THE LANDSCAPE OF E-COMMERCE MARKETPLACES FOR ONLINE SELLERS

According to Statista, e-commerce will account for more than $6 US billion dollars in sales by 2024, up from $4.2 billion last year. The singular driver for this extraordinary growth in digital commerce is marketplaces.

Even before the pandemic sped up online shopping, marketplaces made up half of global online sales amounting to $2 trillion for the top 100 sites, according to a McKinsey & Company report.

If shoppers were to select between making a trip to the market to buy groceries and are given a chance to get the same groceries online and get a delivery to their doorstep, definitely they will settle for online shopping. Online shopping itself has transformed modern-day shopping for both sellers and buyers. Imagine you want to buy ready food and you don’t have time to walk to a restaurant. All this has been made easy and simple by online shopping. With the connection of affordable high-speed WIFI, shopping has been made easier. Shoppers can search easily and compare prices of whatever product that they need. As a retailer, there are a lot of benefits for selling your goods in marketplaces. Although it is very beneficial, choosing the right marketplace to sell your goods can be a challenge. When you are looking for the best marketplace to sell your goods, the following are some of the best e-commerce marketplaces to choose from. All of them are distinct in their manner, and therefore you should look for the characteristics that you want, your financial capabilities, and your general target.

Shifting market dynamics.Previously, e-commerce marketplaces enthusiasts would say, this peer-to-peer technology is the future. Today, it is claimed the technology is setting the pace and gaining in adoption thus the same enthusiasts claim it is the current. To be precise, they say ‘it is the now big thing’ rather than the next big thing. With the e-commerce idea, the term digital money comes into sight. Unlike most current selling and buying gateways, e-commerce facilitates digital buying and selling. Well, there have been many e-commerce startups whose failure was mainly due to poor adoption by people. Besides, most governments don’t fancy the idea of online trading as they think of tax evasion and that is why they are doing all it takes to ensure this idea never sees the light. These challenges aside, what is an e-commerce marketplace and how does it look like? Read on.

e-commerce marketplace is also known as electronic purchasing trade. It is a place or web page where individuals or groups can discover various brands of commodities coming from numerous vendors, outlets, or individual exhibits on the same global platform. In addition, it is a suitable harbor for individuals to find, purchase and sell their commodities. Individuals can find what they are looking for by filtering their search by place, class, and by price. Sellers who post their commodities on the marketplace reach potential buyers from wherever place they are. Marketplace items are grouped in one well-arranged group. This is because mainly several sellers have their particular list of commodities.

Online shopping has been there before, but it had not been embraced fully. The pandemic has greatly shaped the online marketplaces where buyers and sellers meet to do their business. It has brought up a new business community whereby one does not need to do physical shopping. By just visiting a website, you can buy what you need. Some self-service stores have embraced the same and offer a small delivery fee to their customers.

These are internet-based platforms where sellers and buyers transact. They link up the buyers looking for a particular service or a product to sellers or producers of such goods and services. In the current world, sellers must open up a digital shop to stay competitive in the market.

Benefits of Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces allow sellers to sell their merchandise without having to set up their online stores. Selling on some online marketplaces postulates a flexible business chance with low capital to start up. The benefits gained by subscribing to an online marketplace will differ between corporations and marketing and between customers and sellers.

There are some key of “must haves” and “nice to have” when it comes to consider which marketplace to start with. The exhibit below from McKinsey & Company

Exhibit 1

Some of the benefits of online marketplaces include,

Additional channel

eCommerce gives an additional channel where sellers can advertise and sell their products. This will increase their sales margins especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marketing costs

The platform provides cheap advertising costs in comparison to other selling options at a high conversion rate.

New opportunities

eCommerce permits new chances for overseas sales. There has been notable growth in the marketplace. This is mostly on homeware, pets, fashion, home decor and sporting products categories.

Products and prices comparison

Ecommerce marketplaces are highly sought after by consumers. They provide a time-saving method for comparison and scrutiny of prices and goods from one platform.

Trust

Online marketplace as established electronic commerce, offers a level of trust between the sellers and the buyers.

Confidence

Confidence in the products is a guarantee as potential buyers look at the impartial reviews of the products. The reviews originate from those customers who have used the products already.

Trading partnerships

Opportunities to come up with new trading partnerships between the traders and the suppliers are established. This is possible either within the supply chain that you are in or beyond your supply chains

Transparency

Ecommerce marketplaces offer ease of access, costs, and the levels of stocks and their convenience in a transparent environment.

Endless operation

The traders operate around the clock. There exists no time hindrance and problems. The difference in international trading time is not felt. Trading is throughout in 24 hrs.

There is different type of marketplaces:

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces are the most congested class with many players, together with the international giants like Amazon and local mover and shakers such as TMALL and jd.com in China and Mercado Libre in Brazil and Latin America. The Add niche B2C marketplaces specialize in a particular class of products such as electronics, apparel, and home products. With all these marketplaces, competition is all over the place.

Business to Business (B2B) marketplaces

B2B marketplaces bring both the sellers and the buyers together to do business in one platform online. The transactions are prepared online by the marketplace vendor and a business deal is brokered. Some of the wells know B2B marketplaces are the Alibaba and Amazon businesses. The B2B marketplaces are mostly niche and upright-oriented.

Peer-to-peer P2P or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplaces

P2P eCommerce means one consumer sells products or services to another consumer digitally. It is a class of business relationship where the sellers and buyers are users of the products rather than businesses. Some of the known examples of P2P marketplaces are eBay, Taobao, Mercari, together with Airbnb.

Consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) or consumer-to-business (C2B) marketplaces

C2M is a business model where the consumers come up and make value and businesses use that value. It links up the producers directly to the consumers. This marketplace eliminates the supply chain, inventory, sales, distribution, and other middlemen allowing the consumers to purchase superior products at a lower price. C2M is very beneficial in cases where the producer can act to demonstrate, combined customer-driven niche needs. It benefits the producers as they can know what the consumers are saying about the product and improve on their demands and come up with innovative ideas. Some of the examples of C2M marketplaces include PinDuoDuo, Taobao, and Douyin.

Service–to–consumer (Se2C) marketplaces

This is a business platform where the consumer is linked to a third-party manufacturer. The manufacturer offers services. An example of this service is the online cab services like Uber where a driver drives a car and gets paid through Uber which is treated as a producer of the service in this example. It brings the power of the producers’ gigs to the economy. Examples of Se2C marketplaces are the HomeAdvisor and TaskRabbit in U.S or UrbanClap in India, and hipages in Australia

The landscape of US digital marketplaces is already crowded (Exhibit 2), intensifying the pressure on apparel brands and retailers to decide whether and how to participate in marketplaces.

Exhibit 2

Some of the Best B2C and B2B E-Commerce Marketplaces

The best marketplace is the one that pull many visits in a particular month. Amazon pulls more than five billion visits while eBay gets 1.7 billion. Therefore, these two are the best of them all.

Amazon

Amazon has grown to be the biggest e-commerce marketplace. It has millions of sellers and shoppers who search for goods and services every month. It is one of the most demanded online marketplaces in existence. It is suitable for small- and large-scale sellers who want to expand their market base and are ready and capable of handling the customers’ traffic whenever it flows.

Amazon is known for its uncompromising product detail regulation. Amazon grades goods details, in such a way that whether buyer views your goods or an amazon detail, they look alike. This is perfect as your goods receive an equal amount of status as amazon goods that resulting in sales rise. The buyers concentrate on the prices and attributes as opposed to the seller’s name. Pricing the prices of your products competitively will give them a higher chance of selection by the buyers. Amazon takes care of shipping and packaging logistics and gives sellers the option to ship their goods from their own warehouse. Your storage costs are also reduced. Amazon assists you in advertising your products the best way they know how to bring traffic to your niche. Amazon marketplace costs $39 per month plus an additional transaction fee.

Walmart

Walmart is the biggest retailer in the universe. It is ideal for small and large sellers who wish to expand their views. You require to do an application to be part of this marketplace. After approval, you enjoy access to 110 million buyers who buy digitally per month. Competitive prices and a product of high standards are required for you to get approval. They permit you to sell as a drop-ship vendor or a seller at a time. You cannot have the two together. Walmart brand is very famous among sellers therefore, you can enjoy this popularity as your listings look the same as Walmart. You can boost your sales by competitive pricing, custom shipping, and a return guideline to be unique and boost your sales. Walmart also has the advantage of gaining entry to their customer assistance and security features. This marketplace does not charge for monthly fees nor product listing fee. Instead, Walmart simply charges suppliers a referral fee for each item sold.

eBay

eBay is best for sellers whose line is to sell new and second-hand goods and is free to trade their goods for an inflated price. There is no application needed for you to sell on eBay. All you require is to open an account and create your first posting. The eBay seller Hub is created to assist you in running your niche even if you don’t have a website. It is possible to have observation into product movement to monitor which of your goods are selling best, which advertisement buyers utilize more and the period it uses to pick and ship goods. This marketplace has three plans of payment to select from. One of them is the standard plan which does not require monthly payments but you pay a fee when you sell an item. The Plus plan fee is $13.50 per month with additional permission to features. The premium plan provides tools for evaluating feature that is arranged to be revealed later in the year.

Etsy

Etsy is best for buyers who are looking for distinct goods. This marketplace is best for small and middle sellers dealing with natural and high-quality goods. Far from other marketplaces, Etsy sellers sell goods free of the Etsy brand. When buyers are looking for your products they click on your webpage for your products, they get redirected to your custom Etsy storefront. This holds your brand pick out more so if you have a no different website. Etsy offers you a chance to encourage and take care of a devoted customer base as you progress. Etsy app enables you to run your store from wherever you are. Etsy also assists you with digital advertisement if you are a newbie in the market. You can create ads with mechanisms such as promoted listings to have more display for your goods. You can also design particular bids and email them to your customers. This marketplace costs $0.20 for product listings each and reimburses deal and reimbursement processing fees for all the sales made.

Mercado Libre

It is the #1 marketplace in Latin America and one of the top 10 most visited e-commerce websites in the world. It has a distinct environment and platform created to assist you to reduce cross-border selling. With Global Selling you can manage your USA business in 4 different Latin American marketplaces, all from a single account. Once you’ve signed up, you can list your products for free, receive payments in USD, and communicate with your Latin American buyers using our automated translation tool.

Conclusion

Online marketplaces are many where you can choose from. To settle for one, your goals and wants should be very clear. Each of these marketplaces has distinct characteristics and is prepared towards separate seller bases and niches.

Any seller who is planning to apply online marketplace should have a clue about their customer base. Considerations on the advantages of a particular marketplace should be considered. This is because not all marketplaces offer the same extras to their sellers. Some have their distinct drawbacks such as payment operations, funds, conduct, and achievement requirement that should be investigated separately. Successful marketplaces recognize these drawbacks and give objective remedies. Do not subscribe to a marketplace that does not guarantee you a return on investments. Have a healthy argument about their services and gauge their job, charges, benefits, and customer loyalty as well as competition.

If more than one marketplace satisfies your requirements and gives you the exhibition that you need in an endless digital shelf, then it is advisable to use more. There are Multi-Channel Selling Tools such as Sellbrite that assists you to list and sell your products from a single friendly interface despite where buyers get you. Current goods data is available and free plan available now for business doing less than 30 orders/mo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valeria Garcia is a Marketplace Expansion Manager at Pangaea Holdings, whose primary writing focus is on e-commerce marketplaces to develop small-large businesses at a global scale.

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