Looking at the success and turnovers of some of the world-famous online marketplaces like Amazon, Airbnb, eBay, it is quite natural to get inspired and think about getting started with your own online marketplace. Well, it is not impossible but is not easy either.
To match the steps with Amazon itself requires a lot of efforts as it alone has over 190 million monthly visitors compared to other global marketplaces. Since 2010, the marketplace revenue of Amazon has nearly tripled due to the third-party sellers who are benefitting a lot with around a 50% rise in their sales. Amazon Business; Amazon’s B2B offering, crossed 1 million customers in 2017 and surpassed $10 billion in sales in 2018. But, it’s not only their way of doing business but also the experience customers, merchants and, marketplace operators are receiving from Amazon that has helped it reach the position where it is today.
Well, not to be afraid of Amazon as the global marketplaces are expected to own around 40% of the online retail market by 2020 and you could be one of them, but before gearing up for competing with Amazon, there are some questions you must be clear yourself first and then go ahead with your idea of running an online marketplace. Here they are;
1. How does an online marketplace model work?
First of all, you must have a clear understanding of what an online marketplace is and how does it function? It can be defined as an environment where third-party B2C or B2B merchants from any corner of the world, sell their products or services on a marketplace website owned by another company who is termed as the marketplace ‘operator’ in exchange for a commission of their sales. The operator’s job is to run and manage the marketplace keeping in mind, the success and satisfaction of all; yourself, customers, and sellers. It gives the buyers and sellers a common platform to connect, network and interact, learning more about each other for mutual benefits.
2. What’s your USP? How different are you going to be from the others?
People want new, unique, and creative at every second. With big giants already ruling the marketplace, you got to have something out-of-the-box that others don’t which is necessary for the survival in a competitive market. Hence, find answers to;
- How your marketplace is going to be different from others?
- What unique thing are you going to offer?
- How will it benefit the user of your marketplace?
Define your USP and if can’t find one, then keep close attention to your competitors and try to draw out some strategies and tactics that will help you stand out.
3. How will the marketplace benefit me?
Of course, everyone runs a business for profits and unlike traditional marketplace, an online one with made with ecommerce marketplace software gives a plethora of benefits like;
- Complete ownership and systematic control of customers, sales, and merchandising data in the marketplace ecosystem
- Smart, rapid and effective assortment expansion that doubles your benefits while minimizing costs, risk and resources
- Wide networking and easy selection and onboarding of corresponding sellers and channel partners
- Unlimited opportunities for assortment scalability and business growth
4. What will it do for my customers?
Your ultimate goal should be customers as without them being happy there’s no point of any marketplace at all. Customer engagement and satisfaction are what decides the future of any business. Hence, ensure your marketplace has enough for customers to like you, for example, a superior customer experience, wide product choice, expanded assortments, complimentary services etc.
5. Is there a B2B marketplace or its only B2C?
Of course, there is. A marketplace is not only about a vendor and a customer, but a buyer can also be a business itself reaching out to another business for something which is why Amazon launched its B2B offering, proving the fact that it’s not just limited to B2C. Almost 80% of B2B buyers are now modifying their B2B sites to deliver a B2C level of experience and 87% of them are already making business purchases on online marketplaces.
6.How do I get started?
If you already have a food delivery multi-vendor marketplace software or any other eCommerce running successfully, then getting started with an online marketplace will be an easy nut for you to crack. The steps to make it possible are below;
- Commit with all your heart to the marketplace model if you are serious about it.
- Hire some sufficient and efficient human resources
- Target, interact and appoint right third-party sellers to double the benefits of your marketplace
- Build trust through transparency and continuous services
A marketplace doesn’t happen overnight. To get started with a marketplace, understanding your business, customers, and buyers is the first and most important thing to do. Only once you have got a clear idea to all the above questions, must you take the first step to the online marketplace.