En seulement 4 mois grâce à Marjory, Électro Dépôt a lancé sa Marketplace de produits reconditionnés Reconomia. En savoir plus

The construction of a taxonomy is a central topic in the operation of a Marketplace. It is the reference structure for product categorization in a Marketplace. In other words, when the seller is onboarded, he uses this structure to create his catalog and then activate his products (or services) by posting his offers (prices/stocks). 

The Marketplace Experts, Émilie Queste, Functional Consultant and Guillaume Bienfait, Product Manager at Marjory offer you their advice on taxonomy in a Marketplace context. Having both participated in the construction and evolution of Marketplace projects, Émilie and Guillaume offer advice on the classification of Marketplace product sheets.

Once the seller is onboarded, he must add his catalog in the Marketplace back-office. The Marketplace catalog must be clearly structured to allow third-party sellers to easily integrate their products. This categorization has several advantages such as: 

However, the Marketplace operator must be careful about how he structures the product categorization, especially if he has his own offers. In a retail context, for example, it must be broad enough to allow sellers to sell products that are different from the Marketplace’s own offer : if the categorization corresponds exclusively to the operator’s own offer, third-party sellers may not find categories for their products. 

Also, a very demanding categorization will have an impact on the effective integration time of the sellers’ catalogs, which can lead to friction and seize the time-to-market of the products on the front-end. 

On the other hand, if the information requested by the taxonomy is not sufficient, the operator will have to optimize the information to ensure that the products are displayed correctly on the Marketplace front end. In this case, the integration time will also be impacted.

To avoid wasting time, our experts have several tips for you. 

First of all, the categorization should be as stable as possible. That is to say, it should not be modified regularly. This will prevent the operator from having to manually rework the products and request changes from the merchants or their connectors. 

Furthermore, the categorization must be different from the sales structure used on the marketplace’s front office. Indeed, the latter must be flexible and adaptable (creation of sale categories for instance), whereas the categorization must remain stable. 

Finally, it is advisable to think of your taxonomy on a maximum of 3 levels: the product family, the category and the sub-category. You can also use the taxonomy of large Marketplaces as an example when creating your own. 

As far as the quality of the product sheets is concerned, the best thing to do is to make an exhaustive list of the characteristics requested from the sellers. This will avoid problems with incorrect data or lack of harmonization between product sheets. 

Finally, there is the question of the responsibility of the parties involved. A Marketplace is a space made available to third-party sellers, offering them visibility and traffic.

The operator cannot modify the product data without risk. Indeed, if the Marketplace operator modifies a product record, the responsibility is automatically transferred from the seller to the Marketplace operator. If a modification of the data by the Marketplace is necessary, it is recommended to formalize it by contract with the seller. 

Points to remember:

Choosing a marketplace solution (also known as a marketplace framework) is an important step when embarking on a creation project. There are many technologies available today, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Most of the time, a point of honour is given to choosing the best solution. There is a lot of content available online for you to compare and consultants can guide you to the most suitable solution according to your needs. But how much importance do you place on the integration of the marketplace solution? Have you thought about the tools to facilitate it? 

Integrating a marketplace solution is indeed tedious and requires time and resources. It is estimated that it takes a minimum of 6 months to integrate a marketplace solution into an existing information system, without taking into account the time needed to make decisions. 

Discover the challenges linked to the integration of a marketplace solution and the solutions to optimise your time-to-market while securing your launch. 

What is the purpose of a marketplace solution?

A marketplace solution allows you to manage a sales model that is very different from that of traditional e-commerce. 

These differences must be understood in order to build a platform. The main characteristics of a marketplace are as follows: 

The marketplace solution gives you the keys to adapt your e-commerce to these changes. Thanks to its interface, you can give sellers the possibility to configure the catalogue, manage orders, offers, customer relations or define sales conditions. 

Integrating a marketplace solution: what investments are required?

The marketplace solution includes all the key features needed for a multi-seller platform and is therefore of major importance. 

There is content and guidance available to help you choose the right solution for your needs. However, there are few resources that tell you how easy it is to integrate at the beginning of the project. 

Indeed, to integrate this technology into an information system, multiple connectors must be created and tuned. Several elements relating to the catalogue, offers or orders must be connected. This work is very time and resource consuming. 

Some very powerful frameworks offer a hundred or so APIs for operators to manipulate and integrate into their company’s information system. This work is all the more important if your information system is already existing and complex. 

Moreover, integrating a marketplace solution is crucial for the quality of your future service. If the operation contains errors, no matter which tool you choose, the quality delivered to the sellers and your end customers will be degraded. 

Finally, when the marketplace solution is integrated, it will be necessary to connect external tools and services such as a payment service (PSP), a returns management tool or a KYC tool for example. This work of connecting between APIs will also require time for each integration and modification. 

The Marjory product addresses these integration challenges.

Marjory simplifies the integration of all your tools and services

Created and designed by experts in the project management marketplace, the Marjory product facilities of your solution and all your external tools and services. 

Without Marjory, you have to connect each solution to your IS independently, which consumes a lot of resources while taking the risk of having to deal with errors later on. 

With Marjory you only have to do this once by connecting to our product’s unique API. Marjory can be adapted to any type of project, whether you have an existing information system or not. 

Since Marjory is already connected to the various tools useful for the marketplace you have direct access to pre-configured services. 

Once your marketplace is connected to our product, you can orchestrate the intervention of each service thanks to an interface that will present your processes in the form of workflows. 

Once your tools and services are integrated, Marjory will help you orchestrate your tools and services more easily with the following benefits: 

Today, Marjory is the only global player to facilitate the integration of specialized tools and services in the marketplace. Our teams are made up of experts who have created marketplaces for several large French groups in B2B and B2C and who know the challenges involved in creating a marketplace. 

Do you have questions? Do you need information? Feel free to contact us

 

Our expert speaking today is Guillaume Bienfait, Product Owner at Marjory. Having participated in a large number of marketplace projects, for example, La Redoute, or the creation of the Leroy Merlin marketplace, Guillaume has a great deal of expertise in the implementation of marketplaces. 

Today, Guillaume offers you his advice on how to set up the rating of your marketplace sellers. In particular, he answers the questions why, when and how to set up this rating. 

What is the purpose of rating sellers on a marketplace?

First of all, seller is a tool that allows your marketplace visitors to gauge the user experience they can expect when buying on your platform. It is the equivalent of digital word of mouth, allowing customers to verify the quality of the seller’s service. 

For sellers on your marketplace, having good reviews is necessary. Indeed, 85% of Internet users read reviews before buying online and 91% even consider customer reviews to be #1 factor in the purchasing act. 

Seller rating will focus on 2 important steps in the customer experience: tracking and delivery information, product compliance with the description available on the platform and finally, in case of a problem with the order, after-sales service. 

Why implement a seller on a marketplace?

In addition to having a major impact on customer confidence in your marketplace, ratings are also useful in selecting the sellers and products offered on your site. 

In the case of a marketplace where the sellers are self-boarded, for example at Amazon, the rating can still be used to control product selection, but also to “sort” the sellers. 

When is it most advisable to integrate the service?

It is important to choose the right timing. It can be counterproductive to launch the display of customer reviews too early in the life of your marketplace. 

Ideally, you should give yourself time to validate the business processes before opening the reviews, so that you have time to manage the first iterations of your project when launching your MVP. 

Another strategy is to wait until a seller has reached a certain number of orders before posting feedback. This gives the seller a chance to fine-tune the service. 

How can I integrate this service?

In order to integrate a seller rating service into your marketplace, you first need to surround yourself with the right people. You need to choose partners who offer verified customer reviews in order to obtain “objective” and useful reviews for your platform. 

Technically, this depends on the maturity of your project. If you have an e-commerce website in place with a complex information system (for example with a front office, a marketplace framework and a CRM), it is recommended that you work with partners who will simplify the integration. 

Points to remember: 

Do you have a question about your marketplace project? Don't hesitate to contact Marjory's team!

See you soon with new advice, 

The Marketplace Experts

 

Today, the expert sharing his insights is Frédéric Choudat, CPO at Marjory. Having previously participated in a large number of marketplace projects, Frédéric has a technical vision of how a marketplace is set up. Today, he is offering some feedback on the importance of workflows in a marketplace.

What’s a workflow?

Workflows allow various APIs from different solutions to communicate for a specific act of management. For instance, a workflow can describe a command path across a marketplace’s various tools.

They make iterative execution possible. This means that they allow for the reproduction of the same perfectly executed process each time: for instance, workflows can launch the same act of management thousands of times, without any glitch.

Workflows also make it easy to use PDCA (Plan Do Check Act), by setting up different versions of processes according to the situation. This, in turn, makes it possible to take certain nuances in the marketplace’s technical operations into consideration.

Additionally, setting up workflows can help your marketplace achieve operational excellence, thanks to task automation.

Thanks to a workflow, you can automate nominal salaries and, in the first instance, treat non-nominal cases manually. Some of these can then be automated too, to ensure your platform’s scalability. This way of working allows for the continuous improvement of operational excellence.

For a company to work properly, it is important to involve teams in project building. Workflows create internal transparency on the various stages of each process, and allow teams to feel involved, giving them the ability to suggest operational and executive improvements.

Finally, the automation of processes via workflows makes it possible to better manage data, in line with the GDPR regulation. Workflows only use the data they need for their execution, so you can determine precisely to what purpose data has been used, when, and by whom.

Things to remember:

Do you have a question about your marketplace project? Don’t hesitate to contact the teams at Marjory!

See you soon for more advice,

The Marketplace Experts

The expert sharing his insights today is Guillaume Conrate, operational marketplace consultant at Marjory. Having participated in a large number of marketplace projects, among which La Redoute and Auchan, Guillaume would like to bring your attention to the importance of the catalogue in marketplaces.

First of all, what’s the difference between a product and an offer on a marketplace?

In marketplace management, differentiating between the concepts of offer and product is essential. Product data includes the description, title, image and navigation attributes. Offer data, on the other hand, provides information on price and availability.

On a marketplace, product data can be shared between several sellers, while offer data is always proprietary to one seller.

A marketplace can therefore present a catalogue of 10,000 products, with 100,000 offers.

With that many offers, consistency becomes crucial to avoid complicating the user experience. Indeed, on a product marketplace, be it B2C or B2B, the presence of millions of different products can easily complicate the user experience.

Therefore, it is important to properly categorise products and to publish quality product descriptions that include regulatory information. When launching a marketplace, you must establish clear specifications and expectations, and set up an organisation capable of delivering and following up on these expectations.

Then, the marketplace’s next major challenge is product volumes.

One of the main advantages of the marketplace model is its ability to offer clients the widest and most relevant product or service catalogue for its audience, in order to keep clients coming back.

The marketplace model ensures a depth of range impossible to achieve in other business models, while maintaining a controlled cost structure.

In fact, it is the marketplace model that has allowed Amazon to become the top search engine in the United States, ahead of Google!

It all makes sense in theory, but how do you handle millions of data points coming from different sources?

Using a Product Information Management (PIM) system is a good way to aggregate data from different sources, in order to extract the best information to display for the end user, the buyer.

Things to remember:

Do you have a question about your marketplace project? Don’t hesitate to contact the teams at Marjory!

See you soon for more advice,

The Marketplace Experts

The expert sharing her thoughts this week is Emilie Queste, operational consultant at Marjory. Having participated in a large number of marketplace projects, the details of which you can find here, today Emilie is offering her advice on connecting new sellers to your marketplace.

First of all, what is marketplace onboarding?

Seller onboarding is the same as seller integration. It is the process of welcoming the seller onto a marketplace platform. To make this happen, several processes are involved. For instance, the operator must verify the seller’s legal information thanks to official documents such as the certificate of incorporation, a representative’s ID or its business identification number. This verification process is also called KYB (know your business), and is mandatory for all B2B marketplaces. In the case of a B2C marketplace, this process is called KYC (know your customer). For more details on KYC/KYB management, check out Marjory’s white paper on the topic.

The main difficulty with the onboarding exercise comes from its singularity: there are no official standards for this job, and therefore, there is no specific academic training or diploma to prepare for it.

For that reason, the process is internalised and each operator creates a “tailored” process around a few compulsory steps (which you can find here). This requires the operator to set up a dedicated team, with all the associated indirect costs. On average, an optimised onboarding process costs the operator about €1,000 and takes several weeks to complete (even when the process goes smoothly, without back-and-forth communication between the seller and the onboarding team).

Once the KYC/KYB checks are completed, it is time to streamline the listing of new sellers on your marketplace, in order to allow them to be visible and operational on your platform as quickly as possible.

When an operator launches a platform, it is important to test the onboarding process. To do that, they can connect a few sellers manually to conduct the first transactions. Once the platform is operational, the onboarding team can quickly become overwhelmed by the difficulty of managing this process internally. And yet, it is indispensable.

To accelerate the process of connecting sellers and circumvent this operational challenge, the ideal solution is to use a flow aggregator, which simplifies the connection process and “gives access” to a multitude of  sellers. It is strongly recommended to connect to a flow aggregator very early, in order to offer a streamlined product right from the launch.

Marjory can make your connection to flow aggregators easier! The difficulty of connecting a flow aggregator to your IT system comes from the technical steps required. Thanks to Marjory, you can plug in a flow aggregator by simple drag and drop, in a matter of hours. Moreover, the aggregator’s API endpoints will be organised in entirely customisable workflows to match your organisation (manual tasks, business best practices, etc).

Things to remember:

See you soon for more advice,

The Marketplace Experts

The first expert to share his thoughts is Vikram Ramdul, Marjory’s COO. Having completed a great number of marketplace projects, the details of which you can find here, Vikram has offered to shed some light on the main obstacles to overcome in a marketplace project.

When deciding to create a marketplace, the first thing you should do is identify all of the project’s expected internal impacts.

The two main impacts are: change management and flow management.

Change management derives from the adoption of new tools used to make the company’s new business activity work, but also from the new work methods adopted, to onboard suppliers for instance.

New positions are necessary for this business activity, which requires very particular operational and technical skills.

With the launch of a marketplace project, all of the company’s operations are disrupted, from marketing to e-commerce, where the team suddenly finds itself having to juggle new priorities such as seller onboarding or logistics. This disruption must be anticipated, and the company must involve collaborators in the transformation as much as possible.

The launch of a marketplace should absolutely not be a side project. Kickstarting a new activity such as this should be part of a strategic plan.

Various strategies can be adopted: for instance, Amazon launched its marketplace site with the goal of increasing turnover. The marketplace is its main activity.

On the other hand, Auchan has created a marketplace that represents only 0.04% of its retail network’s turnover. The goal here is to leverage this channel for drive-to-store marketing through click-and-collect, increasing footfall in the stores. The marketplace “only” represents €20mn out of Auchan Retail’s overall €22.7bn of global turnover in 2019.

Before getting started on the creation of a marketplace, it is worth remembering that this is a very heavy project organisationally; a very structured scoping phase is therefore necessary, first and foremost.

The purpose of the scoping phase is to predict and anticipate as many elements as possible. For instance, one should create the marketplace business model, think about the front end (the part of the site visible to consumers), but also the middle and back office, or UX/UI, starting with the question: “how should sellers, their products and buyers be referenced?”.

Finally, it is equally important to consider all regulatory issues, such as marketplace payment management, KYC (know your customer) or AML (anti money laundering) depending on your activity.

Things to remember:

See you soon for more advice,

The Marketplace Experts

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