E-commerce to Marketplace - when you have Neither


Do you work for a company that does not have e-commerce capabilities? In this case, should you even consider online marketplaces as a possibility? After all, if you don't have online sales or online stores, then what options do you have? Perhaps it's about focusing on getting your online businesses set up, first. Or are there options to do both? Can you do a global online e-commerce launch, and also tap into the exciting and wide range electronic marketplace world simultaneously?

Business Model Realities

The harsh reality is that business does not wait for anyone. Your competitors aren't going to slow down and give you a chance to catch up. With the explosive expansion of e-commerce and marketplaces, the time to act is now. You just cannot linearly approach the business. In other words, you cannot take time to build your product pages, then build your e-commerce website, get your online retail or direct-to-consumer model working, and only then start working with third-party sellers on a marketplace. This could take years, and by then you have missed the market opportunity.

Fortunately, you have wisely realized the necessity of attacking the commerce website and online marketplace at the same time. But is this even an option to choose? The simple answer to this is yes, but how?

Experienced Guidance

Rather than waiting and losing a competitive advantage, consult with a vendor that gives you options. You need experienced advice to both get your product categories in front of potential customers in the online world (e-commerce), and get a core marketplace running, fast.

An important consideration here too is getting your systems up and operating fast—but on a robust platform that lets you focus on speed to market and building a solid customer experience.

Deploy Both

Once you have selected a technology partner who can help, consult, and guide you in the deployment, you have options to get you there quickly. Consider Quick Start solutions to address the issue of speed. Quick Start packages offer a fixed charge for launching an e-commerce site in a short period. Best of all, these packages often include services as well. This way, you don't have to worry about a long learning cycle before you can get your web store and marketplace running.

In fact, “Storefront as a Service” options for Quick Start solutions provide staff to operate the system on your behalf. The intention isn't to replace your employees with an outsourced model. Rather, the goal is to have the system up and running as quickly as possible, with employees who have years of experience running these systems. Once in the market, your company shadows the Quick Start team, learns from them in a real-world setting, and progressively assumes control of the e-commerce system's operations. This means that no time is wasted, and there are no lengthy delays due to training during the ramp-up stage.

Quick Start Solutions

Quick Start solutions are quick to implement. Typically, they are deployed with the system fully integrated and operating in 2-6 weeks. With this rapid deployment in mind, the next step would be to launch the marketplace immediately after or simultaneously with the e-commerce system. For a quick overview of one such solution, see Quick Start D2C.

The Other Half

So far, we discussed the e-commerce half of the equation. The second half is the marketplace itself. If you work with a stable and full-featured system such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Experience Cloud, and other similar clouds, adding a marketplace to your system is easily done. Finding a vendor with products and experience in deploying both systems allows you to get to an operational capacity, fast.

As an example, the Tealkart marketplace product helps businesses evolve from a pure e-commerce to marketplace business. This second part of the equation is a core marketplace system that lets you set up an online site to bring buyers and sellers together. It lets your third-party partners sell their products, gives you a commission, and best of all, lets you increase your revenue without taking on additional risk.

E-commerce to Marketplace: Go or No Go

Let's return to the opening question. If your organization isn't already operational with an e-commerce site, can you even consider deploying an online marketplace? The answer is yes. If your organization wants to tap into the incredible growth of both e-commerce and marketplaces, you can deploy both—without missing a beat. The key to doing so successfully is to work with a partner with pre-built products like Quick Start packages, and core Marketplace products like Tealkart, that can get you operating fast. Best of all, these packages often include services to let you start the full business, even while your staff are still learning how to operate and run your new online business.

For a free consultation about how we are helping clients with situations like this one, Contact Us for a quick discussion. We are here to help.

Simion Petrov

Author: Simion Petrov, SVP of Innovation and Industries

Simion began his career at OSF in 2007 when he entered the internship program as a software developer and quickly ascended within the company holding roles as a team leader and project manager. From 2013 to 2018, Simion established and optimized the company's commerce division, growing the group to over 400 people who delivered over 200 projects, making OSF Digital one of Salesforce’s top ecommerce partners. He has created new local structures designed to support the company's rapid growth in APAC and LATAM while at the same time, worked on innovation of the company's processes, best practices, and products including the creation of the OSF Product Labs program.