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.
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.
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:
- Access a library of carriers and related services that are not accessible directly via a marketplace or eCommerce platform
- Granular control of shipments (certain shipment features may not be available via either of these platforms)
- 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.