Should You Specialize in One Online Marketplace or All of Them?

Online marketplaces have taken over the internet. There are now dozens, if not hundreds of options for businesses (from one-man operations to major corporations) to list and sell products online, including headliners like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. To marketers, each of these is an opportunity to acheive higher visibility and reach a new segment of your target audience, but do those effects compound? Is there an advantage to marketing your products through multiple online marketplaces, or is it better to specialize in just one?


One of the most important considerations you’ll face is how much effort you’ll need to spend to maintain multiple platforms versus only one. Traditionally, you’ll need to go through the same motions for each platform, uploading images, writing product descriptions, and establishing your shop. You’ll also need to log in, manage orders, and market each platform you add to your repertoire. Under ordinary circumstances, each new platform will, therefore, add hours of work to your week, so you’ll need to balance that carefully against the potential benefits each new platform offers.

If you’re interested in the multi-platform angle, one potential solution is a listing software service like Sellbrite, which allows you to list your products on multiple platforms at once.

Target Market

You’ll also need to consider your target market, and what type of audience you’re trying to reach. Adding new platforms generally means broadening the total number of people you can reach, but different platforms cater to different demographics. If you simply want the greatest number of people, you can (and should) list your products everywhere you can, but for most businesses, it’s better to remain targeted. Study the demographic data associated with each online marketplace, and make sure each new platform you add (if any) bears some resemblance to your ideal customer demographics.


The type and quantity of goods you sell should also factor into the equation. If you’re selling a lot of goods, you may become overburdened by managing inventory on 10 different platforms, forcing you to narrow your focus to the 1 or 2 that yield the most profit for you. On the other hand, if you only have one specialty product, it’s probably worth distributing it through as many platforms as are relevant. Different types of goods also fare better on different platforms—such as handmade goods on Etsy and second-hand goods on eBay.


If you’ve had experience with online marketplaces in the past, you can probably jump into multiple simultaneous platforms without much of a problem. However, if you’re new at this and you don’t have a marketing team to support you, it’s better to start with a single platform and expand from there.

Selling Fees and Profitability

Before finalizing your decision, you’ll need to make a thorough review of each platform’s selling fees, and evaluate your profitability when using each platform. Where to Sell Online is one of the best online resources for comparing and contrasting different online marketplaces in this area.

Growth Potential

You’ll also want to think about how you intend to grow your business from here. You might want multiple platforms to maximize your audience potential, but what are you going to do if you start becoming overwhelmed with orders? What if you decide to launch several new product lines? Remain flexible and have a game plan that accounts for your future goals.


Finally, you’ll need to consider the level of competition you’re going to face on each platform. A platform like Amazon, for example, offers many advantages, but you’ll also be competing for visibility with thousands of other brands like yours—and optimizing for their internal search engine will be a formidable challenge. If you can find a platform with minimal competition, or one that serves a slightly different target market, it may be wise to pool your efforts there. If you find competition high across the board, resist the urge to spread out; you’ll stand a better chance at getting visibility if you focus all your efforts on a single platform, rather than diluting your marketing engagements.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the number of platforms you choose to use to promote your products depends on your unique needs and the amount of time you can afford to spend managing them. For many specialized niches and small businesses, one strong platform is enough to secure a sufficient stream of revenue, but there’s also little harm in listing your products in multiple places. If you’re unsure, or if you’re hesitant about your initial assumptions, invest in multiple platforms; you can always drop underperformers later in favor of those with the strongest potential.

About Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

27 Responses to Should You Specialize in One Online Marketplace or All of Them?

  1. Very resourceful article. I personally think we should make use of any opportunity that would make the business grow and successful own 2 cents.

  2. Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant idea, paragraph
    is pleasant, thats why i have read it fully

  3. quality used says:

    No matter if some one searches for his required thing,
    therefore he/she desires to be available that in detail, so
    that thing is maintained over here.

  4. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.
    Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly
    respond? Thanks!!

  5. Frederic says:

    of course like your website however you have to
    test the spelling on several of your posts. A number of
    them are rife with spelling problems and I
    find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I
    will certainly come again again.

  6. Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my weblog so i got here to
    go back the want?.I am trying to to find
    things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  7. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am
    impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the remaining section :
    ) I maintain such info a lot. I used to be looking for this particular information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  8. This paragraph presents clear idea in favor of the new visitors
    of blogging, that truly how to do blogging and site-building.

  9. It’s a pity y᧐u ԁon’t have a donate button! Ӏ’d most certɑinly donate to this excellent blog!

    Ӏ guess foг noѡ i’ll settle fօr bookmarking and
    adding үοur RSS feed t᧐ my Google account. І loߋk forward
    tօ fresh updates ɑnd will share thіs website with mу Facfebook groսр.
    Talk ѕoon!

  10. Tracie says:

    Does yօur blog have a contаct page? I’m having
    problemѕ loсating it but, I’d like to send you an e-maіl.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in heɑring.
    Eіther way, great site and I loߋk forᴡarԁ to seeing it
    grow over time.

  11. Wohh precisely what I was looking for, appreciate it for posting.

  12. Fernanda says:

    I also work in this field and I really appreciate your tips

  13. I’m no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, however great topic.
    I needs to spend some time studying much more or understanding
    more. Thank you for magnificent info I was on the lookout for this info
    for my mission.

  14. Duane says:

    On the subject of utilizing this brand of device it is usually vitally critical to believe each one the components before truly delving in. Normally you can actually come across more important ailments struggling with
    tips on how to scale your corporation into using this type of style of

  15. Howdy very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark
    your blog and take the feeds also? I am satisfied to seek out so many useful info here within the post,
    we want work out extra strategies on this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  16. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest
    websites on the net. I will recommend this website!

  17. puri budget says:

    Fine way of describing, and good paragraph to take data on the topic of my presentation subject
    matter, which i am going to convey in academy.

  18. dry skin says:

    Very nice pattern and good articles, absolutely nothing else we want :

  19. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you
    are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still
    take care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a wonderful web site.

  20. If some one wants expert view regarding running a blog afterward
    i recommend him/her to pay a quick visit this blog, Keep up the
    nice work.

  21. gay porn says:

    Hi to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to pay a quick visit this website, it consists of helpful Information.

  22. you are in reality a just right webmaster. The site loading
    velocity is amazing. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a fantastic job
    in this topic!

  23. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site.
    I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my
    own blog now 😉

  24. Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a information! existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this web site.

  25. I savour, lead to I found just what I used to be taking a look
    for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.


  26. I read this piece of writing fully regarding the comparison of
    hottest and previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

  27. Piano Dealer says:

    Thankfulness to my father who shared with me regarding this
    blog, this website is genuinely remarkable.