These days, we have come to use technology every step of the way. In previous years, people were always using marketplace and methods for every work but as the new age has dawned, especially after the recent events of the global pandemic, the use of eCommerce platforms increased tenfold. The fact that everything can be done online even when we are all cooped up in our houses and are unable to leave is a fascinating thing for those who are exploring it now. So now every sector including the marketing sector is reaping benefits from such a helpful tool. But there is always a marketplace vs eCommerce debate. Let’s analyze both to understand their merits and demerits.
What is Marketplace?
A marketplace, which is called a souk, bazaar, or a myriad of other names in different countries is a physical location where a crowd of people goes to buy and sell goods. It consists of shops where people physically go to browse and buy what they like.
What is eCommerce?
Electronic Commerce or eCommerce is a method of buying and or selling services and goods with the help of the internet. It could be between business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-business (C2B), business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).
Advantages of Marketplace
1. Makes a Bond Between the Consumer and the Seller
By using this marketplace selling, you can build a more trusting relationship with your customers as you directly approach them. You can talk to them, face to face and increase the trust between you and the customer. Hence they will feel more secure.
2. Leaves an Impact on the Consumer
Online sites are plagued with pop-up ads and advertisements everywhere, so it is harder to get noticed by a customer. But printed leaflets distributed strategically can inspire them to act and find out more. Other merchandise displaying the brand name can also help you promote the business to the people.
3. Tangibility of the Product
Producing leaflets, or business cards provide the customer with something tangible to rely on. It gives a sense of security and makes the customers remember that you and your business are reliable. It keeps the company on their mind from time to time. Because they can hold, feel and associate with the company or business.
4. Legitimacy of The Product and the Business
Unfortunately, many companies and sites online often are a scam. Many innocent people have fallen victim to such scams plenty of times and as a result, they are wary of those things. Because of this, people may find the normal marketplace more appealing as it has more legitimacy.
Disadvantages of Marketplace
1. Limited Reach to Audience
While it is true that this method reaches people who aren’t yet online, it still is very limited as it cannot reach a worldwide audience without using the internet.
2. Marketing Cost is High
Offline marketing always costs a lot as people have to advertise on television, radio, print media, and billboards. All of this combined may yield less revenue than it would cost to advertise the product.
3. No Way Of Tracking Product
It is very difficult to track the results of offline marketing. As there is nothing that can monitor the behaviors of the customers, it is hard to decipher whether they find the product appealing or not it.
Advantages of eCommerce
1. Affordable For The Common Folks
Compared to the marketplace, eCommerce sites are more affordable for the common folk as it only needs a mobile phone and the internet to start a business if willing. The marketplace has many moving parts, and you have to pay a fortune to advertise, but online has no such problems.
2. Global Reach
Online marketing can reach a global audience. Because communication is so easy there the name of the business will be everywhere and more customers will be making connections with you and your company, making it flourish. Even smaller companies can become popular like this.
3. Personalization According to The Customer
By using the site customers can personalize the site to their whims. Using predictive search, voice search, or recommendations, you can make your site compatible with a customer. For example, with the help of artificial intelligence, you can greet and send well-tailored promotion messages to the viewer or customer or email them as well to maximize the advertising after analyzing their needs.
4. Tracking Product Response
This is an aspect of online marketing which is not available with offline marketing, as it uses machines and software to track the results of a marketing campaign. In this way, you can understand how the product performed and what the customers are interested in. This allows you to truly focus on the targeted audience and gain loyal customers.
Disadvantages of eCommerce
1. Inaccessible To Many People
As we all know, many people still are not used to using online methods. Some also do not like to use phones, so a large amount of audience can be lost in this way.
2. Technological and Internet Issues
eCommerce has one major flaw, and that is machine or internet failure. Machines and the internet are not always reliable and can cause delays because of many issues which might take a very long time to solve, and thus the work can be delayed.
3. Privacy and Authenticity Issues
In eCommerce, security and privacy issues are major concerns for both you and your customers. Because of many illegal and fraudulent companies and websites, people are apprehensive to buy or do business with any company.
We saw the merits and demerits of both sides. Some great aspects of a marketplace are tangibility, authenticity, etc. While there are some other aspects such as time frame and tracking problems that are not handled well. Similarly, with online marketing or eCommerce sites, you can have global reach and affordability but on the other hand, not everyone is comfortable using online methods which causes a hindrance. Thus there should not be any debate about marketplace vs eCommerce. It is all about a person’s preference.
The Bottom Line
So in the end, to cover each other’s flaws and to get the best way to earn money for a business will be to use both marketing methods at the same time in a planned hybrid manner. This way the profit will be maximized. In the end, it is not marketplace vs eCommerce, rather both of these methods and their strengths and weaknesses need to be combined to achieve better marketing opportunities.