In the past decades, we’ve witnessed the rapid transformation of the process people are doing shopping. The period has given birth to many successful aggregators, such as Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy, Uber, Fiverr and likewise, whose online market activity aims at bringing together multiple sellers and buyers at one platform.
According to Statista, everything looks quite promising for eCommerce marketplaces, especially for B2B online platforms:
Amazon is the most popular online marketplace that generated $74 billion in revenue from the annual sales through various digital channels in 2018.
As online shopping provides positive customer experience, the number of companies that are more open to eCommerce options, mushrooms extensively as well as future investments consequently increase.
Traditionally, there are three participants of any marketplace platform: sellers, buyers and the platform itself. In a B2C model, the relations between the parties are built in order to sell popular goods or services to the final consumer while in a B2B type the interaction between two business representatives develops mostly around pricing and potential profit.
On this premise, the marketplace platform is to create a perfect environment for managing numerous difficult processes, like data orchestration, tracking customer history, stock monitoring, complex analytics and decision making. Thus companies typically strive to find one or several software platforms with a scope of services to meet their business needs.
“Many corners of B2B commerce remain untouched by digital, and few firms have reached a digitally advanced state.” Joe Cicman, senior analyst, Forrester Research
No large eCommerce platform can function effectively without decent marketplace software designed specifically to contribute to online business development. To do so, any B2B marketplace software solution should enjoy a number of both must-have and additional features to provide full-fledged performance. Although these features may vary, here are five key characteristics alongside a list of some supplementary features we think you should consider.
B2B software platforms should contain options for efficient multiple vendors and product orchestration as their number can be endless. Smart and intuitive optimization tools, like CRM, CMS, ERP, serve to help flexible migration procedures, track stock status, manage orders and shipping and, in many cases, prevent valuable data loss.
If we speak about startup projects, it is essential to take into account whether the software enables sustainable scalability. As on the point of business development, the necessity of agile architecture grows simultaneously. Thus marketplace software should provide all-volume warehouse management, sync product inventory and adjust sales, payment, delivery, shipping to the necessary extent.
This feature is business owners’ key to success as seamless access to data ensures an overall control. Transparency helps vendors or managers or marketplace administrators take control over product and service managing processes, keep in touch with business partners and make a profit from electronic commerce. Due to AI features, like chatbots, personal assistants, advanced accounting, etc., stable vendor engagement gets easier than ever before.
Contemporary legislation strictly limits personal data usage and exposure that is why cybersecurity remains the top issue of concern. Marketplace software platforms should ensure the highest level of data protection from leakage, especially when it comes to financial credentials. Software providers must contribute to high-level cybersecurity to make the buying process simple and safe, for example, with secure embedded payment services.
Analytic possibilities of B2B software features are difficult to enumerate beginning with workflow automation to business effectiveness estimation. Marketplace software allows its users to monitor enterprise current data in real-time, such as delivery and stock, and also helps work with past activities, for example, client history, new subscriptions or cart abandoners. Moreover, predictive analysis and ensures graphical representation for advantageous future decision making.
Also, there are some more noteworthy software goodies:
With all that said, it becomes evident that there is no ideal marketplace software meeting every single company’s needs. Instead, you can always give several solutions a try to find the one that suits you best. What’s more, try to evaluate not only the world’s giants, but also smaller B2B marketplace platforms, since they may turn to be much better for your business.
Choosing sustainable marketplace software often turns out to be a burden because there are no universal criteria to suit your business needs best. You are sure to have encountered some popular shopworn names so we’ve tried hard to provide you with a list of on-the-rise software vendors.
Pricing: min. $39 per month
Arcadier is a marketplace SaaS provider for individual and corporate clients. It is a good option for testing ideas without sufficient financial investment and coding knowledge. Arcadier provides simple-to-use B2B, B2C and P2P marketplace software solutions customizable for all-size companies:
Pricing: $1450 one time payment.
CS-Cart Multi-Vendor is a full-stack advanced open source marketplace platform suitable for creating small eCommerce stores. Multiple independent vendors have a bunch of functionalities to sell their digital and physical products.
Pricing: $79 per month.
Sharetribe is open-source software platform for one-evening e-store building. It enables creating a professional marketplace rich in a comprehensive set of functions that deprives its users of code writing and major investments.
Pricing: $49 per year.
WCFM Marketplace is a one-size-fits-all software solution that provides rich features for building a complete multivendor marketplace. It is completely responsible for backend support that enables the clients to concentrate on frontend business experience.
In conclusion, we’d like to add that consumers are in search of a perfect multi-vendor online marketplace because they want to leverage from a vivid choice of products and services in one place. Thanks to these platforms, smaller and larger businesses develop to meet top-notch digital market expectations. So, we are here to help plan and integrate your business solutions no matter what you choose.
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