The E-commerce industry has successfully evolved our shopping habits and lifestyle in various ways. Today, it’s easier to shop for a wide range of products with the comfort of being at home. Not only has e-commerce made shopping simpler and convenient for consumers, but it has also opened up new opportunities for sellers to establish a solid online brand and grow their businesses. We can now witness the exponential growth of multiple multi-store e-commerce marketplaces, including Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay.
A recent Statista report suggested that international e-commerce sales might well reach 3.53 trillion dollars by the time 2022 ends.
What Is A Multi-Store E-commerce Marketplace?
Most online shoppers often keep buying various products from multi-store e-commerce marketplaces in India. However, they usually do not know what a multi-vendor e-commerce website or store is. You would be fascinated to know that when you order on Amazon, in most cases, you aren’t buying from Amazon but the sellers or vendors associated with Amazon. Now let’s further understand what an e-commerce marketplace means.
A multi-store eCommerce marketplace is a platform that allows third-party vendors to sell their products to platform users. You can also look at it as a multi-vendor e-commerce store with various shops operated by individual sellers.
A recent survey stated that more than 21 percent of e-commerce businesses started selling on a multi-store e-commerce marketplace platform.
- The primary perspective of small online businesses about multi-vendor marketplaces is that they can always offer better services to customers when compared to independent e-commerce stores.
- Additionally, e-commerce marketplaces certainly offer more products than independent stores, thanks to multiple sellers.
- Multi-store marketplaces also enable much more cost-effective solutions to small-scale online sellers.
Why Multi-Store E-commerce Marketplaces are the Future?
There exist multi-dimensional benefits of having a multi-store e-commerce marketplace rather than a single-vendor e-commerce store. It’s good for both your business and the customers.
Let’s look at the top reasons why a consumer will prefer a multi-store e-commerce marketplace over multiple online shopping websites. If you’re a seller looking to sell online, pay close attention to these aspects of a multi-store e-commerce marketplace:
The Right Products
Large and independently owned e-commerce stores with various verticals can be confusing for users at times. With different product options for a search query, the site navigation can be optimised in the case of a multi-vendor marketplace.
Modern customers specifically know what they want. So it would be highly beneficial if the platform guides them to their desired solution in fewer clicks and as rapidly as possible.
Multiple Brands Selling Together
In the case of multi-store e-commerce, you can allow numerous different brands to sell the same product and manage them conveniently on a single platform.
More Sales for Sellers
When you launch a multi-store e-commerce platform, you create microsites for small retailers/vendors who make the sales for you. And the most exciting part? You have complete control over all the stores selling on your marketplace through the admin portal.
Optimised & Targeted Marketing
An e-commerce platform with diverse products and multiple sellers allows you to narrow down your marketing and brand promotions per the specific marketplace, audience and product niche.
It will be effective if promotions are specifically targeted at an audience rather than generalised marketing campaigns.
If you plan to launch a multi-store e-commerce marketplace, the admin portal will enable you to overlook all the seller storefronts and activities. It will be easily possible for you to publish updates for a specific store or deploy them across all your stores.
Additionally, you will be able to maintain a standard brand with all your stores as the ultimate decision is in your hand!
How to Start a Multi-Store Ecommerce Marketplace?
Undoubtedly, a multi-store e-commerce marketplace is a choice full of positives for all stakeholders, including merchants, platform owners, and customers.
- Sellers set up a consumer base.
- The platform owner generates good revenue and builds a brand.
- Customers get better choices along with convenience and ease.
Now let’s discuss how you can start building your multi-vendor marketplace platform.
Decide What You’re Going to Sell and How
There exist quite a few options if you want to launch your e-commerce marketplace. Priorly, the core idea of the platform needs to be designed and tested, and it’s probably one of the best ways to try and check if your product has good potential in the current market.
You can try with extremely low-profit margins at the start, allowing more buyers to visit your platform.
Finalise your target audience
You can’t sell anything to everyone. Please bear this in mind while framing your target audience and buyer persona.
- Initiate by communicating with demographics. For instance, target customers of a certain age, marital status with predefined needs and preferences.
- Overall, your focus should be on satisfying specific customer needs.
Choose a Suitable Business Model
Moving on, it’s the stage when you need to select a business model for your multi-store e-commerce marketplace. You will now decide who will send to whom and how and initiate the service logic executed on your e-commerce marketplace.
Choosing an optimal business model is crucial for your future marketing campaigns and monetisation frameworks.
Frame Your Revenue Model
The chances of your e-commerce marketplace being successful depends hugely on the monetisation model you choose. Several options likely exist, but not every model works with different target audiences. So it’s crucial to select the right strategy. Take a look at some of the most revenue models for a multi-store e-commerce marketplace:
- Subscription fee: The primary examples are eBay, Amazon Prime and WIX. In this model, sellers and buyers pay monthly/yearly fees for using the platform.
- Transaction fee: Some examples include Etsy and eBay: The marketplace platform charges a flat fee on every order or transaction.
- Advertising: Amazon, Facebook, eBay and several other e-commerce marketplaces provide featured advertisements as an option for sellers.
- Listing fee: OLX, Etsy charge the sellers to list their products on the platform.
- Freemium listings Google, OLX, and many other companies offer their basic features for free. However, the premium features like PPC (pay-per-click) ads require payments.
Get Your Software Developed
Now that you have decided on your business plan and revenue strategy, it’s time to take your business online. Start your multi-store e-commerce marketplace by developing a platform that allows store-owners to add products and enable your customers to order from the app. There are a couple of options when it comes to creating your e-commerce marketplace:
- Website – the most popular and preferred e-commerce selling platforms are websites. Some of the most prominent Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, OLX all started with e-commerce websites.
- Mobile App – Mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms have dominated the last decade in the e-commerce industry. Modern users demand convenience along with optimised and independent user interfaces. Mobile apps cater to those demands comprehensively.
Depending upon your resources and business targets, you can choose either or both of the above software types.
Promote your platform
Now that your online multi-store marketplace is up and running, you’ll need to drive optimal traffic towards your site. Marketing is required to grab the attention of customers and sellers on the platform. Use Google Ads, Youtube Ads, Twitter Ads and whatever else you feel will give outputs.
Launching and scaling a multi-store e-commerce marketplace is a fascinating business. It’s totally on the top of the trends and will indeed cross all revenue predictions with digitisation booming currently.