An online marketplace is a virtual shopping centre where independent e-retailers offer their products. The facilitating site earns commission on the transactions made.

What are the advantages of a marketplace?

  • Their strong popularity among internet users (in 2015, 32% had already made a purchase through a marketplace);
  • the opportunity to reach a wider audience;
  • the ability to take advantage of a pre-existing platform (no web development costs);
  • no traffic acquisition costs;
  • no product listing fees;
  • built-in protection from non-payment, fraud and possible disputes;
  • certain marketplaces even offer to store and ship products for retailers

With these conditions, putting all or part of your catalogue on a marketplace allows e-retailers to greatly increase their audience and their sales.

Marketplace best practices

To get the most out of this sales channel, e-retailers should be familiar with a certain number of best practices, including:

  • selling on multiple marketplaces (general or specialised), selecting those with the best search engine rankings;
  • encouraging customer loyalty (by providing coupons for future purchases, for example);
  • being proactive and participating in as many promotional offers as possible (on good terms with the product manager) to ensure better visibility;
  • taking advantage of the marketplaces’ audience to move products that have been difficult to sell in the past or that have been in stock for a while;
  • using a data feed management solution, which covers the publishing, updating and centralisation of product listings.

When utilised correctly, a marketplace can become a major traffic acquisition channel for an e-retailer.

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