Previously, we talked about the nature of e-commerce as well as some of the steps you can take to set up an online store.
However, if you find yourself unsure about having your own e-commerce site, then consider making an online marketplace your launch pad towards becoming an online entrepreneur.
An online marketplace – like Lazada, 11street.my and Lelong.my – comes in the form of a website or a mobile application, and is designed as a platform for third parties such as sellers and retailers to conduct online business.
An online marketplace lets these sellers and retailers list their products or services, and facilitates transactions and order management for them; making it an easier and more affordable option for many sellers whose primary goal tends to be sales generation.
Selling in online marketplaces also enables you to take advantage of their promotional campaigns, which provides greater opportunities for you to get more potential customers to check out your products.
However, despite the convenience it provides, an online marketplace can be restrictive if you wish to build your brand in the long term.
For instance, while you can design your branded online store around your products or services, you can’t do the same with the online marketplace due to its ‘one-size-fits-all’ layout.
And because promotional campaigns are determined by the marketplace operator, you won’t be able to run your own campaign, which can be a hurdle in reaching out to your target customers.
Plus, customers tend to remember the name of the marketplace more than the seller if asked about their online purchases, meaning you’ll have a hard time to develop a brand following.
Still, with its low barrier of entry and its popularity among online consumers, an online marketplace would be a good place to start if you need to gain experience in e-commerce, as long as you keep in mind the following pointers.
Most importantly, you need to have your business registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, a regulation required for all online sellers in Malaysia to ensure customer confidence in online shopping.
You also need to consider some criteria in finding the right online marketplace to participate in, such as site traffic, customer-to-product fit, and merchant support and service.
For example, if you want to sell fashion goods that cater to women, you’ll have a better chance reaching your target market through fashion marketplace Zalora instead of the more general Lazada.
Consider these tips for your business research and ensure quality in your product and delivery, so that you can build the experience you need in running your own business online.
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This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2A8u4QN