Did you know that 36% of online retailers have already adjusted their marketplace strategies because of Covid-19? The pandemic has resulted in the worst recession since World War II, forcing business owners to rethink their sales strategies.
How do you plan to reach your potential buyer in a quick and smart way amid the chaos especially when the global economy is shrinking by 5.2%? How can you measure its progress? The solution not only requires a sound marketing strategy but also to make the most of your investments.
So how do you go about achieving those goals?
Well the answer lies in the services you offer to sellers and customers.
Ever wonder what are the key differences between Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Etsy etc. Aside from the fact that all of them sell different items/services, it’s how they approach the free market. Each of them has their unique selling point.
Uber lets you book rides while providing safety features specific to travels, such as the ‘Panic Button’. Similarly, the Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program offers various advantages to sellers such as flexible rates, inventory management, one-two day shipping and much more.
Customers and sellers around the globe ‘flock’ to these marketplaces because of their unique services. In a nutshell, to attract customers and grow your marketplace you need to provide a fully-featured service that effortlessly allows you to maintain your online presence.
Why should you trust WCMp to grow your marketplace?
At WC Marketplace we pride ourselves in providing round the clock support to help you set up and manage your online market. We also keep a keen eye on the forum, trying our best not to leave any question unanswered.
For instance, there was a problem with the themes following the WordPress 5.5 update. Our developers were immediately on it and managed to fix it over the following weekend. We thank the users for their faith amid this minor hiccup and assure similar responses in the years to come.
Moving on, we prioritize on how effortlessly you can start selling. Since we offer a majority of essential marketplace resources for free you can simply download WCMp and create a working marketplace within a few hours.
You’ll always have the added flexibility of including additional paid features once your business takes off. Until then, we’ve got you covered.
Simply put, installing and setting up WCMp only requires a few steps. You can always look towards our forum for assistance with the setup and we also provide a few setup wizards(we plan to add more), to guide you through the installation.
Your satisfaction is our top priority. We know how difficult it is to stabilize a marketplace, especially during the first few months. You’ll have to worry about the chicken egg problem, customer retention, seller payments and so on.
Creating a marketplace requires a significant time commitment and we don’t intend to waste yours. So to help you make the final decision, we offer a comprehensive list of the features and services you can expect from WC Marketplace to help you kick off and grow your online business.
- Quick Onboarding for you sales partners with customizable forms
Why is quick onboarding important?
A lengthy onboarding process might discourage sellers from selling on your marketplace. Often vendors want to start listing right away without having to worry about long registration forms and with WCMp you now have the power to do so.
WCMp’s Vendor registration module lets you create customized forms allowing you to collect the necessary information the way you want.
Create numerous fields asking for every minute detail, or keep it simple and request only the basic identification documents alongwith payment details.
With the help of the Vendor registration module you can provide hassle-free onboarding to all your prospective sellers.
- Customize registration forms along with terms and conditions
- Enable/DisableToggle manual or automatic vendor registration approvals
- Streamlined Product Management Dashboard and Features
What is the importance of a product management system?
Suppose someone is already selling online on their website, and they are accustomed to a particular UI (User Interface) They may even know how to create lists, categorize products and get rid of unnecessary fields.
Now if they decide to sell on your platform, they may expect a similar selling experience, failing to deliver which could cost you the seller. Streamlined product management is an absolute necessity when it comes to online marketplaces, especially if sellers plan to list a variety of items.
They need to effortlessly keep track of products and inventory, all the while having the ability to sort through stuff with relative ease.
Here at WCMp, we provide a plethora of product management features for you to choose and provide to your vendors, such as,
- Permission to add, edit and publish items
- Ability to import and export products via CSV file
- Provide Product notes to exchange information between admin sellers whenever either party changes the product
- Allowing multiple vendor to sell the same product
- Duplicate products and add them to their respective list
- Sell a variety of products like downloadable and physical items
- Add tags, customizable categories, hierarchical selection, duplicate products and bulk edits
- Sell Bundles containing multiple products in a single package
- Provide Advanced product options like subscription, rental bookable items, geo location and custom fields
We provide a generous collection of features, giving you the final choice to pick and choose the ones you think is necessary for the growth of your business.
- Convenient order processing
Why is convenient order processing important?
The importance of convenient order processing is undeniable. Take for instance flash sales. These are special promotions with limited stocks and higher discounts. Flash sales can be over within a span of 5 minutes.
During those few minutes the website has a surge of traffic and orders. Without a proper processing system, managing those orders can become a nightmare. You have to provide a seamless and feature-rich order management system if you intend to grow your marketplace and invite more sellers.
Here are a few features that can greatly simplify the lives of your sellers,
- Order lists/ logs and split orders
- Status reports for buyers
- Bulk order management
- And most importantly, shipping tracker
At WCMp we have you covered with services like shipping labels, status trackers, invoice generation and much more to ensure your sellers don’t have any trouble managing orders.
- Reliable communication between buyers and sellers
What’s the importance of communication?
An online marketplace isn’t just a collection of codes and tools to facilitate transactions. It’s a community where buyers and sellers interact and communicate, build trust and then conduct business.
Communication is the key to building a marketplace. Buyers must be able to communicate with sellers regarding any questions they might have about a product. Sellers in turn must also be able to answer them as seamlessly as possible while maintaining a steady line of communication with the admin whenever necessary.
You can choose from a wide variety of communication based on your requirements, such as,
- Customisable contact forms which help vendors to contact you whenever necessary.
- Live chats to directly engage with potential buyers and help them ease into your sales funnel.
- A ticket system to help resolve a long line of queries without losing track.
- Email notification system to ensure no messages go unnoticed.
WCMp offers each of the above features and more including shipping information, customer contact forms, refund notifications and commission withdrawal mails.
- Seamless payment gateways
What’s the importance of a payment gateway?
The payment system is a core feature within any marketplace and needs to address several key functionalities. You also have to consider providing for you sellers a seamless and clear access to their revenue. For example, a customer might buy multiple products from different sellers, in which case a Split Payment feature ensures each seller receives their share of the transaction. Similarly, some sellers may want to withdraw earnings on a weekly, while some on a monthly basis.
Here at WCMp we provide you the features to do all-of-the-above and more. Our payment management module offers,
- Multiple payment methods such as Paypal, Stripe, Direct Bank payout and Mangopay
- Commission withdrawal requests
- A comprehensive banking overview showcasing all of your transactions
- Multiple commission calculation categories such as fixed, percentage based, fixed and percentage unit/transaction, commission by purchases and much more
- Various ways to manage your commission like automatic payment schedule, withdrawal locking limit and period, minimum withdrawal threshold, commission disbursement schedule and details and more.
- Other payment choices like sharing coupon cost, letting vendors manage shipping and tax cost and so on.
- Multi-tasking seller dashboard to keep track of everything important
Why use a frontend manager?
Every marketplace requires an administrative tool that helps both the admin and sellers to make necessary adjustments to the online store. The goal is to monitor everything that’s going on in the platform and provide necessary features accordingly.
With WC Marketplace’s Advanced Frontend Manager you get to provide a variety of such options on your website, the most important being a frontend dashboard. The Dashboard makes it easier for sellers to manage the website directly from the frontend, eliminating all complexities associated with backend management.
Here is a glimpse of what you can accomplish with our Frontend Manager
- Significantly cut down on your shipping times by activating the geolocation service. It searches for stores closest to your customers once they share their current location via GPS.
- Make it easier for customers to find products on your marketplace by activating the ‘search by product’ feature.
- Provide a feature-rich frontend dashboard for your vendors to manage their shop. They can upload CSV files, activate or deactivate add ons and more, all directly from the dashboard.
- The admin can create an advanced vendors list to keep tabs on everyone selling on the online platform.
The Frontend management dashboard opens up various avenues for you to explore and make available to your consumers and sellers.
Adding features to your marketplace certainly boosts your growth, but facilities alone isn’t enough. You also have to consider a proper growth and marketing strategy to devise an appropriate way to approach target customers, do market research and look into analytics.
Equipping the marketplace with the latest features will be in vain if you don’t get enough traffic. In Part II of this series, we will dive deep into the know-hows of business growth and effective marketing strategies to help you kick off your online venture with a bang!