Are Marketplaces the fastest growing sales channel? Demand for marketplaces is high and according to Digital Commerce360, just 24 months ago, there were approximately 70 vertical B2B marketplaces. Today, that number is 250 marketplaces and counting. 1
In the report, it’s examined how demand from B2B buyers shifted from off-line, to online, to marketplaces, and why the shift is permanent. It also talks about the rise of Amazon B2B, but this is where my opinion differs! I think the B2B market has learned a valuable lesson from B2C and does not want to fuel the growth of Amazon selling on their platform. As a result, B2B organizations want to stay away from using Amazon driving the growth of vertical industry marketplaces or the desire to start their own marketplace.
Online Marketplaces are not a new concept – but what are the critical capabilities that you need from a marketplace?
When you are looking to extend seamlessly from your Commerce Platform, there are niche marketplace vendors in the market but to make the user experience seamless, you should look for a solution that is built specific for the Commerce platform architecture. Capabilities that enable quick time to market, low cost of operations and ease of participant setup and enablement, along with support B2C, B2B, B2B2C, C2B, Buy-side, Sell-side requirements, with role-based access control and approval flows.
Top 6 Must-Have Features of a Marketplace
- Searchable and filterable content:
Not much explanation needed here – but with commerce platforms adding voice and visual search, from a consistency of experience you need to include new ways to help customers find your products and services.
- Booking and Order Process (Order Management):
This capability is used to order products or services by the users and get information about the order by the publisher. And here developers need to add communication channels between users and publishers. So, this order management system helps to collaborate multiple users and publishers in a single point.
- Payment options:
Marketplace need to have a blend of payment options that encompasses B2B and B2C. For example, ACH, Direct Payment, EFT, credit card, debit card, cash, PayPal and EMI options and also this feature need to handle billing and invoice operations. We usually use these kinds of payment options in the marketplace to ensure that both users’ groups are conveniently using this.
- Custom Search and Navigation:
The shoppers want to search marketplace listings exactly what they want or need. So based on their search need they want to find it quickly and execute the order process. The best marketplace design will be able to handle these kinds of custom search and navigation options to give a delightful feeling to the users.
- Manage Listings:
This is the must having featured in e-marketplace like sellers need to publish and manage their items. Manage listing is used by the publisher, with this they can publish, edit, view and unpublish their items.
- Reviews and Ratings:
This feature helps publishers and users to understand the market situation and the quality of the service. With this, both sides (publisher and shopper) can see the reviews and ratings but only users can write the review and ratings for products.
Plus, it helps if you have a partner with the experience and knowledge to know what is critical for a Marketplace solution – a quick shout-out to my friends and partner CEBS.
To learn more contact CEBS here