5 Challenges Only Marketplace Sellers Would Know

Cataloguing and updating inventory across marketplaces isn’t an easy feat. For instance, let’s say you are a fashion retailer selling on 3 different marketplaces. Now to stay ahead of the competition, you add fresh stock every month or so, this would involve checking the cataloguing requirements of each portal for each item and manually updating your inventory one by one. This is because there is no standard code for cataloguing. Even if you use a technology solution that allows automated updation on a few marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon & eBay, most of the other major portals don’t have their catalogue APIs open yet.

Pricing is one of the factors that will determine your success in a marketplace, since the competition is cut-throat especially in commodities like electronics, apparel, home decor and so on. Event based discounting puts sellers in a dilemma on how much discount to give on their products on different channels, since different portals run their sale season at different times. Here comes the challenge of inventory allocation, which to some extent gets eased out if the seller is using an eCommerce SaaS platform that allows inventory management.

Selling on marketplaces comes at a cost. As mentioned above, eCommerce in India has opened up doors for retailers to sell across the country, and some even globally, and for giving this opportunity they charge a service fee. For each sale they make on a portal, the sellers have to pay a commission to the respective marketplace. Thereby increasing their cost of sales.

End consumers remember the name of the online marketplace they shopped at, not the seller they bought from. Moreover, even if you are highly successful on a particular marketplace in comparison with your peers, the brand creation in the overall market still lacks.

Only a few companies exist which are online only. Companies go online to grow their existing channels of sales – some create their own online stores, some sell on multiple marketplaces and some do both. On marketplaces, building repeat buyers and a loyal customer base is very tricky owing to the competition and absence of brand creation. Even with a seasoned team that can help you with different processes of cataloguing, inventory management & logistics, there is a limit to how much you can grow your revenue.

Investing in a good team and technology is critical for survival and scale on marketplaces. If you are looking for scale and growing your brand, you may want to consider having a dedicated store while parallely selling through different channels. Readily available ERP, CRM and other technology tools can help you accomplish the same.

About Purple Stores:

Purple Stores is a DIY eCommerce platform designed specifically for the Indian Merchants. It allows them to run their own branded online store with ease even while selling on multiple channels. Apart from on demand technical support, it allows gives an access to services like catalog development, logistics support and internet marketing. To try out Purple Stores for your business for free, click here.

Disclaimer: This article is powered by Purple Stores

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