An online marketplace is a digital platform with website and online/offline mobile apps versions, where several sellers and vendors offer products listings, in exchange for some marketplace fees (that can be per item sold, product category, management, shipping… ). Marketplaces are a dream come true for retailers and customers: you can find anything and in the same conditions (at least theoretically), because all product pages are very similar.
The marketplace has many features, here are some important ones
Marketplaces are large businesses that deal with many vendors, that provide their catalogue, and typically carry much more inventory than online stores. Does this mean they are more complex to manage? Not necessarily. In fact, the opposite can often be the case. As an online store owner manages their own stock and inventory, they usually need to invest heavily in stock acquisition and management when starting the business (dropshipping models apart). On the other hand, the catalogue offered in marketplaces is held by external vendors so the investment in stock management is non-existing (hybrid marketplaces apart).
As a result, marketplace owners only need to make sure that their vendors are adhering to quality regulations and guidelines. Add to this the fact that SaaS marketplace solutions, like Shopery’s, provide state-of-the-art solutions for inventory management, with affordable plans, means that marketplaces might be the easier, and more profitable, of the two models when it comes to managing sometimes large and varied inventories.
Payment systems are a core feature of online marketplaces. Without it no transactions between buyers and sellers would be possible. Marketplace payment systems need to provide several key functionalities in order to be effective.
More Customer Satisfaction
When operating an online store, there is so much to think about: inventory management, site management, customer service, marketing, sales, social media, content and so much more. In contrast, when running a marketplace, the main focus is simply to offer the best platform for the users: marketplace vendors, and the customers they sell to. In particular, for entrepreneurs that leverage a state-of-the-art marketplace SaaS solution to take care of the technology side of the marketplace, there is a whole lot less on their plate. This means they can truly focus on adding value for their users and optimising the marketplace to best meet their needs.
Of course, none of that is to say that running a marketplace is easy. A lot of work goes into content curation and moderation. Creating a hyper-vertical marketplace, for example, that is focused on a specific niche takes a lot of work from the marketplace owner in sourcing sellers and including the right products. The effort pays off though. With so many vendors selling under one roof, marketplaces are a very interesting place for consumers to go to find cheaper options and new alternatives. A marketplace, done well, can be a huge community of highly satisfied customers.
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