WHY A MARKETPLACE?
Ever since there’s been anything to sell, there’s been a marketplace. A place for multiple sellers to gather, and for buyers to compare what’s on offer and make their choice based on needs, wants and price.
Then life – and commerce – went online, and became more complex. But no matter how things have changed, online marketplaces still provide customers with one easy, convenient destination to compare a wide choice of offerings from a variety of curated sellers.
That’s one unified destination, endlessly scalable, integrated into systems all around the world, offering dropshipping from anywhere with easy fulfilment and returns and no limitations on warehousing or range. Each system seamlessly connects with each other and all data and insights are in one place.
If you want to become that unified destination; the place your customers return to again and again, you need an effective, scalable marketplace platform that consolidates a market, allows for range extension, creates a community for your customers and unifies the commerce experience for them. This, in turn, will generate modern revenue streams for your business and produce valuable data and insights that will ensure your marketplace success.
For over ten years at Marketplacer we have built not only marketplace solutions for companies who want to be the online place their customers can trust, but we have developed the methodology that makes them succeed.
Unified commerce is simply allowing your customers to purchase your products from anywhere they are available.
On scale, we are seeing brands and retailers asking this simple question: How can we drive more sales and leads into not only our company’s own stores but all of our stockists?
When you have a customer who wants what you’ve got, you’d rather they come straight to you instead of anywhere else. Be the place for your customer. That is, be their first port of call, no matter which channel they use to get there.
Unifying the commerce experience does several things: it gives customers the ease of a single destination to compare your products across a consistent base; it helps drive sales and leads to all of your stockists, and it creates powerful data and insights for your business.
Jayco is a longstanding iconic brand with terrific customer loyalty but the customer experience was fragmented. Previously, a buyer interested in a Jayco model could not easily search for a product and find exactly which dealer held the stock. Now with its own marketplace, customers go straight to Jayco, who provide the surety of consistent information and branding across all their models and synchronise inventory levels across dealerships.
In addition, Jayco is able to build a consolidated view of each customer interaction and is now able to use this data to improve the customer and product experience. Buyers now have one place to go to locate their dream model and book a viewing.
That’s unified commerce.
Dropship from 3rd Parties
Holding stock brings with it limitations both physical and financial. But by implementing our dropship solution, you have no warehouse and no capital restrictions.
The Marketplacer dropship solution can be used as part of our marketplace platform or as a standalone product, integrated into an existing eCommerce system.
When dropshipping is the responsibility of a third-party seller, the marketplace is able to expand with limitless boundaries. Our integrated product data, click & collect and easy returns modules make scaling your marketplace with speed a reality.
With Marketplacer’s world-class API (Application Processing Interface), PIM (Product Information Management system) and effective connector tools, our customers can easily connect and plug into third-party sellers’ systems. Our system is tailored to work instantly with Shopify, WooCommerce, Neto, Big Commerce and Lightspeed and a generic XML connector interacts to systems including Magento.
Since launching its online marketplace The Myer Market, Australia’s largest retailer, has been able to introduce incremental products from like-minded third-party sellers and tap into new categories through the dropship solution. New sellers and products are added continually, while the responsibility of fulfilment lies with the third party and the sale and customer experience is still controlled by Myer.
By leveraging existing brand or supplier relationships, a marketplace is able to achieve sales they couldn’t previously reach.
Whether through launching new product categories or promoting products that wouldn’t traditionally be stocked from these brands or suppliers.
Expansion is limitless.
But it’s not always about the sheer quantity. Our marketplaces are able to vet which brands and products they allow on their marketplace by leveraging our curation tools and smart data and insights module.
Prior to launching its marketplace, Myer’s warehousing restrictions had meant its product categories and the range was, by necessity, limited. Since the arrival of The Myer Market, the introduction of the endless aisle concept has enabled Myer to launch new product categories and expand their current range without the burden of holding extra inventory.
This endless scalability is made achievable by implementing our marketplace solution.
Consolidate a Market
When there’s a highly fragmented market, our marketplace platform can bring all the pieces together.
With an online marketplace, like-minded sellers, brands and products can be united into a single platform, in a single experience.
The consumer-driven power of those brands and products can be leveraged to reinforce a marketplace as the one-stop destination for both customers and sellers.
It’s the core philosophy behind GoSeeAustralia, the road-trip planning marketplace that connects travellers and accommodation providers in one destination. The needs of travellers are varied and accommodation providers cover a broad array of categories but GoSeeAustralia is able to satisfy all of those needs of a highly fragmented industry and unite over 500 parks in Australia.
On the marketplace, customers can request to book accommodation and ask specific questions about each listing. Stories to inspire and inform are also curated on the platform to build a community and go beyond a mere transactional space.
These marketplace initiatives bring together a once fragmented buyer-seller landscape into a mutually beneficial relationship.
Generate New Revenue
A marketplace business model offers flexibility, scalability and most importantly the ability to generate recurring revenue.
There’s no limit to the opportunity for additional revenue streams, which can include the following:
- Commission on items sold
- Seller subscriptions/memberships
- Lead generation revenue
- Private listings or C2C sales
- Display and media
- Consumer memberships
- Data and insights
One prime example of a business that has generated new revenue in becoming a marketplace is BikeExchange. In addition to bringing together sellers and buyers of everything in the cycling world, BikeExchange has leveraged the Marketplacer revenue modules and introduced new revenue streams over a 10 year period.
With more than 500,000 products for sale and an annual audience of 35 million, BikeExchange is now considered the world’s largest bike marketplace.
Create a Community
When a marketplace is more than a transactional platform it helps customers feel plugged into a community or a tribe, through membership benefits, tailored content and product selections. A sense of belonging is created.
To establish that member-driven community, customers must develop a sense of trust, earned through fair, unbiased content; they must be given a voice to participate in product reviews and open forums; and there must be clear benefits that come with being part of the community.
The CyclingTips marketplace has one of the most passionate followings in the cycling community. Through their unique Velo Club, members have access to premium content, members’ events, loyalty rewards, forums, group rides, discounts and other benefits that come with being part of the club.
And thanks to the data gathered from membership insights, offerings can also be tailored to appeal to each individual Velo Club member. It’s this added value that has helped build Velo Club into the passionate community it is today, a truly global group with committed, dedicated members.
Insights and Data
The issue with ‘big data’ for a retailer is that currently many of their systems don’t communicate with each other, creating a fragmented reporting base.
But in being able to connect fully and receive instant inventory updates from sellers or dropship partners, a marketplace is able to respond immediately to that live data. Any interaction with a customer, whether it’s inquiries, sales or returns, can be used in conjunction with seller and inventory information to create a real time view of customer data.
Marketplaces , therefore, generate powerful insights into customer segments, buying trends, brand awareness and much more. This level and scope of data provides a huge advantage in structuring and planning, identifying revenue streams and acting to meet demand.
Third-party sellers are also able to use their own analytics on the marketplace to better inform their sales and marketing strategies through data on buying trends, customer behaviour and more.
The purpose built Marketplace Insights module enures your business can plan, scale, analyse, interact and achieve well beyond what is possible with a traditional eCommerce platform.
Thinking about implementing a marketplace strategy?