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Creating an E-Commerce Marketplace: a Good or a Bad Idea?
Amazon does it. Yes, this alone is enough to start a trend. How many times have you heard people say that "if Amazon does it, there must be a good reason?" Indeed, many e-traders, small and large, copy that giant with some success.
First of all: Amazon does it. Yes, this alone is enough to start a trend. How many times have you heard people say that "if Amazon does it, there must be a good reason?" Indeed, many e-traders, small and large, copy that giant with some success.
Secondly, there is the simple race for scale – the principle that the more products your site contains, the more chance it has to make a profit for all who trade there. Amazon and Cdiscount have shown the principle to be good – other sites are still seeing if they too can replicate it.
Certainly, the possibility of expanding your product range without having to make huge investments in stock makes the idea of a marketplace seem attractive.
But before we get too carried away, let's rewind a little!
What is a marketplace?
An e-commerce marketplace is simply an e-commerce site that lets several different sellers offer their products to online customers.
On Amazon, for example, not all the products on offer are sold by Amazon itself: some are sold by specialist clothing, DIY, entertainment and other retailers, who use the Amazon site but send items that they sell directly to the customer themselves. Amazon gets a commission for each thing these traders sell.
(In fact, Amazon now also offers traders the option that it takes care of delivery for them – but that's another story.)
In a 'classic' e-commerce site, it is just you, the site's owner, who sells products to your clients. But in a marketplace, many other sellers will conduct trade with the help of your platform.
The great advantage for them is the visibility you offer them – you put them in touch with their customers. Think of it as a kind of 'shopping mall 2.0'.
And marketplaces don't just let businesses sell to consumers. They can also let consumers sell to each other ('C2C', or 'consumer to consumer'), and businesses sell to other businesses ('B2B').
So, are they a good idea?
Marketplaces can certainly be a great way to quickly expand your product range without the need to invest in more stock. This alone has sent many e-traders down the marketplace route – after all, stock is expensive and increases your working capital requirement (WCR).
A marketplace means other people pay for the stock, so you don't have to dip into your cash reserves.
More products on offer from more sellers also means more content on your site, in terms of pictures and product descriptions, and this of course brings more traffic. More traffic in turn brings more buyers and sellers, creating a virtuous circle.
(Naturally, you must ensure that you trust your sellers to create accurate content.)
Of course, the tastiest part of the marketplace equation for e-traders is commission. Instead of going to all the work of sending out products, they can sit back and watch a percentage of the sale price roll in for each transaction made by the sellers they host.
On top of all this, the barriers to entry into the marketplace business have lately fallen dramatically. Off-the-shelf plugins like Magento, Prestashop, and Woocomerce make developing your e-commerce site into a marketplace much less costly than before, while complete solutions like Izberg Marketplace, CloudCommerce Factory (formerly Marketplace Factory), and Wizaplace have made starting from scratch more accessible.
OK – but what are the downsides? Continue reading: https://roobykon.com/
Find more interesting articles related to e-commerce topic here: https://roobykon.com/