Case Study
Jul 21, 2023

How to start a marketplace for Alaska

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Alaska is experiencing market growth, boasting a population of over 730,000 people and a median household income of $72,000. Despite these numbers, the existing marketplaces fail to satisfy the demand for quality products manufactured and sold by local businesses. Vendo provides a solution by allowing you to kickstart your own Alaska-focused marketplace within a few weeks. 

If you're concerned about not having a six-figure upfront investment or the time commitment of building from scratch over 12-18 months, Vendo is the choice for entrepreneurs and founders like yourself. It offers a quick avenue to go live and test the waters with your marketplace project.


Vendo is a one-stop-shop for all your marketplace needs, providing you with a marketplace platform automating day-to-day operation, a catalog of brands to pick from or an ability to invite your own brands, merchandising and promotional tools, ability to sell through multiple channels (your existing website, emails & SMS, mobile app, social media), and ongoing daily support scaling your marketplace business.   

Why start an online shopping marketplace for Alaska

Alaska is a large and growing market. The state has a population of over 730,000 people, and the median household income is $72,000. This means that there is a large potential market for online shopping in Alaska.Alaska has a favorable business climate. The state has a low cost of living, a strong economy, and a favorable business climate. This makes it a good place to start a business, including an online marketplace.

Capitalizing on the untapped potential of Alaska's growing market, launching an online shopping marketplace presents a golden opportunity. Addressing the needs of an underserved customer group and offering a diverse range of products tailored to Alaskan preferences can position a marketplace for unprecedented success. 

Key success factors, including a focus on user experience, local collaborations, and strategic marketing, ensure the venture not only meets but exceeds the expectations of the Alaskan consumer, establishing the platform as an indispensable resource in this burgeoning market.

Growing Market Potential

Alaska, known for its vast landscapes and unique lifestyle, is experiencing notable economic growth, creating a burgeoning market for various goods and services. However, this growth has outpaced the development of comprehensive online shopping options, leaving a significant portion of the population underserved. 

Residents, spread across vast distances, face challenges in accessing a variety of products conveniently. The potential for an online shopping marketplace in Alaska lies in catering to this demographic, providing a platform that addresses the specific needs and preferences of Alaskan consumers. 

With a focus on accessibility and convenience, a marketplace can fill the existing gap and become an integral part of the state's evolving economic landscape.

Unsatisfied Customer Group and Their Needs

The diverse needs of Alaskans range from everyday essentials to specialized items that resonate with their unique lifestyle. Many residents, particularly those in remote areas, face difficulties in obtaining basic necessities due to the state's geographical challenges. 

Online shopping can offer a solution by providing access to a wide array of products, from groceries and household goods to outdoor equipment suitable for Alaska's rugged terrain. Additionally, a substantial portion of the population expresses a desire for locally sourced products that reflect the state's culture and support regional businesses. By addressing these needs, a marketplace can establish itself as a reliable and indispensable resource for Alaskan consumers.

Products for Alaska

Alaska-Inspired Apparel:

Connect local fashion designers and boutiques with customers eager to embrace the rugged beauty of Alaska. From clothing adorned with iconic wilderness scenes to accessories inspired by the state's unique culture, Alaska-themed apparel becomes a go-to for those wanting to wear their Alaskan spirit.

Wilderness Adventure Gear:

Cater to the adventurers by connecting them with local outdoor gear retailers. From hiking and camping equipment designed for Alaska's challenging terrains to accessories crafted for extreme outdoor adventures, become a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking quality gear.

Local Artisan Crafts:

Highlight the craftsmanship of Alaska's artisans, offering handmade treasures that mirror the state's rich landscapes. From intricately carved wooden items to artwork capturing the essence of the Northern Lights, each piece tells a story of Alaska's natural wonders.

Alaskan Seafood Delights:

Facilitate the connection between local seafood purveyors and customers eager to savor the flavors of Alaska's pristine waters. Monthly subscription boxes featuring a variety of freshly caught seafood, smoked delicacies, and gourmet treats bring the taste of Alaska straight to the doorstep.

Northern Lights-Inspired Home Decor:

Feature home decor items inspired by the mesmerizing Northern Lights. From luminescent art pieces to cozy blankets reflecting the colors of the aurora borealis, bring the enchantment of Alaska's night skies into homes.

Tech for the Frontier:

Highlight the resilience and innovation of Alaska's tech sector by offering gadgets, rugged electronics, and equipment suited for the frontier lifestyle. Serve both local tech businesses and customers interested in cutting-edge products built to withstand the challenges of Alaska.

Health & Wellness in the Wilderness:

Bring together local businesses offering natural remedies, wellness supplements, and outdoor fitness equipment. Cater to customers prioritizing a healthy lifestyle in the vast wilderness of Alaska while supporting local wellness businesses.

Local Indigenous Art and Crafts:

Showcase the rich heritage of Alaska's indigenous communities by featuring traditional art, crafts, and handmade items. Each piece becomes a cultural treasure, telling a story of Alaska's diverse and vibrant native traditions.

Alaskan Wildlife Photography:

Connect local photographers capturing the beauty of Alaska's wildlife with customers seeking stunning visual representations of the state's fauna. Become a gallery of Alaska's diverse and awe-inspiring animal kingdom.

Winter Survival Gear:

Support local businesses providing winter essentials for Alaska's harsh climates. From insulated clothing to snow removal tools, become indispensable for residents gearing up for the challenges of an Alaskan winter.

Local Brews and Spirits:

Feature the craft breweries and distilleries of Alaska, offering a selection of local beers, spirits, and unique concoctions. Become a celebration of Alaska's burgeoning craft beverage scene.

Remote Living Essentials:

Support businesses catering to the unique needs of remote living in Alaska. From off-grid power solutions to homesteading tools, become a lifeline for those embracing the adventurous and self-sufficient Alaskan lifestyle.

Success factors for selling products for Alaska

Enhancing User Experience

A paramount success factor lies in creating a user-friendly platform that caters to the unique challenges of Alaska's dispersed population. An intuitive interface, easy navigation, and a seamless shopping experience are essential to meet the diverse needs of users across various regions. 

Prioritizing user experience ensures that the marketplace becomes a go-to destination for Alaskans seeking convenience and reliability in their online shopping endeavors.

Local Collaborations

Establishing partnerships with local businesses and suppliers is crucial for sourcing and showcasing authentic Alaskan products. Collaborations can extend beyond just products, encompassing logistics and delivery solutions that address the state's geographical challenges. 

By supporting local enterprises, the marketplace not only differentiates itself but also contributes to the economic growth of the communities it serves, fostering a sense of community and loyalty among customers.

Strategic Marketing and Community Engagement

Effectively reaching the dispersed population of Alaska requires strategic marketing efforts. Targeted campaigns on social media, highlighting the platform's unique offerings and commitment to the local community, can create awareness and drive user engagement. 

Actively participating in community events and initiatives further establishes the marketplace as a genuine partner in the Alaskan lifestyle, fostering trust and loyalty among the residents.

In conclusion, launching an online shopping marketplace in Alaska is not just an entrepreneurial venture but an opportunity to address the unmet needs of a growing market. 

By understanding and catering to the specific needs of Alaskans, offering a diverse range of products, and prioritizing success factors such as user experience, local collaborations, and strategic marketing, entrepreneurs can position their platform as an indispensable resource in this unique and expanding market.

Here’s how to start a marketplace for Alaska

If you're interested in launching a marketplace for Alaska, you may want to consider initiating it on Vendo in a matter of weeks rather than months. This approach allows you to assess the alignment between your product catalog strategy and your audience's needs, enabling you to refine your customer acquisition methods based on real-world outcomes.

Here’s what you’d be getting with a Vendo free trial:

  • Book a marketplace demo call: We’ll set up your marketplace demo and populate it with products, so you could give it a try and start selling in 14 days
  • Customize your Storefront: Use the drag & drop page builder or custom CSS
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your brands or choose brands from our catalog
  • Select Products: Curate products and collections manually or automate it
  • Embed products: Make your content, newsletters, social media shoppable
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands
  • End-to-end automation: brands sync, fulfillment, payouts, invoicing, taxes 


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