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Multi Store eCommerce Platform


The Business Value of Selecting a Multi Store eCommerce Platform

Many 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. These platforms are usually united by a common theme — such as supplying products for specific B2B industries or particular customer profiles — but they don’t have to be. Amazon, for instance, sells products across hundreds of industries at both the wholesale and retail levels.

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 eCommerce platforms can foster relationships with their clients while earning commissions on marketplace products and services. We can build you the one you need.

Learn More About Multi-Store Benefits

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 eCommerce platforms can foster relationships with their clients while earning commissions on marketplace products and services. We can build you the one you need.

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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.

Installing a multi-vendor marketplace platform offers the following stakeholder-specific benefits.

For the Clients
  • Stores can be client-branded for high-profile customers.
  • Catalogs can be automatically filtered so staff can only order company-approved products.
  • Access rights/roles 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.
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 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.
  • The platforms offer 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.
  • Multiple eCommerce store platforms provide custom BIOs or directory listing and the ability to purchase ad space in the marketplace.

Improved Buyer and Seller Experience

Marketplace 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.

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For Franchises
  • Master 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.
  • More robust marketplace platforms, like Clarity eCommerce, offer 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.
For Distributors
  • 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

  • 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. 

Do You Need a Custom Store?

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-based 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.

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.


Punch-Out Store Alternative

Smaller B2B operations can often generate the benefits of a multi store operation by using punch-out catalogs 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 punch-out catalogs allow 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 punch-out 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.

Secure Your eCommerce Storefront Today


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.[2] 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.

Choosing a Vendor and Development Partner

The right software vendor and development partner will offer you many choices for leveraging the latest marketing trend — multi-vendor marketplace platforms. 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. That might mean creating punch-out catalogs, developing multiple-store management technology, or building a world-class marketplace platform where clients can manage unique stores within stores to provide the ultimate in consumer convenience. Clarity has designed and built marketplaces like this for over 15 years.

Multi-Store eCommerce FAQs

  • Why Bring Multiple Online Stores Together?

    Bringing multiple eCommerce stores together under one platform provides a more cohesive user experience and benefits all online stores on the platform. Shopping carts and shipping are all consolidated, while each store retains its branding. In addition, multiple eCommerce sites can all benefit from the enhanced SEO of the sites’ combined web presence.

    When you offer the marketplace, you provide all the benefits and eliminate many pain points that smaller businesses have. You ensure they no longer have to worry about responsibility for credit card security or deal with updates and marketing for their website. In exchange for everything you are providing, you can charge a fixed amount for space and get a percentage of sales.

  • How Easy Is It to Include Multiple Sites?

    Bringing together all of these sites is what site integration is all about. Such multi-vendor eCommerce platforms bring already-existing sites and provide even the smallest seller with premium features often reserved for only the biggest companies. Each online store can have unique pricing, shipping settings, emails, discounts, and more. 

    Clarity was designed from inception to empower multi store eCommerce with easy management of multiple stores, multiple sites, and multiple brands from one administration console. We’d be happy to show you what we’ve done for eCommerce sites.

  • How Many eCommerce Sites Can You Include?

    As many as you want. Once you offer the marketplace platform, secure Cloud servers make expansion incredibly easy.

  • Can You Start with a Single Online Store?

    Absolutely. If you have an online store and want to expand to become a marketplace provider, you can essentially become your own first customer. Add new eCommerce stores to your platform as you gain more customers. Your new Cloud-based marketplace can expand as much as you need it to.

  • Why Bring Multiple eCommerce Stores Together?

    To put it simply: strength in numbers. Having eCommerce stores in one place provides services and creates links that benefit every seller. Clients also get advanced features they couldn’t otherwise afford.

  • How Do Multiple Storefronts Benefit the Marketplace?

    Simply put, multiple storefronts bring in more traffic. Bringing eCommerce stores together under a single marketplace flag combines their SEO and benefits everyone, which in turn increases the profits of the marketplace itself.

  • Can eCommerce Platforms Manage Multiple Brands?

    Absolutely. As the multi store eCommerce platform provider, there’s no reason why you can’t allow multiple brands on your site even if they are selling similar products. These brands are on your site for the benefits you offer and will want to take advantage of the same online presence their competitors are using. The ability to manage multiple brands is no different from managing two companies providing very different products.

  • Do Multiple Stores Have to be Related?

    No, the online stores on a multi store eCommerce platform do not have to be related. Amazon is an excellent example of a multi store platform that hosts sellers from every industry.

    Some online store platforms are themed, creating a “destination” platform for people who have businesses in the same industry. You can create a multi store platform to cater to any audience of your choice and become the umbrella for a specific industry. Such niche marketing can make your multi store eCommerce platform a central location for large groups of B2B buyers. Let us show you some of the niche marketplaces we’ve created.

  • Is Niche Marketing Appropriate for Marketplaces?

    Absolutely. As we mentioned in the previous question, online stores in a multi store marketplace can benefit from the niche marketing they all generate. Amazon might have millions of customers, but they don’t have any brand loyalty. Your marketplace can become its own brand. Some people want a central location where they can shop for related items and get the best information — and best price — possible. This niche concentration can develop marketplace loyalty that keeps people coming back to your nexus.

  • Can Regional eCommerce Stores be Incorporated?

    Yes. Some businesses want to search for partners or customers regionally. Such searches might be because of tax benefits, reduced shipping costs for heavy items, or because they want to support companies physically close to them. You can host regional eCommerce stores right alongside national brands or become the central location for businesses in a particular part of the country or world.

  • What Are Common Marketplace eCommerce Features?

    Creating a multi store eCommerce marketplace allows you to choose the features you need. Bundles are often available for the most common eCommerce platform features. These often include:

    • payment gateways
    • page creation tools
    • security measures
    • centralized control of marketplace features
    • marketing tools
    • automatic accounting and billing options
    • shipping customization for each store
    • order management
    • shopping carts

    These might be the most common multi store platform features, but they’re far from the only ones. Check out the lists at the beginning of this article to see how such a platform can benefit everyone involved. What can Clarity offer? We’d love to tell you directly.

  • What’s the Best Multi Store eCommerce Solution?

    Consolidating so many online stores isn’t necessarily easy. Building a multi store eCommerce solution takes talented people with extensive experience. After all, your clients — and their customers — deserve the best UX/UI and security available. Get in touch with Clarity to make it happen.

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