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Advantages and disadvantages of marketplaces for e-commerce


That the marketplaces are a success, nobody doubts that. But, what if we are an e-commerce? Is it convenient or not to bet on this sales channel? Today at Marketing Dreams we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of marketplaces.

Let's start with the good...

We like to see the positive side of things, so we are going to start with the advantages that marketplaces represent for e-commerce.


Marketplaces can be a good business opportunity for e-commerce, although they have their drawbacks.

  • a bigger showcase – They are characterized by having a large traffic, so selling your products in them means having a larger showcase, which multiplies the possibilities of obtaining sales.
  • Bank cost savings Payments are made through the same marketplaces, therefore bank costs are eliminated.
  • Facilitates export Many marketplace users are foreigners, so you can sell your products to other countries without having to rely on a large infrastructure.
  • You don't even need to have your online store You can sell your merchandise directly from the marketplace, you don't even need to have your online store.
  • Less investment in SEO – As the marketplace is already positioned, you do not have to invest in SEO or SEM.

Everything has its bad part

However, not everything was going to be good. Selling on a marketplace also has its drawbacks:

  • Lower profit marginYou have to pay a commission, which decreases the profit margin.
  • Payment delaysAlthough the customer pays immediately to receive their order, marketplaces are often late in paying this amount to the seller.
  • It is difficult to differentiateYou have the competition next to you and there are so many sellers that sometimes buyers get confused, so it is very difficult to differentiate yourself and/or carry out branding actions.
  • The marketplace is your biggest competitorThey know what sells the most, an advantage they often use to find their own suppliers and sell the same products under their own brand, which generates more trust than yours.
  • They are not your clients – They are still people who access the marketplace to buy a product, not your online store. They are not your customers and retaining them is almost an impossible mission
  • You have to adapt to their rulesIt does not matter if you prefer another type of description or if you want to add a specific piece of information, each marketplace has its own rules and you are the one who must adapt to them.

Am I interested in selling on a marketplace?

This is the one million question. It all depends on your goals and circumstances. If you are starting the world of e-commerce, surely selling on a marketplace is your best option to make yourself known and get short-term sales, but our advice is that do it as parallel action, while building your own online brand.

Once you have greater recognition, you are positioned and you have your own clients, you can continue using the marketplace, but as a complement, to sell the stock that you have left over or those products that you want to get rid of.

Now, be clear about one thing, for an online store to succeed, it must know how to compete and what you can compete against. You will never be able to face a marketplace selling exactly the same thing, you have to differentiate yourself, with specialized products and added values such as a better after-sales service, for example. 

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