It’s no secret that Canadian businesses have been slower to embrace eCommerce than some other countries. One reason they give for this is being intimidated by competitors, not the least of which are huge marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Additionally, they’re intimidated by eCommerce and entering an entirely different sales environment.
It’s important that these businesses realize they have viable options that make it easy to combine and enhance offline sales with online sales. What’s more, they can easily manage sales and inventory on more than one platform, including their website, marketplaces and social media.
Why Sell on Marketplaces?
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! The larger marketplaces like Amazon.ca have millions of visitors every year, which could seriously increase your sales and brand awareness. You can also get in on marketplace incentives, such as Amazon Prime or Fulfillment By Amazon. According to Amazon, merchants who sell in their marketplace see an average sales increase of 50%.
eBay is sometimes overlooked by merchants exploring online marketplaces because they believe it’s still primarily an auction. In fact, more than 85% of today’s eBay sales are at a fixed price.
The fact of the matter is, Canadian shoppers love online marketplaces. BMO Capital Markets estimates indicate Amazon and eBay generated the most online revenue in Canada back in 2014. You can bet that number has grown exponentially in recent years. According to PwC Canada’s 2017 Holiday Outlook, 77% of Canadians who plan to do their holiday shopping online will do so on Amazon. 18% of Canadian online holiday shoppers will buy on eBay.
The good news is, any retailer or private seller can list products in these marketplaces. With an eCommerce platform like Canada’s Shopify, you can sync your inventory across multiple marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, your website, and your offline store. You can create Amazon or eBay listings, manage inventory, update product descriptions, images & prices, and fulfill your orders, all within the same eCommerce platform. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
With management and inventory concerns out of the way, all you’ll have to do is make some strategic decisions. For example, you may want to sell only your most unique products or items with the highest profit margin in online marketplaces. There’s more competition within marketplaces for common products and fees can eat a big hole in your profit if you don’t start with larger margins. You can also get creative by bundling products together to keep the competition at bay. A stocking stuffer bundle for men, art supplies & drawing book bundle for budding artists, birthday party theme bundles, and so on.
Then, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines in each marketplace you choose to sell in. Luckily, both Amazon and eBay have detailed user guides available for reference.
Making it all Happen
Canadian businesses must get on board the digital train or they’re not going to survive in today’s retail environment. The easiest way to do that is with a user-friendly, all-in-one eCommerce solution. With Shopify, you can easily build a website and accept payments both online and offline. They facilitate all types of marketplaces and social selling on networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Inventory is easily managed, even if you use drop shippers for order fulfillment. Plus, they’re Canadian!
Have you tried selling your products through online marketplaces? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Canadians Are Crazy About Online Shopping (Infographic)
A Canadian Guide to Finding the Best eCommerce Platform Software
Online Marketplaces for Canadian Sellers
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