Whether you sell digital or physical products or both, choosing a good online marketplace should improve your chances of making more sales. There are niche-specific marketplaces for arts and crafts and make money online products for example, and then there are general marketplaces where there are a variety of different products available.
It is a fact that some online marketplaces are better than others. There are several different features that sellers look for in an online marketplace and these include:
- The traffic levels of the marketplace
- The fees involved
- Payment methods and frequency of payment
- How easy it is to set up products on the marketplace
- The rules and regulations
- Customer support
- Good metrics
We will take a look at all of these aspects in this post. It doesn’t matter if you only have a limited choice or if you have a wide choice of many different marketplaces for your products, you need to consider all of these things carefully before making your decision.
Traffic Levels and Reach
The main point of using an online marketplace to sell your products is that you will be able to reach more potential customers. So you need to find out the traffic levels of the marketplace and the reach that it has.
There are some online marketplaces that you just know have very high traffic levels but this is not always obvious. You can use SimilarWeb.com for free to see what the estimated traffic levels are and where the traffic is coming from.
We would always recommend that you choose a marketplace that has high-quality traffic over sheer traffic volume, but if the website gets hardly any visitors at all then you will be wasting your time.
The Fees involved
All online marketplaces will make money from their sellers. Some make money from the buyers as well. You must be very clear about the fees involved in listing your products on a marketplace and delivering them to the end customer.
Sellers prefer marketplaces where listing their products is free but they do not all work this way. Read the fee section carefully before going ahead. Here are some things you should look out for:
- Are there fees for product listings?
- What are the transaction fees?
- Are there any marketing fees?
- Will the marketplace pay the shipping of physical goods to customers?
- Are there any membership or support fees?
If a marketplace has a higher fee structure than another it doesn’t mean you should automatically discount it. They may have more customer traffic and a greater reach so the additional fees could be worth it as you should make more sales.
Payment Methods and Frequency of Payment
You need to know what payment methods a marketplace offers and how often they will pay you for the sales made. Some marketplaces have a protracted payment system where you will have to wait at least 60 days to receive your payment. Others will payout a lot faster.
How do you want to receive your payment from the marketplace? Check to see if they offer a variety of payment methods such as:
- Bank transfer
- Visa / MasterCard
There are likely to be transaction fees associated with some or all of these payment methods as well. Bank transfers tend to be an expensive option and if you choose an option such as PayPal or Stripe then these payment processors will charge you transaction fees.
How easy is it to set up products?
You want your product setup or listing process to be as simple as possible. Most marketplaces will have tutorials and sometimes videos on how to set up a new listing so take a look at these before you sign up.
You may have some special requirements that the tutorials do not cover. For example, digital products often have some upsells in a funnel, so if you want to do this you need to know how easy it is with the marketplaces you are considering.
If you can’t find the answers that you need then contact marketplace support and ask them the question directly. Don’t just take the word of the marketplace that everything is easy. Check for reviews of the marketplace to see what sellers think.
The Rules and Regulations
All online marketplaces will have different rules and regulations or terms and conditions that you need to be aware of before you sign up. Some of the most important rules and regulations will include:
- Products that you cannot sell on the marketplace
- Country restrictions
- Refund stipulations
- Product descriptions must match images used
You must check if you can sell your products on the marketplace first. There should be very specific rules about what is not acceptable published in our terms and conditions. Obvious things here are illegal items, products that you do not own the copyright to, firearms, and many other products that may not be appropriate, etc.
Some marketplaces will not allow customers from every country in the world to purchase products. They should provide a list of the countries that they sell products to or a list of countries that they will not sell products to. Either way, you need to know this as the marketplace may prohibit a country you want to specifically target.
Marketplaces will have a refund policy and you need to know what it is and how it works. If a customer purchases one of your products and then wants to return it for some reason, where do you stand? Digital product marketplaces often demand that you offer a full money-back guarantee for a specific period such as 30 days or 60 days for example.
No online marketplace will want you to mislead or deceive customers so they will usually have specific rules about product descriptions. They are going to insist that any product images that you use in your listing match the description of the product.
Online marketplace support can include the following:
- General support for inquiries, disputes, payment issues, and so on
- Marketing support to help you sell your products
- Tutorials for product listings
- A good knowledgebase
- An account manager
You may not need all of these things but you will certainly need general support from the marketplace. How do they provide this? Can you contact them by phone, email, or a ticket system? Do your homework here and look for reviews from sellers about the general support offered and the response times.
Some online marketplaces will have some helpful tools and advice to help you to sell more of your products so check this out if this interests you. Tutorials are always helpful and so is a good knowledge base of the most common questions. A good account manager can make a difference. Check to see if any charges apply for support.
The online marketplace should provide you with a dashboard so that you can view details of your sales activity. Some marketplaces provide very good metrics such as:
- Number of sales
- Number of product page visits
- Where the visitors originated from
- Conversion rates
Having good metrics is very important to you as a seller because you can use the information to make any necessary changes to your listings to try and increase your sales. Conversion rates are particularly important.
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