Do you need marketplace integrations for your ecommerce business? 

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If you’re running an ecommerce business, we’re willing to bet you’re tired. 

You’re busy figuring out everything from accounting to marketing, to shipping and inventory, to Google Adwords. It’s all on you, all the time.

Anything you can do to make your life easier is a good idea. And integrating your different marketplaces so you can track inventory and orders in the same place is one of the best ways to save yourself time. 

“Marketplace integration” might sound a bit tech-y, but it’s basically just a way of saying that you’ve connected your sales channels to your main ecommerce platform. 

Maybe you’ve linked your Etsy store to your Shopify store. Maybe you’ve used a WooCommerce plugin to connect to Amazon

In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of marketplace integration, so you can start selling on multiple channels without all the chaos. 

What is a marketplace integration? 

A marketplace integration is a system to connect your online business to digital marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Etsy, so you can list, sell, synchronize and manage your inventory through each marketplace you work with — seamlessly. 

Let’s say you’ve just opened a new ecommerce business.  You make awesome activewear. And you want to sell your new t-shirt designs on Amazon and Etsy. 

The problem is that you don’t have any way of syncing up what you’re selling via your website with what you’re selling on Amazon or Etsy. As a result, you keep overselling stock. Your customers are left waiting for their orders while you scramble to find the missing items. And you’re left tearing your hair out. 

With a marketplace integration, that can’t happen. When you sell an item on Amazon or Etsy, the integration automatically updates your inventory management system without you lifting a finger. You know where all your stock is, no matter which platform you sold it on. 

What are the main marketplaces for ecommerce businesses? 

An online marketplace is a website where buyers and sellers meet. We made a full list of the top global marketplaces for you, but here’s a quick overview of the biggest ones:  

Marketplaces ≠ ecommerce platforms

Marketplaces aren’t the same thing as ecommerce platforms. Ecommerce platforms are the tools that let you set up an online store, manage your inventory, and process payments. 

Using an ecommerce platform is a bit like opening up your own brick-and-mortar store, whereas using a marketplace is a bit like selling your products via a supermarket. Like the supermarket, the marketplace creates the customer experience and handles the financial transactions. 

Chances are, if you want to grow your ecommerce business, you’ll want both your own online store and at least one marketplace. That way, you have your own online footprint, but you can also access a much wider global market. 

What are the different types of marketplace integrations?

There are a few different ways to connect your ecommerce platform with other marketplaces. Broadly speaking, your choices are: 

Use APIs 

    Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay often offer Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These are tools you can use to build your own applications, if you happen to be technically minded. 

    For instance, you can use the free Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) API to create an app that looks up products for sale, downloads orders for fulfillment, confirms shipments, and schedules and receives reports.  

    Use plug-ins

      Some ecommerce platforms offer built-in plug-ins that let you connect to other marketplaces. You won’t make a new app—you’ll stay on your original platform. But you can use a plugin to access and send information from one platform to another. 

      For instance, if you’re using WooCommerce, you could use the WooCommerce Amazon and eBay Integration plugins to list your products on those marketplaces.

      Use a ready-made app

        Sometimes, instead of a plugin, you might need to use a separate app. For instance, if you want to sync up Shopify and Etsy, you’d need to download an app on the Shopify app store that lets you work seamlessly with both. 

        Use an inventory management platform with multiple integrations 

          But what if you want to integrate your main ecommerce platform with a bunch of different marketplaces? Then you might be better off with an inventory management system that integrates with all the major stores as standard, instead of using a ton of separate apps and plugins. That way, you can add different integrations as your business grows or changes. 

          For instance, our platform, Linnworks, will let you integrate with literally hundreds of global marketplaces—and all the ecommerce platforms you might be using, too. 

          That way, you can connect all your channels, so they’ll automatically update with the latest inventory availability whenever a new sales or purchase order arrives. 

          How do marketplace integrations work with existing ecommerce platforms? 

          Marketplace integrations work by connecting and synchronizing the data between your e-commerce platform(s) and various online marketplaces. That way, your product listings, orders, and inventory are consistently updated across all platforms. 

          To give you an example using Linnworks (as that’s the platform we know the best): 

          1. To add a new integration, you just go to Settings > Channel Integration.
          1. You’ll see a long list of all the different marketplaces that you can connect to Linnworks (here’s the full list of sales channel integrations, if you’re curious). 
          2. When a channel is enabled, Linnworks can communicate with it – download orders, send stock updates, and so on.  
          3. So, when you get an order on Amazon, for instance, you’ll see that order reflected in your central inventory, and you won’t accidentally sell the same SKU on a different channel. It’s all automated so you don’t have to remember to update your system manually. 

          Why do you need to integrate with marketplaces? 

          The benefits of integrating your ecommerce store with online marketplaces should be pretty clear: 

          You can reach more people 

          People who’ve never heard of your business can still find your products if they’re listed on major marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Walmart. You get to piggyback on their success to grow your product reach. 

          You can make more money 

          Larger audiences and increased visibility give you the potential to increase your sales and grow your revenue. 

          You can keep your business organized

          But, without integrations, you’ll soon find yourself struggling to manage your inventory and keep track of orders. You don’t ever want to be manually copy-pasting data from one platform to another—that’s a great way to end up in a muddle and disappoint your hard-won customers. 

          Integrations make it far easier for you to sell more to more people, without losing track of inventory or orders, or accidentally selling the same product twice on two different sites. 

          What are the challenges of integrating with marketplaces? 

          Of course, there’s always a catch. Here are a few of the things that make integrations a bit tricky: 

          Initial setup and maintenance costs 

          Yeah, it’ll cost you.  While it’s often free to set up a seller account, there are fees associated with selling products through marketplaces, and they can vary widely by platform. For example: 


          It’s free to set up a selling account on Amazon, but you’ll have to pay $0.99 for every item sold or pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99. 


          Etsy fees are a bit more complicated. You have to pay $0.20 to list a product on Etsy, and pay that sum again every 4 months to renew the listing if the product hasn’t sold. You also have to pay a transaction fee for every sale on Etsy—currently 6.5% of the final sale price. Plus, if you use Esty to process payments, there will be an additional payment processing fee on top. 


          It’s free to list up to 250 items on eBay (after that, it costs $0.35 per item). You’ll pay a transaction fee for everything you sell. For most items, you’ll pay a fee of 13.25% of the total sale price up to $7,500 per item, and 2.35% on the portion of the sale over $7,500. (Some items, like sneakers and bags, are priced differently). 

          Plus, integrating with these marketplaces will also come with costs. Whether that’s paying for subscriptions to apps or plugins, or paying a developer to build a custom app with the marketplace API, there are some upfront costs involved.

          It’s probably worth mentioning here that Linnworks comes with 100+ integrations as part of our standard pricing package, so that takes away some of the sticker shock for you. 

          If you’re selling on a major marketplace, you’ll be competing with…well, everybody. Popular marketplaces attract a lot of sellers, making it difficult for any one business to stand out. High competition can drive down prices and margins. Paying for increased visibility through advertising, sponsored listings, and so on will add to your initial costs. 

          Complexity of managing multiple sales channels 

          This is a big one. Selling on multiple channels exponentially increases your operational complexity. Now, you’ve got to consider: 

          • Coordinating inventory and avoiding overselling
          • Consolidating data into a single system 
          • Complying with platform-specific policies on everything from returns, to refunds, to shipping, to customer service 

          Potential impact on brand identity and customer relationship 

          Marketplaces tend to promote their brand over individual sellers. That makes it harder to build a loyal customer base because customers will be loyal to the marketplace rather than to the seller. Think about the last time you used Amazon Marketplace to buy something—can you even name the original seller? 

          When is it time to integrate with marketplaces? 

          Wondering if your business is ready for marketplace integration? Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

          • Are you already selling your products well through your existing channels? (As in, how’s your product-market fit?) 
          • Can you handle more sales volume, or are you already struggling to meet demand as it is? 
          • Are there customers on other marketplaces that we’d like to reach? 
          • Are your competitors successfully selling via other marketplaces? 
          • Are their specific marketplaces that dominate your product category? 
          • Can you convincingly compete with our existing products in a more competitive arena? 
          • Can you afford the fees? 
          • Does your existing ecommerce platform support integration? (If not, you might want to change that first.) 
          • Can you handle more customer service demands if sales go up? 
          • Can you manage increased returns and refunds? 
          • Do the marketplaces you’re considering fit well with your brand and long-term sales strategy? 
          • Have you considered the risks and thought of ways to mitigate them? 

          If you said yes to most or all of the above, you’re probably ready to get stuck into marketplace integration. 

          How to implement marketplace integrations successfully 

          If you are ready to get started, here are a few tips to get off on the right foot: 

          Use a connected ecommerce platform

          If you’re using the wrong platform to start with, then connecting to other marketplaces is going to be frustrating. The right platform will: 

          • Give you a single interface where you can manage your sales across multiple sales channels 
          • Offer real-time inventory updates and order status to avoid overselling and keep your stock levels accurate 
          • Sync inventory information across all your channels automatically
          • Pull together data from multiple marketplaces so you can easily see how your sales are going 
          • Let you scale by adding as many marketplaces as you want, without reinventing the wheel each time 

          Pick the right marketplaces

          Not every marketplace will be right for you. Some aspects to consider: 

          • Where do your customers hang out, and where do they buy similar products to yours? This might involve customer interviews, online polls, surveys, or just looking at what your competitors are doing. 
          • Which platform fits with your brand, products, and strategy? For example, Etsy targets shoppers looking for “handmade, vintage, custom and unique gifts and products” — so if that’s you, it could be the right place to be. On the other hand, if you just want to reach as many people as possible, then Amazon might be the better option. 
          • Which platform makes the most financial sense? For instance, Amazon is more expensive than some other options, so it only makes sense if you’re confident that you’ll sell enough to make it worth the fees. 

          Not sure which marketplaces make sense for your ecommerce business? Check out our guide to the most popular marketplaces: Meet the Marketplace

          Opt for tools that integrate seamlessly 

          Make sure you’re going for an initial ecommerce platform and integration tools that really do allow for full integration. For example, you need to be able to: 

          • Sync inventory levels across all the different marketplaces in real time
          • Automatically update product listings across all your marketplaces
          • Automate order processing tasks like order confirmation, shipping, and tracking updates 

          Maintain brand consistency across platforms 

          To build a loyal customer base, aim to keep your branding the same across all your marketplaces: 

          • Use consistent, high-quality product images. 
          • Keep product descriptions the same across channels. 
          • Offer the same level of customer service, response times, packaging and shipping speeds. 

          Integrate with hundreds of marketplaces with Linnworks

          If you’re ready to get started with marketplace integration, we’d love to help. Linnworks is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that gives you easy access to hundreds of global marketplaces, D2C platforms, shipping providers, 3PLs, and more, so you can be where your customers are, on whichever platform they’re on. 

          You can explore our complete list of integrations here. If you’re ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level, book a free demo today and find out how Linnworks can help. 

          Ready to see Linnworks in action?

          • Unrivaled ecommerce data accuracy
          • 100+ integrations with global sales channels
          • Up and running in 40 days on average
          rosanna campbell

          Rosanna Campbell


          Rosanna is a freelance writer who writes non-boring content for B2B SaaS clients like Dock, Lattice, and She lives in Spain with her husband, her son, and a beagle who eats her furniture.