Simplify Your Marketplace Vendor Operations With Onport
Business is all about building positive relationships and partnerships. Whether it be between your suppliers, accountant, distributors, and of course, your customers - a strong and mutually beneficial relationship is vital. When it comes to marketplaces, this fact of business life is no different.
A solid relationship with your vendors can save you both a lot of time, hassle, and above all, money. Luckily, Onport is the perfect marketplace software solution for keeping your vendors happy and streamlining your entire operations, from importing inventory to sorting out shipping rates.
Choosing The Right Marketplace Vendors
Like anything in life, success can come down to the individual choices that you make. In a business sense, choosing who to work with and the structure of your supply chain can be vital. Choosing the right marketplace vendor for your business is an important decision to make and one that should not be taken lightly or without a thorough audit of all the contributing factors.
Assess your own marketplace - as in, what do you sell? Who do you define as your target market? Which brands do you feel would best compliment your online marketplace?
Choose brands that reflect the brand image and positioning that you wish to acquire. Look for vendors who may sell bespoke products - doing so can have two distinct advantages.
A) Selling bespoke products can become a unique selling point for your marketplace as it can help position your site as a place to find high-quality, less common goods.
B) By selling the unique items from your vendor, it can help strengthen your bargaining power within the relationship as you may become a primary retailer of those items.
Getting Things Up and Running
So you’ve managed to come to an agreement with vendors for your marketplace, now comes the process of onboarding them properly. Thankfully, Onport can make the entire process swift and pain-free.
Here is a detailed setup guide to fully bring your vendors on board - once you have done this, you can then equip your marketplace vendors with their own dedicated vendor portal.
One of the great advantages of the Onport vendor portal is that it empowers your vendors to manage their own orders, confirm purchase orders, enter tracking information, and even download their own custom packing slips.
If you wish to, you can even offer your vendors discounted shipping labels which may help strengthen your relationship as it removes the onus being on your vendors to provide the labels, which they may find to be expensive.
Integrating With Your Vendors Store
Whether your vendor uses Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Woocommerce, or many more, Onport has strong integration with many ecommerce platforms, allowing you to make the onboarding process quick and painless.
With Onport, as the business owner, you can now publish vendor’s products directly to your own online marketplace. From there, inventory and pricing information can be synced automatically. Orders are then placed directly in the vendor’s stores.
Interested in learning more about what platforms Onport supports? Find out here, keep in mind we are continuously adding new integrations to this list as well. Running a custom frontend? Don’t worry, Onport can accommodate that too.
Eliminating Possible Sources of Friction
When it comes to the relationship between marketplaces and their vendors, often two main areas cause the most friction between the two parties - both being shipping and payments. Let's look at both to get a better understanding and how Onport can resolve both of these issues.
When it comes to business, there are few quicker ways to sour your relationship with your vendors than complicating or delaying the payment process. Making payments to your marketplace vendors is vital for keeping them happy and preventing any underlying tension from arising. Here, we will only touch upon a few points but if you really want to take a deeper dive into the topic of pricing, do check out this blog article.
It’s important to come to an agreement that works for both you and your marketplace vendor - understandably, this can be an unequal relationship in terms of buying/supplying power, depending on the size of your vendor.
There are several main methods to create a pricing model but perhaps the easiest and most common, is via the commission model - you simply set a commission rate per vendor. You pay the vendor a percentage of the value of the order, enough to compensate them as well as covering your own costs and margins.
Another factor to keep in mind is how and when you will actually pay your vendors. Timely payments make happy vendors. The easiest way to deal with your outstanding debts to vendors is to create an automated payment cycle. With automated payment cycles, invoices are raised by Onport as soon as items are shipped. You can then set up your automated payment trigger, which will pay the vendor automatically via Stripe or bank transfer.
Payments can be sent the next working day, but in order to cover yourself for any returns costs that may arise, delaying payments by 14 days might be a good idea. By using an automated payment system from Onport, you can rest assured that any outstanding amounts have been paid to the correct vendors and in a timely manner.
With Onport, you can even set up payment alerts that will notify you when particular credit windows are coming to an end and which vendors are to be paid.
As previously mentioned, your vendors may not be comfortable with the cost of issuing shipping labels. However, this may not be the only pain point around shipping that your marketplace vendors may encounter. For a more detailed look at the factors to consider when configuring your marketplace shipping rules, check out this blog article.
Nowadays, a good shipping policy can make or break a marketplace. It can also break your relationship with your vendors so it is important to get it right.
One of the initial issues is whether you will pay your marketplace vendors to take care of the shipping themselves. As mentioned before, with Onport, you have the option of supplying your vendors with shipping labels at a reduced rate.
However, it is possible that your vendors may wish to use a different system for shipping. Your vendors can instead invoice you for fulfilling shipping requirements, by setting up a rate per vendor based on parameters such as item, region of delivery, weight, etc you can configure this as an option within Onport itself. Once set up, Onport will automatically pay your vendors for fulfilling the shipping requirements of the order.
Of course, you could also charge customers for shipping and choose to blend your vendor rates at checkout. Onport makes this a simple process. Just keep in mind that you must be upfront with the cost of shipping - sneaky and hidden charges will ruin your reputation among customers. Perhaps you might try to leverage free shipping as a unique selling point for your marketplace? The choice is yours.
Keep Your Marketplace Vendors On The Same Page - Use Onport.
Onport is an ecommerce marketplace and dropshipping platform enabling companies to centralize the core areas of backend marketplace dropshipping operations using next-generation composable technology - inventory syncing, order routing, shipping workflows, payment automation, and returns management.
The Onport Platform can accommodate both those seeking an out-of-the-box solution and, through an API with +3.000 endpoints, those who require a more flexible implementation.
“With Onport, we were able to launch in less than three months, which we just couldn’t have done, had we built the system ourselves.”
Frank A. Ricciardi | Founder & CEO at Maavee
From growing SMBs to well-established enterprise-level companies, its composable and adaptive infrastructure was designed to be a reliable partner for the growth of any company operating in the e-commerce marketplace and dropshipping space.
Over 200+ companies in the e-commerce space are future-proofing their business with a solution trusted by brands such as Stadium Goods, Terminal X, Cupra, Ivalo, and Naduvi.