What is an Online Marketplace
An online marketplace is an ecommerce website where multiple vendors come on a common portal to sell products or services. The multi vendor ecommerce website is managed by an enterprise brand and the customers make the transactions in the name of the marketplace brand rather than individual sellers.
Different vendors/sellers register on the multi vendor site where they upload, display and sell their products or services. The sellers pay a commission to the marketplace owner for using the readymade platform and its other services which may include customer support, logistics etc. The marketplace website and its policies, transactions etc. are managed by the marketplace admin/operator. Despite buying products and services from different sellers on the multi vendor site, the buyers perceive their orders to be placed with the marketplace brand rather than an individual seller.
The trust associated with the marketplace brand brings more customers to the website and sellers benefit from the ready-made traffic and infrastructure offered by the multi seller website. Off-late online marketplace websites have become the most successful ecommerce business model where every party i.e. the admins-sellers-buyers are in a win-win situation. Some of the popular examples of an ecommerce marketplace is Amazon. eBay, Flipkart etc.
What are the benefits of the Online Marketplace for Admin, Sellers and Customers
The multi vendor marketplace model is one the most versatile models of digital commerce. Over 95% of online buyers have ordered products from a multi seller store and 50% of the buyers go straight to a marketplace store when buying online. These promising figures have encouraged enterprises to leverage the model to hack growth.
The online marketplace model is a virtual goldmine for all the parties involved. While enterprises can build their marketplace platform without investing in inventory, sellers do not need to worry about investing in the tech infrastructure. Buyers on the other hand benefit from the rich product catalogs offered by a variety of sellers.
The following table explains how the multi-seller store is a WIN-ALL model.
These obvious benefits make an online multi vendor ecommerce website the most favored shopping destination of the customers which in turn, benefits the sellers by giving them more orders and the admin by giving guaranteed commission on each sale.
To set up an online marketplace enterprise might require an advanced multi vendor software that comes with built-in features or plugins and extensions to build, run and manage a multi seller set up. StoreHippo online marketplace software comes with a plug-and-play multi seller solution for enterprises.
While deciding to start a multi-vendor online store is easy, finding the right technical solution to build it might be tricky. Enterprises can choose to build a multi vendor site from scratch rather than using marketplace software. However, developing a marketplace from scratch can be a costly and time-consuming affair. Building a multi vendor ecommerce website from scratch might take months or even years and would entail development, testing, optimisation and setting up operations to run the business.
A better alternative is to find and leverage advanced online marketplace software to go to market quickly. A future-ready marketplace builder that offers comprehensive solutions to set up a marketplace and manage vendors, their commissions and payouts and also offers marketing solutions is ideal for enterprises planning to hack growth.
While there are a lot of multi-seller software providers in the market it is essential to choose the one that not only offers solutions for the current requirements of a business but also has features that can accommodate growth and offer features to grow the business to new markets and products.
To ensure that you choose an advanced and future-proof online marketplace software, check if your solution provider has the following features:
- Built on future-ready technology that ensures your marketplace brand is future-ready and can tailor solutions for your business
- Offers mobile-first solution which includes mobile apps builder, PWA etc. to leverage the m-commerce sales channel
- Is inherently scalable and can build an online marketplace that can easily grow to any number of products, vendors or traffic
- Easily customizable to the new requirements of your growing business and create a unique digital ecosystem for your brand
- Feature-rich with built-in modules that streamline end-to-end business processes and introduce efficiencies at various levels
- Secure and tested solution that safeguard your business data build trust with end customers
- Cost-effective solution with battle-tested modules that ensure faster go-to-market time
Apart from these, you would need a host of features like vendor management, vendor payouts, product management, inventory management, admin and vendor dashboards, commission set up, shipping management etc. to run the complex operations and day-to-day activities of a multi vendor marketplace.
Also, it would be nice to have multiple payment channels, an integrated logistics channel and a powerful discount engine to plan a range of deals and promotions. While deals will attract more customers, easy checkout and fast delivery will keep your customers loyal. These will also help your vendors and ultimately make your online marketplace profitable.
StoreHippo enterprise ecommerce platform comes with a comprehensive online marketplace software to build a variety of B2B, B2C, B2B2C or any other hybrid marketplace websites for brands across industry verticals. The built-in marketplace solution does not require additional apps or extensions to run the multi vendor ecommerce website and manage different aspects of the multi seller business.
What are the must-have features in an Online Marketplace
Running a marketplace website can become chaotic if each aspect of the business is not managed well. From onboarding the vendors to managing their products, orders, discounts, fulfilment, vendor commissions and payouts, each aspect needs to be handled carefully and in a streamlined manner.
To run a successful multi vendor marketplace, it is essential to have the following features in the chosen multi seller software:
For the Admins:
- A simplified vendor onboarding module that minimizes the time and effort required in adding new vendors to the marketplace website
- A feature-rich admin that gives complete details and understanding of the vendor activities and business being done on the marketplace platform
- An approval system with streamlined approval flow so the admin can check, approve and reject orders easily
- Feature-rich OMS ( order management system ) to manage the orders of various vendors
- Powerful discount engine to implement different order based, vendor-based , product based or any other type of discounts on the multi vendor site
- Seller ledger for tracking seller payouts, orders etc.
- Adaptive payments to pay different sellers of a multi-product order placed on the online marketplace
- Returns and refunds management
- Reporting engine to get a variety of predefined and custom reports about orders, sellers, products, geographies etc.
- Notifications to notify admin(s) about vendor and order related updates
For the Sellers:
- Simplified registration process to go to market quickly
- Separate dashboard for vendors using which they can manage and run their business
- Seller page or seller based sub-store on frontend to help customers check all the products of a given seller at one place
- Store location to help route orders from the nearest seller store from the customers
- Solutions and modules to help sellers manage their products, orders and shipping
- Built in invoicing solutions to manage invoices for online marketplace orders
- Tax engine to implement multilevel taxes easily
- Seller edger that gives sellers a complete overview of their commissions and payouts
- Logistics and delivery boy solutions so vendors can manage their shipments and fleet of delivery agents
- Reports and analytics to help understand business and plan strategies for growth
Additional Online Marketplace Features
Along with these, it some nice-to-have-features in a marketplace platform would be as following:
- Next-gen technology to create cutting-edge omnichannel marketplace solutions
- Built-in solutions to create mobile apps and PWA stores
- Theme designer to create beautiful themes
- Solutions to create multilingual marketplace website
- Provision to create location, product line or any other criteria based sub-stores for the multi vendor site
- Multiple payment solutions so customers can choose their preferred payment option while buying on the online marketplace
- Vendor comparison to help customers make an informed decision
- Multiple shipping choices so customers can opt for regular or faster and premium delivery solutions
An online marketplace software that comes with all the above features is the best bet to build a successful multi seller portal for enterprises. StoreHippo multi vendor site builder offers native marketplace solutions to build enterprise marketplaces for B2B, B2C and D2C brands.
Why StoreHippo is the best Online Marketplace builder for enterprise businesses
A well-tested, flexible and scalable online marketplace software is the key to success for your multi-seller website. StoreHippo’s customisable multi vendor ecommerce platform has built successful marketplaces for various industry verticals and business models.
Built on MACH ( Microservices, API-first, Cloud Native and Headless) architecture, StoreHippo offers a scalable and customizable marketplace builder with plug-and-play marketplace solutions that do not need additional apps or extensions.
Built on mobile-first solutions StoreHippo offers an inbuilt mobile apps builder to create marketplace apps for Android and iOS. All marketplace sites built on StoreHippo are PWAs and work just like mobile apps when opened in a browser. StoreHippo also comes with built-in mobile apps for admin(s), vendors and delivery boys of the online marketplace.
StoreHippo’s online marketplace software comes with comprehensive multi seller solutions that equip both the admins and the sellers to run and grow their business in a smooth and hassle-free manner. While admins have complete control of all vendor activities, vendors have their separate admin dashboards to manage their products, orders, shipments, delivery boys etc.
The fully integrated StoreHippo marketplace builder gives admins the freedom to integrate their preferred third-party software and service providers. With 120+ pre-integrated solutions, Storehippo enables marketplace platform owners to create a unique ecommerce environment by adding their chosen solutions for CRM, marketing, accounting, shipping etc.
StoreHippo’s gamut of marketing features, multilingual solutions, tax engine, multi-currency support etc. also make room for cross-border selling. The multi-store, hyperlocal and omnichannel solutions from StoreHippo make it possible to build out-of-box multi vendor ecommerce websites that can disrupt the market.
StoreHippo online marketplace software also comes with 60+ pre-integrated payment gateways and 30+ logistics partners to streamline payments and fulfillment.
Whatever the enterprise business model, StoreHippo has a solution built for it already. The decoupled headless architecture of StoreHippo marketplace platform gives enterprises the creative freedom to build tailored solutions. StoreHippo has built successful solutions for a variety of Multi-Vendor Use Cases.
Ready to explore the features of StoreHippo online marketplace solutions? Book your 14-day free trial right away.