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Best Vendor Dashboard Features & Capabilities

Empower your Vendors with a Robust & Customizable Vendor Dashbaord
Improve Your Marketplace Experience

Best Vendor Dashboard Features & Functions

The vendor dashboard is extremely dynamic depending on what your needs are for your marketplace. At minimum, the vendor needs to be able to do certain fundamental functions. They've got to be able to add items into their store and manage that content. Ideally, if the marketplace has vendors selling items that overlap, the same underlying SKU would be able to intelligently incorporate better information from different vendors and reject or validate the information that is less great. There are standard processes for things like that which we will elaborate on below.

What Features do you Need?

Key Considerations

There are key pieces around fulfillment and customer support for the vendor purchased items and services. Vendors need to be able to see their orders and the order details in order to fulfill those orders and provide support and service.

Furthermore, there's a lot more that vendors may need to be able to do within a lot of marketplaces. There's the financial side of things with how much vendors are receiving as payments. If they're not directly receiving payments then, what's the model for compensating them and the reporting around what their payments are? What are the fees or the percentages that are going to the marketplace itself?

In addition, the ability to interact with customers and the marketplace. A lot of times when we're configuring marketplaces, we’ll set up live chat and customer support mechanisms, so vendors can interact directly with them.

The vendor dashboard can provide the ability to bulk import items and integrate with internal systems so they can bring orders into their internal ERP or line of business applications and push data products categories images, etc into the marketplace from their internal systems.

Managing User Posted Content

Content Validation & Governance

It's important to enable all of the core fields a vendor needs so they can manage that content themselves. Ideally, you’ll have an approval process that requires someone at the marketplace to confirm and validate that the vendor is a valid vendor. Possibly, even a confirmation process for all of the content pending on your market. A worthwhile solution would be a flagging system which is very effective as it can flag items that are suspicious or have end users flag items themselves.

It's possible to set up AI with machine learning that can reject orders that don't pass certain fundamental criteria. Ultimately, we're looking for products that meet a certain minimum criterion before they pass and can get approved so they can be assigned to a category. They need to have a product image which needs to meet certain specs. The descriptions and the organic SEO information need to be present and follow certain standards. These are things that may or may not apply to your marketplace, but you probably want to consider whether they do or not. And, if so, we’ll come up with what's commonly referred to as governance, or requirements and rules, that the marketplace is going to enforce to ensure consistent readability and usability for users.

System Workflow Integration

Order Management & Automation

In addition to the products and their management, vendors need to be able to manage the orders that customers have placed and see information such as who it came from, what the items are, the quantity, the delivery method selected etc. They need the ability to interact with those orders, so they can set the status, manage and update the tracking information when the shipment goes out etc. Think about whether you want your vendors to interact with the end customer or interact internally with your team. If there are any issues, incorporating a chat or a messaging function so they can go back and forth providing service to the end users.

You can enable rules and governance for your marketplace right out of the gate or plan to implement it further down the road. If you're looking to map things out, these are really common capabilities that are required as you scale up your marketplace. In addition, for both the orders and the products it’s common for vendors to actually employ an ERP system, an accounting back office warehouse management system inventory etc. Ultimately, it’s very feasible that they're going to be looking to automate the process and integrate their systems to push products and categories and images, and then to pull orders and customer data so that they can automate those processes.

Delivering Quality Support

Internal Team Collaboration

Those are all things that ideally would be off-the-shelf with your marketplace platform. If they aren’t available out of the gate, they certainly will be available in the long term for those vendors. These things allow the actual platform to scale and meet the needs vendors will have long term. In addition, it's common for the vendor to need to interact with the internal team within the marketplace and or with the end customer. A lot of times you'll see quotes within the marketplace, so it’s possible that somebody might want to interact with the vendor making the vendor need a way to respond and follow up via messaging or via chat. One condition that isn’t extremely common, nor ideal for vendors, would be the need to provide a refund or resolve an issue with the shipment etc. There needs to be some form of messaging in the vendor dashboard so they can resolve issues around the order.

Ideally, they'll also be able to see a rating that the end customer provided and be able to potentially offer responses if they receive a negative rating or negative review, allowing them to manage their credibility within the marketplace and solve problems. It’s the responsibility of the marketplace to provide a high caliber vendor group that's providing items into the marketplace and police and govern that marketplace, even if in an automated way, to establish a certain level of quality, service, and support. If customer feedback drives the visibility of a vendor in the catalog search results and if their ratings and reviews are transparent, then vendors are going to be motivated to respond and address issues quickly.

Clarity Can Help

Clarity Marketplace Experts

There are a lot of pieces that can be fairly complicated with the vendor dashboard that we encourage you to be aware of as you scale and grow. Ultimately, you will want to collaborate with someone who can help you plan and execute on your vendor dashboard. Whether that is Clarity or another development company, having an expert review your platform based on your business model can help optimally configure your marketplace that makes sense with your business model. This will help provide you guidance and prioritization around these areas. We'd love to chat with you in the event that you'd like to do more research. You can also reference the guides below and we've got more detailed information about the above topics and the detail pages within this section of the marketplace guide.

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