Using an established ecommerce solution is definitely a fast, simple and most importantly cost-effective way to get your online marketplace started. There are plenty of options out there, selecting the right one won’t only allow you to launch easily but will also help you know more about your audience.
Knowing the difference between software providers is crucial. At the end of the day, they'll be the engine that powers your entire business, so this choice is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. This blog will show you how to choose the right solution to build your marketplace.
Finding the most suitable marketplace software for your needs depends on three key principles:
- The software’s focus
- Services provided
What is the focus of the software?
There’s no ecommerce solution that perfectly caters to all types of marketplace ideas. The more focused the software is to your needs, the more likely it is to be a good fit for you.
Different dimensions affect the choice of a marketplace software:
- Do you want to sell products or services on your marketplace?
- Do you want to manage the sellers or have independent vendors sell on your platform?
- How are you considering the payout process?
- Are you selling physical or digital products?
- What is your business model? Is it consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), or business-to-business (B2B)?
- Do you want to develop a website or a mobile app, or both?
As an example, ecomz has built marketplaces for small ones with managed sellers. That means it would equip you with all necessary features to grow online such as:
- Seller management
- Commission and payout management
- Seller store management
- Seller portal
- Advanced seller store management
- Seller product moderation
Additionally, you can build your marketplace with ecomz and have it ready in just 14 days with a cost of $299 per month, unlike creating a marketplace from scratch which is neither cost-efficient nor time-friendly since you’ll have to pay upfront and go through the hassle of hiring developers to build it.
Several online marketplaces share common standard features such as product recommendations, order management, inventory management, shipping and payment gateway integrations. On the other hand, there are extra features that are specific to the type of marketplace. For instance, marketplaces dealing with rentals or services require appointments, while marketplaces focusing on products don’t. So, the foundation for your choice should be based on all the necessary features to support your specific marketplace idea and business model.
Can you extend your marketplace?
Launching your marketplace is just the very first step. The next one is to gather data related to your users and analyze it so you can adapt your platform accordingly. Meaning: choose a software solution that’s easily adaptable.
Off-the-shelf software is always the best way to validate your concept and create a minimal solution that solves the core problem of your users better than other existing ones. But eventually, you’ll need to add your secret ingredient that would make you stand out from the competition. Some vendors like ecomz allow you to customize specific features based on your needs instead of building a new platform from scratch which will be time consuming and costly.
The benefit of using WordPress or Magento is getting access to a large ecosystem of plugins and developers. The major downside is that these ecommerce solutions offer features that are costly and that you may not eventually need. This means that if you’re developing an online marketplace you may not need all of their features. At the beginning this overhead may not matter much, but as you constantly adapt your platform, this could eventually become a burden and result in slow growth.
What services are included in the marketplace software?
The most important services to be included in the marketplace software that you’ll be using are hosting, server monitoring, automatic software updates and data backups.
If you’re not tech savvy, setting up the required hosting and backups might be a deal-breaker even if you do get the basic software out of the box. As the number of users increases, making sure your platform works smoothly and securely can require a full-time developer and would consume your monthly budget. Make sure that the software provider adheres to all the best security practices and handle regulatory compliance.
Additionally, some vendors offer a free trial period. This would be a great opportunity for you to test all the features of the software thoroughly. Moreover, it would be a good idea to contact the company’s customer services as it’s highly likely that you’ll communicate with the customer support a lot as your platform starts growing, so you want to make sure they answer quickly and to the point.
Choosing the right software solution can have a huge effect on your business’s performance. Make sure to research several vendors before committing, and compare their plans and packages thoroughly. When you find the ideal technical partner for your marketplace, you’ve got a huge head start on your competition. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll compete with AliExpress, eBay, or even Amazon!
Ecomz is an award-winning ecommerce platform driven by a passionate team of experts and innovators in the world of ecommerce and backed by institutional investors such as the World Bank and leading VCs in the region. It is powered by advanced store-builder capabilities, aesthetic CX-focused themes, a comprehensive suite of AI and machine learning powered tools, in addition to innovative multichannel integrations. It provides its clients with unparalleled local support and guidance focusing on a professional, transparent and growth-driven approach.
Ecomz operates in more than 55 countries, serving more than 7,000 merchants helping them generate over $50M in sales. Named 2018 Top 5 B2B website by Seamless Conference, 2017 Top 10 Business by ArabNet, Ecomz has also been recognized by Google, Disrupt San Francisco (TechCrunch) and MIT Silicon Valley Program for its achievements and has been awarded by the 2018 Touch Innovation Program (TIP) and BLC Bank’s 2018 Brilliant Lebanese Award (BLA).