According to wikipedia the very first ecommerce activity was about 50 years ago — interestingly a cannabis sale between academic departments of two prominent universities in the US — greater the human need — greater is the innovation!
Today, three months past Covid 19, our lifestyle has changed forever. I’ve personally replaced the last bit of random Walmart brick and mortar run with Amazon — an intelligent, trustworthy marketplace that has most of everything I need. It is time for traditional retailers to seriously consider marketplaces? If so how can retailers provide the same amazonian experience to their customers?
To be clear, when I mention ‘marketplace’ I am talking about — An online e-commerce platform where products and/or services are provided by multiple third party vendors. At the surface it is simply adding another layer — offerings from third party vendors — to a traditional ecommerce platform and you get a marketplace. Underneath the hood though, how will you manage listings, inventory, service/product delivery, etc. between affiliate vendors and marketplace customers in a way that doesn’t damage your existing brand value. I have been on this question for a few years now and am still learning. What are popular ecommerce marketplace softwares and how do they fare.
Here is our guide on this:
1.For startups, Revenue < 2 Million: Here is a good review of the top 5. . WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento and such have been in the market since 2 BC. What you will need is tickering time — they all have some flavor of functionality that you will have to tinker with to make it perfect for your business.
2.Revenue > 2 Million servicing a niche customer base: Decisions are always difficult in the middle. If the number one reason for your success is very unique product/service offering OR serving an underserved market then I would recommend taking a serious look at #1 above. On the other hand if your number one reason is “Customer Service” — then your journey is going to be a bit more challenging. I recommend you talking to an experienced IT consultant or please feel free to contact IdyaFlow.
3.You are an international brand. Scalability, security and agility aspects around International partners, cross border business interactions, service warranties etc. require significant vetting, planning and strategy to go to market with. You probably already have enterprise IT platforms such as Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, MS Dynamics, etc in your existing system portfolio. All these platforms offer some sort of cloud commerce offering — but their support for multi vendor marketplace is nascent or altogether missing. Support for ecommerce marketplace software is currently supported by third party system integrator. If you looking for an unbiased and informed chat on how to get this going within your enterprise — please talk to us.
This article from New York times about impact of coronavirus on economy is really fascinating.
In this new Covid normal, selecting the right ecommerce marketplace software platform will be a great first step to jumpstart your marketplace transformation. We would love to hear more from you, please contact us at IdyaFlow. Get your Idea alive today. We are here to help you begin the journey!