What marketplace software to choose? – this question appears full blown in front of any future multi vendor website owner. No wonder they all wrestle with a subject – to select one and only one solution among hundreds available is a tough job. You can facilitate the task using markers – real must-haves for any successful e-sales website. These core features aren’t too numerous and are concentrated around two key players of ecommerce – final customer and seller.
Let’s start with customers. What are they looking for? Goods and services, not too expensive and of relatively high quality. They don’t want to waste time on such procedures like log in, account creation, etc. that are specific to online selling. Roughly speaking, they’d like to take all advantages of ecommerce, and ignore all its disadvantages like obligatory registration, waiting for delivery, impossibility to try certain products (for example, clothes or shoes). To satisfy customers, the seller needs a shopping cart on its proper web store site or in a multi vendor e-mall.
In other words, he should make a choice between building his own selling engine and renting a ‘place’ on a marketplace platform for many vendors. If you’ve already got a working shopping cart, you can enlarge your business and buy a marketplace multi vendor module that transforms a single vendor e-shop into multi seller facility. It goes without saying that in this case both programs – the existing shopping cart and multi vendor module – should be from the same builder. Creating an e-mall demands knowledge of technicality such as coding, testing and bug-searching. If you aren’t a tech savvy, have no time to spare to software development or try to launch selling in no time, opt for a ready-to-use solution. As for vendors, their goal is a reliable and secured selling platform with wide range of design templates, quick-load Cloud storage for product pictures and previews, one-page check out, and various payment and delivery methods. And, of course, they all hope to develop sales and thus would like to have a possibility to upload unlimited number of products.
The easiest way to select suitable solutions is to write down all the must-have points mentioned above, add your own ones and then look through feature descriptions of the most popular apps. A simple comparison will bring you a list of online marketplace website builders offering comprehensive e-sales software. To make a smart choice, ask them for a free trial period or demo version. Usually it’s 14 or 30 days, that is more than enough to get a clear idea if the program corresponds to your demands. Most builders offer payable add-ons and additional features to complete the functionality.
Whatever solution you finally choose, it’ll take weeks to tune it properly. Don’t try to be perfect from the very beginning. Instead, look for vendors as soon as possible. Offer them a reasonable discount for being first clients, and they’ll be your ‘guinea pigs’ for initial sales deployment. Don’t forget about marketing and management instruments that may be useful for you as a e-mall owner and administrator. Payment processing is one of the most important tools – the faster it works, the sooner your vendors receive their payments.
Connection speed today is a corner-stone of many online malls. Attractive and bright pictures cannot make the deal without quick page load, that’s why Cloud services have recently gained much popularity. No customers will wait 20 seconds for every little preview, they’ll just close the page and search for a quicker shop.
Multi Vendor Website Builder
Speed for ecommerce is so important that multi vendor website builders develop special versions for different Web browsers and for mobile users. Customers, who access the Internet from smartphones and tablets, account for about 20% of all web buyers, and this number shows sustainable growth every year. As far as mobile Internet connection via GPRS or EDGE is much more expensive than with traditional Wi-Fi, mobile versions help customers to reduce the overall size of downloaded visual information and thereafter pay less for the Internet. Mobile versions are also adapted to a smaller screen size, so the user sees all the information, without text and image shifts. Due to reduced functionality mobile version loads much more quicker and is more responsive than a desktop one. On the other side, buying via mobile devices continues to be dangerous because of relatively low security level of GPRS/EDGE connection and, consequently, higher level of fraud and data larceny. Fortunately, IT technologies progress rapidly, and we expect better protection relatively soon. Meanwhile, for checkout process the mobile user can switch to the desktop version.
While planning your budget and contacting multi vendor website builder for detailed information about his ready-to-use solutions, don’t forget about marketing instruments both for you and your vendors. Such simple tools like promos, sales, gift coupons and promo codes can draw prospects, even if at the beginning they have no intention to become your customers. After all, everyone likes to save money.
And the last but not the least piece of advice – try to do your best and provide a respective and reliable customer support. Your vendors will certainly send you a lot of complaints from the very start of the e-marketplace. It’s quite normal and shouldn’t frustrate you. Actually, these complaints will help you to fine tune the e-store and gain experience. Moreover, you’ll better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen software, and be able to adapt it according to vendors’ needs. There’s a long way in front of you, and you’ve got all the aces to win the game.
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