E-commerce marketplace is usually known as a multivendor platform where vendors from all over the world sell their products and earn money out of it. Multiple products are showcased under a single platform. The marketplace owner is solely responsible for all the transactions and for attracting customers. Many businesses can shift their process online and sell their products to them. Some big companies like Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra have gained a huge success in the e-commerce marketplace model. If we talk about traditional marketplaces, we see that there are only one owner and various customers but with the advent of technology, the online marketplace have secured its place and many entrepreneurs are stepping in this industry because it offers a great reach.
In earlier years, e-commerce sales worldwide went over $3.5 trillion and the e-commerce market is expected to rise double in the coming years. Due to this reason, many entrepreneurs are attracted to this setup and building unique start-up ideas for this marketplace.
Why entrepreneurs choose online marketplaces over conventional stores?
The online marketplace is the best e-commerce platform which needs fewer investments and entrepreneurs can reach millions of people by sitting anywhere in the world. They just need to build an application or a website so that vendors can sell their products easily. Be it sellers, customers, or admin, everybody is benefitted through the online marketplace. Let us see how they are benefitted:
- Platform owners can charge an amount of money from the vendors working on their platform which increases the overall profit of the owner.
- The owner can easily see the products uploaded by the vendors which increase the transparency between the vendors and the admin.
- The vendors are not bound to work for a specified period of time as conventional stores operate, instead, they can work 24*7 and orders can be placed anytime.
Benefits for customers:
- They get ample of products under one single platform from which they can select the item they want. They get reasonable prices because many stores offer the same product at different prices.
- They get the best deal as they can compare the products before placing an order.
- Customers can pay online and get the order delivered at their doorsteps. It also offers a real-time tracking option which is convenient for the buyer to track their package.
Benefits for sellers:
- Sellers get the platform where he/she can showcase his products and marketing skills. They can also gain visibility and can reach people anywhere in the nation.
- They can also gain the trust of the customer by providing return or exchange options because there are people who are sceptical about ordering an online product. This option can allow them to return or exchange in case they don’t like the product.
- This can act as an additional sales channel apart from their conventional stores.
Businesses like Amazon, Walmart have managed to build a million-dollar business who are inspiring for various newcomers. In the e-commerce marketplace, owners don’t need to invest a large amount of money which is one of the reasons why it is an aspiring business. The only challenge which will come across is choosing the best company which can develop a feature-enriched platform which can stay in the market for a long time.
If anybody wants to start a multi-vendor marketplace for various sellers, they should have knowledge about all the panels in detail so that it would be easy for them to build a platform. Generally, there are 3 different panels:
- Customer Panel
- Sellers/ Vendors App
- Admin Dashboard
There are various features included in each panel which makes them the best online marketplaces for sellers. Firstly, let us see in detail what all functions are there in a vendor panel:
- Vendors can easily register themselves as well as login through their social media accounts like Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook.
- Sellers receive a feature-enriched panel from where they can easily manage their inventory, process orders, and analyze the sales report regularly to see what can be done for the betterment of the business.
- They will be solely responsible for managing all the incoming orders, fulfilling them on time, and managing all the return requests.
- They can also create discounts and implement marketing strategies on their own behalf.
- They are authorized to manage multiple warehouses and create pickups for the customers if they wish to.
- They can also manage reviews and ratings of all the customers.
- There is also a unique feature of sending SMS notifications to admin or other vendors and update them about total sales and the position of the business.
- There is a different panel for customers through which they can easily explore the desired products and check the COD and availability at their location.
- Customers have an option to search and compare the products because there could be many vendors selling the same products at different prices. Customers can take a decision after exploring them in detail.
- The wallet system makes it easier for the customers to pay for the products purchased. They can add funds to their wallet from their bank account and shop for various products and pay directly through the wallet.
- Customers can avail of early-bird discounts and other offers by referring a friend. These are called marketing strategies to attract more and more customers.
- A customer care centre would be established in order to gain the trust of the customers. They can contact them in case of any inconvenience.
- Admin has the authority to set the competitive commission rates which he/she will charge on every transaction made on the platform.
- The commission can be fixed or flexible based on the selling price of a product.
- Admin is responsible for adding all the features and functions while building a platform. He can add basic or advanced functions to give a great user experience.
- He can add multi-currency support as well to attract international customers.
- Admin is responsible for attracting new customers towards his platform by implementing marketing strategies.
- Admin acts as a manager who can add or remove any vendor and can change certain things on the platform according to the needs and requirements.
Major challenges in building a multi-vendor marketplace:
Every business whether conventional stores or online platforms, need the utmost care in the initial stage to receive higher profits in the long run. The major challenge of building an e-commerce marketplace is gathering sellers and customers both because an entrepreneur needs both of them in bulk to acquire a large part of the society. An online marketplace is of no use if it is not having sufficient sellers working on it.
Sustainability of business is yet another challenge. The owner has to nourish it once he gets enough sellers and buyers on its platform. Marketing strategies work well when we talk about sustainability.
The online market is competitive enough and it is not possible for everyone to enter and survive for a long time. So, it is better to make plans and strategies beforehand and do a detailed study of the market and see what exactly customers are looking for.
As an entrepreneur, one has to overcome these challenges in order to survive in a competitive world. It needs patience and hard work.
Why online business is growing more during pandemic?
As we know that the current situation is getting worse day by day as people are getting sceptical about touching infected surfaces. Governments are unlocking in various areas where cases are less but still, people are staying indoors. In this situation, online businesses are surging and they had seen a growth in 3 months like never before. People are preferring online products whether it is a grocery, household products or clothes.
This is the perfect time for starting an online marketplace because you can reach millions of people in just a few days if your strategy is right. Many entrepreneurs have already grabbed this opportunity and started an online marketplace.
Customer is a kind of business no matter the business is traditional or online. One must understand consumer behavior so that he can provide products accordingly. A thorough market study is important to know the competitors around and their prices. According to that, you can make your plans before you actually start working. One should try to make his/her platform feature-enriched to make it more functional and attractive.