As some of you may know, this business started with a small Etsy shop. In time, I opened another shop and even moved some of my products on other marketplaces, but that first shop made everything possible. While I have my own website now and know how to create a WordPress e-commerce site, I still prefer to sell my products in online marketplaces.
Whether you want to start a shop on Etsy, Creative Market or any other e-commerce platform, there are many advantages of selling in an online marketplace. Here are 6 reasons why you should open a shop today:
Start a business on a low budget
Every marketplace has its own rules. Some of them, like Etsy, charge a small fee for each product you add and take a small percentage of each item you sell. Others, have no fee for listing products but take a larger percentage of your sold items.
While you still have to invest in your products, photography and maybe even branding, you don’t have to worry about the costs of creating an e-commerce website.
It’s easy to create a shop
If you open your first shop on WordPress or have someone build you a custom site, you might have to learn the ins and outs before you can easily manage your new shop.
Most online marketplaces are easy to use even for people with no technical skills. You can sign up for an account, set up your shop, and add products in just a few hours. They will also help you distribute digital products and keep track of your inventory and sales without extra plugins or apps.
Access to a huge audience
One of my favorite things about selling in an online marketplace is that you have access to a huge audience without having to generate your own traffic. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create your own blog or promote your products on social media, but you can have a lot of sales with only good products and efficient product listings.
Having a large audience and small listing fees will make it easier for you to test products. You can create different types of products, make changes to them and even try to expand your business.
You can also get new clients for your services by turning customers into loyal followers or just by listing your services in your shop.
Learn to run a business
Running even a small Etsy shop will teach you a lot about running a larger business. You will have to learn about branding, pricing strategies, marketing and customer service. These are all very useful if you want to grow your business or turn your shop into a service based business.
I’ve noticed that on Etsy and Creative Market, you can find a lot of kind and helpful sellers that will give you tips on creating and marketing your products and valuable advice for improving your shop. I don’t know if all online marketplaces are like this, but you can always find sellers that are willing to help each other in Facebook groups dedicated to your platform of choice.
Even if you have a service-based business, selling digital products in an online marketplace is a great form of passive income. A lot of creative entrepreneurs experience periods with less work, but it’s the perfect time to create digital products and open your shop in an online marketplace.
Disadvantages of selling in an online marketplace
I love selling on Etsy and Creative Market, but there are also many things I don’t like about them or about other marketplaces that I tried.
Most e-commerce sites take a big cut of your income. It can be as large as 50% of your earnings or more. If you build you own shop, you don’t have to pay these fees, but you’ll have to invest in e-commerce software, security, and hosting.
The marketplace infrastructure is also something that can be an advantage or disadvantage. A lot of companies are focused on products and buyers. You might not be able to brand your shop, might have to create products following certain rules, or communication with your customers might be restricted.
You will also have to be careful about licenses. While some marketplaces let you add your own licenses, others have licenses that might favor the buyers, but not the sellers.
I always find small things to complain about, but the truth is having a shop in an online marketplace will help you gain visibility and build a better business.
Do you have an online shop or are you thinking about opening one?