There are two main profiles you need to get your hand on, engineers aside, in order to launch your Marketplace.
First of all, there has to be one individual in charge of commercial operations. They will be in charge of several tasks, the first of which is contacting new vendors for your platform. Here, they will have to conduct a market study to detect which sellers would be adequate for the marketplace, contact them, negociate the terms of the contract and make them sign so they join the Marketplace.
After finding each seller, the Operations Director has to be able to manage and guide them through their marketplace experience, as well as be available to answer their questions and schedule meetings to see how things are going with them. The Operations Director has to take care of the sellers’ network by sharing best practices that will help them with their integration on the marketplace : how to take good pictures of their products, optimize the description, how to position themselves and generally increase the “value” of their stock
He is also the one determining what products or sellers are the most popular as to push these to the front page according to the customers’ needs.
As important as operations, Marketing is the other key position necessary when launching a marketplace.
The Marketing manager will be in charge of defining which segment of the market the marketplace wishes to position itself on and who to target. He will then define what the best strategy is to reach these targets and differentiate from the competitors, as it is uncommon to be the first on the market. He will have to deal with the site content and communication, creating newsletters, contests or blog posts to drive the Marketplace community. A blog that has content published to frequently can help a great deal to position the marketplace as an expert on the market.
The Marketing Director is also in charge of advertising and marketing campaigns and therefore any Web Marketing aimed at capturing market shares by promoting the site, which has to be optimized for search engines. Social media management is also part of his duties. That’s not all as it also will also take care of customer retention to allow frequent re-purchases.
A team of 2 people is the minimum for managing non-technical departments. But as we can see, that includes a large number of tasks that end up being very time consuming. It is therefore recommended to split these tasks into more dedicated job positions as soon as the marketplace has the means to move forward. Work will therefore be more effective if each step can be assigned to an employee or a team, from contacting sellers to guiding them or dealing with marketing and customer acquisition.
Moreover, more departments can also be created to take care of administration, accounting or legal issues as the development of the activity rises. At the beginning, these tasks should either be taken care of by the main two employees or outsourced to a third party for a few hours a week.
A Marketplace is first foremost a web platform, and that requires highly skilled engineers to develop, maintain and update. There are two approaches to achieve this goal: developing he Marketplace internally, or outsourcing its development.
If you decide to internalize the technical part and develop the marketplace platform yourself, it will take several engineers that will be in charge of the whole process of creating a marketplace. This is an overview of these key positions.
The back-end developer works on the back office of the marketplace as well as on all the web project’s elements, which, if they are not “visible” when you navigate on a website, are essential nonetheless. Thus, the back-end programmer is responsible for the implementation, configuration, development and maintenance of the server, database and general web applications. A developer that works behind the scenes and without which the websites and applications simply wouldn’t exist!
His mission is to build ergonomic and accessible websites for users by developing a clear, fast and easy to use interface. With that in mind, nowadays, websites must comply with W3C standards and be accessible regardless of what browser the client uses (Firefox, Chrome, IE …). The Front-End Developer therefore programs website’s interfaces and its back office based on specifications and accessibility-related requirements and compatibility between browsers.
The web integrator is responsible for complying with technical specifications and design.
At this rate, it must be adaptable, rigorous and organized.
Through its expertise, he works on the overall quality of the site, in compliance with accessibility standards, SEO and ergonomic issues.
He is responsible for producing, translating and transposing the models provided by the graphics team into computer language. His role is to design the layout of a website by assembling all the elements of design concepts (texts, images, sounds).
It usually takes at least two back end and front end developers, bringing the developers team to 5. Together, they will also be responsible for research and development, maintenance and correcting any bug that may occur. The technical team should constantly grow according to business expansion in order to meet the needs of your sellers.
Developing a marketplace internally can therefore be extremely expensive and time consuming. Full development takes on average between 12 and 24 months and requires €300,000 to €500,000 as well as delays the moment you enter the market and the moment you start racking in profits at the risk of new competitors tackling that nice in the meantime. It is obviously easier to enter the market when the concept is still fresh and few businesses are on it.
You can also chose to outsource the technical part to a third party company. While many actors can help you building E-Commerce platform, there are few that can offer a robust and scalable solution that allows you to manage a real marketplace.
Iceberg Marketplace is one of them. After several years in development, the team behind Modizy.com launched its own marketplace solution, Iceberg Marketplace, after realizing that little or no reliable solutions existed on the market. After a heavy investment and years of development, the company offers its technology to other entrepreneurs wanting to embark on the Marketplace adventure saving them the cost and development time.
There are many benefits about leaving the technical part to experts. It allows you to focus on your real job: business, and not have to worry about the technical part. A marketplace usually takes 3 to 4 months to be completed by Iceberg’s team. As you get to to market much faster, you can put all your resources at the service of your number one goal: generate revenue. And that, for a monthly fee of less than the salary of a single engineer, while it would take you a whole crew of them to otherwise be able to reach your goal.
Too many potential entrepreneurs fear the complexity of a robust technology marketplace solution and associated maintenance costs. Our goal? That technology is not an obstacle to your development.
IZBERG provides the most advanced Marketplace platform on the market, allowing mid-size and large companies to increase their revenues, lower their costs, and offer an outstanding shopping experience to their customers.
Available by API, IZBERG solutions are fully customizable, in white label and in SaaS.
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