An online marketplace is a website where many retailers sell their products to customers. For this reason, many describe one such store as a multiple-vendor ecommerce store. Conversely, a standard ecommerce store does not have multiple vendors. This is the main difference between a marketplace and an ecommerce website: the company owning the former offers someone else’s products, not their own.
Must-Have Elements from Customers’ Perspective
Online customers behave slightly differently from how they behave when put in a physical buying situation. Online is the kind of space where even a second’s delay in the loading of a website could just make or break that business. In addition to those standard expected features, a marketplace has to offer buyers the following as well.
- Easy Navigation: This makes the overall experience of shopping more pleasure than what it would otherwise be. If a website is easy to navigate, then buyers can get to the places they want to reach without much difficulty. When navigating from one point to another (read: from picking a product to checkout) is a cakewalk, customers are sure to love your site.
- Easy Checkout: It has been said over and over again, and we repeat it here: keep your checkout webpage simple, engaging and short. There are no two ways about it: your checkout page has to be just like that. This will surely help you get more sales out of the same volume of traffic.
- Order Tracking: It is good to inform customers when their purchase order is approved, and when it is being processed/shipped/out for delivery. You can improve the way you do these operations by giving each customer a unique tracking number. It will help them track their orders.
- Multicurrency Payment Option: This feature improves your customer’s shopping experience because they can pay for products in the currency which they prefer to pay.
- Multilingual: This simply means that your website content is presentable in more than one language. This is also important regardless of whether you are catering to a local or international customer base. Remember, your customers can be a native of any place, so you should have content in English and/or the option to translate it to that language.
The Must-Haves from Sellers’ Point of View
Sellers are just as significant part of your business as customers. So being a marketplace owner, ensure your sellers are getting the following on your multiple-vendor ecommerce site.
- Import and Export: This feature enables retailers to import and export the data they wish to transfer from their computer to your website. Rather than manually doing every work, an automated system will make things easier and quicker.
- Great Vendor Dashboard: It is a good idea to provide vendors/sellers with a dashboard to enable them to handle their profile, products, inventory, and sales all from a single place.
- Promotions: A built-in PPC advertising feature will help vendors market their items and find how their campaigns are doing. By enabling vendors to select their total marketing budget, PPC and the length of a marketing campaign, this feature can facilitate them to boost their revenue.
- Multistore Functionality: A seller has multiple online stores in many instances. A marketplace site offering them the provision to add any number of stores will be great for the seller and admin’s business.
Must-Haves from Administrators’ Perspective
Administrations are the ones who use a marketplace site most often. They manage all the things and everyone, which includes vendors and customers. This is the reason why your website should have the below-mentioned features for them to have full control over what they do.
- Product Catalog: In addition to making things easy for vendors, a catalog also enables admins to minimize the hassle that comes with managing a wide range of stores. One where every vendor simply adds their respective price, managing sellers does not get easier than that.
- Customization and Scalability: A marketplace has to grow together with the business’s growth rate. From adding sellers to adding product categories, administrators should have the facility to customize the site according to their needs.
- Product Review Management: The feature helps administrators set credibility for an item and maintain the brand value of that product among customers. Besides, the featured products feature helps vendors showcase the high-value items and helps administrators by making a business revenue channel.
- Data and Report: This particular feature helps administrators analyze sales reports, campaign reports, and collect customer data for making better recommendations. It essentially helps them grown their business’s revenue multifold.
- Automated Processing of Tasks: From establishing commissions to shopping calculations and real-time tax, automation is one of the key elements to ensure hassle-free management of the marketplace.