According to a poll from the small business listing website Manta, nearly 70% of small business owners polled believe “that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay have helped them increase sales.”  The benefits of online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay is obvious with social media sites like Instagram now trying to join the online selling industry.

With the rise of online purchases, most “small businesses (81%) believe that online sales are critical to their company’s success.”  It’s also interesting to note that despite this belief, many focus on their own websites with 66% of small businesses selling products through their own websites and not utilizing online giants such as Amazon and eBay.

The big issue stems from the lack of profitability on sites like Amazon which are designed to squeeze third party merchants to ensure low prices.  While this issue is becoming more pronounced, there are still examples of online companies making things easier for the average small business owner.

According to Business Insider, here are a few examples of online merchants helping customers sell to clients.

  • eBay recently bought a data startup called Terapeak to help its merchants increase sales. The startup recommends the best times to sell items or discount them, for example, by analyzing supply, demand, and pricing data. eBay integrated features from Terapeak into its Seller Hub, allowing third-party merchants to easily use the startup’s order analytics.
  • Shopify created an app, Arrive, that allows buyers to track online purchases on a live map by syncing gmail accounts to the app. The company also recently partnered with Instagram to bring Instagram’s shopping feature to its sellers.
  • Alibaba launched a program last June that aims to teach US businesses how to sell to its 443 million Chinese customers. This could help small US businesses tap into a huge new market that has a voracious appetite for foreign brands.

If you’re looking to sell online, connecting with an Amazon, eBay, Shopify, or Alibaba is a necessity and an option that everyone should look in to.  At the very least it is a great way to promote your business and connect with millions of potential clients from around the world.