Case Study
Nov 21, 2023

How to start a marketplace for Milwaukee

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Milwaukee, with a population exceeding 590,000 and robust internet accessibility at 92%, stands as a promising market for an online shopping marketplace. The city's dynamic consumer landscape, coupled with a sustained rise in online retail, provides a strategic opportunity to connect local businesses with digitally-engaged Milwaukee residents.

Milwaukee is on the upswing but the desire for top-notch products, all curated into killer collections and presented in a way that pops? Nope, existing marketplaces aren't hitting the mark. Get in on Vendo, your express lane to launching a fresh Milwaukee marketplace in just a few weeks. 

If the upfront six-figure investment and a 12-18 month build don't appeal to you, here's the solution: go live and test the waters within weeks with Vendo. Entrepreneurs and founders, just like yourself, find it to be a fantastic fit for their marketplace projects.


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 a marketplace for Milwaukee 

Industrial Legacy and Lakeside Beauty:

Milwaukee's allure isn't confined to its industrial roots but extends to a city that balances its industrial legacy with lakeside splendor. Within this unique blend lies a consumer group shaped by the city's brewing heritage and the natural beauty of its lakeshore neighborhoods. Each district, from the Historic Third Ward to Bay View, contributes to a dynamic market that current online platforms have yet to fully embrace.

Unmet Needs of a Diverse Consumer Group:

From the cultural richness of Riverwest to the historic charm of Walker's Point, there exists a discerning consumer group in Milwaukee seeking a more personalized and locally infused online shopping experience. While current platforms offer convenience, they fall short of capturing the diverse tapestry of Milwaukeeans. 

The opportunity lies in creating an online marketplace that caters not just to the varied preferences of residents but also fosters a sense of community and engagement specific to each neighborhood.

The Quest for Milwaukee-Infused Innovation:

In a city known for its breweries and festivals, the quest for localized engagement is paramount. Milwaukeeans are not just seeking products; they are yearning for an online shopping experience that mirrors the city's dynamic spirit. From the East Side to the West Side, an online marketplace has the potential to become a digital representation of Milwaukee's unique blend of industry and natural beauty.

Products for Milwaukee

Breweriana and Craft Beer Merchandise:

Celebrate Milwaukee's brewing heritage with a category focused on breweriana and craft beer merchandise. Showcase locally crafted beer-related items, brewery-themed apparel, and unique products that resonate with the city's love for craft beer.

Local Art and Cultural Diversity:

Embrace the artistic spirit of the Historic Third Ward with a category focused on local art and cultural diversity. Spotlight handmade items, unique artworks, and crafts created by local artisans, capturing the creative and diverse essence of this culturally rich neighborhood.

Outdoor and Recreational Gear:

Cater to the outdoor enthusiasts in Bay View with a category focused on outdoor and recreational gear. Showcase items such as biking equipment, camping essentials, and locally designed outdoor accessories that align with the active lifestyle of this lakeside community.

Culinary Delights in Walker's Point:

Celebrate the culinary scene of Milwaukee with a selection of local foods, specialty ingredients, and culinary gadgets. The marketplace becomes a virtual exploration of the diverse and delicious offerings in this historic and food-loving district.

Fashion with Industrial Flair:

In the Menomonee Valley neighborhood, spotlight fashion with an industrial flair, featuring local designers, unique fashion, and accessories inspired by the city's industrial history. Offer products that resonate with the dynamic and utilitarian tastes of Menomonee Valley residents.

Tech Gadgets for the Innovation Hub:

Cater to the tech-savvy residents in the East Side with a curated selection of the latest gadgets, smart home solutions, and innovative tech accessories. Reflect the fast-paced and forward-thinking lifestyle of this dynamic and innovation-driven neighborhood.

Success factors for selling products in Milwaukee

Local Business Collaboration:

Forge strategic partnerships with breweries, onboard artists and craftsmen from the Historic Third Ward, and initiate collaborative marketing campaigns amplifying the voices of local businesses.

Personalized Shopping Experience:

Implement advanced algorithms for personalized product recommendations, ensure an intuitive and user-friendly interface for seamless navigation, and offer tailored promotions based on individual preferences.

Community Engagement and Cultural Events:

Host virtual events featuring local musicians and artists, showcase behind-the-scenes content and stories of Milwaukee entrepreneurs, and initiate collaborative campaigns supporting community initiatives and causes.

Efficient Logistics and Quick Deliveries:

Establish strategic partnerships with local delivery services for fast and reliable shipping, and implement a responsive and efficient customer support system.

Innovative Marketing Campaigns:

Leverage social media platforms to showcase Milwaukee-centric products, collaborate with influencers to highlight unique products and experiences, and deploy targeted digital marketing campaigns focused on Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Adaptability to Diverse Lifestyles:

Curate a product range that aligns with the diverse and dynamic lifestyles of Milwaukeeans, from breweriana to fashion with an industrial flair that complements the city's unique cultural blend.

Seamless Mobile Experience:

Design a mobile-friendly app for on-the-go shopping and implement mobile payment options for quick and secure transactions.

Agile Inventory Management:

Ensure real-time inventory updates to prevent stockouts and disappointments, and maintain efficient supply chain management to meet the demands of a diverse and industrially rich market.

Responsive Social Responsibility Initiatives:

Implement eco-friendly packaging and sustainable practices, and support local cultural initiatives through proceeds.

In the heart of the Midwest, launching an online marketplace in Milwaukee isn't just about commerce; it's about igniting a commerce renaissance in the diverse communities and businesses that make up the Cream City. 

By curating a selection of Milwaukee-inspired essentials across breweriana, art, outdoor gear, and more, this online marketplace aims to provide Milwaukeeans with a personalized, engaging, and locally infused shopping journey.In doing so, it contributes to the economic vibrancy of Milwaukee, transforming the way residents connect with the unique blend of industry and lakeside beauty that defines the Heart of the Midwest.

Here’s how to start a marketplace for Milwaukee 

Considering a Milwaukee marketplace? Swiftly launch it on Vendo within weeks, not months. Evaluate the synergy between your product catalog strategy and audience needs, making adjustments to customer acquisition methods based on solid results.

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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