Both are tools used for selling and buying online, although there are some particular characteristics of each one of them. A marketplace is a website where its owner allows third party retailers to sell on the platform their products to the customers.
The owner of the marketplace site does not own the items on sale on the platform, and is not the person who invoice the customers either. A marketplace provides service to the seller and the buyer, is the online version of a “traditional market”.
An e-commerce is like a virtual shop, it is also a website that is built to connect shoppers to products or services via online. The way they work is different from the marketplace, it is a business who builds the website and lists their products for sale on that website. After, the customer will have to find this website to purchase goods and services, when they find what they need they will go to the “checkout phase”.
Once they finish the checkout process the buyer will have to provide the payment and shipping information. The e-commerce gathers all the information it will proceed to validate the payment and collect the funds. The seller will ship the purchases, or in case that is an online product send it immediately via mail.
Engagement and traffic.
If there is a vital aspect of online business, it is traffic and engagement. Traffic refers to the amount of people visiting the website, and engagement refers to the interactions between the website and the customers.
Marketplace objective is bringing buyers and sellers together. As it offers a vast choice of product categories, the target audience is bigger and less specific than e-commerce, therefore, it has more traffic than e-commerce.
Also if you are reselling a product, there are cross listing app for resellers, these apps provide a service that allows you the possibility of listing your product onto more than one online marketplace.
This aspect of marketplaces is what brings more chances in engaging customers to buy the products.
In the case of e-commerce, engaging the audience is not as easy. It will take time and money to attract traffic to the website. There are some tips about getting traffic, social media could help you to get your website known, most of the social network sites are offering the option of creating ads, with really helpful tools to follow and measure the performance of your posts.
Access to customers
If you’re thinking of branding and creating loyalty, retailers on online marketplace have limited or no access to their customers. This could be a disadvantage if we are thinking of brand competition, the fact that we can´t get in touch with customers is bad for the communication and the personal touch that makes the experience unique.
On the other hand the e-commerce websites have full access to their clients analytics, and have the required information to reach out to their clients to inform them about the latest promotions, new releases, and benefits. This kind of access allows the owner of the e-commerce to give that personal touch, with a better understanding of the clients needs it is easier to provide better customer service.