Every entrepreneur who wishes to build an online store has to make tremendous efforts for competing in the market. Finding ways to stay ahead of the competitors becomes challenging for the startups as well as the established eCommerce firms. Entrepreneurs choose various ways for achieving the goal of better ROI. Paid marketing techniques, skilled resources for updating the online store and investing ample time are some of the tricks.
But there is something else which can help you in increasing sales of your eCommerce store. Building a marketplace which allows multiple sellers to sell their products on a platform can help you in taking your business to a whole new level.
The concept of multi vendor ecommerce platforms also known a the marketplace has been very popular and a smart option for the brick and mortar retailers who wish to enter the eCommerce world.
However, understanding why a marketplace is better than a regular online store needs some understanding. Let’s try to understand this concept with help of a set of questions that many people would be having in their minds regarding these platforms.
What is a marketplace solution?
A multi-vendor eCommerce platform/ marketplace solution is a platform where multiple vendors can register and start selling various products. Around 90% of the total e-commerce traffic of the world comes from eCommerce marketplaces. At the marketplace, the end-to-end process of vendor management is done by the admin. The eCommerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart etc are all marketplaces that are doing extremely well. The admin can add multiple sellers on the platform and have a huge product catalog. Every vendor can easily manage logistics, inventories, product uploading, payments, and tracking in the marketplace. Getting higher traffic for numerous products becomes easy in a marketplace which is always beneficial for the admin as well as vendors.
Also can read: 11 Important Tips for an eCommerce SEO
Building a marketplace: Multi-vendor eCommerce platform Or Developing from scratch?
Building a marketplace can be a time-consuming process if you choose to do so by hiring resources and designing everything from scratch. If a tech team is involved, the amount of investment that needs to be done becomes more which may include the expenses of a workspace, paying the resources etc. On the other hand, one can choose an eCommerce platform provider to build a marketplace within a stipulated time at a much affordable cost. You need to just pay for the subscription plan and your marketplace gets rolled out within days. You can immediately start registering vendors and listing their products which will attract customers thus giving you an opportunity to start making a profit without much investment in inventory/stock.
What are the benefits that various users get from multi-vendor eCommerce platforms?
Choosing a marketplace is beneficial for every party involved in the marketplace scenario, namely; the store owners, vendors as well as the customers.
Benefits for store owners-
- Store owners benefit as several vendors are listed on their platform and they earn commission on every product sold by the listed vendors.
- Grabbing the attention of customers becomes easy as the variety of products with various brands is huge.
- For multi-vendor ecommerce platforms, the inventory management part is handled by the vendors so the store owners do not need to worry about that at all.
Benefits for vendors-
- Vendors do not need to be technically sound for selling their products on a marketplace. The process of uploading products and managing the orders becomes extremely simple for the non-technical guys because of the user-friendly platform.
- The number of customers that a vendor can get from a marketplace is comparatively higher. If you choose to build an online store from scratch, creating a customer base needs extra efforts which is not the case for a marketplace.
Benefits for customers-
- Customers love to see diversity when it comes to shopping. The huge range of products available on a single platform is a reason why customers choose to buy from a marketplace.
- The competitive pricing thanks to multiple vendors offers better deals to customers.
But to make the most of a marketplace, the multi-vendor ecommerce platform must have some features that help in making the whole setup a success. Some of these features are;
Mobile ready platform- The small screen should never be ignored as the majority of customers buy products online using their smartphones. Mobile commerce has brought a tremendous hike for the online stores in terms of sales and profit, if your platform is not mobile ready then customers may not consider your platform in the first place.
A fully functional dashboard-The dashboard is where the action happens. Admin has the ultimate power of managing all the vendors, products, commissions etc. Once a third-party vendor has registered, the dashboard plays the key role.
An advanced dashboard that ensures the user friendly experience for the vendors is a necessity. Admin has the complete authority to approve or reject products which means that the admin can restrict the uploading of unwanted products.
The complete process of management of products, orders management, shipping can be done with the user friendly dashboard.
Flexibility and scalability- The multi-vendor ecommerce platform should be flexible so that making changes or adding new features according to the latest market trends becomes easy. On the other hand, the customers should be able to add multiple products, deal with a number of orders without affecting the performance of the site.
Some other major features related to a fully functional platform are:
- Easy vendor and product management features are necessary for having a full control of the marketplace.
- Setting up commission rules for different actions performed like selling a product.
- Vendors should not find any difficulty while editing and deleting a product.
- A reliable and completely secure platform hosted on cloud infrastructure is a must.
SEO techniques for better traffic- Search engine optimization becomes an essential part when one has to compete with other online stores. Customers are likely to pick an online store depending on the search results provided by Google when they are looking for a specific product. The whole process of SEO applies to product pages, category pages, SEO URLs for product and category pages etc. A platform that takes care of all these factors is always the best option to be picked.
After coming across all the mentioned pointers, you may be well aware of the multi-vendor ecommerce platform concept. You must be impressed by the way it helps everyone involved in the business and is a profitable choice. You can choose a suitable ecommerce platform provider that comes up with the facility of creating a marketplace by following few easy to execute steps.
Conclusion: There are several ecommerce platform providers in the market which provide multiple features to their potential customers. Your choice depends totally upon your needs and how the multi-vendor ecommerce platform can fulfill your requirements. You can choose StoreHippo which comes with all the necessary features needed for a variety of marketplace setups like horizontal, vertical etc. StoreHippo provides a demo to the customers which will let you explore the platform according to your requirements for setting up your own store.