You may have heard the saying 'Sell anywhere to sell more' or maybe I just made that up - either way, it stands to reason that selling on multiple marketplaces is a good idea. If you're stubborn and have been a long-time eBay seller, or you're in a committed relationship with Etsy, you'll know that while these are great platforms, they will only take your business so far.
When being loyal to only one selling platform you'll start to see the limitations this has for your store, especially when using marketplaces that host you on their domain as a seller. No one wants to be held back when they could be making leaps and bounds in the eCommerce game!
So, let's have a look at some of the reasons you should be broadening your horizons and selling on multiple marketplaces...
You'll reach more customers
When selling on Etsy for example, you'll be competing against other, similar stores for customers' attention. These marketplaces work like search engines, customers will type the details of what they're looking for into Etsy's search bar. So to stay visible on these marketplaces you need to be keeping your product info and shop layout fresh.
But constantly updating your store can be tiring and can only promote growth so far in a saturated marketplace! So why not couple this with a standalone website made through Squarespace perhaps, that allows you to draw in customers from Google too. It has been said that it's easier to gain visibility via Google then it is inside a marketplace like Etsy, so using both can counteract this.
By selling on multiple platforms you can reach a broader scope of customers via two different search engines. Although creating a website from scratch can sound overwhelming, Squarespace have made it easy peasy, so you've got no excuse!
You can grow your branding
Ready-to-rock marketplaces like Amazon entice you in with little to no set-up fees, they require no tech knowledge, and immediately open you up to a huge customer base, but what they can't do is facilitate much brand growth.
Using a premade marketplace as your singular selling platform is a rookie mistake. Think about it, when you have your own website you have control over what it looks like, what you can sell (and how much), as well as unique offers and discounts galore!
When you create your own website alongside your other selling platforms you can begin to:
- Brand your products and service experience
- Create a logo to have as your centerpiece
- Connect with customers as an established brand
Additionally, multi-channel selling through a website can create more marketing opportunities that wouldn't be possible through a preprepared marketplace platform. For instance, launching your own eCommerce website allows you to utilise blogs, build email lists, and drive traffic to your website.
And all the while you're multichannel selling, you can link all of your platforms to each other to encourage customers to purchase wherever suits them!
You'll increase the chance of making a sale
Since each online selling platform has a different look, system, and experience, by using a few you'll be able to present your products in multiple ways. Consumers love the variety and a good deal!
Online shoppers will most likely be searching on a couple of marketplaces to compare prices. You'll want your products to be around every corner wandering online shoppers take. If they spot your products (and prices) on more than one platform, your business will stick in their mind and hopefully their cart!
Think of selling on multiple platforms as an opportunity to make your sales pitch 2, 3, or 4 times! Even if they're not keen the first time, they may warm to you and your products after the second or third encounter, if not it's their loss!
You can always have a backup
What if, one morning, you awake to find that Etsy is down and you're 155,053rd in the queue for their help desk?! But you remember, you set up a BigCommerce website to reap the benefits of multi-channel selling, so the sales stream is never interrupted by technical issues. Aren't you good!
Marketplaces aren't completely glitch-proof, and rules of use often change regularly, so having at least one backup to maintain revenue coming in is an excellent plan.
Additionally, in the event of one marketplace going down, you can always use social media channels to direct your loyal following to other platforms where they can purchase from you. Selling on multiple platforms covers all bases - literally!
It will consolidate your credibility
More often than not, consumers expect to see brands to appear on multiple shopping channels. I don't know about you, but if I see a brand well established on eBay, WooCommerce, Amazon, AND Facebook, I get the impression that they're pretty trustworthy and in demand. Familiarity breeds trust.
If your store only appears on one online selling marketplace your brand may appear a little underdeveloped and perhaps inexperienced and feel like a bit more of a gamble for customers.
Multi-channel selling doesn't mean you've got to be on them all! Try to occupy at least two online marketplaces to start with, as the more a customer sees your brand and your products, the more recognised and remembered your business will be!
Things to consider when choosing platforms to sell on
Choose channels carefully
When choosing the platforms you would like to sell on, consider a few things:
- Do my target customers shop here?
- How prominent is this platform for my products?
- Can I afford the set-up fees or subscription prices?
- Is it easy to run/do you have the time to learn how?
Some selling platforms like Prestashop can be more complicated to set-up and learn to use so it's important to consider your time and spend it carefully! You don't want to be setting up on 15 different selling marketplaces and doing a slap-dash job, you might lose customers this way.
Remember although quantity is great, quality is essential.
Check your competition
Different selling platforms have varying niches, so studying the competition you'll be up against on each marketplace is key.
Take Etsy for example, sellers of the crafty kind favor it because arty shoppers search for handmade products. Make sure to take this into account when taking product pictures, writing descriptions, and describing your business. And then alter this accordingly for other platforms!
This info can be really helpful when it comes time to market your small business - you can tailor your output to draw customers to specific platforms that will suit them most.
Keep your prices relevant
This will largely depend on the prices of your competitor's products, but don't undercut them unnecessarily! Sometimes it works well to keep your prices slightly higher and trust in the quality of your output.
Often brands will try to reduce their prices as much as possible to get ahead of the competition. But doing this will just mean compromising on your product quality or losing out on profits!
Have a look at what others are charging on each platform for products like yours and trial a few varying prices across each marketplace. Selling on multiple marketplaces gives you the opportunity to test which prices work best for you and your customers!
Select a reliable shipping solution
Lots of online selling platforms offer in-built shipping solutions but most of the time these cost businesses much more to use! That's why lots of small businesses choose to go with a courier broker like Interparcel who can supply them with cost-effective parcel delivery across all major marketplaces.
We partner with all the big names in eCommerce, so no matter where you sell we can make sure your brands shipping is the cheapest and fastest out there! Our Shipping Manager enables you to fulfill and send shipments with ease, pulling all of your order information from multiple platforms into one area.
We want small businesses to reach their full potential and benefit from using any and all of the wonderful selling platforms that are out there! And we'll be delivering all of your fantastic products reliably as you do.