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Online businesses: E-commerce or marketplaces?


Kiana
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What is a good platform to start my online retail business? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ecommerce website and online marketplaces?

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Great question, Kiana! The two most popular platforms for online businesses are e-commerce websites and online marketplaces.

The simplest way to explain the difference between an e-commerce website and an online marketplace is that an e-commerce website is similar to a stand-alone shop while an online marketplace is like your local market or mall with a wide variety of shops, only made digital. Both are great platforms to start your online retail business. You just have to consider a few features and strategies that makes these two platforms unique and select which is a good fit for your business based on your needs, goals and objectives.

A great advantage of having your own e-commerce site is that you have complete control over your preferred layout, graphics, images, videos, coding, and content. With your own site, you can choose the keywords essential to your business that will help enhance search engines. You can also customize the layout of your products and commodities for lead generation and conversions. If your business or brand has already made its name in the industry and you don’t want to share your proceeds with other brands in the marketplace, then getting an e-commerce website should be perfect for you! In your own site, you can customize layout, designs, modules, forms, and solutions specifically to meet your brand needs.

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With an online marketplace, although it is less expensive compared to running a website, you also have limited control over your online shop platform. Here, you cannot customize modules or tailor forms specifically for your business. Not to mention, the competition you’ll have to deal with to stand out among hundreds of other products or brands in the platform. Therefore, with less cost for operation and maintenance, the online marketplace is more ideal for someone who is just starting out with business on an online platform and would just like to test the waters.

The most popular online marketplace is Amazon.com

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If you want to know more about the difference between e-commerce websites and online marketplaces, feel free to check the article I wrote about it:

 

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E-commerce platforms should provide a convenient way of adding your products and descriptions to them. The content management system should also offer the possibility of uploading items in bulks if the amount of items is hundreds and thousands.  E-commerce should have the ability to categorize items and application of different filters to find, compare, and evaluate needed products quickly.

 

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