Join the 70% of Small Business Owners Who Attribute Increased Sales to Online Marketplaces — and You Can Too.    

25 August 2023

Embracing online marketplaces is the solution to overcoming the costly and challenging operational demands of physical retail stores. Discover five persuasive reasons why small businesses should wholeheartedly adopt online marketplaces.

For over a decade, the month of July has been designated as Independent Retailer Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of local independent retailers to their communities. This year’s celebration comes with significant achievements. For every $100 spent at an independent retailer, a substantial $68 remains within the local economy. However, recent data from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reveals ongoing challenges such as inflation, labor shortages, and other threats that are impacting local retailers and small businesses.

Given these challenges, it has become crucial for small, independent retailers to think beyond their traditional brick-and-mortar stores and even their own websites. Embracing online marketplaces presents a strategic opportunity to combat the high costs and operational burdens associated with physical stores. This shift can allow small businesses to expand their reach, influence, and success with minimal additional costs. Independent retailers, both in the United States and globally, can harness these advantages to their benefit.

Remarkably, nearly 70% of small business owners have attested to the positive impact of online marketplaces on sales. This success can extend to your business as well. Here are five compelling reasons why your business should seriously consider venturing into online marketplace platforms:

  1. Global Reach Enhancement: Small businesses often grapple with limited visibility and audience reach. Online marketplaces serve as a dynamic platform where local boutiques and small independent retailers can present their products or services to a broader audience. With 70% of consumers actively seeking to support local businesses through online or mixed online and in-store shopping, and 92% of U.S. online consumers utilizing online marketplaces, the potential for tapping into this vast consumer segment is immense.
  2. Efficient Operations and Cost Savings: Crafting and maintaining an independent online presence can entail significant costs for small businesses. Online marketplaces offer a cost-effective alternative by managing the technical aspects of website development, hosting, and security. Establishing a profile or store within a marketplace significantly reduces financial strain, allowing businesses to concentrate on core operations.
    Payment processing is another streamlined facet, as online marketplaces typically offer secure systems that enable diverse payment methods. This eliminates the need for setting up separate payment infrastructure, enhancing the purchasing experience and providing reliable payment processing.
  3. Optimized Online Marketing: A lesser-known benefit is that online marketplaces invest considerably in marketing and promotions, drawing customers to their platforms. These platforms possess a broad customer base and robust marketing strategies, enabling small businesses to access potential customers across diverse geographical areas. Marketplaces employ strategies such as search engine optimization, paid ads, email campaigns, and social media efforts, driving traffic to sellers’ listings. Additionally, marketplaces furnish insights to inform marketing decisions, bolstering visibility, brand recognition, and sales.
  4. Cultivating Consumer Trust: Most online marketplaces incorporate systems for customer reviews and ratings, fostering trust. Positive feedback enhances a business’s reputation, attracting more customers. These platforms also employ sophisticated measures to prevent fraud, ensuring a secure and authentic customer experience.
  5. Diverse Financial Support: Beyond hosting sellers, numerous online marketplaces extend small business grants and relief programs. These initiatives can be pivotal in launching or expanding operations, managing costs, and navigating economic challenges. As an independent retailer, embracing online marketplaces opens doors to an expanded customer base and an array of financial opportunities.

In conclusion, the current economic landscape underscores the importance of diversifying retail strategies. Online marketplaces offer a gateway for independent retailers to transcend physical limitations and reach a global audience. As challenges persist, now is the opportune moment to leverage the potential of online marketplaces and tap into a world of possibilities. 

Source: Joe Dutra, entrepreneur