As you delve into and compare online marketplaces such as Amazon, EBay, Play, Rakuten etc it would appear that there is a mutual benefit to be had by the merchants (e-commerce store owners) and the above marketplaces. Without intially increasing stock and staff there is certainly an instant benefit to be had by the merchants.
However as you start trading, a seasoned expert will tell you that the mutual benefit ends there. There is a lot to do to manage the marketplaces.
We regularly get asked, “Should we expand our presence from being just an online store owner to start selling products on EBay, Amazon, Play and other marketplaces?
We can’t answer that, as it all depends on your strategy. There are lots of issues to be looked at and ironed up including comparing competition in your category, marketplaces fees, staff training, picking and packing orders, arranging deliveries, customer services and so on.
Like anything there is always Pros and Cons on choosing the right marketplaces.
Marketplaces such as Amazon, EBay, Rakuten, Sears opens up their marketplaces and their customer base for your products. Amazon alone draws nearly 80 Million+ unique visitors a month. That is a heck a lot of prospective customers. That certainly would mean an increase in revenue.
Marketplaces such as Amazon, EBay, Rakuten, Sears etc has already got a ready made infrastructure in place. The All-In-One 24hr Mall concept seems to bring lots of online customers including providing a reassurance to its customers of security, speed of checkout (Amazon One Click), Fulfillment and customer service support.
Acquiring and keeping online customers is a challenge. However nobody visits Amazon, EBay, Bonanza and Rakuten searching for your specific online store. Through marketplace search functions, feedbacks and product ratings they would discover your product. Once you have an order, you have chance to get a repeat business from these buyers. Especially if you are selling products that are required frequently by the customer. Yes it would all depend on your after sales service, and future marketing.
So what could be the cons in running a multiple marketplaces?
Selling on any marketplaces can turbo charge your revenue, but it will also expose you to a higher marketplace fees. Each sales that marketplace generates they deduct a set of percentages which varies from marketplaces to marketplace and categories that you sell in. Hence its vital to check and do your own research first to ensure there is enough margin to be made after marketplace fees, shipping costs, customer service costs and other variable costs.
Having a secondary selling points brings its own management issues. Issues such as inventory management. Selling goods that you don’t have any in stock results in bad feedback and poor customer services. Hence managing inventory on all marketplaces when items are sold manually is certainly out of question. Fortunately, you have applications such as Faab Mutli Channel to sync your product inventory, orders and prices from multiple sources.
Marketplaces exist to make money. They have no loyalties or advantages to give you or your products any prominent positions or authorities on their website. They control their brand, which means you loose control of your own brands, feature highlights, communication with customers and dictating on what items you can sell and what you can’t.