How to Guarantee Success by Selling on a Marketplace?
Now that you might have made up your mind about selling on a marketplace, let’s move on. Before you actually get started with making sales, you must know the steps leading to success. Mentioned below are some of the proven tactics that have been adopted by several successful businesses. Get your hands on them!
Optimize Your Content
Start by optimizing your content. This is especially for the product. Remember that when customers lando n thep product page, it is the content that they read first. Therefore, it should be every worth compelling to their eyes. The consideration span of an average human being is around 7 seconds. This is all you’ve got to help them decide whether they’re interested in your product or not. Start by putting efforts into
- Product title
- Category names
The more you put your efforts into your product content, the better the results will be. Your customers will be engaged from the eye catching titles and informative descriptions. Ultimately, this will also influence their decision to make a purchase. Start by using a keyword research tool to find the right keywords to include in your descriptions. Then optimize your images.
Invest in Marketing Efforts
When you’re creating a store on a marketplace, you surely don’t need to invest in maintaining your website. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to invest in advertising your business. When you search for a product on a marketplace, you see some of the products appear on the top of the page with the mark sponsored.
Similarly, you see the advertisements of other related products on the page. With a little digital marketing efforts, you can take your products to rank high on the product pages of the marketplaces. These are the ads that actually get clicked. So, you must invest in them.
Calculate Your Profits
Before you sign up on any marketplace, remember that it has some selling fee involved. Make sure that you keep them in consideration before calculating your profits. Profits are the most essential parts of any business. For this reason, you must have an accurate estimate of these. Calculate your profits while deducting the selling fee, which will give you an accurate estimate of these.
Pay Attention to the Pricing
You might have a certain idea for pricing in your mind. And chances are it might work on your online or retail store. But, when you’re selling on a marketplace, pricing can be a little competitive. Not a single pricing strategy will work on all channels that you sell.
Therefore, if you want to remain competitive in the market, work on the pricing strategy. Analyze the price of the top sellers on the platform. By looking at these, adjust your pricing frequently.
Automate Your Shipping
Remember than when you are selling physical products, shipping amounts for a significant expense. Moreover, the experience that comes with logistics has the power to make or break your business. For this reason, you should choose your logistics provider quite carefully.
You can choose to ship via the marketplace, as many of them provide logistics services. However, as a new business, you must everage third party logistics services such as Dash101 Logistics, that can help you automate your shipping at the lowest costs. Dash101 can help you ship to 26000+ pin codes at the lowest costs.
Say Yes to Expansion
Marketplaces can be an excellent idea to expand your business. So, when you’ve finally decided to sign up to the platform, make the most of it. You can also explore more than one marketplace at a time. But, make sure that you streamline the entire shopping process.
Today there are several ecommerce platforms that can help you integrate all your stores. This means that you can manage all your stores from one single platform. This makes all your work easier. So, instead of uploading the product list to each platform individually, you can do it all together. Not only will this save your time but also give you more time to make the big business decisions.
Let Your Existing Customers Know
Once you set up your profile at the marketplaces of your choice, let your customers know. Until you tell your target customers where to find you, there is no chance that they’ll know about it. You can use different digital marketing techniques to advertise your new platform. For example, if you use Facebook remarketing ads, add a line that says you can now buy from us on XX platform. Chances are your customers are already shopping on the marketplace. And having you there would be just as delightful.
Top Online Marketplaces in India to Get Started with Selling Online
Selling online can be a great experience. Only if you find the right platform. While there are plenty of opportunities in the market, you need to get started with the right one. Take a look at the top marketplaces below-
One of the biggest brands in the market, Amazon needs no introduction. When you decide to sell on Amazon, you get a lot. You get to leverage their product categories as well as the 100 million Prime members on the platform.
Customers are not only loyal to Amazon but also find it as their go to platform for every little need. Amazon is one of the best platforms to get exposure to the market. You can choose to fulfill your orders via the FBA method and then automatically make your products Prime eligible.
In addition to this, Amazon also has a convenient plan for the sellers to get started with the platform. If you are worried about a monthly fee, you can sign up to the individual plan. Under this plan you will be charged a selling fee on a per order basis.
Another amazing platform to get started with online marketplaces is Flipkart. It is an Indian ecommerce marketplace that competes with Amazon neck to neck in India. Flipkart has a great pricing structure that can help you expand your business with little investment.
You can also find a ton of product categories at Flipkart. Just like Amazon, Flipkart too has a membership program called Plus. Using it, you can sell to a large number of high spending customers on the platform. Moreover, Flipkart enjoys a good reputation with the customers, so chances are some of your customers are already on the platform.
Facebook marketplace is another great option for you to get started. Today, customers don’t just head to a social media platform to engage with each other. Instead they love to explore shopping options. The traditional buying selling groups have now turned into full fledged shopping opportunities for the customers.
As a result, Facebook launched its Marketplace, where sellers could find buyers in their geographical region. With its growth and popularity, a lot of customers now head to the marketplace to buy all sorts of products. It is a great place to sell handmade or home manufactured products that are unique to your business.
Snapdeal is yet another popular marketplace in India. It has a wide number of product categories that you can sell. Similarly, if you want to sign up and start selling instantly on a marketplace, Snapdeal is the right choice for you. In case you are all excited to take your business out there on every platform, you must not miss this one.
Another popular marketplace in India is SHopclues. The platform is known for its huge discounts and amazing offers to the customers. If you have a target audience that loves to shop discounted products, you must lure them to your Shopclues profile. Amazon and Flipkart are definitely better options, if you are just looking for one marketplace. But, there is nothing wrong with getting a few extra sales from this super popular platform.
eCommerce Website vs Online Marketplace Selling
Even though you might want to start selling on a marketplace, the idea of having your own ecommerce website might sound enticing. Most sellers have both. They create their website and integrate the marketplace selling options on the platform. This way they are able to make the most of their selling. But, if you need a head on comparison, we;ve got that for you. Take a look by yourself!
Selling on Your Website
The journey of most sellers begins from here. It is also the reason, many shy away from entering the world of eCommerce even with such great product ideas. Take a look below for more-
- As a seller when you sell on your website, you enjoy a 100 percent control over your business. The entire user experience is your call and intuition on what your customer will like. Similarly, the way you want your brand to be perceived is in your hands.
- When you sell on your website, you have the entire information of the customer. Right form their registered email address to their phone number and any other required profiles. You own every bit of the information that customers enter on your website. Moreover, you can also install analytics and leverage deeper insights about customer behaviour.
- For all the sales you make on your website, you don’t have to pay any selling fee. Setting up the website is a one time affair. After that all the sales profits are yours completely.
- When you sell on your website, your business exposure is limited. There are less chances that it will rank well on Google. Similarly, it is less likely that customers will find you online.
- Online marketplace discounts are quite famous. For example, anyone who shops online would know about Amazon’s Great Indian Sale or Flipkart’s Big Billion Days. This is not the option in a privately owned ecommerce website.
- Moreover, if you decide to expand your business to new regions, customers will have a hard time trusting it. They would prefer known and reputed names in the market than yours.
Selling on an Online Marketplace
Selling on an online marketplace has several profits. But, everything is not as it seems. Take a look below-
- You get access to millions of customers at once. With the right promotion strategies you can make the most of your business.
- You are far more likely to rank on Google or other search engines. This is because online marketplaces have greater domain reputation online. Moreover, they also have many reviews and testimonials to account for.
- It’s an easy way to step into ecommerce with little investment.
- Most often, online marketplaces do not provide a lot of customer information to you. Therefore, you cannot retarget them on other platforms. This means it is purely up to the customer to decide to shop from you again.
- You have to give away a share of your sales as a fee. Every marketplace will charge you a commission for products you sell. Be prepared to pay for every order you make.
- There are more than a few guidelines that need to be followed when selling on an online marketplace. You must abide by them or you will get banned from the platform.
Marketplaces can be pretty easy to sell online. They can get you started with the ecommerce word in a giffy. Moreover, with the reduced risk of selling and a structured process, they can really help you kick off with your business. However, as you sell on a marketplace, do not underestimate the value of your ecommerce store. Dash101 is a platform that can help you get started with your ecommerce store in no time.
Create your store as per your wishes and bring your customers anytime to shop from you. Moreover, you can also ship with Dash101 Logistics instantly. It gives you the opportunity to streamline your shipping process. With more than 8+ courier partners, you get to ship to 26000+ pin codes hassle free. While returns are inevitable in eCommerce, with Dash101 Logistics you can also minimize your returns to a great extent.
So, get started with an online marketplace and your own store at the same time. With Dash101, it is easier than ever. With one platform, say goodbye to your selling and shipping woes!
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