Due to growing success of web sites like Etsy, AliExpress and ThemeForest, multivendor ecommerce platforms are now the easiest and quickest way to sell digital and physical goods. It’s quite a rational way to host sellers. It makes everyone happy: vendors are happy because they sell a wealth of products, customers are happy because they’ve got a great deal of choice, and you’re happy because of the commission paid to you by each vendor. Looks like a paradise, isn’t it?
To create your own marketplace and run it effectively, you need software written by IT professionals, and a 24/7 support service. It goes without saying that creating such a platform takes much time and efforts so it seems more reasonable to opt for a ready-to-use solution instead of creating your own one.
A reliable marketplace script should provide basic features essential for any multivendor platform: numerous design patterns, cloud storage, user friendly shop navigation, management tools for vendors and website admin. And, of course, the yearly or monthly fees should be moderate, especially for start-up selling platforms. Attractive discounts can draw first vendors to your marketplace. These new-comers will help you to fine-tune the operations and buying/selling processes.
Quality marketplace platform software provides vendors the minimum necessary features, such as:
- Simple listing/registration. It’s very important for vendors to have a possibility to easily register on your website and create product lists.
- Search tools – one of the must-have ecommerce features for any selling activity in the Net. Customers need an intuitive search instrument to find what they’re looking for, in thousands vendor shops.
- Easy-to-use commission charging tool that serves for admin comfort. Commission fee may change every year, or evaluate according to shop size. As far as your revenue as the marketplace owner directly depends upon commission from vendors, you’ll need a reliable and simple instrument to gather payments.
- Single shopping cart for all products in one order. It will help to smooth the shopping process and keep the customers.
- One-page checkout – another feature that can retain impatient customers on your website. Long and complicated checkout process drives customers to leave the e-shop for a more user-friendly one.
Don’t forget about Internet security for vendors and customers. Vendors rent a web shop on your platform, pay rent and should be sure that all financial and personal data and transactions are secure. Modern customers want to buy online and be totally protected from fraud and data disclosure. Such operational system builders like Microsoft, Apple, or even search engine Google create simple tools for Internet users to differ secure and non-secure web sites. A closed green lock in the browser’s address bar means that the site is protected by an appropriate SSL certificate. A dangerous web page has a red open lock icon in the address bar and a strikeout web site name. In certain Internet browsers a pop-up warning message informs the user that the site is insecure, and it’s dangerous to leave on it any personal or confidential information.
Another thing that can draw or discourage prospects, is design patterns. Dull or flat pictures, lifeless design will hardly attract customers and for that reason vendors won’t choose your marketplace as a platform for their future web store. On the contrary, vivid colors and attractive pictures, when right, can draw the attention of final customers. That’s why sellers would prefer a multivendor ecommerce platform with a wide range of design pattern for any style and business, from flower sales to digital music shop.
Marketplace platform software
Unlimited number of vendors is also an important selection criterion when choosing marketplace platform software. In fact, you cannot foresee whether your web mall affair will develop successfully or not. For that reason, you cannot know beforehand even approximate number of vendors that would sign up there. Opting for unlimited number of sellers, you provide your business enough space for development.
The same thing works for vendors. Unlimited number of products in the product list is a feature they’ll highly appreciate, especially start-ups. Even an attentive market investigation cannot guaranty a certain level of sales, so newborn e-stores prefer marketplace platforms with unlimited growth possibilities. In this case they won’t need to change the platform and software, once their business grows into more or less significant company.
It’s a good practice to ensure that your marketplace script provides seller-specific shipment methods and various types of payment, like credit or debit cards, cheques, cash, promo codes, gift certificates, banking transfer and e-money. Numerous payment methods are important both for you (to receive rent payments from sellers) and your vendors, whatever their sales geography.
Finally, if you don’t find any features you think essential, in the available software, you can either hire a professional coder to write an additional plug-in according to your requirements, or suggest your software provider building the necessary tool or plug-in. Perhaps, he could offer it as a new feature to other users as well in order to make it profitable.
And the last, but not the least piece of advice. Don’t take great pains to make your marketplace perfect all at once. Usually the first year serves for tuning and debugging of all operations, and smoothing of shopping process in general. Your first vendors will act as testers, and learn to their own cost all the advantages and misfunctions of your promising business.
Get to know more about powerful features that CS-Cart offers with our Multi-Vendor Video Tutorials.