How to manage a multi-vendor marketplace?

Zoé Kahn

When you think about multi-vendors marketplaces, you will usually think about Amazon or Ali-baba where several buyers connect with multiple vendors.

It is true and B2B marketplaces are mostly based on this schema. But if you are about to launch your marketplace there are some things you need to know to manage your vendors at the best.

Accompany vendors to the platform

The first step for a vendor on a marketplace is to sign up. Even if the registration is a one-time step, it has to remain an easy one and only required information that vendors could answer easily.

Once registered it would be the turn of the operator to validate vendors' accesses to the platform. It is the moment to be quite reactive.

On open marketplaces like Amazon, access for selling on the platform is almost automatic and does not require validation from the operator.

One vendor account created represents one company. And most of the time several persons are part of the sales service of one company. You can share login and password from the account created first but it is not the most secure way.

For more practicality, most of the multi-vendors marketplaces offer a feature for team management. It will allow vendors from the same company to create sub-accounts and manage accesses for each.

For example, it is possible to give the possibility to one vendor to create products but not to deal with orders or invoices.

Make vendor apprehend the solution

A multi-vendor marketplace offers a platform where every user has its own space. For making them independent, you will need to organize some training sessions in order to make them free using it.

For convincing the vendors to use the multi-vendors marketplace you can highlight them its advantages:

  • • Easy management and creation of products (more details on these features are available in this article)
  • • Every tools in one solution. The entire process is integrated in the platform (orders, shippings, invoices,…)

and be present for them in cas they need help.

Allow competition on the platform

The multi-vendor marketplace brings competition between vendors. The multi-vendor marketplace should offer a feature for reviewing or rating integrated into the solution. It will encourage sellers to keep their products in stocks and continue selling on the platform.

Charge seller fees

The objective of multi-vendor marketplace owners is to create a profitable marketplace. It can be fixed subscription fees or commissions on sales (percentage). It is important to determine the fairest one and not make your vendors run away for another solution.

If your marketplace is defined with a commission on sales, it is also recommended to define in advance fees for discounted products. On which price will fees be deduced if a product enjoys from 50% off coupon (the original one or the discounted one)?

Regarding fees, be the clearer as possible is the key. Otherwise, it could cause trouble and make vendors quit.

Attract new vendors and fidelise them

By making the multi-vendors marketplace easy-to-use, you will get more chances to attract vendors on the platform and keep them use it.

Moreover, a multi-vendors marketplace gathers advantages for each of them:

• More visibility

• New opportunity to sell their products.

• One system to manage every steps of the selling process


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