Nearly everyone is shifting online, right from networking to consuming news. So, why should online shopping be any different? Today, online shopping is a multibillion-dollar industry and people from around the world find it convenient to go online and buy the goods and services they are seeking.
According to recent statistics, the number of online buyers in 2021 stands at 2.14 billion while in the US, digital buyers have increased to more than 230 million. Compared to 2020, this figure is a 1.32% increase whereas worldwide, there is a 4.4% increase, with 900 million more buyers in 2021 than in 2020.
Some experts believe that online shopping events that offer massive discounts are the reason for the increase in online buyers. While these events have a role to play, it is not the sole reason. Today, potential buyers have access to affordable internet connectivity and that enables them to scour the internet and look for marketplaces that offer lucrative and money-saving deals. It is more convenient for buyers to sit in the comfort of their homes and check out multiple vendors and their products until they find the right one.
Why Should You Build a Marketplace?
Even though statistics reveal that there is a growing trend to shop online, it is not the sole criterion for starting an online marketplace. When you are thinking of building a marketplace, you should focus on the user experience. Your aim should be to have features and services that provide shoppers with a personalized and customized in-person shopping experience. When you do that, it will attract more shoppers to your marketplace.
Another feature that you should incorporate in your marketplace is versatility. Today, many buyers purchase products and goods at competitive prices and then become sellers and market online. So, when you are building your online marketplace, use a peer to peer marketplace software that allows buyers to become sellers and vice versa.
You have the option of creating a niche-specific marketplace. For instance, you can create a home services marketplace where prospective buyers can find home-related services, such as landscaping, plumbing, painting, interior decorating, and handyman services. Or, you can have a multi-vendor marketplace, like Amazon, that sells everything under the sky. This will broaden the scope of your marketplace but it will be more challenging to coordinate and organize the different categories.
The good news is that you do not have to build your marketplace from scratch. That can be overwhelming and cost-prohibitive. Once you have decided on the kind of marketplace you want to build and your prospective audience, you can choose a whitelabel marketplace software. Such a software comes with open-source coding that you can alter to create a customized marketplace. Not only will this save you money but it will also ensure you have your marketplace up and running within no time. You do not need to know coding or programming to build a whitelabel marketplace by aligning with a service provider who offers a marketplace as a service. That will take care of the customizations that you want to incorporate and help you create a unique marketplace.
Features That Your Online Marketplace Should Have
Whether you are building an online marketplace, you should ensure that it is feature-rich. Some of the basic features that you should not compromise are as follows:
With the advent of handheld devices, people are no longer bound to their desks when it comes to browsing. People use laptops, smartphones, iPads, and tablets to access the internet and look for products and services while they are on the go. Hence, a responsive marketplace website is the need of the hour. Such a marketplace will ensure that your target audience can find it with ease and make purchases quickly and efficiently.
Geo-location Based Listing:
Allow vendors to post their products based on their geographical location. That will enable buyers located in the same geographical location to find these vendors and their products with relative ease. It will also help vendors to forge a relationship with the buyers as some may want to visit the vendors’ shops and stores to enjoy a more personalized interaction.
It is essential to integrate Google Maps into your marketplace platform. That way, buyers, who want to visit the warehouse, shop, or store of the seller will be able to locate the address with ease. It also gives more credibility to your marketplace when buyers have access to the vendor’s physical address.
Multiple Payment Options:
Remember that all buyers will not use their credit cards to complete purchases. So, besides providing an option to pay through credit cards, also have other payment options. Allow buyers to select the most convenient option. Some of the payment modes that you can incorporate are debit cards, online banking, PayPal, Bitcoins, and e-wallets. You can also offer geo-location-specific payment options. Of course, you will have to research the most popular options for different geographical locations and then include them on your marketplace website.
No matter how hard you try and avoid it, disputes are bound to arise between sellers and buyers. So, your marketplace should have a department that is dedicated to fair and quick dispute resolution. It should be fair to the buyer and the seller. Ensure that you have an empowered dispute resolution department that can quickly resolve issues between buyers and sellers to their satisfaction.
Have a responsive customer care service that quickly responds to queries. If your marketplace empowers the seller to handle delivery logistics, you should still be able to help customers track their shipment or answer questions about a product. This will help your marketplace in the long run as customers do post their buying experience online. The more positive reviews your marketplace has, the better. It will help spread the word and enable your marketplace to grow.
The Bottom Line
These are some of the main features that you should include in your marketplace. That is why you should choose your whitelabel marketplace software with care. Ensure that these features are an integral part of the software. Other features that you want can be incorporated to customize your online marketplace and make it stand out.