The word ‘E-commerce’ is ruling the internet lexicon. Not many are well versed with its meaning. At its core level, ‘e-commerce’ refers to the systematic sale and purchase of goods and services by leveraging the features of various electronic channels available on World Wide Web (WWW).
Inception of e-commerce:
The year 1960 witnessed the introduction of EDI- Electronic Data Interchange where business entities used a standard message format to engage in information exchange. The business entities that participated in electronic data exchange were aptly called ‘trading partners.’ Increased internet access proved to be an inflexion point for the e-commerce industry. The late 1990s and the early 2000s witnessed the advent of online sellers. It is worth-mentioning that Jeff Bezos, the mastermind behind Amazon started his venture in 1995. It was in the same year EBay introduced its characteristic online auctions. It can be said in all fairness that E-commerce industry has soared to new heights and continues to scale new summits.
Categories of e-commerce:
Most of the online businesses can be subsumed under the following four broad categories:
B2B: B2B signifies Business to Business. As the name suggests, this category encompasses companies that do businesses with one another. One such scenario where B2B is a commonplace occurrence is the sale of finished goods to distributors by manufacturers. Taking the aforementioned chain if business transaction, wholesalers sell the available stock of goods to retailers.
B2C: B2C signifies Business to Consumer. As the name suggests, this category encompasses companies that do business with their respective consumers. The most prominent example that strikes my mind when I think of B2C is Amazon.
C2B: C2B signifies Consumer to Business. As the name suggests, C2B e-commerce category involves various scenarios in which consumers post a project with budget constraints. Companies interested in taking the project place their bid. Consumer cautiously reviews the placed bids and nods in the affirmative. Eventually, it is the consumer who has a final say. It is thus left to the volition of the consumer. Elance is a noteworthy example that comes under this category
C2C: C2C signifies Consumer to Consumer. Online classified ads and forums betoken the significance of this category of e-commerce. The most prominent example that strikes my mind when I think of C2C is eBay.
An online marketplace or an e-commerce market place is an online platform such as a website where multiple third party vendors place multiple brands of products and services while the transactions are managed and handled effectively by the owner of marketplace. The third party vendors take the responsibility of shipping their respective products. In addition, the third party vendors address the concerns that are associated with the manufacturing of their products. Online marketplaces come under the purview of multichannel e-commerce. In the context of Supply Chain Management, this type of operational service is popularly referred to as ‘Drop shipping.’
Understanding Marketplace software:
Marketplace software creates marketplace platform or its similar variants. There are umpteen marketplace software solutions available in market. There is something more than it meets eye- Marketplace software solutions are available on multiple platforms and multiple technologies. Following the same train of thoughts, it can be said that B2B marketplace script allows you to set up your own B2B marketplace.
While what was deemed a laborious process before the advent of marketplace scripts, building an e-commerce site has now become a matter of a few clicks and customizations. Building an e-commerce store from scratch may not be the best option in all situations. Given the availability of numerous readymade turnkey solutions, it is best to choose a marketplace script that meets your expectations.
Here is a list of various attributes that must be looked for before zeroing on to a particular choice:
At the very outset, it becomes imperative to observe the altering dynamics of online purchasing trend. The last two decades have been a period of constant growth and development. To be precise, Indian e-commerce industry is witnessing the affirmative effects of e-commerce boom. Needless to say, costumers accost marketplaces that are replete with latest trends. This clearly indicates a necessity of incorporating latest selling and buying trends in the potential marketplace script. It is the vendors who must do the needful to carve a niche for himself.
Social commerce is better known to the world as‘s-ecommerce.’ To be specific, social commerce involves the systematic use of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc. to create an everlasting impact on the minds of customers. Celebrated e-commerce giants such as Amazon, eBay etc. have already embraced this strategy with a smile. It is likely that people cherish sharing highly insightful data and show off what they purchased online. So, cherry-pick a marketplace script that inherently supports social commerce script. It is worthwhile to have a ‘Invite your friends’ button/feature to add sheen to your existing customer base.
Collective buying is better known to the world as ‘Group buying.’ Indians have a penchant for buying quality items at discount prices. Many websites have emerged as key players in the niche of Group Buying. More often than not, they come up with “deal of the day” feature to entice more and more customers. It is a win-win situation for both the parties. Quite evidently, this feature must be present in the marketplace script that you choose.
Note: Our B2B Multi vendor shopping cart software has Group buying feature. Check out HERE.
Scalable technology architecture:
Technology has rendered our world digital. It just doesn’t feel right when the marketplace script is not in accordance with the latest technology trends. To do away with any overheads and obviate awful repercussions, it is best to rely on open source technologies such as PHP, MYSQL, Python, Ruby etc. As a matter of fact, developers enjoy the privilege of effective management of marketplace scripts developed in such open source technologies. When it comes to getting economic resources, nothing beats open source technology marketplace scripts.
Note: Our Marketplace shopping cart uses PHP CodeIgniter framework / MySQL DB back end. We’ve also done custom eCommerce projects with Angular js, Ruby on Rails. If would like your project to be build on a specific framework or language, do let us know.
The foremost tools that drive target audiences to various marketplaces are search engines. Reputed search engines such as Yahoo, Google etc. feature websites that are SEO optimized. To attract valuable traffic to marketplaces, it is important to choose marketplaces script that is highly SEO optimized. Ensure that the marketplace script you picked has all the necessary provisions to embed SEO elements and dynamic pages.
Note: Our Multi vendor eCommerce softwares comes with advanced SEO optimized features and options for the vendors to set their own meta title, keyword and description for each product when uploading. How cool is that?
Our e-commerce industry is abound with several marketplace scripts. Rather burning a hole in pocket, it is recommended to carefully analyze, compare and then make an effective purchase. Purchase the marketplace script that is reasonably priced. The cost saved on marketplace script can be used for website maintenance, hosting, marketing etc.
Post purchase support:
Delve deep into the ‘post purchase support’ feature that a vendor promises. This feature readily allows you to fix any bugs that are present in the BUY SELL script you chose.
Your marketplace script should epitomize-“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” It can be said with extraordinary gravitas that online shopping is about innovatively and creatively selling the available products. It all boils down to this gospel truth- To all intents and purposes, your marketplace should be innovatively designed. This clearly lets the customers spread the good word about the marketplace script. Have a soul searching conversation with your marketplace vendor. Identify the factors that motivate them to be innovative. If your marketplace script vendor is innovative at his best, it is likely that you end up getting the latest innovative updates about the industry best practices.
Value added features:
Some of the features that come under the gamut of this attribute are:
Customizable email templates: One of the marketing gambits to keep your customers hot to trot is by regularly sending newsletters. By having a customizable email template, your task becomes less arduous and more efficient. Marketplace script should be equipped with a powerful email management system that is configured with SMTP protocol standards.
Template Manager: Nothing beats a GUI friendly template. To have an eye-catchy and rejuvenated look, it is recommended to update your website with captivating templates. It is all about having responsive templates and themes that fit all screen sizes and multiple screen resolutions.
Content Manager: It is always desirable to have this feature in one’s arsenal. By leveraging the features of Content Manager, you can generate alerts, publish updates and delete the redundant content.
Sales History Manager: To track the sales history, it is recommended to avail this feature.
Multi-language support: This feature caters the requirements of a wide array of audiences. The user should be provided with an option of setting his default language. In addition, this feature should enable the owner of the marketplace script to add new languages with minimum effort.
Reviews & Ratings: Marketplace scripts constantly come under the scanner of customers. This has become an ‘absolute must have feature.’ The feedback solicited from customers should be used to address their concerns. After-all, it should be used constructively to boost your sales.
Adaptive Payments: The seemingly gargantuan task of managing monetary transactions becomes easy if PayPal adaptive payment is integrated into the marketplace script. The commission and payout splits can be carried out for each and every sale thereby eliminating any errors.
Conflict Management System: Sometimes, a few buyers may have trivial issues bothering their minds. In such a case, it behooves on you to address any conflicts. Conflict Management system comes to their rescue. What all a customer has to do is to raise his issue. The seller gets in touch with the customer and settles the dispute at the earliest.
Smart Filters and Advanced Intelligent Search System: If your marketplace script is not equipped with smart filters and advanced intelligent search feature, it may throw cold water on the hopes of customers as customers may be driven into the state of oblivion in their pursuit of products. Smart filters allow easy categorization of products. Advanced intelligent search system aids the customers in searching for the products of their choice.
Geo-Location based shopping: Customers can search for products based on parameters such as location, city country etc.
Coupon codes: With multiple senders trying their best to gain traction, the feature of ‘coupon codes’ seems all the more pragmatic. Sellers can promote their products and customers can use the respective coupon codes during the checkout process.
Multiple Payment Gateways: Your marketplace script should support multiple payment gateway options. Safe and secure transactions should be completed with a couple of clicks.
Discussion board: Buyers and sellers can engage in negotiations and close deals. Also, buyers can resolve their queries by having a one-one discussion with sellers by incorporating “Ask your query” feature.
Dashboards: Dedicated dashboards to buyers and sellers to stay informed and updated on sales and various offers such as festive discounts, hefty festive discounts, weekend discounts etc.
Mutli-currency management: Depending on the location of user’s IP, the marketplace script should display the price of the products in user’s native currency.
Gift Card Management: This allows a user to send gift cards to his/her family members and friends. These gift cards can be redeemed during the purchase of goods.
Transaction Manager: A list of all successful and unsuccessful transactions can be maintained. In addition, the detailed history of each and every customer can be maintained.
Commission tracker: A clear and detailed view of commission distributed to the sellers and admin through the sales is in store for buyers, admin and sellers.
To realize the true potential of ecommerce, integrate social commerce with mobile commerce. Ensure that the marketplace script you purchase is m-commerce friendly. M-commerce induces a wave of potential purchases through PDAs. The recent ‘Big billion Day’ of Flipkart witnessed mind blowing sales. Calculations and fact files reveal that a majority of customers who purchased various products accessed Flipkart from mobile phones. Here is another mind blowing fact- Mobile apps now account for a whopping 34% of e-commerce transactions.
Look for a marketplace script that is equipped with a powerful app. This app must allow all its users to upload listings. Android accounts for nearly 64.5 % of all handset sales in developed countries such as Germany, Australia, UK, Japan, France, China etc. iOS has a huge following in US. This clearly signifies the necessity of having an Android as well as iOS mobile app.
If you do not have the aforementioned features, with no second thought, discard your existing marketplace script and opt for the one which is complete and perfect with the desiderata. Otherwise, it is the time to clink glasses and stay upbeat if you have the aforementioned attributes in your marketplace script. Experience the ecstasy!
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