Whether you are an established offline retailer planning to go online or a startup wanting to begin with online presence, you have the option of selling on generic marketplace sites like eBay, SBI Card MegaMall, HDFC SmartBuy, specialized ones like ladyblush, nethaat, etc. The alternative is to build your own retail shop online which requires significant time, money, and technical skills.

This article will discuss how to select a marketplace and whether it is even a good idea.

Why Choose the Marketplace

There are many advantages of using a marketplace:

And some disadvantages:

What to Look For When Choosing a Marketplace

Signing up with a marketplace is easy but there are a few criteria for selecting a marketplace to go with:

Our Recommendation

As this article suggests, an online marketplace is like a mandi, while your branded store is like dedicated single store. It is hard to choose between marketplace and branded store because both of them involve trade-offs. Our recommendation would be to invest in both. If you are starting, you should sell your product through one or more marketplaces. This allows you to create and scale your back-end processes (packaging, delivery, accounting, procurement, etc.) without worrying about front-end too much. Gradually, when the volume picks up and you have learned about your user base, you should move on to your own branded store. Online marketing that you learn from your marketplace experience will go a long way when you create your own online store. When you take this approach, however, take care not to make yourself too visible on multiple marketplaces and dilute your brand.