Case Study
Nov 15, 2023

How to start a marketplace for St. Louis

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St. Louis, with a population exceeding 300,000 and robust internet accessibility at 91%, stands as a promising market for an online shopping marketplace. But the need for awesome products, carefully curated and presented in a way that wows? Existing marketplaces are falling short. Enter Vendo, your ticket to kick starting your own St. Louis marketplace in record time. Here's how it goes down.

No six figures to invest upfront and no patience for a 12-18 month ground-up build? Looking to go live and dip your toes in the waters within weeks? Entrepreneurs and founders, just like you, choose Vendo as the go-to solution 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 St. Louis

In the heart of the Gateway to the West, St. Louis calls upon entrepreneurs to chart a new course for commerce by revolutionizing the way the community shops. Positioned as a historic and vibrant city, St. Louis provides a compelling backdrop for launching an online shopping marketplace, fostering connections between local businesses and their communities, and breathing new life into commerce in the Gateway to the West.

Historic Charm and Diverse Neighborhoods:

St. Louis's allure lies in its historic charm seamlessly intertwined with diverse neighborhoods. The city's various districts contribute to a rich tapestry of consumer preferences shaped by its historic roots and the evolving needs of a dynamic community. From the artistic vibe of the Delmar Loop to the cultural richness of the Central West End, each neighborhood adds a unique flavor to the local market, waiting to be fully embraced by an innovative online platform.

Unmet Needs of a Diverse Consumer Group:

From the riverfront energy of Laclede's Landing to the suburban tranquility of Webster Groves, a discerning consumer group in St. Louis seeks a more personalized and locally infused online shopping experience. Existing platforms offer convenience but fall short in capturing the diverse preferences of St. Louis residents. 

The opportunity lies in creating a marketplace that caters not just to the varied tastes of locals but also fosters community engagement, tailored to the unique characteristics of each neighborhood.

The Quest for St. Louis-Infused Lifestyle:

In a city renowned for its iconic Gateway Arch, vibrant cultural scene, and a legacy deeply rooted in history, the quest for localized engagement is paramount. St. Louis residents are not just seeking products; they are yearning for an online shopping experience that mirrors the city's historic charm and contemporary lifestyle. 

From locally crafted artisanal goods to unique finds from independent boutiques, an online marketplace can become a digital reflection of St. Louis's unique blend of history and modern living.

Products for St. Louis 

Artisanal Goods from Delmar Loop:

Celebrate St. Louis's artistic vibe with a category focused on artisanal goods. Spotlight locally crafted items, handmade arts, and unique pieces that capture the essence of the Delmar Loop's creative energy.

Family-Centric Products from Webster Groves:

Cater to the family-oriented residents in Webster Groves with a curated selection of family-centric products. Showcase locally crafted toys, children's clothing, and home essentials that resonate with the family-focused lifestyle. Transform the marketplace into a digital haven for families in St. Louis.

Culinary Delights from Central West End:

Celebrate the culinary scene of St. Louis with a selection of local foods, specialty ingredients, and culinary gadgets inspired by the city's diverse culinary offerings. The marketplace becomes a virtual tour of Central West End's delicious and locally-infused flavors.

Trendy Fashion Finds in Downtown:

In the Downtown neighborhood, spotlight trendy fashion and accessories, featuring local designers, chic clothing, and urban living essentials. Offer products that resonate with the eclectic and trendy styles of Downtown residents.

Community-Driven Products from Lafayette Square:

Embrace the community-driven spirit of Lafayette Square with a category focused on locally sourced and community-driven products. Showcase items such as community artwork, handmade crafts, and products supporting local initiatives.

Local Wellness and Fitness in Soulard:

Cater to the health-conscious residents in Soulard with a category focused on local wellness and fitness products. Showcase items such as locally crafted wellness products, fitness gear, and health-focused accessories that align with the active and health-conscious lifestyle of this neighborhood.

Success factors for selling products in St. Louis 

Local Business Collaboration:

Forge strategic partnerships with local artisans, onboard entrepreneurs from neighborhood boutiques, 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 Local Events:

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

Efficient Logistics and Quick St. Louis 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 St. Louis-centric products, collaborate with influencers to highlight unique experiences, and deploy targeted digital marketing campaigns focused on the city's vibrant lifestyle.

Adaptability to Diverse Lifestyles:

Curate a product range that aligns with the diverse and dynamic lifestyles of St. Louis residents, from artisanal goods to trendy fashion that complements the city's unique blend of history and modern living.

Seamless Mobile Experience for Urban Living:

Design a mobile-friendly app for on-the-go urban 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 dynamically evolving urban market.

Responsive Community Responsibility Initiatives:

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

In the Gateway to the West, launching an online marketplace in St. Louis isn't just about commerce; it's about revitalizing commerce in the diverse communities and businesses that make up this vibrant city. 

By curating a selection of St. Louis-inspired essentials across artisanal goods, family-centric products, culinary delights, and more, this online marketplace aims to provide residents with a personalized, engaging, and community-driven shopping journey. In doing so, it contributes to the economic vibrancy of St. Louis, transforming the way residents connect with the unique blend of history and modern living that defines this Gateway to the West.

Here’s how to start a marketplace for St. Louis

Excited to dive into a St. Louis marketplace? Rapidly launch it on Vendo within weeks, not months. Assess the harmony between your product catalog strategy and audience needs, making tweaks 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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