Website vs Marketplace: What’s Better for you?



Darshana Editorial Team


Aug 22, 2023



min. read


Bonivasius Tegar Cahyo Laksono

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  • Bonivasius Tegar Cahyo Laksono

Website vs Marketplace: What’s Better for you?

Credit: Unsplash

We have come to the digital era where everything is done without physical face-to-face. So what can we do now? We can talk and chat with people globally without time and distance boundaries. What we did before was selling by requiring a physical store and customers coming to buy products, but now everything is available without the hassle with the presence of E-Commerce. But the more advanced civilization is, the more confused we are, we are faced with various choices, if at this time we want to sell digitally or online, the question is “Which one is better to sell on the Marketplace or the Website?”.

As we know Website is one of E-Commerce, so we can do transactions there. But not only the transactions, Website also provide branding to make customers remember our business. For the small company, most of them don’t want to expense more so they use web builders such as Shopify, Magento, Wix, etc, web builders will help without coding so they can do it by themselves without help from Web Designer.

Credit: H&M website

Website Example

The marketplace is a website or application that is used for buying and selling online. Marketplaces are maintained by third parties to help facilitate transactions between sellers and buyers. So the marketplace may be likened traditional market and the manager of the traditional market is a third party managing the marketplace.

Credit: Alibaba

E-Commerce Example

So if you are a generation born in today's era, and you intend to sell your products on E-Commerce, which platform will you take? Please take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both Website and Marketplace.

E-Commerce Website

Why you should sell your products on your Website:

  1. Branding If your goal is to make your business known to more people, a website is a right place, here you can do a lot of things independently. Give your customers the convenience of shopping with designs and features that match your business, these things will increase customer confidence in your business. In addition, using email marketing can make your business more professional.

  2. Avoiding Price War A price war occurs when there are many suppliers or sellers in one market, by using a website you will avoid a price war because you are alone in your market. With this condition, you have the freedom to determine your price terms without fear of a price war.

  3. Retargeting Your Customers By knowing who your potential customers are, for example, visitors who have visited your website, you can remind them of their visit and lead them to make a purchase. This is called retargeting. And the most surprising thing is 43% of retargeted visitors will make a purchase. This will certainly boost your sales.

  4. Be Autonomous Without 3rd Parties With your independence, your business will become stronger and can survive long term. The policies used by third parties such as marketplaces will not directly impact you, just imagine in the peak season and suddenly the marketplace website goes down due to a boom in visitors while your business is growing, then this will be a big loss for you.

  5. Performance Breakdown In addition to making tracking and retargeting easier, you can also see the performance of the websites you manage so you can create dashboards to help control your business. With this data, you can determine what business strategy you will take afterward. Several 3rd parties such as Shopify and Google Analytics provide services to help track data as well as provide dashboards to make it easier to capture insights.

Of all the advantages of using a website, you must also pay attention to these things:

  1. Investment needed Building a website costs money for a hosting subscription and buying a domain name. The cost for a hosting subscription is around IDR 10k - 720k per month plus a domain fee of around IDR 10k - 275k or more. In addition, if you do not have web design skills, it will cost you more to hire a website designer, the price for a Website Designer also varies freelancer costs start from IDR 50k - 750k, but if you use a professional it usually ranges from IDR 500k - 2.5 Mio.

  2. Skills to Manage In being independent in managing the appearance and convenience of the website, it is also necessary to have skills in managing your website. Imagine you have a physical store, if there are problems such as theft or damage to store facilities, you must be responsible independently, you also need additional skills and features such as setting up the pixel and make sure to be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly so that customers always feel safe and comfortable. If you need help, we can help you.

  3. More Effort to Reach the Customers In reality, the marketplace is indeed more crowded than a stand-alone website (outside the market). People who come to the marketplace are already prepared to spend and buy products available in the market, but how can the store reach customers? Therefore we need the right marketing strategy to reach customers, besides that Ads campaign also needs to do so that customers can get to know the brand and visit our website. Besides that, you can do SEO so that your website is often included in search engines and eventually gets more awareness, but isn’t easy as you think. So just call us if you need help.


Why you should sell your products on Marketplace:

  1. Quick Set up and Launch Selling on the marketplace is very easy, you are only needed to prepare your name and phone number (in general) for registration. Then you just provide your product photos and captions then you just have to do a few clicks and your product is successfully marketed. This saves you a lot of time, money, and energy if you want to start a business in E-Commerce.

  2. Bigger Market Less Effort The marketplace was created to connecting the buyers and sellers, therefore you don't need to worry about reaching your customers. In the marketplace there are thousands to millions of people who are ready to spend their money, with a little effort such as just beautifying photos of products and store designs on the marketplace, you can sell your products. Besides that, you don't need to think about your marketing strategy, because the marketplace already provides it. Less effort, isn’t it? If you need less effort you can post Ads, but you have to make sure your Ads are right on target so the cost you spend for Ads is worth it and we can help you to do it.

  3. Start with Your Minimum Price Compared to building a website, selling on the marketplace is much cheaper, even without spending any money at all. Free registration fees and free product marketing fees, so the marketplace can be an option if you want to build your business but are still in the early stage.


But everything is not as good as imagined, there are some disadvantages when transacting in the marketplace.

  1. Price War is Coming As discussed earlier, because the marketplace is a gathering place for sellers, competition will occur where the activities to lowering prices so that more quantities are sold will be rife to be found. The participants of this war don't care about low margins, as long as their products are sold in more quantity, therefore you will not be able to freely set the price of your product.

  2. Tight Competition with Competitor More competitors mean it more difficult for you to sell your products for various reasons such as price, store reputation, product photos uniqueness, using optimize keywords, etc. Therefore you must be able to make your product can be shown to customers or become Top list in Marketplace search Engine. The other way to do that is Marketplace Ads, but due to the increasing number of sellers, there are also many users of the Ads marketplace and the marketplace algorithm usually ensures that the products that appear on the top list are the highest paying ones.

  3. Limited in Store Management Unlike websites where you can manage your store, in the marketplace there are many limitations, such as you can't do retargeting because you don't have access to see potential customers by the marketplace. In addition, you will get limited data about your store and it will be difficult for you to determine what sales and marketing strategy you will take in the future.

  4. Doesn’t Support Branding When transacting on the Marketplace, buyers will never care who you are, what your brand is, what they care about is that they make transactions on what Marketplace so this is Marketplace Branding, not Store Branding.



Launch Effort

Fast and cheap, just do a few clicks

Need preparation such as web design, hosting, and domain costs

Store Management

Less effort because Marketplace providing basic operations and more management features, but limited access to the data.

More effort and skills to manage the store but the data can be accessed to provide more insights.


Tight competition making it difficult to get ahead without constant promotions and discounts.​

Less competition and free to set terms of purchase.


The target audience is very large and most of them is ready to spend money

Less and most of them just visited without purchase


​Not totally supportive

You can do everything to help them understand your brands.

Marketplace vs Website: Which One is Better? Or Which One is Suitable For You?

From the convenience and benefit offered, as sellers you can take advantage of which one you think is suitable for you to use so that your business can generate profits either in a short time or in the long term because doing business is looking for profit. If you are a beginner or newcomer, it would be better if you try to sell on the marketplace with all the conveniences, but if your business is big and you need branding, build your website. But all decisions are still in your hands, be wise!

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Studio Darshana provides a one-stop solution for your digital marketing needs. Schedule an introduction call here.