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Successful In Online Trading: Which Sales Channel Is Right One?

Where Is The Future Of E-Commerce?

These or similar scenarios play out in the everyday shopping behavior of many people. Especially in the last few years during the Corona crisis, product sales via e-commerce websites have picked up speed, but it can be assumed that online trade will continue to increase. The sales of online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba have been increasing for years. So does the future of e-commerce lie in online marketplaces? Is an online shop still necessary, and how do users search for products online?

This Is How Online Shoppers Search

Search engines like Google differentiate between information-oriented, navigation-oriented, and transaction-oriented queries. Search engines aim to always provide users with the most relevant results for their search queries. For this reason, when it comes to transactional inquiries, marketplaces are usually displayed at the top – i.e., exactly the placements that catch the user’s eye – as organic or paid ads. This applies to searches via search engines. However, a trend towards searching directly via online marketplaces can also be observed, which makes it difficult for individual web shops to be displayed and noticed in the search results. 

If a search begins directly at the Marketplace, products from online shops that do not sell there will not even be found. However, an advantage of online shops over marketplaces arises when customers already have precise ideas. Online shops appear higher in the search results for specific keywords with concrete product requirements since the content, and USPs can be particularly emphasized in their webshop. But your shops also have advantages over online marketplaces under other criteria.

Online Marketplaces As A Good Start

Online marketplaces are well suited for sellers who are new to online business. Because the technology behind a shop, the shop system, is already in place. In addition, newcomers benefit from the enormous reach they can achieve without search engine optimization or advertising. Marketplaces can create new points of contact with potential buyers for existing web shops and thus increase brand awareness. However, the technology provided can also become a disadvantage because if problems arise, the seller depends on the respective Marketplace. 

Providers also have to adapt to the platform’s rules of the game in terms of delivery times, payment terms, shipping, etc. The direct comparison in the search results also creates high competitive pressure between the individual sellers, which can lead to price wars. Since the marketplaces allow almost no personalization, it is difficult for providers to create a brand experience in the sense of their corporate identity. That’s why building a real bond with customers via online marketplaces is also difficult. Ultimately, retailers’ profits also shrink because sales fees are incurred.

Individuality With Your Online Shop

Own web shops are also fighting for customers’ attention with great competition from marketplaces and other providers. When it comes to the question of costs, there are expenses for software licenses or custom programming, especially when setting up your shop. However, this is a fixed sum that must be paid for now. After that, smaller, recurring payments are made for maintaining the system, for example, through updates. There are also marketing costs to increase awareness of the webshop. In return, operators of their web shops receive higher margins for their sales since no sales fees have to be paid. In addition, they make themselves independent of the marketplace conditions.

Global Players Demonstrate Successful Multichannel Sales

Well-known brand companies such as Adidas, Puma, and Nike demonstrate how they can successfully sell their products using different sales channels. For example, Adidas sells through intermediaries such as department stores and sports shops. At the same time, they operate so-called flagship stores and concept stores in numerous large cities. Last but not least, they sell their products via online marketplaces, web shops, and social networks.

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