Online marketplaces key for small retailers

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Online marketplaces such as eBay are the preference for 70% of shoppers.

If small business owners really want to succeed, they must think about selling through online marketplaces. In a recent survey from Clutch, almost 70% of online shoppers said they prefer to purchase through Amazon, Etsy, eBay or another marketplace. 

Why the marketplaces? For more than half of shoppers, 60%, it's the ability to compare products and prices all in one place. More specifically, 57% of shoppers want the ability to compare prices; 19% want to buy multiple items from different brands; 8% want to stick to a loyalty program; and 8% like the search capabilities. 

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Although some small business owners see these sites as a threat, selling on them can actually contribute to a winning strategy. But in reality, small businesses need to be selling through both marketplaces and their own e-commerce sites in order to win. Nearly one third (30%) of online shoppers first decide whether to check a marketplace or a specific retailer’s website, then determine the specific item they will buy while online browsing. 

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said they look for discounts or coupons as their prime attraction to purchase on a small business website. 

Leo Castro, vice president of marketing at BigCommerce, says that e-commerce companies can learn from online marketplaces’ successes. 

RELATED: Shoppers search online marketplaces over retail websites

“It’s amazing how many small business owners don’t actually go through the checkout flow themselves. When they do that, they can see friction points,” he said. “Once you find something that works, double down on that. That’s key. Those are the kinds of things that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay do all the time.”

Maintaining a strong e-commerce site is not only good for sales, but it's important for building a strong brand presence and winning customer loyalty.