Top marketplace integrations for SMEs | Transalis Blog

Marketplace integration – what is it, why do smart SMEs have it, and how do I get it for my business?

It can be challenging for SMEs to navigate the various requirements of managing online retail channels. However, smaller businesses can leverage the power of eCommerce giants to increase their market reach and efficiently manage orders. This is where marketplace integration comes in.

Integrations for business productivity

Increase supply chain visibility and efficiency with integrations - automatically feeding the right information, to the right place, in the right format

Visibility and business agility with EDI integrations

Have a particular eCommerce marketplace in mind? Skip ahead using the section links below;

What is marketplace integration?

Many online marketplaces mandate sellers to connect via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

This means digitising and automating the exchange of supply chain information between trading parties. At a basic level, a typical EDI connection will manage the exchange of order and invoice information.

However, there can be complex requirements between different marketplaces, which can include the exchange of additional message types, such as shipping label information and transit manifests. Therefore, it is usually best to set up a marketplace integration rather than a simple EDI connection.

An integrated EDI connection with a chosen online marketplace ensures an entirely automated flow of data between the supplier system and the marketplace system. This cuts out any manual input. Information is reformatted automatically to be compatible with the endpoint application. For example, these applications can be the order management system on the marketplace side, or the finance application on the supplier side. Overall, the required data is instantly visible and is automatically communicated between the necessary parties, ultimately triggering the right supply chain processes.

How can I manage eCommerce orders for my business?

There are a couple of key strategies that most businesses will take when it comes to managing orders from online sales channels:

Direct-to-Consumer strategy

Direct-to-Consumer, or D2C, is pretty self-explanatory. D2C encompasses the sales strategy many suppliers have taken to support orders received from the end consumer, rather than dealing on a wholesale basis with retailers. This approach can involve the build and launch of an independent and branded eCommerce-enabled website.

For smaller businesses without the required in-house skills and resources, the prospect of an independent online sales channel can be costly, time-consuming and complex to achieve.

This is where Shopify can be useful. It is an all-in-one commerce platform that can facilitate the launch, running and growth of online businesses, including eCommerce. At Transalis, we can support eCommerce integration with Shopify. But there are also other ways to manage a D2C sales strategy, as outlined in this blog.

Dropship strategy

Dropship, or dropshipping, is a sales strategy used by many third-party retailers. It allows retailers to sell products to the consumer without having to fulfil the order, as this is managed by the product supplier/manufacturer. Dropship means retailers do not need to purchase and house stock themselves, instead order information is sent to the supplier for their supply chain to manage the order fulfilment from their own stock.

What are the top online marketplaces for SMEs?

With the dominance of the online retail market in recent years, online sales channels should be at the forefront of most business strategies.

However, for SMEs this can prove to be a great challenge. For example, smaller businesses have fewer resources and in-house skills to fully invest in their own eCommerce-enabled website. This is where online marketplaces become a valuable asset among the arsenal of marketing tools available to SMEs.

In this scenario, a business can harness the existing infrastructure and market reach of an established online marketplace to propel them forward. This approach grants SMEs some key advantages:

  • Increases market reach and prospective customers

  • Limits business spend and investment in in-house tech

  • Support of a well-structured website/application and sales process

Top online marketplace integration for small business


First in this list, which you probably already guessed, is Amazon.

Founded in Washington in 1994 initially as a marketplace for books, the eCommerce platform is recognised as a trailblazer in its field. Without considering other Amazon divisions (e.g. Prime video, Music, and Amazon Web Services, to name a few), the platform now markets all manner of consumer goods.

There are a few different ways to integrate with Amazon, as there are two main categories of Amazon trading partners: Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central.

For SMEs, the most applicable integrations for Amazon sit in the Amazon Seller Central camp:

Amazon Direct Fulfillment

Amazon Direct Fulfillment is a dropship option offered by Amazon.

Therefore, with Amazon Direct Fulfillment, sellers can list their products on the Amazon marketplace, Amazon then manages the consumer purchase, and the order information is communicated to the seller to fulfil. As you can imagine, this process involves a variety of different messages exchanged between Amazon and the seller. Starting with an Order Fulfilment Request (OFR) sent by Amazon to the seller, all the way through to an Advance Shipment Notice (ASN) sent by the seller to Amazon.

An EDI integration for Amazon Direct Fulfillment is essential for a smooth dropship operation, especially when managing large order volumes. Transalis can fully support an Amazon Direct Fulfillment integration, with all required message types included.

Amazon FBA

On the other end of the spectrum within Amazon Seller Central, is the Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) option.

Sellers that choose Amazon FBA are effectively nominating Amazon to fulfil the entire order process. This means that Amazon holds supplier stock in their warehouses, and manages the incoming orders, as well as the pick, pack and delivery of goods to the end consumer.

Again, Transalis can ensure your organisation meets all of the mandated requirements for an Amazon FBA integration.


Another marketplace synonymous with online retail is eBay.

Originally launched from California as an online auction site in 1995, the Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce giant has since expanded globally. The UK domain itself receives over 17 million unique visitors per month. An attractive option for any business looking to expand into online retail.

In addition to the traditional timed auction set-up mainly utilised by individual sellers, eBay supports branded shopfronts with “Buy Now” options. eBay can also help SMEs that are managing a dropship strategy.

Transalis can support an eBay integration with your systems with the use of APIs. These enable the frictionless exchange and feed of eBay order data, including; inventory and product listings, order fulfilment, marketing campaigns, and sales reports.


Etsy is among some of the slightly more recent additions to the eCommerce space, but equally has made a very familiar name for itself.

Launched in the US in 2005, Etsy has become the global marketplace for handmade, custom, or vintage wares and craft supplies. As expected sitting amongst the other marketplace giants, the site receives very high traffic volumes. For example, in the UK, over 40 million visits were made in January 2023 alone. Naturally, this platform lends itself very well to small independent businesses, particularly in the gifting space, that are just starting to dip their toes into online sales channels. To get set up, sellers must create their own shopfronts within the platform. Their products are then searchable by potential buyers.

Get in touch with us to discuss your eCommerce integration requirements to connect with Etsy.

Marketplace integration for online retail


In a similar vein, Groupon, also hailing from the US, was launched in 2008.

Groupon is marketed to its target audience as a discount buying platform, where consumers can access popular goods and services at a heavily reduced cost. Groupon buyers are subscribers to the online marketplace/mobile app, where they receive notifications of the latest deals situated locally to them or available for home delivery. Therefore this is an attractive marketplace for small, localised businesses as well as startups that are limited by visibility and negligible marketing resources.

First-party goods vendors on Groupon will require a marketplace integration for increased efficiency and data visibility in managing their large order volumes.

Not On The High Street

The UK eCommerce marketplace, Not On The Hight Street (NOTHS), started in 2006 and now supports over 5,000 small businesses based in the UK to sell their wares.

It was created to fill the market gap of a centralised marketplace that sells unique and personalised items, particularly gifts, that wouldn’t typically be found in a high street retail outlet. The eCommerce marketplace is well-ranked in UK search, with over 4 million web visits in January 2023 alone. Similarly to Etsy, Not On The High Street allows UK sellers to set up their own online storefront and list searchable products within the online marketplace.

Businesses with high order volumes should consider a marketplace integration to better manage the order fulfilment process.


OnBuy is one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces in the UK.

The online marketplace was launched in 2016 and has over 35 million products available from both household name brands to smaller independent retailers. OnBuy is operated on a catalogue system, where users are able to search, compare, and purchase products from over 6000 different categories. For example, the consumer can compare multiple different sellers against the price, delivery and reviews of a listed product.

OnBuy sales fees vary between different product categories, with the lowest sitting at 7% per sale.


Shopitnear is an online marketplace for small UK retailers.

Shop local retailers online

This online marketplace was built specifically to help SME retailers UK-wide grow their business. Shopitnear catalogues individual products as well as hosts branded online shop fronts. Shopitnear allows users to filter by location or search nationwide and buy from multiple independent brands in one transaction.

For small UK sellers that want to harness the market reach of Shopitnear, it is free to get set-up and list products, with only a small fee taken per sale.


Wayfair has become one of the largest home and furniture online marketplaces.

Initially launched in the US in 2002, Wayfair has since grown to have offices and warehouse distribution centres across the globe, including the UK and mainland Europe. Overall, the eCommerce marketplace has an inventory of over 14 million items offered by over 11 thousand global suppliers. This homeware marketplace serves over 23 million customers.

Manufacturers and homeware merchants can sell via Wayfair by being listed using their Partner Home platform. This partnership is either run on a dropship basis or via Wayfair’s own fulfilment services.


Launched between 2010 and 2011, (and its eCommerce app) has seen exponential growth over the last decade.

Founded in the US, lists items from over 1 million different merchants, the bulk of which is supplied from China and other non-US distributors. The eCommerce platform predominately serves the US market but has expanded globally, including the UK. Customers have a personalised shopping experience of the eCommerce platform. There’s an additional element of gamification in the Wish website and mobile app, where consumers can gain additional discounts on top-selling items via a “wheel of fortune”-style game.

The marketplace runs on a dropship model, therefore communicating orders made on the platform directly with the suppliers/merchants to fulfil. Contact us to enquire about a marketplace integration with

Marketplace integration connection

How do I get started with marketplace integration for my business?

You have a couple of options when it comes to marketplace integration for your business.

First, if you have the technical knowledge in-house, then you could look at setting this up yourself. Some of the online marketplaces listed above can assist you with the right API documents for your team to use in order to set up a live integration with the chosen platform.

However, this can be a complex process, so if your team do not have the right skills to handle this type of setup, it is better to opt for a SaaS provider to manage it for you, which is the alternative option. Electing a provider to set up and manage a marketplace integration connection is likely to be more efficient than in-house.

As you may have noticed throughout this blog, we are able to support your business with marketplace integration. Take a look at our individual integrations or build out your own bespoke EDI set-up with our eDI Freedom calculator. This allows you to select the standard EDI connections you need, the marketplace integrations required, and additional functionalities, such as reporting, with a transparent package cost.

As with all our products, there are absolutely no hidden fees. Discover our other EDI products below to find the right solution for your business and supply chain complexity…

eDI Software

To discuss your need for integration with online marketplaces give us a call on 0845 123 3746 (UK callers) or +44 1978 369 343 (international callers), or email If you’re new to EDI, want to read some client case studies, or get copies of our quarterly whitepapers, visit our Knowledge Hub.

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest reports, blogs, news and client stories from Transalis


Transalis Ltd,
Portsmouth Technopole,
Kingston Crescent,

Registered Address

C/O Blakelaw Secretaries Limited,
New Kings Court, Tollgate,
Chandler’s Ford,
SO53 3LG

UK Sales
International Sales
UK Helpdesk
International Helpdesk

Privacy Preference Center