What sets eCommerce platforms and Marketplaces apart?

The eCommerce ecosystem offers many selling channels, but can you tell the difference between eCommerce platforms and marketplaces? Both tracks are crucial to sales success, and understanding the differences, might help ensure you scale your business the right way. Read on to learn more.

What Is an eCommerce Platform?

eCommerce platforms are SaaS solutions that enable businesses to set up their website (or store) for selling and order fulfilment management. They allow access to multiple selling channels, including marketplaces.

Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Linnworks, Veeqo to name a few, are some of the markets leading eCommerce platforms. You only need to create one product or advert, and the platform will publish it to each marketplace and website. And as the item is sold, it synchronises available stock, so you don’t oversell.

Maximum Efficiency and Control

Efficiency and control are attractive benefits of eCommerce platforms, but they also come with an abundance of tools that can help synchronise many aspects of sales, marketing and distribution functions. These tools include integrations like SmartConsign, an advanced shipping API that help to smooth the parcel delivery process.

SmartConsign integrations consist of market-leading eCommerce platforms with large user bases:  Linnworks, Veeqo, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and more. Visit our website to view all.

What Is a Marketplace?

A marketplace allows businesses to list and sell their products to customers directly. There are several eCommerce marketplaces; Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are some of the largest global platforms that sell all products. Other marketplaces specialise in one product category or may sell products with similar characteristics.

These marketplaces allow businesses to win a share of wallets from many potential customers. It is a quick way to sell your products without investing in building brand awareness. The platform’s algorithms help the customer discover your product. Minimal effort is required, provided you invest time in optimising your listings for search.

Expand Your Reach

Amazon is the largest marketplace (85m visitors per month) and has surpassed Google as the number one destination for product searches. Whilst, eBay retains its popularity as a marketplace for unique or hard-to-find products and is suitable for testing international markets.

SmartConsign Shipping API integrates with both Amazon and eBay, allowing merchants to control and manage their shipping processes, helping them save money.

eCommerce vs Marketplace Platforms: An Overview

eCommerce platforms connect and help businesses control multiple marketplaces and websites (online stores). Whereas marketplaces (i.e. Amazon and eBay) are single online stores that allow companies to list their products on their platforms to reach a ready-made audience of prospects.

Now that you know the difference between an eCommerce platform and a marketplace, why restrict your choices to one shop (marketplace) when you can scale your business across multiple channels (eCommerce platform) with the same effort.

Multi-Carrier Management

Furthermore, don’t miss out on the opportunity to truly scale your business by ensuring you have access to all carriers, even the ones not provided by the marketplace or platform.

Here is how you can benefit from SmartConsign integration by using either of these platforms:

  1. Access a library of carriers and related services that are not accessible directly via a marketplace or eCommerce platform
  2. Granular control of shipments (certain shipment features may not be available via either of these platforms)
  3. Centralised data source (all carrier tracking data consolidated in one place)

SmartConsign is a multi-carrier management system powering carriers, retailers, resellers and partners. Our system securely integrates your carriers, eCommerce platforms and marketplaces into a single platform, allowing you to manage and control your parcel deliveries across multiple carriers easily.

You can read more from our blog or email sales@smartconsign.io for a quick demo.

Why online sellers need to attend Linn Academy 2019

Linnworks is an eCommerce platform that connects sellers and retailers with all the tools they need to manage their inventory and orders. From labels, packing, order processing to shipping management: Linnworks cloud-based system easily integrates with other systems to help make life easier for eCommerce vendors, driving cost efficiencies and promoting business growth.

SmartConsign delivery management software is fully integrated with Linnworks. For the second consecutive year, we are sponsoring Linn Academy the eCommerce event that brings together industry guru’s and the retail community to share learnings, practical insights, deliver face to face consultancy and much more. This is a key event in the eCommerce calendar, at a time when the industry is under pressure to respond faster than ever before. Here is a summary of what you can expect when you attend Linn Academy 2019.

Growth Hacking

For insights on how to grow your online business:

  • Marcus Sheridan the ‘web marketing guru’ shares his step by step guide to increasing website sales
  • eBay is hosting a fireside chat sharing best practice for success
  • Amazon is hosting a panel on how to prepare for Q4 and beyond

You can also join workshops on how to sell in Germany, realising improvements in online retail and learn about how to drive revenue through loyalty.

With so much tech and so many solutions, understanding how to use them and how they can work for your business in the context of the ever-changing environment can be time-consuming. Linn Academy is a great opportunity to learn from your peers as well as get better clarity in the processes involved” Robin Seymour Co-Founder SmartConsign

Operations Management

For help getting your operations into gear:

  • Learn about what stocks you need to order: when in the forecasting and purchasing session
  • Get your head around order fulfilment and discover what works for your business
  • Discover Linnworks inventory and listings
  • Get familiar with Linnworks Warehouse Management System

In addition to all the above sessions the organisers have also designed workshops where you can learn about how to turn your eCommerce help desk into a profit centre, get your questions answered by Linnworks technical team, meet face to face to with their product specialists and learn how to develop your business with a fulfilment partner, whilst still using Amazon.

And if you’re challenged with your shipping processes you can meet with SmartConsign where our team will be on-site to discuss how our delivery management software and the app can work for your business. [Book a Meeting]


To promote shared learnings and insights, Linnworks have gathered some of the top experts and practitioners from the industry:

  • Karen Brady will be taking centre stage in a live interview
  • Jeremy Miller CEO @StickyBranding will be discussing how to build trust with your customers
  • Matthew Syed discussing Black Box Thinking, talking about how to use your past mistakes to inform future successes
  • Tayyab Akhlaq & Gemma Andrews heading up the seller panel sharing lessons from setting up an online business

For more learnings, pop into a workshop and join the debate regarding the short-term future of eCommerce, learn how online sellers can achieve customer expectations, the changing role of buyers and get tips on how to sell in France.

SmartConsign is a proud sponsor of Linn Academy 2019. One of the fastest delivery management system in the market today: SmartConsign can import and generate 1000 labels in just 45 seconds. The software is fully integrated with Linnworks and is also available via an app. To learn more find us in Hall 3 at Linn Academy on 1st October 2019 or get in touch for a personalised webinar.

SmartConsign works with Linnworks, smart!

With so many systems and integrations, the shipping logistics business can get complicated. Factoring in all the customer facing challenges – such as last mile delivery and  free shipping and returns –  getting all the data you need to keep your operation running cost effectively and efficiently is no mean task. For that reason, getting the right systems integrations is therefore not a hard sell, we all appreciate the need for simplifying the process. Here at  SmartConsign that is what everything must be about: simplification and efficiency. From the start,  we’ve been on a mission to help streamline the parcel delivery process.

Designing our own software from the ground up gave us the best possible start. It meant that we were able to introduce features that others have not even thought about or were simply unable to build due to the constraints of their own systems. Solutions like universal label formats take the hassle out of printing different label sizes for each carrier – these small things add up to a massive difference in speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Our fast consignment generation and label creation enable businesses to respond quickly to ever-growing customer demands [both solutions executed 100 in less than 3.5 seconds].

SmartConsign integration with Linnworks is an example of how through partnerships we’re able to help businesses grow to their full potential by helping to make the process easier. Our existing account holders can use their accounts and associated integrations from within the Linnworks platform.

Here is how it works:

  • Linnworks communicates directly with your SmartConsign account allowing the 2 systems to work together as one seamless platform.
  • Linnworks allows the shipping label to be inserted directly on your invoice where a peel off label can be used.
  • Cancelling a label within Linnworks prior to manifesting will automatically cancel the label, ensuring you are not charged for labels that you do not use

Running a business can be challenging enough without having to waste time with manual processes and managing multiple systems. With SmartConsign you can also easily access shipping quotes, compare prices and track performance over time. If you’re an existing SmartConsign client and you’re looking to automate all the different parts of your selling processes you can find us on Linnworks. Not a customer yet? Book a demo today.

SmartConsign is a delivery management software that  brings together retailers, distribution warehouses, resellers and carriers to simplify the entire shipping process and provide seamless carriage management.


Linn Academy Event

The Linn Academy for years has been an inspiring & innovating place for online sellers to share stories & build their brand.  This year SmartConsign had a front row seat as a Silver Sponsor which gave us a chance to interact with online retailers & look for ways to strengthen & promote our SmartConsign for Linnworks integration.

For those of you who are not familiar with The SmartConsign for Linnworks shipping integration it allows existing SmartConsign account holders to utilise their carrier accounts and associated integrations directly from Linnworks.

Integration Features.

External IntegrationLinnworks communicates directly with your SmartConsign account allowing the two systems to work together as one seamless platform.
Integrate LabelLinnworks allows the shipping label to be inserted directly on your invoice where a peel off label can be used.
Label CancellationCancelling a label within Linnworks prior to manifesting will automatically cancel the label, ensuring you are not charged for labels that you do not use.
Shipping aggregator (*)SmartConsign provides services for multiple couriers which can be useful for you. Please go to Rules and guidelines for specific rules.

The event had some fantastic Keynote Speakers with  Callum Campbell, CEO and Fedor Dzjuba, CTO from Linnworks leading the way on the Main Stage. We didn’t get a chance to listen to Deborah Meadens Celebrity Keynote. However, we did get an opportunity to hang out BBC’s ‘Office’ character lookalikes, ‘David Brent’ and assistant ‘Gareth’ who were great at drawing in the crowds to our stand.

In regard to attendance, even though Linn Academy was not as large compared to other events, it had an outstanding array of small and large online retailers eager to discover a way to future proof their shipping and logistics processes. So, if you are looking for a place to share some ideas and engage with a community of new sellers, LA2019 is a great place to start.  Alternatively, you can could also come down and see us at eCommerce Show North event to be held on 6th and 7th November 2018 at Event City Manchester. eCSN.  it’s a major event that attracts several eCommerce companies, vendors and suppliers!

Get in touch with us for more information about our SmartConsign for Linnworks integration.

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