Digital Marketing
Best Marketplaces To Sell On in the UK 2023
January 25, 2024

At their core, marketplaces connect third-party sellers with buyers, consumers and businesses. Amazon and eBay have now been around for over 20 years in the UK, and marketplaces have only become increasingly popular - due to the availability for consumers to compare features, reviews, specifications, delivery times, and price.

Listing on marketplaces allow a brand’s products to be seen where potential customers are already shopping, which allows for greater visibility, and strengthens a brand’s image by being seen on a trusted marketplace such as Amazon. As a result, many sellers often experience higher sales by listing on marketplaces.

There is now a wide range of marketplaces available to sellers, and sellers now commonly sell on multiple marketplaces to reach different demographics and expand their customer base. If your brand is looking to start selling on an e-commerce marketplace for the first time or is considering expanding into additional marketplaces, these are the top UK marketplaces you should consider in 2023:

Amazon Homepage

Amazon is now the 4th most-visited website in the UK, with 474 million visits per month. In other words, everyone in the UK visits Amazon at-least once a week on average. Furthermore, Amazon is where 23% of shoppers in the UK start their online search.

Amazon is the largest marketplace in both the world, and the UK, and selling is relatively straight forward. A professional selling plan costs £25 a month and allows you to sell in the UK and even across Europe if desired.

Fulfilment by Amazon, commonly known as Amazon FBA, allows sellers to send their stock into one of Amazon’s warehouses and let them handle picking, packing, delivery, and customer service. This is especially helpful for international expansion, as for example stock can be sent to Amazon in France and then any European orders are dispatched from this inventory to offer the fastest delivery possible to ensure a positive customer experience.

Amazon also allows brands to setup a customised brand store, which has a custom URL, to establish brand loyalty on Amazon. Additionally, this brand-registry feature also protects Amazon sellers from anyone else reselling their brands products on Amazon without their permission.

Thanks to Amazon’s Prime subscription service, their shoppers are very loyal, and are often happy to pay a slight premium to purchase something off Amazon than another marketplace as it means they can utilise their Prime delivery subscription to receive the item in 1 or 2 days.

Amazon’s high level of traffic and low barriers to entry make it the perfect marketplace for almost any product to be sold, so it can become competitive against other sellers to rank organically. This is where Amazon’s comprehensive advertising can be leveraged with Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display advertising campaigns to maximise visibility and conversions. The average conversion rate on Amazon is 9.58%, which is 3-4x the average for e-commerce websites, which means that advertising on Amazon often offers a much higher ROAS.
This means that its never too late to start selling on Amazon, as newcomers to the market can quickly gain market share, build reviews, and establish brand loyalty as a result of Amazon advertising.

Fees: £25 a month, up to 15% referral fee on each product sold (varies by category), FBA Fulfilment and Storage fees also apply if using Amazon FBA.

eBay Homepage

eBay is Amazon’s largest competitor, since it is the 9th most-visited website in the UK, with 279 million visits per month.

eBay similarly has millions of shoppers who are already searching for your products, and they too allow sellers to setup a customised brand store to showcase their brand. Where eBay differs from Amazon is that on Amazon there is one product listing page, and sellers compete to offer the best price. Whereas on eBay, each seller has their own listing, which results in duplicate listings for the same product.

However, this can be to advantage of the seller, as offering free, fast delivery and having good feedback means that a shopper may choose to purchase from them over another seller who may be cheaper. eBay also allows bidding and offers, which can be useful to sell products where the market value may be somewhat unknown.

Another advantage of eBay is that it’s the easiest platform to sell on, since anyone can sign up and sell, whereas as Amazon may require approval for certain categories. This can make eBay very price competitive, which can make it a great marketplace for brands utilising a cost-leadership strategy in their industry as shoppers on eBay are similarly price conscious.

eBay similarly offers international sales, through their Global Shipping Programme, which can reach over 60 million buyers in over 100 countries around the world.

eBay has recently expanded its advertising to compete with Amazon, as until 2023 they only allowed sellers to run automatic campaigns to appear as a sponsored product in search results. However, they now offer manual keyword PPC campaigns and offsite ads, which sellers can utilise to secure even higher visibility and a higher ROAS thanks to more manual control being available.

Fees: 12.8% referral fee on each product sold + 30p fixed charge per order.

OnBuy Homepage

OnBuy launched in 2016 and is now the fastest-growing marketplace in the world. OnBuy additionally claims to be the UK’s most trusted marketplace, due to their very positive TrustPilot rating with over 65,000 reviews and guaranteed safe payment via their PayPal partnership. OnBuy was launched in the UK and offers a dedicated UK-based support team.

OnBuy still has a lot of catching up to do to compete with Amazon and eBay in terms of traffic, but they still have over 7 million shoppers, and their advantage is that for some categories their fees are lower than both Amazon and eBay which allows for greater profit margins or the ability to offer lower prices to entice customers into making more purchases.

OnBuy similarly offers international expansion, they now offer 42 additional countries, with over 100 more planned to be available by the end of 2023.

Fees: 7-13% referral fee on each product sold (varies by category) and £19 a month subscription.

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