Ecommerce Store Versus Marketplace: All You Need to Know

e-Commerce store vs Marketplace - Carousell

When retailers decide to start selling their products online, there is one question that runs through their minds – to start an e-commerce store or to list on a marketplace? An e-commerce website is a platform that you use to sell only your business’ products. Here, there are only two main parties: the e-commerce site or seller, and the buyer.  

On the other hand, a marketplace is an online shopping platform where multiple sellers showcase their products to visitors. Here, clients are able to view products from different sellers and purchase them individually or together at once when checking out. This means three main parties are involved: the seller, the buyer, and the marketplace

This article digs deeper to explore each method and compare the pros and cons. Read on as we explore the two to help you answer the big question, “Which one should you choose?”

Selling Your Products in an E-commerce Store

Running an e-commerce store can be pretty exciting. However, you need to understand that it requires a lot of research, start-up capital, and on-going effort. With an e-commerce website, you can easily complement your brand and focus on delivering what your client wants. Here are the main benefits of using an eCommerce store:

  • You own the platform

Although the cost of running an e-commerce store is expensive, you get the pride of owning the platform. This means that you will not have any limitation on the number of products you want to add to the platform. You can list as many as possible. 

  • There is no commission

Because you own the platform, there is no transaction fee required for using it. This is different from third-party sites that charge clients depending on different attributes, such as the number of added items.

  • There is less competition

Since you are the only one listing the products, there is no competition from products by other retailers. However, you will need to do all the marketing to attract more clients and drive sales.

  • You can change the design of the platform to strengthen the brand

Joining a marketplace means that you’re tied down to the design and outlook of the platform’s interface. Even if you would want to see the platform work differently, you are not in control. However, this is entirely different when it comes to eCommerce stores. If, for some reason, you want to change the layout, colours, or link the platform to more plugins, it is up to you to decide. 

While the benefits of using an e-commerce store are outstanding, there are a number of challenges that you need to know. The most notable is that it can be pretty expensive because you need to do everything from setting up the platform to installing the right security system. Second, it can take a lot of time before the platform is up and running. 

For retailers, these challenges make them consider the alternatives, and one of the best. So, let’s check the best marketplace and understand the benefits to anticipate. 

Selling Your Products in a Marketplace 

A marketplace is the easier option for you when considering taking your products online the easy way. You will require lesser effort to get your store online through a marketplace compared to an e-commerce store. So, here are other benefits that you should expect: 

  • It is an excellent option for brand awareness

When you sell your products through a popular site, it is a great way to make your brand recognised easily. Because consumers can access a wide variety of products, consumers prefer them to individual eCommerce stores. Therefore, you are sure of increasing visibility and brand awareness and even driving traffic back to your site or profile. 

  • Helps to keep the marketing cost low

When you decide to build up your e-commerce store, it can take a lot of time. For example, you will require having the platform developed by experts in web design, test the templates, and create a system for categories. Businesses may end up requiring more monetary resources to market and manage the platform. On the other hand, marketplaces provide categorisation options as an in-built feature and helps simplify the process of getting your products listed.As a result, growing sales becomes easier. 

  • You have access to more customers

The primary goal to take a business online is winning more clients. With a reputable marketplace, you are sure to get higher visibility and therefore lead to more sales. Even though the competition is high, the chances of driving more sales for your business are more when using a marketplace than an eCommerce site. 

  • The marketplace takes care of the system security

With the growing concerns about cyber security on the globe, running your own marketplace can be challenging. The most notable security risks to eCommerce stores are DOS & DDoS attacks and phishing. When running your own site, the entire security of the platform rests on your shoulders. This is never easy, but when you work with a credible marketplace, the responsibility of ensuring security is taken off you. 


Carousell takes steps to ensure our marketplace is secure and actively takes measures to prevent fraud. When you join the Carousell marketplace, we ensure the platform is secure for both buyers and sellers to facilitate a fuss-free experience.. This is beneficial to your retail business in a number of ways, including: 

  1. Protection and transaction security fortified by our tech experts. 

  2. Assurance that your data on the marketplace is safe.

  3. Allows you to focus on marketing and growing your business without worrying about security. 

As you can see, both an e-commerce store and marketplaces come with unique individual benefits. In our opinion, having both helps to complement each other in areas that the other lacks. Nonetheless, a high-profile marketplace stands out as a better option for retail businesses that are just starting out and are looking to grow sales while keeping the cost as low as possible. Once your business has grown its presence online, consider putting in resources into building your own website. Carousell’s marketplace is one of the best options in Singapore because it not only simplifies the process of listing your products but ensures secure transactions, warranty and inspection services for  your products and further offers dedicated client support, all in one platform.