Already have an e-commerce site? Here are 3 things to know before launching your marketplace

6 December 2022

Business Insight

Developing your catalogue, modernising your online presence, finding a new growth lever… There are plenty of good reasons to transform your e-commerce site into a marketplace! Not to mention the fact that marketplaces are on the rise. However, creating a new distribution channel by launching a marketplace is not something you can improvise. Here are 3 things to know before you start.


1. Be prepared to support your third-party sellers as closely as possible


The first thing that changes when you move from an e-commerce site to a marketplace is that you will end up with several sellers instead of just one (yourself). The recruitment phase is, therefore, decisive, as you will have to select your third-party sellers, bearing in mind that they will become your brand representatives. It’s important to choose salespeople you trust, who share your values and those of your brand, and who are familiar with the culture and system of digital sales. With these elements in mind, recruitment will be quicker, and you can count on reliable and efficient third-party salespeople.

Switching to a marketplace model also implies adapting the organisation. To gain fluidity, it is advisable to dedicate teams to onboarding and optimising tasks, thanks to automation and the use of adapted technical solutions, to manage the new flows as well as possible. By considering your third-party sellers as partners, you can offer a qualitative level of service to your customers (B2B or B2C). Finally, it is recommended that you have account managers who can manage a pool of salespeople so that you can support them, help them to increase their turnover and correct any errors or recurring problems.


2. Find the right balance between your offer and that of third-party vendors while adapting your organisation


Moving from an e-commerce site to a marketplace means becoming a multi-offer and multi-seller platform. In this sense, it is fundamental to maintain consistency and facilitate navigation via the search function by developing a centralised catalogue and establishing a product presentation charter. The site must remain fluid and homogeneous. In other words, you must trust your third-party sellers while laying down the ground rules.

In this new context, you cannot afford to put only your offer forward and neglect those of your sellers. The other sellers in the marketplace must remain visible. If you don’t give them enough visibility, their turnover won’t be high enough, and they might leave your marketplace. The consequences for your brand and your added value would be negative. It is also possible that by testing different product families, you will have to reduce your offer (or even stop it) and keep another product range, depending on the customer’s interest.

Such a transformation project (from an e-commerce site to a marketplace) modifies the economic model of the site, as well as its offer. In addition to the organisational change inherent in the multi-seller system, do not hesitate to train your third-party sellers to develop your marketplace correctly.

How you make these changes and manage them on a day-to-day basis are key factors in the success of your marketplace project.


3. Identify the right payment service provider


Unlike a traditional e-commerce site, the marketplace model brings together 3 players:

  • The buyer
  • The seller
  • The marketplace operator.

This three-way relationship impacts online payment tools, as the marketplace operator finds itself having to carry out collection operations on behalf of third parties. However, the third-party collection is strictly regulated by the PSD2 regulation. There are several solutions for compliance, but the simplest and most common is to use a payment service provider (PSP).


To find the right PSP, you will need to ask yourself the right questions: does your marketplace target individuals, professionals, or both? Do you have ambitions for international development? What payment methods do you need? How will you integrate the payment solution on your platform? You can precisely determine your needs and expectations regarding payment services by answering these questions and choosing your PSP.


As a certified payment service provider, Lemonway offers a payment solution for B2C, B2B, and C2C marketplaces that includes the features required to maximise conversions on your platform. Whether you sell products or services, Lemonway adapts to the specificities of your marketplace. Are you seeking a secure, scalable, compliant, and international payment solution? Find out how to optimise your payment flows to exploit your platform’s potential fully. Contact us now!