Are you planning on selling product online? If yes, then you will need to have a sales platform. There are two different platform types that you can use. You can either use a shopping cart or a marketplace. These platforms are a way to make eCommerce possible. They accept payments and distribute order information to payment processors, merchants, and fulfillment centers.
A shopping cart is a type of software that oversees the purchase of a product or service. Shopping carts are connected through the backend of your website for customers to purchase your products through your specific site.
A marketplace is an eCommerce site that has multiple third-party sellers that can put their products up for sale. Marketplaces have a few pros and cons but ultimately are a great resource.
What’s Right for Me?
If you want to stick around the eCommerce world for a while, having both will help you scale your eCommerce business to the max. Online businesses work best while having your eggs in multiple baskets.
Having that sales channel diversification allows you to have various platforms for a lot more exposure and security. Utilizing Amazon and selling on their platform works great but selling on Amazon AND Shopify on your personal website is even better. You get twice the customer base, and you will have a backup if anything happens to either one.
Now, if you newer to the eCommerce world. Taking it easy and just using one would be better. Pick one platform that you feel comfortable with and stick to it, at least right at the beginning. Overwhelming yourself is quite counterproductive. Make sure it aligns with your business’s mission and demographic.
Some of the more popular shopping carts are Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. There are other ones like Squarespace, OpenCart, Weebly, and lots more. There are many options. Remembering to do your research before choosing will help you so much in the long run.
Of course, the top marketplace is Amazon. They are a great avenue to go down, although it is way more competitive than most marketplaces. Some alternative marketplaces are things like eBay and Etsy. Not eBay is not dead. It is a place full of good deals and discounted items. If you are selling anything personalized or hand made, Etsy is your marketplace.
The choice between a shopping cart and a marketplace is totally up to you and what your business’s mission is. Make sure you choose what is best for you and do your research to find what it is.