A version of this article has been published in Destination CRM Magazine, contributed by Yoav Kutner, CEO and Co-Founder of Oro Inc.
In an eCommerce marketplace, it’s tempting to assume that individual relationships are superfluous. After all, the marketplace is aimed at vendors and buyers, and through interaction, they seemingly generate value for one another.
The reality, as always, is more complex: marketplace operators must build and maintain connections with vendors and customers to stay successful. It often means applying a unique B2B purchase process and handling more complex relationships than traditional retail and eCommerce businesses.
With an eCommerce marketplace, your network of relationships spans numerous partners, vendors, customers, and leads. To keep everyone satisfied, operators need a system that provides a holistic view of these relationships.
That places Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on top of the priority list for marketplace operators. Below, we explore three crucial benefits of incorporating CRM into your marketplace strategy.
1. Support your sellers
Keeping vendors efficient and profitable is one of the main goals for marketplace operators. Otherwise, they risk losing business to competing marketplace platforms.
Every online marketplace needs to be able to:
- identify new vendors
- offer them a streamlined verification experience
- support them through the onboarding process
- assist with contracts and proposals
However, these steps are only part of an efficient B2B sales strategy. Once vendors start selling on a marketplace platform, operators need to continue to support them with insights from analytics, sales enablement tools, and stay committed to growing the relationship.
Creating successful relationships based on these processes is near impossible without powerful CRM tools.
CRM solutions enable vendors to build out their presence on the marketplace platform and maintain relationships with their customers. For example, CRM ensures that vendors receive accurate customer data associated with orders and payments and use it to step up their customer engagement campaigns.
2. Better serve customers
According to Accenture, 80 percent of B2B buyers will likely switch a supplier if it fails to meet their expectations. That’s why building strong customer relationships must become a priority for vendors – and marketplace owners need to give them the tools to achieve that.
CRM can provide these tools so that vendors ensure smooth customer service. This may include:
- keeping track of customer contacts to deliver marketing material, promotions, and products efficiently
- keeping track of customer needs to manage and optimize the customer journey
- enabling customers to build unique purchasing workflows
With customer information in one place, operators and vendors have greater visibility into performance and customer activity. This visibility extends further with a CRM that works in real-time. Vendors can monitor customer behavior and interact promptly through engagement tools, ultimately maximizing conversion rates.
3. Optimize teamwork
As your marketplace grows, processes within your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will need to be optimized to make the most of incoming opportunities.
A CRM system is one of the central solutions that can help operators prioritize the right opportunities at the right time.
In addition to managing priorities, CRM can help automate routine tasks, avoid errors, and provide personalized service that your customers and vendors expect. Therefore, you ensure that teams stay focused and productive while creating compelling experiences for all stakeholders.
The Success of a Marketplace Starts with the Right Toolkit
Effectively managing the complexities of a B2C or B2B marketplace is possible only with the right technology. That includes a CRM solution designed for the unique needs of an online marketplace. With the right CRM system and dedication to bolstering customer and vendor relationships, you can scale an eCommerce marketplace sustainably while generating more profit and building a thriving community.