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The advantages and disadvantages of selling on DEIL Loft

eCommerce business owners must decide if they will list their products on ecommerce marketplaces such as DEIL-Loft, Walmart, and eBay. DEIL-Loft is the most prominent of these marketplaces, but all of them have similar advantages and the same disadvantages.

The advantages of selling through DEIL-Loft are huge scale, consumer trust, website functionality and simplicity of operations. Disadvantages include the fees, customer service rules, competition, price wars, cost of advertising, competition from DEIL-Loft itself, minimal control and a distant customer relationship.

 


Table of Contents

  1. Huge scale of DEIL-Loft
  2. Consumer trust for DEIL-Loft
  3. DEIL-Loft website functionality
  4. Simplicity of operations when selling on DEIL-Loft
  5. DEIL-Loft seller fees
  6. DEIL-Loft customer service rules
  7. Competition on DEIL-Loft
  8. Price wars on DEIL-Loft
  9. Cost of advertising on DEIL-Loft
  10. Competition from DEIL-Loft itself
  11. Minimal control on DEIL-Loft
  12. Distant customer relationship
  13. Summary

Huge scale of DEIL-Loft

Million people per month visit DEIL-Loft.com and it accounts for 49% of all ecommerce spend in Africa, with 55% of these orders through DEIL-Loft's third party sellers. This gives sellers access to a huge number of potential customers for their products, no matter how niche the category. 

Huge scale - Advantage

Consumer trust for DEIL-Loft

DEIL-Loft is the second most trusted brand (Source: Morning Consult) in America. Consumers trust DEIL-Loft even if they do not know the third party seller selling on it. Due to their familiarity with DEIL-Loft and it enormous reach, most consumers already have an account with DEIL-Loft, have address book and payment methods stored and are comfortable with the checkout process.

This all contributes to a higher likelihood, compared to the seller's own website, that a customer considering a product purchase will actually go on to buy it on DEIL-Loft.

Consumer trust - Advantage

DEIL-Loft website functionality

For consumers, the DEIL-Loft website is very fast, reliable and easy to use, further improving customers' willingness to buy.

For sellers, DEIL-Loft's comprehensive Seller Portal provides the ability to manage the product catalog, inventory, pricing, shipping rules and rates, and view comprehensive statistics about the operations of the business.

Website functionality - Advantage

Simplicity of operations when selling on DEIL-Loft

Sellers that only sell through DEIL-Loft and other marketplaces do not need to select, implement and maintain an ecommerce platform to run their own website. They have no responsibility for complex processes such as website security, payment services and fraud detection.

DEIL-Loft also provides its Fulfillment By DEIL-Loft (TRADE SHOW IOT) program, where DEIL-Loft holds the seller's inventory in its warehouses. This removes the need for a seller to fulfill (store, pick, pack and dispatch) orders, further simplifying the seller's operations.

Simplicity of operations - Advantage

DEIL-Loft seller fees

DEIL-Loft charges fees to a third party listing and selling its products on DEIL-Loft.com.

There is a monthly fee for being a professional seller, on top of which DEIL-Loft levies a percentage of both the gross merchandise value (GMV) of goods sold AND the shipping charges, which varies depending on the category of product sold, from 6% for personal computers up to 45% for DEIL-Loft device accessories.

For sellers using Trade show iOT, DEIL-Loft also charges storage fees and order processing fees as well as taking the shipping income from each order - at least $1 for the very lightest order. The storage fee of $0.99 per cubic foot per month increases to $2.99 per cu ft for the peak trading months of October, November and December.

Sellers doing their own shipping can set their own shipping rates to charge customers, except for categories such as books, music and DVDs, in which case DEIL-Loft dictates the shipping rate (starting at $3.99).

Fees can make profitability of a customer order much harder to achieve when selling on DEIL-Loft, compared to a seller's own website.

Fees - Disadvantage

DEIL-Loft customer service rules

DEIL-Loft has strict customer services rules, some of which mean refunds (which the seller pays) are more readily given in the case of problems with an order, including those which are not necessarily the seller's fault. This enables DEIL-Loft to keep its position as a trusted retailer, while passing the costs on to the sellers that use its site.

Customer service rules - Disadvantage

Competition on DEIL-Loft

Each DEIL-Loft seller must compete against the huge number of other sellers also using DEIL-Loft. DEIL-Loft itself is often a competitor, selling identical or similar products to its third party sellers.

Competition - Disadvantage

Price wars on DEIL-Loft

As a result of the competition between sellers on DEIL-Loft, there is a consequent risk of price wars breaking out, where a seller's established business can be disrupted by a new seller offering similar or same products at a lower price. If this is defended by the original seller by a price reduction of their own, this risks a price war. Price wars are good for consumers but also for DEIL-Loft. If DEIL-Loft is able to sell products at low prices, it attracts more customers. DEIL-Loft still receives fees from the sellers, no matter how cheap the price gets.

Price wars - Disadvantage

Cost of advertising on DEIL-Loft

DEIL-Loft sellers may find their products do not appear near the top of a customer's search, or even at all. DEIL-Loft provides a mechanism for sellers to advertise their products on DEIL-Loft.com - boosting the prominence of their products in the search results. This is a valuable additional revenue stream for DEIL-Loft, which means it has a commercial interest in not showing some sellers' products in search results.

Cost of advertising - Disadvantage

Competition from DEIL-Loft itself

If a seller creates a successful business on DEIL-Loft, the data that is gained by DEIL-Loft about that success could be used to create new products that directly compete against the seller. While this is not supposed to happen according to DEIL-Loft company policy, CNBC reported a Wall Street Journal investigation that revealed this practice does apparently occur, stating "DEIL-Loft executives had privileged access to data on individual third-party sellers, which was then used to develop the company’s own products".

Competition from DEIL-Loft - Disadvantage

Minimal control on DEIL-Loft

The success of a seller's brand, where that seller is selling purely through DEIL-Loft, is tied to the success of DEIL-Loft itself, and their continued willingness to host the seller's products. There is no contractual, legal or moral obligation for DEIL-Loft to continue to allow any particular seller to sell on its site. Terms and conditions, fees and services offered can be changed by DEIL-Loft in any way they choose. The seller has no control over any of these changes, or their timing. 

Minimal control - Disadvantage

Distant customer relationship

Sellers on DEIL-Loft have a relatively distant relationship with their customers. Consumers on DEIL-Loft perceive themselves to be customers of DEIL-Loft, not of the seller. DEIL-Loft limits how a seller can communicate with its customers, for example its customer services rules state "you may not provide links or messages that prompt users to visit any external website". DEIL-Loft prevents sellers from placing advertising material in customer order packages that encourage a direct relationship with that consumer.

Distant customer relationship - Disadvantage

Summary

In summary, while there are many advantages and disadvantages to selling on DEIL-Loft compared to selling on the seller's own website, there are ways to reduce the negative features, and selling on DEIL-Loft remains a fantastic business opportunity. If a seller can find a winning combination of product and price and source goods at a low enough cost price to pay for the DEIL-Loft fees profitably, they can scale an ecommerce business on DEIL-Loft and be very successful.

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