Every online marketplace starts out empty. But the major differentiator of the popular marketplaces like Amazon is their ability to get quality vendors.
Yes, the sellers are one of the most critical components of your marketplace website. Afterall, it's your sellers who bring a vast product catalog onboard. Isn’t that what ultimately brings customers flocking to your marketplace.
Along with products, vendors also enhance user experience by giving the buyers an option to compare products and prices, read and compare different product reviews and make an informed decision about their purchase.
And who doesn’t want to shop from a marketplace store where you get multiple choices.
How the popular online marketplaces are leveraging their vendor network for success
Onboarding good vendors on your multi vendor marketplace gives your brand a winning start and accelerates your growth by attracting more vendors and buyers to your brand. However, vendor onboarding is a complex process which not only requires in-depth understanding of the market but also great networking and decision making skills from the marketplace owners.
Before we delve in details, here are a few examples of how the ecommerce marketplace leaders onboard best vendors and manage them:
Etsy leveraged a large craftsmen community that already existed
Amazon turned an ecommerce store into a multi vendor marketplace and made onboarding automated to attract maximum sellers
Urban Company onboarded unorganized service providers as vendors on its platform to offer a range of services and trained them to ensure quality of services
Practo onboarded doctors and pathlabs as vendors to offer online medical consultations and diagnostics facilities
The strategy and onboarding process might vary for different marketplace brands but the core idea for success remains the same.
Fuel the business by having the best vendor network onboard!
Vendor Onboarding 101: Everything you need to have the best vendors for your online marketplace
Well, if you agree that building an online marketplace is difficult, onboarding vendors is no less complex a process. If you do not have a well defined process for identifying, filtering and onboarding your vendors, you risk losing good partnerships and good business and profit margins eventually.
But worry not, for we have got you covered.
Here comes a handy guidebook with tips to onboard vendors effectively and use them to accelerate your marketplace growth.
Research your vendors - Conduct an extensive research to understand the business of vendors and let them know that you are serious about your marketplace website
Issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) - When you are on the same page with the vendors, deciding on the working policies and guidelines, go ahead with issuing RFP form
Compare vendors - Evaluate the vendors on the basis of different variables like business volume, order taking capacity, and alike
Complete a vendor risk assessment - Ensure that the use of online marketplace does not create an unacceptable potential for business disruption or a negative impact on business performance
Obtain vendor references - Contact your potential vendors on social media or popular marketplaces before onboarding them
Develop an exit strategy - Specify the service requirements during the transitional end of a vendor relationship
As a marketplace owner, you need to ensure that the vendors are given the proper tools and technologies so that they feel independent and self-sufficient on the platform. When the sellers have already been selected to work with your multi vendor marketplace, now is the time to onboard them officially and get started for a win-win situation.
Tips to onboard vendors on your online marketplace
Let’s understand how to onboard vendors effectively while providing them the right features, tools, and manage them effectively.
1. Automate your operational processes
If you want to upscale your business fast, automating your manual and operational processes is the best way. Your vendors should not only be dependent on the manual support and processes. Providing them a full-fledged multi vendor marketplace platform like StoreHippo ensures that they have all the tools to manage their orders, inventory, and customers handy all the time. Moreover, the platform also provides precise FAQs for vendor support.
2. Facilitate quick seller registration process
When it comes to onboarding, you need to set up an easy to use and designated page that includes all the required registration steps and specifies the types of documentation needed. With StoreHippo, you can get any number of vendors onboarded in just a few clicks. The easy-to-use platform ensures easy setup of vendor processes.
While smooth initial registration is important, that is only the first step. You need to provide easy and user-friendly tools to your vendors. Provide your vendors with user-friendly tools to easily upload images and information at their fingertips. You can also onboard vendors by offering them best-in-class deals like reduced processing fees, additional features and benefits for a limited period, extended free trial of the ecommerce solution etc.
4. Enable automatic enrichment of catalog data
In today’s time, manually uploading hundreds of thousands of products can be a daunting task for anyone including your vendors. StoreHippo multi vendor marketplace platform enables bulk uploading of catalog data with accurate data easily. The easy access to catalog data, fluctuating product information, and other key data is very crucial during the onboarding process and beyond.
5. Adaptive payment support
If you are yet to start an online marketplace platform, soon you will realize that managing payments are the most difficult part of online business. But thankfully, it is much easier with StoreHippo. You can easily manage payments to different vendors with adaptive features where the order amount gets automatically split between the admin and sellers from the payment gateway itself. Start making your online ordering process easier and better with StoreHippo.
6. Individual vendor dashboard
A full-fledged dashboard is all that you need to make your vendor management successful. When there are an endless number of vendors on your multi vendor marketplace platform, you need to give them a central dashboard at their disposal. Just like StoreHippo offers an individual vendor dashboard to provide a clear overview of the business, vendors, customers, orders, shipping, payments to vendors and helps in understanding important business insights.
7. Hassle-free refund and returns management
Returns and refunds present a multitude of problems for online business and this problem gets even more accelerated with a multi vendor marketplace. Well, you need to worry about these hassles if you choose StoreHippo. It provides a simplified dashboard for returns and refunds management. With this platform, you can easily manage returns and refunds of various vendors with a central dashboard. Start managing your large number of returns and refunds quickly and efficiently.
8. Provide ecommerce logistics and customer support
To start an online marketplace platform, online processes need to be always supported by offline business processes. And being into the ecommerce industry, there is nothing more important than the shipping and delivery process. With StoreHippo, you can easily manage your marketplace deliveries without any hassles. The sellers can directly manage their shipping and pickup of products from their dashboard, and admin can easily get an overview of the shipping processes.
9. Customized taxation and commission setup
Every vendor is different and follows different business practices. But is it possible to manage the vendors according to their different needs, transactions, orders, products, and payment conditions? Yes, it is possible only if you have the right online marketplace platform with you. StoreHippo allows you to set up vendor rules for commissions, payments, commissions, etc. Moreover, you can also manage their taxes to simplify their ecommerce tax calculations. A clear understanding of GST, accounting, and other tax rules makes it easier for sellers to decide the product charges and streamline the process in a much better manner.
Why is StoreHippo the best solution to onboard and manage vendors on your online marketplace?
While onboarding vendors is an important stage of a successful marketplace website, you also need to manage them effectively. StoreHippo understands how daunting a task finding new vendors for your online marketplace can be. And we hope that this guide will help you acquire, onboard, and manage vendors on your marketplace platform . StoreHippo ensures to provide a whole new experience to your vendors while providing endless customizable options to create new entities according to your dynamic business requirements. And the best part is that you do not need to buy the platform directly, instead you can start a 14-day free online trial store to explore all the features now.