B2C Marketplace: 5 tips for successful onboarding

5 October 2022

Business Insight

The success of a marketplace depends on the quality of its merchants. It is essential to facilitate their integration process to attract sellers who offer an optimal customer experience while enabling them to make a lot of sales. A lot is to think about when onboarding a new merchant : administrative procedures, the connection of payment flows, synchronisation of catalogues… How can you successfully onboard your merchants and meet their needs throughout the life cycle of your marketplace? Here are our experts’ tips!


1. Encourage merchants to join your marketplace

Each seller has its specificities, depending on its language, geographical origins, size (small SME or large industrial group), internal processes, connection mode to the marketplace (direct or via API), and products. To address the operational challenges merchants face, it is essential to identify each seller profile and its expectations: do the buyers on your marketplace match their targets? What guarantees sellers that their shop will have sufficient visibility? How will they stay competitive? And in compliance? Etc.


To encourage merchants to join your marketplace, you need to support them, answer their questions, and facilitate their onboarding. How can you convince them that your marketplace is the ideal place to sell their products? Identify sellers that match your target and determine the relevant contact points that make them want to join your marketplace.

Administrative formalities, connection issues, integration of catalogues, animation, and customer loyalty… Free yourself as much as possible from these constraints to offer your sellers a quick onboarding in a few clicks, far from the obstacle course they often go through to join a marketplace!


2. Ensuring regulatory compliance

Today, all online payment services and service providers are subject to PSD2, the second European Payment Services Directive. There are three options for marketplaces to comply with this regulation, which will be updated in 2021:

  • Obtaining authorisation from the ACPR (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution) is a long and complex procedure reserved for companies with sufficient internal resources.
  • Apply for an exemption from authorisation subject to the ACPR’s assessment for low-volume marketplaces.
  • Use a payment service provider (PSP) like Lemonway to ensure regulatory compliance of your marketplace and benefit from the support of a payment expert

Another important point for compliance with the regulator’s requirements is KYC or “Know Your Customer” management! Indeed, you must submit all your merchants to an identification process and thus collect a series of mandatory and optional documents depending on the profile of the sellers. Our recommendation is to use a PSP to speed up this stage and automate the onboarding of your merchants. In the same way, being accompanied by a PSP specialising in the marketplace guarantees that you comply with your obligations relating to the fight against money laundering (LCB-FT)

Good to know. Don’t forget to display the general terms of use (GTU) to your buyers and sellers!


3. Automate merchant onboarding

The onboarding of merchants can be done in different ways:

  • You want to create your marketplace: you need a list of qualified sellers from the start to accelerate your GMV (or sales value),
  • You need to integrate a base of qualified and complementary sellers to your offer to expand your catalogue,
  • You have a database of qualified sellers already implemented, and you want to expand your offer by integrating selected sellers to accelerate your GMV and strengthen your leading position in your market

In these three situations, the onboarding of your merchants must be effortless and attractive to avoid losing qualified sellers along the way. How can this be done? By providing an optimal experience through automated contracting processes. Take KYC: using a PSP like Lemonway, you can instantly verify the identity of sellers! And our solution also allows you to enable real-time payment to ensure better visibility for your sellers.


4. Supporting and retaining merchants by helping them to perform

The key to a booming marketplace is the recruitment and retention of quality merchants. To achieve this, it is important to offer sellers unique support to perform well. Beyond a simplified onboarding experience, marketplace operators also have a role to play in the economic development of their merchants: they can propose opportunities on different sales channels that correspond to a defined target, product category or geographical area or signal an opportunity about the competition… The objective is to identify growth levers and operational optimisation areas so that your merchants can focus on their GMV, which is a true lever for satisfaction and loyalty.


5. Rely on specialised players

How can we offer a range of high-value-added services adapted to the challenges faced by sellers? By calling on players capable of simplifying the life of a merchant! In concrete terms, counting on trustworthy partners who can remove all potential obstacles is essential. Therefore Lemonway – the French fintech specialising in the management of complex payments and KYC with a Payment Institution licence – has joined forces with Octopia, the subsidiary of Cdiscount. What is the goal of this partnership? To better meet the business needs of marketplaces by offering a complete and adapted marketplace solution, but above all, to enable operators to start up or develop their platform while increasing their GMV.


Do you need support in finding qualified merchants? Do you want to simplify the onboarding of your sellers and ensure their loyalty? Automate your onboarding processes with our Lemonway solution! Contact us now!