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Apps to sell online

eCommerce Forecast 2025: Leveraging Apps for Online Selling Success

By
Rosie Greaves

In 2025, worldwide eCommerce sales are predicted to hit $6.9 trillion, and by 2027, experts believe this number will exceed $8 trillion! 

The bottom line: eCommerce is going nowhere fast and remains incredibly lucrative - and with so many apps available for consumers to shop on and for entrepreneurs to source high-quality products and sell them, it's no wonder eCommerce is thriving. For example, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Spocket, etc., to name but a few options!

So, how can budding businesses use these apps to sell online? 

Continue reading for answers to that very question!

Understanding the Online Selling Landscape

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of this guide, let's get an insight into how online marketplaces influence the world of eCommerce.  

The birth of online marketplaces revolutionized how brands do business. 

When eBay launched in the 90s, and Amazon opened its doors to third-party retailers in 2000, it became possible for retailers to easily reach more customers without a brick-and-mortar store. 

In fact, in February 2019, online sales surpassed in-person commerce for the first time. 

This is no surprise. After all, these days, shoppers are pretty comfortable with online shopping, internet access is more readily available than ever, and Amazon blazed the trail in fast shipping. 

The result? Online marketplaces provide shoppers and sellers with a convenient and popular hub for business.  

Fast forward to today, and below are some key trends shaping the online marketplace:

  • Chatbots
  • Augmented reality
  • Voice commerce
  • Customized shopper recommendations
  • Live shopping
  • Increased security

…and more.

The moral of the story: The online sales space continues to evolve, and with that comes opportunities for businesses to profit. 

With that in mind, here's some sage advice for anyone looking to start selling online: 

Choose the Right Niche 

Picking and sticking to a niche is imperative. As you may already know, a ‘niche’ is a smaller segment of a broader market. For example, eco-friendly kid's clothes, yoga-related goods, and accessories for small dogs are all examples of niches. 

So, how do you pick a niche?

Identifying your interests and expertise is a good starting point. Grab a pen and paper and draw a mind map listing everything you're knowledgeable/passionate about. Is there anything you could base your eCommerce business on in that list?

Tools to Help You Pick a Profitable Niche

With a few ideas for niches in mind, it’s time to validate them. 

By 'validate,' we mean ensuring enough demand to generate a decent profit. 

This is where analyzing market trends and demands is helpful. During this process, pay careful attention to problems customers in this niche face and consider whether the products you’re thinking of selling solve a long-standing issue.

There are a couple of free tools we recommend using for validating your ideas for niches:

First off, there's Google's Keyword Planner. You can filter keyword searches by date, region, and language to get insights into search volume. 

Ideally, you want shoppers Googling keywords related to your niche that achieve 100-1000 monthly searches. This proves consumer demand without being overly competitive.

Another tool worth using is Google Trends. This platform is excellent for seeing if searches for a particular keyword have remained consistent, increased, or declined. Needless to say, you want to do business in a niche with consistent or rising demand. 

Examples of Profitable Niches

To help kickstart your research, here are a couple of niches that have proven lucrative:

  • Health and wellness: No matter how society changes, there will always be a demand for products in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. People will always need to exercise and eat well! 
  • Business and productivity: Consumers interested in building their own business or boosting productivity are usually comfortable spending cash on tools to help reach their goals. For instance, productivity journals, stationery, office equipment, etc.

Product Sourcing and Inventory Management

Once you’ve settled on a niche, you’ll need to consider product sourcing and inventory management.

For example, will you make your own products? Work with manufacturers directly? Or are you considering dropshipping? 

Research all your options before settling on the right one for your business. 

But in our opinion, dropshipping is the easiest way to source and fulfill products. However, for dropshipping to work, partnering with reputable suppliers is paramount.

This is where Spocket shines. We vet all dropshipping suppliers for the following:

  • High-quality products
  • Whether the suppliers manufacture or hold their own inventory - I.e., third-party warehouses aren't allowed.
  • Whether suppliers offer discounted pricing so sellers can make a decent profit (spoiler alert: this is a requirement!)
  • Fast order processing and shipping

For the uninitiated, here's the basic framework for how Spocket works:

  • Our platform provides easy access to high-quality dropshipping suppliers.
  • You sell their products on your own online store/marketplace listings
  • When a customer makes a purchase, the order goes straight to the supplier
  • The supplier ships the product(s) directly to your customer

Spocket also benefits from inventory automation. So, suppose a product is out of stock. In that case, the supplier's inventory is automatically updated on your store to reflect that. 

Another thing you can do to help manage inventory is develop strong supplier relationships. Depending on your Spocket subscription, you can contact suppliers directly to help anticipate potential stocking issues, allowing you to respond accordingly. 

Exploring Top Online Selling Apps

Next, you'll need to decide where to sell your products. There are tons of online marketplaces available, but here’s a quick list of some of the most popular general-purpose selling apps:


Amazon Pros

  • You can use Amazon’s FBA program, which provides access to Amazon Prime.
  • Prospective shoppers trust Amazon
  • Amazon provides plenty of marketing and advertising opportunities

Amazon Cons

  • Selling on Amazon is incredibly competitive. 
  • Although this drawback isn’t unique to Amazon (rather, it applies to most online marketplaces), Amazon can suspend your seller’s account if you violate their terms.
  • Amazon restricts access to customer information. 


eBay Pros

  • eBay attracts 130+ million buyers, a huge potential audience!
  • You can list products for auction or at a fixed price.
  • It's easy to use for buyers and sellers alike.

eBay Cons

  • Selling on eBay is competitive
  • You’re restricted to customizing product listings according to eBay’s templates.l
  • Most purchases go through PayPal, which often means paying between 2.5% and 3% per transaction.


Facebook Marketplace Pros

  • Posting individual listings is free (however, if you have a Facebook Shop, you'll need to pay transaction fees).
  • You just need a Facebook account to start selling.
  • Facebook Marketplace is very easy to use.

Facebook Marketplace Cons

  • Facebook Marketplace listings typically only reach local buyers, so you might attract fewer buyers than other online marketplaces.
  • There’s limited payment options
  • It’s harder to separate your business and personal life if you’re accessing Facebook Marketplace via your  personal Facebook account.

Etsy Pros

  • It’s easy to get up and running with Etsy
  • Etsy provides its sellers with plenty of education and self-help materials and there’s a supportive community.
  • Etsy has a vast and established audience. 

Etsy Cons

  • Etsy charges multiple fees, which can get confusing!
  • There are millions of sellers, making Etsy a competitive place to set up shop. 
  • Some users complain about unexplained account suspensions.

However, there are a few niche-specific online marketplaces worth checking out:


Depop Pros (for selling clothing)

  • You only pay when you sell an item (I.e., there are no listing fees)
  • Depop’s selling app is very easy to use.
  • One of its values is eco-friendlinessc

Depop Cons

  • Depop takes a 10% commission fee.
  • Depop only has a 1.5 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot
  • Some sellers complain about poor customer service


Mercari Pros (for selling home goods)

  • You only pay when you sell an item
  • Printable shipping labels are emailed to sellers.
  • Mercari's pre-paid labels include insurance up to $200 for loss or damage during transit.

Mercari Cons

  • Mercari takes a 10% commission fee.
  • Some users complain about unexplained account suspensions.
  • Some users report that Mercari’s seller dashboard could be easier to use.


Poshmark Pros (for selling luxury clothing)

  • Poshmark attracts almost 8 million buyers 
  • Listing products is quick and easy
  • There’s a three-day acceptance window for buyers. After that, the sales proceeds are transferred to you.

Poshmark Cons

  • Poshmark takes 20% commission!
  • Poshmark has a 1.2 out of 5-star Trustpilot rating
  • Some users complain about unexplained account suspensions.

Get Set Up

Of course, best practices for getting started on an online marketplace vary from platform to platform. 

However, here’s some general advice for when you’re first starting out:

  • Create a compelling seller profile (please note: the majority of the tips below also apply to writing killer product listings): 
  • Post a profile picture.
  • Display customer reviews and ratings.
  • Write a captivating profile description. This is an opportunity to greet potential customers and tell your brand’s story. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. People like to get to know the face behind the brand. Be sure to highlight why you stand out from the rest - discounts? A generous returns policy? Quick shipping? Whatever it is, shout it from the rooftops! 
  • Use bulleted lists and subheadings to make your seller profile more scannable.
  • Use bold and/or italicized text to highlight key information.
  • Optimize product listings for visibility (more on this below)
  • Implement effective pricing strategies (more on this below)

Crafting Irresistible Product Listings

As we’ve already hinted, crafting irresistible product descriptions is imperative for establishing yourself on online marketplaces. 

Here are a few pointers:

  • Write engaging product descriptions with your target audience in mind. Depending on your target demographic, it’s usually best to avoid jargon and stick to short sentences and paragraphs to make your descriptions easier to skim. 
  • Highlight the product's benefits. I.e., describe how the product will help the customer- will it save them time? Will it boost their confidence? Will they be more productive? These are just a few examples of product benefits, but hopefully, you get the gist. 
  • Establishing an emotional connection with shoppers. With your product's benefits in mind, tell a story to paint a picture of what it's like to use your product and how it solves your customer's problems.
  • SEO: Optimize your product listings for SEO by naturally inserting relevant keywords into the copy.
  • Optimize your product pictures: These should be high-quality, appealing, and representative of your product. Publish multiple photos showcasing your wares from different angles. This is where sourcing dropshipping products from Spocket comes in handy - all of Spocket’s suppliers provide high-quality product photos you can publish on your own sales platforms.
  • Use lifestyle shots: Publish images of your wares being used in real life to help customers visualize how they would use the product.

Pricing Strategies for Success

You need to set competitive yet profitable product prices, and to do that, you’ll need to monitor and tweak your pricing strategy based on market trends.

 

With that in mind, there are several pricing strategies you could consider:

  • Competitive pricing: This is just what it sounds like. With this method, you price products according to what your competition is charging. However, the issue with this is that it doesn’t consider your customer’s perceived value of your products. As a result, you could price your products too low in a “race to the bottom.”
  • Value-based pricing: With this strategy, you set prices based on how customers rate your product’s worth. This method is particularly effective if you have a loyal following and your products have a differentiating quality, such as sustainability, longevity, premium materials, etc. 
  • Penetration pricing: If you’re entering a competitive marketplace, consider setting prices low to boost visibility, and then once you're more established, raise them later. As part of this strategy, you could use discount codes and promotions to increase engagement. 
  • Bundle pricing: You've likely seen product bundles online and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. So, as you may have already guessed, bundle pricing involves offering more than one product as part of a package deal at a discounted price. This approach works well for increasing sales, clearing inventory, and offering shoppers greater value for money. Bundle pricing is particularly effective if you sell products that naturally go together. For instance, a facial cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer would be an excellent example of a product bundle. 

Building a Strong Brand Presence

On top of the above tips for establishing yourself on online marketplaces, there are other things you can do to develop a robust brand presence. 

For instance, using social media to your advantage. But before posting anything, you need to pinpoint your brand's values and have these at the forefront of your mind when posting social content. This is crucial for establishing authenticity and building deeper relationships with your target audience. 

Another thing you can do to build a stronger brand presence is gather social proof. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on your website, socials, marketplace listings, etc., and then use glowing reviews in your product descriptions, seller profile, and marketing collateral to instill confidence in other prospective buyers. 

Leveraging Marketing and Advertising Tools

Most online marketplaces offer sellers a choice of in-built marketing and advertising tools. 

So, if you have the budget, it’s worth investing in ads to boost your product’s visibility. 70% of Amazon shoppers don't click past the first page of search results, so it might pay to ensure your listing makes it to the front page!

The beauty of advertising on online marketplaces is that often, you can launch targeted ads fueled by aggregated customer and sales data. This goes a long way to helping your ad reach a relevant audience.

Here are a few top tips for launching ads on online marketplaces:

  • Ensure it's visually appealing.
  • Includes relevant and engaging product information
  • Double-check the ad complies with the marketplace's advertising policies.
  • Regularly monitor your ad’s performance using the marketplace’s analytics tools and tweak as needed to optimize the campaign. 

While we’re on the subject of advertising, you might also want to consider influencer marketing. 

This can be excellent for introducing your business to a broader audience while lending your brand some credibility. After all, consumers who haven’t purchased from you are more likely to trust your product if it's endorsed by an influencer they respect. In fact, as many as 50% of millennials trust influencer product recommendations. 

Pro Tip: Use influencer databases to look for individuals with a significant following, engaged (authentic) audiences, and those who produce frequent, high-quality content that aligns with your brand values.

Customer Service Excellence

Excellent customer service is essential for any business - and selling on online marketplaces is no exception. 

You must provide prompt and helpful customer support to secure those all-important positive ratings and reviews. 

So, be prepared to answer common concerns like questions and queries pertaining to returns and refunds and uphold any promises you’ve made. 

Scaling Your Online Selling Business

Looking to the future, you’ll want to eventually scale your business. This could involve expanding your product offering, diversifying inventory, and/or considering cross-platform selling for increased reach. 

The easiest way to achieve this is to tap into a network of high-quality dropshipping suppliers. This makes selecting and importing premium products to expand product ranges across several sales channels a breeze.   

While we're on the subject of scaling your business, it's worth mentioning the crucial role data plays in your business's ability to expand. 

Use data provided by your online selling apps to fuel your decision-making. For instance, when you know what's selling well and, more importantly, what isn’t, you can better focus your advertising and inventory efforts more efficiently.

Legal and Compliance Considerations

We would be remiss not to mention the legal and compliance issues associated with selling on online marketplaces. 

For instance, you’ll need to understand the tax obligations applicable in the country/state in which you’re doing business. So check out your government website or consult a professional for more information. 

It’s also wise to familiarize yourself with your online marketplace's policies and regulations to ensure you don’t accidentally infringe them. Breaking the rules can sometimes result in a suspended account. For instance, always be wary of intellectual property and trademark law, as violations might not only get your seller account suspended but could also result in legal ramifications. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap up this guide, below, we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about using apps to sell online:

How do I choose the right online marketplace for my products?

Here are a few pointers for picking the most profitable marketplace(s) for your products:

  • Understand your target audience: With a concrete understanding of your customer's demographics, you're better positioned to choose a platform that complements their preferences. This will involve researching your ideal customer's average age, gender, income, location, interests, shopping habits, etc. Then, you'll need to delve into the user demographics of various marketplaces to decipher which aligns best with your target audience. As mentioned above, this could include niche marketplaces that cater to distinct interests. 
  • Research fees and costs: Although we delve into online marketplace fees in more detail below, it's worth highlighting that the costs charged by online marketplaces can significantly eat into your profit margins. Taking the time to research and compare them will help you decide which marketplaces to peruse.
  • Features: For example, what listing and inventory management features are available? What marketing and promotion tools are on offer? What analytics and reporting functionalities are there? What self-help resources and customer support are provided? These are just a few questions worth investigating, but they offer a good starting point! 
  • Reputation: Dig into seller reviews and research the marketplace’s security measures.

What are the common challenges faced by online sellers?

Like any entrepreneurial undertaking, using apps to sell online has its challenges. So, with that said, we've listed some of the most common hurdles alongside potential solutions:

Challenge: Finding winning dropshipping products

Solution: Using a dropshipping supplier directory like Spocket makes sourcing high-quality products across a multitude of niches easy.

Challenge: Testing dropshipping products for yourself

Solution: Working with dropshipping suppliers that make ordering product samples a breeze (like the ones partnered with Spocket). With just a few clicks, you can order product samples. 

Challenge: Turning a profit

Solution: When pricing products, factor in all your costs. This is crucial for ensuring you don't accidentally run at a loss. You'll also want to source products that allow you to charge a decent markup. That's why all Spocket suppliers heavily discount their products (30-40%) to ensure enough room for sellers to competitively price products.

How can I guarantee the security of online transactions?

Double-check that the browser window frame has a padlock symbol and that the web address begins with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.

This is all the more important if you're considering working with a lesser-known marketplace. For good measure, it's also worth checking the website’s privacy policy.

Do online selling platforms charge hidden fees?

Whether a marketplace's fees are 'hidden' depends on the specific marketplace. However, below, we've listed several fees worth investigating to avoid any nasty surprises:

  • Returns and chargeback fees
  • Selling fees
  • Fulfillment fees
  • Listing fees
  • Transaction fees
  • Regulatory operating fee
  • Payment processing fees

What strategies can I use to boost sales during slow periods?

On top of using social media and influencer marketing (as mentioned above), consider offering customers incentives, discounts, promotions, coupons, loyalty programs, referral bonuses, seasonal sales, etc., to entice customers to buy during slower periods.

  

Are You Ready to Start Using Apps to Sell Online?

After reading this guide, we hope you have a better understanding of how to use apps to kickstart your journey to online selling success.

In summary, here are the most essential things to do to get the ball rolling:

  • Choose a profitable niche. 
  • Research and use the right online marketplaces for your products
  • Create a compelling seller profile, optimize product listings for visibility, and implement effective pricing strategies to firmly establish yourself on your preferred online marketplace(s).
  • Research different product sourcing and inventory management methods.
  • Use social media and influencer marketing to build a strong brand presence. 
  • Leverage your online marketplace's in-built marketing and advertising tools.
  • Provide shoppers with the best possible customer service. 
  • Research and adhere to legal/compliance-related regulations.

That's all from us! We wish you the best of luck as you continue exploring different online selling opportunities!

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Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc.

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