Online marketplaces are the trickiest type of business order to start with since you need to acquire two types of users, i.e., buyers and sellers. In short, you have to launch an online marketplace with both. If you have a large number of sellers than buyers, then sellers won’t be able to see good sales, and they will feel the marketplace is not good to go.
In the same way, if you have a large number of buyers than sellers, buyers will find it difficult to look for products they like to buy, which will make them leave the site.
Why do Buyers Prefer Online Marketplaces?
Do you know why buyers prefer online marketplaces for buying items? Check out the number of reasons for the same!
- Marketplaces are quite convenient as they have a large collection of products
- Shoppers get better prices as they can compare similar products easily from competing sellers
- Marketplaces allow shoppers to select their ideal seller based on different criteria like location, ratings, price, shipping costs, etc.
In this guide, we will see things that marketplace owners need to do before launching an online marketplace. Let’s get started with it! Happy Reading!
1. Acquire the Right Tools
Acquiring the correct tools is the foremost thing that you must do before you launch your online marketplace. You will not face any issues in finding tools for your online marketplace. Even by scanning different internet review sites or online forums, you can look for a number of options.
However, the most important and challenging thing is to acquire the correct ones for the business.
In this fast-paced world of challenging business, competing with popular online marketplaces is quite tricky. So, it’s better to avoid using the features and tools that are used by other marketplaces. Firstly, think about your target market and then look for the tools. Doing this before will save you time and avoid hurdles that you might experience later on.
2. Understand the Legal Necessities
Opening a legitimate business needs all brands and businesses to jump through numerous legal hoops. The precise legal requirements depend on the business location; however, there are some things to consider, like business license, vendor agreements, copyright notices, business insurance, user agreements, cookie policies, taxation laws, and so on.
Also Read: Best eCommerce Data Analytics Software
3. Develop a Marketing Plan
Do you know the reason behind all successful online marketing? Strong customer base! Developing a proper marketing plan in advance will surely help you in figuring out the ways to attract buyers. Also, a good marketing plan consists of the below-given characteristics:
- Customer personas
- Style guide
- Appealing brand identity
- Clear target audience
- Specific promotions
- Content calendar
In addition to this, think about how different marketing tactics can help you in launching a good online marketplace.
4. Know how You Will Attract Sellers
The most challenging thing with starting an online marketplace is that you need to attract both buyers and sellers to your marketplace. Online marketplaces work well only if there are sufficient vendors.
So, knowing the ways to attract sellers before launching the marketplace will help you in avoiding roadblocks later on. StoreMate Dokan can help you in building popular marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, and so on.
5. Think Through Your Customer’s Experience Strategy
Customer experience is the most vital aspect of running any online marketplace website. As per research, it has been found that enhancing customer experience results in ample benefits for your brand, including increased revenue, greater customer loyalty, trust with customers, and so on.
Good customer experience won’t happen in a day; it takes proper planning. Question yourself; how do make the customers stay on the platform?
6. Establish a Vendor Support plan
Customers not only want a great experience, sellers too. The success of sellers relies on numerous factors; however, the most important one is their comfort level in operating your marketplace platform.
Make your site simple and easy to navigate, along with a proper support plan for your vendors. This can incorporate things like self-support systems, user guides, etc.
7. Identify How You Will Pay Sellers
Vendors’ achievement is your achievement too. But for that, it’s vital to have proper systems in place for getting them their payments. Online marketplaces make use of different models in order to pay vendors, which include scheduled payments, manual payments, automatic payments, etc.
Automatic refunds, at times, make it tricky to handle refunds, but the other two, i.e., scheduled and manual payments, are quite realistic.
8. Have A Proper Maintenance Plan
Websites break; the best ones can experience bugs and malfunctions. So, it doesn’t matter how big or small the business is; or how well established it is; every business must ready to prepare for such issues in advance.
Preventative maintenance is the best way to handle this. Ask for feedback from vendors and sellers before adding something. You won’t require each and every feature. Why? Since adding more will increase the damage to your website as it may get bogged down.
Also Read: How To Create A Runner’s Community Website?
9. Come Up with a Refund Policy
Refunds are the natural part of every online marketplace. So, having a proper refund policy can make things much smoother. Who will cover the refunds; marketplace or vendors? How can customers request a refund? Answering these questions in advance will help you in setting a successful refund policy that proves to be valuable for customers.
Below given are a few stats that you must take into consideration while forming the return policy:
- 67% of online shoppers look for the returns page before making any purchase
- 92% of customers love to purchase something again if a policy of return is simple
- 79% of customers wish for free return shipping
Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Launching a Marketplace
What do you think about asking a few questions from yourself that will benefit you before you launch your online marketplace? The answer is yes! In some way, it will benefit you and your marketplace a lot, through which you can take your business to the next level soon.
1. Does your marketplace resolve the issue?
If we can’t find the resolution for the problems, then we switch on to another thing, right? So, if we can’t look for something, then we choose another one. This is the case with marketplaces too!
For example, take Amazon. They have become quite popular, and it’s quite easy to buy anything from this platform by just sitting in the solace of your own surroundings.
Marketplace owners must address the problem of “solving the problem”. Why will someone like to use your marketplace when they aren’t able to find something they are looking for? So, find your niche before launching your marketplace.
2. Is your marketplace easy to use?
Marketplaces can either help you in getting more customers, or you will lose your potential buyers. Ask yourself, are your pages simple to navigate? Can you search and compare products easily? People will visit your website to buy or swap items. But if you can’t make your site easy to navigate, then there are chances that you might lose your customers. Not all are tech-savvy and have the patience to figure out your marketplace. Make it simple to navigate. Else, it will only annoy your audience.
3. What Technology Should We Use?
When choosing the technology, the criteria that one must look for in the marketplace are quite similar to other online businesses.
- Ensure loading time is fast as well as downtime is minimal
- Protect the customers
- Build for users of mobile and desktop from the beginning
4. What level of customer service do we need to deliver?
Your online marketplace must offer better customer service as compared to other online stores. That simply implies questions of customers have to be answered instantly.
To ensure you provide a good level of service consumers expect, you have to do two things:
- Be transparent: Make your customers clear whether they are buying from you directly or 3rd parties. Also, who is answerable for customer care
- Be available: Ensure customers have direct and easy access to vendors so that they can answer all specific questions.
Request Feedback for improving your online marketplace platform
Feedback is another vital aspect that you must consider before launching a successful online marketplace. If you request feedback from your customers, then they will feel you care for their opinions and satisfaction. Also, you will come to know what needs improvement to understand your customer’s requirements and wants.
Remember not to stop learning, improving as well as experimenting. Marketplace owners must always think about how they can make their platforms much faster and payment processes smoother to provide their customers with a better experience.
Launch Your Online Marketplace-Wrap Up
I hope you have enjoyed going through this guide, and it helped you in knowing more about things that you need to do before you launch your online marketplace. Launching the online marketplace is quite exciting, but having a proper plan in place will help you in enjoying its success later on rather than struggling through it.
When planning to launch an online marketplace platform, begin by thinking carefully. Spend some time doing proper research to reach the heights of success. Planning is quite imperative; however, action is much more important than it. In addition to this, you have to keep strengthening your competitiveness to promote a sustainable business.