As Black Friday Cyber Monday approaches, consumers are getting into the buying spirit of the holiday season.
But as a business, the hard part is making shoppers aware of your products and offers. While there’s always marketing to be done—on social media, email, and other channels—you can also consider tapping into marketplaces to get your products out there.
Selling your products on online marketplaces lets you access an audience of customers who often start their shopping on these third party platforms. Listing your items on eBay, for example, gives you access to another 171 million shoppers, while Amazon is home to over 310 million active accounts of its own.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should list your products on every marketplace all at once. That’s why we’ve put together this roundup to walk you through some of the marketplaces you can sell on with Shopify and when to consider them.
Keep in mind that some of these sales channels might not be available in your country, but the Shopify team is working with our partners to expand them where we can.
Adding a marketplace in Shopify
Each marketplace has its own nuances, rules, and audience. Some will take a commission on every sale that they bring you. Others might charge you a listing fee. Either way, you’ll need to weigh the costs and benefits of getting access to a certain marketplace’s customers.
As tempting as it might be to list your products on all of these marketplaces, you should consider focusing only on the platforms that are a good fit for your products, and one at a time until you’re familiar with it.
To get started with a particular marketplace, you can log into Shopify and click the plus (+) sign under Sales Channels to select the marketplace channel you’d like to add with additional details in the Shopify App Store.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the marketplaces available, what the fees look like on each one, and what kind of products they’re best for.
New! You can now create listings from your Shopify store under the Electronics category on Amazon.
Amazon is one of the most well-known online marketplaces around thanks to the trust consumers have in its powerful shipping and fulfillment abilities, and the consistency of its shopping experience.
In fact, shoppers start research nearly 2X more often on Amazon than Google according to one study. So it might be worth having a presence where consumers flock to do much of their comparison shopping.
By installing the Amazon channel in your Shopify store, you’ll be able to:
- Create new listings under supported product categories
- Link existing Amazon listings with products in Shopify
- Sync inventory tracked by Shopify with Amazon.com listings
- Set unique price and reserve inventory just for Amazon.com listings
- Fulfill Amazon.com orders directly from Shopify
- Easily reconcile revenue from Amazon.com sales using Shopify reports
However, you should be aware that in order to start selling with the Amazon channel, you’ll need to:
- Sell in USD or CAD in your Shopify store.
- Sign up for an Amazon Seller Central account.
- Generate UPCs for all of your products.
- Not be using Fulfillment by Amazon.
Fees: 15% average referral fee on orders, but it can be anywhere between 8-20%, depending on the product category. You’ll also need an Amazon Professional Sellers account which costs $39.99/month. Check Amazon’s referral fees by category to see where your products fall.
Recommended for: Merchants (U.S. only for now) who aren’t selling heavily commoditized low-margin products where you compete mostly on price. As long as there is a clear value-add to your products, and your margins are big enough, Amazon is one of the most versatile marketplaces on this list.
Eligible product categories at the moment include: Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry (includes handbags and sunglasses); Health and Household; Beauty and Personal Care; Home and Kitchen; Patio and Garden; Sewing, Arts and Crafts; Sports and Outdoors; Toys and Games; and Electronics.
eBay isn’t just an online auction house for used or unique items. In fact, 80% of products listed on eBay today are actually new items.
And with the eBay channel on Shopify (U.S only for now), you can expand your reach to the 171 million active shoppers who use the platform with fixed priced listings.
By adding this sales channel, you can create listings on eBay as well as:
- Manage your inventory and orders all within Shopify.
- Fulfill eBay orders directly from Shopify.
- Reconcile revenue from eBay sales using Shopify reports.
- Set unique prices for eBay listings.
- Manage your eBay business policies from inside Shopify.
Limited Time Offer: If you’re new to eBay, are looking to increase your sales, and you sign up for an eBay Premium Store, you will get the first three months of that subscription free of charge: a total value of $225 (that’s $74.95 monthly). See eBay's terms and conditions for details.
This free offer is about more than saving money: Premium Store subscribers get exclusive benefits like 1,000 free fixed-price listings per month (with no insertion fees), exposure-boosting promoted listings, retail marketing practices, and much more.
Fees: Insertion fees for listing on eBay and/or commission on the total value of a sale (including shipping). You can find a breakdown of their fee structure in eBay’s help center or you can use their fee calculator.
Recommended for: Merchants (US only for now) who are interested in fixed price listings on eBay.You don’t need an eBay store to use the eBay sales channel, but can consider upgrading based on the additional features on offer.
Lyst is a curator of luxury fashion, home to global brands and designers like Alexander McQueen, Nordstrom, and J.Crew.
While many marketplaces cater to the masses, Lyst is a niche marketplace that focuses on luxury brands and shoppers with an average order value of $300.
As such, the requirements for being considered are fairly strict:
- Applicants should carry reputable brands and/or have an established namesake to be considered.
- Applicants should carry fashion apparel or accessories. Lyst does not accept childrenswear.
- Applicants should carry more than 150 items.
- Applicants must provide a proficient level of customer service for customers purchasing via Lyst.
- Applicants must be able to fulfil orders within the US, UK or EU regions.
- Applicants' checkout currency must be USD, GBP or EUR.
- No resale or consignment merchants.
- The sales channel is currently available to merchants selling luxury fashion-related products in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Austria.
If you qualify, and pending approval of your store, you can gain access to the largest global fashion search platform consisting of over 65 million luxury-focused shoppers and manage orders within Shopify.
Fees: 16% commission on all sales (before returns).
Recommended for: Larger high-end international luxury fashion brands.
Wanelo (or Want Need Love) describes itself as a “mall on your phone” with over 550K stores in its directory. They feature a variety of products that includes fashion, cosmetics, home decor, phone cases, watches, accessories, and more.
Wanelo’s mobile app encourages spontaneous discovery and offers an experience that’s not unlike Pinterest where you can save items and follow brands.
All stores and subject to approval, so keep the following requirements in mind before you apply:
- Orders placed on Wanelo must be fulfilled within 5 days and tracking numbers are required.
- Prohibited products will be denied.
- Orders must be confirmed as shipped by a Wanelo supported carrier to qualify for payment.
- Your store’s email address, location and policies for shipping, returns and exchanges must be visible on your website.
- For now, Wanelo only supports a single shipping rate per store and cannot support customized products if they require customer input at the time of order.
- For now, Wanelo only processes payment to US Bank accounts, but you can also register to receive payment with a USD receiving account through Payoneer.
Fees: Wanelo charges a 15% commission on the subtotal for fulfilled orders, plus a 2.9% processing fee (this replaces Shopify’s processing fee for that order).
Recommended for: Brands who cater to young and trendy audiences. Wanelo has a built-in influencer system where users can follow top style curators, making it especially effective for fashion brands, like Amazing Lace and The Rage (check out the case study).
If you’re selling products that are geared towards Gen Z (teens), you can gain access to Kik’s 300 million users with the ShopSwag bot available through Kik Messenger.
Unlike other marketplaces, this one functions as a chatbot in a messaging app that makes custom product recommendations based on questions that it asks the user. It’s a neat way to discover products if your store speaks to younger audiences.
ShopSwag is currently available for U.S. merchants only.
Fees: 10% commission on sales (excluding shipping and taxes).
Recommended for: Brands that focus on Gen Z customers. Since the user base is mostly 13-18 years old, the products you list here should cater to that demographic and their purchasing power (around $10-$200 products).
Pinterest has always been the odd one out in every website’s social media menu. There’s just something different about it compared to other visual content platforms like Instagram.
That’s because its focus on curating and collecting good finds and ideas make it a natural marketplace for products, rather than a place to share pictures of your day.
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You can add the Pinterest channel in your Shopify store (U.S only for now) to list your items in Pinterest’s “marketplace” of pinnable products. Special Buyable Pins let users discover and purchase products without leaving Pinterest.
Recommended for: Brands whose target audience is women with disposable income. According to a study by Pew Research Center, 31% of all adults online in the U.S. use Pinterst, many of whom are women with disposable income. Popular products include bags, gadgets, jewelry, food, clothing, home decor, and anything geared toward big life events like a wedding.
Houzz, as the name suggests, is a marketplace geared towards home improvement, design, and decor.
It connects its users with both professional service providers and high quality products for almost every room in your home, and both indoors and outdoors.
Pending approval, you can get your products in front of more than 40 million monthly unique users on Houzz who are often there to research a home improvement project or home design update. That means these users aren’t just browsing but actively looking for ways to spend their home renovation budget.
With the Houzz sales channel, you can process orders from Houzz in your Shopify store, just like you would any other order, and sync product information automatically between the two to update your Houzz listing from Shopify.
Fees: 15% commission on sales (before returns).
Recommended for: Merchants who sell high quality products that spruce up the home, like furniture, lighting, lawn ornaments, and other home accessories.
Aside from their viral listicles and news pieces, Buzzfeed is known to regularly feature cool, shareworthy products.
While their integrated approach to content and commerce is different from a traditional online marketplace, the Buzzfeed sales channel can streamline the shopping experience for their audience by curating products from different brands under headlines like 9 Weirdly Useful Beauty Products that Actually Work.
Instead of pitching writers or editors as you normally would, you can submit your products and pitches through the Buzzfeed sales channel, setting a commission that Buzzfeed can take for every product sold. This gets your products in front of their writers and producers who create these shopping-themed pieces for a better chance of getting covered. Plus, if your product gets picked up, you can add a “seen on Buzzfeed” to your press page.
Fees: You set the commission rate, but it might impact whether your products get picked up by writers.
Recommended for: Merchants (U.S merchants only) with trending, topical, or newsworthy products that would qualify as a “good find” that Buzzfeed’s audience would be thrilled to pass on. Take a look at some of Buzzfeed’s product listicles for inspiration.
Sell where your customers shop
There are all kinds of benefits to having your own store. You get to brand it. You get to control the experience and optimize it to grow your revenue. You get to integrate it with your other tools.
On the flipside, marketplaces offer you a built-in audience of shoppers who prefer searching, browsing, and buying on those platforms.
However, you can get the best of both worlds by having a presence in the right marketplaces to expand your online store’s reach. As always, do your research and due diligence before testing a new marketplace.