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Marketplaces – To sell or not to sell?

The online marketplace can be daunting place especially for sellers. This is even more true for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Some companies sells only through marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Allibaba, others sell only through their own online portals, and some use a hybrid approach. How do you decide which strategy is best for your business?

There are too many nuances to give an umbrella answer, so the best we can do is weigh up the advantages. Here are some of the main advantages of selling your product on a marketplace:

  • It opens up an international market for your products. Customers may notice you easier on the marketplace than through your own marketing efforts.
  • Adding to the first point, you can see reduced marketing costs and greater product exposure. Yes sure you might be seen right next to some of your competitors, but is that such a bad thing?
  • The marketplace gives you the platform where customers can easily compare your products with others. This could be a great benefit especially if your products have certain competitive advantages. The ability for a customer to compare products and price on a single platform can influence the decision to buy much quicker and more frequently.
  • Never underestimate the advantages of product reviews. The fact that customers can review products, is one of the best sales pitches your product can ask for, so if an independent review of your product is visible to potential customers, it might sway their decision in your favour!
  • Most marketplaces offer first tier customer support, which means some of the headaches of dealing with customers directly can be fielded by the marketplace, and you only end up dealing with more serious issues. That definitely saves time!
  • You can use bulk listing and reporting tools as most marketplaces offer you the option to use web services, which means your content management efforts are reduced. This is especially handy if you are already managing your own online shop and catalogue.
  • You can run different promotions on the marketplace than your other channels. This can give you some interesting insights into your promotions like which channels react better to which offers, which markets and countries are more likely to take up your offers and much more.

Cassie van Wyk is the main author of this blog and has years of experience in the field of channel marketing and e-commerce respectively. He has a passion for writing and sharing knowledge, and does a lot of research in order to bring factual information to all the blog visitors. Feel free to reach out at any time!

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