Grow Your Business Using B2B Emarketplace - Part II
Selecting the right emarketplace
Although, IT spending has been staying flat for the last several years, corporate spending in e-business is gaining significant ground and at present surpasses 20 percent of overall IT budget.
This means, more and more businesses are undertaking ecommerce initiatives, and as a result increasing sales, streamlining business processes and dramatically boosting productivity.
Most experts agree that average business, which is slow in adopting e-business applications, risks loosing its competitive edge to their more progressive rivals.
Emarketplaces provide with a great opportunity for small to medium size companies to test online business for a minimal risk. This is due to the factor that the e-business applications that come along with an emarketplace membership package are prohibitively expensive to develop in-house by most companies, and require large professional workforce to operate. As an example: product content development with required attributes, suitable for e-business, itself might feel like a daunting task for most offline companies.
So, as a company, what should be your first step in starting e-business through emarketplaces?
Naturally, out of hundreds of emarketplaces available today, you have to find one that matches all your requirements.Choosing right kind of emarketplace
In best case scenario, if yours is a large enough company, you should build your private emarketplace with all the necessary features specific to your business. The potential of having your own emarketplace is amazing!
- Ecommerce will add value to your existing business transactions
However, as I mentioned earlier, if you are not a very big company, you will probably be better off with a membership in an established emarketplace.
If you are a manufacturer, wholesaler or a buyer of certain industry specific products or services, your best choice would be a vertical emarketplace that caters specially your industry. For example: if you buy or sell fish, you should look for an emarketplace that deals with this product only. Another thing that you should keep in mind is how geographically limited your business is. If you buy and sell fish within the locality of your state or region, if available, get an emarketplace that works in your region.
Totally different story, if you carry large number of products from different industries; for you a horizontal marketplace that cater a range of industries is a better choice. If you are an international trader involved in import or export, you should select a global emarketplace, which has members from the countries you deal with.
Features that are must
A good emarketplace amasses various features in order to facilitate smooth transactions of business deals. However, there are some key attributes that are absolutely necessary for any emarketplace to become successful; and as a prospective member you should look for these features and characteristics while choosing an emarketplace for yourself.
Product catalog based on an industry-standard classification systemWhile it might not look so important from the surface; to have accurate, well-defined and timely-updated product content is extremely crucial for any online business. Since you have to integrate your product catalog to the aggregated electronic catalog of the emarketplace, which could be a very complex task, you should make sure that the classification system that they have is widely used online; and if necessary you can use same product content with other emarketplaces or e-procurement applications.
The best option, as I believe, is based on The Universal Standard Products and Services Classification (UNSPSC), which is a global coding system that classifies products and services. This categorization scheme covers the broadest collection of industries and commodities available today, and designed to facilitate e-commerce transactions by providing geography-independent common nomenclature system.
Product search capability within the marketplace and e-catalogMembers of the emarketplace should be able to locate any productor service, whether in the auctions, marketplaces, or in the catalogwith ease. Advanced search function should allow finding required items using precise query.
Supply chain process, i.e. request for quote, quotation, purchase order, billing system, etc.Efficient supply chain management is the number one strategic priority for many businesses. In 2001, Cisco System alone had to write off US $2.5 billion in excess inventories due to poor management of its numerous outsourcing contractors.E-marketplaces can help streamlining your supply chain process ifthe required features are embedded in their system.
Directory of membersUsually most emarketplaces incorporate a searchable directory of their members. The members get an added opportunity of creating new business relations and increasing sales thanks to this feature.
Product content adding and editing interfaceIn order to make product content adding and maintaining easier for sellers, the marketplace must have an uncomplicated tool. The tool could be a wizard-based combination of simple forms. To integrate larger catalogs speedily and efficiently the emarketplace should have XML based interface.
Ability to promote products and servicesThe process of posting an offer for sale of a product or a service on the marketplace should be simple and easy but sophisticated enough to create dynamic offer, offer with time limit, variable pricing based on quantity, etc.
Apart from the above mentioned functionalities that facilitate conducting e-business, other key characteristics of a quality e-marketplace should include:
Simplicity - An emarketplace should be easy to learn and use.Large Community - The quantity of members should be big enough, so that new participants can expand their business.Flexibility - Emarketplace functions should be flexible enough to modify or add with new features when necessary.Neutrality - The emarketplace should be an unbiased venue for both sellers and buyers. No member should have any privilege at the expense of others. Providing an open and transparent market for all the participants is an important constituent of the value proposition of an emarketplace.
Cost of doing business through e-marketplace
In general, thanks to the large member base, e-marketplaces charge a reasonable subscription fee if you would like to participate in it. Many emarketplaces also charge a nominal fee for each trade made using their facilities. Other costs involved, that you should consider, are internal workforce needed to handle business via emarketplace, catalog integration and maintaining, etc. In any case, the cost of doing business through emarketplaces is negligible for most businesses compare to the gains they make.
Get your partners involved
If you just build a corporate website and don't spend required time and money to promote, it won't bring any business. Same goes for emarketplace! Mere participation in an emarketplace also will not produce any significant benefit if you don't convince your existing buyers and suppliers to work with you through your chosen emarketplace.
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of Rusbiz.com. He has Ph. D. degree in Information Technology.Dr. Kabir has over 12 years of experience in International Trade and has worked as an advisor to several government projects.You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at]rusbiz.com, http://ezine.rusbiz.com, http://www.rusbiz.com
Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 429, exiting
Shopping Cart Abandonment - Discover 5 Things you can do to Lower Cart Abandonment
A common frustration among merchants who sell online via a shopping cart is the percentage of people who abandon their cart and leave the site never to return. This is known as the shopping cart abandonment rate.
Online Customer Service - The Cornerstone of a Successful Online Business
Online customer service is still one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of running a successful online business. Yet, in the highly competitive world of Internet business, it could be (and should be) the one thing that sets you apart from your competition!Most Internet businesses that have a drive to succeed focus all of their time and resources on building a great site, and then trying to drive tons of traffic to that site.
The Internet Challenge
In spite of the increasing attention on how the Internet is changing the business landscape, many small business owners are still struggling to understand its influence. But unlike the ceaseless blinking of the home VCR, the impact of the Internet cannot be ignored.
Working With Drop Shippers
Drop Shippers, the manufacturers or distributors who are willing to ship their products to your customers, bring a powerful benefit to ecommerce. Online businesses that engage in the wholesale-retail trade can cut down on all the hassles of shipping their products by simply establishing business relationships with drop shippers, and using them as part of their business model.
E-gold is a digital currency, used extensively on the Internet for making payments in exchange for goods and services.It is one of the first digital e-currency providers, having started in 1996.
Your Affiliate Web Site Is Built - Now What?
When I first got my web site built, I thought I finally hada presence on-line. Wrong! I soon found out that I needed someone to host my site, and I needed a domain name.
Grow Your Business Using B2B Emarketplace - Part I
If you are a small to medium size company and selling or planning to sell products and services over the Net and still did not try out emarketplaces, you are simply loosing a great opportunity!Research firm eMarketer predicts that worldwide B2B ecommerce revenues will surpass US$ 1.4 trillion by the end of 2003.
Online Shopping: Legal Challenges for Taxing Authorities
E-commerce offers customers the chance to eliminate many stages in the sales/distribution chain. The mark-ups that occur between manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers can add the cost of goods purchased by consumers.
Retirement Signature Frames - The Perfect Retirement Gift!
When most people think of a retirement gift, they think of a watch. It's the tried and true gift that companies give employees to say thanks for all the years of hard work.
Eleven Things You Must Know About A Drop Shipping Directory And Its Company
1. Balance - You want to find a directory rich in many different categories of products rather than the quantity of products available.
What Does It Take to Make Money Online?
What a loaded question! Let's narrow that down a bit and take it from the perspective of someone who wants to work from home and make money online in a home business. That will make it an easier question to answer.
Intranet Project Names - Some Ideas
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."In this famous quote from Act II of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and the fact he is a Montague and she a Capulet (warring families) means nothing to their love.
How to Boost Conversion Rates, While Lowering Merchant Account Fees!
Using an Address Verification System (AVS) when processing your online credit card transactions can help to reduce the number of fraudulent transactions you receive. However, most online merchants don't know that using AVS can also reduce your number of legitimate orders.
Chinas Online Shopping May Be Booming In The Next Few Years
Data from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) shows that till June 2004 Chinese online user has reached 87 million, of which, 7.3% has experience of online shopping.
Credit Card Merchant Account Basics
Knowing which credit card merchant account to get can be very confusing. There are thousands and thousands of banks, merchant account providers and third party sales teams that can offer you all kinds of incentives.
7 Must Have Scripts to Look for When Shopping for E-commerce Hosting
When shopping for e-commerce hosting there are a lot of things you need to keep and mind. When you know what to look for it is a lot easier to ensure you get exactly what you need and not leave any important information out.
Cost Effective Ecommerce Solutions
Ecommerce use to be about spending thousands of dollars on setting up your shop and hundreds of dollars on getting a merchant. My, how things have changed over the years.
Tell Site Visitors What To Do
Your site visitors make all the choices when it comes to browsing the Web.No other medium gives users, readers or customers such control over their own experience.
Accept Credit Cards Online Without a Merchant Account
There are two major ways to accept credit cards on your website. The first and most expensive is to have your own merchant account.
How to Write a Landing Page
Is there a difference between writing a landing page and any other web site page? Yes and no. But mainly, yes.
|home | site map ||