When buying physically we have two possibilities. Either we go to a specific store, which does not have to be close to other establishments, or we go to a shopping center, a space where all kinds of stores are brought together. In this sense, the shopping center acts as a kind of super store in which all kinds of establishments share space, making sales easier and shopping more accessible. Something similar happens with marketplaces, which are presented as a kind of macro digital shopping center in which countless sellers coexist and compete but, as in the shopping center, obtain better results.
This platform or multi-sales space is a booster for e-commerce, since it puts buyers and sellers in contact with a very favorable result. But, when it comes to considering the positioning in a platform of this type when it comes to an SME, many doubts assail us.
Advantages of a ‘marketplace’
There are three key reasons why this type of platform is a good gateway to the ecommerce world for SMEs: immediate, cost and scheduling. One of the main advantages of marketplaces is that it is not necessary to develop your own website, creating a virtual space within a marketplace does not involve more than a registration and submitting certain administrative and legal documentation that offers sales guarantees. Regarding cost, despite the investment necessary to develop an e-commerce, access to this type of platform is completely free.
In addition to these advantages, the reality is that anyone can create a store in certain marketplaces without knowledge of design, technology or programming. This does not mean that a team with specific knowledge of that sales channel is not required afterwards, but the reality is that access is that simple. The specific knowledge of experts on the subject will mean that, beyond having a store on this type of platform, you will have a business in a marketplace.
Having established the advantages, it is time to ask the following question: What can a marketplace contribute to an SME? In order to answer it, you have to pay attention to the nature of the marketplace. Depending on the marketplace we can affirm that, either it can offer us many, or they can offer us a qualified audience related to our product, especially those vertical marketplaces, which deal with a specific content category.
The need for a prior study to guarantee benefits
When thinking about a marketplace, the opportunity must always be dimensioned. Commissions for the sale of marketplaces can vary between 6% and 35% of the total amount paid by the buyer for the acquisition of your product or service and this requires, not only knowing very well the business model of the marketplace in the one that is operated, but to make a detailed analysis of costs not only to verify that the accounts go out, but also to measure the return of the action.
Communication and marketing as the best sales tools
One of the most common questions when considering access to a marketplace is whether we will sell more by putting the cheapest offer, especially in the face of the high number of competitors in this type of space. But, although price is an important component when it comes to positioning our products within the huge catalog that is a marketplace, it is not the only factor or element that is valued and the cheapest offer is not always the best positioned.
The differentiation of our offer will come from different values closely linked to communication and marketing. The detailed description of our product, which is aligned with the information as consumers are looking for it, good images of the product, shipping conditions, as well as the history and performance that we have within the platform. In this sense, marketplaces are guarantors of a quality service to their users and take care to detail that all sellers who use the platform meet the conditions that they impose on us.
Customers, sales and audience
More than customers or sales, the true contribution that a marketplace can make is in the audience. It is true that it is an audience that can find both my business and that of the competition, but it is still an easier way than creating an e-commerce and working on acquiring traffic.
Do we want to have only one store or do we also want users to buy from us? In the vast majority of marketplaces, the audience is already there, so the efforts of the sellers are focused on differentiating their offer from that of the competition.