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The Shipwire Blog/Shipwire Marketplace Fulfillment FAQ

Shipwire Marketplace Fulfillment FAQ

What is an online marketplace?

An online marketplace is a platform allowing vendors to sell products or services to a wide audience. Sellers can gain brand visibility and recognition by selling their products through online marketplaces and the marketplace typically earns a commission from each sale.

Can you use Shipwire for marketplace fulfillment?

Yes! Shipwire is integrated with many online marketplaces, making connectivity fast and so you can easily add new sales channels, including marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Shipwire integrates with online marketplaces via APIs that automate order submission to Shipwire’s network of global fulfillment centers. When a consumer places an order on a marketplace like Amazon, the information is automatically passed to Shipwire via our Order Entry API. From there, Shipwire handles the rest, including fulfillment of the order, passing order confirmation and tracking information to the marketplace, and adjusting inventory levels so as to not disrupt other sales channels you may be using.

Which online marketplaces is Shipwire integrated with?

Shipwire is directly integrated with several marketplaces (at no cost), and is integrated to other marketplaces through ecommerce partners (at an additional fee). These marketplaces include:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Groupon Goods
  • Newegg
  • Rakuten
  • Walmart Marketplace

What is the difference between a marketplace and online store?

A marketplace differs from an online store in two ways. Many online stores only sell their own products. Others may sell a variety of different products. In both cases, though, the online store is in control of its overall product catalog. With a marketplace, sellers can determine what they want to sell (there are still typically approval processes), and in most instances the marketplace never buys the sellers product. Instead, the seller will be the owner of the product until it is sold and shipped to an end consumer. Given their role, marketplaces typically focus on promoting an overall brand value to drive more traffic to the platform and gain more sales.

How does inventory ownership work when selling on a marketplace?

Unlike online ecommerce stores, marketplace owners do not own the inventory they sell on their platforms. Rather, the inventory is owned by the maker or product owner (we’ll reference them as “brands”). Many brands choose to diversify their sales channels and Shipwire makes it possible to manage your omni-channel sales by providing a complete overview of orders and inventory levels across fulfillment centers and channels. The platform can deliver insights from your own online store, marketplaces and dropshipping relationships. For example, when a sale is completed on a marketplace, the order information is passed directly to Shipwire and Shipwire automatically manages the order for fulfillment, then adjusts your inventory levels accordingly to ensure smooth operations across all your sales channels and fulfillment centers.

What kinds of marketplaces is Shipwire integrated with?

Shipwire is integrated with the world’s largest marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, Rakuten and eBay. Furthermore, Shipwire integrates with more niche marketplaces like Etsy.

Why should I sell my product on a marketplace?

Successful brands sell across markets and through a wide variety of sales channels. This multi-channel approach to sales is crucial to maximize your sales reach and potential. The most common channels ecommerce brands leverage include marketplaces, proprietary ecommerce stores, retail drop shipping and flash sales. While they all have pros and cons, the biggest advantage to selling on marketplaces is the large volume of consumer traffic.

What are the pros and cons of selling on a marketplace?

As previously mentioned, one of the biggest advantages of selling on a marketplace is the high volume of consumer traffic. It provides exposure to your product and can lead to increased sales. Many marketplaces, like Amazon, let you include search terms in your listings. Selling on marketplaces also creates a sense of brand credibility, since consumers will see your brand across multiple sales channels vs. only in your proprietary ecommerce store.

One of the downsides of selling on an online marketplace is commission — brands pay a price to list products on the marketplace itself. Another aspect to consider is that marketplace sales limit your interaction with buyers, which ultimately impacts your ability to build your brand and establish a customer base. Many brands consider marketplace sales as part of their overall sales strategy, but leverage a variety of other sales channels to supplement sales and brand exposure.

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