What’s the cost of building a website vs free e-marketplaces

by Francesca on 09/09/2018
Every brand owner who is eager to start selling online is faced with one pressing question. “My own e-commerce website or a marketplace - where should I begin?” To help you answer this question, let’s look at the pros and cons of both the possibilities.

Building an ecommerce website


If you sell a niche product and are looking to create a brand resonance, establishing your own website ground up would be a good call for the long run. Owned e-commerce websites give you the benefit to reach out to your audience without the need of middlemen. From collecting customer information and feedback to offering exclusive deals to clear out your old stocks, and retargeting, building an ecommerce website gives you a lot of freedom and power. You can even have blogs or product videos that further vouch for the authenticity of your products.


In order to set up an ecommerce website it is important to have an idea of the costs incurred for:

An ecommerce website package: There are a ton of free templates and e-commerce software ranging from INR 1,000 to INR 10,000 per month in the early stages. Add to it, domain name, design and development fees that vary basis your requirement.

An ecommerce payment gateway: These are generally low on initial investments but transactional charges range anywhere from 1% to 5% based on the quantity.

Hosting and security: In order to ensure that your website can safely collect information, keep it private, and be geared to handle substantial traffic, this expense is a must. This costs you anywhere between INR 2,000 – INR 5,000 per year approximately for a basic package.

Apart from these, it is vital to have a customer relationship management team, a logistics team and a marketing budget to tell the world about your brand. Remember, getting customers to visit your website is only half the battle won. You need to woo them with a great user experience that includes everything from a seamless interface, lesser clicks to find what they want, and a mobile-friendly website.

Selling on free e-marketplaces


While building an e-commerce website clearly looks like a time-consuming and technically challenging task, marketplaces are quite the opposite. They require minimal efforts, in that all you need to take care is of your listings, product descriptions, requisite images and logistics. They are the best place to sell online for anyone who is eager to hit the ground running with their new business. Since most marketplaces need no introduction, prospects are more likely to find your products here quicker than discovering your own e-commerce website. Some marketplaces are free while others come with affordable fees to showcase your products and take care of the entire purchase cycle. This leaves you with more time to focus on product innovation.


In order to choose the best ecommerce platform for your business, you need to be well aware of your goals. There are chances your brand may get lost in the crowd, but it also gives you an opportunity to improvise on your offerings. Some marketplaces like Amazon even offer you a prime spot on their listings. It is called the “Buy Box” – a place that ensures maximum eyeballs and is known for relatively high conversions.

So what are you waiting for? If the scales for your brand are tipping towards e-marketplaces register now with Amazon.

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