Our May 19th research roundtable was designed to look at marketplace features and functions trends in the post-pandemic economy. Our guest, Divante, is a Warsaw-based global eCommerce solutions provider. As open source evangelists, Divante is able to harness a wide spectrum of tools and its 300+ experts have delivered over 1000 projects. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the analysis they shared based on recent marketplace build and/or extension projects:
Recognise that for each marketplace, there are three different perspectives. To be successful, any marketplace needs to address more than just the platform owner needs and the need to go beyond that. This means the platform is not just e-commerce, but must emplace the additional supporting systems like PIMS Systems for managing information about products for content.
Data-driven, feedback based growth
Platform owners continue to prioritise ability to provide expanding portfolios to their sellers. The fundamental model of growing as your sellers grow means providing a service that is sustainable and reliable. Constant feedback analysis and data-driven development is key. High Customer care standards includes slick onboarding services for both sellers and buyers.
Basic functions need to keep up with cutting edge options
Engaging best sellers brings the best customers to the marketplace, resulting in more transactions and higher income. For most sellers, marketplaces are new sales channels. The priority is to access customers they could not reach before, and clear strategy to reflect this is key. A functioning marketplace continues to need the basics. Chief among this is keeping product list, stocks, and prices up-to-date 24/7. Standards are rising in terms of product presentation with additional features such as AR, VR, 360 etc
Getting buyers to keep coming back
For buyers, marketplace platforms are like a shopping mall – just bigger and in their browsers. Post-pandemic, some of the key functions remain important. Finding what they are looking for within seconds, and ease of choosing the best offer top the list. Be able to use the platform anytime, anywhere, and being able to give feedback as often as possible means they feel involved and will return over and over again. Discerning and more experienced buyers are also now looking to be comfortable with terms and conditions
Services packages point to maturity around standardisation
Although marketplace initially emerged for physical products, we have seen quick update for software-as-a-service, and for people-based services. This does require that the more commonly perceived ‘custom’ service is capable of being standardised and therefore packaged and priced in a manner fit for a marketplace. This points to the “standardization of business processes at the ecosystem level” which needs a whole separate review by itself.
Private offer and subscription capabilities
Taking the combination of physical and virtual products with services to the next level, busier marketplaces have introduced to capability to ask for, and receive, private offers beyond standard bundles already defined by sellers. This also augments the fast-growth segment for subscription automation. Both require deeper integration with production systems.