February 28, 2017 Jessica Merrill

Top 6 Online Marketplaces for 2017

eggs in a basket - strong estate marketing

When selling products online, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! In other words, don’t just stick to one means of selling. Here are our picks for 2017’s top online marketplaces.

1. Amazon

As the king of all online marketplaces, Amazon might seem like the best option for selling your products. Amazon has a huge customer base that represents 30% of the ecommerce market. Also, since Amazon is so well known, it’s potentially more trustworthy than other, lesser-known sites. It has a great back-end infrastructure to help you manage inventory tracking, tax collection, and credit card processing, making it easier for you to focus on selling instead of getting bogged down in the details.

However, Amazon may not be the best option for some businesses. Because all the branding is about Amazon, the only things you can control are the pictures and product descriptions. Everything is Amazon branded so there is a lack of customer loyalty. Also, Amazon has control over buyer’s information, so you cannot capture customer’s emails and continue to market to them. This can make it harder to build your business in a sustainable way. Because of this, it’s good to experiment with other means of online selling.

2. eBay

eBay is another great way to sell online. Although it is essentially an online marketplace, eBay is more similar to an online auction. This gives you more of an opportunity to market your own brand rather than it being taken over by the site through which you are selling. eBay fees are also not quite as high as Amazon fees, which can be helpful when you’re first starting out.

3. Bonanza

Bonanza, a fast-growing online marketplace, isn’t yet as popular as eBay and Amazon. The good thing about it not being quite as big as the others is that there’s enough room for the “small guys” or the businesses that are just starting out. Bonanza is not overpowered by bigger brands. Bonanza also has a feature in which every listing is automatically sent to Google and Bing Shopping. There are also import features for Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Although Bonanza has a smaller audience, you still have the ability to reach a larger group of people and use more than just Bonanza for selling without much difficulty.

4. Jet

Jet, another up-and-coming online marketplace, is becoming another serious competitor for bigger sites like Amazon and eBay. It has lower fees than its competitors, which makes it automatically more attractive for sellers. It does take commission, but won’t start charging you until you start making sales. With Jet, you can also initiate communication with your buyers. This allows you to build a more stable customer base and furthers the stability of the foundation of your business.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest, the popular social media site, is also becoming more and more of an online marketplace. It has recently added a feature called “buyable pins.” This feature is available to all U.S. based companies and allows customers to simply click on a product to purchase. Pinterest is very popular, especially with women and millennial pinners, who often use it on a daily basis. Although it has previously been more popular with women, Pinterest’s male audience doubled between 2013 and 2014. Orders coming from Pinterest have also increased 140% in the past two years!

6. Your Website

Though there are a lot of advantages to selling your products through online marketplaces, there are also advantages to building your own ecommerce site. First, it eliminates competitors. If buyers come to your site, they only see your products. Even though there may be some initial fees starting out, there are also no listing and selling fees. Having your own site also allows you to create your own business identity and your own brand. Having complete charge over your business, and not being under the rules of a bigger marketplace, might be exactly what you need to grow your business to its largest potential.
When you’re selling products online, using two or more ecommerce sites helps you to reach as broad an audience as possible. It also helps you safeguard against losing your entire business if you accidentally get kicked off your ecommerce platform. What online marketplaces do you use? Do you plan to diversify in 2017? Let us know in the comments!

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