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:
- Onboarding is a lengthy and costly process
- When launching a marketplace, don’t wait for it to be operational to connect to a flow aggregator: do it from the start!
- With Marjory, you can quickly connect an aggregator to your IT system and adapt it to your internal organisation.
See you soon for more advice,
The Marketplace Experts