Do it yourself vs. agency
In the marketplace business, many brands and retailers often ask themselves: At what point should I start working with external help? What do I do myself? How do I set up my business?
We have found that in the following scenarios it can make sense to work with external help:
1. Resource constraints
One problem we see with many of our clients is that the marketplace business is categorically understaffed. Marketplace managers are expected to take care of onboarding, product listings, marketing, fulfillment, performance reviews, strategy, and business development, but are often left to fend for themselves within the company. This is where external support makes sense. Agencies can cover gaps in the system and the costs for this are often financed with higher sales and profits from the current business.
2. Know-how transfer
Many topics in the marketplace business are new and sometimes highly complicated. Anyone who has ever had to obtain personal documents from owners and profiteers under time pressure to avoid account suspensions on marketplaces knows what is at stake. At the same time, many things are important in international sales. For example, a Dutch customer usually expects faster delivery than a German customer, bol.com has different setup requirements than Amazon, and connectortools don’t always work as easily as the user imagines. This is where agencies can provide support and transfer knowledge from experience so that the business runs more smoothly.
Speed is still an important issue. If, for example, an expansion to Poland is pending on Allegro, which is to be handled alongside regular business, external consultants and agencies that have been through the processes many times before can provide an enormous speed boost. Contact persons at the marketplaces are available, checklists for onboarding speed up the process and potential and profit calculations give a better planning ability what to expect on the marketplaces. Go-live and sales can be realized faster and good advice avoids potential obstacles.
What else is there to consider?
In addition to the points mentioned above, consultants and agencies must of course be able to be co-financed by their performance in the client’s overall business model on the marketplaces and deliver lasting added value.
Of course, agencies charge higher hourly wages than an in-house employee, but it is important to remember that in addition to the salary of the in-house employee, there are also training, licenses and other fees. With an agency, all this is already included. Even in case of illness or vacation, an agency can provide another contact person who has the same knowledge.
An agency can bring many advantages with itself, however, it should be paid attention to the correct kind of agency. Depending on the requirements of the company, it may also make more sense to set up your own in-house department. We believe that especially in our three chosen scenarios of resource scarcity, know-how transfer and speed, it can be advantageous to turn to an agency or consultant to generate the best chances of success.
Are you wondering if external help makes sense for you? Or have you already decided to do so and are now looking for the right agency? We are happy to help you! Simply arrange a non-binding consultation and ask us your questions!