A business founder has rightfully said:
“The customer has always driven the business model.”
Once you are up to launch your very own grocery marketplace, your first thought is to deck it all up with attractive new offers, advertisements, and banners of neighborhood grocery shops. Instead, your main focus should- how to attract grocery retailers or sellers within the specific geography.
The idea is that you build an online grocery marketplace as per the demand in the area you want to do business in. Keeping in mind what the small and medium scale retailers want, while presenting their proposition to their consumer, and what the end consumer desires, the marketplace must be equipped accordingly.
When considering a shift from offline to online grocery retail, every shop owner gives thought to the factors and pre-requisites needed to begin an online store. The website, data migration, management of various stakeholders, deals, and delivery, all need to be sorted for the process to run smoothly.
As trends changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, where retail e-commerce sales already soared by 2.3 trillion US dollars in 2017, they are further projected to reach 4.88 trillion USD coming 2021. The increasing migration of offline retailers to virtual stores or additional online channels for business is contributing immensely to these numbers.
Marketplaces have joined in to ease the process of online grocery shopping. Technology companies have improvised their offerings to marketplaces that can bring on-board countless sellers on a single platform. The consumer just needs to install a single app or go to a single web address to shop for multiple products from multiple stores.
So the wave of trends and practices introduced by Amazon and eBay are the need-of-the-hour. Consumers are satisfied and choosing the new normal of staying safe at home and getting what they need with just a click.
There are some sets of practices, however, that attract small and medium scale sellers or retailers, to provide leverage to marketplace owners. These methods discussed here crisply will set the ball rolling, driving your marketplace towards becoming a hit amongst shop owners.
There is a standard model of operation of any robust marketplace. A simple flow of information from the admin’s server, with data of each vendor systematically sorted into separate databases, is visible to customers or buyers store-wise, where they make their picks and collect them into carts. These are bought after payment made via chosen methods and delivered as per a selected mode of delivery.
This entire process is intricately controlled by the marketplace owner or the admin. Each step monitored and managed, depending on the software on which the marketplace is set up.
So, as the admin, it becomes your prime responsibility to understand what the vendors want to present themselves as to their customers.
Say you decide to set up an online grocery business like Instacart, FreshDirect, and Peapod. But, the locals are in a legacy buying relationship with the neighborhood shops. They feel the shop owners know their choices and keep the goods of their choices. Like when they order rice, the shopkeeper knows which rice quality to send to which household.
This is where the admin’s market research will play a role. Understand the choices and the bonds of the localities your marketplace is looking to target. Make your platform welcome small time grocery shop owners as much as the multi-national chains. Give them better opportunities to enhance their visibility to the consumers.
Make a difference with a consumer-centric approach. It always goes a long way.
Always put your best foot forward when selling yourself. When out to get vendors to sell on your grocery website, highlight your USPs. Let them know that the only consideration is always their business and the relationships between their buyers and them.
List out your offerings, like, marketing assistance, delivery support, management scenarios, easy subscriptions, payment options, customer data, and connectivity. Along with this, make the demands clear, payment plans, commission, detailed catalogs, deals and offers to be advertised.
If the vendors are crystal clear on what kind of engagement they are entering into, the transition or addition to their business channel seems welcoming and comfortable. Try not to keep any hidden charges that might cause ruffles. Vendors seem to be attracted to clean and sorted agreements.
Anybody who is choosing to start an online grocery business with their own website, or is looking to join your online grocery marketplace, will make a decision based on the profile they will have once they go online.
Build an enticing picture of the vendors for their consumers. Such that the buyers are drawn to try out purchases from them. Present them in a way that they are clearly visible and noticed by anyone who visits the marketplace to buy groceries.
List out the deals they offer in a unique way. Maybe grab a day each for different vendors, like ‘Save-on-Mondays’, ‘Happy Tuesdays’, ‘Lucky Wednesdays’, or introduce prepaid shopping cards for different items in the catalog or even store-wise.
Involve the consumer with the activities going on at the seller’s end and make grocery shopping with them fun for their customers. This will intrigue the vendors to join your league and reach their buyers in a different happy tone.
As you reach out to local grocery shop owners, knowing they are looking to make their shift or add to their portfolio an online channel, understand that they would definitely want to know their competition. They will always be interested in knowing who all are making the change or adding to their profile in what way.
Give them interesting online grocery business insights, with lists of grocery vendors making the transition. Share who’s gone live recently what’s changing around them. Statistics make decisions easier. Show some, collecting your information from different sources like vendor databases, trade fairs, and business listings.
Another strikingly attractive way to entail your customers, the sellers on your marketplace is by creating a special niche grouping for them.
There can be grocers who have a great line of only pulses, then there can be those who have the best variety of cleaning products, those with maximum options in ready-to-cook items, or those who offer amazing deals in cosmetics. Categorize them, and put them in segments they can shine.
This will prepare their portfolio in the way they can serve best. When they see the way you thought and understood them, they will be assured of being in the right place with your online grocery store.
Once you have a strategy to attract the trusted neighborhood grocery retailers as well as online grocery retail chains on your platform, it’s time to bring them on-board and do as you promised. Whatever you give them now is what will make them stay and bring on traffic to your online grocery shopping marketplace.
Commitments made earlier need realization. So be ready with a good plan of action to sustain your customers on your online grocery marketplace.
As discussed above, the profile you create for your sellers on your marketplace creates an impact and modulates their decision to join your online grocery marketplace. Keep their interests at the forefront and set up a profile that is exuberant and catchy for their customers.
Source: Growcer by FATbit Technologies
Add some zing to the everyday grocery sale and shopping. While everyone gets busy with their business, strategies and calculations, give your sellers that extra vibe with a social media platform that engages them in interesting discussions.
Link them to their community of online grocery retailers where everyone shares their experiences and brings on new ideas to keep customers happy and satisfied always. An element that excites the sellers will always pump up their enthusiasm and create a happy environment on your marketplace.
The niche you build for all your grocery retailers is what will sell ultimately. Well managed catalogs, attractive offers or deals, easy ordering, convenient payments, scheduled deliveries allow consumers to plan their grocery shopping.
With these, striking add-ons like readymade grocery app, separately for the buyers and the delivery staff contribute to the edge. These not only improve business management but enhance customer experience, giving an overall edge that any vendor would desire.
Source: Growcer by FATbit Technologies
As we move into an era where every little thing is reachable and available at a single click of your mobile phone application, maintaining what you build the way you started, matters.
Even while your vendor’s and your business models are set and running, there could be so much more, people across the online grocery community might be thinking and planning. When you publish blogs with online grocery business insights on what’s trending, share happenings across the industry and geography, you add value to what you offer to your vendors.
When they can plan their inventory and resources as per some insights, the proposition a marketplace offers is unmatched. Give them a competitive view of where they stand, what they lack, and where they excel. This opportunity to envision and plan in advance is an attractive component vendors will site for while deciding whom to go online with.
Good marketing practices have always taken businesses to new heights. Setting up a sound and robust online grocery marketplace is half the job done. Propelling vendors and the online grocery platform’s sales is the latter part that needs attention too.
A good grocery marketplace software comes equipped with some marketing and SEO managing tools. There are still ways and practices that can improve brand value and build a unique position for the marketplace.
Work on optimizing the blogs on your marketplace, start emails to keep customers looped in with offers, create opportunities for offline grocery vendors, discuss existing success stories, advertise your clean practices with high-end management support, sell your logistic and technical strengths, plus so much more to endorse your value propositions.
Suggested read: Starting an Online Grocery Business – Business and Revenue Model
With every new journey and every new vision there come challenges that any businessman must embrace.
Online grocery retail is a competitive segment of a dynamic industry that has been and will always evolve. A wise approach would be to adapt and move ahead with an open mind. Setting up an online grocery marketplace is simply acknowledging such a movement in e-commerce and grocery retail.
Welcome vendors/sellers/retailers on your online grocery shopping marketplace with outstanding opportunities to build their online presence with a new direction. Let this channel of connection between their customers and them be an exciting new path that creates a whole new experience for everyone involved, improving the prospects of this choice made.
The power to make them understand the outcomes as they join your grocery shopping platform for the sale of their products is the key to attract potential vendors.
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