The convenience of shopping online using our smartphones is unmatched to anything we’ve experienced before. In fact, mobile shopping is a rage and is only set to take off higher and higher as smartphones evolve and become more intuitive.
However, it is imperative to understand the difference between the various mobile shopping websites and how we can create an effective mobile shopping experience. To do that, we must first understand the core differences between the various mobile shopping websites. In this post, we shall find out just that.
Types of Mobile Shopping Websites:
Mobile Shopping Websites can be broadly classified into 2 different categories:
- The Merchants’ Exclusive Websites
Marketplace websites refer to websites such as HKTVMall, TaoBao, Zalora, that serve as a platform for various merchants to sell different type of products.
Advantages of a Marketplace Website:
- Marketplace websites usually run several promotional activities as a shopping platform. This helps merchants to support their own promotional activities and helps in attracting more customers to the marketplace.
- Merchants do not need to specially set up an eCommerce website or maintain a website solely by themselves. The marketplace does the job of being their virtual storefront.
Disadvantages of a Marketplace Website:
Marketplace usually has a relatively higher startup fee and a transaction fee attached to every transaction.
Being a marketplace that hosts a number of sellers, there is a high probability that the merchants might end up getting involved in a price war. This means, sellers will have to set lower prices, as a strategy, which will eat into their profit.
All customer information is usually stored in a common database. This means it will not be exclusively available to individual merchants. This will make it harder for merchants to determine their base of loyal customers and this lack of data will also affect planning promotional activities.
Merchants’ Exclusive Shopping Websites:
The meaning of a Merchants’ Exclusive Shopping Website is that merchants can exclusively showcase their own brand’s products. Customers of a particular merchant cannot see any of the other competitors’ products or offers.
For example, if a merchant is selling A’s brand of skincare products then the website will only showcase A’s brand of skincare products and will not display any other similar brands or products.
Advantages of a Merchants’ Exclusive Shopping Website:
- Merchants can have the record of their loyal customers’ data, and with the data, they can plan their future sales promotion activities accordingly, to lure more potential customers.
- By turning the customer into the store’s member, merchants can send the latest information and promotions to them.
- Ideally, there is no transaction fee for merchants. They would only have to pay to start their own website or a fixed fee for a particular period of time (depending on the requirements of different companies). In other words, all the transaction profits would directly go into the merchants’ pocket.
- The price that the merchants set, do not have to be higher than the original price, hence profits would be higher too.
Disadvantages of Merchants’ Exclusive Shopping Website:
The merchants’ own shopping website would have to be self-promoted and would require a dedicated digital marketing budget and efforts.
If merchants wish to set up the website themselves, without taking the help of any website builder or online tools, the cost of setting it up would be relatively higher.
Should I start my own shopping app for my customers?
When it comes to developing and launching a mobile app for your eCommerce business, the cost of building and promoting the application is not low. And attracting customers to download or to even remember about your application is not easy at all.
If the scale of your business is not big and does not have sizable profit margins, or too many products to sell, why not consider using Responsive Web Design? Simply create a responsive web interface and get it to adapt to the size of your phone browser, instead of investing in creating an app for your online store.
By Bibianna Wong, Marketing Manager, Boutir.com