Of late, the world is going online fast. Businesses have had to deal with big changes in the last two years than in the previous twenty years. Consumer behavior has undergone a fundamental change too. People’s willingness to shop online has surged. Online marketplaces such as Amazon have become huge global success stories within the past decade and a half. Worldwide, 38 percent of consumers buy products from online marketplaces at least once a month today.
One-stop online marketplaces save us a significant amount of time and hassle for the consumers as well as sellers. The consumers need to visit different shops at locations to fulfill demands stands eliminated. The hallmark of online marketplaces is their ability to bring a great number of vendors and products to a single platform. They give shoppers secure access to a variety of quality products at different price-band options. The products bought also get delivered to their doorstep safely and at a very low cost.
Online (multi-seller) marketplaces also make a vendor’s task management simple and seamless: No chaos, and no great efforts necessary for admin. The tasks such as managing logistics, product upgrades, inventories, pricing, etc., are simplified too.
Peeping inside the online marketplaces
The technological advances and rapid growth of marketplaces like Amazon have made it easier to buy and sell online than ever before. This has triggered a big transition. Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers are fast converting their business processes into digitized formats. Many have resorted to online multi-store marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy to sell their products. Because these platforms make it so much easier to get visible and connected to new customers.
With the Renaissance-like change in the e-commerce space, the share of e-commerce in global retail sales is projected to more than double at 20.4 percent by the end of this year, from 10 percent five years ago. So, online marketplaces hold huge business potential. Eyeing unprecedented opportunities, e-commerce entrepreneurs are investing and exploring ways to create e-commerce websites like Amazon. Indeed, it is a lucrative business proposition. But how to start one?
Online marketplaces like Amazon target a huge number of potential buyers. So, these platforms have a wide range of product categories and vendors. They are built on many critical features of online business. These include search, product listings, shopping cart, payments, shipping, notifications, support chat, admin dashboard, and many more. These features enable buyers and sellers to connect and achieve their goals easily.
Creating a marketplace with high sales-conversion rate
You are thinking of investing in creating a multi-seller marketplace. It is a great idea. According to NASDAQ, by 2040, over 95 percent of purchases will happen on e-commerce platforms. So, how do you create a reliable online marketplace like Amazon that successfully serves vendors and customers?
Your first step will be to pick the right technology stack. Its performance, stability and response time will depend on the technology tools you choose. They will empower you to address specific business challenges. Such as zero downtime, capability to handle a swelling number of users and enterprise-grade data security. Choose the right client-side and server-side tech tools that cost you less. Also, take you less time to develop the website.
Here are 15 Must-Have Features to build a multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon:
- User-friendly vibrant design
It is absolutely critical if yours is a marketplace like Amazon targeting a huge audience. According to some UX statistics and insights, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.
Amazon has taken the design to a new level, from easy navigation to access features on each page. Use effective UX and UI features to treat shoppers with a riveting onsite experience.
- Registration and authorization
Your marketplace will have to cater to two types of user roles/profiles. Buyers will enter their name, email address, and password. Also, a delivery address and a payment option. The buyer profile will have an easy-to-check order history and wishlist.
Sellers will provide their company description, addresses, phone numbers, tax information, terms of delivery, etc. They need to be enabled to edit details.
You may use a great Amazon feature that allows switching profiles. From the buyer to the seller and vice versa within the same user account.
- Easy ordering and order management
The user-friendly “one-click” ordering, as in Amazon, is a game-changing feature. It replaces a set of actions and waits for 30 minutes to allow customers to keep shopping and adding items. And then hit one button to place an order.
- Customer wishlist
This feature will enable customers to save products that they may buy later to a list of favorites. Such a wishlist enhances consumer shopping experience and engagement. It also helps vendors boost customer satisfaction and the conversion rate.
- Personalized recommendations
Thanks to online marketplaces like Amazon, customers are increasingly looking for personalized experiences. An Epsilon and GBH Insights survey found that 80 percent of respondents want personalization from retailers.
To offer personalized recommendations like Amazon, use machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of user historical data. This will help sellers meet buyer preferences/expectations.
- Inventory management
Have efficient inventory management. Sellers need to record each product arriving at or leaving their warehouses. This ensures the availability of goods and correct display in catalogs. Vendors also need to track inventory history, manage listings and automate price updates.
For this functionality, integrate APIs of third-party services. This saves you both time and cost.
- Smooth navigation
Put in a navigation system that makes the shopper experience clear and smooth. From homepage/landing page to the last page. Include product filters, product suggestions based on viewing and buying history, last viewed/popular products, etc.
- Advanced product search
To build an online marketplace like Amazon, you must consider the overwhelming variety of products it will list. Integrate an advanced search feature into your marketplace. To help buyers find the items of their choice from 12 million listings, Amazon uses a search algorithm ‘A9’. Even if users make mistakes while searching, help them. Enable them to specify a range of parameters and compare similar goods to make the right decision.
- Product pages with explanatory images/videos
Enable sellers to add new products and manage them easily. They must provide as many details as possible. Not only to help buyers make decisions but also to improve your SEO.
High-quality, informative product images boost engagement and sales. Showing products from more angles, videos enhance the customer experience even more.
- Catalog of goods and shopping cart
A catalog is another crucial feature as it shows product listings, images and descriptions for shoppers to take a closer look at products. Add a shopping cart to enable visitors to buy from different vendors. The cart must also inform the buyer of payment methods, delivery time and cost, etc.
- Reviews and ratings
Reviews and ratings greatly enhance the credibility of an online marketplace. Customers rely on them to make buying decisions. Online marketplaces like Amazon allow well-verified reviews and ratings from registered users only.
- Easy checkout and payment options
To reduce the checkout abandonment, make the steps easy to complete. The best practices include minimizing the required fields, creating clear CTAs, displaying payment security proof, allowing no sign-up payment, etc. Consider region-specific payment options.
- Critical notifications
Vendors receive a great number of notifications. Such as on orders, refunds, reports, account changes, marketplace tips, etc.
They should be able to customize, switch on and off suiting their preferences.
- Data analytics and report generation
Data analytics enables sellers to have valuable insights into consumer behavior. Such as the number of unique daily users, sessions, audience by age, country, interests, etc. And customize the functionality to business needs.
Enable vendors to track online transactions in real-time, generate sales reports and identify products on high and low demand. This helps them identify/specify the key metrics influencing buying decisions.
- A multifunctional admin dashboard
As an administrator of a marketplace like Amazon, you need a multifunctional dashboard. To customize many settings. From shipping and payment methods to listings to filters to categories, etc.
- A multifunctional admin dashboard
Finally, you need a simple, transparent business model with no hidden terms and conditions for buyers and sellers. This can be the single most factor making your online multi-vendor marketplace popular and profitable. Like Amazon.
Have a defined rate of selling fees, listing fees, subscription fees, etc. This will prove your credibility and reliability.
The final word
Multi-store marketplaces like Amazon have a slew of distinctive functions and features. So, creating such a marketplace website is way more complicated and expensive than a regular online store.
But the advantages far outweigh the cost. Also, online sales are set to steamroll on the back of high demand with transformational change in the way consumers behave. So, there’s no reason why you don’t want to start an online marketplace like Amazon.
Match its key features and modify them to meet your business needs. Use a CMS such as WordPress to make the development of your online marketplace cost-effective.