There are massive success stories within the world of multi-vendor marketplaces – just look at Etsy and Ebay! Multi-vendor marketplaces are an easy way for you to host third-party vendors, who might be smaller vendors or independents, and make great profits from commission on sales. If you’re looking to get in on the action, but you don’t want to waste hours of your time manually sorting orders, shipping and inventory data, you’ll need Jetti.
The two types of multi-vendor marketplaces
There are two main types of multi-vendor marketplaces. The first is a curated site, where you maintain control of the vendors featured on your site and the products you want to sell. This gives you a greater editorial power to choose only the vendors that fit with your brand. You’ll also be in control of imagery, descriptions, special offers and promotions. Curated sites like these offer a great customer experience and give you the opportunity to build a strong, recognizable brand that your customers come back to time and time again.
Another example of multi-vendor marketplaces is a self-serve site, such as Ebay. These sites are a lot less time-consuming to manage, but this does mean you relinquish editorial control. This can lead to a slightly disjointed customer experience; you’ll lose consistency and may sacrifice a strong brand image as your vendors publish and maintain their own products and content.
Which is better: curated or self-serve multi-vendor marketplaces?
Here at Jetti HQ, we’ve worked with a wide selection of multi-vendor marketplaces. So, we strongly recommend keeping control of your site and hand-picking your vendors with care. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity. Invest your time in word-perfect product descriptions and strong imagery that captures customers’ imaginations. Think about creating collections which might feature products from a selection of different vendors, such as an outfit with a hat from one vendor, a dress from another and the perfect accessories to set it all off from a third vendor.
Don’t worry if that sounds like a lot of work. Jetti’s tools are here to make it easier. With Jetti, you can automatically sync all product details - straight from your vendors’ stores to yours. Then it’s just a case of editing the content, adjusting images and making sure everything looks great. Jetti fully automates the operational side of your business, so you’ll have plenty more time to focus on creating the perfect customer experience.
Mix It Up: What If I Want to Try a Mix of Curated and Self-Serve? If you’d prefer to offer your vendors the opportunity the create their own listings, but still want the control of a curated site, you can blend the two ideas together. Jetti’s tools provide vendors with the ability to try self-serve signups, product publishing and much more. We can also offer approval workflow for publishing - so you’ll always be in control. If you’re looking for a more hands-off solution that still gives you total visibility on what vendors are selling on your site, this is a great option.
What challenges might i face when setting up a multi-vendor marketplace?
Problem 1: Onboarding Vendors
One of the biggest problems people face when establishing a new multi-vendor marketplace is onboarding vendors. Smaller, independent vendors are particularly risk averse, and with good reason. Vendors might be reluctant to start using a separate system to their own e-commerce platform. They might worry about the extra time involved in setting up their products on your marketplace. And that’s why you need Jetti.
With Jetti, everything is automated. Vendors can connect their existing e-commerce store to your marketplace and you’ll be able to publish products directly from their catalogue. Shipping and payments are fully automated, and your inventory updates in sync with theirs. There’s absolutely no extra work to be done, so all you and your vendors need to do is sit back and watch the sales come flying in. Checkout our post on onboarding smaller vendors with Jetti.
Problem 2: Shipping Rates
When a customer makes a purchase from your multi-vendor marketplace, they’re likely to have selected items from a range of different vendors. Each vendor will need to be paid to ship those items direct to the customer. And to further complicate things, it’s likely that each vendor’s shipping rates are different - they might even be shipping from different countries. So, how can you make sure that you break even on shipping costs and pass back accurate shipping costs at checkout?
With Jetti, all your vendors’ shipping rates can be merged together, with the customer being charged a single, blended amount for their shipping at checkout. At the same time, Jetti raises an invoice and automatically pays shipping costs directly to your vendors. Alternatively, you might want to provide your vendors with shipping labels to ship orders. With Jetti, you can do that too!
Problem 3: Payments
Keeping on top of your vendor payments can easily become a headache when you’re running a successful multi-vendor marketplace. The solution? Automate your payments!
When you use Jetti, you’ll be able to automatically pay vendors for items purchased from your marketplace. The payments go straight to vendors’ Stripe or bank accounts, without you having to lift a finger. You can even manage complex commission or fee structures with ease. Check out our payment integrations for more details.
Problem 4: Scaling Your Business
Normally, as a multi-vendor marketplace grows, managing it becomes increasingly time-consuming and difficult. But, if everything is automated from the start, you’ll be free to focus on the growth or your business. Its ever-increasing size will pose no problem.
Forget about reams of emails, stacks of order forms and mind-boggling CSV files you might expect from a thriving multi-vendor marketplace. Jetti’s automation can scale to hundreds of vendors, managing everything for you. So, your business can grow while you sleep.
Jetti is directly integrated with whichever e-commerce platform your vendor chooses to use. Currently we have over 20 integrations - and that number is growing all the time. We also have a streamlined vendor portal, perfect for those not currently using an e-commerce platform.
How Jetti can help you create the ultimate multi-vendor marketplace
Jetti unifies your inventory, accounting and order operations, all from a single system. With Jetti, worries about shipping, payments, on-boarding vendors and the growth of your business become a thing of the past. Keep it simple. Automate everything.
Cloud based. No coding required
The Jetti team has years of combined experience in building successful, scalable multi-vendor marketplaces on Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. Many customers come to us looking to migrate their stores from open source or custom-build sites. Often these are buggy and leave little scope for automation. To avoid this, it’s best to begin with a scalable site, from the very start.If you’re up and running with an existing solution, we can help manage the transition to Jetti for you, to avoid any disruption to customers or vendors.
Jetti can be your best business and technology partner. With our constant updates, life becomes much easier for both you and your vendors. We have predictable monthly price plans and you won’t need to write a single line of code. Working with Jetti means the scope for automation is endless - just watch your business grow.
Get in touch to find out more about what Jetti could do for your multi-vendor marketplace.