Should You Use Online Marketplace Software or Develop Your Own Website?
In most cases, a marketplace SaaS is more cost-effective, more flexible, and much faster to set up.
You see, if you develop your own marketplace website, you need to go through all the stages of website development. We’re talking months, if not a year.
Instead, we set up our current business MartPro, a marketplace software, because we realized just how many marketplace entrepreneurs needed a better alternative.
An online marketplace software comes with the following benefits:
You can set it up in less than an hour.
The costs are affordable and for new businesses
You can flexibly add on or remove features with drag-and-drop tools. If you want customized solutions, you can usually custom-build those functionalities.
You can test an idea before investing a ton of money into it.
But before you decide on a marketplace website, you need to know it works for YOUR marketplace business. That’s what we’ll look at next.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your Online Marketplace Software Platform
Creating an online marketplace usually comes with the usual “build or buy” decision on the technology. Most people have come to grips that it's better to leave the technology to experts who know best leaving them to concentrate on the online marketplace business instead, thus beginning their search for the best marketplace software platform in the market.
Amongst the dozens (and increasing) solutions, discovering the online marketplace software suited for one’s specific needs is like finding a needle in a haystack. The right investment enables a company to get its brand out there, securing exponential Return on Investment (ROI) thereafter. If not, businesses may struggle to fit their business model to rigid technology with significant frustration.
While there is no perfect framework for determining an online marketplace software, there are definitely several key considerations when finding the closest software relevant to you. We have analyzed and summarized three factors that not only allow you to quickly launch your online marketplace but most importantly, gain traction and scale in the long run.
To find the best online marketplace software suited for your needs, consider the following important factors:
Understand your Challenge
Marketplace Management Characteristics
Business Development Tools
Understand your Challenge
Before building your online marketplace, understand the market or idea that you are venturing into. Gather information on what problems you are solving with your products or services, and who your audience is. This will help you realize essential features and functionalities needed for your business niche, discovering the online marketplace type that is a better fit for you.
What are your company’s technical prowess and available resources? What is your team prioritizing? While one can create a platform with little technical knowledge or resources, some lean more towards customization or flexibility.
There are various types of marketplaces: Cloud-Based Fully Hosted Marketplace Solution, Standalone Self-Hosted Multi-Vendor Solution, and Multi-Vendor Plug-In Extensions.
MartPro belongs to the first category, providing cloud marketplace SaaS self-service and enterprise solutions. This addresses the technological needs of businesses of all sizes with varying customer profiles as they are the easiest to get started with, requiring the least amount of technical knowledge.
For businesses looking for customization and complete control over their platform, the standalone self-hosted multi-vendor solution might be more appropriate for them. Some technical experience is needed to get the marketplace up and running.
On the other hand, those looking for flexibility might find solutions with multi-vendor plug-in extensions more useful. However, to reap the benefits of this platform, a company should have experienced developers in their team to work around the underlying system.
To some, the above licensed or on-premises ecommerce platforms are considered better solutions given flexibility and control. Yet, businesses should also figure out the hidden costs that impact pricing. These can be in the form of customization needs or associated costs like hosting and security.
If a basic pre-packaged functionality contains all the necessary features for an online marketplace by default, future extensions will cost much less.
Marketplace Management Characteristics
After documenting the focus of your software, it is important to understand if the marketplace software facilitates your needs at every step of the way - from implementation, technical help, and the management of sellers.
Besides a smooth onboarding process, the availability of a free trial version or demo is essential. If it enables access to full functionality, you can attain hands-on experience, check the online marketplace platform in action, and evaluate if it fits your needs.
The process of launching and using your online marketplace platform should be hassle-free. A multi-vendor ecommerce script should be supported by an active community of users and technical specialists which you can rely on. Do note that most free third-party plugins on platforms like Shopify usually do not provide further technical support, hence you should be mindful of the tools that you first equip yourself with when building a marketplace. Besides the support quality, other important markers are the frequency of marketplace updates and improvements.
Even if an online marketplace software is unable to support payment methods or flows that are specific to your business model, you can research if they provide other forms of support. In MartPro's case, our clients have access to our Expert Partners who specializes in front-end development and UI/UI that carefully amalgamates design and technology together to create a better-customized marketplace platform for you.
Management of Sellers
Once your online marketplace has been launched, it is crucial to managing sellers thereafter. An online vendor which has a marketplace providing a wide range of functionalities enables them to acquire and retain sellers, in turn, helping to expand their user base and outreach.
At MartPro, we have three distinct default user types with intuitive interfaces - Marketplace Operator (site admin), Third-party Seller, and Buyer/Guests. Besides being able to support businesses with unlimited merchants, listings, and transactions for our respective parties, we offer marketplace business support services like customer service and vendor management.
Sellers are thus not only able to navigate through the website easily and manage orders effectively, with functions like email notifications, product reviews, and a buyer-seller chat, they are also able to establish strong relations with their buyers and boost their own earnings.
Payment security and convenience are one of the most crucial features an online marketplace platform should provide. Different payment methods include the most popular and safest options are usually pre-embedded in a multi-vendor script, reducing worries about integrating a third-party payment gateway.
Currently, MartPro has pre-integrations with PayPal and Omise. We also have a generic payment connector that allows marketplace implementations to integrate payment gateways of their choice.
Aside from allowing you to meet all online payment security requirements and ensuring customer financial data protection, we also allow vendors to have flexibility in marketplace transactions.
Payments can be customized and can be split between the admin and seller, or if one prefers, transactions in the marketplace can all go to the admin directly, depending on which payment gateway is most relevant to our clients.
Business Development Tools
When it comes to your online marketplace, it is not just about the initial launch and getting it to work. To ensure that a marketplace is able to scale, an in-depth analysis based on statistics and reports is needed. An online marketplace platform system that provides or allows you to integrate with popular tools like Google Analytics to track traffic and detailed sales statistics.
Analytics, tracking, and reporting are possible with MartPro and can be displayed and visualized the way clients would like with our APIs. This is coupled with a report revealing total sales, top viewed items, top-selling items for both the marketplace operator and for third-party vendors.
How A Customizable Turnkey Online Marketplace Solution Benefits Your Business?
While a hosted platform frees you from a lot of hassles, the next requirement to get the best eCommerce marketplace solution for your business is to choose a customizable platform. You might not need changes right at the beginning of your business, but this becomes a necessity as you grow.
A customizable eCommerce marketplace builder gives you the following benefits:
Dual benefits of the tailormade solution and turnkey agility
Adapts to unique business requirements and processes
Advanced technology that gives a competitive edge
Allows innovation and experimentation for business growth
Helps manage fast-growing businesses with high-volume sales
Enables customized checkouts and invoicing for better sales
Save migration pains by offering a stay-on online marketplace platform
MartPro's online marketplace solution gives you all these benefits and offers you a flexible solution that molds according to your unique business needs. You can tweak the platform inside out, create new entities or tweak the existing ones to attain desired flows.
Advantages Of Choosing MartPro Online Marketplace Solution
MartPro SaaS-based multi-vendor eCommerce platform is designed to offer a well-rounded eCommerce marketplace builder for B2B, B2C, and high-volume enterprise businesses. Our aim is to give a quick and effective start to your business and take away the pain of development.
Here is why you should choose us for building your multi-vendor online store:
Turnkey solution that takes care of every aspect of a multi-vendor setup
Customizable backend and frontend to build out of the box online marketplace solutions
The mobile-ready solution, build mobile apps right from your dashboard
Beautiful themes and inbuilt editing tools to design the most engaging marketplace
Seamless integrations that make work efficient and lighter
Inbuilt multi-store set up for creating multiple storefronts with centralized admin
Inbuilt CMS (content management system) and blog engine for optimized SEO content
50+ integrated payment gateways and wallet support
Automated and discounted logistics with COD support
Multilingual and multi-currency support for international business expansion
Along with these, MartPro's SEO-friendly online marketplace solution offers a gamut of inbuilt marketing tools to promote your brand. With these tools and the right business strategies in place you can build, run and grow your multi-vendor eCommerce store to new heights of success.