Before Amazon and eBay, buying “online” was unheard of. Within two decades of increasing Internet adoption, “online earning” has become the buzzword. Among zillions of methods to earn money online, the “online marketplace” model comes in the top 10 categories of online earning methods. Unlike the expenses and hours spent on creating a physical shop whose selling potential is confined by its geographical location, the online shop medium doesn’t encounter such bottlenecks.
Also known as “platform companies,” online marketplaces are redefining the retail industry. The global ecommerce market size in 2018 stands at 2774 billion USD, and it is expected to reach 4479 billion USD by 2021. In other words, the online retail industry has tons of potential and budding entrepreneurs should seize this opportunity to build a business.
Creating an Online Marketplace
We all have heard of websites like Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, oDesk.com, Etsy.com and the likes. All these are examples of a certain kind of online marketplaces. In these platforms, hundreds of sellers create access accounts, list their products and services, and wait for sales.
While this is a good earning model, it doesn’t have the independence and security that a seller would want in their own business. Who can guarantee that a seller account will not be blocked/banned tomorrow over reasons best known to the buyers and platform owners? In such instances, sellers have to spend hours talking to the marketplace Support to get the account reinstated. There is no guarantee that the account would be reinstated and the seller might lose all accumulated earnings.
However, there is a solution. If a seller/selling entity can have its own marketplace, with complete authority, control, security, and automation, the seller would “own” the complete “online shop” and never be at the mercy of generic marketplaces. Unlike a couple of years back when creating an online shop from scratch would cost thousands of dollars to hire technical expertise, support staff, payment integration services, and what not, the increasing penetration of SaaS (Software-as-a-service) products in the Internet ecosystem has completely simplified how online marketplaces are created and maintained. Instead of a large monthly budget, all a seller needs is a monthly budget of less than $100 to get an online shop running.
Among many marketplace software available in the market, one that stands out is Arcadier. An emerging MaaS (Marketplace-as-a-Service) software, Arcadier develops white label solutions through subscription-based web applications. Dinuke Ranasinghe, Kenneth Low, and Paul Cascun are the Founders of Arcadier. Arcadier allows sellers to create a marketplace for both product and services. Whether someone wants to start a B&B rental service, sell retail goods, sell wedding photography services, or anything else, it is possible to build that on Arcadier. Essentially, the platform offers 4 kinds of marketplace interfaces: retail, space, rental, service.
Some of the features of the Arcadier marketplace software are:
#1 Payment Integration – Omise, PayPal, and Stripe is pre-integrated in all the plans. Simply log in and connect the payment account/s. Other third-party payment processors can also be integrated with the online store.
#2 Private Visibility – Sellers can choose to make the marketplace by-invite only. Only those who receive an email invite to join the marketplace will be able to access the website.
#3 Geotargeting – The seller marketplaces have multi-lingual capacity. Their language translation feature allows the seller to edit the content of the marketplace in any chosen languages.
#4 Retail Feasibility – Retail store owners get the feature to give buyers the option for multiple item checkouts between different vendors. The buyers can search for item variants by size, color, and model, and there is the option for bulk shipping as well.
#5 Service Feasibility – Service-based store owners also get customized backend features such as the feature to set timer duration, set calendar schedules, and give add-on service options.
Other features include a social login, powerful search bar, ratings and reviews, customized home page panels, detailed analytics report, negotiating tool for price requests, responsive website, SEO-friendly setup, live chat for sellers, custom codes editor and more.
Beginners can opt for their 1-month Free plan to test the services, and upgrade to their $39 per month plan. As the online store grows, keep on upgrading to higher plans for more features and customizations. Join the Arcadier Inspire Summit & Competition, which is the world’s first virtual summit and competition for online marketplaces, and it will run from 1st April to 31st July 2018. Participants stand a chance to win $250,000 in cash and prizes. Over 40 experts in ecommerce, payments, and retail spaces will deliver informative and actionable talks during the summit.