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Marketplace as an online sales opportunity

15 Feb 2022. 13:30
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  • SME maturity
    1. Comercio electrónico
    Scope to digitize
    1. Commercialisation

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Marketplace platforms can help you sell online without the need for e-commerce. Find out how! 

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Marketplace as an online sales opportunity

In recent years, e-commerce has grown and stabilised among consumers, according to IAB Spain's annual e-commerce study in 2017 which stated that 73% of users shopped online. Price, convenience and the wide range of product available were the main reasons to consume online. 

However, if we analyse the same study, but for this year (2021), we can see that consumers who buy online have risen to 81%. This rapid evolution in the online channel is partly due to Covid-19, as for many businesses and consumers it has been one of the main alternatives to continue selling and shopping during and after the pandemic. 

As we know, not all businesses have the resources and skills to create their own e-commerce. However, now more than ever it is very important to have an online presence. So, what can we do about it? If this is the case for your business, the marketplace can be an alternative to sell online without the need to have an e-commerce. 

The marketplace is an online platform that connects buyers with sellers. In other words, just like a traditional marketplace, companies offer their products and consumers choose from all the options. However, the marketplace, being an online sales channel, does not limit you in terms of customers and area, as you can expand your business anywhere in the world. 

To put it more explicitly, the marketplace works by providing the space and tools necessary for businesses to manage their products, customers, orders, inventory and finances from the platform itself. 

By being in an online space, sellers' products are available to all customers in the marketplace, giving you the opportunity to expand your business' audience.  Customers buy from the platform where the marketplace manages the payment methods and processing of any order, which gives sellers and consumers security in both the management of the purchase and payment. 

In addition to these features, the marketplace has certain advantages that you should be aware of.   

  • One of the main advantages of a marketplace is the low investment you have to make to introduce your business on this type of platform. On the other hand, an e-commerce involves a higher investment as you have to build your online business from scratch. 


  • Such platforms offer both businesses that sell their products and consumers secure payment processing.  


  • Increasingly, marketplaces are improving their platforms to facilitate the online sales process. These platforms often have instructions on how to carry out each process, from uploading a product to key strategies on how to engage your customers within the online platform.  


  • By advertising your products on this type of online platform you can achieve a greater reach in a faster and more effective way, as it has a higher level of traffic. 


Examples of popular marketplaces. 


Amazon is one of the best known marketplaces in the world. It stands out for its wide range of online sales. This platform is considered a mixed marketplace because not only businesses can make sales, but also private sellers can do so. 

Key features of selling on Amazon    

  • It helps you to expand and advertise in various regions so you can earn more revenue.  

  • It offers the possibility for them to take care of the logistics processes (shipping, returns and customer service). 



This platform is another one of the biggest and most recognised. On eBay you can have a closed and established price, but you can also put on your products the auction option. 

Key features of selling on eBay 

  • Different shipping options are available, including global shipping.   

  • It has sales flexibility towards retailers to sell both new and used products. 



This platform belongs to the Alibaba group, and is the second most used in Spain. It offers users the opportunity to purchase products directly from manufacturers at low costs. 

Main features of selling on AliExpress. 

  • It has a wide variety of users located in different parts of the world. 

  • Develop offers and events that help marketers gain greater visibility. 



It is an online outlet that also functions as a Marketplace specialised in fashion and beauty. It was created in 2006 in Barcelona and currently operates in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico. 

Main features of selling on Privalia. 

  • Payment is made once the seller has confirmed the items to be shipped. 

  • Deliveries are made directly by external partners. 


The marketplace can help you get started in online commerce without the need to invest a large budget, and you have different platform options where you can choose the one that best suits your business. Keep in mind that having an online presence will allow you to expand your business both to new areas and to a new target audience. 

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