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Multi-store Marketplace Solutions

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Marketplace Multi-Store Capabilities & Functions

Ok, so this next topic is going to cover marketplace multi-store capability and some of the components around that. In particular, with multi store one of the big challenges is to decide what extent that multi-store capability is going to reach and the framework behind it.

One of the things about multi-store platforms is that it can architecture to be as simple as being different subdirectories within an existing website such as www.mymarketplace.com/companyA and then www.mymarketplace.com/companyB and then within each of those sub directories there are different storefronts, landing pages, etc. They would each have the ability to customize and show their own store.

Now this is pretty common to allow things like a multi-store without sub-directory, where they wouldn’t have their own storefront per say, but they would have a store tag and filter in the search catalog. So, when somebody's in the search itself for my www.mymarketplace.com they can filter on different stores, but usually there's a URL segment that is appended for each stores.

It's also possible to set up additional stores as a sub-domain or as their own unique domain. For example, if I register my account as a vendor and I begin selling items in the marketplace and I decide that it's going so well that I want to replace my current site with the marketplace itself. There could be an option for me to upgrade my membership so that I can change my domain name to point to the marketplace where my store will now be located.

Some of the benefits of integrating their own store and Multi store within the marketplace is that all of the data would come from the marketplace. Which they essentially, they would point their IP information and their domain information for their website to the actual marketplace. It's not uncommon for them to do something like “shop.” or “catalog.” plus whatever that vendor or sellers domain name. This is not necessarily taking over their primary domain but is providing a lot of capabilities within their store / multi-store solution.

Configuring Your Unique Solution

Multi-store Module Capabilities

In addition to the domain and UI related pieces, it's also possible to set up different capabilities from a platform perspective, so that whenever someone sets up a store that store has functions that can change based on the individual settings for that store.

So, just as an example, it's quite common to have different payment gateways, different forms of payment, and different accounts for processing those payments. Just take as an example, ABC company uses PayPal to process their payments, and XYZ company uses Stripe and Paymentech to process theirs. It's physically possible to set things up so that both of those stores have the ability to offer those payment gateways and that will allow them to keep their existing accounts in place while continuing to process payments as they normally would. Then the marketplace adapts to those payment gateways instead of them having to change everything in order to work with the marketplace.

Other powerful capabilities within the multi-store module is the ability to modify the payment gateways, but also shipping providers, taxes, and any other settings around possibly account specific discounts. So, within a vendor store they might have different roles that tie back to the marketplace and then those roles have different access to different pricing or quantity breaks. It could be just general access to data within that store or even specific products that would only be available to certain roles.

Protecting Your Users & Marketplace

IP Protection and User Validation

Some stores have pretty specialized data and the sellers don't want to give that data out to the public freely, they want to verify the users before those folks get access. In a similar fashion, it would be possible to set everything up so that vendors can give specific access to their users based on which products the buyers have already purchased

So a lot of times the buyers who purchased large items that are very expensive, maybe a vehicle or maybe it's a device that's very expensive, will need access to replacement parts. They might need repairs and service done on them and so they would specify what those assets are and what replacement parts they need to get. These could all be shown dynamically based on the intent and needs of the buyer. You will see this sort of configuration with auto parts for a car. You go configure your vehicle and then the site changes the recommendations that are available in filters down to make them specific to your vehicle or vehicles.

Creating User Friendly Workflows & Functions

Lowering the Barrier of Entry

The different scenarios for multi store are pretty sprawling as it's quite possible to set up a vast number of different configurations. It's really critical that vendors have easy access to be able to get in and set everything up to the needs of their business. So, one of the key aspects that you want to think about is how can you lower the barrier to entry. When you work with a marketplace platform that has a very low barrier to entry you know typically whenever vendors are setting up their multi store system and in particular, their store.

You want to make sure that their registration and sign up process ideally has some analytics built in and makes it very easy to encourage them to get products into the system. This makes a very low technical overhead and allows them to get their information into the marketplace

So, one of the ways that we can do that is by setting up a pool of data from their existing site or systems. With that aggregation of content, the marketplace can auto-populate a templated storefront for the vendor. There's a lot of detail to any of those scenarios, but the question that you want to ask yourself in general is what some of the things are the marketplace that you're evaluating is needing to have the capability of doing.

Ultimately the question is how you can make it easy for vendors to list their items and then continue to update their items. That's what's going to help buyers to engage in the marketplace as well. You know buyers are looking for accurate information and they're looking for items that meet their needs. It's not enough to find this old item that meets their needs.

Incentives & Good Behavior Rewards

Building Momentum & User Engagement

So, it's really all about getting some momentum and engagement, both from the buyer and seller. A lot of that with multi-store comes down to analyzing and reviewing where the bottlenecks are within your marketplace. Many of the bottlenecks will be related to governance or how you're encouraging your buyers and sellers to behave within that multi store environment.

For instance, do they have incentives like reviews and ratings? Possibly they could have some form of benefit to their account by engaging with the marketplace. Consistently updating their content just as an example with the vendor if they provide more updates and more accuracy, it would be a good idea to promote them in the search results as an encouragement to continue to do that. In turn, that would help promote an environment where more accurate and up-to-date your content is promoted.

So, it's pretty straightforward to draw a line between multi-store capability and benefits to the marketplace and the essential value that's delivered. Ultimately, the best benefit from a properly implemented system is the increased profitability for the entire marketplace. Buyers, sellers, and the market itself can focus on delivering value within that multi-store environment. Then monitoring closely and setting up governance that encourages the right behaviors while you can enable a marketplace. That's extremely powerful and mostly automated, which builds your market into a powerhouse within your segment or segments of the industry.

How Can Clarity Help

Clarity Marketplace Experts

So, we welcome you reaching out to our team, we have a complementary support that we'd be happy to provide and review of your project to talk through some of the finer details and you're also welcome to look at these resources below and let us know if you have any questions. Otherwise we’ll look forward to seeing your marketplace and possibly helping you build it down the line.

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