search clock-o tags map-marker mail-forward calendar external-link twitter facebook caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right envelope angle-double-left angle-double-right angle-double-up angle-double-down calendar-o instagram wheelchair automobile pinterest-p youtube bars arrow-right2 arrow-right arrow-left arrow-left2 shopping-basket user Pedddle Pin shop shopping-bag2 close

Secrets of Selling at Online Markets

Traders- Hints & Tips

Having run online markets for a number of years and more frequently in recent months, we are starting to see a pattern emerge with success and engagement.

Secrets about selling at online markets by Nicki from Pedddle

Online markets are suddenly springing up everywhere thanks to so many in-person markets being shut, and they look set to stay around for the foreseeable future! Check out our sister site, Tresstle, to see what’s coming up!

Find out more about our secrets for stallholders to maximise their success at online markets below, as we share ideas for content you can post and look at re-framing your mindset about online events.

One of the best-kept secrets…

One of the biggest secrets of selling at Online Markets is that it’s NOT all about sales!

Firstly, let’s address how we think about online markets.

Think of an online market like you are doing an in-person event. You wouldn’t set up your stall and leave it unattended all day, so apply that mindset. Imagine you are selling to someone stood right in front of you. Use your social media platforms to share your passion and products on the day, throughout the day, as if your audience are right there, right then.

Nicki, founder of Pedddle

There is never any guarantee of making sales, just like any market. So let’s just put that out there now. However, if you have done your best to get your products in front of your audience and you have engaged with them during the day, you are one step closer to getting the sales you are after.

Visibility is key; you’re building brand trust, putting your name our there, so customers remember you in future – and this is one of the biggest secrets of selling at Online Markets!

It doesn’t all have to be promotion and sales – there are plenty of ways you can have fun at an online market! Click here for our blog on having fun whilst selling at an online market too.

How to be seen

Videos are such a great vehicle for sharing content (did you know that videos get around 80% more social media engagement than photos, on average?!), but we know for some people this isn’t always easy and can be daunting. If you’re feeling camera-shy, a time-lapse of setting up your stall is a great way to create video content without having your face on camera, or start by featuring your hands in a video making your products, to ease you in.

Online markets are different to in-person markets, but not as much as you may think. At in-person events you build relationships with your customers that might come back to see you monthly/quarterly. They like to get to know ‘you’, and they like to connect with ‘you’. We write ‘you’ like this because there are boundaries to be set, but to share aspects of ‘you’ and your business is really important for customers to connect.

In the same way, during a market being ‘you’ – even if it is online and you are at home – telling us about your products and sharing it as a video is a brilliant way to engage your audience and hopefully get people to buy.

Who are your customers? Where do they hang out?

This should be a priority as a small business; knowing exactly who they are and understanding where your customers can be found is important when getting started.

Constantly looking for your audience on social media is essential, as they could become your customers. Be clear who your customer is, what they’re into and put things out to attract them. One idea is to use hashtags to find and connect with people that like similar things, follow them and connect with them. Maybe send a DM on Insta or comment on their posts so they notice you, and then they’ll take a look at your page.

Here is a little insight into the people that you want to convert into customers on the market day:

  • People on your email list.
  • Friends and family.
  • Followers on your social media accounts.
  • New customers that discover you.

We have put it in this order because those at the top of the list are warm customers. This means they have probably purchased from you before OR are close to making a purchase, and you need to convert them with a little nudge. It is totally acceptable to email your list about the online market, to nudge them to visit it and purchase from you. In this email, share your new products and always add direct links, to allow people to buy in an easy way. The more simple it is for someone to click a link and buy a product, the likelier they are to buy. Definitely message your friends and family on Whatsapp groups to let them know you are taking part, and they can share the market on their social media channels too. Share it on your own personal social media accounts, as well as your business accounts.
If everyone at the market does this, we unite as a community and our reach significantly increases. It is a team effort!

Those on the bottom of this list are slightly harder to convert as they may not know ‘you’ or your business. They are harder to convert to paying customers as it may be their first introduction to you or they are just getting to know your business. Just like a normal market, sometimes you don’t get many sales the first time you attend. Customers like to check you out and see if you’ll be back before they invest in you.

However, being present and engaged on social media and with your customers in the run up to the market increases their chances of hearing about the market and learning about your business. This could lead to getting increased sales, and will at least introduce you and your brand to more people who will remember you in future.

What content should you be sharing?

  • Videos of your products are great, you setting up your stall and demos of you making products are also brilliant – people are nosey, they like to see behind the scenes! They like to feel they are getting to know you as a maker.
  • Posts about the event and how it works, give links and point to places where customers can find details.
  • Show off your products for sale with direct links to buy them.
  • ‘Shop small’ is a big movement, give reasons to shop small, support British traders and keep money in the local economy, with local makers (not faceless corporations who don’t pay their taxes!). #ShopSmall, list reasons and get people to share.

Where should you be sharing?

  • Email – send a newsletter reminding your email list
  • Social media – as many platforms as you operate
  • Groups that allow you to share on social media (such as Facebook groups)
  • Chat with friends & family – tell anyone you know that’ll listen! Get them to share too, ideally

Here are some video ideas that would be great to have ready for the day:

  • A stall set up video – these work really well, especially as a time lapse video. If you are a little camera shy then definitely do one of these!
  • A pre-recorded or live demo – these are great because you can connect with your audience and they get to hear and see you in real time, but because you are focused on leading your demo, you might actually feel less worried about what to say if you’re nervous!
  • An Instagram live with the host. This is a great way for you to get new followers if you are joining them on a live chat, so that their audience get to meet you.
  • A product introduction – this could be done as lots of little videos or one IGTV (a video uploaded longer than 1 minute on the Instagram grid automatically becomes an IGTV).

All of these videos could be added to other social media platforms too. Not everything has to be live, so pre-record videos to take the pressure off.


  • Start to build your prep for a market at least the week before. However, if you are using social media as it should be used, you’ll be interacting with it throughout this time anyway to share your plans.
  • Pre-record some videos and a stall set up video.
  • Schedule posts to go out throughout the day on your Facebook page, so that you can be freed up to do other things. Remember to always put a link on these posts to the market.
  • Prepare your email newsletter to go out on the day with lots of links to the market and also to links of your products in your online shop.
  • Re-framing your thoughts about online markets is good too. Use it as an opportunity to connect and reach new people, make connections with other stallholders just as much as making sales, as people may come back in a few days or even months, but they will remember you.
  • At previous markets, we’ve also noticed that a lot of sellers make increased sales in the few days prior to the market. So be active in the above ways then too, in the run-up to the market.
  • Make sure your online shop is ready. Do the codes work (if using them)? Are your best sellers near the top of your page, ready to grab customers? They don’t want to trawl through old bits to get to the good stuff – give it to them on a plate. Is the checkout process easy? Take all these things into consideration and make everything as easy as possible for your customers – their attention span is short!