Whether you operate from a garage or a retail store, promoting your own merchandise online is a great way to expand your clientele. You’ll need a platform to make your brand visible and to attract visitors. In this Scott’s Marketplace review, I’ll talk about the pros and cons about using a public site and what you need to consider when it comes to online selling.
What Is Scott’s Marketplace?
Scott’s Marketplace is an eCommerce platform created by Scott K. Curry in 2012, that caters for local businesses/independent sellers (within the US) to create an online store. They are not to be confused with drop shipping sites that deal with masses of products. Items like women/men’s apparel, jewelries and home decor are some of the niches that are popular in the marketplace.
How Does It Work?
To open a store, you just need to register for a user account and enter the store information such as the business name, phone number, address and contact hours. You would also need a PayPal merchant account to receive payments. As for product listing, you can list up to 96 items per shop.
Although there is no listing fee, it’s not completely free to operate your store. For every successful transaction, the marketplace takes 4.99% of your monthly sales and this is in addition to the PayPal processing fee which is about 2.9% + 30 cents.
Now that your store is all set up, let’s see what are the advantages (and disadvantages) that you can get out of this platform.
1) As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing technical about setting up the online store. It’s easy and you can get it done within minutes.
2) You don’t need to pay the marketplace until you have made a successful sale.
3) The site has a huge fan base on Facebook and frequently publish activities on their page so that’s one source of traffic to look into if you are thinking of going social with your brand.
1) What’s really obvious is the appearance of the storefront. They are all the same for every business and there are no customization settings to make it unique from the others. You can’t even personalize a business logo. Here’s an example of an online store – nothing too exciting, wouldn’t you agree?
2) The second thing is that the store, sits on a subdomain. Here’s how your website address would read;
Frankly, that type of URL is a mouthful and it’s not the easiest to remember. What’s more important is that subdomains rarely show up on the search results because they are nested sites and there is nothing in the home settings that can alert Google about the presence of your online store.
3) Which brings me to the next point. Without Google knowing about your site, you are losing out on a lot of local traffic. You could actually get better results by listing your business on Yelp or other local directories. At the very least, they would show up on the first page of Google.
4) As far as information is concerned, you are only limited to sharing the basic details of your store. There’s no blogging feature to publish activities, events or even product reviews. This ‘lack of content’ is another factor that will prevent Google from ranking your site.
5) And how would you know the number of people visiting your site? Where do they come from and how long do they stay browsing your products? Unfortunately, there’s no way of learning about these details either because there’s no tracking analytics within the online store setting.
In case you don’t know, Google Analytics is a free tool that can do most of this reporting, but in order to use it, you need to have a platform that can connect to an analytic ID.
6) Last but not least, the customer feedback system is also very basic. There’s a button for buyers to ‘favorite’ a product and another ‘button’ to follow the seller online.
Other than that, there is really no way for people to leave their comments about your business/products, so it’s not going to be easy to build an online reputation surrounding your brand.
So, Is Scott’s Marketplace Worthy of Your Time?
Overall, I found that the marketplace has a lot of genuine sellers, from people who create products from their garage to those who runs a retail store. Many things are authentic and custom made which makes each and every one unique.
Since most are new to the concept of online marketing, I can see why the simplicity of the marketplace appeals to them. However, such convenience comes with many flaws, one of which I’ve mentioned earlier is the lack of traffic acquisition system within the platform.
Simply put, if you don’t have visitors by the number, how are you going to make repeated sales?
If you are looking to build a sustainable online brand, you should seriously consider promoting from your own website rather than relying on a public platform like Scott’s to do the job for you.
Here are some of the advantages that you can benefit from having a local business website.
- You can use a custom domain name for people to remember your brand easily. For example, www.cathysflowershop.com is something that people can relate to easily.
- You can customize the outlook of the online store to make it look more attractive and integrate blogging to engage with your audience.
- You can use targeted keywords to write articles that matter to people and thus, have higher chances to rank on the search engines. Do you know that one niche can contain thousands of buying keyword?
- You can gather and publish customer reviews to give your business more credibility.
- You can list your business on Google, which is a free advertisement portal to drive local traffic to your site.
Now, THAT’s how you get your business up and running online. Can you see how much more you can achieve with a proper website? Being local doesn’t mean you need to play small. You are a unique seller who deserves every chance to showcase your products to the world. And the good news is, all these facilities are available right at your finger tip.
If you like to know how to get started, please visit my recommended training platform to build your first WordPress website and I’ll personally guide through your entrepreneurial journey. Hope to talk to you soon.
Have any thoughts or questions about this topic? Just leave your comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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