The Multiple Benefits of Online Marketplaces
Retailers have long pursued ways to sell their products and services in ways that reach the most customers. Buyers and sellers are turning to online marketplaces in growing numbers and merchants are exploring ways to capitalize on the potential that digital commerce offers.
One indication of the popularity of digital commerce is Cyber Monday, the first Monday of the Christmas holiday shopping season when millions of shoppers visited online marketplaces to take advantage of deep discounts and strategically positioned deals. In 2018 shoppers spent a record $7.9 billion online, far surpassing expectations. Analysts projected that 60 percent of shoppers in the 2018 holiday season planned to shop exclusively online.
As e-commerce grows in popularity with consumers who have the option of shopping online with cell phones apps and tablet computers, it becomes important that merchants large and small have a digital commerce strategy in place and a retail presence online. Here are some of the benefits for your business of pairing with an online marketplace.
What is a Marketplace?
An online marketplace differs from a retail website that sells specific items and services from a company’s inventory. The marketplace website or app puts shoppers in touch with digital catalogs of products from many different sources. Online marketplace platforms can be vertical and offer one type of item like jewelry or auto parts from many retail sources; horizontal, marketing products that share the same interests; and global.
Broad Customer Access
An online marketplace puts a business or merchant in touch with buyers nationally and worldwide with varying purchasing interests. They look for vertical and horizontal marketplaces selling products that reflect their styles and tastes, which may not be met by clicking on to a traditional retailer’s site. The greater the access to potential customers, the better the potential to put your goods and services with the consumers that want them.
You will have to work hard to get the attention of this worldwide customer base to your e-commerce site that could translate into huge sales for your business. A marketplace online for your products is an essential step to getting the attention of this audience.
A Branding Boost
Another benefit of an online marketplace for your business is the positive brand recognition it will attract. The best online marketplace that ranks well in search engines could increase your business’ brand exposure and give it a boost in search engine optimization that gets your business noticed and helps shoppers easily find your product in searches. The returns are worth your business’ investment in an online marketplace as customers see your product positioned prominently alongside recognized brands.
It can be a great deal of work for a merchant to create, test and launch a website that effectively attracts customer traffic and compete with digital retailers. This is where a good online marketplace can be an asset to your business. The marketplace handles the product listings and payment gateways associated with your company’s digital commerce, leaving you to concentrate on the long-term strategy of building your business and improving product offerings.
Why It’s Essential
E-commerce can be a challenging environment for any company, and particularly daunting for smaller businesses and startups that do not have the resources to develop a robust digital marketing strategy. Partnering with an online marketplace platform that reaches out to a wider customer base, expands your brand recognition, aligns your products with established brands and raises your company’s profile is a profitable option for your business.