Marketplaces vs Ecommerce Website in the Middle East: What is a Better Option?

The Middle East is a dynamic and unique geographic region spread over three continents including some of the wealthiest oil-producing countries. The region has a large wealthy and youthful population with high internet usage, striking the right ingredients needed to establish a successful eCommerce business. However, marketplaces like Souq and amazon have always pioneered eCommerce, in the Middle East, over having your website

But the eCommerce outlook in the region has been changing rapidly, looking brighter, and more promising, owing to the global pandemic, which led to a new purchasing behavior. Going by the current scenario and pace, the forecast has it that eCommerce in the Middle East is expected to increase by more than 11% each year. As eCommerce takes off in the region, if you are someone who is contemplating an eCommerce marketplace vs having your eCommerce website for your business, you have come to the right place. 

We have carefully compiled this article to offer you a detailed analysis of marketplaces and your website, to help you decide which is a better option!

Pros and Cons of Selling in Marketplaces

To reach a viable conclusion, it is important to understand both sides of the coin. Hence we have listed the pros and cons of selling in marketplaces in this section-

Pros of Selling in Marketplaces

  • Readymade Organic Traffic – 

One of the core benefits of selling in a marketing place like Souq in the Middle East is that there is ready-made organic traffic. These popular marketplaces have already made a name for themselves in the e-commerce industry, and have loyal customers with trusted websites. Besides having a high volume of customers you can take the advantage of a large number of active customers who are sure to make purchases in marketplaces.

  • Easy to Start-

Since the marketplaces are already demand-driven, it is very easy to put your product out there and can start selling quite easily. Online Marketplaces, make displaying your offerings more accessible, as it takes care of all the other technical aspects such as security, updates, bugs, and so on.

  • No Need to Maintain Inventory-

Marketplaces offer yet another benefit by allowing you to sell without having to maintain an inventory. The main reason for the benefit is that marketplaces have already established a complex and enormous supply chain network capable of delivering to all the customers.

Cons of Selling in Marketplaces

  • Selling Fees – 

Marketplaces make selling your products easier for you, but that comes with a cost, in the form of a selling commission and product listing fee that you need to pay to the different online marketplaces. In the Middle East, popular marketplaces, like Souq, Amazon Prime, etc have a high selling commission.

  • Cut-throat competition-

Due to the wide range of benefits of selling on the leading marketplace, usually, they are flooded with merchants, wanting to take advantage of the large volume of active buyers, leading to cutthroat competition.

  • Lack of branding-

One of the downsides of branding is that there is a lack of personal branding, which ultimately leads to your product getting lost in the sea of offerings. Moreover, buyers simply surf multiple marketplaces, before they come across an item that meets their needs and budget, they buy it, without realizing which seller or brand it is.

Pros and Cons of Having Your Website

Let us carefully go through the pros and cons of having your website to sell your offerings – 

Pros of having a website

  • 100% control over your store-

When we say control we mean control over the store, data, and your brand, which is achievable only when you have your website. When you have your website you have 100% ownership of the valuable customer data, which helps you to understand your customers browsing habits, purchase history, and so on. A detailed insight into customer data can help you maintain your inventory, and also enable you to strategize your marketing policies to provide the best customer service and personalization possible. However, in the online marketplace, the marketplace owner has all rights reserved.

  • Direct contact with your customers-

Having your website allows you to have direct contact with your customers, through chatbots, emails, or calls. This way you can develop a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

  • Personalization-

Having your website enables you to offer a personalized experience to your customers. These days buyers look out for a seamless user experience with a personalized touch, such as product recommendations, product customization, and so on.

Cons of having a Website

  • Initial Investment-

Buying your domain and URL requires a certain amount of initial investment and thorough research. However, thanks to e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, having your website has become a whole lot easier.

  • Everything from scratch-

When you decide to build your website, you need to create everything from scratch. From building SEO for exposure, inventory, packaging, security, and so on, everything needs to be carefully planned and worked upon.

What is the Better Option?

Well, now that you have gone through the pros and cons of both options, let us understand which is the most suitable for you.

Having your e-commerce website and online presence has a lot of benefits that probably outweigh its cons. However, you can create your brand value, and avoid the sudden risk of losing everything due to a sudden system outage or getting banned. Although building your online shopping website for your brand from scratch requires a lot of research and initial investment, it reaps plausible benefits in the long run.

Key Takeaways

If you wish to create an online presence through your website in the Middle East, professional guidance can go a long way in easing the process for you. We at Kloc Technologies, have experience serving in the eCommerce domain for the past 15 years with a team of dedicated professionals who can help build the website of your dreams. 

Contact us today to help us understand your goals, objectives, and vision.

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