What does enterprise marketplace mean?
After retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores started feeling pressure from the competition that online platforms like Amazon and eBay pose, they started to find ways to use this same technology to their advantage. Stores opened channels where customers could purchase from their online stores.
Enterprise marketplaces are the next step in the evolution of online channels for e-commerce. In enterprise marketplaces, a store or brand that focuses on offering a range of products or services sets up an online platform where third-party vendors complement the company’s assortment by selling additional products and services.
Why is it desirable for a company to share its audience with other vendors? If the enterprise marketplace provider chooses its vendors strategically, it will be able to offer its customers a better purchasing experience with more varied offers. The company saves the costs implied by keeping additional inventory and does not have to take care of the delivery process. Moreover, an enterprise marketplace becomes an additional source of income through fees paid by vendors.
Enterprise marketplaces are online marketplaces operated by traditional organizations that invite third-party sellers to sell directly to end customers. This contributes to improved engagement for buyers and sellers, better efficiency in the buying/selling processes and supply chain, and better financial results for the organization, with increased and new revenue sources.Gartner
The essential requirement from an enterprise marketplace platform is that it enables the core functions of e-commerce. Some basic functionalities include the digital presentation of products or services, a powerful search engine that efficiently helps customers find what they are looking for, and customer accounts with options to add wish lists. Moreover, customers expect a seamless experience among devices and a record of past purchases.
In addition to providing basic functionalities for e-commerce, enterprise marketplaces must build a robust infrastructure that efficiently deals with the complexity of hosting multiple vendors. Vendors in marketplaces enormously benefit from having tools that help them with the organization of the fulfillment workflow, payment management, reporting, and insight tasks.
Enterprise Marketplace Revenue Models
A fee (fixed amount or percentage) is charged every time a purchase is completed. The marketplace provider might charge the buyer or the seller.
In this model, users pay upfront for the right to become a platform member.
In this model, the marketplace provider charges vendors for each product or service listing they add to the platform.
In a freemium model, users enjoy basic features with a free account, and premium features are only accessible by paying a subscription fee.
Ads and featured listings
In this model, marketplace providers charge vendors to have their posts featured or placed in prominent spots to enhance visibility.
Benefits for Marketplace Providers
New revenue sources
New revenue sources, including subscription, advertisement, and transaction fees, can be gained in addition to traditional profits.
Better customer experience
Enterprise marketplace providers benefit from better customer experience leading to increased spending and repeat customers.
Optimization of resources
Marketplace providers benefit from optimized resources through elimination of supply chain management, inventory control, and fulfillment responsibilities.
Insights from data on customers and vendors
Data on customers and vendors benefits enterprise marketplace providers by delivering valuable insights to improve products and platform.
Benefits for Vendors
Easy access to a broader customer base
Enterprise marketplaces expand vendor reach to a wider customer base, making it easier to acquire new customers compared to other channels, such as attracting visitors to the vendor's online store.
Minimization of costs for developing e-commerce capabilities
Enterprise marketplaces benefit vendors by minimizing costs of e-commerce development with no need for investment in building their own platform. They provide an efficient marketing channel without affecting existing sales.
Increase brand awareness
Smaller brands benefit from being associated with a well-known brand through enterprise marketplaces, leading to increased brand awareness due to the provider's reputation and promotion.
Partnering and networking possibilities
An enterprise marketplace can be an exciting place for companies by fostering partnerships and allowing collaboration of complementary brands.
Benefits for Customers
Enjoy a more extensive palette of products
Marketplaces will multiply the available purchase opportunities for customers. People can compare different brands and models and find complementary products on the same platform.
Take advantage of efficient procurement solutions
In the B2B context, enterprise marketplaces can help efficiently solve procurement needs by allowing purchasing goods from different vendors within one framework.
Better purchasing experience at better prices
Marketplaces enable seamless purchasing experiences and minimize delivery problems by organizing everything within one framework. Competition among different brands will ensure lower prices for the customer.
Challenges in an enterprise marketplace
Ensure functional infrastructure for vendors
Creating the operational infrastructure and technological tools to ensure efficient usability for vendors should be a top priority for marketplace providers. If the usability of the enterprise platform is not adequate, vendors will have the incentive to look for alternatives.
Keeping up to date with fast-paced innovation trends
Making the strategic decision to start a marketplace requires commitment. Online services are in the process of ongoing innovation. For providers to remain attractive, they need to keep up. Enterprise marketplace providers can profit from cloud e- commerce solutions to outsource their needs.
Ensuring quality standards in processes and products
Users tend to associate the quality of the products and their purchasing and delivery experiences with the marketplace platform. Platform providers need to ensure quality standards among their vendors.