As an online retailer, choosing the right eCommerce shopping for your e-store can be challenging as you consider positioning your product under the correct category with all the fees and policies that must be factored in.
If you’re starting in eCommerce, or you want to expand your business marketplaces, there are many marketplaces where one can find multiple brands of products from different vendors and online shops on the same platform.
An eCommerce marketplace platform connects buyers, sellers, and manufacturers from all walks of life and different parts of the world. Each marketplace caters to a specific audience and buyer community.
Types of Online Marketplace
That said, there are diverse marketplaces based on the different business models and their means of operation that are online right now.
Buyer Oriented Marketplace
A buyer-oriented market comprises of a body of buyers who want to establish an adequate purchasing environment. In this type of buyer oriented marketplace, the buyers lower their controlling costs and for better prices form the suppliers. On the other hand, the suppliers can use customer oriented portals to promote their products targeted to a specific audience.
Supplier Oriented Marketplace
A supplier-oriented marketplace is a group of suppliers who want to establish adequate sales channels and increase their visibility to get quality leads that can convert from online buyers. This type of supplier oriented market place is also known as supplier catalog and can be searched using the products listed.
On the other hand, buyers have access to suppliers products, services and the geographical location of where the suppliers are based. An example of this type of marketplace is Cisco Connection Online (CCO) that markets Cisco’s electronics and products.
Vertical and Horizontal Marketplaces
Vertical marketplaces offer an online presence to complex industries like chemical, textile, automotive e.t.c to upgrade the operating execution while squeezing the catalogs charge and stock chain retrieval time.
On the other hand, horizontal marketplaces bring buyers and merchants together beyond expanding businesses or counties. Vertical and horizontal markets help the buyer purchase indirect products such as office equipment and stationery.
Independent marketplaces feature business to business online principles operated by a third party. This type of eCommerce portal is public to customers and retailers. As a retailer, you can register to such kind of a gateway and get access to specific ads, place orders, request for quotations and place different applications of product listing from your industry.
Self-governing marketplaces also participate in certain online auctions. Examples of independent markets include; Alibaba, eBay, e.t.c
Benefits Offered by Marketplace Integration
- Allows the seller to manage product listings from a single platform
- Marketplace integration allows quick and bulk upload of products
- By integrating your eCommerce online business with a marketplace, retailers can use different markets to expand their businesses like Shopify, Opencart, and Magento
- Integration extensions allow the seller to manage buyers orders from their store’s backend.
- The seller can update product descriptions in different languages for increased visibility
- Allows the retailers to keep track of all the jobs and errors that occurred in the same audit log
Popular eCommerce Marketplaces
With an online eCommerce portal, you can find different products and services from multiple vendors and e-stores showcased in the same platform. The marketplace owner is solely responsible for drawing customers to the portal.
As a retailer, you can leverage on this opportunity of marketplaces that expand your online business and avoid the costs of running and maintaining your domain. Companies like Amazon, Shopify, and Alibaba, have experienced massive success in Dropshipping supply chain management.
Best Online Marketplaces in 2020
Amazon started as an eCommerce but is now a multi-vendor ecosystem that dominates its presence with a large customer base in the U.S. Statistics indicate that Amazon generated $178 billion revenue by 2017.
The portal features intuitive and easy navigation and offers value in customer satisfaction and experience. It’s a crowded marketplace due to its popularity and unfortunately there also many counterfeits that operate in this platform.
It’s important to note that Amazon charges high fees to sell on the site and to use its FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon) service. Sellers don’t have any control over the products page layout, so branding is not an option. If you’re selling unknown products, Amazon may not be the right place for you.
eBay is popular in Europe and a more competitive marketplace for a retailer in U.K, India, and Australia. It offers consumer to consumer and business to consumer merchandising services. It connects buyers and sellers in different niches around the world.
If you’re a small business considering eBay as a platform for expanding your business marketplaces, you must put into consideration the ever-rising charges of operating your business in this portal.
Walmart is one of the largest retail eCommerce markets with a vast command in the U.S. The company started as a brick-and-mortar store and now has established its presence as a seller. Though it’s traffic is not as high as that of Amazon or eBay, this portal has recently revamped its site to appeal more to the millennials.
Walmart has also partnered with FedEx to create a loyalty program that offers retailers a 37% discount for shipping Walmart orders through FedEx.
Etsy is a fast-growing marketplace with a novelty for craft and handmade products. This portal offers a retailer with the benefit of building better relationships with customers who order specific things.
Also, if you have a unique niche, Etsy would be the perfect marketplace. Here the price is not a critical factor in moving volumes as customers value quality and creativity. However, Etsy allowed factory made items so you may end up competing with more prominent brands.
Houzz is a marketplace that focuses on home renovation products and services. If you sell home renovation or household products, this portal would be an excellent avenue for exposure and marketing.
You can expand your business marketplaces by converting your online store into a unique marketplace site with multi-vendor marketplace extension from any of the eCommerce portals we’ve discussed in this guide.