Critical factors in selecting your online marketplace software

Critical factors in selecting your online marketplace software

1. Introduction

When it comes to technology, establishing an online marketplace typically entails the standard “create or purchase” choice. Most people have realized that it’s easier to leave technology to the experts so they can focus on their online marketplace venture, so they’ve started looking for the best marketplace software platform on the market. Finding the right online marketplace software for one’s personal needs among the thousands (and growing) options is like finding a needle in a haystack. The right investment allows a business to get its name out there, resulting in an exponential Return on Investment (ROI). If not, companies will face significant difficulty as they strive to adapt their business model to static technology.
Although there is no ideal framework for evaluating an online marketplace software, there are some main factors to bear in mind when searching for the most suitable software for your needs. We’ve reviewed and outlined three factors that will help you not only launch your online marketplace easily but also gain momentum and expand over time.
When looking for the best online marketplace software, you’ll want to keep the following points in mind.

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2. Basic prerequisites

Plan of action

Understand the industry or concept you’re entering before you start developing your online marketplace. Collect data on the issues you’re solving with your goods or services, as well as who your target market is. This will assist you in defining the vital features and functionalities available by your business niche, as well as for deciding the best online marketplace style for you.

Team

What are the technological capabilities and tools available to your company? What are the priorities for your team? While someone with little technological experience or expertise can build a website, some people opt for more customization and versatility.
There are different kinds of marketplaces: Standalone Self-Hosted Multi-Vendor Solution, Multi-Vendor Plug-In Extensions, and Cloud-Based Fully Hosted Marketplace Solution.
The standalone self-hosted multi-vendor approach could be more suited for companies looking for customization and full control of their network. Although to keep the marketplace up and running, you’ll need some technological know-how.
Those seeking versatility, on the other hand, can find multi-vendor plug-in extensions to be more useful. To get the most out of this program, though, an organization needs seasoned developers on staff who can work around the underlying framework.

Platform Price

Although this may seem to be a no-brainer, the fact is that different platforms may have different functionality at different rates. Some platforms charge a simple low flat fee and don’t charge extra processing costs. Other platforms charge a base fee, per purchase, and then demand subscriptions for various applications to customize your website. This will easily add up, resulting in a significantly higher average cost than if you used one of the other sites.
Don’t forget to consider the functionality provided by each e-commerce website. Some of them may have extra features in their base price that competitors do not. It’s crucial to decide which features you need before making a decision, and then to determine which platform will deliver those features at the lowest cost.

Features required

Your marketplace features and functionality, including your value proposition, should be thoroughly reviewed. Using too many bells and whistles during the MVP stage can be a waste of time and money, as well as confusing for users.
The features available on various platforms can vary. Some sites have built-in marketing resources such as newsletters, abandoned cart emails, loyalty plans, daily deals, and so on, in addition to simple e-commerce features.
Various platforms have different features. A few stages offer some basic functions, integrated advertising, and marketing tools like bulletins, v, reward programs, everyday deals, etc.
Ecommerce sites should also be able to use App integrations, such as Mailchimp or Shipstation, to replace some built-in functionality. While the built-in capabilities are helpful, using software that the team is comfortable with guarantees consistency, which is crucial for a growing organization.
Decide which features you’ll need the most, as well as which features can help you have the best selling and customer experience on your online marketplace website.

3. Marketplace Management

After concentrating on your marketplace software platform, it is important to check if the marketplace software meets your requirements at each step of execution, from implementation, technical assistance, to management of dealers.

Integrations

Another factor to remember when assessing e-commerce platforms is their integrations and plugins. Most platforms, such as Shopify, can provide you with an abundance of resources to help you run your business. When deciding on the plugins that would fit well for you, your company needs would be a guiding factor. Consider what software you’ll use or are currently using for your business while looking at various platforms. Here are some of the most popular forms of plugins to watch out for:
  • Accounting plugins to aid in the management of sales, taxes, expenses, and profits
  • Email marketing software to assist you in being in touch with your customers
  • A platform that allows you to reward consumers who use your products.
  • Apps to help you ship your products

Management of Sellers

It’s critical to handle sellers after the online marketplace has gone up. An online retailer with a platform that offers a wide variety of functionalities will attract and sustain vendors, thus increasing their customer base and outreach.
Any online marketplace has three default client types with instinctive interfaces – Marketplace Operator (site administrator), Third-party Seller, and Guests. Other than having the option to help businesses with limitless sellers, listings, and transactions for the respective events, we at OSC Professionals provide online marketplace business help services like client support and merchant management on the board.
Dealers are not just ready to explore through the site effortlessly and handle orders effectively, with capacities like product reviews, email notices, and seller- customer chats, they are also ready to build up solid relations with their customers and to boost their own income.

Technical Support

The process of creating and releasing your online marketplace website should be easy. It’s worth noting that most free third-party plugins on platforms like Shopify don’t come with any extra technical assistance, so you should be selective about the resources you start with when developing a marketplace. Other relevant indicators, in addition to the level of service, are the extent to which the marketplace is updated and improved.
It’s also crucial to think about the kind of assistance available. Some businesses only provide help through email or chat. Naturally, the amount of assistance you may expect is likely to be related to your service plan. Self-service support is also available on larger networks in the form of FAQs and tutorials.
You will lose sales if your clients are unable to access your website or complete an order. A key part of choosing your e-commerce platform is ensuring that you have the service you need when you need it.

Payment Options

One of the most important features that an online marketplace website can provide is payment protection and convenience. The most common and secure payment methods are normally pre-embedded in a multi-vendor script, mitigating concerns about adding a third-party payment gateway.
While many of the larger shopping cart systems have a wide range of payment options, some only provide a small number. Not all sites, for example, have digital wallet options such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. You may be unable to give up these choices. Digital wallets are one of the quickest and simplest ways to pay for products online, and asking your customers to get up and locate their credit cards can cost you a sale. One of the advantages of online shopping is the ability to facilitate impulse purchases. If you sell overseas, you will also require payment plans for foreign orders. Some platforms also embrace bitcoin as a means of payment.
Credit card conflicts and tax reporting are common challenges that high-volume marketplaces must deal with. PSPs also provide resources to assist marketplace founders with these problems.
Your PSP must accept splitting payments in order for you to withdraw your fee from each payment to your providers.

Inventory Management

Your eCommerce website should be able to work with your current product information and resources. If you want to showcase an infinite number of items, you’ll need an eCommerce platform that can handle it.
Also, if your eCommerce site helps you to conveniently upload data from another platform or marketplace, handling your product catalog becomes a breeze.
Choose an eCommerce platform that makes handling the product catalog quick and painless.

Mobile Friendly

If your online store isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be losing out on a lot of customers who buy things on their phones.
Did you know the mobile devices account for almost 60% of all searches? Those searches frequently lead to a purchase made on a mobile device. This means that you should look for platforms that enable consumers to easily access your website and make a purchase on their mobile devices.

Ease of use

If you are new to an online marketplace platform business, ease of use can be a significant integral factor for you. An online marketplace platform rich in features would not be of the best help to you if you don’t have an idea of how to utilize these features.
The online marketplace platform you pick should be easy to use so you can set up and update your marketplace platform with minimum technical help. Else, the maintenance price for your online marketplace platform will be exorbitant.
For instance, changing the layout of your online marketplace platform according to a new season should be simple for you, so you can keep your store competitive and updated.

Reporting

You must be able to assess the current state of your online store in order to prepare your future marketing strategy. How many products did you sell this month? Which product sold the most? Only if you have access to credible reports will you be able to find the answers to these questions.
Ascertain that your eCommerce platform provides you with data that will assist you in operating and selling your online store in such a manner that it is prepared to meet potential business challenges.

Scalability

Every business owner hopes that their business will expand in the future, but you never know how much. Nonetheless, it is critical to look for a platform that will grow with your business.
When you first start out, you don’t want to pay for functionality and storage that you won’t use. You would want to be able to meet increased demand as your company grows. Choose a platform that allows you to scale to the size of your business while not charging you exorbitant fees to do so.

Promoting

How would you drive traffic to your online shop if it was not properly marketed? In that case, you must ensure that your eCommerce platform is capable of –
  • Support for the most recent SEO plugins.
  • Connect to social networking sites.
  • Include a blog on your website
  • Make it easier for consumers to leave product reviews.
  • Send your customers emails and newsletters.
You should also ensure that your eCommerce platform supports features that enable you to deliver discount coupons, gift cards, and other promotions to your customers.Only if your eCommerce platform meets your marketing needs will your online business be able to flourish.

Security

No one wants to enter their credit card details on a shady website, which is why customer protection is becoming one of their key concerns. Although most software today comes with strong protection, as usual, make sure your platform supports HTTPS/SSL for a safe and secure checkout for your customers.
Also, make certain that the platform you choose is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. From the beginning, make sure your e-commerce website is safe against hacking and data theft. To ensure safe checkout for your customers, ensure that the eCommerce platform you select supports HTTPS/SSL.

Customer Support

Before you choose an eCommerce website, you can look into the level of customer service it offers. You can need assistance at any time when running your shop. Tutorials can assist you up to a certain extent. A query that goes beyond that, though, necessitates the assistance of a person.
The eCommerce platform you choose should offer customer service via email, phone, and chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This would make operating the online shop simpler for you.

4. Marketplace business development tools

When it comes to the online marketplace, it’s not just about keeping it up and running. A detailed review focused on figures and reports is needed to ensure that a marketplace will scale. An online marketplace management framework that offers or allows you to connect with popular tools such as Google Analytics to monitor traffic and accurate sales statistics.

5. Summary

Choosing an online marketplace platform is the first and most important step in launching an online marketplace. Make sure you do your homework first because switching marketplace platforms can be aggravating, time-consuming, and costly. Going through the process of creating your company’s online profile, sourcing merchandise, and choosing a theme will take valuable time away from other facets of your business. Make sure you make the right choice the first time.
When you use the right marketplace platform for your business, it makes the day-to-day job of processing online transactions simpler. Using an online marketplace platform that seamlessly incorporates all facets of your company allows for more efficient operations and allows you to expand your business. You can reach out to our team for assistance in developing the best marketplace site for your online business.

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Feb 9th, 2021|
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