You can integrate your own marketplace with the likes of eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Facebook to ensure that you have omnichannel coverage.
Choosing your sales platforms can be a little confusing for beginners. There are many different places where you can sell products, and each platform has its pros and cons. For instance, if you want to sell an item that is crafty or homemade then selling on Etsy is often a good idea. If you want to reach the maximum audience, Amazon is a fantastic option.
The goal for many business owners will always be your own marketplace, though. It can maximise the returns you are getting from each sale as well as give you a higher level of control.
The conclusion is that integration is your best option, selling on numerous platforms. This is what most of the biggest brands in the world do, so when you are starting your own marketplace site, how can you make sure that you integrate your own site with others in a hassle-free way?
Why Integrate Your Own Marketplace Site With Others
Why should you sell on other platforms? Although you might make more profit selling on your own marketplace, you also pay for this in the loss of opportunity. For instance, when you think of the size and popularity of Amazon, you will realise the benefits of having your products listed on their platform. Amazon sales in the UK have grown by almost 1000% since 2010. A huge amount of consumers have the app on their phone, and when they need to buy an item they will search Amazon first. This means your only chance to sell to those customers is to sell on Amazon.
Similarly, there are people performing searches on eBay, Etsy, and Facebook for the same items. You shouldn’t miss the chance to sell to these customers, and the only way to get in front of their eyes is to be selling on the platforms where they are buying.
Think about your favourite brands that you buy from the supermarket. Most of them make the decision to sell on a variety of different platforms. Love it or hate it, you can buy Marmite from the majority of supermarkets. The makers know that the more vendors they sell through, the more potential customers they have access to.
Omnichannel is the best way to do business. This means getting your products seen on as many different marketplaces as possible. As well as being a way to maximise sales and therefore revenue, it is also smart when it comes to marketing, and putting your product or products in the consciousness of consumers.
Integrating your own marketplace can be done in a few different ways. Generally, the actual process of integration is designed to make life easier for you. This means making it possible to sell on many different marketplaces without having to spend too much time managing them. Things like order fulfilment can become complex and convoluted if you aren’t able to integrate effectively.
How Integration Works
Integration can work slightly differently depending on a few things:
- How you run your own eCommerce site. For instance, eCommand are masters at CS-Cart development. This provides a framework for the platform and has numerous plugins and methods to integrate with other marketplaces.
- Which platforms you sell on. Some are easier to integrate than others.
- Your fulfilment method. How you handle warehousing, pick and pack are a big part of the integration process.
Ideally, integration should be as simple and straightforward as possible. Nobody wants to have to split up inventory unnecessarily, for example. Integration may have a number of other features such as connecting platforms when it comes to pricing and allowing you to manage your SKUs from one interface.
Integration is not always easy. While there are some solutions that are ready to go out of the box, the more platforms you choose to sell on, the more you may need a bespoke solution.
With eCommand, we can help you to create a specific solution that can integrate all of the platforms you wish to use. For instance, if your plan is to sell on Amazon, Etsy, and your own website, our developers can help you to integrate and share data between the platforms, as well as make it easy to manage through your own CRM, and streamline your marketing.
eCommand’s developers have built a variety of different marketplaces and are able to cleverly integrate your sales platforms and other marketplaces to keep life simple while optimising your opportunities to make sales.
Inventory Management and Fulfilment Services
Modern inventory management and fulfilment services are built with omnichannel in mind. With many big brands selling on a variety of platforms, it means that big companies, including Amazon, are working on ways to make it easier to sell on multiple channels. The politics of this are sometimes difficult. Amazon and eBay, for instance, are competitors, so it is not always easy to integrate them together.
Amazon is making big moves in terms of inventory management. AWD (Amazon Warehousing and Distribution) is providing existing sellers with low-cost inventory storage through Amazon’s fulfilment centres in the UK. Previously, this was reserved for sellers using Amazon FBA.
Using Multi-Channel Fulfilment by Amazon, you can offer the same efficiency and huge network that allows Amazon to deliver to their customers in a matter of one working day or three working days. It makes it easy to manage inventory and inventory placement, and the system means that it doesn’t matter where your orders come from, you can use unbranded packaging to fulfil orders all around Europe. For small businesses, this option to access such a huge and impressive fulfilment network is something that can’t really be accessed elsewhere.
MCF gives a set of APIs to developers, too. This means that there is no need to manually create an MCF order, the fulfilment order is made automatically whenever a customer places an order on your sales channel, even if it is separate from Amazon.
In Amazon’s own words, this is ideal for
- “Selling partners with high order volume where manually creating orders is no longer scalable
- Selling partners that sell on a wide range of marketplaces”
It doesn’t matter where you sell, the MCF programme can allow you to sell in new locations and rely on the Amazon fulfilment systems.
This is not the only fulfilment service out there. If you don’t wish to use Amazon, there are other ways in which you can store your goods, and ship them on demand creating a fulfilment order. Amazon already the biggest eCommerce platform out there, and in opening up their fulfilment services, they allow
Why Third Party Sellers Should Have Their Own Marketplace
You may be approaching this as a third-party seller on one of these sites. For instance, you may have already created a successful Amazon FBA account, or be selling on eBay with a high level of success. So why start your own marketplace?
- If you are a third-party seller you are always at the mercy of the company facilitating your selling. This means that if they change their platform, or allow a competitor more visibility, your sales will drop.
- Lower fees. Your own marketplace means you don’t have to pay third-party fees. The income is yours to keep, whereas on Amazon, eBay, and all other platforms, you will need to pay a percentage or a flat fee per sale.
- All business owners will tell you that relying on just one source of income can be scary, and isn’t the best way to do things.
- You may have big dreams and ideas for your marketplace, and to properly facilitate growth you will need your own site. You may even wish to launch your own multi vendor platform where other sellers can sell their goods, allowing you to make further profit out of eCommerce.
eCommand: Helping You With Integrations
eCommand’s mastery over eCommerce makes it easy for you to integrate a number of different platforms. Our experienced developers have built solutions for B2C as well as B2B, and can help you by building the specific marketplace you are hoping for, made specifically for your own needs and with your own specifications. This includes integrations.
By cleverly integrating with your fulfilment partners, your site can automatically send your fulfilment orders and give you a more hands-off solution when it comes to selling on many different platforms.
Whatever features you are looking to offer on your marketplace, and even for those looking to build a multi vendor platform, eCommand can work exactly to your spec and find solutions for the perfect infrastructure. We are a full service agency too, whether you just need an eCommerce site build or a full digital marketing strategy, we are always happy to help. Reach out to us today for the best methods of integrating your own marketplace with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, and other online marketplaces.