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Written by Lauren de Vaal on March 20, 2020

eCommerce Website Vs. Marketplace

What is the difference between an eCommerce website and marketplace?

An eCcommerce website is a platform that you can use to list and sell your products. The website will include only your products and they are placed into categories. There are two parties involved when a  sale is made on an eCommerce website, the buyer and the seller.

Marketplace is an online shopping platform where products are sold by multiple sellers. Buyers are able to buy products from multiple sellers and pay for them all together at checkout. There are three parties involved when sales are made on marketplace, the buyer, the seller, and the marketplace administrator.

Let’s talk about selling products on your own eCommerce website

Having your own eCommerce website to sell your products on is extremely exciting. It does, however, require a larger startup fee and a lot of research and ongoing effort to keep it going and performing well. Your e-commerce website can be designed to compliment your brand and cater directly to the wants and needs of your target audience.

Here are a few benefits of selling your products on your own eCommerce website:

  • The platform is yours: The costs involved in getting an eCommerce website up and running are a lot higher than listing your products on marketplace, but it will be yours to manage.
  • No commission: Selling online, even in your own eCommerce store, will include transaction fees on each sale but what you earn on products after that is all yours. Generally, when you sell your products on a third party website there will be some sort of commission structure in place for them to make money too, which may even be payable before you sell anything.
  • No limitation on how you want to present your brand: When you create your own website to sell your products, you have complete control over how you want to represent your brand. With your own online shop, you are able to personalize your approach to your potential customers. Selling on marketplace may have some limitations and you will need to stick to their design and layout which may not represent your brand the way you want to. 
  • Easy to track traffic and conversions: You are able to add an Analytics script to the backend of your website which will allow you to see how many visitors are browsing your products online and converting. Selling on marketplace makes it difficult to track these sorts of metrics accurately.
  • Less competition: While it is safe to say that there is going to be competition no matter how you choose to sell your products online, there is definitely a little less competition when it comes to selling on your own website. On marketplace, you could be selling your products alongside other businesses selling the same or similar products on the same platform. 

Now let’s talk about selling your products on marketplace

Marketplace is definitely an easier option for selling your products online, especially for startups. There is a lot less effort required when bringing a third party into the mix but that comes at an extra cost each time a sale is made.

Here are a few benefits of selling your products on marketplace:

  • Great for brand awareness: Selling your products on a well-known marketplace platform is a great way to get your brand recognized. The more your products appear, the more familiar the marketplace users will become with your products.
  • Lower startup fee and marketing costs: Building your own eCommerce website can get very expensive. There are platforms that offer free templates but in order to design your website the way you want it, you are probably going to need to buy a template and possibly even hire a professional to help you get your website set up correctly. If you choose to go with selling on marketplace, the startup fee is lower, all marketing is done by them and payment gateway and courier costs are often also covered by them.
  • Access to more customers: Marketplace will already have an audience that visits their site to browse and buy products on a regular basis so no additional marketing is required from your side to attract more customers.
  • More trust and transparency: Customers using marketplace platforms have already built trust with them, therefore they are more likely to buy your product from the marketplace platform then they are from your website when they come across it for the first time.

So, which option is best for your business?

Well, that is for you to decide. Online shopping is definitely going to continue to grow amongst consumers and the platforms available to sell products online are going to increase each year. Whether you choose to create your own eCommerce website or sell on marketplace, you have already taken a step in the right direction. There is also always the option to sell your products using both techniques. Many businesses take this approach as it opens your business up to a much larger audience.

As long as you are selling a product you know there is a market for, you are offering the best possible service to your customers and selling your products at competitive prices, there is no way you can go wrong!

We have many more blogs on digital marketing, please go and have a look.

Article written by Lauren de Vaal
As head of the Customer Success Team at Oviond, Lauren is passionate about continuous product improvement, which not only spans the product but is carried across to her team. Lauren is passionate about the digital marketing environment and has a flair for leadership which is evident in the way in which she manages her team. Lauren has used her 5 years of digital marketing experience to hone her skills, learn and embrace new challenges to where she is able and willing to meet all challenges head on. Lauren embraces her passion across all aspects of her life, both professionally and personally and is a devoted wife and mother to a beautiful daughter. Lauren loves spending time with her family and is a big lover of outdoor vacations in the bush.

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