Our online marketplace builder gives you a platform where you can bring together multiple product sellers and merchants. You can have an individual seller with just one product listing or you can have a small business with multiple listings. Small businesses can build entire web stores with their seller accounts and you can pull up products from their web stores into your own online marketplace. You don't need any programmers or designers - our online marketplace platform lets you build a marketplace with just a few simple clicks.
Got questions? Send us an email: email@example.comCreate Your Marketplace Now >
There are a lot of ecommerce businesses out there - large and small. The scenario is like how the automotive industry used to be in the beginning of the last century, with a few large companies dominating the industry - Ford and GM in the US; Morris, Citroen and Opel in Europe. A hundred years later you have Amazon, Ebay and Etsy in the West, and Alibaba, Rakuten and Flipkart coming out of Asia.
There are also hundreds of smaller marketplace businesses catering to smaller, dedicated markets. Then you have the hundreds of thousands of small brands or individually-run ecommerce stores that try to retail products directly to the public. It would seem like a futile effort entering an industry run by giants like Amazon and Alibaba. Big brands, clothing and electronics are all dominated by the big players. But there are tons of opportunities for a marketplace startup targeting niche markets or underserved industry verticals.
Take a look at the automotive industry - lots of room for developing super-niche ecommerce marketplaces in the motorsport or off-road areas. Or take real estate, home improvement, hardware and home furnishings - lots of possibilities there. Similarly one can develop multi-seller ecommerce businesses in food, travel, education, handicrafts, events and professional skills sectors. Another solution is to go hyperlocal - it will be easier to build trust and traction within a smaller geographical area where businesses and customers are in close proximity to each other.
Another area of opportunity is in bringing together smaller brands. Many small brands do not want to work for the large ecommerce giants. But without selling on big marketplaces they will find it incredibly hard to drive consumer traffic and build ecommerce trust. Many also need help with customer support, packaging and shipping. These are opportunities for building ecommerce marketplaces, especially in the travel, food and the home artisan market.
While ecommerce is a way of life in the West, emerging economies in Asia are offering up tons of opportunities and challenges at the same time. There are lots of disorganised sectors in Asia that need to go online, but low levels of education mean that many small business owners are unable to communicate their value proposition online.
Sloppy branding and product imagery makes it hard for these businesses to build trust online. Paperwork, terms of sales, returns policies, payment options and long-distance delivery are also troublesome areas that most small businesses need help with. And on top of it all, in crowded markets, it is next to impossible for small businesses and craftspeople to build digital marketing skills that can be effective.
An ecommerce marketplace that invests in branding, communications and content development expertise, ecommerce logistics and online marketing, can solve many problems for these small businesses and help them sell online. There are also opportunities to be had in figuring out innovative solutions in the parts of the Middle East and Africa that are underserved by ecommerce or payment companies.
You can start building your marketplace for free on Blipteam. You can sign up sellers, read our marketing and branding guides and experiment with site design. Once you are sure this is the online marketplace platform you want you can upgrade your account, activate online payments and start using your own domain name, your own logo and select a website design from our many themes and customise it using our design engine.
Split payments with Stripe make it simple for you to collect commissions while ensuring that your sellers get paid directly after each transaction. You will need one or more sellers with products to see how the system works. Concentrate on developing your seller network - if you are building a marketplace startup Blipteam lets you focus on the business side of things while we handle all your tech and design. Just sign up and follow the instructions and our B2B marketplace platform will help you set up your ecommerce marketplace.
Got questions? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCreate Your Marketplace Now >
The tech is simple. The real challenge is getting enough product vendors onboard who will supply products to your marketplace. The first few will be tough cause that is when you are still figuring out the system and have close to a zero market. However, many small businesses struggle to market their products and this is one of the core problems of ecommerce. They may be great craftsmen but figuring out how to sell online and shipping out products day after day can be areas that they require help with. Create a marketplace that addresses these problems and you have a shot at being a real success.
Learn more: How To Build A Multi Vendor Marketplace >
Individual sellers can create accounts and listings with a few clicks. All you need to do then is add these listings to your marketplace website with one click and start selling.
Small businesses can set up web stores for free on www.blipteam.com and start uploading products with a few simple clicks. Once they have done so, you can add these products to your own online marketplace. After that, all you need to do is enable e-commerce on your Blipteam account and start accepting payments online. All payments go directly to your seller and a commission is paid into your account for each transaction (whatever percentage you set). Orders are visible both to you and your seller and all your seller has to do now is ship the order.
It can be really hard launching a marketplace. Looking at two sided marketplace startups, in the beginning no seller will want to sign up for your marketplace unless you can guarantee a steady stream of buyers. It can be a big hassle setting up a store on a marketplace - uploading product images and information, managing inventory and making sure pricing is accurate. And all that is after your seller has figured out how to use your online marketplace platform. What if your marketplace never takes off?
Things would be different if you already had a lot of traffic on your website - you could be a popular blogger, or maybe you have a very popular cookery column and all you need to do is get some related businesses to sell pots and pans and kitchen blenders on your healthy eating marketplace. But if you do not have traffic sorted out you will need to offer a very good incentive for sellers to sign up and help you build a marketplace.
This is where our online marketplace website builder makes a difference. If you are targeting small businesses you can offer your merchants a lot more than just another ecommerce marketplace. On Blipteam, you are not just trying to get sellers to upload information on to your marketplace platform, you are actually giving them a free website or an online store which they can use independent of your marketplace with their own domain names. Why would you do this? Look at it from the perspective of your seller.
It can be a nightmare running a small business - you don't have economies of scale of a larger business, you are probably trying to do everything yourself cause you cannot afford to take on more staff. You're trying to compete with 50 similar businesses in your area and you need to figure out how to promote your business and get in more customers with close to a zero advertising budget.
Our marketplace website builder tries to simplify life for this person. He needs marketplaces such as yours to generate more business but he will probably do a lot of lead generation through local agents as well or directly through word of mouth and other channels. It would help if he could control his own data and manage inventory from a central place. Blipteam provides that platform. At the same time your merchants stay locked to your marketplace. They can run their own webshops under their own domain name and branding, but they can only supply to your marketplace on Blipteam.
1. You market your merchants' products and solve this problem for them.
2. Business sellers get their own websites and you pull products from THEIR online stores into your marketplace.
3. If they want, your business sellers can upgrade their accounts and use their own domain name, logos and get access to more online store designs.
4. Your sellers get an e-commerce platform that they can use for inventory management.
Platform adoption can often be a barrier to small business users signing up, however easy you make the process. With Blipteam your seller has another incentive to figure out how to get onto your marketplace - he is not only giving you products to sell but he is building his own website at the same time. Over time, your sellers will treat the entire marketplace platform as their own. It will provide them with a home base for all their data. If they like it they will recommend it to their friends and probably add to your marketplace seller base.
Most merchants are great at what they do - producing good products. What they may not be great at, or have the time or aptitude for, is to market their products, handle financial affairs, figure out shipping to the far corners of the globe, handle returns and live up to customer expectations time after time. Shipping is one aspect of e-commerce most merchants really need help with, starting from packaging products to finding shipping partners with the best rates.
Between managing production schedules and artisan payrolls and power outages and designer tantrums, most of your merchants will have their hands full just getting their products off their assembly lines. So when that package gets shipped to the wrong address or when the customer gets a blue dress when they ordered a red one or when that Christmas delivery lands up 6 weeks late, your merchant really needs some professional help. That's one of the basic problems you need to solve for your vendor.
Your vendor probably needs to supply products to four other marketplaces as well besides yours. That means generating product images, product specs and getting products physically to a number of different warehouses. Help out here - figure out a photography studio that can turn out product images fast and at good rates. Get in a copy-editor to write up good product descriptions and clean up product specs - your vendor now has a central repository on Blipteam where they can store all their product info. You can put a price to all these services, of course. Build a marketplace that solves problems for your merchants.
Generating good quality product images and writing great product copy helps you tackle the most important vendor problem - marketing! Marketing products is one of the biggest merchant headaches. Marketing eats into profits (or helps generate them in the first place, depending how you look at it..), is not everyone's cup of tea, and is hard to measure or break down into actionable steps for a lot of people. Building a good reputation for delivering products on time and making sure your vendor's product images and specs are top notch helps you drive customers to your marketplace.
There are multiple channels for you to do e-commerce marketing, from search engine optimisation, to social and search advertising to building mailing lists and getting onto a mailing service like Mailchimp. Solving marketing and generating sales should be one of the primary goals for building an online marketplace of any kind. A successful marketplace is one that can help sellers market their products and listings efficiently.
Driving traffic and building demand for your e-commerce marketplace should be on your list of priorities from day 1, if not before. Your business plan needs to take into account your marketing plan, about how you will generate traffic for your marketplace, how much it will cost, and how you will monetize this traffic - through direct sales commissions, selling advertising space to premium sellers and others. Its easy to experiment on Blipteam - there are no setup costs and you are not paying any programmers.
You can actually create a marketplace with as few as 10 sellers (or less) and test out your marketing. Figure out your pricing and polish your branding. See what your customers want so you can develop sellers and products accordingly. No point getting in sellers with 30 types of men's jackets when it turns out that a majority of your potential customers are women and they all want jeans. Try out the platform, explore the market, and scale up accordingly.
Take a look at our support articles on coming up with a marketing plan. Invest in digital marketing. Having 2000 products on your ecommerce marketplace may be a great way to attract customers, but adding a bit of peripheral information might help distinguish you from the competition - learn more about website copywriting and how it can help you create your own online marketplace brand. Read up on content marketing and search engine optimization to get ahead in the online marketing game.
Got questions? Send us an email: email@example.com
Blipteam is free to try. Just dive in and start building - we have a checklist inside the app that will help you complete your online marketplace and start driving some sales:
Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley
> All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces