Marketplace eCommerce

Request for Quote Forms for Online Marketplaces

September 26, 2022  |  4 min read

Request for quote forms are one of the most underutilized tools of many marketplace eCommerce platforms. Too many platforms haven’t considered (or even heard of) the availability of powerful quote forms that can expand their business reach. Using a custom request for quote (RFQ) form can be a win-win-win situation for you, the seller, and the buyer.

Most people who purchase online on B2C or C2C eCommerce websites have no need for quote carts, but that all changes for B2B eCommerce. The interest in bulk purchasing and custom manufacturing is a big deal for businesses, and incorporating RFQ forms can lead to more—and considerably larger)—sales.

Why Are Quotes So Important?

There are two primary reasons why it’s so important for most B2B marketplaces to have a request for quote form feature integrated into their eCommerce platform.

Sales Might Not Happen Otherwise

A potential buyer might come to your site looking for 50,000 units of the same item, but your seller’s auction only has 10,000. The problem is, the price offered for 10,000 doesn’t appeal to the buyer, so they bail on the sale completely. (While it’s true that the potential buyer could contact your seller via a standard contact form, such forms won’t include the “fill in the blank” feature that reduces friction for quotes.) With an RFQ form, the buyer has a simple and thorough means to contact the seller and inquire about the price for 50,000.

Similarly, a manufacturer might be selling items with certain specifications: the length of pipe, the quality of the plastic, or the color of the item. An RFQ form allows a buyer to make inquiries about these requests to see if a deal can be made for custom orders.

Sales Might Move Off-Site

Your eCom marketplace exists so that you can be the facilitator between sellers and their buyers. What you don’t want to do is bring together buyers and sellers so that they can make their deals off-site. Doing so means that you’re cut out completely. Even if the sign-up process for your site makes them promise they won’t seek contact with another company off-site, people are happy to do this if you don’t make the quote to order process easy.

This is the primary reason you want to make the request for quote form as easy to access—and as easy to use—as possible. Convenience will often win out over other factors, including cost. Give your buyers and sellers an organized way to relay quote information and they’re much more likely to stay on your site.

What Information Do RFQ Forms Relay?

The information contained in an RFQ form will change according to your industry and can even change on a category-by-category basis. Each option can be fill-in-the-blank, chosen from a drop-down menu, or use IntelliSense selection auto-complete options. (IntelliSense will give autocomplete options when a person starts typing a word.)

  • Quantity
  • Unit of measure
  • Color
  • Size
  • Material
  • Grade
  • Standard
  • Preferred unit price
  • Destination port and shipping details
  • Payment details
  • Date required for delivery
  • Attachments, such as tolerance requirements or schematics.

Request From One, Request From Many

RFQ forms don’t have to start on a seller’s page. It’s possible to set up an RFQ form on your site that goes to is then sent to many different sellers (but only those that have agreed to receive such requests).

Here’s how it works. Sellers will list the types of jobs they want to take on. For instance, a seller might indicate that they can provide copper pipes of up to 1-inch diameter and 10 feet long. They can provide pure copper or copper-nickel alloys, and the lead time is 12 weeks.

An inquiring buyer will fill out the RFQ form as usual. That form is then matched to any of the sellers who say that they can fulfill that request. If the buyer is requesting a quote on 12-foot pipes, they will not match with the seller we mentioned above. Similarly, the seller won’t be sent the RFQ if the requested pipes are 1.5-inches diameter. They will only be sent the RFQ if it matches the buyer’s needs, and the RFQ can be sent to as many sellers as match the criteria. From there the buyer can make a decision on which quote best fits their needs.

An Easy Quote to Order Process

Marketplace eCommerce quotes are a surprisingly simple way to increase sales. The option diversifies your marketplace offerings and leads to sales that otherwise wouldn’t take place. After all, the point of your marketplace is to bring buyers and sellers together; why not help sellers sell items they haven’t even made yet?

Clarity Ventures is a leader in specialized marketplace eCommerce platforms. We can build one that perfectly matches your industry, helping you become a leader that serves underserved markets. Our website is filled with articles about every aspect of eCommerce, and we have an 18-part YouTube video series highlighting the most-requested topics about marketplace platforms.

In addition to those resources, Clarity also offers a complimentary discovery process. Once you contact us, we’ll set up a time to talk with you about your ideas for a marketplace, or how you want to improve your current system. We’ll bring both technologically minded employees as well as business analysts to create a plan. You can use this marketplace analysis with us or take it with you to a different developer; our goal is to help you succeed either way. Get in touch with us to make it happen!

Ready to Set Up the Best RFQ System for Your Marketplace?

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're happy to assist you on your project and provide free resources for your business.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.