When you work in eCommerce, it’s sometimes easy to forget that many consumers don’t actually understand what an online marketplace is. You might look at a platform like eBay or Amazon and see a marketplace where millions of private, independent, and big brand sellers can come together and sell their products. But for most buyers, they just see it as a big online store.

Let’s think about this for a moment. How often have you heard someone say, “I got it from eBay?” The retailer that picked and packed the product before breaking their necks to get it out of the door in time for next-day delivery barely gets a mention.

The reason why eBay and Amazon get so much recognition is because of their incredibly powerful brands. This can have a positive and negative impact on the retailers that sell across these marketplaces. While it is true that millions of shoppers love buying from eBay and Amazon, others would prefer (and you’ll understand the irony here) to support independent retailers.

Herein lies the problem. Vast swaths of the buying people don’t associate online marketplaces with the small businesses that bring so much vitality to the environment and trade across them.

The general public doesn’t know what an online marketplace is

This fact was brought home in a recent survey conducted by the UK-based marketplace OnBuy.

On a positive note, the survey suggested that 64% of UK consumers expressed an interest in supporting independent retailers. However, 90% of these same shoppers believe the only way to support those independent retailers is to buy directly from them.

The survey also highlights that upwards of 75% of consumers believe that online marketplaces actively compete against independent retailers. While this is true in the case of Amazon, it is certainly not true for a sales venue like eBay.

This information suggests that independent retailers selling exclusively on online marketplaces may struggle to reach a customer base who actually expressed an interest in supporting businesses like them. This creates quite an interesting challenge for retailers who want to celebrate their independence while selling on online marketplaces.

There is a simple answer to this problem — branding, and design.

4 reasons why you should invest in branding and design

  1. Stand out from the crowd: While many people would prefer to shop directly with an independent retailer, they will often turn to an online marketplace for convenience and choice. By branding your eBay listings or Amazon store, you create an opportunity to make your independent business stand out from the crowd. This isn’t just about positioning and differentiating yourself from the marketplace itself. It’s also about positioning yourself favourably when compared to other independent retailers and private sellers operating on the marketplace.
  2. Build trust: While professional branding doesn’t have to be expensive, it certainly looks more impressive than a hastily thrown together eBay listing. Consumers might want to spend their money with independent retailers, but that doesn’t mean they want to risk buying goods from a retailer that looks like it’s being run from a back bedroom. BTW – if your retail business is being run from a back bedroom, there’s no reason it shouldn’t look fabulous.
  3. Good design aids conversions: Good branding and design aren’t just about looking great. When your listings include all of the right information in the right place, it makes it so much easier for consumers to make a quick buying decision. If online retailers understand how difficult it is for consumers to land on their listings via eBay search, they’ll appreciate the value of a professionally-designed template. So when you utilise a professional design template from Frooition, you’ll also have access to powerful conversion tools like our Dynamic Cross Promotion carousel.
  4. A foundation for growth: When consumers start recognising your brand on eBay or Amazon, they’ll no longer say, “I got it on eBay.” They’ll refer to your independent retail business by name and seek you out via alternative routes. This creates a real opportunity to launch your own website and finally take ownership of your own customers.

How could branding improve your buyers’ shopping experience on online marketplaces?

To learn more about how branding can help you build a better independent retail business on eBay and Amazon before launching your own online store on BigCommerce or Shopify, book a 15-minute discovery call with one of our branding and design experts.

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