How we build a Marketplace Part 3

How we build a Marketplace Part 3

Delivery and Checkout.


In Part 1 of our ‘How we build a marketplace’ series we covered common marketplace types and talked about how we’d go about building a requirements list to help us identify which type of marketplace best suits those requirements and in Part 2  we covered how to get products into your marketplace and how the management of your catalogue can differ from a traditional e-commerce operation when running a marketplace.


In Part 3 we’ll deal with the changes you’ll need to consider to your delivery and checkout options and how your marketplace software might handle those changes.


The basket and checkout


Currently, your checkout flow might include a way for customers to choose their delivery preferences – during the design of your marketplace, you’ll need to consider how this page is affected and how that affects the customer experience.


  • Do you want to enforce that your suppliers adhere to your current options?
    • What happens if you offer free delivery and your suppliers don’t?
  • Do you want your suppliers to be able to specify their own delivery types, couriers, delivery prices?
    • Does your marketplace software support this?
    • How do you let your suppliers tell you about their delivery costs
      • On a per-item basis?
      • On a configuration level for delivery types?
    • How do you deal with internationalisation of delivery costs?
      • Your supplier might be in Spain and your customer in London – does that affect the costs?


All these marketplace choices will affect the design and UX decisions of your checkout flow – this is not a common skill unless you’ve seen it many times before.


Customer Experience


What are your decisions around branding and owning your customer experience? This plays a role in how many configuration options you give to your suppliers. If you want to enforce that suppliers Free Delivery as that’s your site policy, how do you do that?


In many types of marketplace you’ll need to consider that a users basket could result in their order being supplied by many different suppliers, this could result in many parcels arriving with the customer at different times and by different delivery services – you’ll need to communicate that to the customer. Do you want to provide those suppliers with your branded postage labels and headed invoices?


Typically those things re-assure the customer as well as providing vital information on your companies policies such as returns policies etc.


How do you handle returns? Does the supplier handle it all? How does the customer communicate with you about a bad experience or potential fraud? How does the supplier inform you that you need to initiate a customer refund or some kind of goodwill gesture?


All these things affect your brand and you’ll need to own the for you marketplace to succeed with your customers your marketplace software needs to deal with these things, not only to configure them during the design process but to react to them during the lifetime of your marketplace. You may introduce more verticals that should be dealt with in different way during checkout. Make sure you plan for running a successful marketplace.


In our final post of the series we’ll be covering marketplace fees and product gating.


Fee configuration allows us to set different fees per product category, seller and even listing type whilst product gating allows a marketplace admin to only allow listings of certain products by certain sellers – a commonly overlooked feature until the need arises.


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