Onboarding sellers on your marketplace and have them add their catalogs should be the very first step of your marketplace project once your platform is ready. Being able to attract a sufficient amount of vendors will probably determine the success of your marketplace and make it attractive for buyers.
Indeed, what makes marketplaces so popular nowadays is :
And the only way to make sure you have the first two points, is to have a lot of vendors registered adding their catalogs.
Before contacting potential vendors, you need to define clearly the value proposition of your platform. Indeed, not all vendors are familiar with the concept of marketplace and they may not understand why it is a great opportunity for them.
Prepare your sales pitch, explain carefully the business model of your marketplace (whether it is based on commissions or on subscriptions). The benefits of being on a marketplace are multiple. It can be just to have a new sales channel, to save money on marketing, to increase the brand's notoriety and exposure. It can also be for the great features available on your platform (line sheet generator, newsletter management etc..). Choose the arguments that best fit your industry and your potential vendors' profiles.
Once you have defined your value proposition you are ready to start contacting potential vendors. Many channels are available, here is a quick list of the options.
With your knowledge of the industry, and an access to the internet, you can easily create of list of vendors that could be interested by your platform. Start by sending some emails explaining your project and the benefits of your marketplace. Do not forget to include a link to your marketplace!
The second channel available is cold calling. For all the vendors from your list that have not replied or registered on the platform, take your phone and start dialing. It is the best way to introduce your service and collect feedback. Use these calls to optimize and adapt your sales pitch.
Highly reactive customer service
Once you have attracted vendors to your marketplace, you need to make sure that they stay and they start adding products. The best way to have them stay is to provide the best experience through a great customer service. Try to assist them during the onboarding steps and offer to help them while they add their first products to make sure their experience on your platform is great. Make sure to provide a help document and an interface to contact you and ask questions.
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