You want to sell your products online and are looking for a good sales platform? – In this article you will get an overview of the 10 best online marketplaces.
Getting started as an online retailer is not as difficult as you might first think. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that there are now a large number of online marketplaces through which you can sell your goods, and on the other hand, you can find numerous free guides on the Internet with tips for successful online trading. I can recommend you the following guide on becoming an online retailer.
In the meantime, there is a wide range of sales platforms on the Internet where you can offer your goods as an online trader. But which portal should you choose to get the most sales?
Table of Contents:
- What is a sales platform?
- Efficient online selling
- What does your listing on a sales platform consist of?
- Find the right online marketplace
- The best online marketplaces in comparison
- Conclusion – sales platforms
- FAQ – Frequently asked questions
What is a sales platform?
A sales platform describes a virtual place (for example, a website or an app) where goods and services are offered. Meanwhile, there are even sales platforms that specialize in certain product groups, such as electronics, children’s toys etc. Depending on the marketplace, prices are determined by the supplier itself or driven up by customers on auction platforms.
Efficient online selling
Sales platform or own online store? – You’ve probably thought about setting up your own online store and selling your products there. This form of online trading is also a suitable alternative. However, it is especially difficult to attract customers to your own online store at the beginning. Accordingly, it makes sense to use a sales platform that already has a high reach and thus many visitors.
If you decide to sell your own products through an external marketplace, it also has the advantage that you don’t have to take care of all the technical issues. At least this way you won’t have to deal with server outages, server overloads or other inconveniences.
Basically, a digital trading place is not much different from the analog variant: traders and dealers offer their goods for sale. As with the retail store, it is not necessarily enough for the seller to offer the lowest price. Often, the seller who attracts the most attention wins the bid. Since the competition in e-commerce is even greater than in traditional marketplaces, it is all the more important to establish a solid web presence here.
What does your listing on a sales platform consist of?
Most sales platforms are similar in structure and consist of the same elements. We have listed the most important building blocks of your listing below:
1. product photos
Analyses of purchasing behavior revealed that product photos are the first thing customers look at. Therefore, it is even more important that they are appealing and compelling to customers. Only with appealing images, customers will click on your product for more information.
You don’t need to hire a product photographer for the photos right away in the beginning, especially if you don’t have the budget to begin with. If you have the equipment to take high quality pictures, use it and take your photos yourself. Good illumination and high image sharpness are important here.
2. product title
The next important element of your listing is the product title. This should contain the most important keywords as well as be easy to read. Next to the photos, the title is the most important purchase criterion, as the customer usually focuses on the title after looking at the product photo.
In general, the title should be rather concise and contain all the important information. That’s better than using some pushy promotional title.
One would think that the more keywords used in the title, the better the visibility. Try to include one or two essential keywords, but do not lose good readability.
Don’t forget to mention the brand name of your product at the beginning of the title, because nowadays this is mandatory on many platforms and it helps to increase your brand awareness.
In the best case, the USP of your product can be taken from the title, i.e. the unique selling proposition that sets you apart from the competition. Do this only if the title is not already too long and thus the clarity is not lost. The title must remain customer-focused and be written simply.
Here are a few more formal tips:
- Capitalize only the first letter of nouns, do not write words completely in caps
- Do not write out numbers
- Special characters like “!”, “?”, “&” etc., price, advertising phrases like “offer”, “special sale” etc. or “bestseller” should be avoided.
3. product description
The product description is your last chance to encourage the customer to place an order and increase your conversion rate. For the product description, feel free to draft creative text that appeals to prospects on an emotional level. The product should be described along with its features and functions. Furthermore, the description offers a good opportunity to include additional keywords.
A slogan at the beginning of the description turns out to be very successful. A slogan attracts attention and the customer would be more likely to read on. The best way is to present a problem in the description. This is where you really try to reach your customer emotionally. The customer may not even have been aware of the problem beforehand, so that you directly create another argument.
If the presentation of the problem really engages the customer, the positive effect is even greater if you then present your product as the solution. You should definitely include this method in your product description, as an emotional connection is built through a problem that every person can relate to.
Finally, briefly summarize your best benefits and add a call-to-action. This is a friendly invitation to add your product to the shopping cart. If your arguments were convincing up to that point, it will give the customer the final jolt to choose your product.
In this article we have created a guide for an appealing Amazon product description, which you can use as an example.
4. bullet points
The title is usually followed by the bullet points. For example, Amazon will provide you with five bullet points, all of which you should make the best use of. When it comes to bullet points, it is advisable to think about which target group you want to address beforehand. This way you can adjust your text accordingly. Each target group can be convinced by different formulations and arguments.
To begin, ask yourself the following questions:
- How old are your potential customers?
- How much money do they earn?
- What hobbies might they have?
- Where do your customers come from?
- What problem are they trying to satisfy?
Very effective in any case is a lively writing. You can use metaphors every now and then to trigger the highest possible involvement from your potential customers. Cumbersome wording can even scare your customers away.
Additionally, a capitalized benefit at the beginning of a bullet point works very well. Here is an example to illustrate this:
- STAINLESS: Since we use stainless steel for our high quality knife blades,…
You can always end bullet points with an exclamation mark, which motivates even more. You should put one or two of your keywords in each bullet point. You can also combine these again wonderfully with your advantages. You should also mention the USP in your bullet points.
While the technical data and facts are also interesting, the bullet points should rather be used for the benefits of your product. Many sellers don’t ask themselves what the customer gets out of your product. So, if there are features that make your product stand out in any way, be sure to include them with your keywords. Phrase this bullet point so that the customer understands what problem would be solved for them if they bought this product.
Here’s an example: You launch a snow shovel on the market that, among other things, is wider than those of the competition. Then wouldn’t it make sense to start the bullet point as follows: “Snow shovel with a width of 58.4 cm”.
Convey to the customer what he gets out of it: “Saves you time & work – Our snow shovel is 15 cm wider than conventional shovels. So you’re done 3x faster and can get back to the pleasant things of winter!”
Tip: If it fits your product, you can start each bullet point with an emoji to increase the potential buyer’s interest. In this example, this has been wonderfully implemented:
Now you have the information you need to not only make a good first impression with your product, the product will most likely convince the customer upon closer inspection.
5. search engine optimization
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the optimization of a product’s placement for specific search queries. Basically, it’s about showing the algorithm that your product is very relevant to a particular search query and for that reason should appear at the top of the search results.
If you are unsure how to do SEO successfully, feel free to check out our guide on the subject.
Find the right online marketplace
The first vendor that comes to your mind when you ask this question is probably the industry giant Amazon. The thing is, though, Amazon isn’t necessarily the most promising option for you. Depending on your products and your desired clientele, it may make sense to take a closer look at the alternatives to Amazon. There are some criteria you should pay attention to:
- Visitor numbers: As a tendency, high visitor numbers on the respective trading platforms are better than low ones. Especially for niche products, however, platforms can be more interesting, which have fewer visitors, but consist more of the right target group.
- Target group: Some marketplaces specialize in a particular product group. Accordingly, you should look for online marketplaces where customers from your target group are on the move.
- Competition: If your target group is increasingly found on a particular platform, however, it may also be that the competition is particularly high. In that case, it may make sense to choose a platform where the competition is less strong.
- Cost: The selling platforms provide their website, without which you can’t easily get in touch with your customers. For this, the owners charge a commission. You should not neglect these costs when offering your deals through the platforms.
- Usability: There are now a number of functions that customers expect. These include, for example, a search mask or a category tree. If these features are missing, the customer will leave the website and you won’t be able to sell your product.
- Form of sale: Not all platforms follow the fixed-price model. One example of such an alternative form of sale has been implemented on eBay: the auction. Here, the interested parties outbid each other, and the highest bidder is then awarded the contract.
The 10 best online marketplaces in comparison
In the following, we will introduce you to the 10 online marketplaces and give you important information about each sales platform. In the following you will find a table for overview.
Amazon is probably the best-known online retailer in the world. It comes as no surprise that more than 30% of the top 500 online retailers in Germany offer their goods on Amazon. On Amazon, you can find a variety of different products that can be sold by merchants through Amazon Marketplace.
Amazon undoubtedly offers you access to a sales platform with the largest reach. However, this advantage comes at a decent price: the commission for sold items ranges from 7-45%.
One service Amazon offers is to store and ship their products. This can be tempting for many newcomers to online commerce. However, keep in mind that this will come at a further cost to you. Another service offered by Amazon is the so-called
Fulfillment by Amazon
(short: FBA). The service allows online retailers to hand over the entire logistical processing of an order to Amazon.
The vast majority of customers are already familiar with the interface, so the usability of this online marketplace should not be a problem either.
However, the high number of visitors also means that you, as an online retailer, have to compete against greater competition.
Helium 10 as Amazon Seller Tool
If you have decided to use Amazon as your selling platform, be sure to take advantage of the Helium 10 software. Helium 10 offers you a lot of tools that will help you sell your products. For example, the Scribbles tool shows you how to optimize your listing for maximum success:
You can sign up for Helium 10 for free and test some tools via our link. If you want to make a purchase, you will even get a whole 20% discount on the first 6 months.
Basically, Amazon offers you a very good online marketplace with an enormous reach. If you decide to use Amazon as a selling platform, be sure to check out the following guides:
All other guides for a successful sale on Amazon can be found here.
eBay used to be considered the flea market among sales platforms. This is due to the fact that sales on eBay were similar to those in the auction house: The user who placed the highest bid was the winner. Nowadays, however, you can find mainly goods that are offered with a fixed price. These offers are mainly posted by commercial dealers or manufacturers.
Similar to Amazon, the variety of products offered here is indescribably large. However, compared to Amazon, the costs for sellers are lower here.
For private sellers, selling on eBay within Germany is free of charge as long as they sell less than 320 items per month. However, fees may apply for international sales. It is recommended to look at the current fees here.
For companies, there is essentially a sales commission and an offering fee. The sales commission ranges from about 4% to 12% depending on the product. The offer fee is between € 0.30 and € 0.50. Other fees may apply, so be sure to check out the current fees here.
Another difference compared to Amazon is that sellers can create their own merchant page. This allows sellers to further build the image of their own eBay store.
Alibaba is the world’s largest B2B (business to business) marketplace. Another website you probably know is Aliexpress. What exactly is the difference between Alibaba and Express you can find out here. On Alibaba you can buy almost any product from sellers all over the world. Although any company can sell products on Alibaba, you can find mainly sellers from Asia, especially China.
The layout of the website is basically similar to that of other platforms. At the top you will find a search bar, the categories are located on the left. However, if you take a closer look at the pages of the individual goods, you will notice that the order quantities are highlighted in particular. This is because most suppliers set minimum order quantities for their goods.
Basically, seller membership on Alibaba is free of charge. In the free version, however, you can only offer 50 products on the marketplace as a merchant. Should you want to sell more products, then the fee ranges from $3,499 to $6,999 per year.
According to Alibaba, merchants outside of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong cannot settle payments through its own sales platform. This results in sellers having to make direct contact with buyers. In return, Alibaba does not charge a sales commission.
If you want to sell something fancier, Etsy might be the right choice for you. The e-commerce website specializes in handmade products, vintage and artist supplies. Many of the offered products are unique or only available in very small quantities.
Some of the sellers on Etsy are private traders, which is why Etsy could also be categorized as a C2C platform. However, most dealers are commercial sellers.
At first glance, the costs for the sellers are comparatively low. Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee and a 6.5% transaction fee. For sellers from Germany and Austria, there is also the additional requirement that they must use Etsy Payments.
With this, Etsy aims to provide a consistent user experience for customers. By using Etsy Payments, visitors have more payment options and sellers get seller protection. The fee for Etsy Payments is 0.30 EUR + 4% of the value of the goods. You can find the current fees here.
Etsy is becoming increasingly important, as evidenced primarily by its record sales last year of $2.33 billion, the equivalent of about 2.1 billion euros. As a seller on Etsy, you should expect to have a lot of contact with your customers, as they often request custom items or have questions about what you offer.
Hood.de is an online marketplace from Germany, which was founded in 2000. The retail portal offers the usual industry features such as a listing of product categories or the obligatory search function. Hood.de resembles other sales platforms both in the design of the website and in the variety of products. As sales forms, the platform offers both buy-it-now options and auctions.
For private sellers the use of Hood.de is completely free, a basic fee as well as a sales commission are void here completely. However, a fee is charged for special settings, such as larger product images. As compensation for the fact that the use for private purposes is free of charge, the seller must live with advertisements on their own listings.
The listing of products is free of charge for commercial sellers, but a sales commission of 4% to 9% is charged. In addition, there may be other fees. There is also the possibility of opening a store. There are two options for this: The Gold Package and the Platinum Package.
The Gold package costs €21 or €25 per month (depending on the chosen payment method) and the Platinum package costs €32 or €39 per month. With the Gold Package, up to 500 items can be set, and with the Platinum Package, up to 20,000 items. Depending on the product category, sales charges range from 5% to 8% for gold and from 3% to 7% for platinum.
Yatego was founded in Germany in 2003. Since then, the platform has steadily evolved. The platform provides each merchant with its own sales area. Specifically, this means that sellers can define the sub-domain themselves to facilitate search engine optimization. The platform offers, as usual, a listing of categories and a search mask.
Selling on Yatego costs monthly 20€ plus. VAT. There is also a flat transaction fee of 8%. A special feature of Yatego is that merchants can add an external link to their own webshop on their offer pages. The price for this is 45 cents per click. Yatego does not charge any listing fees. It is recommended to check the current fees on Yatego.
The Avocado Store offers a special platform. This online sales platform focuses on sustainability. The store achieves this by focusing on organically produced products, promoting fair trade and environmentally friendly production. This directly addresses a specific target group.
On the online marketplace you can find all items such as books, clothing, drugstore products, decoration and much more.
Sellers can use standardized logos to prove certain certifications such as “Made in Germany” or “Vegan”. Visitors can find out about the exact meaning of the respective criteria by clicking on the respective logo. You can find out which criteria the Avocado Store checks here.
However, the focus on sustainability and environmental protection comes at a price: the fees at the Avocado Store are quite high. Initially, a registration fee of €199 is due for dealers. The commission at the Avocado Store is 17% of the sale price. In addition, there is the monthly fee in the amount of € 25. In return, you get your own store page. However, the store page can unfortunately only be designed to a limited extent, only the logo and the description text can be customized.
Otto Market is an opportunity for retailers to offer their products in their own name and on their own account on OTTO. This gives retailers and brands access to the online store and the associated infrastructure. Like many other online stores, OTTO offers a wide range of products. OTTO’s online store offers the usual features such as a category tree and a search bar. As with other stores, prospective retailers must meet a number of criteria to be approved as a retailer on OTTO.
OTTO attaches great importance to high product quality and customer satisfaction. Therefore, the approval as a dealer can take quite some time, as the approvals are checked individually.
The basic fee for merchants is 39,90€. Depending on the product range, a standard industry commission of 7 to 18% is added.
Folksy can be considered the British equivalent of Etsy. The platform offers mainly homemade goods. From jewelry to clothing, visitors will find all kinds of items. On the website, the user will find the usual search bar as well as the listing of categories.
For sellers the first 3 offers are free of charge. After that, 0.15 GBP per item will be charged. In addition, there is the commission, which is 6%. The transaction costs when paying with Stripe are 1.4% + 20 cents for customers from Europe and 2.9% + 20 cents for customers outside Europe. If the customer pays with PayPal, the rate here increases to 3.4% + 30 cents, regardless of where the customer is located.
StockX is a sales platform which was founded in the USA, more precisely in Detroit. The company now employs more than 800 people. The website has a classic design, including a search bar and category overview. Originally, StockX was an online marketplace whose assortment was limited to collectibles in the area of clothing and streetwear in a broader sense. However, since November 2020, electronic goods have also been offered on the platform.
The customer can either decide to purchase the offered items at a fixed price or make an offer at a certain price.
The costs for dealers are determined using a 5-stage model. The more items the seller turns over, the higher their tier and thus has increasingly lower transaction fees. Transaction fees range from 7% to 9% of the sale price, depending on the level. In addition, there is a handling fee in the amount of 3%.
Conclusion – sales platforms
As you can already see from the number of providers listed, it is impossible to give a universal answer to the question of which sales platform is the best. This is not least due to the fact that every retailer has different requirements and ideas. For some sellers, for example, the relatively high sales fees at the Avocado Store can be a deterrent, whereas for others, visitors to the Avocado Store represent a particularly interesting customer base.
Ultimately, each trader must decide for himself which platform is the right one and not necessarily limit himself to just one provider. Here you can find an overview with our evaluation criteria:
|Amazon||453 Mio.||Alle||7 – 45 %||9 / 10||Festpreis|
|eBay||179,1 Mio.||Alle + Schnäppchenjäger||4,5 – 10,5 %||7 / 10||Festpreis und Auktion|
|Alibaba||1,5 Mio.||Großabnehmer||0 %||6 / 10||Festpreis|
|Etsy||388,5 Mio.||Vintage, Handarbeit||6,5 %||7 / 10||Festpreis|
|Hood.de||3 Mio.||Alle||3 – 8 %||8 / 10||Festpreis und Auktion|
|Yatego||258,2 K||Alle||8 %||7 / 10||Festpreis|
|Avocado Store||702,3 K||Umweltbewusst||17 %||8 / 10||Festpreis|
|Otto Market||56 Mio.||Alle||7 – 18 %||8 / 10||Festpreis|
|Folksy||206 K||Vintage, Handarbeit||6 %||7 / 10||Festpreis|
|StockX||33 Mio.||Sammler||8 – 10 %||7 / 10||Festpreis und Auktion|
* Monthly visitors on German domains (if available) according to similarweb. The exact figures may vary.
And then there’s always the option of starting your own marketplace. Especially if you already have experience as an online merchant and want to expand your store. But even that needs to be well thought out. You can find out which questions you should ask yourself in advance here.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
Meanwhile, there are a large amount of sales platforms, such as:
- Avocado Store
- Otto Market
Ebay is one of the biggest sellers but by far not the only one. Amazon, Alibaba but also Hood.de can be a suitable alternative, to name a few examples.
Ebay is probably the best known auction platform. Hood.de and StockX are other platforms described in the article where auctions are possible.
On all platforms you have to register and fulfill certain requirements. Once you are registered as a merchant, you can offer products for sale on the respective platforms. By the way, you can find out how to become particularly successful on a sales platform like Amazon here.
When a customer has ordered one of your offered products, the payment and shipping process usually starts automatically.
Meanwhile, there is a large amount of very good sales platforms. You can find out which one is the best for you in our article.
- Avocado Store
- Otto Market
You can sell your stuff online on very many selling platforms. Here are a few examples:
- Avocado Store
- Otto Market