From inception to one of the biggest industries of the present times, ecommerce has come a long way. The online retail industry is estimated to reach $4.5 trillion in revenue by the end of 2021. And the concept of multi-vendor ecommerce marketplaces has added momentum to the growth of the ecommerce sector. A Forrester report says, on an average 53% of online shoppers make an online purchase thrice a month.
Popular multi-vendor ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Etsy are evident in the fact that marketplace apps are the future of the online retail industry. Marketplace applications have not only demolished physical marketplaces but have revamped the way traditional ecommerce operated.
The Marketplace Business Model has attracted many entrepreneurs and startup businesses. Many of which have already started reaping the perks of this model. The marketplace model is regarded as the premier face of disruption. So, if you plan to build and lead with an ecommerce marketplace app, tap the opportunity before the market becomes more competitive. However, before going ahead with your multi-vendor ecommerce application idea, learn the must-have features of your ecommerce Marketplace App.
A multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace is quite different from a single-seller ecommerce application. In the case of a single-vendor ecommerce app, your target user is the buyer. While when you build an ecommerce marketplace, your target users include both buyers and sellers. And therefore, both models have a different project scope. An ideal ecommerce marketplace has more features as compared to a single-seller ecommerce platform.
A multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace works through a network of sellers and buyers. Both these entities are equally essential for growing the platform. Therefore, here we will discuss the top features of a multi-vendor ecommerce application.
Must-have Features of an ecommerce Marketplace Application
An ecommerce marketplace serves 3 types of users – Buyers, Sellers, and the Marketplace Owner.
Each of these users has a different set of features and levels of access to the application. A combination of these features will help you define the right project scope for your app. So here we bring:
- Key Features for ‘Buyers’
- Key Features for ‘Sellers’
- Key Features for ‘Marketplace Owner/Admin’
Key Features of the Ecommerce Marketplace App for ‘Buyers’:
- Social & Sign-up Login: The buyers can sign-up through their email or social media profiles. The sign-up process should be kept as short as possible, thus attracting more buyers.
- Search and Filters: The marketplace app should offer a prompt search bar where buyers can search for products using product names (keywords). With this, there should be multiple filters on the platform to make sorting easy for the buyers. Unlike, single-seller ecommerce, here the buyers can also sort by categories like – Sellers and Brands. The goal is to make the navigation path simplified and short.
- Product listing with Details: The product listing page should be made insightful with a good view at different products, main highlights, and the seller details. A seller can navigate to the product page by clicking on a listing.
- Product detail page: When a buyer clicks on a listing, he navigates to the product detail page that lists all the information specific to the product (product description, price, specs, features). Various CTAs must be placed clearly, thus offering a seamless shopping experience.
- Ratings & Reviews: The buyers can see the ratings & reviews for a product, directly on the product page. And they can also add their reviews or ratings on this page.
- Favourites listing & Wishlist: The app should offer favourites listing page, specific to each buyer and his interaction with the platform. Further, he can add products, which are out of stock, in the Wishlist to purchase them when they are available.
- Questions & Answers: Most ecommerce portals now offer a Question & Answer section to make the shopping experience more transparent and informed. The customer can check from the already answered questions or place his enquiries for the seller.
- User profile: A user can edit and manage his profile on the ecommerce marketplace app.
- Billing & shipping addresses: When placing an order (or through one’s profile), the user can add and edit his billing and shipping address conveniently.
- Expected Delivery Date: The product page also displays an expected-delivery date based upon the buyer’s location. Some portals also offer the buyer faster delivery options in return for some extra delivery charge.
- Add to cart: After choosing the right product options, a customer can add a product to the cart, directly through the product page. With this, the user can add, edit, and delete items in his cart seamlessly.
- Checkout page: When a buyer initiates a purchase, he navigates to the Checkout page, where all the order information and price are mentioned. He can finally choose from multiple payment options available and place the order to move to the Thank You page.
- Order History & Tracking: After placing an order, the Order History & Tracking page keeps the buyer informed about the status of his order, the shipment, and the delivery.
- Cancel Order and Return: The buyer can also cancel an order (until it is not shipped). With this, he can return an order and apply for a refund.
Key Features of the Ecommerce Marketplace App for ‘Sellers’:
As aforementioned, an ecommerce marketplace has multiple sellers, and therefore it has a separate set of features and access panel for the sellers. These features are developed such to make their onboarding experience impressive and the management seamless. So, here is a list of the key features for sellers on a multi-vendor ecommerce app:
- Social and Sign-up Login: The sellers can sign up or log in through their email or social media accounts on their seller panel. The verification and sign up processes for the sellers are a little more detailed than the buyers.
- Profile Creation and Listings: Once a seller logs in, he can check his profile. He can add more information and edit his profile conveniently. Once a seller has accepted all the terms & conditions of the marketplace platform, he can upload or list his products inventory on the portal. And the marketplace owner can approve this inventory after verifying it. A seller can also manage his listings from here.
- The Product, Order, Returns, and Inventory Management: A seller can manage his products and orders smoothly through the app. With this, he can update his products’ status (in stock, out of stock) with ease. The seller can also actively manage cancellation and return requests on his products.
- Notifications: Marketplace apps comes integrated with the automated notification feature. The app keeps the seller notified for every activity relevant to his inventory.
- Offers & Discounts: A seller can update offers and discounts on his products (keeping the admin informed) to increase sales.
- Reports & Analysis: The reports & analysis feature allows the sellers to view their monthly sales and product performances. The sellers can look at the cart abandonment rate and can analyze the data to modify their listings.
- Payment Management: The payment management module helps sellers see the status of payments, check the marketplace operator’s commission, and process refunds (in case of cancellations or returns).
- Feedback & Seller support: Just like the buyers, sellers are also consumers for the marketplace operator and to offer them a seamless selling experience, a marketplace app has Feedback & Seller support features. A seller can add his feedback for the marketplace operator and also request for tech support.
- Ratings & Reviews: The sellers can check the reviews & ratings on their products and report abusive reviews. An admin can check the reported reviews and delete them (if required).
- Shipment Tracking: If the seller is not responsible for the delivery operations, the marketplace operator manages them. In this case, the seller can track the shipment and stay notified about the delivery status.
Key Features of the Ecommerce Marketplace App for ‘Marketplace Owner/Admin’:
Unlike a single-seller ecommerce app, the multi-vendor marketplace brings plentiful of responsibilities to the admin’s plate. Here the admin does not just have to manage the buyers but also the sellers. Therefore, a marketplace app comes with a dedicated list of features for the admin. Below are some of the key features of the marketplace app for the marketplace operator/admin:
- Buyer & Multi-admin management: The admin can manage the buyer sign-up process, buyer profiles, and respond to their activities. With this, the super admin can manage the access of multiple-admins on the platform.
- Product & Seller management: The admin has complete control over the seller authorization and authentication process, their onboarding process, and their activities on the platform. The admin can accept or reject requests from sellers and approve or disapprove their product listings. The admin can further manage products and make edits to the product details.
- Content Management: The marketplace operator (super admin) can manage the content on his platform. Be it placing banners, updating content, product categories, filters, etc., the admin can customize the platform conveniently.
- Logistics management: Most ecommerce marketplace operators provide the logistics services themselves to deliver quality-oriented customer experience. The marketplace app has features to manage the logistics and keep the buyer and seller informed about the shipment and order status.
- Offers & Discount management: The marketplace provider can create and place new offers and discounts on its platform (keeping the sellers informed). With this, he can approve or disapprove offer/discount requests from sellers.
- Payment & Refunds management: This feature allows the marketplace admin to manage the payments. Whether it is about receiving the payments from users and paying them to sellers, this feature makes management seamless. The admin can accept cancellation or return requests from users, and he can initiate refunds.
- Category management: The marketplace operator is responsible for managing the various filter categories on his/her marketplace platform. He can create new categories or delete some old categories to make the navigation path shorter for users.
- Feedback & Support: The marketplace operator is liable to resolve and respond to the feedback and support requests, from the buyers and the sellers.
- Reports & Analysis: The marketplace offers a comprehensive, 360-degree view at the sales performance through the dashboard feature. The Reports & Analysis feature provides various sorts of performance reports to the marketplace operator. These reports help him analyze crucial performance parameters. The analysis is then used to grow sales and improve customer experience on the marketplace app.
- Reviews & Ratings Management: The admin can view the reviews & ratings from users on his platform. He can also delete abusive reviews from the app.
- Commission or Subscription Management: If the ecommerce marketplace earns by accepting commissions, there needs to be a commission calculator and management feature. Or in the case, the users get access to the app through a paid subscription, the admin should be able to manage the subscription fee and schedule.
Into the Conclusion
Though the marketplace model has been one of the most promising business models in recent time, it takes a significant amount of efforts to establish a successful multi-vendor marketplace app. However, prior planning already wins you half the battle. And the features listed above will help you plan the right project scope for your ecommerce marketplace application.
The next step would be to find the right technology partner, who could help you build a feature-rich marketplace app for your business. So, here our app development experts can help you consult and custom-build an impressive ecommerce marketplace for your business at the best competitive price. Let’s discuss!