An illustration on- How-to-market-a-marketplace

How to Market a Marketplace Website: A Guide for SMBs

The success of an online marketplace initiative is heavily reliant on how you market it. Since the eCommerce industry is already crowded, you have to be passionate and follow an effective strategy.

Now, the question is how to market a marketplace website effectively and what should be your strategy in this regard.

Just follow this article till the end. You will find all the solutions here.

We will share with you a complete step-by-step guide – from building a marketplace website to its promotion – which will help you market your marketplace platform successfully.

6 Things to Consider Before You Market a Marketplace

You will have to spend a reasonable amount of time on research and planning before you bring your marketplace to this world. Your learning and research will continue even after you launch it. However the research prior to the launch will lay the foundation for your success.

So, the things you should consider before you market a marketplace:

  • Study the fundamentals of an online marketplace, its current status, and the future
  • Learn basic eCommerce terms, jargon, and phrases
  • Develop an innovative marketplace idea
  • Research on marketplace building and solution providers
  • Gather basic knowledge about marketing, relevant to the eCommerce industry
  • Make a handsome amount of money ready for investment

Now, let’s find out how you are going to maintain all these things while you will build, launch, and promote your marketplace. If you are interested in marketplace promotion only, we will request you to follow the link below. We have a complete blog on this topic.

How to Market a Marketplace Website Step-by-Step

If you want to market a marketplace website, you will have to build it first. Then, do some analysis and management. Finally, start marketing and promotion. We will cover all the areas here.

First, let’s check out what are the steps of how to market a marketplace.

  • Step 1: Build a Niche-Specific and Attractive Marketplace
  • Step 2: Analyze Your Target Audience
  • Step 3: Do a SWOT and Competitor Analysis
  • Step 4: Set Up a Lucrative Commission/Pricing Model
  • Step 5: Formulate an Achievable Marketing Strategy
  • Step 6: Promote the Marketplace Both Online and Offline

We are going to explain each of the steps in the upcoming part of the article. Also, share some exclusive tips along the way. So, stay with us.

Note: If you have accomplished some steps already, you may start with the next ones. For instance, you will start your journey from the analysis if you already have a marketplace website. Please follow the steps one by one if you need to start from the beginning (haven’t built the website yet).

Step 1: Build a Niche-Specific and Attractive Marketplace

Your journey to market a marketplace will start with building a website. If you want to become successful and survive in the long run, you will have to be innovative, build a niche-specific marketplace, and make it appealing to the customers.

The fact will be clear if you see the statistics below:

About 90% of eCommerce businesses fail after 120 days of their launch!


The main reason behind this failure is a lack of innovation. These marketplaces failed to draw customers’ attention as they were not designed for a specific target group.

Just look at the successful marketplaces in recent times, like OpenSea and Satair. The secret to their success is that they are targeted for a specific niche.

Step 2: Analyze Your Target Audience

In this stage, you should determine who will be your target audience to plan your next strategies, like marketing and promotion based on it. Since you are going to build a marketplace, not a single online store, your target audience will be both customers and vendors or suppliers.

Follow the tips below while analyzing your target audience:

  • Segment your target audience as precisely as possible
  • Develop buyer’s persona for the different lines of products
  • Enlist your prospective vendors or suppliers
  • Target buyers and sellers through existing relationships (if any)

The area of the online marketplace is a bit complex because the audiences here shift frequently. That’s why, you not only have to attract your customers and vendors, but also convince, manage, and retain them.

Step 3: Do a SWOT and Competitor Analysis

SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is one of the most popular competitor analysis methods that many businesses apply before they enroll in the market. Because –

Such analysis will help you identify the challenges and opportunities of your business as well as the industry both at the present and in the future.

There are some other popular competitor analysis methods, like Growth-Share Matrix and Porter’s Five Forces. You may try any of them. We recommend you apply at least two methods, SWOT and another one, to accomplish the competitor analysis part.

Step 4: Set Up a Lucrative Commission/Pricing Model

Set Up a Lucrative Commission Pricing Model

The commission or pricing model of your marketplace will play a significant role in your revenue generation and business growth. Different marketplaces follow different business strategies, so their monetization techniques would vary as well. However, the basics would remain the same.

The common online marketplace monetization techniques are:

  • Commission on sales
  • Subscription fees
  • Advertising
  • Sign-up fees
  • Listing fees
  • Value-added services

Whatever monetization technique you follow, just make sure it is scalable and lucrative to both customers and vendors. It is better not to make much profit in the beginning. The more your marketplace gains popularity, the better revenue opportunity will be created.

Step 5: Formulate an Achievable Marketing Strategy

Marketing is the part where you will be spending a large amount of time among all these steps. When you develop your marketing strategy, you have to make sure it is effective, easy to execute, and scaleable. Also, focus on the following areas for better output:

SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a significant role in increasing the visibility of your marketplace and products, and gaining organic (non-paid) traffic to your website. Marketplace SEO mostly focuses on the product pages, making them search engines and user-friendly.

Email Marketing: It is an effective way to maintain a good relationship with your target audience (both buyers and sellers) and convert some of them into stakeholders. Besides, email marketing has the highest ROI, approximately 4,200% at present! So, you should apply such an effective strategy while you market a marketplace.

Content Marketing: If you want to introduce yourself as a marketplace expert and gain familiarity with your target, then content marketing is the technique you should follow. As a bonus, you will gain some organic traffic and get the opportunity to promote your marketplace and its products for free.

Sales Campaign: It is a common marketing strategy that helps draw customers’ attention and increase sales. But you will have to be creative to stand out from the crowd. Besides, you can offer a free trial, vouchers, coupons, buy one get one free, etc.

Step 6: Promote the Marketplace Both Online and Offline

Although you need to build and market an online marketplace, you have to focus on both online and offline worlds in terms of promoting it. Because some of your target audiences might be trading offline till now and not be active in the digital world.

Follow these tips to promote your marketplace successfully:

  • Reach out to buyers and sellers before launching your marketplace
  • Analyze the promotion strategies of your competitors
  • Use your personal connections
  • Use both traditional and new media, including social platforms
  • Prioritize mobile users, millennials, and the digital community
  • Organize, sponsor, or participate in events, like workshops and conferences
  • List your marketplace in Google My Business for better search visibility
  • Generate video content
  • Build partnerships with influencers
  • Provide incentives for referrals and testimonials

You will be ready to launch or market your marketplace by now if you have followed all these steps properly. Before concluding, let us answer some common and relevant questions.

FAQ on Marketplace Marketing and Promotion

We have included some frequently asked questions on marketplace marketing and promotion in this part, some of which you might find interesting.

How do attract customers to an online marketplace?

The 5 top tips you should follow to attract customers to a marketplace
1. Build a fast, responsive, and beautiful marketplace site
2. Follow marketplace SEO practices properly
3. Give discounts, offer free products, and trial
4. Become active on digital platforms, including blogs and social media
5. Run attractive campaigns and programs

What makes an online marketplace successful?

The things that make an online marketplace successful are: innovation, passion, dedication, an attractive and user-friendly website, SEO, and a strong relationship among the customers, vendors, and marketplace operators.

What is the best marketing strategy for an online marketplace?

The best marketing strategies for an online marketplace are:
1. Product Page Optimization
2. Search Engine Optimization
3. Email Marketing
4. Content Marketing
5. Social Media Marketing
6. Influencer Marketing
7. Event and Campaigning

Market Your Marketplace Website Now and Keep Thriving

We hope you have learned our steps on how to market a marketplace properly. Now, it’s time you apply your learning in real life. Just follow our 6-step guide one after another.

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further queries or face any issues along the way.

It is a fact that penetrating the eCommerce industry at present is more challenging than ever. However, still, there is a chance, which relies on how you market it from the beginning.

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