Most folks presume that online marketplace and e-commerce web sites are the same. They are actually two type of platform that anyone can use to sell products or services.
Though each of them are used for on-line enterprise purposes, there are some fundamental differences between them. For occasion, a marketplace is a web-based platform where the website owner allows third-party sellers to promote on the platform and invoice the shoppers directly, i.e., numerous sellers can market their merchandise to the shoppers. The marketplace owner doesn’t own the inventory; neither does he invoice the shopper. In truth, it is a platform for both the sellers and consumers, similar to what you see in a physical market.
On the opposite, an e-commerce web site is a single model on-line store or multi-brand on-line store the place a selected brand sells its own merchandise on their website. The stock is owned by the website owner only. The website owner also invoices the customer and pays the value added tax. There’s no option to register as a vendor, much like what you see at a retailer store. And it is buyer specific. An e-commerce website can be called single vendor web site where a one store owner can function the website for promoting items.
Put it simple, a marketplace may be an e-commerce website, but not all e-commerce websites are marketplaces. While it might primarily sound confusing, here are 5 important variations between a marketplace and an e-commerce website you must know.
1. Target Audience and Brand Recognition
It is essential to have a transparent idea about your marketing approach and focusing on in online marketplace and e-commerce enterprise. While in e-commerce you have to give attention to focusing on consumers, in a marketplace you have to attract not only consumers but additionally sellers who will be the coronary heart of your platform.
In e-commerce, the individual merchant has to spend extra to drive traffic to their web site. Once a purchaser finds his choice, the choice process is simpler, as they’re selecting from the products offered by only one company.
When consumers type in your URL, they get to your site and may affiliate your services with that URL. You can create the consumer expertise you need based mostly in your company values. If you’re hoping to grow your organization, there’s no ignoring this e-commerce vs marketplace benefit.
On the other hand, marketplaces profit from various users operating on their site. As there are lots of sellers, they individually promote the existence of the marketplace causing a viral of awareness. The extra the buyers are pleased, transacting on the site, the extra they help to spread the popularity of the marketplace.
It is essential to notice that selling on marketplaces is not going to assist you to build your brand consciousness and increase loyalty among customers. This is simply as a result of customers registering to the platform, not to every particular brand in the marketplace. The audience, therefore, is engaged in the direction of the marketplace platform, not the brand.
2. Competition and Data
Your e-commerce web site solely sells your goods, and also you’ll by no means need to bid on advertising to rank larger on your own website or get your listings to seem prominently above different similar items sold by your competitors. Your clients can sign up for your mailing record and observe you on social media. You can use their info for things like comply with-up emails, promotion bulletins, or buyer satisfaction surveys.
Third-party marketplaces, then again, could make and promote their very own white label merchandise, which they may prioritize within the search listings. Furthermore, in a marketplace the services your promoting or selling could be the same sort with other products and could be listed right next to one another. The solely way to win is to pay the marketplace to indicate your adverts on high of the listing. When prospects sign up for a marketplace, you will find it onerous to hook up with them instantly.
Simply put, if you’d prefer to have direct entry to your prospects and remove competitions from the listing, use an e-commerce platform. But when you don’t mind paying the extra ads to push your brand to the top, then don’t be afraid to use a marketplace service.
3. Time, Money, & Control
To construct your own e-commerce website can be as simple or difficult as you want it to be. There are many points concerned in it. So there will be lots of time and work involved to set up and preserve your e-commerce website. However, this additionally means that you’re able to build any sort of options you need with out restrict.
But in a marketplace, as everything stays ready, you possibly can register, list, and sell with out spending much time and further work. Online marketplaces are designed to be simple to make use of. You can arrange a storefront in minutes and then enjoy the full benefits of fee processing, promoting, and even distribution and shipping channels in a fraction of the time of sourcing and registering for these tools on your own.
A marketplace doesn’t promote or buy products, they suppose themselves because the platform that enables different events to sell products and services. In that regards, their values lie in what number of services they can present to each the sellers and the buyers. What this means is that the client acquisition price is usually lower for on-line marketplaces; it permits you to leverage the prevailing large customer base.
4. Trust and Loyalty
This is where e-commerce shines. An e-commerce platform sells only your products, your services, your brands. On top of that, you can control what kind of marketing towards your audience directly. This is the equivalent of having a factory to consumer direct line. Truly the best type of marketing out there.
As noted above, a major downside of selling on a marketplace is that you’re not allowed to promote your brand. There is no room for marketing efforts. Even if you successfully sell on a marketplace for 15 years, customers may not recognize your brand. They develop a loyalty to the marketplace, not the individual sellers they buy from.
On the other hand, a self-hosted e-commerce website allows you to create content that contains emotional appeals as well as instructional guidance. Creative content is crucial to any business that aims to build brand loyalty.
5. Technical Aspects
Currently, a large number of tools used to build an e-commerce website are available on the market and the most popularly known ones are Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce. While marketplaces such as Amazon and Tokopedia give buyers a one-stop-shop to buy everything they need. Therefore, marketplace solutions have been tailored from the ground up to address specific marketplace shopper and operator requirements.
From a technical standpoint, e-commerce is more flexible in terms of features, but also harder to do since it requires technical resources to maintain and establish a solid platform. You’re managing your own website, with the e-commerce platform providing a suite of integrated tools to help you conduct business. If you want to update your logo or refresh the color palette to meet new branding guidelines, you can. You can even tweak elements like shopping cart functionality and payment methods as needed.
On the other hand, unlike hosting your own website, you won’t need much technical skill to get started selling on marketplaces. If you’re familiar with social media platforms, you’ll have what it takes to list products or services and get your accounts receivable information set up. Everything from marketing to customer service resolutions are handled on the same platform through a single dashboard.
Most often than not, a combined approach can be taken to increase your brand recognition as well as awareness by utilizing both e-commerce and marketplace at the same time.
Winner-take-all platforms like Amazon benefit from network effects that create enduring value for customers and sellers. Sellers go there because that’s where the customers are, and customers go to Amazon because that’s where the sellers are – and with them the best prices and most products.
While at the same time you build your direct audience by connecting the buyers to your mailing list using a discount code that will allow them to purchase your products cheaper on your website compared to marketplaces. This way you can build your own marketing campaign targeted specifically to those who recognize your brand.
It’s never wrong to do both of them, and if you’re having trouble understanding what to do, you can always contact us to do it for you.