Whether you're starting an eCommerce business or just looking for ways to grow sales, an eCommerce marketplace may be the right choice for you.
But, what exactly is a marketplace, how does it differ from an eCommerce platform, and is it a good choice for eCommerce growth?
Keep reading to see part of our eCommerce business guide and learn all about eCommerce marketplaces, their unique qualities, and how to get the most out of using one.
eCommerce Marketplace Management
Many business owners think selling products through an online marketplace sounds easier than managing a website. This isn't always the case. There's still a lot you need to do to optimize your sales and manage your products on a marketplace.
Here are a few tips:
- Focus on inventory management. Since an online marketplace feature such a wide array of products, it's more important than ever to have a handle on different types of inventory you carry and your eCommerce shipping practices. Calculating the optimal reorder point for each product and avoiding issues with dead stock and backordered items will keep your customers happy and your bottom line green.
- Keep track of your finances. Though eCommerce marketplaces make it easier than ever to run a business, staying on top of eCommerce accounting is vital. BlueCart eCommerce is great for this since the integrated reporting lets you see the information you need, whenever you need it.
- Build your brand. eCommerce marketplaces attract more users every day. This means more competition for all types of eCommerce businesses, and more need to set your business apart. Make sure you highlight what makes your offerings unique and use consistent branding everywhere from your product pages to your eCommerce packaging. BlueCart eCommerce makes sure your business's logo is on every page so your customers never forget.
- Use online advertising. Since competition is high and you don't have your own site or retail location, advertising is the key to drawing in customers. Many marketplaces have integrated advertising platforms, but you can also make great use of Google's ad program to get new users. Pair this with a focus on eCommerce SEO and you'll have more customers than you can handle. BlueCart eCommerce is optimized for SEO, saving businesses time and money while drawing in customers.
eCommerce Marketplace Service Provider
An eCommerce marketplace service provider is a third party company that provides various marketplace services to eCommerce businesses. These companies can help upload products to the marketplace, design advertisements, and even train staff on how to best sell on an eCommerce marketplace.
There are many service providers on the market, so find one that offers the services you want while keeping costs reasonable. You don't want to be paying more for services than you make selling.
eCommerce Marketplace Management Software
One of the most valuable things you can do to better manage your eCommerce marketplace product listings is to invest in the right software. This includes not only the software that comes with your chosen marketplace, but things like order tracking, eCommerce email marketing, and even automation tools.
To get the most out of this software, follow these tips:
- Focus on ease-of-use. Nobody likes using software that is confusing or overly burdensome. Even if the software is supposed to make your job easier, if it’s too complicated to use, it will only make things worse. Before investing in software, see if you can get a demo or trial period to get a feel for it. This simple step can help you avoid making costly and decisive decisions.
- Ensure software compatibility. We say this a lot, but it’s vital that your software can all be integrated to share data between them. Since software is intended to make your job easier and limit human error, having to manually transfer data between tools makes your software a detriment to your business. Speak with providers in advance to make sure the tools you choose can all work together.
- Invest in training. Once you’ve chosen your software, make sure to take the time to train your staff on how to use it properly. This can seem annoying and time-consuming, but it will pay dividends. Your team will be more fluent with the tools and capable of handling multiple tasks with ease. You should also provide cross-training between teams so that you have even more people who can handle the tools when needed.
eCommerce marketplaces are some of the fastest-growing retail spaces in the world. They now account for more than $2 trillion in yearly retail sales globally and are dominating the markets in many countries.
These marketplaces are helping streamline many businesses’s production processes and are used by all types of businesses. Whether you have a direct to consumer business, are looking for a B2B wholesale marketplace, or something in between, there’s something for you. For food suppliers, BlueCart eCommerce is all of the above. It has cutting-edge tools and resources for selling B2B wholesale food (see what is wholesale), DTC food, or both. It even lets you accept B2B payments with the touch of a button.
eCommerce Platform vs Marketplace
Though eCommerce platforms and marketplaces both allow businesses to sell their products or services online, they are actually quite different.
Here are the five biggest differences between e commerce vs online marketplace:
- Ownership. With an eCommerce platform, you own and operate your own site (see what is eCommerce). This means the buck stops with you on everything from site architecture to on page SEO for eCommerce. With a marketplace, these are all handled by the business that operates the site. That's why so many food suppliers are choosing to go with BlueCart eCommerce. This all-in-one solution handles store design and structure, menus, payment processing, and more. That lets them focus on what they do best, selling.
- Marketing goals. Whether you're doing DTC marketing or B2B marketing (see what is B2B marketing), the approaches are going to be different for a platform and marketplace. Marketing with an eCommerce platform is fairly straightforward and is aimed at attracting customers to your site. Marketplaces are already bustling with customers, so marketing efforts need to be focused on standing out from your competitors.
- Inventory size. On an eCommerce site, usually, all products listed must be in stock. This means that the listings generally match inventory levels and the business keeps a safety stock on hand. On a marketplace, businesses often list far more products than they have. This is because they use eCommerce fulfillment or dropshipping, freeing up their ability to focus on sales.
- Initial investment. Creating a website requires a lot of time and money, regardless of the platform used. This can act as a barrier for small businesses and prevent them from making money in the early days. Opening a business on an eCommerce marketplace is much cheaper and can be done quickly. This means your eCommerce business ideas can become profitable businesses in a flash. BlueCart eCommerce has no setup or monthly fees and even has the lowest payment processing in the industry.
- Technical requirements. If you don't use an eCommerce marketplace, all technical aspects of website management generally fall on your business. This means you'll need someone on staff with coding experience or you need a contract with the platform provider. You'll also have to buy and install all of your own eCommerce software. eCommerce marketplaces are managed by an outside company, so they handle all the technical issues for you.
What Is eCommerce Marketplace?
An eCommerce marketplace is an eCommerce site owned by a third party where multiple businesses or individuals sell their products or services.
These sites can be used by both a B2B business or DTC business (see D2C meaning) and connect them to more customers than they could normally get in the startup stage. Marketplaces the BlueCart eCommerce are built to scale with your business and takes care of all the hard work in building a site for you.
Multi Vendor eCommerce Marketplace
A multi vendor eCommerce marketplace is another name for an eCommerce marketplace, but is also used to describe platforms that allow businesses to create their own marketplaces.
Many large retail companies are now using these tools to turn their existing sites into marketplaces and selling other businesses's goods alongside their own. This increases their bottom line by taking fees from each transaction. It also drives more visitors to their site giving them more opportunity to try cross selling. These marketplaces also offer a great opportunity to find wholesale items to sell if you're looking into how to become a wholesaler.
This Little Business Went to Market
An eCommerce marketplace allows entrepreneurs and small business owners to hit the ground running and make sales ASAP. By choosing to use a marketplace instead of an eCommerce platform, you can lower your startup costs and use fewer resources to get your business going. If a marketplace isn't your thing, you can also look into a headless eCommerce platform to make it easier to control your own site. You should also stay on top of your eCommerce KPIs so you can make informed decisions that help increase eCommerce sales.
For food suppliers, BlueCart eCommerce is the best marketplace around. It's built to scale with the business and comes with more useful features than any of the competitors. Plus, our customer support is second-to-none. We can help you build the business of your dreams.