How to Start an Online Marketplace to Sell Gift and Flowers

By | Jul 14, 2020 | 517 views |
  • How to Start an Online Marketplace to Sell Gift and Flowers

It’s time to be all ears! If you are thinking of launching a multi-vendor marketplace to sell gifts and flowers, then this can come as good news. The global gifting market is estimated to be $475 billion and India is expected to emerge as one of the most influential contributors by 2024. 

Not just personalised presents and corporate gifts, but the online sale of flowers is also spiking day by day! In fact, by including the vendor listings for selling flowers, you will constitute an industry with yearly revenue of $34.3 billion! 

As far as an online marketplace for selling gifts and flowers is concerned, there is an emergence of new players. There are also better ways to deal with customer expectations and sales challenges. 

To rise above the clutter, you will need to plan a stepwise strategy that can help you launch your brand as soon as possible. More so because by the time you are still glued to the math, opportunists might already be looking for ready-made platforms to create their store! 

Hence, here are a few ideas that will help you jump on the bandwagon of starting a multi-seller business for gifts and flowers.

1. Invite as many vendors as possible

Every multi-vendor marketplace starts empty. But one thing that will differentiate you from your competitors in the long run and help you attract traffic is - quality sellers

Look at popular business models that grew their base. Ferns N Petals started a chain of around a dozen retailers, to begin with. Soon, the brand tied up with farmers and provided them the best seeds to grow different kinds of flowers. Now, this brand is sitting on the top of the flower chain! 

Hence, there are many ways to attract sellers to your business. You can;

  • Reach out to vendors that have already listed their products on popular stores
  • Get in touch with distributors offline for your online marketplace
  • Join online forums and communities where you can get in touch with sellers 

Since gifts include an assortment of different products, having more number of vendors can help you drive more traffic. Moreover, people also think of gift options depending upon aspects such as price range, longevity, value for money, etc. 

Therefore, it is better to have sellers that sell low-cost products as well as high-range items. The same also applies for flowers. You can have vendors for your multi-vendor marketplace that can cater to small orders as well as focus on large-scale orders for weddings, parties, religious celebrations and more. 

2. Craft compelling product pages

Have you gone through popular gifting stores and flower shops? How beautiful and appealing they are! Likewise, your multi-seller store should also have customer-winning pages. 

There are three ways through which you can create pages that sell;

  •  Appealing design: Customers who invest time to purchase something for their loved ones would like to navigate a beautiful website. By choosing a relevant theme you can enhance the overall look and feel of your online marketplace website
  • Product pictures and description: Flowers that appear beautiful at one look on the screen tend to easily go into customers’ carts.  And so is the case with products! High-quality pictures along with detailed and flowery product descriptions can help in convincing customers against content that is just too bland
  • Reviews and recommendations: 93% of online shoppers make their purchase decisions after reading reviews. Customers might want to assure if the flowers will be fresh and beautifully wrapped. They might want to get an assurance that the products will be delivered safely so that it serves the occasion for what it is purchased. Like for instance birthdays or anniversaries. Including customer reviews through texts and videos can assure new buyers that your online marketplace is reliable.  

3. Look for customisable options

When you depend on a web platform that offers customisation, you can have a two-way benefit. Custom options enable you to tweak your business processes as per your needs. 

At the same time, it helps in providing users with a more personalised shopping experience. As far as the sale of gift items and flowers is concerned, giving your shoppers a customised feel is the key to improve sales. 

The benefits of custom options are not limited to drag and drop features alone. A good solution should be able to offer you an array of tools to enhance your efficiency.

Options such as customised search filters, faceted search options can help customers to find their relevant product on your multi-vendor marketplace in no time. 

Likewise, you can also customize templates for invoices, provide personal checkout options and craft your unique marketing strategies to boost the overall performance of your store. 

4. Ensure shopping on the go

Days, when people visited a physical store to purchase a gift item, are behind us. Whether it’s searching for flowers for their loved ones or seeking corporate gift options – the majority of the people browse a multi-vendor marketplace through their smartphones. 

Chances are that their smartphones might also have a whole lot of apps that they might be using frequently. Precisely for this reason, apps for popular web stores like Giftcart and the likes are used more often. 

To be able to provide this ease to your customers as well as appear in organic searches on the internet, you need to build your store with the mobile-first approach. This way, customers will be able to navigate your online marketplace using any device and screen size. 

Nearly half of mobile users switch to your competitor instead, after a poor experience with your website. The mobile-first technology will ensure that your vendors connect with shoppers on the go! 

5. Integration of payment gateways

When it comes to the gifting business, cash on delivery is out of question. Unless the customer is first planning to get the product delivered at his or her doorstep and then gift it to someone. 

In the majority of the cases, shoppers would want to pay with their debit or credit cards or through e-wallets on your multi-vendor marketplace. 

Having an online platform that is easily integrated with different payment gateways can be beneficial to enable more shoppers to close the sale in their preferred mode of payment. 

Along with these integrations, it is also important to ensure safety measures and certifications to assure customers that their information is protected. 

6. Assured shipping

Besides convenience, what makes customers return to your online marketplace for the purchase of gifts and flowers? An assurance that you will be able to deliver their chosen products; 

  • In the promised time-frame
  • Without any damage
  • Wrapped in beautiful packaging

Promising customers an assured delivery through reliable carriers and automatic shipment solutions is crucial to winning their trust. Reputed providers will not only help you beautify your product packaging but also take care of other aspects like timely and safe delivery. 

At the same time, automated shipping solutions like real-time tracking, scheduled pick-ups, etc. will reduce dependency and minimise issues of shipment including reverse orders. 

The best way to start an online marketplace to sell gifts and flowers

The best and easiest way to start your multi-seller store for gifts and flowers is by relying on a good ecommerce platform. Multi-seller websites built through a Saas-based solution helps you with the quick launch and comes with pre-installed features to manage your vendors, commissions, sales and customers. 

StoreHippo ecommerce platform is an all-round solution to help you set up your multi-seller business model that is extremely professional. Besides the above-mentioned features, StoreHippo provides the following benefits for your multi-vendor marketplace; 

  • Rich theme library with hundreds of different designs 
  • Flexible options to add endless vendors, storefronts and product pages
  • Excellent CMS to write descriptions, blogs, videos and more
  • Separate vendor dashboards, admin panel and seller ledgers 
  • Systematic order management for approval flow, inventory management and shipping for each vendor
  • Progressive Web Apps to enhance customer experience 
  • Site security with SSL certification and secured gateways with PCI compliance 
  • Integration with its shipping aggregator platform, ShipKaro

With so many inherent features, you can quickly roll out an online marketplace to sell gifts and flowers which is as good as any established one. Still, have doubts? Why not explore our feature-rich platform with a 14-day free trial store. Get in touch with us by dropping a line below!

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