Once you decide that you want to sell online, the first question that you have to answer is where. There are a lot of options. You can either go for one or more of the innumerable sales channels that make up the online retail system, or fly solo and open up your own online store which will cost you more money.
There are a handful of online marketplaces out there. Jumia and Konga stand out as the market leaders. They both allow you product catalogues, offer access to an instant customer base, play the role of middlemen during the transaction, and assist you with the logistics involved in making a sale. Other platforms like Jiji and OLX only connect buyers and sellers.
In return for this service, the online marketplaces takes a certain percentage commission from each sale. You also have to adhere to the rules and guidelines on their websites, and they have the power to penalise you if you don’t. Essentially, the store might be yours, but it’s their mall. Let us look at the prerequisites for choosing an online marketplace.
How to Choose Where to Sell Online
Analyse your product
If you are just a retailer, it is advisable you list your products on an online store, especially in popular product categories like phones, electronics and apparel. These are high volume markets, with a massive demand and a supply that just barely matches it. Subscribe to a marketplace which is popular for selling products in your category.
Logistics is very key to an online marketplace. In recognition of this and to provide sterling and smooth order delivery, Jumia introduced Jumia Services. Some of the services offered by Jumia Services include receiving vendor drop-off packages and collection of packages at the vendor location, consignment storage and order processing from the dedicated warehouse, order processing for e-commerce vendors and delivery to the buyer’s home, office or its network of pickup stations among others. If a particular sales channel is inept in providing logistical assistance around the area where your warehouses are situated, you will be in a tight spot.
eCommerce players such as Amazon, Walmart and locally in Nigeria, Jumia, Konga, Jiji, and OLX are the heavy weights in today’s online retail market. The top few sales channels generally are the consumers’ first choice when it comes to shopping online. Subscribing with one or more of them will provide you access to a huge chunk of customer base.
The other side of the coin is the immense competition that one finds on these huge online marketplace. There are multiple sellers jostling together for the same product, differentiated only by little things like product descriptions, photographs and seller ratings. It sure is a tough market.
Different marketplaces have different subscription costs and commission plans. In return, they also offer different essential and optional services. It is better to shortlist a few channels and then carefully go through their specific plans to choose the ones that you want to go for.