What a Marketplace Looks Like for a Distributor

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’re familiar with the marketplace concept. In the B2B world, distributors and wholesalers have only recently started to realize that they can adopt a marketplace model themselves, driving their growth well into the future.

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Integrating an online marketplace into your existing E-commerce platform allows you to increase the number of sellers and products, better serving your customers without having to buy additional inventory.

It also provides a less risky way to test new categories and products on your website without worrying about inventory clogging up your warehouse space.

You’re probably thinking, “I can see how those benefits would drive growth, but I don’t understand exactly how a marketplace would work for my customers.” The short answer is “seamlessly,” but let’s walk through it to give you the full picture.

Take a look at our fictitious distributor, Tectric. Tectric is a traditional distributor with an E-commerce model customers are used to.

Search

Like many large distributors, Tectric has a marketplace built directly onto their existing E-commerce website. Doing so allows for faster and easier integration, while keeping the customer purchasing experience almost exactly the same.

Filter

When a customer comes to the site, they search for the product they want and are taken to the results page. Although the results page includes both marketplace and core products, it is a consistent experience from the customer perspective.

Seller Page

They can learn about the seller by clicking on their brand name, which routes them to a page created by the seller themselves.

Product Page

Once the customer decides they want to make a purchase, they go through a familiar process.

They’ll choose the product they’re interested in from the product table and check out the product details page to make sure it’s what they’re looking for.

On the product page, they’ll be able to see what the shipping expectation is and, in the case of Tectric who has a buybox, shop for other offers related to the product. On this screen, you can see that the product ships immediately (image below), which is a strong indication that this is a core product, shipped directly from the fictitious Tectric warehouse.

If the product fits their needs, the customer will add it to their cart and continue shopping.

Later in their shopping journey, they might land on a marketplace seller product page, identified in our example by the marketplace product tag and the call out to WireGenics, LLC.

Shopping Cart

The customer will add the marketplace product to their cart in the same way as the core product offering. Once they’re ready to checkout, they will see the list of the products they selected at the shopping cart level. Within that list, they will see which products are from marketplace sellers.

If the customer does not have a customer account, they will enter their contact and shipping information.

They will choose a shipping charge option for the core offering and the Marketplace offering, and continue to billing.

Then, the customer will enter their payment information and proceed to the next step.

Where they will submit their order.

Cart Summary

Once the order is complete, the cart splits and sends the core product offerings directly to Tectric’s ERP, while the marketplace products from WireGenics, LLC automatically transfer to Tectric’s marketplace SaaS platform through an API.

Tetric’s Approach

Tectric uses its traditional model to ship the core product offerings to the customer, and their marketplace seller ships the marketplace products directly to the end customer after receiving the order notification automatically from the marketplace platform.

Summary

The customer receives their order in two shipments, but tracking and return policy information for both are provided at the time of order submission and acceptance.

Sounds pretty simple, right? That’s because it is.

From early strategizing through design, systems integration, seller recruitment, onboarding, and marketing, MarketPush is the only marketplace platform built specifically for the B2B wholesale and distribution markets.

Whether your goal is to increase your current product offerings (without investing in more inventory) or to expand into new markets and services, we have the expertise and track record to make it happen, providing a seamless experience for your customers.

Questions? Reach out to Sales@marketpush.com