Sell Online 101 – Part Five: How to sell on marketplaces?
Any seller who wants to grow his business can’t ignore the elephants of the eCommerce jungle – The Online marketplaces. While selling on your own store is a great option, it is a good choice to consider selling on marketplaces, as well.
Want to start selling, but don’t know how? Read our post to follow these 3 simple steps.
In our last story, our fashion entrepreneur Lisa decided to go online.
Lisa has a business selling women’s clothing. Year on year, her business has grown to be profitable. After a while, her sales stopped growing. She wanted to increase her profits, scale up her business, and reach more customers. She decided that the best thing she could do was sell online.
She kickstarted her online store by choosing the perfect front-end eCommerce platform for her business. Read the complete story here.
Lisa’s story (continued…)-
Lisa’s store has successfully increased her customer reach – and the profits have grown with it.
And now, like any astute business (wo) man, she’s thinking, “I want more!”
She needs to increase her revenues – and so she wants to sell on online marketplaces.
Her choice of marketplaces includes – Amazon, Flipkart, AskmeBazaar, eBay, Lazada, Snapdeal – and the list is never ending.
What does she have to gain by selling on marketplaces?
Top Benefits of selling on Marketplaces:
• Reduced Marketing Costs – By listing on a marketplace, she will not have to spend time and resources building her own brand. This will allow her time to focus on her core capabilities – such as assortment, pricing etc. of her products. Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have a high customer reach, and this will give Lisa’s products visibility from day one.
• Setup Costs – By listing on marketplaces, Lisa only has to pay when she receives the order. However, if she has her own store – she will have to pay for setup – the platform, themes, customizations, advertising, etc. even when the order volumes are low.
• Ease of setting up operations – Easy to setup and get going –she can start right away; all she needs to do is register, list products and sell. This is one of the reasons why selling online on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay is such a popular option for most business owners.
• Sell Globally – Marketplaces are global – which means she can be too! Selling on marketplaces is one of the fastest and most convenient ways of going cross border. For instance, online marketplaces like Amazon can help you sell to its booming market in the United States – given its wide reach in the area.
• Hassle free selling – Most marketplaces provide support to operational hassles that sellers face, all for a small fee. For instance, sellers who sell on Amazon without fulfillment capabilities have the option to get their orders Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). Amazon takes the order end to end, providing the seller with a simple, easy way to sell. Similarly, most marketplaces today have a Fulfilled by Flipkart, Fulfilled by Snapdeal etc. options etc.
• Profits, profits, profits – Selling on a marketplace is the easiest, quickest way to start selling with minimal costs. Their wide customer base means that revenue growth with larger volumes of orders and increased sales.
So there is a host of benefits to selling online on marketplaces, but how does she choose a marketplace which best suit her objectives?
To choose the right marketplace that addressed her business needs, there are several factors she needed to keep in mind, like pricing, shipping, payment policies, etc.
Lisa compiled a comparison list of marketplaces to make her choice –
Each marketplace has its own pricing structure. Depending on their guidelines, they may charge–
• Monthly Subscription Fee – Most marketplaces charge a monthly fee for selling on their platforms.
• Listing Fee – Sellers are charged a standard amount for every product they list on the marketplace’s catalog.
• Payment Gateway Fee – Marketplaces are integrated with Payment Gateways – it is not usually charged, with the exception of eBay, which charges a ‘Paisa Pay Fee’. For every sale made through eBay, you will be charged 4.5% as the PaisaPay fees. In addition, on this PaisaPay fee (only interest amount, not the total sale value), 12.36% Service Tax is also applicable.
• Commission Fee – This depends on the category of products being sold. The commission fee differs from products to products on the same marketplace.
Major marketplaces in India, compared on the basis of their pricing structures –
Lisa wasn’t sure about Shipping. Did she want to ship products herself or via the marketplace?
What adds to costs?
Packaging today, especially when goods are being transported across cities, states & borders is the biggest concern for etailers/sellers.
Damaged goods/wrongly packaged goods are “the” biggest reason for customer returns & dissatisfaction.
Lisa would like to get one of her additional responsibilities off her head – so she can choose from the marketplace’s packaging options. Many marketplaces provide packaging – depending on the fulfillment options chosen.
Here is Lisa’s comparison chart –
When does she get paid? Each marketplace has a different payment policy and pays as per them. Marketplaces like eBay for instance, disburse the full amount as soon as the product is received by the customer. On the other hand, Snapdeal makes the payment only about 3 weeks after product dispatch date.
MARKETPLACE SUPPORT –
Last but not the least – support from the marketplace is a huge factor, especially when starting out.
Lisa wanted to choose a marketplace which not only provided with pre-signup support but also while selling – in dealing with returns, payment, cancellations, etc.
Many marketplaces provide support and training to its sellers.
AskmeBazaar, for instance, can use its seller panel, to onboard its sellers faster, and provide support to its sellers by helping them out in training, shipping, returns, cancellations, etc. (read trivia below)
Lisa finally decided to sell on more than one marketplace, which suits her business needs. She can sell on multiple marketplaces, as well as her own store and you can too!
Here’s how she can begin selling shown in less than 2 minutes:
Did you know #1: AskmeBazaar was originally called GetitBazaar. They changed their name in 2014.
**The data provided in this post is subject to change as per marketplace guidelines. Data has been gathered from secondary research, and as per our conversation with multiple sellers.
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