Whether you’re just starting out on your ecommerce journey or looking to boost your visibility and increase sales, signing up with an online marketplace is a great way to expand your customer base. But with so many to choose from, how can you pick the one that’s right for you? Here’s our guide to some of the best.
Of course, it goes without saying that Amazon should be up there on your list of possibilities. As the biggest marketplace in the world, this ecommerce giant is impossible to beat in terms of influence and reach. In fact, it’s estimated that some 75 percent of shoppers begin any online search by typing their requirements into Amazon. But it’s worth remembering that biggest doesn’t always mean best, and some of the site’s less-than-ethical policies have been enough to inspire many merchants to seek alternatives elsewhere.
Another big, global name, eBay is also a popular first choice with sellers looking to expand into the online marketplace game. Like Amazon, this platform will help you to reach a global audience, this time with more of a focus on handmade and vintage goods. But with more control over your online store, eBay is a stronger option for those looking to build a definitive brand.
Launched in summer 2021, Add to Cart is a relative newcomer to the online marketplace scene, aiming to give small businesses the tools that they need to grow. Designed to integrate with sellers’ existing ecommerce stores using the official Add to Cart Shopify sales channel app, this new platform leverages expert SEO and marketing techniques to boost your products to the top of search engine results. In exchange, they take a small commission on all sales, with no sign-up or monthly fees.
While places such as Amazon and eBay are often packed with mass-produced products, Etsy was one of the first marketplaces to offer something different – access to a wide range of handmade, artisan items. And today, 16 years after its launch, it’s still going strong. If you want the chance to market to a community of shoppers prepared to pay top dollar for quality goods, it’s a great place to start. But don’t forget that this comes at a price, with both a listing fee and commission charges to pay.
Like Etsy, Folksy is also focused on handmade goods – but with a far smaller community of sellers. Because of this, it’s easier to make your store stand out, although of course you’re pitching to a smaller network of customers than you will find on some other platforms. Available as a subscription or pay-as-you-go, a Folksy account is easy to personalise with dedicated tech support to help you get started.
At the other end of the spectrum is Wish, the international marketplace with a focus on affordable, mass-produced goods. Although Wish items typically take a long time to ship, the platform has a huge audience of around 1 million shoppers – a number that’s growing every day. Sellers signing up with Wish will also gain access to clever promotional tools, although the hefty 15 percent commission places it among the pricer marketplaces around.
Shoppers are attracted to NOTH by a carefully-curated range of high quality, niche products – so if you’re offering something a little out of the ordinary this could be the right marketplace for you. Bear in mind, though, that the platform operates a fairly stringent selection process, and many stores get rejected. But if you make it through, there are lots of pros – such as a dedicated customer base and a market largely free from direct competition.
One of the most popular business models to emerge of late is the subscription box. Whether it’s beauty boxes filled with pampering treats or foodie boxes packed with culinary wonders, these monthly packages are more popular than ever. If you’ve chosen this model for your business, you may well benefit from Cratejoy – a marketplace purely for subscription boxes. As well as helping you to attract new customers, this platform also boasts tools to assist in managing and optimising your service.
A marketplace with a focus on electronics, Newegg is ideal for tech businesses looking to boost their sales. Unlike many of its competitors, it offers a dedicated fulfilment service, helping independent businesses save time and money on details such as printing labels and managing returns. Like NOTH street, though, they only accept the best – so be prepared to pass a series of rigorous checks before being accepted onto the burgeoning platform.
Focused largely on the UK, OnBuy is one of the fastest growing marketplaces out there, offering a number of benefits for sellers including PayPal protection, support for small businesses and a verified review process. With over 35 million products, it’s becoming a viable alternative to the larger marketplaces – but at a cost. To join, sellers need to fork out a monthly fee as well as a commission on all sales.