Case Study
Nov 21, 2023

How to start a marketplace for Minnesota

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Starting a marketplace in Minnesota is a strategic move, given the state's GDP of approximately $403 billion and a population of around 5.7 million. However, existing marketplaces may not fully align with Minnesota's demand for high-quality products manufactured and sold by local businesses.

Vendo is the most popular way to start your own marketplace for Minnesota. Vendo is used by thousands of businesses around the world. Vendo is also the most reviewed marketplace platform on the web. If the idea of a six-figure upfront investment and a 12-18 month timeline is a roadblock, consider Vendo—an efficient choice for entrepreneurs and founders eager to test the waters with 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 an online marketplace in Minnesota

Minnesota's Economic Landscape: A Haven for Entrepreneurial Ventures

Embarking on the journey to start an online marketplace in Minnesota is a strategic move, driven by the state's dynamic economic landscape. With a strong emphasis on technology, healthcare, and a diverse workforce, Minnesota provides an ideal environment for entrepreneurial ventures. The economic vibrancy and continuous population growth create an opportune setting for the establishment of an online marketplace. Entrepreneurs can leverage this growth, understanding the evolving shopping habits of Minnesotans, and position themselves at the forefront of a business venture with substantial potential for success.

Untapped Market Potential: Meeting Unmet Needs in Minnesota

Within Minnesota's diverse economy lies untapped market potential—a consumer group dissatisfied with existing online shopping options. Despite the variety of retail choices, a gap exists, waiting to be filled by a centralized online marketplace that caters specifically to the preferences of Minnesota residents. Entrepreneurs have the chance to address this unmet need by offering a platform that transcends generic offerings, providing a personalized and tailored shopping experience. Recognizing and fulfilling the unique demands of this consumer group positions a marketplace in Minnesota as an essential resource.

Digital Convenience for Minnesota Residents: Aligning with Local Expectations

Starting an online marketplace in Minnesota goes beyond entering a growing market; it's about providing a solution that brings convenience and variety to the diverse residents. In a state known for its strong sense of community, innovative spirit, and natural beauty, the marketplace can act as a digital hub, connecting consumers with a diverse range of products that cater to their unique tastes. This amalgamation of growth, unmet needs, and local convenience creates a compelling pitch for entrepreneurs to establish an online shopping marketplace in Minnesota.

Minnesota: A growing market with distinctive consumer needs

Economic Growth in Minnesota: Fertile Ground for Business Expansion

Minnesota's economic growth serves as a catalyst for creating a fertile market, attracting both businesses and residents. This economic dynamism positions the state as an opportune ground for entrepreneurs seeking to start an online marketplace. As the population continues to grow, so does the demand for digital retail options. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on this upward trajectory, positioning themselves at the forefront of a market that is evolving in response to changing consumer preferences.

Unsatisfied Customer Group: Identifying the Void in Minnesota

Despite the abundance of retail options in Minnesota, there exists an underserved customer group actively seeking a more centralized and specialized online shopping experience. The absence of a platform tailored to the state's diverse demographics leaves room for entrepreneurs to step in and provide a solution. This unsatisfied customer group is eagerly looking for a digital marketplace that goes beyond generic offerings, presenting a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to shape the digital retail landscape in Minnesota.

Digital Convenience for Minnesota Residents: A Solution to Evolving Expectations

The need for a comprehensive, accessible, and efficient online shopping experience is evident in Minnesota. Residents, driven by a desire for innovation, community, and natural living, are seeking a platform that offers a diverse array of products while aligning with the lifestyle and culture unique to the state. Understanding and addressing these evolving expectations is key to building a successful online marketplace in Minnesota.

Products for Minnesota

Minnesota Outdoor Gear:

Collaborate with local outdoor outfitters to offer a selection of adventure gear. This could include specialized fishing equipment, camping gear, and hiking essentials sourced from Minnesota-based manufacturers. By promoting these products, your platform supports local businesses in the outdoor recreation industry, contributing to job opportunities within the state.

Minnesota Farm Fresh Delicacies:

Partner with local farmers' markets and food producers to provide residents with a range of Minnesota farm-fresh essentials. Offer locally grown produce, artisanal cheeses, and other culinary delights, encouraging residents to support local agriculture and contributing to job creation within Minnesota's diverse food industry.

Northwoods Cabin Home Decor:

Feature locally crafted home decor items inspired by the Northwoods cabin lifestyle. This could include rustic-themed artwork, handcrafted furniture, and decor accessories, supporting local artisans and contributing to job growth within the artistic community.

Minnesota Artisan Crafts:

Highlight the talent of local artisans by offering a diverse range of handmade products. This might include pottery, woodworking, and traditional crafts, allowing residents to connect with the rich cultural heritage while supporting local artists and their livelihoods.

Wild Rice Gourmet Delights:

Collaborate with local producers to offer a selection of gourmet delights featuring Minnesota's famous wild rice. Include wild rice-based snacks, soups, and locally made products, supporting local food businesses and contributing to job creation within the culinary sector.

Boundary Waters Souvenirs:

Partner with local gift shops and artists to offer souvenirs inspired by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This could include artwork, decor items, and unique gifts, allowing residents and visitors to cherish the state's natural beauty while supporting local businesses.

Minnesota Tech Innovation:

Collaborate with local tech companies to offer innovative solutions tailored to Minnesota's unique needs. This could include technology for sustainable practices, outdoor adventure apps, and other gadgets designed with a local touch. By promoting these products, your platform supports local tech businesses and contributes to job opportunities within the tech sector.

Minnesota Twins Fan Zone:

Feature merchandise from local sports stores representing the Minnesota Twins. Offer apparel, accessories, and memorabilia, allowing residents to show their support for the local MLB team. This not only caters to the passion of sports enthusiasts but also supports local businesses within the sports merchandise industry.

Craftsman's Workshop in Minneapolis:

Collaborate with local hardware stores and artisans to offer a comprehensive range of handcrafted home improvement tools and supplies. This includes locally sourced wood, hand tools, and DIY project materials, contributing to the growth of the construction and home improvement sector and creating jobs in Minnesota.

Success factors for selling products in Minnesota: 

Winter Apparel and Gear:

Given Minnesota's harsh winters, focus on offering a wide range of winter apparel, including high-quality outerwear, thermal gear, and accessories. Highlight products that cater to outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to stay warm during the chilly months.

Outdoor and Recreational Equipment:

Minnesotans have a deep appreciation for outdoor activities. Stock a variety of outdoor gear, camping equipment, and recreational items. Cater to activities such as hiking, fishing, and winter sports to align with the local lifestyle.

Local and Artisan Foods:

Highlight local and artisanal food products, particularly those unique to Minnesota. Showcase regional specialties, organic goods, and products from local farmers. Consider collaborations with local food producers to create exclusive offerings.

Technology and Innovation:

With a thriving tech scene, offer the latest gadgets, electronics, and smart home devices. Highlight innovative products and stay updated on tech trends. Consider partnerships with local tech companies or startups to feature cutting-edge products.

Cultural and Nordic-Inspired Merchandise:

Minnesota has a strong Nordic influence. Offer merchandise that reflects the local culture, including Nordic-inspired apparel, home décor, and accessories. Consider collaborating with local artists to create products that celebrate the region's heritage.

Starting an online shopping marketplace in Minnesota provides entrepreneurs with a strategic entry point into a thriving market. By understanding the unique needs of Minnesota, curating niche product offerings, and implementing key success factors, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success. The potential for growth, combined with a focus on community engagement and local authenticity, makes starting a marketplace in Minnesota a rewarding venture in the dynamic landscape of digital retail.

Here’s how to start a marketplace for Minnesota

Contemplating a Minnesota marketplace? Launch it on Vendo for a swift rollout within weeks. Assess the correlation between your product catalog strategy and audience needs, refining customer acquisition methods using actual 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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