Online marketplaces allow you to sell goods without setting up your own online store. Selling through online marketplaces provides a flexible business opportunity with relatively low start-up costs. eBay and Amazon are examples of well established marketplaces.
The potential advantages to be gained by joining an online marketplace will vary between industries and businesses, and indeed between buyers and sellers.
Advantages of online marketplaces for your business
- it provides an additional channel to market and sell your products
- the platform offers reduced marketing costs compared to other sales channels
- it allows new opportunities for overseas sales – there has been noted online marketplace growth in the categories of homeware, pets, fashion and sporting goods
- they are popular with customers and offer a convenient way to compare prices and products from a single source
- being part of an established online marketplace provides a level of trust between you and the buyer
- impartial reviews of your products and service may give new customers the confidence to buy
- they offer opportunities to establish new trading partnerships with traders and suppliers, either within your supply chain or across supply chains
- they provide greater transparency – availability, prices and stock levels are accessible in an open environment
- it is possible to operate a round-the-clock – time constraints and problems with varying international trading hours are removed
- Convenience. Convenience is the biggest perk. Where else can you comfortably shop at midnight while in your pajamas? There are no lines to wait in or cashiers to track down to help you with your purchases, and you can do your shopping in minutes. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24/7, and also reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping experience. There is no better place to buy informational products like e-books, which are available to you instantly, as soon as the payment goes through. Downloadable items purchased online eliminate the need for any kind of physical material at all, as well, which helps the environment!
- Better prices. Cheap deals and better prices are available online, because products come to you direct from the manufacturer or seller without involving middlemen. Plus, it’s easier to compare prices and find a better deal. Many online sites offer discount coupons and rebates, as well. Not only are prices better, but you can save on tax as well, since online shops are only required to collect a sales tax if they have a physical location in your state. Factor in the saved expense of gas and parking and you have saved yourself a lot of money!
- More variety. The choices online are amazing. You can find almost any brand or item you’re looking for. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on airfare. You can shop from retailers in other parts of the state, country, or even world instead of being limited to your own geography. A far greater selection of colors and sizes than you will find locally are at your disposal. Plus, the stock is much more plentiful, so you’ll always be able to find your size and color. Some online shops even accept orders for out-of-stock items and ship when they come in.
- You can send gifts more easily. Sending gifts to relatives and friends is easy, no matter where they are. All the packaging and shipping is done for you. Oftentimes, they’ll even gift wrap it for you! Now, there is no need to make distance an excuse for not sending a gift on occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so forth.
- More control. Many times, when we opt for conventional shopping, we tend to spend a lot more than planned and end up buying items that aren’t exactly what we wanted (but we can’t find anything better in the store). Online, you don’t have to let the store’s inventory dictate what you buy, and you can get exactly what you want and need.
- Easy price comparisons. Comparing and researching products and their prices is so much easier online. If you’re shopping for appliances, for example, you can find consumer reviews and product comparisons for all the options on the market, with links to the best prices. We can research firsthand experience, ratings, and reviews for most products and retailers.
- No crowds. If you are like me, you hate crowds when you’re shopping. Especially during holidays, festivals, or on weekends, they can be such a huge headache. Also, being crushed in the crowds of shoppers sometimes makes us feel rushed or hurried. You don’t have to battle for a parking place. All of these problems can be avoided when you shop online.
- No pressure. Oftentimes when we’re out shopping, we end up buying things that we don’t really need, all because shopkeepers pressure us or use their selling skills to compel us to make these purchases.
- You can buy used or damaged items at lower prices. The Marketplace UK on the Internet gives us access to listings of old or damaged items at rock bottom prices. Also, if we want to buy antiques, there’s no better place to find great ones.
- Discreet purchases are easier. Some things are better done in the privacy of your home. Online shops are best for discreet purchases for things like adult toys, sexy lingerie, and so on. This enables me to purchase undergarments and lingerie without embarrassment or any paranoia that there are people watching or judging me.