Online sellers are always looking for new venues to distribute their inventory. Because gigantic companies such as eBay and Amazon have virtually monopolized the e-commerce market, any bright spots on the horizon are always met with a bit of fanfare.
Bonanza is just such a bright spot, and this post is a drop in the fanfare bucket. We're not talking about any TV westerns today: Bonanza is a powerful (if relatively late-coming) arrival on the online sales scene.
Today we'll be discussing this e-commerce site's history, past performance, and future prospects to see how it might benefit you in your online selling ventures.
Formerly known as Bonanzle, Bonanza beta-launched in June 2008 and officially started business in September of the same year. The company was founded by Bill Harding, who offered the following quote about the company's mission statement:
"Bonanzle's goal is to be the simplest marketplace online, with an upbeat community that makes buying and selling fun again."
Short, sweet, and simple is always a recipe for successful strategy, and it's hard to argue that Harding hasn't met his goal to a large degree.
His statement that buying and selling online needed to be "fun again" is telling of the impetus behind the website's creation. Put simply, Harding was flat out fed up with the listing process on eBay.
It was too complicated, in too much flux, and an overall pain. Still, eBay is a big company, and it's not wise to directly challenge the biggest kid on the playground the first day of school. Likewise, Bonanza decided to take a tacit approach with e-commerce kingpin Amazon as well.
To avoid direct competition with the industry heavyweights, Harding decided to target niche markets exclusively. In his own words, "Our niche is everything but the ordinary. Things that one won't find on Amazon."
True to his word, Harding ensured that the majority of offerings on Bonanza aren't listed anywhere else. The main offerings on Bonanza consist of oddball items such as jewelry, antiques, or collectibles, with collectibles leading the pack with approximately 1.5 million listings.
While they hype of Bonanza is palpable in forums and comment sections around the web, nothing is quite as telling as the available numbers themselves.
Take a look at the site's uptrend in traffic ranking via the fine statisticians at Alexa.com.
As you can see, the website's traffic has always been pretty consistent, save for a bust period mid 2013. Once it climbed out of that valley, however, Bonanza soared to new heights of popularity, and is presently at an all-time high. If this upward trend in traffic continues, then the future looks very bright for Bonanza, and its community of niche sellers as a whole.
Perhaps even more encouraging are Bonanza's engagement metrics, which, despite the troublingly high bounce rate (nearly a third of incoming visitors decide they reached the wrong destination), show significant interaction among the average site users:
A typical visitor will scroll through more than 8 pages spending an average time of nearly seven and a half minutes on the site. Those number might not seem like much, but it's an eternity in terms of e-commerce averages.
As for the high bounce rate (which you'll note has decreased by 6 percent recently): This could be due to the site's niche selling focus. The average visitor may be looking for a fairly ordinary e-commerce offering, and when she arrives at Bonanza to find only the peculiar and unique niche items, she might just as soon look elsewhere.
The overwhelming point though, is that the loyal Bonanza users — buyers and sellers both — are distinctly engaged, entertained, and unlikely to bounce before their business is completed.
To put it into numerical terms, consider the following statistics. Bonanza has:
While it's not at the top of the food chain just yet, these are significant chunks of the e-commerce market, and the numbers definitely support Bonanza's overall viability to prospective sellers.
Though the decent traffic volume in itself is an attractive reason to setup a store on Bonanza, it's far from the only incentive. Bonanza, like all e-commerce sites, has its pros and cons. Let's go through them one by one.
First and foremost among the Bonanza benefits is ease of use. Sellers can import inventory lists from other websites such as eBay or Amazon, saving lots of time and tedium. But that's not the only thing you can transfer: you can bring over your feedback scores, too. This gives sellers the opportunity to parlay one online reputation onto another platform.
Additionally, Bonanza has an almost unlimited amount of potential items to sell, and there are no expiration dates for listings. The options for payment are many and varied, including major credit cards and Paypal. And once a month, sellers can choose to promote live events for their Bonanza stores. These consist of offering discounted sales or other equivalent opportunities to buyers.
Of course, it wouldn't truly be worth mentioning if Bonanza didn't have an attractive policy of zero listing fees, and no additional hidden fees in its payment structure.
Though the numbers in traffic and views are encouraging, Bonanza is still a fledgling company. It can't hope to compete in terms of unique visitors with Amazon or eBay. The website is also highly competitive, with numerous sellers offering different variations on the same niche offerings. This being the case, it is extremely difficult to sell duplicate items on Bonanza. Opening an online store there necessitates unique inventory.
Like every great opportunity, there is first a requisite process that must be completed before you can meet with success on Bonanza. It begins with registration.
Remember that Bonanza's main offering is ease of use. Its registration process is straightforward and very intuitive. All in all, it shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you'd like to set up a booth now, go ahead and click here. Then take the following steps:
Since Bonanza isn't as popular as many other e-commerce sites, it's in your best interests to promote your web presence there. Here are some ways to do that:
Once your store has been set up and properly marketed, you'll want to start tracking your booth and inventory metrics to keep a close eye on what's selling and how to improve your offerings. To do this, click "My booth" and then "View item stats." This will redirect you to a page which will show you how many people have viewed either your booth or your individual items.
If you decide to get a Bonanza Pro account (which is $10 per month), you'll also receive a Google Analytics code that will show you where your booth's traffic is originating.
Bonanza is only increasing in sales and traffic volume. It's a wonderful site and a fantastic opportunity for niche sellers. If this sounds like a party you'd like to join, then start listing your products on Bonanza today.
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