The Business Value of Selecting a Multi-Store eCommerce Platform
Many eCommerce businesses are realizing the importance of providing a multi-store eCommerce marketplace where multiple vendors sell products and services. This provides users with a one-stop competitive shopping experience. Many of these multi-store eCommerce solutions are usually united by a common theme—such as supplying products for specific B2B industries or filling a niche selling experience for a particular interest or industry—but they don’t have to be.
Amazon Marketplace, for instance, sells products across hundreds of industries at both the wholesale and retail levels on their multi-store eCommerce platform. They also take advantage of multilingual eCommerce to increase their customer base.
The benefits of multi-store eCommerce fall into two primary categories. First, providing the best user experiences for customers by giving them a unified shopping experience. Second, generating income streams for the marketplace provider without the need for store inventory, product shipment, or involvement in the manufacturing process.
B2B marketplace software can foster relationships with their clients while earning commissions on marketplace products and services. We can build you the multi-store eCommerce soltuion you need.
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Clarity specializes in the complexities of multi-store eCommerce solutions. If the options you're finding on the market don't provide the features you need, we can make it happen and integrated it with your ERP or CRM as well.
If you can dream it, we can make it happen, so get in touch to learn more.
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The Extraordinary Benefits of a Marketplace
The multi-vendor eCommerce solution is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for B2B marketing. Manufacturers, distributors, buying committees, and most consumers prefer dealing with trusted platforms where they can buy all or most of their products from convenient client portals…regardless of the original manufacturer.
When you build a multi-vendor marketplace, you may realize the following stakeholder-specific benefits.
For the Clients
- Multiple stores can be client-branded for high-profile customers.
- Catalogs within the multi-store eCommerce platform can be automatically filtered so staff can only order company-approved products.
- Access rights/roles across multiple storefronts can be used for approvals of purchases over a specific dollar value.
- Punch card, reordering, bulk ordering, quick orders, and reusable shopping lists make ordering quick and easy across vendors on multi-store eCommerce platforms.
For Store Owners & Sellers
- Store owners get a variety of out-of-the-box and custom features when the marketplace software is integrated with other platform software such as a CRM, ERP, and other custom modules.
- Multiple eCommerce stores can benefit from customized SEO capabilities, letting store owners select their preferred search keywords and meta descriptions.
- Order processing from multi-store eCommerce platforms can be based on each store’s shipping policies and preferred carriers.
- Multi-store eCommerce solutions provide support for storing and retrieving credit card information securely while complying with government regulations (PCI DSS).
- Multi-vendor eCommerce platforms offer the ability to get multiple real-time shipping rates for complex deliveries.
- Store owners get full access to customer registration data, wish lists, order histories, and order-management.
- A multi-store eCommerce solutions offers shopping carts and proprietary checkout processes to differentiate each store.
- Platforms for eCommerce offer B2B, B2C and, C2C support.
- Customized RMA modules can be implemented for returns and exchanges.
- Page templates are provided to enable faster product-catalog organization, custom navigation, and product configuration.
- Multi-store eCommerce platforms provide custom BIOs or directory listing and the ability to purchase ad space in the marketplace.
Improved Buyer and Seller Experience
Multi-store eCommerce platforms can offer their sellers store-within-store applications where only the client’s products appear. Sellers can upload custom catalog content, product images, set prices, and operate their own “stores” under the marketplace umbrella. At the same time, branding, design, pricing, and concept all reflect the seller. Let us show you how it works.
Build a Better Experience
- When there are multiple stores require FMCG eCommerce goods, franchises can control how their franchisees order key products such as janitorial supplies, paper goods, products for resale, and inventory for manufacturing operations and food services.
- Savvy marketplace companies can offer their clients translation services, updated catalog pictures, and compelling videos.
- A more robust platform like Clarity eCommerce offers franchise-tiered management that can allow both central and de-centralized administration of franchises and franchise groups.
- Franchises can set their pricing, schedules, products, and language translations, as well as payment and shipping methods.
- Distributors can set their options for which products they want to carry, create pricing tiers, and build branding strategies.
- Bulk import and EDI integration provides automated inventory quantities and product price updates.
- Distributors can, in effect, control their own mini websites within the marketplace platform.
- Distribution portals allow operation managers to handle all orders, inventory functions, shipping schedules, order monitoring and customer service applications from a centralized interface.
For a Customizable Company Store
Do You Need a Custom Store?
- Companies can define how different customer groups order by curating lists of approved products, customizing prices, providing targeted user experiences for different customer profiles.
- Multi-store eCommerce platforms offer convenient dashboards for administrators to manage their marketplace.
- Simple interfaces allow management to handle orders and route information for drop shipping automatically.
- Robust report builders are integrated to allow administrators to create their own custom reports.
For the Client’s Administrative Staff
Marketplace users can get bundled value additions from the right software when it’s integrated holistically. The integration Clarity provides helps reduce development costs, speed updates, and create efficiencies of scale.
- ERP integration provides the ability to manage orders and inventory from custom-engineered client portals
- Multi site portals can generate site-specific feeds for different eCommerce platforms.
- eCommerce platforms can apply common or custom themes to different stores.
- Cloud eCommerce platforms provide unlimited scalability to expand globally.
- Products can be shared across different stores.
- Orders and inventory can be managed from custom-engineered client portals.
- Site-specific feeds can be generated for different multi-vendor eCommerce platforms.
- Multiple-storefront platforms can provide common or custom themes to different online stores.
- Customer support can be consolidated for multiple storefronts.
CENTRALIZED ADMINISTRATION & CONTROL
Why Building a Multi-Store Solution Makes Sound Financial Sense
The right marketplace software can help B2B platforms provide specialized services to clients, distributors, sellers, and franchise owners. It can also create a superior customer experience for both store owners and their clients, managing operations from an integrated database that incorporates orders, changes, and customer information automatically.
For franchisers and distributors, it provides both centralized and de-centralized control, allowing you to push, control, and approve content, products, and pricing at any level (i.e., corporate pushes a product to office in Europe and the franchise needs to translate content and currency before posting to the local storefront). If you’re engaged in worldwide commerce, Clarity provides multi-language eCommerce platform options.
FULL MARKETPLACE IMPLEMENTATION
PunchOut Store Alternative
Smaller B2B operations can often generate the benefits of a multi-store operation by using a PunchOut Catalog solution to manage multiple stores or channels from a single admin panel. These basic kinds of stores can be set up very quickly with the right integrated software, and administrators can set custom rules for each store or channel.
These PunchOut Catalogs allows products to be shared across different stores, but each store can personalize content, site messages, and the targeted customers who view the content. The features of a PunchOut Catalog include:
- Customer-specific pricing
- Stores that can be public or private
- Easy to build customized stores for special customers, frequent buyers, and different types of orders such as janitorial products, office supplies, manufacturing materials, etc.
- Stores that have their own domain names and URLs
- Sharing an integrated database for products, customers, and orders
- Designs that can be customized for each store
Enhanced Security for Multi-Vendor eCommerce Platforms
A robust API layer in an integrated marketplace platform not only facilitates the sharing of data, but also enhances security and can be used to integrate your eCommerce marketplace to your back-office ERP, CRM, PIM, Inventory Management app, 3PL, or any other application used to run the company. Some information can be automatically disseminated, while data that affect security are subject to verification protocols.
An integrated, robust platform offers hassle-free setup, the ability to accept payments from multiple payment gateways, and responsive design for optimal display on any computing device.
For a multi-store implementation, integration means that individual stores can be integrated with the store's ERP, which carries unique product stock quantities, pricing, customer-specific promotions, and much more. Clarity eCommerce is designed to be highly customized for these types of complex implementations. Let’s talk about your security needs.
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CREATE OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
Advanced Integration Techniques
Customers want hassle-free ordering, automated processes, compelling content, and immediate answers to their questions. A single company can often do a good job when it only has its own products to consider, but multi-vendor marketplace platforms have these issues multiplied by the number of vendors and stakeholders involved. That’s why platform integration, advanced marketplace software applications, and expert implementations are so crucial to the process.
Amazon now manages 36 percent of all marketplace online sales, and eBay has 8 percent of the market, but their percentage of the market should drop as more marketplaces come online. About 55 percent of eCommerce sales come from branded stores, while 45 percent of all online sales now come from marketplace platforms. This is growing as new players like Alibaba become even more popular.
It’s interesting to note that offering complex product catalogs and thousands of SKUs serves other purposes than just generating income — these customer-centric efforts are all about curating an outstanding customer experience. One study found that 87 percent of catalog marketers make most of their money on fewer than 1,000 SKUs even though 36.8 percent of sellers carry between 1,000 and 10,000 SKUs.
Creating a platform for marketplace eCommerce gives customers expanded choices instead of growing product catalogs. The addition of catalog content from thousands of stores, if done correctly, will become rich SEO content that helps drive traffic to your marketplace. This can happen on both a retail and wholesale eCommerce platform.
Choosing a Vendor and Development Partner
The right software vendor and development partner will offer you many choices for leveraging the latest marketing trend when you create a marketplace website. Customers in brick-and-mortar stores would find it annoying and inconvenient if they had to check out products in each department, but they want to be able to do so if they are only buying from one department.
Development agility can provide your company with expanded options to serve your customers’ best interests. Clarity has designed and built marketplaces like this for over 15 years, so get in touch with us to discuss your multi-vendor marketplace development.