Cnetric – Powering Your e-Marketplace Strategy
E-Marketplaces are the way to go as they provide a multitude of benefits for operators, buyers and sellers. There is lower risk as the operator carries low or no stock and therefore does not accrue carrying costs.
Components of a successful e-Marketplace Strategy
- The first component is a well-defined Seller Onboarding process that covers the key aspects of seller contracts, entitlements, and monitoring.
- The sellers then gain access to the Seller Portal through which they can upload products, prices, inventory, promotions, content etc. and receive orders, returns and share delivery information
- The product information from all sellers is consolidated in a Product Information Management System where the products are mapped to the appropriate categories and staged for publish to the storefront
- All the information is then displayed to customers on the storefront of the eCommerce system wherein the customers can then place orders of the products of their interest.
- The orders are then routed to the Order Management System which determines the seller responsible for fulfillment of either the whole order or certain line items of the order. The items/order information is displayed in the seller portal or sent to the vendor fulfillment system through integration.
- The marketplace operator will also need a Call Center module for customer service reps to assist customers with product/order queries, order placement, returns initiation and more.
- Finally, the operator has to manage the Reconciliation of the payment received from the customer with the payment to the seller, after the necessary deductions of commissions.
Additional eMarketplace Modules
- Configure, Price, Quote engine
Provides capabilities to manage pricing and quotation management through to order placement; from parts search and selection to the parts ordering process, including order status and returns
- Payment Gateway
This allows the buyers to make their payment for the order they have placed.
- Ratings & Reviews
There are 2 types of ratings that are utilized in a marketplace. Product ratings that are rated by buyers based on experience with product. Seller ratings that are rated by buyers and marketplace operator based on seller product quality, order acceptance, timely delivery etc.
- Customer Service
Can include call center reps, live chat, chatbots etc. who respond to buyer queries on inventory availability, order status, shipment status etc.
- Cognitive Search
With large catalogs of products, a cognitive search tool can help buyers find the right product faster through NLP and Machine Learning
These can be useful for actionable insights to sellers and marketplace operators.
E-Marketplace Implementation Options
The e-Marketplace implementation could follow one of two models. The two options are not mutually exclusive and many enterprises begin with option 1 which evolves into option 2 over time as the e-Marketplace matures.
- The solution will only focus on the key technological components of the seller portal, PIM, eCommerce platform, and the OMS platform and fulfillment either by marketplace operator or supplier.
- The seller onboarding process will be handled separately by the marketplace operator through existing channels.
- The post order fulfillment reconciliation will also be handled separately by the marketplace operator through existing channels.
- Sellers will upload their product and price information through the portal and be responsible for the management of their own products, prices and inventory.
- The marketplace operator will be responsible for the look and feel and overall customer experience across the site.
- The solution will cover all aspects of the marketplace including seller onboarding, contract management, seller portal, PIM, eCommerce platform, OMS platform, fulfillment either by marketplace operator/supplier & payment reconciliation.
- Sellers will upload their product and price information through the portal and be responsible for the management of their own products, prices, inventory and promotions.
- The sellers can also request for set up of a separate branded microsite for their specific products with their preferred look and feel which will still follow the general customer experience of the whole site.
- There will be an option for customers and the operator to rate sellers based on quality of products, % of orders filled, ability to meet delivery SLAs and so on.