3.06.24

Choosing between listing software for marketplaces?

Written by The RI Team | Read Time: 4 mins

Listings, stock and orders. When you engage in multi channel expansion on marketplaces, these three topics are the holy trinity of considerations to not just launch, but manage the channel efficiently and safely.

But where to even start picking one of the hundreds of tools out there? Given the wide range of listing software available, you need to choose the right one for your business size and needs.

Often we are asked “what is the best listing management tool” or “which inventory system do you recommend?”. The questions are understandable, however we want to clear this up; there is never a right or wrong answer. No system fits all sizes and needs.

Paying a high licensing fee for automation, and hundreds of channel integrations, will not be necessary if you have 20 SKUs and sell on 2 channels. Licensing a cheap tool when you have tens of thousands of active SKU’s selling on 30+ channels will be a false economy when considering the man hours. Often you are somewhere in the middle, and there are dozens of tools out there.

We wrote a paper on this (that no one read, because it was boring), which you can find here. However if you are just starting out, the below outlines hopefully can give some pointers on where to take this journey.

 

Know the basics

For brands with a small selection of uncomplicated products (i.e. you sell one type of torch), you may only need basic systems. This includes:

  • A centralised depository for product descriptions and images
  • Auto posting of listings and updates to all marketplace channels
  • Inventory management with stock updates across channels
  • Ability to upload multiple images and product descriptions in bulk

For brands with larger catalogues, it’s worth using multi-channel listing software that offers a wide variety of additional perks:

  • Automation tools and features, like rules engines, custom scripting and feed segmentations.
  • Established presence in their market - avoid trusting time-sensitive pricing and stock updates between channels from a new comer.
  • Expansion capabilities - that last thing you want is to move platforms in a year or two. Make sure you have a road map to build on the system.
  • The details are important. If you need something to work a specific way, or a specific feature to run for a need, make sure you tally what you need before you begin joining demo calls.

Linnworks, ChannelEngine and ChannelAdvisor (now Rithum) are some of the most known tools in the UK currently, each being distinctively different in its core focus and capabilities. As we work with these tools more than most others, we put together a short outline about each one.

 

Linnworks

With over 4,000 customers, Linnworks is one of the biggest players in the listing software space and leads in order and inventory management solutions. Linnworks can manage listings, however it grew up first to handle stock, order fulfilment and shipping. The Linnworks system integrates with more than 150 marketplaces, platforms and couriers, including Amazon, eBay, UPS and FedEx. One of its core selling points has been the custom C# scripting capabilities, but this comes with a learning curve to master.

As a large ‘does-it-all’ platform, Linnworks is a great Jack of all Trades ERP multi-channel management system.

 

ChannelEngine

ChannelEngine was created as a bridge between ecommerce platforms and global marketplaces. You can sync product data and inventory levels across international marketplaces, but still control orders through your own system. 

Integrated with many EU marketplaces, ChannelEngine is particularly beneficial for UK brands looking to expand globally. The EU is more fragmented in 3rd party channel activities, and ChannelEngine has been a viable tool for EU sellers to help centralise their multi channel operations. 

 

Rithum (formerly ChannelAdvisor)

Rithum was one of the first in its space, and has the most channel integrations of the three. Unlike Linnworks and Channelengine, Rithum focuses on listing management at a core and offers less capabilities in order PO management and associated WMS controls. However it boasts some of the strongest automation capabilities for data management. It also gives you better control of your digital marketing and advertising compared to the others, and has a very robust repricer tool.

Since January 2024, ChannelAdvisor has been part of Rithum: an end-to-end ecommerce platform that connects over 40,000 brands, suppliers, and retailers with 420+ marketplaces and retail sites. 

 

Rich Insight partnerships

Listing software is not mutually exclusive and you can integrate a number of specialist platforms to suit your needs. While listing management systems give the most value when they are adopted as the master system for data controls, you can align your tech stack differently and there is no ‘right’ way or ‘best’ system for everyone. We have seen it all!

At Rich Insight, we have a partnership with all three of these platforms. To find out what is the best listing software for your needs, get in touch with Rich insight. 

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Choosing between listing software for marketplaces?
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