The world of eCommerce is booming at an unprecedented rate with giants like Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart, Jindong, and more. In India, the market is expected to hit a valuation of $200 billion by 2027, while the world’s eCommerce market has already hit a staggering value of $13 trillion in 2021. So, it is only natural that every company wants a piece of that pie in one way or the other.
While there have been many attempts at building the next Amazon, the eCommerce marketplace development is not cheap. And you cannot cut corners in quality, so be prepared to shell out the big bucks. That being said, what are the other things about eCommerce marketplace development?
In what ways can you develop an eCommerce Marketplace?
There are several ways in which you can develop an eCommerce Marketplace. You can either go at it with an in-house team of developers or hire a third-party service provider to do the task for you. However, broadly, there are three ways of eCommerce marketplace development. They are:
● Open Source Platform
Considering you already have an in-house development team or a third-party development partner, like Etelligens, your best bet might be to opt for an open-source platform approach. Here, your team can modify the existing code and build all the functionality you need.
However, this does take time and requires PCI compliance, web hosting, security issues, manual patches, constant updates, and daily monitoring for smooth workability as your business scales up.
● SaaS solution
There is a high chance that a SaaS solution for your particular problem might already exist out there in the market. All you have to do is pay the platform provides a “rent” or subscription fee, and let them know your requirements. Their team will then develop an eCommerce marketplace with all the functionality you need and takes care of all the other compliances and product updates.
Your eCommerce marketplace will be hosted on the service provider’s cloud-only and not on your cloud.
● MACH Architecture
The MACH architecture is built on the ideology that any business can have an eCommerce marketplace as long as they know what functionality they want from it. Therefore, the architecture leverages Microservices (M), API-first (A), Cloud Native (C), and Headless functionality (H) to build the perfect solution for all businesses. With this, you can choose the technology that solves your business challenges and also add new ones as your business scales up in the future.
What Features should an eCommerce Marketplace have?
To be successful in your eCommerce marketplace development, you have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand what features are needed. As an eCommerce marketplace, your customers are the vendors that are on boarded and the shoppers that buy from those vendors from your platform. Some features are unique to both.
Features for Both
- Registration and Authorization
The first step in any marketplace is to onboard users. You need to have a registration and authorization module that can authenticate every user based on the credentials. This should also include verification of the identity and the payment details. Implementing two-factor authentication would be a bonus in ensuring the security of the users.
- Order Management
Like every eCommerce marketplace, vendors and shoppers both need order management modules. For the vendor, it should have functionality about accepting and declining the order and putting in tracking information for shipping. Likewise, the shopper should be able to cancel the order, defer the shipment to another address, and track the shipment status, which makes it easier to maintain records in one place.
To find anything on an eCommerce marketplace, you need to have search capability. Therefore, the developers must ensure that products can be found without an exact match search term for both the vendors and shoppers. This can help improve customer satisfaction and trust in the platform to provide what they want.
On the search results page, filters and sorting capability on various parameters should also be built to make the search even more precise. Additionally, you can offer to auto complete functionality, making it even more convenient to search for products.
- Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is essential for both the vendor and the shopper to accept and process any payments they make or accept. It can be provided from the platform’s end or be authenticated in real-time based on the user’s requirement. On eCommerce marketplaces, it is common to save the most used payment methods and provide multiple options for making payments. In India, the most recent advancement in this aspect of marketplaces is the buy now and pay later facility. The vendor or marketplace offers a credit facility to the buyer and then asks for repayment after the usual payday.
Features for Vendors
- Inventory Management
Inventories are critical for a business’s survival amongst customers. Therefore, inventory management is an essential feature for any vendor to show the customers what products they do and don’t have. This alone is critical for driving customers in and out of the gate.
- Analytics and Reports
Today, all decisions are driven by data. Hence, analytics and reports are the fabric of business for any vendor. Offering analytics and generating reports will help the company make informed decisions. This will also build trust between the platform and the vendor, which will allow them to continue further using your marketplace. In the long term, you can build forecasting capability.
- Admin Panel
The admin panel allows the vendor to manage everything about the content of their profile. For example, they can manage marketing campaigns, access rights, and user approval. You can also have a module that allows the vendor to respond to questions and feedback for specific products listed.
- Data Visualization
For any vendor, it is essential to know what is working for them and what is not. With data visualization, they will be able to streamline business practices and their sales process for better performance in the future.
Features for Shoppers
- User Profile
A user profile is significant since this is where the shopper will input their information like name, age, delivery address, payment details, and collate things in their wish list that they want to buy in the future.
- Catalog Access
A catalog is necessary for any eCommerce marketplace to help customers browse through the platform’s offerings. It should have listings, images, and brief descriptions of products that can inspire a person to click through and make a purchase decision.
- Shopping Cart
A shopping cart is the most crucial feature of an eCommerce marketplace. It should be a place where all of the items a person has decided to buy are collated along with information about each product. It should also offer a total price of all the products in the cart so that the customer can decide whether they want to buy any product. Additionally, it can provide information about what payment modes are available for each product and the delivery dates to your chosen address.
- Reviews and Ratings
Before or after buying any product, a customer wants to know the feedback of the experience of other buyers to build trust. This helps in making informed decisions before making any purchase which makes the user journey more empowering.
On any eCommerce portal, a checkout page is essential to make the customer apprised of all the details of their order like the delivery details, the shipping costs, the price of the product, and the discount codes that they have put in. This page is crucial as it can be considered the digital equivalent of a billing counter at a supermarket.
What does it take for eCommerce Development?
To build any technological marvel for any company through their eCommerce marketplace, you need to have time and resources. Time because good things need to be of high quality and resources because you need people who can do the job and the cash influx that this will require. So before you jump in, the following are the costs involved in eCommerce Marketplace development:
Traditionally, when you onboard developers for any project, that is a fixed cost. In India, the average annual salary for a high-quality developer stands at Rs. 11.7L. So, if you have around five developers that would cost you in the ballpark of Rs. 60L or just over $77,000 per annum. On the flip side, you can hire freelancers who charge between $40-$150 per hour depending on your location.
For any development, a developer needs a well-laid infrastructure. You need servers, hosting, graphics design infra, CMS, and maintenance. These can cost you about $13,500 per year or more if your business grows.
Conclusion- Who offers the best eCommerce Development service out there?
When you take into retrospect the time, effort, and costs involved in eCommerce development, you might start rethinking your business model. While it does need a total commitment around development and deployment, the result of a high-quality eCommerce website might give you returns that are similar to Amazon (in a perfect world).
However, to get to that kind of gold standard, you need the right kind of developers that have the requisite experience and expertise in delivering solutions that tick all the boxes. Etelligens offers eCommerce Development and Consulting services to help bring all of your ideas and plans for your marketplace to live with the right solutions at the right costs.