Scaling E-Commerce With Omnichannel Distribution and Digital Marketplaces
The COVID-19 global health crisis has brought many challenges for small and mid-sized businesses, driving unprecedented shifts in demand, and impacting consumers’ buying behavior overnight. Now that you may have tasted the benefits of selling your products online with your own e-commerce website, you may be looking for new opportunities to increase your revenues. Key to scaling your e-commerce operations is implementing an omnichannel strategy to tap into the potential of online marketplaces.
What are online marketplaces?
Digital marketplaces are e-commerce platforms that brings together a wide array of vendors under a unified catalog available to consumers (C2C, B2C or B2B). The buying process and payment is usually handled by the marketplace third party, while orders are fulfilled and shipped by the vendor.
Examples of marketplaces:
- SAP Ariba
Why should you sell on marketplaces?
Before COVID-19, marketplaces were representing 50% of all e-commerce transactions globally ; so, there is definitely a volume opportunity. But volume is not the only point to consider. Here are the top reasons to expand through these platforms:
- The platform’s brand may offer you more visibility to reach new customers and can provide an easy access to international markets
- Some big business deals only through these platforms because it is part of their procurement process
- There is usually no cost of being listed until you sell a product
- Access to specific markets/niche audiences with a broad range of specialized marketplace designed for very particular products or industry
- It is probably cheaper than your own web shop, as the back end is managed by the third party
Omnichannel distribution and integration
Whether you sell through digital marketplaces (such as Wayfair, Amazon, eBay, SAP Ariba, etc.) or your own transactional platform (Shopify, Magento, etc.), the growing volume of transactions coming in from all these channel can put a lot of pressure on your team and supply chain.
Manually updating SKU information on each platform, uploading new products, and retyping client orders into your own accounting system can rapidly become challenging, chaotic even, and undermine your profitability, as your order volume grows.
This is where integration (and N’ware!) comes into play. If you are serious about selling online, a unified, seamlessly integrated system will sooner or later be required to maintain and increase your profitability.
Our e-commerce and business software experts can help you maximize the value of your e-commerce investment by providing you the tools and knowledge to be successful all along your digital journey. Here are the main areas where we will focus:
- Unified product management allows user to add or update SKUs in your own system which will push the new information across your channels in real-time
- Automatic order processing eliminates manual data entry into your accounting software
- A synchronized inventory avoids backorders and unhappy clients
- New marketplaces are easily added as you grow and expand towards new markets and audiences
- A streamlined order fulfilment process allows faster deliveries and satisfied customers
 Fareeha Ali, “What are the top online marketplaces?,” Digital Commerce 360, March 10, 2020, digitalcommerce360.com.