The online e-commerce has witnessed a stupendous growth in India in the past few years. The market has grown almost 10X in the last 5 to 7 years and by 2030 it is projected to grow by another 10 times.
With such a whopping growth prospect, e-commerce is the industry where success is waiting for many. No doubt starting an online business is such an in-thing nowadays.
You can see that e-commerce is booming at a rapid rate. Thus, various marketplaces are being created as well which is quite natural as where there is demand, there will be supply. Also, the trend is shifting more towards creating more and more online marketplaces in various niches.
There are two broad categories of marketplaces; Horizontal and Vertical. Horizontal Marketplaces are those which are not focused on a single product or service, but all types of products or services are there for sale. For example, Amazon is a horizontal marketplace.
On the other hand, Vertical Marketplaces are those which are focused on specific products/services, or you call it focused on one particular niche. For example, Zivame is a vertical marketplace which is focused on lingerie.
These vertical marketplaces are also called as Niche Marketplaces because they work within one particular niche rather than focusing on everything.
It is quite tough for some new marketplace to compete with Amazon and other big horizontal marketplaces, but this is not the case with niche marketplaces. There is still so much room for you to create a niche marketplace and make it big.
Moreover, success heavily depends on niche selection, marketing, and putting the best effort to offer better customer services. Since your marketplace focuses on one product; you can do a lot more customization in your business to make things better for customers to offer them the best.
If you ask me, as a user, if I have to buy some jewelry, I would prefer bluestone.com than Amazon.com because bluestone.com focuses only on jewelry, so that I will have more options and customized benefits there. Not every user thinks like this but most of the users when have to buy some costly products, they prefer niche marketplaces.
That is the reason niche marketplaces are still a good option to start your e-commerce business.
Now, when you think of starting a niche marketplace, you would surely want to start it quickly by spending minimum. If you go to a custom built website for this, you would need to spend a lot, and it will take too much time to get your website built.
That is where E-commerce Platforms come into use which you can use to set up your very own niche marketplace or even horizontal marketplace quickly at comparatively lower cost.
Recently I was contacted by a client asking to build a marketplace for him. Personally, I worked a lot with WordPress, and I prefer creating sites with it, but when I have gone through the client’s requirement, I thought not to go with WordPress as I would have to make a lot of efforts to create such marketplace.
There I started hunting for some good e-commerce platforms that fit well as per my requirements. I went through many including Shopify. Some were very good; some were not. Lastly, my search ended at StoreHippo.
StoreHippo is a SaaS-based E-Commerce platform. However, the innovative features and the focus on mobile technology have made it a different option than the other E-Commerce platforms.
The focus today has been on the mobiles, and most of us are glued to our mobile phones. StoreHippo understands the need to make use of this trend and works on the Mobile First technology stack and the Do It Yourself model for the benefit of the business owners. What makes it stand apart from the rest of the players is its emphasis on diverse B2B and B2C working models for your business.
Since my client needed a multi-seller platform, I found StoreHippo the best to create a multi-seller niche marketplace.
This is one of the unique features of StoreHippo that provides a great experience to your business. The Multi seller module allows you to add more than one seller to a single E-Commerce site, thus helping you turn your store into a virtual marketplace.
The feature can be quite helpful in letting you sell a wide range of products, manage the sellers through a centralized admin panel and provide a good option to shop on your marketplace.
It works in the same way as it does on Amazon, Flipkart, Urban ladder, etc. or similar E-Commerce sites on which multiple sellers can register to sell their products. They may even sell the same product. When the customer places an order, and the order consists of items sold by different sellers, it is split into multiple orders.
The Multi seller feature comes with a good deal of advantages for you as a multi-seller store owner. Some of them can be
- The store will have products from multiple sellers. This will enable you to send practically any kind of product without having to be constrained to one particular kind of product or genre.
- Since your store provides a wide range of choices to your customers, you will end up getting better traffic and in turn sales.
- Vendors take care of updating and managing the inventory, and you do not need to take care of these responsibilities.
- As a store owner, you will be relieved of the efforts to maintain inventory. It will be handled by the sellers registered on your store.
Some of the features that the service offers include:
- Ease of adding multiple sellers to your platform right away.
- Sellers can self-register themselves.
- Simplicity of approving or rejecting the sellers from your admin panel.
- The bulk orders are split between the multiple sellers depending upon the inventory that they maintain.
- Easy commission set-up for each vendor, which would calculate the commission for each order after adjusting the taxes.
- Each of the sellers on your store will have a separate admin panel so that they can update their inventory and other details independently. This will be akin to the semi-autonomous functionality for your sellers
- As an admin of the store, you will be able to keep a check on the products being sold by the sellers. You can choose to remove any product that the seller may have added if you find it not suitable for your customers.
In any case, you will have complete control on your sellers. Depending upon the sellers’ performance, you will have a free hand to control the products being sold by them. It would be completely your prerogative whether to add or remove sellers. You can even designate a particular seller as default for a particular product. This is yet another feature that bears a resemblance to the multi-seller feature available on Amazon and other prominent E-Commerce sites.
In essence, it works as a win-win situation both for sellers and store owners. The admin gets to exercise a full control on the sellers registered to his store. You can manage the orders, payments, commissions and just about everything.
If you are a seller, you tend to get complete freedom to register yourself on the site and start selling your items in practically no time. And then, most importantly, the customers tend to get the best service in terms of a wide range of products at their fingertips. Even the product is available with multiple sellers on your store; the customer can benefit from the competitive pricing.
Also, along with niche vertical marketplace, StoreHippo allows to experiment and create other types of multi- seller marketplaces.
The possibilities are huge and one just needs an idea which can be then converted into a marketplace using the Multi-seller feature of StoreHippo.
This innovative E-Commerce platform is quite unique in more ways than one. It gives an opportunity to the business houses to survive amid the cutthroat competition prevalent in the E-Commerce industry. They are well known for offering a few out of the box solutions making them one of the trusted options for carving a niche for yourself.
One of the features that set the E-Commerce platforms apart from the other options is its multi-seller functionality. You can create an Amazon-like marketplace in just a few simple steps. More on that later.
They have pioneered the path to Progressive Web Apps or PWA for an effective E-Commerce requirement. Google-backed PWA integration is available for the websites you create with StoreHippo. This integration helps the clients get one of the most engaging mobile experience with the focus on the satisfying E-Commerce functionality. The PWA is one of the fastest options for an engaging and portable ecosystem that helps you get offline connectivity as well.
Focus on mobile technology is what they believe to be one of the huge strengths that benefit both B2B and B2C E-Commerce owners. Adapting themselves to the mobile culture would make them gain a better lead in the E-Commerce industry.
A few other features worth mentioning are:
- A customized design perspective. It would offer you unlimited static pages, multilingual stores options, customizable navigation and a host of other features.
- Mobile commerce preference. This would include a customized mobile app, mobile push notification, integration with the popular mobile apps and SMS notifications to name just a few.
- Performance and analytical tools. These include payment reports, best-selling product records, visitor tracking, conversions rates, and other essential reports.
- SEO ready and SEO friendly sites. The sites will come with built-in features to make your site SEO friendly. You would get editable fields for keywords, ALT texts, built in blog feature if you are interested in blogging and SEO optimized themes.
- The Multi-Store feature can help you to multiply your reach without having to opt for extra expenditure or efforts. You can look forward to selling the niche products and services to the targeted audience, a classic example of working with a vertical marketplace. This mode of business can help you get more ROI from your investments.
Some Other Features Worth Exploring at StoreHippo
I found many things in StoreHippo which were not in many similar platforms.
Leaving others, I even compared it with Shopify which is one of the best platforms out there, I found there are many new features which StoreHippo offers but Shopify doesn’t.
I liked Shopify too, but some of the features I needed were not offered by them but were offered by StoreHippo. Therefore, I chose StoreHippo.
Moreover, StoreHippo not only seemed to have the best features as listed above but also scored well on mobile readiness, flexibility, and performance.
With this article, I am not bragging about StoreHippo but since I am using it for one of my projects, I liked it very much, and thought to share something about it on my blog so that the one who needs such platform, may get more option to choose from to create their very own marketplace. One can create a variety of use cases of the multi-seller marketplace like horizontal marketplace selling a variety of products and service aggregator marketplace.
E-commerce business has a great future since there is a lot of room for growth. Especially in the case of Niche Marketplaces, it is the best bet to play for.
Start your e-commerce business right now before the competition become fiercer. No matter you choose StoreHippo or Shopify or Prestashop or any other platform, the important thing is to start your business as soon as possible. Such platforms give you ease in creating your marketplace. While choosing the platform, just verify the features, and find out if that fits your requirement. Just like I did, I went through the features of many, and then decided to choose StoreHippo because it was the one which fulfilled all my requirements. Similarly, you can choose the one that fits well to your requirement.
Hope you liked this article. If there any questions, please do ask in the comments.