▷Virtual Store, Marketplace, Social Networks: Where to Start Selling Online?

    Among the various types of sales channels that exist in Ecommerce, a very common question is: which one is the best? Online store, marketplace or social networks?

    The truth is that it depends …

    There are several factors that must be taken into account. And, before you go around creating accounts everywhere, without any strategy, it is necessary to know each one of these channels.

    In this article, I talk a little about it. Check out!

    Understand the Purpose of each Channel

    When it comes to considering the best channel for your Ecommerce, you need to understand, first of all, that there are two types of channel on the internet: sales and audience channels.

    Currently, due to marketplaces without social networks, this sometimes gets confused, but the main objective of each platform has remained over time.

    I’m gonna explain:

    Audience channels are those that you maintain primarily to reach a larger audience, reinforce your authority as a brand, get closer to customers and generate traffic to the company’s website. The main objective of an audience channel is what the name already says: to encourage and engage the public to then sell to them.

    Audience channel example: Social Networks.

    Sales channels are those whose purpose is conversion. That is: sell your products. This is where you will present your entire product catalog, where the person can complete the purchase, where you can insert banners, pop-ups and put in place strategies to increase the average ticket, such as the immediate upsell.

    Example of a sales channel: Marketplace and Virtual Store.

    Once you understand this difference, it is easier to decide on the channels where you should act and the objective of each one …

    But maybe you still have doubts about when to use each of these channels, so I’ll go even further…

    Creating an online store is one of the first things people think about when they open an Ecommerce store. And, in fact, it seems to be the most logical path within online sales.

    But it may not be the best choice for those just starting out …

    And I’ll explain why.

    When someone is starting an Ecommerce, the first thing to think about is to attract customers.

    But think with me: in a physical store, many people are passing by there daily, some will be interested, enter and often buy. If no one is passing by, it is impossible to make sales.

    And this is what happens with an online store.

    It is no use setting up the most beautiful site in the world if no one will know about it. Without traffic, your website will not sell anything.

    At first, the flow of people is very low and it takes a lot of time and money to increase traffic.

    That is why there are other smarter ways to start selling over the internet. And I’ll tell you about them below:


    The Marketplace is like a big virtual mall. It is a platform that allows several retailers to register and sell their products. In return, the marketplace earns a small commission on each sale.

    A lot of people confuse the marketplace with “Ecommerce” or Virtual Store, but not quite…

    Ecommerce is any environment on the internet where there are purchases and sales. Therefore, the marketplace is only part of Ecommerce.

    The difference between marketplace and virtual store is that there is only one seller in the virtual store, one store selling products. In the marketplace, there are several stores selling on the same platform.

    Advantages of selling on Marketplaces

    The big advantage is the visibility that stores have within marketplaces.

    These platforms invest a lot of money in advertising and marketing, which makes thousands of people access them daily. This is great because you don’t have to spend a lot on ads and still benefit from the flow of people.

    Another great advantage is that the marketplaces are from companies already consolidated in the market and that people trust. Then, their chances of buying increase.

    For those who are starting from scratch and have little money for investments, marketplaces are great alternatives. Most have low cost, but have a quick return. For example, there is a free version to advertise on Mercado Livre.

    Therefore, if you are in the product validation phase, marketplaces are the best places for that.

    Social networks

    Social networks have a very important function within the Ecommerce strategy: ** attract customers. **

    Creating relevant content that connects with the persona is a way to take that potential customer to a purchase. So it is essential that you know your audience, know how to talk in their language to get closer.

    The closer to your persona and the more confidence they have in your brand, the greater the chances of selling.

    An important point to keep in mind is that each social network works in a different way. So, you need to study well those that best match your persona so that the work is more assertive.

    Besides that, you need to constantly feed these networks so that people engage with your brand and remember you.

    After all, if you create a page, but only post something once in a while or never, no one else will know that you exist.

    Disadvantages of selling on Social Media

    Although it is a very good channel to approach customers, there are some disadvantages that must be taken into account.

    1. Spend a lot of time

    As I said, you must constantly feed these platforms. And it’s not just feeding with any kind of content, it needs to be relevant content.

    For that, it is necessary to search for subjects, create strategies, interact with the followers, look at what the competitors are doing, post every day (at least), analyze the data …

    2. Negative impact

    It is very common for people to use the brands’ social networks to make public complaints. Dealing with this is very challenging …

    This is because a negative comment can affect the image of the business. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to deal with this type of situation calmly and quickly, so that it does not resonate further.

    The goal is not to please everyone, but to minimize this type of situation as much as it can cause problems for your business.

    Advantages of selling on Social Media

    Despite some disadvantages, social networks are great for a business’ marketing strategy. Even brands that have social networks are much better viewed by customers.

    Some advantages are:

    1. Low cost

    There is no need to pay to create an account and, in addition, there are several free tools within these platforms.

    One of the few costs you will have is with ads and this will also depend on your strategies.

    For example, if you want to attract more engagement to your profile, you can pay to boost your posts. This increases the chances of people enjoying your business, getting to know more and becoming a possible customer.

    2. Approaching customers

    The number of people on social media is immense. And it’s very likely that your persona will use any of them – be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram…

    No matter what the social network is, approaching and interacting with it is one of the great insights in Ecommerce. Today’s consumer doesn’t just want products, he wants to connect with brands.

    In that case, knowing more about Content Marketing is essential.

    Create strategies for multiple channels

    One thing is very important: having a sales channel does not mean excluding others. On the contrary, it is interesting that you are in everyone that makes sense for your business.

    For example, you can start selling through the marketplace and, realizing that your business is validated, you can create a virtual store. In this case, you can use social media to attract customers and direct them to another sales channel.

    This type of strategy is great and helps to increase traffic to your website in a more organic way.

    Discover Ecommerce in Practice

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    Today, there are more than 20 thousand entrepreneurs in our training and more than one million people impacted every day by our free materials.

    Discover Ecommerce in Practice too and stay on top of all topics related to Ecommerce and digital business.

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