8 eCommerce Marketplace Mistakes You Are Unconsciously Making

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]Marketplace mistakes are as common as the occasionally spilled cups of coffee. But unlike the spilled cup of coffee, these mistakes have dire consequences if left unattended or unidentified. These mistakes sometimes even cost you your dream, let alone the capital, time and efforts you have invested in it.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]

So the question lies:
As a marketplace owner, how do I identify these mistakes?

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Begin with comparing your expectations with the outcome. If the anticipated results are not fulfilled or are getting delayed in their fulfillment, chances are, you are going wrong somewhere.

In this article, we will discuss 8 common marketplace mistakes people make during the process of setting up and maintaining their online marketplace.

[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Jumping Too Early or Too Late[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

jumping early or late

Nothing can replace the importance of strategic planning and execution. Planning lays the foundation for the construction of your marketplace. This foundation is what determines the success or failure of your beloved startup. Ideally, you need to do your research well and cover all the crucial aspects related to your business idea and then jump to the execution part. But in reality, many of us, while in the execution phase, find ourselves lost due to lack of research and planning in the previous step. Alternatively, sometimes we become over cautious in the process of coming up with the “perfect plan” thereby ending up delaying the execution process, until finally quitting the idea altogether.
The best way to overcome this problem is to launch an MVP first, track how people are interacting with it, and then making the necessary changes to get the desired goals accomplished.

[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Neglecting Brand Personality[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

no brand identity
Here are a few questions you must ask yourself about your brand

  • What makes my brand different from my competitors?
  • Why should people choose my brand over others?
  • Am I offering a unique solution to a problem?

Simply put, your brand needs to stand out of the crowd. And in order to do so, you need to develop your brand personality from scratch.
Your brand is built around a definite idea and that should be reflected. Provide your brand a strong and consistent voice – free from all contradictions – to lure and charm the visitors. Don’t stop, experiment with everything starting from the logo, design, color scheme, content, social media strategies or even a never before tested growth hack trick. But whatever you do must be in harmony with one another. Lack of uniformity, arise mistrust which can damage your brand image, big time.

[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Unpleasant User Experience[/fusion_title][fusion_text]

Unpleasant User Experience

Bad user experience designs are everywhere! Remember the last time you pulled a door that clearly had written “push” on it? Well, it’s not you, it’s the door. Your website users might face similar fate while browsing through your marketplace. It’s a proven fact that poor design creates friction which ultimately leads to user frustration.

To counter this, you must put heavy emphasis on providing a flawless user experience. So that, every single visitor is able to navigate through your e-commerce marketplace with ease. Be it your product vendors or your buyers, they should not struggle to do what is intended.

Thumb Rule for creating a Good UX:

Don’t let your user think, make everything as obvious as you can.

[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Lack of Communication with the Vendors[/fusion_title][fusion_text]Lack of Communication
The lack of effective communication leads to internal chaos and disorder in the seller marketplace.

In order to prevent disorganization, open and clear lines of communication should be set up between you and your product vendors. There are several ways to ensure smooth flow of communication.

For instance, a FAQ forum can be set up solely for this purpose – a support page where the vendors can get their queries answered and suggestions seen. Broadcasting a mass message to your vendor groups from within marketplace solution can be of great help to notice significant changes, new features, information, and procedures. You may also arrange for business meetups with the vendors in order to plan and determine the future strategies of your eCommerce marketplace.[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Inefficient Support Service[/fusion_title][fusion_text]Inefficient Support Service
To be the best marketplace platform in your niche, you need to take care of both your customers and your product vendors.
Every person has trust issues. Customers may be skeptical about the ability of the company to keep its promises and deliver quality goods on time. Similarly, vendors may also be skeptical about the profitability of the multi-vendor platform. If the consumers and vendors remain dubious, your business is likely to go down and never achieve its full potential.
Therefore, policies should be determined to keep both the sides in mind. For a marketplace to thrive, even survive, you need to attract and keep both the parties satisfied. Different approaches can be used for them, such as, pre or post-sales support, educating vendors in using the best practices, the do’s and don’ts of a multi-vendor marketplace, providing support and assistance to customers, building a long-lasting customer relationship, etc.
Also, having an active FAQ section will add to the credibility of your marketplace. You can even gather lead information with the help of contact forms and live conversations using this Support Forum. Excellent support ensures customer retention, repeated purchase, and mouth publicity which in turn reduces the cost of customer acquisition greatly.[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Underutilisation of the Data Available[/fusion_title][fusion_text]Data Analysis
If you do not carefully analyze all the data available to you, you will not be able to understand what is working best for your business and what is not, what the crowd is enjoying and what they are overlooking. Simply put, you will have a hard time implementing necessary and positive changes for the growth and development of your marketplace.

Don’t depend entirely on your instincts and assumptions. Data is indispensable when it comes to any e-commerce marketplace growth and strategic decision-making process. Google Analytics – the most efficient web analytics platform – gives you a boatload of information regarding the geographic locations of the traffic, how the visitors have landed on the page, the bounce rate, amount of time visitors are spending on the page, etc.

With the proper utilization of this valuable data, you can carve your e-commerce marketplace dreams in a way that guarantees success. So start making the most of the data available to you![/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Flawed Payment Methods[/fusion_title][fusion_text]Flawed Payment Methods
There is no room for defective payment methods. The seller marketplace survives on transactions and if the mode of payment is not secure, trustworthy and efficient, you will witness an increase in abandoned carts and a decrease in sales volume. The vendors will also be deterred to sell on a platform which gives low monetary assurance.
In order to prevent this from happening, do your research on where your user-base is located, and choose the payment options that are most convenient for them. All you need to do is provide your users with safe, secure and systematic payment gateways and you will surely see an upward movement in your sales curve.[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=””]Selecting Inappropriate Marketplace Solution[/fusion_title][fusion_text]Selecting Inappropriate Marketplace Solution
Your marketplace platform is the heart of your multi-vendor store and thus, you must carry out intense research while choosing the perfect platform for yourself. Choosing an inappropriate marketplace will bring the end before you can even see the beginning of your dream project. It is necessary to choose the right solution, for if you don’t, you will have a hard time expanding your business in accordance with your marketplace needs.

Before choosing between marketplace options, you need to finalize your e-Commerce platform. For that WooCommerce might be a smart choice. In Last few years it has established itself as one of the leading solutions, mostly because it’s rich with features, provides a huge number of extensions and last but not least, it’s free!

There are a number of WooCommerce Product Vendor solutions available, so do not get confused. Make a checklist of the features you need, compare this list with the available options and choose the best solution for your marketplace. Don’t just stop there. Take a look at their support threads as well to understand how responsive and helpful they are. And, last but not the least, find out whether it is within your budget.

At WCMp, we are cognizant of these challenges that you face. In fact, almost 95% of our customers have tried our product as they faced these issues. We may not have all the solutions, but we believe we may have enough to get you started on the right foot. Our platform is rich with many features and on top of that, we provide amazing support. All this, absolutely FREE of cost! Need we say more? So what are you waiting for? Start building your very own marketplace today with our WooCommerce Marketplace Plugin![/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Common marketplace mistakes

Yes, You can beat Facebook Marketplace

In our last blog, we talked about Facebook Marketplace – the next big competitor of your multi-vendor store. Every business takes time to flourish but marketplace from Facebook is challenging the myth making the e-commerce sector more competitive. We tried our heart and soul to understand the muscle and catalyst behind their success and promised you to decipher deep to unveil their weakness.

Yes, Facebook Marketplace is yet to be a juggernaut. Limitation inside the multi-vendor store from the social media powerhouse can give your marketplace maximum advantages. Know them here-

Loopholes in Facebook Marketplace:

 

1. No inbuilt payment and shipping system:

Facebook Marketplace is just a platform for sellers and buyers devoid of any additional facilities. That might be their initial strategy but the absence of payment and shipping features inside a marketplace is a hassle for the users.

Sellers and buyers have to look for external resources to deliver the products and complete their payment procedure.

Takeaway:
This is where your multi-vendor store can and should make a difference to the user-base. Vendors and sellers will have the convenience to shop and buy on your platform when you will provide them shipping and payment facilities straight from your store.
2. Small Customer base:

Facebook Marketplace has gained massive popularity among the local customers and that’s a dilemma for them. It’s good for the sellers who have a target audience in their neighborhood but not for the ambitious sellers who want to go beyond their backyard.

Till date, Facebook Marketplace is limited to fewer nations where it has influenced the local market and do not have any cross-country success to showcase.

Takeaway:

Where your target audience reside? Decide that first. It would be better if you gather all the information before developing a marketplace and starting to run it aimlessly.

3. Available only in the Mobile app:

Till date, one can access the Facebook Marketplace only through their Mobile app. It’s impossible to run a full-fledged store from mobile. Even uploading products in bulk is a hassle for them. Whereas a desktop user has both the freedom and facility to upload products, edit them at will and sell to their large user base.

Takeaway: 

Will your marketplace be available on the app or is there any need to catch the desktop users? Know your customer and sit with your developer team first.

Facebook might have a strategy to target the app users and small merchants. Do you have an identical marketplace strategy like Facebook? Then stick with your app but all bigger marketplace are targeting desktop and mobile users without leaning on the app users.

facebook marketplace
4. Future Roadmap:

Well, you can’t put a finger to someone like the Facebook. Right? But, a marketplace must show the promise of scalability which has been less so far from an organization as big as the Facebook.

The platform is not giving any setback to sellers’ pocket but soon the comfort will be over-

We will look at how we could potentially monetize the surface., said Bowen Pan, Facebook.

Will Facebook’s different stance influence their seller base? Keep your eyes on our blog for more on this.

Takeaway:
You have to take shots when your marketplace is scaled up or when it does not meet your expectation. However, they must be aligned with your targeted sellers and buyers.

What if one big monetization plan gets thumbs down from the vendors. Save yourself from the debacle and plan accordingly and inform the vendors to allow them to take an early stance.

Learn, adapt and grow:

One cliche truth for you. Marketplace industry is evolving. Marketplace from Facebook has been a noted addition to the multi-vendor industry. Before they disrupt the sector more, it’s better you study them and restrategize. Take a We hope our blog helps you here.

Take a plunge. Explore new business verticals. Target niche markets with new products.

What’s your take on Facebook Marketplace? Do you consider it as a threat? Give us your feedback.

facebook marketplace

Is Facebook Marketplace a threat or just another competitor for you?

Six months. One platform and six countries.

Facebook Marketplace needs just three figures to challenge leading marketplaces. When Facebook re-rolled their e-commerce venture, many were doubtful, few explored the space and critics were skeptics about the platform.

Come 2017, Facebook Marketplace is now one of the most favored spaces for multi-vendor commerce.

facebook-marketplace-blog

Stat Source

Six months: When most of the marketplaces fail to figure out the ground and rules in one year, Facebook has reached the summit at that time.

One platform: That success has come through a single platform- their mobile app. Unlike others in the herd, Facebook Marketplace is yet to be available in the desktop version.

Six Countries: No they are not Amazon or Ebay drawing sellers from across the globe. Till date, Facebook Marketplace is only accessible at US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Mexico. Europe and Asia- two marketplace hotbeds are missing from their lens.

Have all these odds restricted the marketplace from Facebook to surface? No, and to say little, this platform is a potential threat to emerging marketplaces like you.

So, what’s their biggest secret? How have they been able to ascend to the top in no time? And what are the lessons that future marketplace owners can learn from their amazing rise? Let’s introspect-

What has gone in favor of Facebook Marketplace?

E-commerce marketplace has been a fragile sector since it’s inception.

Bigger brands (Amazon, Ebay) have arrived and formulated a model for the rest. While, disruptive startups Uber, Airbnb and Etsy are tossing up many of the existing e-commerce concepts. There is no unanimous voice on the right revenue model, hacks of connecting sellers and the effective marketing mantras for the marketplace.

Meanwhile, there was a rising cry for a magical marketing channel for a widespread promotion. Marketing guru Benedict Evans tweeted for a “Facebook for products” or a social media network for product promotion.

facebook marketplace blog

Three months later Facebook Marketplace entered offering “a nice combination of search and promotion for products”.

But, this was not their first attempt to foray inside the e-commerce jungle. Have a look at Facebook Marketplace timeline

Facebook Marketplace

From 2007 to October 2016- Facebook hustled in and out to claim their present spot. What helped their meteoric rise-

1. Smartphone Shopping Spree:

In 2017, mobile commerce is no more a fad but a function for e-commerce. Mobile users for internet access has surpassed the desktop users-

Facebook Marketplace

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With that stat, add the epidemic time spent on online

facebook marketplace

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There is no doubt in the exponential growth of mobile usage but how far this is important for commerce

FB marketplace

A successful commerce depends on the conversion. But, what’s the conversion story? Let’s go back to a stat

facebook marketplace

Not par with desktop or traditional success but combining the figures of smartphones and tablets give the reason why Facebook Marketplace gains so much success even being an app-centric model.

Though there is nothing upfront, Facebook may sooner or later launch their marketplace for desktops.

2. No Chicken and Egg problem:

As of December 31, 2016, Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users, and 1.23 billion daily active users. And the average user spends 50 minutes or more every day on the app.

For any of marketplace, such potential customer base is a massive advantage.

Much before Facebook starts rolling their e-commerce features, users stepped in and created groups inside the social networking giant for business. Facebook did not miss the opportunity.

In their press release, Facebook acknowledged that More than 450 million people visit, buy and sell groups each month— from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world”.

They pocketed the ready customers and that was enough to lure the sellers and vendors to kickstart the business. Facebook Marketplace started on a high note without even experiencing the infamous “chicken and egg” problem.

Lessons to learn from Facebook Marketplace:

Love it or loathe it, when a product is launched by a brand called Facebook, it’s better to introspect and know their strategies-

1. Selling on Facebook Marketplace is Free: Facebook does not take a single pie of the profit. From product listing to connecting with the interested buyers through Messenger, everything is free here. No part of the profit goes to the Facebook marketplace.

That’s a huge relief for the vendors who have always a tough time to share a unanimous voice with marketplace owners on commission, listing fee or the subscription charges.

2. Great for Local Sales: Facebook Marketplace is a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. What makes it so special?

Let’s think from buyer’s point of view.

When buyers search by location (spanning 100 miles away) or browse by a product category, they will get the product details along with the seller’s approximate location, or the exact address if the sellers have shared the information.

Buyers can communicate with them through Messenger, discuss the price and haggle or agree upon the product delivery and payment process.

Yes, Facebook Marketplace is yet to provide any delivery & payment assistance or collaboration with third parties. However, this has not stopped them from earning the confidence of the local sellers and emerging as an incredible marketplace.

3. Easy Communication between Vendors and Buyers:

We have already talked about the Messenger role in the Facebook marketplace. While the norm of the marketplace is to search, browse, sell or shop, the multi-seller store from Facebook has played out of the book by incorporating Messenger as a mandatory platform of communication.

Now, who would not love to go for a chit-chat before buying something? Facebook knows our psychology better and with the Messenger tab, they are providing easy communication what most marketplace often does not offer.

Talking about the seller-buyer communication, the Big Daddy Amazon have them incorporated but it’s appeared almost at the fag end of their product page-

fb marketplace

4. Vendors get access to large customer base:

Why should a vendor open their store at your marketplace? Facebook has their answer ready with a massive pool of users across the globe and good penetration rate. Have a look-

facebook marketplace

and Facebook itself is a big nation

fb stat

Image Source

Now when a networking site as popular as Facebook offers a platform to both sell and shop to a large audience base, there are no doubt vendors will queue up there. Look how Facebook Marketplace has grown up.

Takeaway: No, it’s not possible to scale up the audience base overnight as gigantically as the Facebook. But, when you invest time and money for promotion, it will be a smart move to set up the audience and prepare them for the vendors.

5. Use Facebook as the Marketing Channel:

Setting up a marketplace is a no-brainer when you have a complete solution and free tools in your possession. The real challenge begins when one looks forward to marketing their store. SEO is a viable approach but one needs a reliable guide to earn the perks.

At Facebook Marketplace, the owners can run ad within FB for the promotion of their store. One of the most advanced digital marketing tools, the Facebook Ad allows taking the advantage of precise ad-targeting based on age, sex, demography, even the user interests.

Have a look-

fb marketplace

Target users at your preferred Location

facebook marketplace

Find potential buyers as per your preference

With such large user-base and enriched Facebook data, stores in the marketplace have maximum promotion just a click away. 

So, is Facebook Marketplace a perfect platform? Will it conquer the rest of the marketplace segment choking the aspiration of little marketplace dream? Do they have any Achilles heel? How can the emerging players defeat the marketplace juggernaut from Facebook? 

We will get back with all the answer in our next blog. Till then, #SellEarnRepeat with WC Marketplace

facebook marketplace

Now or never!!! Start your marketplace SEO with our complete guide

In our last blog, we showed you how to spy on competitors to find better SEO opportunities for your marketplace. Have you done that? Great. If not, we urge you to go through the process. It will give you valuable insights for the next task of the hour- optimizing your own marketplace.

1. Check Your Website Speed:

Site Speed is an official ranking factor of Google. The search engine giant has defined the site speed as the metric to evaluate how quickly a website responds to web request/ search queries by the users.

This is what Google have to say about the site speed

marketplace SEO

Not just for the bots but the loading speed is also an important factor for user experience. As per statistics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. When it comes to the e-commerce a slow website is sinister and trigger the loss.

The study shows, if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost merchants $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

Are you one of them? Analyze your website speed now- https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

2. Is your marketplace mobile-friendly?

In 2015, Google announced “Make sure your site’s ready for mobile-friendly Google search results” and underlined mobile-friendliness as their another ranking factor.

Why Google take this stand? Because they want to capture the huge market of mobile phone users. How big is this market? Look at the below chart-

marketplace and SEO

Number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2013 to 2019 (in billions)

Among that massive growth, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. E-commerce is slowly shifting towards the mobile-commerce with every passing year-

marketplace and SEO

Today, if your marketplace is not mobile optimized, there are high chances to get a poor ranking from Google.

Your poor ranking opens up the ground for your competitors. 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.”

Curious to know whether your marketplace is mobile friendly or not? Test now- https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/

3. Website Content

SEO has evolved. Reckless keyword stuffing and links from low-quality websites will do little help to your marketplace. Fresh, user-friendly content now plays the key role.

With every new algorithm update, Google is trying to develop their search engine to deliver more relevant content. Today’s e-commerce success banks on the targeted content that aligns with the customer journey to deliver them a successful and memorable digital shopping experience.

And trust us, without the content-driven SEO strategy, it’s pretty hard to outrank a competitor like Amazon who has excellent SEO score-

marketplace and seo

Content optimization with specific and relevant keywords to match with the targeted customer queries along with other best SEO practices will help you to rank and open up the sales funnel. Let’s start the process-

a) Identification of keywords:

Your marketplace must be optimized for the search queries/ keywords which are related to your business. Forums like Quora is a good start to unearth the terms which people usually use-

We ask a question on shoe at there-

marketplace and seo

From the red box area, we are getting words that people often use or make queries regarding shoes- “Casual Shoes”, “Formal Shoes”. More you dig at there, better you will have an understanding on used search queries.

What next? Let’s go to the Google for more keyword suggestions.

There are two ways to utilize it-

First, Google Suggestion-

marketplace and seo

Google has come up with multiple search suggestions against keyword- “Shoes for men”. These are the keywords that users often use as search queries-

Second, Google Related Search-

marketplace & seo

b) Evaluating the keywords:

After mining the bunch of keywords your next step will be to evaluate them through Google Keywords Planner. Just what we did for your reference with the same keyword- “shoe for men”.

marketplace and seo

The tool from Google will help one to understand the keyword importance by their average monthly searches. It will also generate a bunch of keyword ideas.

Now, sit with your SEO expert and pick the best one for your marketplace.

marketplace and SEO

c) Optimize Content with keywords

In our previous blog, we suggest you to spy on competitors’ content to unveil what keywords they are targeting. Reverse the task and now you have to optimize your own marketplace website.

We presume you have successfully selected keywords which are best for your business. It would be better you can use them at-

  • Home Page

  • Category Page

  • Product Page

  • Landing Page

  • Product Description

While optimizing with the keywords try to keep the content flow authentic. Stuffing is a big NO from search engine giant Google.

Below we will guide you through some of the best industry examples to take cue from the bigger players-

Home Page

You can take inspiration from Etsy-

marketplace and seo

Etsy’s choice of keywords “Handmade”, “Vintage” & “Unique Goods” correlates with their business. Look at their meta description and title– both are informative and user-friendly. Just what Google bots look for.

Category Page

Category pages are the mid-level pages that make it easy for customers and search engines to navigate your website.

Marketplace category page opens up the sales funnel for the buyers. Searchers often search with braod queries (men shoes, iPod, smartphones etc). With right optimization, one can easily match with the users’ intent. Ebay knows how to play this game. Have a look-

Marketplace and SEO

Wrapping the keywords with the content is the real hack. Here is the category page (Men Shoes) description from Schuch and the page is smartly optimized with the keywords that they want to target-

MarketplacE and SEO

Men’s shoes”, “Trainers”, “Boots”, “Shoes & Sandals” and long tail keyword -”Discover men’s shoes” – they have ticked every keyword optimization box.

Category page description is equally important for the users as it will provide detailed information to them. More engaging they are, better your conversion.

MarketPlace and SEO

Use of click baits “Huge Selection”, “Next Day Delivery” hikes the chance of clicks and conversion. Just what Schuch has done with their meta description.

Product Page

When search goes specific (e.g Men’s Formal Shoes, Apple I-phone 64 GB, Women Bridal gown) and SEO optimized product pages start to get search engine’s notice. Look around all the big brands and you will find they have optimized their product pages with specific informative content.

Take Amazon’s product page for example-

MarKetplace and SEO

Have you noticed how vivid the description is? They have covered the brand name, the product description as well as subtle details like “lace up”. A customer can search by the brand name or go with straightforward product detail. Covering all aspects will ensure a better ranking.

4. Site Structure:

Keywords alone will not help your marketplace to rank better. Site structure is another crucial ranking factor. Why so? Let us explain-

Your web pages optimized with the keyword will help search bots to find your websites against related search queries. High Five!!!

But those search bots would like to crawl, look around, sorts and analyze your website to process more information. A clean, easy-to-navigate site structure makes the process easy.

But, hey we are talking about marketplace!!!

Problem emerges right at there. The marketplace has a large number of categories and products and their dedicated web pages. How can one ensure the bots a user-friendly link structure?

Some tips from our SEO experts

What will be an ideal site-structure then for a marketplace?

  • Complete buyers’ journey with limited clicks

  • Maintaining a logical flow throughout links

  • Structure website with proper division of categories, sub-categories and products.

    marketplace and seo

  • Placing of keywords at the important places to help the search bots to navigate pages. Category page, product page are the ideal places. An example for you-

    marketrplace and seo

    Given examples is just a reference.

    Every marketplace should develop their own site structure based on their products, categories and their target audience’s search behavior.

    Backlinks:

    In their initial days, Google has one major algorithm called PageRank to rank the websites for related search queries. Though the search engine giant has now new bagful of algorithms but PageRank is still one of the major ranking factors.

    Named after Google co-founder Lary Page, this algorithm evaluates the quality of the links that the website has got from external websites. The more high-quality websites that link to you, the better rankings are.

    That’s all for today. Do remember, there are tons of factors which are considered as the hefty ranking factors. As Google and other search engines never disclose the factors with a big shout out, the confusion brews. But, what we have offered are result-driven and best for your marketplace SEO.

    Results of doing strategic SEO comes with time. It’s a scientific method and not a one word spell for overnight magic. The process is continuous and results are worthy of your investment. Once you keep faith in the step-by-step guide that we have shown you here, will give you better ranking for sure.

    Have you ever tried to optimize your marketplace for search engines? What was the result? What gave you more trouble and where did you collect the shining SEO medals? Share your experience with us.

Give your marketplace competitors a run for their money with SEO

The marketplace is one of the most competitive industries where bigger players are not ready to leave one inch. With relentless promotion and large investment after marketing, the industry leaders are an unavoidable force.

To be exact, Amazon is targeting new field like India With $4.7 Billion investment. On top of that, they have greater resource compared to any marketplace startup-

marketplace-SEO

Image Source

In this crowded jungle and unfair competition, how will you survive?

Make SEO your secret weapon:

SEO or search engine optimization can boost your marketing strategies when it’s done right. Let’s explore the scopes-

Over 82% of internet users use search engines. The number of daily searches on Google – 3.5 billion. Strategic optimization can reach your marketplace to audience from the massive user base
Not practicing SEO narrows down the exposure as 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines
More traffic on the website will help to draw more vendors to your marketplace. Remember the sweet marketplace headache called the chicken and egg problem?

Beat the marketplace giants with SEO

With SEO you can give even Amazon a run for their money. Here is an evidence-

We searched for a very common keyword “shoes for men” where Amazon was not ranked on the first page. A proof to drop your jaw-

marketplace and SEO

Pulling our jaw we dig further and find Amazon on the second page-

marketplace-seo

Got you Amazon!!!

Kickstart your SEO operation

When your mission is to get into an unknown turf and claim the top spot, the smart move will be to assess the performance of your competition and the leaders at there. Know their strength, spot any loophole and make your blueprint as per the assessment. We will show you the paths here in this blog.

Why we want you to pursue this strategy?

Against any search query, search engines flash tons of results. Have a look-

For a better ranking, you have to surge ahead of your competitors with more impactful SEO strategy. Let’s start the game-

Keywords:

Search engine mechanism is pretty straightforward.

Users come to search engines, put search queries and get their result. In search lexicon, these are called keywords. In our mission of understanding and outranking the competitors, these keywords are the vital cog.

To say little, if any of your competitors are not using any specific keyword relevant to your industry/ business, grab those keywords and start analyzing their value

Let’s understand the process with an example-

When we analyzed the “shoes for men” results where Amazon was knocked out from the first page, we spotted use of different keywords from the marketplace who claimed the top spot, asos.com. Let’s delve deep-

First, we will look at the keywords selected by the asos.com –

marketplace-seo

 

They have categorically chosen their keywords on “shoe” theme. They have used brand names “Adidas & Nike”, generic words “footwear” or go for the different variants “canvas”, “boot” or “sports shoes”.

Borrowing this strategy, one can mine important keywords which the competitors have not used.

Make a list of those keywords and start analyzing them with Google Keywords Planner.

This handy tool will help you to take decisions about which keywords are best for your business by evaluating on their average monthly searches and competition.

Let’s see where you can spy on the competitors’ keywords-

Product Pages:

Product pages are must to optimize with keywords. When search queries are broad, e.g- “shoes for men”, “women bridal dress”, the product pages make it to the search results.

Spy around your competitors’ website to know their hacks as we have done with the asos.com and Amazon product pages.

Product Description:

Searches are both broad and specific e.g. “formal shoes for men”. These specific searches, a combination of queries are known as “long-tail keywords”. For better SEO gains, long-tail keywords are valuable.

Here is a sneak peek from Etsy’s keyword enriched product description-

marketplace and seo

Look how specific their keywords are. For a “cufflink” product, they have used keywords like- “Wedding Cufflinks”, “Date and Initial Cufflinks”, “Engraved Cufflinks”.

A task at your hand. Browse through your competitors’ products. Look at their product descriptions. More you can identify their unused keywords better you will figure out your SEO opportunities.

Title Tag and Meta Description:

The title tag tells Google and users about the page.

It’s not just a ranking factor but very often the click baits too. Searchbots crawl for the useful information and title-tags provide them. Users need information too and the merchants need those users to click the link. So, title-tag asks for a balance between effective keywords and persuasive content.

Spy on your competitors now to know how they are playing the game.

Asos.com has crafted their title tag and meta description with keywords which are valuable for their business.

marketplace and seo

They have used a long-tail keyword, “Latest clothes and fashion online” in the title tag and their meta description has rich keywords like “women’s fashion and men’s clothing”.

Google ranking factors have evolved into more content-specific over the years. If your competitors are placing valuable search queries/ keywords into their web pages, you have to pull up your socks now.

And do remember, title-tag and meta description are not just for the bots. Keyword placing will not be sufficient here as the content has to be intriguing. Consider them as your conventional sales copy.

Asos.com has given an effort to make it enticing with “Home Delivery & Returns”, “Discover the latest”. What is your strategy?

Landing Page:

Definitely not your day-to-day SEO hack but the landing pages can give you high SEO points. Landing pages are created to promote a single idea offering you enough space to place content what the search bots will look for related queries.

Etsy, Amazon and other big marketplaces often come up with great landing pages over the years. Here is one from Etsy-

marketplace and seo

As their target audience is one who will shop for the Easter occasion, they are spot on with the keyword selection and optimizing the landing page with it.

marketplace and seo

What’s their Link Building strategy?

In their initial days, Google had one major algorithm called the PageRank. Named after Google co-founder Lary page, the algorithm, in layman terms evaluates a website by the external links that the website has got. Known as backlinks bots evaluate the quality of links rather than the quantity of them.

If your competitors’ website has backlinks from the quality websites, they will receive more love from the search engines. Start analyzing them with Moz’s handy tool https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/ now-

We put asos.com and amazon.com under the scanner and find both the websites have some quality links in their bag-

asos.com has got links from BuzzFeed and The Guardian.

marketplace and seo

Whereas the Amazon marketplace has got links from heavyweight website like The Huffington Post-

SEO for marketplace

How to know which one is a quality website? Moz has two metrics, DA and PA to bury your confusion. Do not stop there and click the links to understand what contents are earning those valuable backlinks. Link building is a well planned and executed strategy. More you decipher and understand the process, better are the chances of your website optimization.

Search Engine Optimization is a process and not a spell for an overnight miracle. Your success will depend on the strategy you adopt and a lot on the execution.

We are confident, this blog from our side will help you to discover SEO weakness of your competitors. Will it be enough for you? Definitely not. It’s just a good beginning. To gain the best fruits you have to optimize your website. The data that you have mined with our process will help you in your next stage. We will be there with you as well with more hacks to optimize your own website. Till then, happy spying. Play the goddamn Bond theme music now.

What is the best revenue model for your online Marketplace? Part Three

I haven’t yet read the 1st Part
Neither the 2nd Part

It’s great to be back. Today we will conclude our blog series of finding the best marketplace revenue model. We have already discussed on commission and membership model. Let’s figure out the competence of listing fee model- 

The Listing Fee:

The simplest revenue generation model. Similar to the classified ads, merchants are charged here for each of their new product/service listings.

Benefits of Listing Fee Model:

  • Admins can control the product listing in the marketplace
  • Admins can charge for special products or categories
  • Admin will not be dependent on the sellers’ performance

How are the industry leaders playing?

Craigslist:

Spoiler alert!!! The popular classified ad marketplace does not charge for all listing. Most of them are free except posting a job, real estate and other selected listing-

wc marketplace blog revenue model

 Image Source

Hugely benefited with this strategy Craigslist has not tested any other model. Browse through Craigslist website of any province and you will not find a single banner or lead-free (Additional cost for better placement at the website)- 

wc marketplace blog listing fee

Etsy:

The listing fee comes with a dilemma for marketplace owners.
Here, the marketplace owners do not get benefited from each transaction. To ensure that vendors do not eat the most of the profit pie, the admin will be lured to set a healthy list fee. But, over the top list fee can reduce vendor admission.

Etsy faced the challenge.

In their starting days, art and unique product marketplace Etsy offered a “1st-month special: no fees at all” promotion. But, when the listing fee was applied ( $0.10 per listing at the time ), there was an initial slump in new listing volumes: there were roughly 300 new items listed per day before the fees, but for the first five days afterward, their average was more like 160 per day.

Question is, despite the backlash, Why has Etsy kept the listing fee for their sellers?

Etsy’s reasons were-

1. They do not want to miss the revenue from their not so popular products.
2. Charging a listing fee prevents the marketplace from being flooded with redundant products.
3. At the end of the day, customers get high value from the marketplace

Ebay:

Ebay too charges the vendors an insertion fee to list an item on the website. As they have multiple revenue paths, the insertion fee is not applicable for monthly subscribers.

wc marketplace blog on revenue model

Zomato:

Unlike the Craigslist or Ebay, Zomato is the vertical search marketplace offering specific products and services. Can the listing fee be a viable model for them? Let’s introspect-

Zomato has an innovative revenue model. As a food search engine, it does not charge anything. So, there is no listing fee. But, if you want to avail additional services- Ad Sales ( Banners ), Online Ordering, Book etc. one has to spend bucks. 

What have we learned?

Listing Fee is not a primary revenue model for Product-marketplace:

If you are running a product marketplace, going along with the Listing Fee model would be a huge leap of faith. For example, Etsy has integrated both listing and commission model. Etsy charges $0.20 for each item you list and that item is active for 4 months.

Finding Parity is the greatest task:

No doubt. A marketplace should add value to the vendors. But giving freebies will lead a marketplace to the fragile state. And if one sets the fee high, vendors will reject the marketplace soon.

How many lists do you have?

Listing fee emerges as a sustainable primary business model for those who have somehow managed to stimulate the constant lead-flow. The marketplace leaders will not have a share in the transactions, however small and big it will be. More and more leads will save your marketplace.

Wooing Vendors:

Similar to the membership/subscription model listing fee does not ensure the selling of the products. The only benefit in listing fee is that it will not ask the vendors to renew their membership or push them towards the re-subscription. In such situation how can you win the hearts of the vendors?

After their initial setback, Etsy now has more than 1.7 million sellers surpassing 1.56 million of the previous year. A graph showing Etsy’s growing popularity-

WC Marketplace blog on revenue model

Number of active Etsy sellers from 2012 to 2016 (in 1,000) Etsy sellers

Etsy’s disruptive business idea turned the table for them. What’s your hack? 

The Set-Up Challenges:

Listing Fee on Selective Products:

An ideal listing fee model must have that flexibility to adapt your business objective.

Craigslist has successfully done that. Giving vendors a relaxation with their listing can turn up as a great boon for your marketplace. Make sure your marketplace has the right infrastructure to implement the required feature.

keep active your other learning paths:

Not every marketplace will have the fortune of keeping “listing fee” as their exclusive cash-generating strategy.

If you are a newbie, you would prefer to practice commission model along with the listing model. At the back-end of your marketplace, you must have a feature to enable commission system along with the listing fee model.

Let’s take a decision:

No one loves to fail. The word hustle seems to be a trend for modern entrepreneurs but why should you run an extra mile when you can set up a process to stimulate everything, even your revenue generation.

Choosing a right revenue model will be the first big step in your mission. All the data, industry-best insights and the development procedure that we have shared here are the best possible options for your future marketplace.

Now the ball is yours in your court. What looks the most profitable for you? The ever-dependable commission model or the recurring revenue generator subscription model? Or, the simplified listing fee model will be the best option for your upcoming marketplace? Share your views with us and take a decision now.

What is the best revenue model for your online Marketplace? Part-Two

I haven’t yet read the 1st Part

Welcome back. In our last blog, we raved a lot about commission model. We discussed the core benefits of it. We also shed light on the strategies of the marketplace leaders and the viable options before emerging players.

Besides that, we request you not to write off other two revenue models. Why so? Let’s start with membership/subscription model-

The Membership/ Subscription Model:

Membership/subscription model is the best option for recurring revenue. Admin can tempt the vendors with the access of more assistance and better features with different membership plans. That’s not all. There are other perks-

Admin is not dependent on vendors’ performance: 

Vendors know the worth of a good marketplace. They are always looking to sell their goods, showcase their services and stand out in the crowded e-commerce sector with a reliable platform. If there is a dip in their sales for a certain period of time, most of them will stay loyal to their existing marketplace, willfully paying admin their subscription fee (monthly, weekly etc).

Here, subscription model generates more revenue than the commission model. Commission model is entirely dependent upon each and every transaction. But, beware of the traps of recurring revenue. No vendors will be agreed to subscribe months after months if they do not get enough traction from that particular marketplace. They will look for a new platform to draw traffics to their products/services.

Subscription Model can limit vendor capabilities:

This is interesting.

Unlike commission model, the subscription model does not get benefited from each transaction. Without any strategic subscription plans for vendors, there are enough possibilities for them to consume all the profit pie. A well-thought out subscription can halt the free run without blocking their healthy business. Does that sound a puzzle?

The best solution is to give basic marketplace features to vendors, limit their capabilities with a lower subscription plan and lure them with costlier membership plan or subscription package for more advanced features.

How are the big players playing?

Ebay

Ebay is a good example of subscription model practitioner.  ebay subscription model Along with the commission model and listing fee, the marketplace giant Ebay has introduced the subscription fee for sellers.They have earned the confidence of their vendors to implement different subscription plans along with other revenue streams. Ebay is pretty clear in limiting or providing additional ben vendors’ role in their subscription model. Have a look-

subscription-model-ebay

LinkedIn:

A well-optimized subscription model is a revenue-generating machine. LinkedIn which has shaped up as a job marketplace with their Premium Subscriptions model has increased it’s revenue 21% in recent years with this strategy.

Match.com:

Subscription model success is all about tempting the service-providers. Peer-to-peer dating marketplace match.com knows how to entice the platform users-

subscription model

Image Source

Amazon:

A successful subscription model knows how to strike a balance. Amazon has exempted their subscribed sellers from flat fee.

When worked well, the subscription model can trigger benefits for a service-marketplace. Upwork has two subscription plans under the “Basic” and “Plus” categories offering additional features for both the agencies and freelancers. Closely look at the Upwork Plus plan which has categorically offered and limited certain features to both the freelancers and agencies.

Upwork Plus Membership Plan

Freelancers

Agencies

An additional 10 Connects per month (plus a prorated first month’s allotment).

The ability to support unlimited team members.

The ability to buy additional Connects as needed for $1 each.

An additional 20 Connects per month (plus a prorated first month’s allotment).

Rollover privileges so that up to 140 unused Connects can be carried over to the following billing cycle.

The ability to buy additional Connects as needed for $1 each.

Visibility into their competitors’ high, low, and average bids on jobs.

Rollover privileges so that up to 160 unused Connects can be carried over to the following billing cycle

The ability to create a customized URL to your freelancer profile.

Visibility into their competitors’ high, low, and average bids on jobs.

The ability to hide earnings on your freelancer profile.

The ability to create a customized URLs of your team members’ profiles

The ability to hide earnings on your agency and team members’ profiles

Information Source

Lessons that we have learned

Subscription Model is always not the best option for product-marketplace:

Though it has a lucrative advantage for generating recurring revenue, subscription model is not a complete revenue system for product-marketplace. Amazon has Subscribe and Save service on selected products where the core of their business is run by the commission. You won’t see Amazon suddenly transition to a subscription-based company.

Figure out opportunities to tempt vendors:

Admin must provide additional features (inventory, delivery management) to lure the vendors for a higher subscription plan. Without adding real value to vendors’ cause, no subscription model can win sellers.

Service-marketplace is a better option for subscription model:

Peer-to-peer or customer-to-customer service-marketplace do not have concerns of providing product management and delivery service. They can lure the vendors through the better accessibility of the platforms. Just what Upwork does.

Challenges in setting up subscription model:

  • Provide different plans: So that vendor has convenient options to switch. Upwork has “Plus and Basic model.”
    Ebay offers three different models.
  • Restrict the vendor capabilities: Each plan must have their own benefits and limitations. This is your best bet to tempt the sellers.
  • Flexibility to implement other revenue paths: Admin should have the option to stimulate revenue across a different path.

With WC Marketplace setting up a flexible membership/subscription plan is hassle-free and an automated process. Let’s explore the perks from the core-

  • Admin can create different membership plans: Being a robust solution, WC Marketplace offers pre set-up fields to the admins who can subsequently invite the vendors to choose among those customizable plans.

membership plan WCMp

  •  Admin can limit vendors’ capabilities with WC Marketplace: Admin gets numerous fields to assign responsibilities to vendors and limit their capabilities in their marketplace platform built by WC Marketplace.

vendor membership WC Marketplace

  • Run Multiple Revenue Model Simultaneously: Running both the membership/subscription model along with the commission model is never a brainer with WC Marketplace. You just have to fill in the required checkbox.

vendor membership plan

The Final Call:

If you are a startup with a product marketplace venture, it’s better to start with commission over membership model in initial days or provide additional facilities (shipping, logistic management etc).

However, a well-optimized subscription model can be a real breakthrough for your service-marketplace as providing additional assistances here (Upwork model) would be more hassle-free.

Our efforts of helping you the riddle of marketplace revenue model do not end here. The last puzzle of “Listing Fee” is yet to be unwrapped. Will it be a trump card for your marketplace? The answer lies in our next blog.

Take me to the 3rd Part

WC Marketplace 2.6

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WC Marketplace is updated to 2.6. From this version onwards, you will require WooCommerce 3.0 or later.

A lot has changed under the hood with a single focus to improve admins backend experience. You will notice an intuitive menu navigation along with much better grouping of related settings and above all every WCMp setting under one roof. Now everything you need gets one step closer.

In this version, we have introduced endpoint based vendor dashboard. So bye bye dozens of shortcode based pages, and welcome the standard adopted by WordPress and WooCommerce. This leads to change our plugin file structure as well.

Don’t rush, we recommend you to go step by step before upgrading your marketplace to 2.6 to avoid any roadblocks. All these are best practices irrespective of WordPress, plugin or theme update.

1. Take backup: Taking backup is a non-negotiable task. It’s advised to schedule automatic backups for your site on daily or weekly basis. Also before going to any update take a backup. A simple Google search will point you various free/freemium/premium plugins to help backup your site, even some hosting provide dedicated tools for backup.

2. Test on local: Start with upgrading WCMp in your local environment and do the first level testing.

3. Test on staging: After passing local environment testing go for staging site testing. Prepare your staging site by cloning your live site. This will ensure to test in the exact same environment as your live site with all orders, commissions, vendor products etc.

4. Live site update: If plugin update passes all previous steps, just relax and hit the ‘update now’ link. Don’t worry, nothing can go wrong, even if it does, you will always have the latest backup for your rescue 😛

On a serious note, if you face any difficulty to update, just raise a support ticket here. We are committed to hassle-free update of your favorite marketplace plugin.

For developers:

Endpoint-based Vendor Dashboard:
Endpoints replace previous versions of WC Marketplace, pages and shortcodes. Examples of endpoints in WCMp include-

 

Pages Previous Shortcodes Equivalent Endpoints
Vendor Announcements Page Page with [vendor_announcements] Shortcode /vendor-announcements/
Shop Settings Page Page with [shop_settings] shortcode /shop-front/
Vendor Billing Pag Page with [vendor_billing] Shortcode /vendor-billing/
Vendor Policies Page Page with [vendor_policies] Shortcode /vendor-policies/
Vendor Shipping Page Page with [vendor_shipping_settings] Shortcode /vendor-shipping/
Vendor Reports Page Page with [vendor_report] Shortcode /vendor-report/
Vendor Orders Page Page with [vendor_orders] Shortcode /vendor-orders/
Vendor Single Order View Page Page with [vendor_order_detail] Shortcode /vendor-orders/{order-id}
Vendor Withdrawals Page Page with [vendor_widthdrawals] Shortcode /vendor-withdrawal/
Transaction Details Page Page with [transaction_details] Shortcode /transaction-details/
Transaction Status Page Page with [transaction_thankyou] shortcode /transaction-details/{transaction-id}
Vendor University Page Page with [vendor_university] Shortcode /vendor-university/

 

Customizing endpoint URLs

The URL for each endpoint can be customized in settings. For Vendor Dashboard  endpoints, go to WooCommerce > WCMp > Vendor and edit the endpoint settings:

Templates

Endpoint templates are located in plugin template > vendor-dashboard folder. To overwrite those templates copy file to {your-theme-name}/dc-product-vendor/vendor-dashboard/{template-file-to-be-updated}.php and do the update.

 

Troubleshooting

Endpoints showing 404

If you see a 404 error, go to WordPress Admin > Settings > Permalinks and Save. This ensures that rewrite rules for endpoints exist and are ready to be used.

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What is the best revenue model for your online Marketplace? Part-one

Marketplaces are earning huge revenues across the globe.

With 300 million active users and 2 million-plus third-party sellers in the pocket, Amazon is the big daddy of all. Ebay is not far behind with net revenue amounted close to 8.98 billion U.S. dollars. In June 2015 the room-rent marketplace Airbnb was valued at 25.5 billion U.S. dollars. The Uber app is available in 77 countries and 527 cities worldwide and has over 8 million users worldwide.

Four different marketplace success. One common thread.  They have all figured out their revenue path.

Many of the marketplace owners fail here. Why? Because they do not wait to research on-

  • Different marketplace platforms
  • Industry-best practices
  • The pros and cons of each revenue model

Let’s overcome them step by step-

Different platforms of marketplace :

Marketplace has six business model based on platforms-

  • B2B-Transaction between companies
  • B2C: Transaction between companies and individual
  • C2B: Transaction between customer and company
  • C2C: Transaction between customer and customer
  • B2E: Transaction between business to employee
  • Others: Transaction where the Government plays an active role. G2G (Government to Government), G2E (Government to Employee), B2G (Business to Government), G2B (Government to Business), G2C (Government to Citizen)

What does these marketplace offer?

All these six marketplaces use different platforms to connect their audience and vendors but their offerings are not widely polarized. They can easily be categorized under-

  • Product based marketplace (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy)
  • Service-based marketplace (Uber, Airbnb)

What are the available revenue options for the marketplaces?

There are three primary options-

  • Commission
  • Subscription/membership
  • Listing fees

All these three options have their shares of benefits and shortcomings. Which will be best for the product marketplace and service marketplace?

In our three blogs series, we have taken a shot at this question. Each one of our blogs will provide insights, data, and technical know-how to decide and set up the most fertile revenue model for your next marketplace.

The Commission Model 

All leading marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Uber, Airbnb, Etsy) have selected the commission model for revenues. Why have they so much trust in a model where an admin has to split the earning with vendors? Let’s introspect-

Benefits of Commission Model:

1. First and foremost, admins get a share of every transaction and each value that take place at their platform. Same benefits are not available with the subscription and listing model.

2. In the commission model vendors do not need to pay an additional cost to list and showcase their product.  If the provider is not earning any value, the marketplace run by the commission model will not ask for a single buck.  The commission model is a big bet to win the trust of the vendors.

How are the marketplace leaders playing?

First, we will discuss product-marketplaces.

Amazon:

Amazon has two different commission models for small vendors (individual seller) who have limited number of products (less than 40) and pro-merchants. Have a look-

amazon commission model

As far as commission plans are concerned, Amazon has multiple breakdowns-

amazon commission model- revenue model for marketplace

Image Source

Sellers pay a referral fee for each item sold.

Amazon also charges for shipping and product delivery if sellers are using those services. The charges also get varied if someone is using the subscription services of Amazon. For example, Pro Merchant will not be charged the per-item fee.

An example of how much a seller makes money in Amazon.

Ebay:

Ebay also follows the commission model. They are charging a flat final value fee of 10% of the sale price. It varies as per product category.

Alibaba:

Alibaba, on the other hand, has an interesting stance on their commission model.

Their largest website Taobao operates as a fee-free marketplace where neither sellers nor buyers are assessed a fee for completing transactions. However, Tmall which is Alibaba’s B2B marketplace platform for larger retailers charges the commission fee based on the category of the product sold.

Alibaba commission model

Image Source


Etsy:

Unique handmade and vintage art product marketplace Etsy follows the commission model along with listing fee model. Etsy charges sellers a commission for every sale which is 3.5%.

Let’s turn the table to the service-marketplaces.

Service-driven marketplaces have also opted for commission model.  As there is no product for a transaction, the marketplace provides a platform for “service fee”.

service-marketplace commission model


Airbnb:

C2C marketplace Airbnb has followed the model and charges from both the hosts and guests.

1st) Commission from Property Owners (Hosts): Airbnb charges flat 10% commission from hosts upon every booking done through the platform.

2nd) Transaction fee from Travellers (Guests):. Airbnb charges 3% of the booking amount as transaction charges from travelers upon every confirmed booking.

Has it gone in their favor? Well, a report says, “With a total funding of $2.3 billion till date, the unique business model of Airbnb has even become stronger as people prefer staying at an Airbnb inn rather than a hotel.”

Lessons that we have learned:

The best revenue model for any product-marketplace:

Ebay and Etsy have listing fee. Alibaba (Sellers at Taobao pay to rank higher on the site’s internal search engine and generating advertising revenue.) follows advertising model. Amazon has additional subscription services for vendors.

But none of them have skipped the commission model which profited both the vendors and marketplace owner after every transaction.

Best revenue path for marketplaces in its initial phase:

Subscription model success depends on the additional services provided by the marketplace owner. On the other hand, vendors will reject the marketplace which has no strong audience base but run by the listing fee. Whereas commission model is hassle-free. Once vendor and admin come to a mutual consideration on the commission split-up, the cash-flow of the trigger will be autonomous.

Melltoo, a rising marketplace in Dubai has made the Commission model their strength and currently growing big.

Challenges of setting up a flexible commission model: 

Frequency to split commission:

Marketplace owner has to figure out the best possible frequency or time to split the commission with vendors. Will it be weekly or monthly?

Amazon disburses the commission by periodic bank transfers to the sellers’ account.

Flat fee or percentage on the transaction:

Marketplace owner must figure out the best possible options to disburse the commission. Will it be a percentage fee or a fixed amount or a model combining both?

Amazon charges sellers a percentage of each sale they make on the marketplace.

Global fee or different on product categories:

Will it be an equal fee for all vendors or there will be a different commission on per products?

Amazon charges referral fee which is different as per product categories. Plus, professional merchants who pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99, they do not have to pay the $0.99 per item fee.

WC Marketplace, a complete marketplace solution helps to integrate these features. 

First, admin can select the frequency at which you wish to disburse the payable amount

commission model wc marketplace

Second, WC Marketplace allows multiple disbursal models to disburse commission as per their favorable option-

  • Percentage of transaction/sale value.
  • Fixed amount per unit.
  • Percentage of the transaction/sale value + a fixed amount per transaction.
  • Percentage of the transaction/sale value + a fixed amount per unit.

Admin just has to select their preferred commission type-

commission model wcmp

Third, If you go by the model of Ebay or Amazon where the marketplaces include the shipping charges or any other fee (tax, inventory management), WC Marketplace offer you simple integration. Look below-

 

comission model wcmp


Is it the best option for the marketplace?

For any new marketplace, starting with a commission model is a safe bet. Share of values. Check. Good bond between admin and vendors. Double Check.

But, you do not need to write off membership and listing fee models right now. They have their shares of exclusive perks and some leading marketplaces have grown in stature with those gems. Want to reveal those perks, keep your eye on our next blog.

Take me to the 2nd Part
I am ready to read the 3rd Part

»