Building a website for the marketplace is not difficult cause we have a lot of IT companies providing the solution for it. However, after building a website, how can we make it run smoothly and create benefit is still a big question. This article will give you 4 challenges when running the marketplace and how to overcome.
For an e-commerce web store, the operator will hold the full control of the way the product and its details are presented to the customer. He can take the product photos as he wants and show them in the product detail page. However, in the marketplace, operators still keep the highest right of control but cannot control every detail how their products are presented. You just can give sellers the layout and they will show what they want and sometimes, it might not follow your rule.
The solution for this situation is providing sellers guidelines on the process of creating a successful listing, tutoring them in how to create good photographs, ad copy and other features they need.
2. Customer service
In a conventional website, you are an operator and the only seller so it is so easy to have a centralized customer-management system. So you can improve any problems related to customer service more quickly. However, on the marketplace, the operator is not the one who serves all customers, each seller will care for their customers and when something goes wrong, customers tend to criticize the whole marketplace rather than just seller. And, it will hurt your marketplace reputation seriously.
Solution: Let look at the huge like Alibaba or eBay, they have communicated to buyers and verified that the defect belongs to sellers, not all platform and also show the effort on helping customers deal with that unexpected situation as well. If the seller cannot solve well, they will be removed from the marketplace.
3. Supply-demand gap
In fact, the number of sellers and buyers cannot grow at the same time. The common scenario most of the operators have to face is the high gap between supply and demand. For example, a seller that provides a huge chunk of sales may back out, leaving too many customers and too few sellers. Or in case of supply excesses considerably demand, that marketplace will become actually competitive. In any industry, the highly competitive environment is good but too fiercely might make sellers leave the marketplace cause they cannot earn enough revenue. That’s the chicken-and-egg problem.
Solution: Always analyze the market and build a solid relationship with customers (both buyers and sellers).
We are about e-commerce and online so don’t forget trust. The trust must be built on both sellers and buyers, this alone may not solve the problem. As I said above, your marketplace reputation is trustworthy enough but your individual sellers may not be, a trust deficit may arise cause customers tend to criticize the whole marketplace.
Solution: Marketplace model allows each seller to build their own store as an individual website but the operator still has the right on products are published or not. If that seller hurts the marketplace reputation, he might be removed by operators.