Buyers and sellers are two equally important sides of an e-commerce platform. Bear this thought in mind when building multivendor marketplace features. Thus, your brand-new marketplace platform will be convenient for both parties.
In our previous article, we covered the basic features for buyers. We talked about the importance of search filters and high-quality images. Also, we discussed how to provide an excellent user experience with the help of chatbots.
Today we will talk about key marketplace features for sellers. You will learn what functionality will make vendors choose your platform for selling their products.
You have definitely heard the term “onboarding” before. Do you know what it means in terms of e-commerce? In a nutshell, this is the process of integrating new users into your online marketplace solution. In our case, this refers to helping sellers to get started.
Your task is to make onboarding plain and simple, even for newbies. Suppliers do not want to waste their time. They need to start selling their products right there, right now. If it takes too much time and effort to begin trading, they leave your platform and move to competitors.
Offer sellers the right tools and efficient training to make them stay. Show them how they can manage their accounts smoothly. Teach suppliers to be independent and self-sufficient.
If everything is done right, you will be able to gain their trust and to build a long-term partnership with your vendors.
Etsy knows how to encourage sellers to join the platform. Their great support and education multivendor marketplace feature are what new users need to get started. Etsy’s ‘Success newsletter’ and ‘Seller Handbook’ contain lots of useful tips. With their help, vendors can learn how to run a successful online store.
Also, the marketplace gives suppliers access to powerful tools that help manage and grow their business.
Finally, on the Etsy website, visitors can find inspiring Seller Stories. The success of other entrepreneurs will encourage users to open their own online store.
Detailed vendor’s profile page
Undoubtedly, this is a must-have marketplace feature for sellers. The vendor profile should be informative to the max. Remember that the full profile is a sure-fire way to prove the credibility of a particular seller. For this purpose, allow vendors to add and edit company details such as name, email, social media links.
Besides, it would be a sound idea to publish customers’ reviews on the vendor’s page. With their help, sellers can improve their offering and provide better customer care.
When working on this multivendor marketplace feature, do not forget to leave room for customization. Give sellers the opportunity to customize their individual online stores with their own branding colors, fonts, styles, and logos. This way, they can stand out from their competitors.
Finally, make sure that vendors can perform the following actions on their page:
- Manage their account;
- Edit and managing items in stores;
- Choose the most suitable shipping option;
- Add notes to orders;
- View orders and their status.
Products listing management as a must-have marketplace feature for sellers
The revenue of your online marketplace largely depends on the quantity of the sold items. So, vendors should be able to publish products for sale effortlessly.
Follow the tips below to provide sellers with seamless listing management:
Customize the listing page
Allow sellers to update their catalogs when it is necessary. For example, if vendors need to add a new product or remove items, you should give them such an opportunity.
Focus on the quality of the listings
You need to take care of the quality of the listings since it has a great impact on the reputation of your marketplace. For this purpose, make sure that only qualified sellers can operate on your platform.
It is worth noting that there are restricted products that need the approval of the website administrator. Only in this case, buyers can see them.
Amazon is noted for its strict Restricted Products Policy. It explains what products can be defined as illegal, unsafe, or restricted. These items include:
- Food & Beverage;
- Medical devices and accessories;
- Gambling and lottery;
- Tobacco and tobacco-related products;
- Surveillance equipment.
It would be a great idea to add import/export functionality. In some cases, this multivendor marketplace feature may become a silver bullet for sellers.
Suppose vendors need to migrate from their systems to your e-commerce platform. They will not have to import or export the data manually. Instead, sellers will have an automated system that will make things easier.
You may follow the lead of Bonanza, one of the largest online e-commerce platforms. It synced their marketplace with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify. In such a way, vendors can easily bring their product listings from these websites to their Bonanza vendor account.
Convenient order management system
It is important for sellers to keep track of the stock level for each product they offer. Therefore, a simple order management system becomes a vital multivendor marketplace feature.
With its help, vendors will avoid issues with conflicting and unfulfillable orders. For example, buyers can be prevented from placing an order that currently cannot be fulfilled. In addition, sellers will be able to automatically update stock levels each time a purchase has been made.
Vendors should always make sure that buyers will get the desired item on time. This way, they prove customers the credibility of their business and increase chances for repeat purchases.
The sure-fire way to escape issues with lost or undelivered orders is to track the current status of a delivery. The convenient order management system should easily cope with this task.
For example, this marketplace feature for sellers should allow vendors to send messages to buyers. They should be informed about the status of their order. Thus, customers will know that it has been processed successfully and the item has been shipped.
Sellers should be able to measure the efficiency of their business. That’s when an intuitive analytical dashboard can save the day. With the help of this multivendor marketplace feature, suppliers can get reports on sales and customers.
The most important stats and data related to buyers’ behavior include:
- Best selling products;
- Non-performing items and categories;
- Session time;
- Number of views and purchases;
- Actions of buyers.
Thanks to these insights, vendors can offer better customer services.
Besides, with statistics gathered, it will be easier for vendors to update their promotion strategy accordingly. With each successful seller, your online marketplace will be more and more profitable.
It should be noted that the analytical tools also allow vendors to track their inventory levels and view the account balance, including payouts and commissions.
Products promotion options
The chances are that there will be multiple suppliers on your e-commerce platform. Each vendor will try to find their own ways to grab customers’ attention. They will adopt different marketing strategies to promote their products and services on your marketplace, and increase sales.
Let’s take a look at the most efficient promotional techniques:
Mailing and subscription. With these methods onboard, vendors can reach their customers effectively. Buyers are updated about discounts available in specific stores, new arrivals, promotional deals. Besides, based on customers’ previous shopping experience, vendors can include recommended items too.
Loyalty programs, including discount campaigns and coupons. This option leads to repeat purchases and can even mount an average order value. With double points and coupon codes, your sellers will surely generate higher revenue.
With a well-thought strategy, Rakuten helps its vendors to promote their shops. It is a great way to gain new buyers and encourage existing customers to make repeat purchases.
- Adding detailed descriptions, high-quality photos, and videos. The visual component is more important than we got used to thinking. Let your vendors upload eye-catching photos and videos. Allow them to add detailed product descriptions. The visually-appealing content serves as a useful multivendor marketplace feature. It helps make your online marketplace recognizable and more trustworthy.
- Buying Sponsored Product Ads. You can follow the lead of Amazon and charge sellers for putting their products higher in search results. This tactic is efficient since it improves the visibility of product listings on your e-commerce website. Buyers can easily find sponsored goods and make a purchase.
We have discussed the most required marketplace features for sellers. These are quick onboarding, a detailed vendor page, product listings, and order management system. Also, do not forget about the analytics of consumers' behaviour and promotional features.
Together these multivendor marketplace features make up a successful and profitable e-commerce platform that your sellers will love.