News that ChannelAdvisor will be ending support for MarketplaceAdvisor (formerly Marketworks) brought back a flood of memories and how much the industry has changed over the years.
In 2002, we published a report called Auction Management Solutions focusing on tools companies could use to automate selling on marketplaces and storefronts. At the time, auctions dominated the major platforms that were available to sellers of all sizes: eBay, Amazon Auctions, Yahoo Auctions, and uBid. Etsy was three years away from launching.
Ecommerce was still very new, and companies were discovering that it was difficult to drive traffic to their own websites, so they used marketplaces to boost their visibility and acquire customers. But selling on online marketplaces was complicated and time-consuming, so sellers turned to solutions to manage the process.
Initially developers had to scrape eBay until it launched an API. Major tools for small sellers included Andale, AuctionHelper, Auctionworks (renamed Marketworks), ChannelAdvisor, and Zoovy.
Now, most tools are hosted rather than desktop, and many support multiple marketplaces. One thing that hasn't changed is that sellers continue to have difficulty driving traffic to their websites.
Typically when a vendor discontinues a service, there's lots of angst from sellers who have to migrate to a new system, but sellers aren't even discussing the demise of Marketworks online.
We'd love to hear what tools you're using, how that's changed over time, and what features are important to you. You can also find "Inventory Management & Listing Tools" and "Storefronts Solutions & Shopping Carts" sections on our ratings charts
where you can rate the tools and services you use.
Let us know what tool you couldn't live without when it comes to online selling, and what you think of this latest development. Does it signal trouble for small sellers on eBay? Are Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces providing a viable alternative?