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Online marketplaces are a hot topic in today’s ecommerce industry – but it’s really no surprise. For consumers, they provide a safe, simple way to browse through a wide variety of competitively priced products. For brands and online retailers, they offer easy access to a massive pool of online shoppers. It’s a win-win. Perhaps this is why, according to Forrester Analytics, 50% of B2C online sales took place through marketplaces in 2016, a number that is expected to increase to 70% by 2022.
The ecommerce industry is filled with thousands of online marketplaces around the world. While some are small to medium-sized or designed to serve specific niche or regional markets (e.g. Etsy or FNAC), others have quickly made a name for themselves as leaders of the online marketplace revolution.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at three of the world’s most prominent online marketplaces: Amazon, Alibaba, and Walmart. We’ll walk you through how they compare, how they differ, and more importantly, which one(s) could be best suited for your business.
Chances are, you’ve probably heard about, if not purchased from, Amazon Marketplace. With over 310 million monthly active users, Amazon.com is one of the most visited websites in the world. It’s easy-to-use interface paired with its high number of sellers make it a perfect shopping experience for anyone looking to find a good deal quickly.
Amazon Marketplace facilitates B2C selling, while the new Amazon Business was launched for B2B purchases. The products on Amazon Marketplace are listed by third-party sellers or Amazon itself. Products listed by Amazon are most often purchased from its vendors who are brand manufacturers that sell wholesale to the marketplace giant.
Amazon provides different inventory files or product feed templates for each of its product categories. This means that what may be required information in the shoe category won’t necessarily be required in the electronics category. That said, there are several key attributes that are required for any product you list on Amazon.
Walmart is one of the largest and most successful retail chains in the world. Originally an offline retailer, the company maintains over 12,000 physical stores. In fact, it didn’t open its doors to third-party sellers until 2016. Now, its B2C online marketplace has 75 million unique SKUs listed and caters to more than 100 million unique monthly visitors.
Walmart Marketplace functions a lot like Amazon. Both third-party sellers and wholesalers can list items on its marketplace. Once a purchase is made, the seller remains in control of shipping and return policies. The seller is also always in charge of the pricing.
Like Amazon, Walmart Marketplace feed templates are category dependent. Here are the most common attributes you should plan to include:
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is Asia’s leading ecommerce conglomerate. The company offers an array of different online marketplaces and services including B2B, B2C, and C2C online shopping portals. Here is a breakdown of the leading sites:
When comparing Alibaba to Walmart or Amazon marketplace, it makes sense to look at its largest B2C marketplace, Tmall, formerly known as Taobao Mall. It is by far the largest and fastest growing marketplace in all of Asia, offering all types of products and owning nearly 60% of all retail ecommerce transactions in China. See the breakdown below:
While Tmall requires its sellers to maintain a company entity in mainland China, Tmall Global is open to international companies and can be an easier route to listing your products.
To get your products listed on Tmall or Taobao, you can expect to send a product feed containing the following attributes:
While many factors go into whether or not a channel is right for your business, there are certain aspects that especially need attention. While Amazon may be the perfect marketplace for some businesses, it may be too crowded for others. Meanwhile, some companies may not be prepared to handle the complex logistics that accompany selling on Tmall.com.
Regardless of which online marketplace(s) you choose, listing your products will require you to submit a complete product data feed. If you’re hoping to get the most value out of Walmart, Amazon, or Tmall, you’ll need to make sure to submit the most complete and high-quality feed possible. Each of these channels will have different product feed rules and regulations that you’ll need to follow in order for your products to be listed. Sound complicated? It’s not, with Productsup!
Productsup is jam-packed with everything you need to create the perfect product feed for any online marketplace. With pre-configured export templates, structuring a feed according to your target channel’s requirements is as simple as a few drags and a few drops. It also includes 200+ data edit boxes that can be applied in bulk with just a few clicks!
Need help with order management? The Productsup Order Management solution enables you to integrate with online marketplaces and automatically sync your orders, saving you both time and headaches. You’re also able to keep your stock levels updated automatically, making sure you’re never listing unavailable products, helping you avoid bad reviews that could impact your marketplace seller reputation.
Ready to take your online marketplace game to the next level? Try Productsup!
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