Time for a new Blog-Serie: Part 1 of 3 of an article about Standalone Web Stores vs. Multiple Vendor Marketplaces by our guest author Nicolas Fincher.
Currently, ecommerce is a very changeable and perspective area, offering plenty of fantastic chances and an infinite number of possible traps at the same time. Besides of an opportunity to launch own online store and fill it with different products, vendors got thousand of ecommerce techniques, integrations, tools and solutions, helping to increase web store positions within a competitive environment, promote its popularity among various customer segments and cater to the Globe all possible products. However, notwithstanding all these ecommerce benefits, merchants now face mainly with a problem how to sell, than what to sell.
Plenty of modern retailers may fall between two stools, deciding whether they should build an ecommerce strategy, creating a standalone web store or joining a marketplace with independent vendors, as both variants contain advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I will provide you with the key considerations, determining all aspects of trading through these two main business centers.
Development Time & Costs
As in a traditional business world, time remains the key factor, influencing on building a successful ecommerce strategy. Very often retailers risk to become the last in the line, ordering website development, which can take an essential part of their business schedule. If this is your case, then a multiple vendor marketplace will be the most deliberate choice. Being a member of a large marketplace, any vendor can easily create his own web store with a separate admin panel just with a few clicks, without thinking over such necessary things as ecommerce platform maintenance, SEO, hosting, etc.
Choosing a multiple marketplace, you can extremely cut expenditures on establishing your own web store. Merchants also don’t have to worry about associated costs, connected with operating and developing a website, as a marketplace will provide you with all required infrastructure. Moreover, you won’t think over traffic issues anymore, as very often vendors have to spend significant funds on a variety of advertising and marketing strategies. This is very useful especially for newbie vendors, who don’t want to have a headache with maintenance aspects and wish to focus all the attention on implementing main stages of an ecommerce strategy.
Unfortunately, multiple vendor marketplaces are not charitable institutions and also want a slice of your pie. Any vendor should remember that joining a large marketplace, he will have to pay regular fees, if he wants his products to be listed, sold or promoted. Each marketplace fixes own percentage of vendor’s sales as commissions.
Store Functionality & Management Flexibility
In comparison with multiple vendor marketplaces, a traditional standalone web store gives a website owner more freedom to manage his shop on his own. Vendors get full control over all processes in their online stores and are able to edit, delete or add different types of content. Only the vendor will decide what look his web store will possess and what ecommerce policy it will follow.
Furthermore, you are free to work at your online shop functionality. In other words vendors can order integration of additional services and modules or provide their websites with professional ecommerce customization. Plenty of different shipping methods, advanced searching boxes and payment gateways are right those tools, that will carter to your prospects rich customer experience and get them talked about your web store. Just imagine how good to have a state-of-the-art website with high performance and fast searching results, allowing your customers to go shopping without any obstacle.
Read in part 2 next week: Competitive Environment and Customer -Vendor Relationships