I want to know whaat people think about a marketplace that’s half between Amazon FBA and Shopify: It’s a marketplace and so unlike Shopify you don’t need to invest time building a site and finding customers, but unlike Amazon, it gives you full control of your brand and you own the customer and the analytics.
There are many problems with the Amazon model as it pertains to small business (although they do get lots of things correct):
* They own the customer, and all the data associated with them.
* Merchants do not have their own brand: Their brand is mostly drowned out by Amazon.
* Amazon competes with their merchants by selling their own products. Due to the above two items, Amazon will always have an edge over their merchants.
* It can be expensive.
Shopify is slated as the alternative to Amazon. However it too has its drawbacks:
* Merchants need to identity, target and acquire their customers.
* Time consuming and technical to set it up.
* Customers need to enter payment details for each site, thereby creating friction before purchase.
* Marketplace protection for a customer is absent thereby creating friction before purchasing.
I am a software engineer who is interested in building a marketplace that is a hybrid of Amazon and Shopify:
* Quick and simple to set up a store (like Amazon).
* Merchants own their customers and can market directly to them (like Shopify).
* Merchants own their brand (like Shopify).
* Customer friction lessened by marketplace guarantees (e.g. money back upon returns) and stored payment information (like Amazon).
* This marketplace will never compete with its merchants (like Shopify).
I am wondering if there is any need/want from merchants for such a model? What does this community think?