Technology is all about change. It happens at the blink of an eye. Every day it seems like a new product is announced or the latest breakthrough in the world of so-and-so. Technology has changed the way every field operates – local businesses included. Mom and Pop shops are online in a big way. If you drive out to the middle of nowhere, find a quaint looking store to stop in at, you can almost bet money on them having a card reader to swipe your debit through. Technology might be a hard game to keep pace with but being a business owner means you have to keep your running shoes on, no matter what.
The advancement of technology is a definite boon for businesses most of the time. It has given rise to the online marketplace. An online marketplace operates much the same way a physical marketplace does. Think of it as your local mall – just online. The basic definition of an online marketplace is a website you visit which lets you buy goods from a huge host of third-party sellers. These sellers can be the local candle enthusiast down the street or a business owner with several shops to their name. Anyone can open a shop on a marketplace which makes it one of the best places to start slowly building an audience.
There are several different marketplaces out there to choose from. Some of the most famous include Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, Bonanza, and CraigsList. These marketplaces tend to sell a little of everything for the most part. Etsy is a little different from the rest. Most items sold on Etsy are handmade or sourced from local products as opposed to sites like Ebay and Amazon which sell whatever you’re looking for from Alligator onsies to Zebra oven mitts. Specialty marketplaces such as Etsy and USA Made for Sale, a marketplace for goods made in the USA, are continuing to drive more small business owners to put their products up for sale online.
One of the best reasons for business owners to take advantage of online marketplaces is price. Setting up shop on an online marketplace costs little to no money. Consider just how much of an investment it would be to find and rent out a physical location for your shop? A marketplace cuts the startup cost almost completely. If you decide to sell on a major marketplace then having a community already in place can help you discover new ways to promote your product that you may not have considered before. Most popular marketplaces have guides which help you make the most of your selling experience. Being an online seller gives you the advantage of far greater reach. If your customer lives in California and you sell jewelry in Florida then there’s a good chance they’ll never see your product unless they visit Florida.
With an online marketplace you can sell to consumers all over the world with the simple click of a button. For small businesses it’s a chance to get your name out in a much larger arena.