E-commerce, marketplace or social networks: how to sell online?

  • Por Sophia Silva
  • 02/09/2022 às 9:08 atualizado em (02/09/2022 às 9:08)
  • 6min de leitura

Everyone who thinks about starting a business selling over the internet, at some point needs to decide by which means they are going to do so. Among so many possibilities, how to sell online, have e-commerce, sell through marketplaces or social networks, and make money on the internet?

If you have this doubt, don’t worry. Below are some pros and cons of selling products through your online store, on marketplaces, or on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Let’s go!


One of the options best options on how to sell online is to create your own virtual store. This means that you will create a website of your brand to market your articles, even allowing you to work from home.

Your online store can be created either from scratch, with the help of a developer, or from e-commerce platforms, for which you pay a monthly fee in exchange for using their technology to create your website. With these platforms, it is possible to integrate them with payment and shipping methods, even without any previous experience.

how to sell online - ecommerce


Having your own e-commerce is a way for you to have a virtual space of your own. This means that your store will be able to have the layout you choose, in addition to many other requirements that will only depend on your strategy.

Also, compared to marketplaces, for example, you won’t have the fees to sell in that environment and you won’t depend on another business model to survive. This means that you do not run the risk, for example, that the marketplace fee will increase dramatically from one moment to the next or that there will be any relevant change in policies for sellers.

Another positive point of having your own online store is that you will be able to gain brand recognition much more easily. On your website, the logo and branding will be present at all times and customers will know which company they are buying from.


When you choose to create your e-commerce to sell over the internet, you will be creating something practically from scratch. Therefore, it will be up to you to build your website audience so that people start coming to your online store.

The results can sometimes take a while to start to appear, as the public will still need to know your website and feel safe buying from your store.

Therefore, the initial expenses with digital marketing in your e-commerce can be a little higher than if you chose to sell on a better-known marketplace, for example.


How to sell online this way? Marketplaces are like virtual shopping malls. In them, several shopkeepers sell their products, upon payment of a fee per product sold so that they can be in that virtual environment.

Just as if you create e-commerce through a platform, in the marketplace you will also have payment and shipping methods integrated into the system.

how to sell online - marketplace


As many of the marketplaces are already well-known by Internet users, the initial traffic to the site where you will be selling will already be higher. This makes it easier to sell online.

In addition, you will have all the convenience of being on a platform, often already well established. Thus, it is possible that you do not need to spend that much on promoting your products at this first moment.


When choosing to sell through marketplaces, you need to be aware that your business will totally depend on another company. This means that if in a very fatalistic example, this marketplace decides to close its doors overnight, your store will also end.

In addition, fees charged per product sold on marketplaces are usually quite high, reaching close to 20% at times. If you can’t negotiate prices with your suppliers, it can be difficult to offer competitive prices and still make a profit.

Finally, you should be aware that, when selling on marketplaces, your brand will be an adjunct. It will be very difficult to differentiate your identity among so many competing products. Just remember, if you bought through this channel: do you remember the name of the store that sold you or the marketplace where you purchased the product?

Social networks

Social networks are a real fever, and, although they were not created for this purpose, they are usually a rich environment for the commercialization of products. As such, it’s not that hard to learn how to sell online this way!

Many tools have been developed by these platforms to facilitate trade. Among them are, for example, the Facebook product catalog and Instagram Shopping.

social networks


If you choose to sell online through social networks, you will enjoy the chance to be found by millions of users who already have accounts on these sites. In addition, it is easier to use the most used hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to participate in discussions in your field and become recognized.

Further, there are many other tools you can use to make yourself present. Some examples are Facebook groups, Stories, and IGTV, the video tool also from Instagram.

Also, you will need very little to get started. By creating your brand account, you can start your sales.


As with marketplaces, you will be subject to a business model that is completely alien to yours. This means that, for example, if the platform’s algorithms change and your posts stop being seen by your audience, you will need to find a new way to appear. Often, the only way to sell online is through paid ads.

Another point that you need to consider is that, if you choose to sell exclusively through social networks, you will not have integration with shipping and payment methods. It will be all up to you and you will have to agree with each customer on how deliveries and payments will be made.

One more item to consider is that, for many sales features on social networks, you will need to have a website where you sell your products. Instagram Shopping, for example, needs to be linked to an online store.

Which way to choose to make online sales?

Now that you know some of the positives and negatives of each channel, it is easier to understand a little about how to sell online. From each characteristic, you can evaluate what makes the most sense for the business model you have in mind for your brand.

In any case, it is worth mentioning the importance of combining more than one of these ways, and ideally, one of the options is your own virtual store. Thus, you will have a secure site and only yours if the other environments undergo major changes that affect your company.

Another positive aspect of all these possibilities is that there are many forms of integration available between the different sales channels. There are platforms where you can even sell through all three and integrate all your sales into a single panel of your online stores.

So, do you already know how to make online sales?