5 Things to Consider When You Create a Multi-Vendor Software Marketplace
Soon enough, companies will run on SaaS alone, says a new study in this industry. Whether that will happen this year or in the upcoming five years, it remains to be seen.
However, one thing is certain: the cloud market has an immense potential for everyone. And since cloud solutions have become just as present in our business lives as smartphones, it’s no wonder that multi-vendor software marketplaces have also become of more and more interest.
Think about it this way: if we choose to buy a new laptop, we like to see several offers, maybe even some package deals. The same goes for software.
The days when a business would reach out directly to the vendor and negotiate extensively for the software they would use in-house (or when one would buy bootable CDs) are gone. We now need the same varied offers and the ability to compare contrast and buy software within a few clicks.
But, as always, there is a catch. If you want to capitalize on this amazing opportunity and create your own multi-vendor marketplace, it takes more than bundling a few products together.
Here’s what to consider before you start working on your marketplace:
1. You Have to Figure Out Your Point of Difference
Yes, software marketplaces are in very high demand. But bear in mind that yours won’t be the first or the last of them.
People have options.
You need to make sure that your software marketplace is, at the very least, one of them, if not the best of them.
Come up with a unique selling proposition for both vendors and end users. Start with this question: “what problem does your marketplace solve?”
You don’t necessarily have to look at other marketplaces and try to improve on what others built. Remember that cars weren’t created by improving carriages. If you can come up with something completely new, demand generation will be a breeze for you.
2. Creating a Multi-Vendor Software Marketplace Can Be Expensive
You will be dealing with tech savvy buyers who have high expectations. So the frontend of your marketplace has to be flawless.
Plus, everything has to run smoothly, quickly and perfectly secure – to name only a few of the qualities of a good software marketplace. Thus, you need to be prepared to a massive investment in development (not to mention promotion and management!)
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3. You Need Multiple Types of Login
The old email + password isn’t enough anymore. Allow people to be in control of their account completely and choose how to login.
Social login, for instance, isn’t optional. It’s mandatory. But also face recognition is becoming more and more mainstream, also thanks to the massive spread by iPhoneX.
Still, there’s also good news about this: it’s not convenient only for your customers, but for you, too. If people are logged in through a social account, it will be easier for them to share the purchases they make or the reviews they write in your marketplace. This way, you will gain brand awareness and even paying customers.
4. You Need a Reliable and Secure Payment Gateway
Online security is paramount. People won’t share credit card details if the security looks anything less than bullet proof.
Plus, vendors also need reliable payment gateways in order to be paid on time and avoid any hindering on their cash flow. Keep in mind that your marketplace will be (hopefully!) handling a lot of transactions, so this is not the place to cut corners.
5. You Need Unified Billing and Access
In a nutshell: you need to make people’s lives easier. Unified access -- a single account for all services is a good start. But you also need to continue with commenting, reviewing, a discussion forum, at-a-glance product descriptions – these are just a few of the options that keep customers happy.
When your customers are happy, so are your partners. It’s a chicken and egg dilemma, but it’s solvable: think of your marketplace as a real-life old-school market: create the perfect place for demand and offer to meet and you’ll have a busy season every day!
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