How To Attract Merchants To A New Marketplace?

The marketplace needs buyers to make a profit. For buyers to come, there must be suppliers that place goods on the showcase. What about new marketplaces? How to attract merchants without the large inflow of buyers?
Traffic problem: merchants need buyers
Marketplace – is a comfortable model of e-commerce business as its scaling is almost limitless. Market giants are the real proof of it.

But the attraction of suppliers (merchants) can be a problem. They will not appear instantly. They need traffic. And the traffic is not able without goods for sale on the marketplace showcase. There is a vicious circle.

In this case, it is reasonable to attract merchants, but not buyers. Exactly merchants will bring traffic.
What to offer to the supplier?
Firstly, the marketplace has to create a clear and attractive offer for merchants.

Focus on:
New sales channel;
Using marketplace infrastructure for rapid time with goods to the market;
Expending of business-model (especially suitable for offline business);
Saving the budget for the creation of own showcase as the merchant receives ready store inside of marketplace (with the ability to pour traffic on your goods);
Saving budget on marketing.
Such an offer must include a clear financial policy. For instance, it can be sales commission, SaaS model (monthly payment of tariff plan), or hybrid work scheme.

Firstly, it is helpful to look at offers for merchants of top marketplaces. They have unique features that can help to develop their own work plan.

Also, the offer must include a list of specific bonuses, such as technical pluses of the marketplace, service description, etc.

New marketplaces can be "equipped" with IT infrastructure – PIM system, merchant cabinet, and other modern modules.
Where to look for merchants?
Any supplier is already selling its product somewhere. They have their own sites. Before creating a final offer, you should check out their e-shops (by the required categories of goods). Part of suppliers can ignore requests from the new marketplace without a well-known brand; still, someone will agree to get additional advertisement and sales area.

The partnership can be found not only online but also offline. Conferences are one of such places. Usually, they get together trade entrepreneurs. Suppliers have there one specific aim – to find more opportunities for sales own goods. So, personal meetings are much more effective (especially if it is major suppliers and distributors).

Use the communication channels of existing suppliers. New partners can tell their friends about profitable work with your marketplace. There are referral programs launched by many marketplaces where one supplier leads the other and gets a pre-approved bonus.

Thematic groups of suppliers in social networks are also important. Usually, advertising posts there are not expensive, and suppliers are there in great amount.
Minimizing costs for entering the marketplace
Having worthy offers for suppliers and knowing where to find them, try to organize the accession process to the marketplace in a simple way.

Simple onboarding means simplifying the publication and managing commodity items. An inconvenient admin panel and a poor technical arsenal of the site can scare off potential merchants who prefer another marketplace.

For avoiding this, commodity items should be automatically imported from an existing system. If the supplier has business on Instagram, a marketplace can receive commodity items from there with the help of the auto-import function. The same applies to some other existing sites and marketplaces. But it doesn't always work this way. Offline suppliers have nowhere to upload content and don't know how to list their goods on the marketplace. This problem should be solved by recruiting more employees for the content department.

Such new employees will need help in all directions: to get qualitative content and photos, to organize the interaction with customers, delivery, etc. They will need someone they can count on.

For sharing own knowledge and expertise, it is useful to start a blog for e-commerce merchants, to have closed social network channels and, organize periodic e-mail newsletters. Your benefit depends on the merchant's success. As soon as your platform has successful suppliers, you will get profitable cases and not waste time attracting new partners.

But quantity should never prevail over quality. From the first workday with the supplier, it is crucial to monitor all their relations with customers. The unfair work or suppliers' shortcomings can have a negative influence on the marketplace reputation. In this case, it is better to abandon such a partnership altogether.

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