Posted 05/17/2021

Guide to Selling On an Online Marketplace

Guide to Selling On an Online Marketplace

The rise of e-commerce has presented an opportunity for small businesses to reach new markets and sell online through e-commerce enabled websites, social media and marketplaces.

Did you know that, according to Shopery Insights 60% of sales currently happen through marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. Listing and selling on marketplaces is a great option for small businesses that do not have the budget or time to create and build their own online store, or perhaps do not have a large enough following that they can market to. 

What is an online marketplace and how do you sell through an online marketplace? 

An online marketplace, sometimes referred to as an e-marketplace, is an online platform where vendors can list their products and services in order to meet sellers and complete transactions that would otherwise be completed offline. 

In order to sell your products or services on an online marketplace, you need to list your business on the marketplace directory. Your listing would also include all your business details, company bio and services and pictures. It is also advisable that you let your customers know on which  marketplace they can find you. 

Who can sell through an online marketplace? 

Any one who sells a particular product or renders a service can sell on a marketplace. It is important to note that there are different types of marketplaces and some may not cater for your product category or service.

What products can I sell through an online marketplace? 

The list of products that you can sell on an online marketplace are endless. You can sell clothes, books, stationery, toys, furniture, electronics and homemade items such as soaps, candles and diffusers. 

What services can I render through an online marketplace?


Service marketplaces focus on for service businesses whether B2B or B2C such as garden, plumbing or electric services. As a B2B service marketplace, Serv only facilitates transactions between businesses not consumers. Some of the services you can find on a B2B service marketplace are marketing, accounting, human resource, IT, supply chain and legal.  

Find out more about the different types of marketplaces in the Ultimate Guide to Marketplaces in South Africa. 

What are the advantages of selling on an online marketplace?

1. A marketplace offers an alternative way for you to market your products or services. Small businesses can market their businesses on marketplaces and reach larger audiences. 


2. Small businesses which don’t have big marketing budgets can use marketplaces to advertise their products or services for a small fee. 

3. Being listed on a marketplace allows your business to be exposed to new markets beyond your location.


4. Customers are more likely to trust your business or services when they can see that others have used your services and are happy with the services rendered. Your customers act as your brand ambassadors. 


5. A marketplace allows customers to compare quotes. This means that you are able to compete in a completely neutral market. 

What are the disadvantages of selling on an online marketplace?

1. According to Minderest, a business's sales tactics are reduced to what the platform allows. There are rules around how you interact with the buyers and how you market your business.

2. Being on a marketplace means that you won’t be able to market directly to your customers. The marketplace is the only place where you are in communication with your client. 


3. Being on a marketplace means that you have increased competition. In order to rank and to be considered, your business needs to rank high and sometimes this means paying for a premium account.  

Registering on an online marketplace 

Registering on an online marketplace is easy. Here is the 4-step process for registering on Serv:

1.Ensure that your service offering is eligible to be listed on Serv. Serv is a B2B service marketplace, only businesses in the fields of Accounting, Digital Marketing, Business Consultation, Website Development and Design, SEO, Social Media, Training and Development, Recruitment Services, IT Services and Support, Business Law, Logistics and Supply, can register. 

2. Select a Profile Offering: Basic, Standard, Premium 

3. Process payment if you choose our standard or premium package

4. Set up your company profile and start receiving quality leads

How Serv Can Help You 

On the Serv service marketplace, leads or potential customers come to you. Once you have secured your leads all you have to do is convince them to choose your business over your competitors.

Serv gives small B2B businesses a platform to shine and compete with big corporations. Join Serv now for as little as R125 per month and get qualified leads straight to your inbox.

List your business on Serv now!

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