What is eCommerce Marketplace?
An ecommerce marketplace website is a web platform at which the supplier can sell products and buyers or end-users can purchase them. As a user, you can find products of different brands available to shop from multiple vendors, retailers showcased on a single web platform. In an ecommerce marketplace website, the marketplace administration is responsible for all the processes of ordering, checkout, payment, and delivery.
In traditional ecommerce stores, there were only two entities involved, the shop owners, and customers. However, in ecommerce, there is a couple of other entities involved like:
- Owner of the Marketplace
- Vendors or Suppliers
- Logistics and the warehouse manager
- Shipping Provider
The entities can increase as per the size of the marketplace. The marketplace ecommerce website giants like Amazon, eBay, and Flipkart in India, have immensely got popularity, among every scale of businesses and consumers also.
The retail ecommerce sales reached the valuation of 4,135 US billion dollars in 2019 and are expected to reach nearly 5,000 billion dollars by 2021. According to research by Internet Retailer, 35 of the current top 75 online marketplaces launched between 2010 and 2015, including physical stores that went online. Considering India only, the Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017. In the US, the end-users spent $601.75 billion in ecommerce purchases in 2019, up 14.9% from $523.64 billion the prior year. There has been a gradual increase in the ecommerce marketplace growth in the US from 6.4% in 2010, to 16% in 2019.
Retail eCommerce Sales Worldwide from 2014 to 2023
Types of Ecommerce Marketplace:
The ecommerce marketplaces are broadly classified into two categories, Business to Business (B2B), and Business to Customer (B2C). These two marketplaces categories have the same basic features & functionalities, however, they still have many differences in their operations mechanisms. We will explain them in brief:
- In B2B, the size of an order or product volumes are quite high vis-à-vis B2C marketplace
- The pricing of products is not fixed in B2B and is decided with mutual consent of buyer and seller, while in B2C, the prices are the same for all.
- In B2B, the payment is generally on credit or post-delivery, as in B2B, the buyer does multiple orders within a short time, however, in B2C the payment is mostly through online or COD.
- Delivery time is fixed and highly planned in B2B business while in B2C, delivery is executed as fast as possible.
- In B2C, the company wants to acquire as many as customers possible for more sales, however, in B2B, they want to gain the trust of the client for long –business relationships.
Learn More – Key differences between B2B and B2C ecommerce marketplaces.
Benefits of eCommerce Marketplace Website:
There are several benefits of the marketplace that you can leverage for your business. You can assume the growth of the ecommerce marketplaces from the above-mentioned facts. In this article, we have also mentioned the key benefits of running your ecommerce marketplace:
A properly structured and featured ecommerce marketplace will help your organization to grow and scale for meeting market demands and the needs of the customer by opening new sales channels and reaching new segments in the market.
2. Better efficiency:
You can integrate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and other solutions for getting better efficiency of your ecommerce marketplace. These help in providing a better user experience, such as convenient purchase experience for customers, focusing on actual customer service functions, eliminating rekey data in independent systems. This increases order throughput and eliminates the chances of errors.
3. Reach to more customers:
Mostly, a marketplace is visited by more number of customers frequently, in comparison to stand-alone ecommerce stores. Many people surf through these marketplaces though not looking for buying those products in which you are specialized, there are still chances that they will come across your product and buy it. This could lead to impulse purchases and make your brand visible to new customers.
The revenue of a marketplace is mostly the commission that it gets from sales. Therefore, it requires a high degree of automation. So, there is no requirement of involving any major paperwork, as all the activities can be done automatically on the platform.
5. Diverse Customers:
Your loyal clientele knows your brand and will continue recommending it, but it’s a profile that you have studied in detail beforehand. What if you could reach buyers that you have never crossed paths with before, or try new demographic niches and discover new sales opportunities?
6. SEO reinforcement:
You can manage your SEO activities all the time. Also, it is not advisable to change the design of your website and content too often. Instead, you should test the keywords and ad campaign along with the product listings and find out what attracts most a customer.
7. Access to marketing data that take your sales to a new high:
Ecommerce marketplace doesn’t only increase the exposure to a new customer, but also give brands data about their sales. Brands can utilize information like click data, reviews, etc. for improving their products or services.
Ecommerce marketplace is a perfect platform for launching a comprehensive analytics campaign. The companies can easily evaluate marketing campaigns, sales effectiveness, product mix, inventory turns, customer sales effectiveness, and customer engagement. Integrating analytics such as Google Analytics gives you much more valuable data with actionable insights.
9. Customer-focused Experience:
Ecommerce marketplace giant Amazon.com has set an exceptional immersive customer experience standard, now today’s customers expect a similar experience on other ecommerce web applications whether they are shopping for business or pleasure. There may be different experiences for B2B buyers, still a better intuitive design, rich content, and interactive functionality in their websites.
10. Exceptional Service to Customers:
Ecommerce marketplace provides the retailer with a chance to improve its customer services. These platforms can provide access to self-serve portals with an account, order, history and tracking information. Through integration with an organization’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a robust ecommerce site can display customer-specific products, services, and pricing based on customer login credentials.
Key features to include while developing B2B-B2C marketplace Website:
The homepage of the site should give a clear idea about your unique value proposition and competitive advantage. The theme should be highly captivating to the user, but make sure that your site’s theme doesn’t slow down the application. Add a search box with an autocomplete feature. After exploring the homepage, potential customers are most likely to use the search box to seek what they need. The images on the homepage should be at least 30 percent of the main categories of the page. There should be a diverse selection of the product recommendations, and the home page must have fewer than 12 categories. If there are any special offers on your site then highlight them on the homepage. Feature, the popular items, new arrivals, and seasonal items. If possible, try to make the dynamic borders or carousals which display more information and also engage the customers. Make sure that the theme doesn’t get slow by any request. The complete homepage must be highly responsive across all devices & browsers, and make sure every clickable item is working. If your website is any other language then we may ask you to use a language plugin too.
Product Listing Page:
On the product listing page, the products should be aligned in a way that the customer can go through the maximum range of products within minimum time. The images should be of high-quality and must be relevant to the products. There should be an option of sorting and applying relevant filters (based on attributes assigned to the products).
Products detail page:
Obviously, on the product detail page, there should be complete details of the product with all the attributes which can be applied such as size, colour pattern, quantity, variant, etc. Below the product details, there should be previous customers’ ratings & reviews of the product. You can also a section of the Related Products at the end of the product details page.
Shopping Cart Page:
In the shopping cart page, there must be a list of all the products which are added into the cart along with their details like product name, vendor name, product image, quantity, and price. There must be a functionality of removing the item, updating the quantity, or editing cart. The total amount should also be displayed. If you have included Coupon code or discount here, then the user should be able to apply it here. In addition to these, “Continue shopping” and “Proceed to checkout” buttons are also required.
Login & Register Page:
On the Login & Register Page, there are simple fields such as Name, E-mail Id, Contact No, and other theme features plus choices to select the categories of interest while registering. There must be options for logging in and registering through social media login like Facebook, G-mail or LinkedIn.
The checkout should take minimum time as much as possible. Mostly two steps checkout extension is used in which firstly you can choose the shipping method, add a delivery address, and then do the payment. After payment confirmation, there would be a seller contact detail and the estimated delivery date displayed.
Replacement and Return:
The customer would be able to replace or return the item through the request for order return or replace, request for a refund, chat, or return helpline.
My account (Customer Profile Page):
You can add basic features in the customer profile page like Account Dashboard, displaying the stats of the account, along with Request for Quote, Unsubscribe for newsletter options, and sections of My Wishlist and My Reviews.
All Requested Quotes:
For a B2B ecommerce marketplace, it is an essential feature to allow the user to access the listing of all requested quotes along with status.
Registration Page for sellers:
The registration of vendors will be a little complicated in comparison to the end-users. They are required to submit the documentation in the PDF file format, details forms submission. In addition to these, they must provide banking information, tax information, and tax certificates. Vendor/Seller will fill these details to register into the website “Sign up for the newsletter”, “Avatar icon to become seller”, and of course, Social media login/registration.
In the support dashboard for the seller, you can include features such as Live Chat, Form, Call back request form, Email/Message Center.
On the vendor dashboard, you can include order statistics of processing, pending, and completed order stats. You need to also add customer stats, product stats, and latest Orders, Old order and all orders management in widgets. You can also include Sales summary & sales reports in widgets, and a chat functionality with the customer.
Add views reviews & ratings by customers, news widgets, Help section, and shipping settings. In account info. include banking, tax, documentations, business info. and profile. Add analytics and trends for seller products & services.
In inventory management, including all the features along with the warehouse inventory stock field.
The seller must be able to view the list of customers with details like name, e-mail, contact No, gender, address, base total, no of orders, etc.
In manage orders section, you can add manage order grid, create an invoice, create shipment, Download, and Print Invoice, Cancel Order, Contact buyer, View Orders history.
The seller should be able to manage the Transaction between Admin and Vendor with statements, payment reports, services invoices, Withdrawal, list of transactions.
RMA management includes viewing the list of RMA, replying through conversation, and generating credit memo by the vendor.
Manage Seller profile page:
The seller profile page will include bank details, managing profile page, view/edit contact no. and other basic information.
Request for Quotation:
It allows the seller to manage the RFQ sent by admin.
Multi-Vendor Report & Analytics:
It allows the seller to access the reports under the vendor panel.
Table Rate Shipping Marketplace Add-on:
It allows the seller to configure table rates for shipping charges
Full Site SSL:
Full site SSL i.e. integration of SSL certificate into the store gives your site security from potential threats.
Learn More – How to develop B2B, B2C Marketplace on different ecommerce Platforms?
In the admin panel, the core features and functionalities that you must include are:
It includes vendor/seller information, vendor products, and managing seller.
In this, the admin would be able to approve/disapprove the products, add/update or delete the products, can see the full list of products, active/deactivate products, and assign products to sellers.
This feature will generate the payout amount to be settled.
It manages the product attributes listing and features such as adding, updating, deleting product attributes.
It includes functionalities such as approving/rejecting customers, viewing customers list, active or deactivate customer, rewarding customers, blocking customers, loyalty programs.
Customer group by interest:
The admin would be able to manage customer groups, bifurcate particular users into groups, provide special offers, and can set promotions for the product for a particular group.
Review & Rating management:
The admin would be able to view reviews & ratings and manage them.
In managing invoices, it includes generating an invoice, viewing invoice details, download invoice.
The admin would be able to manage the stocks in the inventory of the products.
The admin would be able to add/delete order, view list of pending and cancelled orders, search order, customer notification, and red alert for a late shipment, or pending unfilled orders.
The admin would be able to manage the commission vendor wise and product-wise.
RMA Request Management:
A Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) is a process of return a product to receive a refund, replacement, or repair during the product’s warranty period.
CMS pages i.e. the number of pages on the whole b2b b2c marketplace, the admin should be able to manage that.
Shipping Service Nomination System:
The seller should be able to choose domestic as well as international shipping and the shipping company as per the requirement.
Survey system or taking feedback from the customers as well as sellers. The widget should be able to display on the seller dashboard.
In affiliate programs, the b2b b2c marketplace will pay affiliate Web sites a commission of 12% or whatever you decide to send them traffic.
There can also be a portal for influencers who can register themselves with their profile, along with their areas of interest, demographics they serve, a link of their social media channels, and lastly their reviews and ratings.
A giveaway is a promotional tool used by businesses to improve awareness of the brand, improve their image, or drive sales. Giveaways can range a great deal in size and value. There can be a dashboard of giveaways for a seller, with signup giveaway, prelaunch giveaway, sharing content, and instant giveaways.
Also Read: How to develop ecommerce mobile application?
You can create physical as well as e-mail gift cards as products or also quick links in various denominations and currencies which user can gift to their loved ones.
There can be a functionality of informing customers about the daily deals on the b2b b2c marketplace through an autoresponder newsletter system.
Seller profile page:
It allows the admin to manage the seller profile page settings.
The seller can also add more info. articles, seller guides, and videos. If require then one may include, a survey about contacts, quick links, and live chat with seller support link.
The testing is done to find the potential errors, bugs, integrations, payments, functionality, speed or plugins working status, etc.
Top 10 ecommerce marketplaces:
While customers still prefer to shop in stores, their use of ecommerce sites and marketplaces continues to show double-digit growth each year. Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers can no longer ignore the fact that the Internet must be considered a revenue source for their businesses. In 2020, here are the top 10 marketplaces that should be a part of any wholesaler or retailers’ ecommerce decisions.
Amazon has become the world’s largest ecommerce platform. In the US, alone there are 5 million marketplace sellers and 20 million shoppers browsing the site every month. Amazon is one of the most popular online marketplaces available. It’s best suited for medium to large sellers that want exposure to millions of customers and are equipped to handle the influx of traffic when it comes.
Walmart has become the largest retailer in the world. In 2000, they develop the ecommerce marketplace for themselves. Walmart not only accepts sellers that use FBA, but they also cater to the drop shippers. However, remember, a seller can either be a drop-ship vendor or seller but not both.
eBay was launched in 1995 and has evolved from just a used good selling marketplace to one of the largest ecommerce marketplaces in the world. This marketplace is suited for sellers that sell new and used items and are open to auctioning their products for a higher price.
Alibaba was founded in 1999 as a B2B portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. In today’s time, it is known as Chinese Amazon and the platform provides C2C, B2C, and B2B sales channels, and offers many of the services that Amazon offers. Alibaba has upwards of 674 million users, about 775 million monthly mobile users, and boasts a 60 percent share of the Chinese ecommerce market.
Overstock starts by selling surplus, closeouts, and returned merchandise. Today, Overstock also sells new merchandise and has drastically overhauled its partner program. The site currently has over 30 million unique visitors each month. The company takes a more community-based approach to the people it allows on the platform since revising its strategy in 2011.
Etsy is the best ecommerce platform for those shoppers who are looking for unique products. This makes the platform ideal for small and medium sellers who are having specialization in handmade or vintage products.
Jet is new in the list of the marketplaces. It was launched in 2015 and was acquired by Walmart, quite soon after the launch. Jet is the ideal online marketplace for sellers that cater to a specific customer segment — price-sensitive, millennial city dwellers. There are about 400,000 active monthly users on the site and about 2,400 sellers. This marketplace is still small, but provides more exposure and have a greater repeating buyer rate than Amazon and eBay.
What makes Newegg different from other online marketplaces is that it specialized in one product category. It means if your niche is selling in tech products, then Newegg is the place for you. Since tech products tend to be in demand during major holidays like Christmas and special occasions like birthdays, Newegg is also a good fit for seasonal sellers.
Rakuten, a global marketplace based in Japan, is the 4th largest ecommerce marketplace in the world. Rakuten is a good fit for medium to large sellers that want the option to ship beyond North America and grow their business internationally.
Cratejoy marketplace is having a niche for the subscription box industry. With thousands of boxes catering to countless niches and more boxes launching every month, there’s a lot of competition out there. If you own a subscription box, one way to stand out from the crowd is to use the Cratejoy marketplace.
Whether you are developing ecommerce marketplace B2B or B2C, it is important that you hire a team of eCommerce developers specialists in the segment and can cater to all your requirements within minimum time. Are you looking for a b2b ecommerce marketplace website design company to create an ecommerce marketplace? At Emizentech, the best b2b ecommerce marketplace website designers, we are having a dedicated team of ecommerce developers having expertise in all major platforms of marketplaces, to deliver you an exceptional application for scaling up your business.
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