E-commerce and marketplace are both important for businesses but it depends on your own individual choice.
The online market is trending in recent years and with the effect of coronavirus online marketing and e-commerce have become a buzzword.
However, most businesses are confused with e-commerce and online marketplace because these terms are often interchangeably used.
Today businesses are trying to shift their business online but are often confused with the online business scenarios.
And more importantly, I have seen businesses are not aware of how to get started with eCommerce business.
Therefore it has become the need of the hour to understand the difference between how eCommerce and online marketplace works.
E-commerce Versus Online Marketplace
Although these two terms look similar they are slightly different from each other.
The online marketplace is a broader concept when it comes to owning an e-commerce site.
An e-commerce website is an individual website that belongs to a single business or a single company that specially sells its own product or other brands.
And it does not include any third-party sellers or vendors.
On the other hand, the online marketplace is also an e-commerce website.
But the only difference is that it has a robust architecture and signup for vendors that allows other vendors to open their store on your website.
The more vendors signup, the bigger your website becomes and that is how it becomes an online marketplace.
Therefore the strength of an online marketplace depends on the number of vendors that have registered on your website.
E-commerce platform for manufacturing Business.
Either it is about building an eCommerce store or an online marketplace. Every business has a need for either of the one.
Building an e-commerce store often seems like a nightmare to most manufacturers.
And it is true because building a site from scratch is time-consuming, full of bugs and involves huge costs.
But on the other hand, if you use an open-source e-commerce platform it will deliver will best results in terms of quality and performance, and overall functionality by default.
An open-source e-commerce platform already has all the basic functionality of an eCommerce store. Therefore it is very easy to build a store using an open-source platform that cost-effective and efficient.
The most basic open source platforms that are best for building for e-commerce platforms include
nopCommerce is one of the leading free and open source e-commerce platforms built on the ASP.Net framework based on Microsoft technologies.
According to the official website, there is an estimate of around 60000 plus live shops that are built on top of nopCommerce.
It also has around 1500+ integrations that are a combination of themes and plugins and language packs.
There is also a wide community of developers worldwide along with certified developers.
nopCommerce also supports every type of business from small and medium enterprises to large enterprises.
OpenCart is one of the best open source e-commerce platforms for small business and everything that you need to create, scale, and run your business
It is best for small and medium enterprises and therefore businesses willing to shift to an e-commerce platform can seamlessly start their eCommerce store with OpenCart.
OpenCart also provides the flexibility to scale an eCommerce store to an online marketplace seamlessly by integrating an OpenCart multi vendor module to your store.
Therefore if you are planning to scale your business in the online world.
Simply start by building your store first and as your business grows you can create an online marketplace.
Similar to OpenCart, WooCommerce is also an open source e-commerce platform. It is a great platform to start your eCommerce journey.
Small and Micro enterprises can build their e-commerce store on the woo-commerce platform. It is very simple and easy to use because it comes with the most popular CMS WordPress.
WordPress is a very simple and easy to use open source responsive platform on the internet that is widely used by almost 40% of businesses.
And woo commerce is a simple plugin that powers WordPress to built the e-commerce store.
It also supports store owners with easily available themes, payments, extensions, flexible features, and documentation.
Therefore WooCommerce is a great platform to start an e-commerce store in 2021.
Prestashop is also a great open source e-commerce platform for setting up an online store or an online marketplace.
It is a world class solution that solves the problem of small and medium enterprises to create and develop an online store.
And has a solution that is suitable for every business owner to customize their store, drive sales, attract traffic and sell more globally.
There are around 1 million community members in the Prestashop Community that has almost all the answers to e-commerce problems.
Therefore Prestashop is one of the right platforms for small business owners to start an e-commerce business online.
Small business owners can also choose inbuilt web hosting and set up a store in just a few clicks or build their e-commerce website manually.
Magento is an open source e-commerce platform that has a huge demand in the online business world.
But Magento is not for all business because it is expensive when it comes to scaling an online store.
Therefore Magento is often implemented by large companies and brands but it is worth the expense to truly experience the platform.
Magento customization also requires highly skilled manpower to develop and code websites.
And also has a large available number of extensions than any other shopping cart platform.
Therefore Magento is one of the most preferred e-commerce platforms for large businesses and enterprises.
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The major difference between marketplace and e-commerce
Inventory is one big concern for e-commerce and the online marketplace.
In e-commerce, business inventory may be limited, but inventory is a major concern for your store because you should keep your inventory up to date. The right inventory at the right time will ensure a profitable business.
You should also keep track of top-selling items and replenish them from time to time so that you don’t get out of stock. Similarly, you need to keep an update on the list of dead items otherwise there is a more chance of loss of inventory.
On the other hand, an online marketplace has a very large inventory, but it can be controlled without losing anything.
As an admin, you can find more control from a list of a very large inventory and decide what to sell and what not.
Send request for uploading top-selling items and remove the dead items that do not sell in an online marketplace.
And if there are any dead items in an online marketplace, you can remove them without incurring any inventory losses.
E-commerce has easy navigation while an online marketplace has more complex navigation.
The products are much more organized in an online marketplace as it predominantly has various sellers under one hood.
While products in eCommerce are limited and they are arranged on the basis of categories.
Unlike an online marketplace that has more complex filters, an e-commerce store has much more efficient filters with more accuracy.
Most e-commerce applications are build using open source tools and e-commerce platforms to build an e-commerce store.
This platform often include tools such as Magento, OpenCart, Prestashop and popular CMS platform such as WordPress and WooCoomerce, etc.
But marketplaces is an extremely large online database and a big market with a one-stop shop to buy everything that a buyer needs. Therefore, marketplace solutions are more tailored to address specific marketplace shopping requirements.
These tailored solutions are often build using core technologies and complex programming.
For example, Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace and it is built using a specific framework instead of opensource tools.
What’s Best for Business in 2021?
As the year 2020 has been havoc for the whole world, the year 2021 has been identified as a year for online business.
However, the answer to this question typically depends on your business goals.
Because it is all about the scalability of a business one way or the other way around.
While an e-commerce business needs target buyers to sell your products and services, an online marketplace needs targeting vendors to signup for your store.
Both e-commerce and online marketplace have their own importance in the field of online business.
However, there is a different marketing approach when it comes to e-commerce and online marketplace.
In an e-commerce business, much of the advertising spends have to be incurred by the owner of the e-commerce business.
On the other hand, most of the online advertising spends on the online marketplace is incurred by the individual store owners to spread awareness of their products.
Therefore both platforms are equally important for business but most of the time eCommerce business is a preferred sector for most businesses and manufacturers.
The online marketplace cannot exist individually.
To create an online marketplace having an e-commerce store is a prerequisite.
So small businesses can start with an e-commerce store and later on upgrade an e-commerce store to a full-blown online marketplace.
There are various e-commerce platforms in the market that makes e-commerce and online marketplace creation very easy.
Today it is not a big deal to create a platform such as Amazon or Flipkart and start your own marketplace.
Therefore as a small business, you can start with an e-commerce store, and as your business grows you can scale your e-commerce store to an online marketplace.
Therefore in both cases, you definitely win either you want an online marketplace or you want an e-commerce store.
If you have a dream of making an impact on the online world, today you can definitely start small and later upgrade your store to an online marketplace.
But before you want to start an online business it is important to understand what are your business needs
And what are your core business goals?
Both e-commerce and the online marketplace have their own individual pros and cons.
But both are equally good.