Online marketplaces are now so popular that the largest among them have over a million products on offer. That of course makes it very difficult for sellers to get noticed.

To make sure that your customers can find you, you need to optimize your shop items for search engines, just like you would optimize the content of any other website.

Take a look at the listings of your products—your titles and your tags especially—and think about how relevant they are to the way that customers use search engines or internal search functions.

Now that customers can find you, here are seven top tips to increase your marketplace sales.

  1. Provide good customer service.

State delivery times clearly, and have a return policy in place. Be flexible when a customer wants to return an item that was damaged during shipping.

  1. Watch out for competitors.

When a successful product appears on the marketplace, it gets copied very quickly. Competitors are always ready to undercut your prices. When that happens, do not follow them blindly by lowering your own price. Instead make sure that your product is better quality.

  1. Work with multiple marketplaces.

Go global by signing up for marketplaces outside of your geographical area.

Next to Ebay and Etsy, in the US you also have Artfire and Bonanza. The latter is a competitor of Ebay, with marketplaces in multiple geographical areas.

Australia is home to Zibbet and in Canada you have iCraftGifts.

Not to forget, Facebook’s recent launch of their own marketplace:

  1. Don’t load all your products at once.

It is important to stagger the release of your products, because the more recently your products were added, the higher you will place in search results.

  1. Couple your marketplace account to your favorite social media account.

Look out for the possibility of linking accounts, so your customers can stay up to date about your latest additions and you can learn about your customers’ interests.

In Etsy, for example, you can link your account to your Facebook page.

Leverage the Audiences of Already Trafficked Sites

  1. Use professional photos.

Photos are what sells your product. Include photos from different angles, use close-ups as well as full-view shots, and show a selection of different colors if applicable.

Get a decent camera, and play around with lighting, until you achieve professional-looking images.

  1. Always give the dimensions.

Photos can be deceiving about the dimensions of a product. A thin, fragile necklace can look chunky in a close-up shot. You can avoid misunderstandings by stating dimensions clearly. It may be boring, but it is important nonetheless.

You may wonder if it isn’t cheaper to start your own website instead. That way you wouldn’t have to pay for listings, and you can avoid commission eating away at your profits. But one thing that a new website doesn’t have is a ready-made audience.

Marketplace sites are built up around a community of like-minded people.

They often have blogs where you can share the story behind your business ideas.

You can’t beat that kind of exposure.

Conclusion

Online marketplaces are increasingly popular with creative people looking for ways to showcase their work and make a little money.

Because a marketplace can have several thousands of products, sellers need to work at standing out from the crowd.