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Startup wave has hit the world and given birth to various big and small ecommerce websites. Following this, everyone aspires to build Etsy like startup but they either lack software choices or knowledge of a multi-vendor script/system required to create an online store. The game is much simple for entrepreneurs who want to sell their own goods or services online as a normal ecommerce store will do for them. But, if it’s about launching a store like eBay & Etsy, you need to find out a startup friendly ecommerce solution (combined with multi-vendor features) first.
There is plenty of ecommerce platforms to offer instant support for setting up a website but only a handful of them will guarantee you success. Which are those platforms? There are few obvious names in the list, Google it and you will easily find them. We want to tell you which of them can actually meet your long-term requirements.
Check below the prerequisites of a multi-vendor online storefront to decide on the choice of ecommerce platform:
1. Bendable Product Catalogue
A futuristic ecommerce solution comes prepared for future growth and challenges. Increasing products range is one of such activities that may be performed sooner or later by every business provided it gains traction. In that case you need easy product catalog management.
The flexibility to create, choose and configure products is a must for your business. A catalogue braced with advanced search functionality and the centralised CMS that allows updating products will make it easy for you to manage your store.
2. A Dependable script
Usually businesses prefer to buy readymade scripts to start an online product selling website. And good readymade scripts can handle 100 000 users and products approximately. But, to go beyond this huge number, a site requires more powerful server as well as optimized script. Hence, a readymade (or custom for that matter) multi-vendor solution must offer you the option to upturn hosting service whenever the count of daily/monthly visitors increases.
3. Search Engine Optimised
SEO benefits are most important for a multi-vendor store as many of shopping journeys to shopping cart begin from search engines. Choose an ecommerce platform that supports Google guidelines and gives freedom to use custom title tags, meta description, text-based navigation, and so on to drive traffic. The ability to customise content is a must for making an ecommerce store fit for search engine rankings.
4. Ecommerce Efficiency
There are several things that can be listed under this but we majorly emphasis the need of analytics power and automated system. Analytics play huge role in studying customer insights and let the store owners make strategies to boost sales. The ability to review traffic will help stores improve the shopping experience and increase conversion rate too.
An automated system will ensure that all the tasks like category creation, tax & shipping calculation, organisation of product listings, notification of sales confirmation etc. are programmed in the script and users do not need to do anything manually. All these factors help grow the scale of a website in the long term.
5. Hosted or Self-Hosted
Both have distinct benefits but to simplify it for the tenderfoots, hosted ecommerce solution means that the company will offer everything including software and server/hosting. On the contrary, if you opt for self-hosted ecommerce, you will have to buy web hosting yourself. It’s advisable to look for a multi-vendor solution that asks for a monthly or yearly fee and the provider manages your hosting/server. It will keep you free of pains that come often due to unavoidable technical snags as the company you pay for a multi-vendor platform will take care of all issues.
Other must-haves of ecommerce platform are social media integration, variety of payment options, website security and freedom to customise to any limits.
One thing is certain that for creating a store based on the revenue model of Amazon, Etsy, Jabong and so on you need an advanced multi-vendor solution as a regular store can’t compete with the likes your inspiration. But there are few prerequisites of running multiple sellers based platform. Above-mentioned are the points that you should think through to attain scalable performance and ensure great future in ecommerce world. And this applies to both, whether you choose a turnkey multi-vendor system or hire developers for custom website.
To get the best advice on choosing a system, write your queries in comment section. I will help you find right solution within your budget and as per the business goals.
Image by Tim Franklin Photography via Flickr