Just imagine an online marketplace where you can make numerous purchases in a matter of minutes. Just imagine a website where you can build a relationship with dozens of trustworthy vendors and find any product you need. Just imagine that you own the marketplace. But wait, you don’t need to imagine that!
Websites like Etsy, Amazon, eBay or those focused on particular products or services earn millions of dollars monthly. People find it convenient to securely buy high-quality products and get fast delivery right to their doorstep.
A multi-vendor marketplace is simply an e-commerce platform that offers a great number of opportunities a single-vendor online store cannot compete with. You can visit dozens of such vendor marketplaces like the ones mentioned above to see this in action.
Can a Multi-Vendor Marketplace Grow Your Business?
By launching your own multi-vendor marketplace, you can open your business to more opportunities and increase your potential for accelerated business growth.
A multi-vendor marketplace is more powerful than a small web store for one primary reason: a marketplace offers various products provided by hundreds of vendors. Marketplaces act as mediators between the product providers and shoppers. It’s a win-win strategy that saves the customer time and enhances their overall shopping experience.
A marketplace is a profitable option for vendors, too. They don’t have to launch their own e-commerce website to start selling. In addition, by posting products on the pages of a powerful marketplace, store owners get additional opportunities to attract visitors to their business website. It’s a hassle-free chance to grow revenues.
The main source of income for the website owner comes from charging a fee for each purchase made on your website. With the rapid development of eCommerce industry technology, it’s no surprise that multi-vendor stores are becoming a point of interest for small business entrepreneurs and their customers.
We decided to create this informative article to provide you with enough inspiration to start your own multi-vendor online marketplace. Here, you’ll discover key marketplace benefits and get acquainted with general requirements on how to start your own multi-vendor platform. So let’s go!
Top Benefits of a High-Quality Multi-Vendor Marketplace
Let’s take a look at the reasons why there is so much hype related to this topic.
Wide Field of Products Available
Would Amazon join the top 5 largest companies in the world if it sold products from a single vendor? Would its market capital rise up to $701 billion if it offered a single category of products? It’s doubtful.
An online marketplace presents products made by multiple vendors. Instead of wasting time looking for products all across the Internet, potential customers just browse one marketplace to find all they need within a product category. It blows up traffic and causes a significant sales increase.
E-Commerce entrepreneurs need to deal with various logistics and shipping tasks, as well as order processing, product information updating, pricing, etc. A marketplace helps to automate most of these tasks and pay attention to more significant things like marketing and brand promotion. Task automation and seamless management create unique opportunities for business owners.
A web store owner needs to have a powerful team of professionals at hand to succeed in online selling. A customer support department needs to be available 24/7 to answer all customer questions; a web development team should be ready to fix any possible issue as soon as it appears. And all those people need to be paid fairly for their work.
A multi-vendor marketplace saves business owners money by providing administrative and software development services.
Multi-vendor marketplace owners invest in and employ state-of-the-art technologies to enable fruitful cooperation with multiple vendors. This type of e-commerce solution is profitable for all the participants of the sales process.
Customers love it, merchants need it, and owners or investors profit off of it. Let’s have a closer look at the marketplace advantages.
Advantages for Customers
A variety of options published on one web page is the greatest advantage for online shoppers. What about the other benefits? A potential customer can:
• Pick products pre-screened for great quality
• Choose prices to fit their budgets
• Conveniently sort products available
• Compare a wide range of products
• Make deals more quickly
Customers can establish exclusively profitable deals with numerous online traders, all in one location.
Advantages for Vendors
With an online marketplace, merchants' efforts get considerably smaller:
• No need to develop and maintain a web solution from scratch
• Simplified shipping
• Ability to follow the latest trends keeping an eye on the competitors
• A convenient environment for management
This is an especially profitable option for small shops and e-commerce newcomers. It helps to get acquainted with the industry, reveal sales process peculiarities, and trade in the international market.
If a merchant already has a business website, a marketplace can be a new sales channel for it. It’s an engine for further growth and development.
Advantages for Business Owners
A marketplace business model allows business owners to get a commission for the following services:
• Commission for posting products
• Commission for each product sold on the marketplace
• Commission for each purchase
Additionally, you can offer some paid services like upgraded accounts. With this option, a merchant can increase the position of the search results page, improve SEO, or get a better theme for their web-store page.
From the customer’s perspective, a paid account can allow them to participate in various special offers, discounts, and advance notifications, among other advantages.
As a marketplace business owner you need to set the size of the commission yourself. It may either be a flat fee or a percentage of the price. At the start, set low fees to attract as many users as possible.
What Are the Requirements for a Multi-Vendor Marketplace?
We believe all the above-mentioned reasons increased your awareness and awaken the willingness to build your own e-commerce marketplace solution. Follow these key requirements to make it right.
You have to consult with IT professionals to pick a marketplace development platform. There are a variety of solutions available, and each of them offers unique functionality and special features. Decide on what features you need exactly and find a platform that fits your needs best.
Your marketplace needs to be featured with highly convenient search functionality. Let your potential customers get the best optimized experience browsing your marketplace pages.
The process of registration needs to be fast and clear. The more time the merchant spends trying to register on your marketplace, the lesser the chances of fruitful cooperation. You should also allow simple product listings.
To build trustworthy relations, let the customers leave their reviews on product pages. It will help merchants sell more and, as a result, it will positively impact your revenue.
Implement a high-quality payment system like PayPal to turn a software solution into the source of revenue.
Final Thoughts on Multi-Vendor E-Commerce
There are proven benefits to running your own multi-vendor marketplace. It's easily automated, costs can be kept low, it's profitable for vendors and for you as the owner, and it's convenient and safe for your customers.
It does, however, require work. You need to dedicate your full attention, time and effort to launch a multi-vendor marketplace solution. Considerable investments are necessary, too. A high-quality software solution is rather expensive and may cost you from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the functionality you need.
But, most importantly, you need to find a software development partner who can make your idea a reality. Expert advice, detailed consultation, and reliable services are the things you need to get your business up and running.
Our guest author, Vadim Romah, is from Roobykon Software, a full-service IT outsourcing company providing modern web & mobile services to start-ups, enterprises, SMBs and agencies. They build effective web & mobile solutions to grow brands online. Follow them on Twitter @roobykon.