What to assess before starting to sell in a marketplace

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Angela de la Vieja

Selling in a marketplace can be a great and beneficial opportunity for eCommerce businesses to expand their digital commerce since it satisfies one of their main objectives: increasing sales. But before choosing this option, do you know what it means to sell in one of these marketplaces?

What is an online marketplace?

To define it quickly, a marketplace is like a giant online store where different merchants can offer their products and services to the user. There are two types of marketplaces. There are the generalist or horizontal marketplaces, where you can find almost any type of product. Amazon and eBay are two clear examples of this kind of marketplace. Vertical or niche marketplaces are those that specialise in a certain product category, an example of which would be Etsy.

Without a doubt, the success of marketplaces is directly linked to the changes in purchasing habits of online users and their quest to improve their experience. Thanks to these platforms, the user can find almost any article or service that they need on the same website.

The advantages and disadvantages of selling in a marketplace

The main advantage of selling in a marketplace is the ability to reach a greater number of potential customers. Its main drawback, on the other hand, is that there is a huge selection. We’ll analyse all of these below.


  • Good organic positioning: in general, marketplaces are very well positioned in search engine rankings, so SEO will no longer be a concern. Your products can be seen by a large number of users.
  • Confidence in your products: marketplaces gather a huge amount of comments and customers ratings for their products. There are decisive when it comes to finalising purchases since they transmit trust in the product and the seller. On the other hand, if you sell a product that doesn’t meet the expectations of what was promised, you can receive negative comments, converting this into a disadvantage.
  • Complementary sales channel: this is a great option as a complementary sales channel. For example, in the marketplace, we can sell a product that, for some reason or another, we aren’t interested in offering on our eCommerce website. Companies that want to sell abroad easily can also use marketplaces as an export channel. 
  • Increase our visibility and credibility as a brand: for companies that are launching a new brand, marketplaces are highly recommended. For example, we can publicise our brand and probably generate visits to our website by using the related items feature that can often be found when you’re buying something in a marketplace.


Obviously, each of the benefits listed above has another side to it.

  • Sales commissions: these can range from 5% up to 20%.
  • A lot of competition: with the large number of products offered in a marketplace, it can be easy to get lost among the rest, above all of your product is offered by many different sellers. This could even result in unwanted price wars. Your biggest competitor will be the marketplace since this is what will control the clients and you won’t be able to retain them. In addition, if it detects that the popularity of a product is increasing, the marketplace will become your main rival.
  • Pricing conflicts: if you have an eCommerce business and also sell in a marketplace, the large amount of competition on the latter will force you to adjust your prices on this channel to maintain competitiveness. This could cause a situation where the prices in your eCommerce store are higher than in the marketplace, thus damaging your reputation and profitability. So, before you begin selling in a marketplace, you’ll need to calculate your profit margin without leaving out the sales commission we mentioned above.

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Behavior tracking is becoming massively popular today. As a result, pricing strategies born from studying consumer behavior are a merchant's dream come true. If done right, it can conquer every market for the business quickly. With abundant data available, the strategic makeover of the pricing models is becoming easy for companies. 

What is behavioral tracking, and how is the data beneficial in pricing?

For a quick understanding, behavioral tracking refers to gaining in-depth knowledge and insights into consumers through their web data. Their browsing habits, spontaneous decisions, shopping interests, and preferences come under behavioral tracking. 

How can enterprises use customer behavior data?

Companies can use customer behavior data as a tool to strengthen their hold on the market. A customer’s preferences, values, and tendencies allow businesses to work in sync with them through the collected data. Apart from this, customer behavior can also aid in:

Tailoring customer needs for customer retention

Personalization is becoming the heart of a company’s growth. No matter in which area an enterprise is functioning, tailoring the services, products, and solutions is becoming increasingly crucial. Uniqueness and personalization attract the crowd like no other. 

Increasing the overall value

One of the best ways customer behavior data affects a business is by upgrading the value of customers for the business. The customer’s characteristics allow the company to target the people that match the business prospects well. 

Optimizing every type of content

Everything that is up for digital display requires content. You must have seen companies unveiling their products or services through advertisements and making the initial public appearance. Two essential sales strategies – upselling and cross-selling comes through content optimization.

Pricing Strategy

Last but certainly not least is the influence of customer behavior data on the pricing strategy. The pricing strategy essentially constitutes content derived from data analysis. Companies need to have a dynamic approach to the pricing system to attract the right customers. 


Saint Valentine’s Day, always a good opportunity

V-Day is looming, a long-awaited date for all and also a good occasion for the eCommerce. According the study conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, it is forecasted the average consumer expense that day will be the highest in last years. Furthermore, 25% of them will buy online, which means an increase of 4% regarding 2014 (The US department of Commerce). This is, therefore, a key date where market competitiveness increase and which could be assumed as a big opportunity for our business or, a big fail if we do not adopt the correct strategies.

How to turn this event into an opportunity? To achieve this goal, we need to adapt our prices to this hostile environment, i.e. we need to develop an appropriate Dynamic Pricing strategy that allows us to adapt our prices to the variations produced in supply and demand and to position us ahead of our competitors. In V-Day, the frequency in changes will be higher, carrying it out each hour or even each minute. It is estimated that 65% of leader retailers have the ability to respond quickly at these variations, such Amazon. For this reason, it acquires great importance the correct use of a software specialised in price motorisation of competitors. Do not miss the time and adapt your business to new adversities.


Which are the best footwear marketplaces to sell on?

Footwear marketplaces are booming. The last decade has seen the launch of new specialized marketplaces with millions of different users. Among them are Spartoo, Sarenza and Farfetch, portals with international reach. Their main value is that they unite hundreds of footwear brands, as well as offering clothes and accessories. Although each has its own characteristics, they are all vertical marketplaces, i.e., they focus on a specific area, and their sales categories are interrelated. For sellers, these portals provide an opportunity to expand sales channels and drive the globalization of their e-commerce business. We explain how to sell on these footwear marketplaces so that you can assess whether they align with your plans for the future and then start defining a possible pricing strategy.