Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers have a powerful new tool at their disposal with the arrival of the Marketplacer Salesforce Commerce Cloud, an integration that creates a bi-directional sync between Marketplacer and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This means that Commerce Cloud customers can supercharge their sales and growth by launching their own third-party marketplace.
This article walks you through the value and importance of the marketplace model and how our new SFCC Cartridge fits into the picture. We’ll also tell you how the SFCC Cartridge works, and what it all means for the sustainable growth of your online commerce business.
But first, stepping back. What is a digital marketplace? It’s an online destination aggregating, showcasing and selling products and/or services from multiple third parties. It allows the marketplace owner to process all consumer purchases with participating sellers fulfilling those transactions and delivering the goods.
Because a marketplace offers products from a wide range of companies, product selection can be deep and diverse. In addition, product availability is typically higher than a vendor’s website, making hard-to-find items easier for consumers to locate and purchase. Finally, a digital marketplace is ideal for bringing together buyers and sellers with common interests, hobbies or passions. The list is practically endless!
For the marketplace operator, the benefits are significant. Without additional stock commitments, the growth potential is virtually limitless. Operators can turn their suppliers into sellers, adding hundreds or even thousands of new products to their site without the burden of managing inventory and warehousing. Your customers can choose from a more extensive range of products making it quick and easy to find products that satisfy their criteria. And all of that is possible without disrupting your current customer shopping or delivery experience.
Why are ecommerce marketplaces so important right now? The marketplace model has experienced meteoric growth over the last few years, partly catalyzed by the global lockdowns and associated uptick in online shopping. So significant is the marketplace influence today that Gartner predicts that “by 2023, 30% of enterprise marketplaces will transition into a majority third-party seller model for better profitability.” As more brands increasingly leverage the model to expand their audience and reach, we believe we are still at the beginning of a trend that will totally transform the world of online commerce. Brands who get in early will gain the first-mover advantage, allowing them to carve out their niche and establish brand equity and market share.
But typically, launching a marketplace has been a complicated technical process that is highly resource-intensive to build from scratch. Fortunately, that all changes with Marketplacer – a ready-made platform purpose-built to make it easy for retailers to set up and start selling.
Enter the Marketplacer SFCC Cartridge
Salesforce Commerce Cloud customers can now leverage the Marketplacer SFCC Cartridge – free to download on the Salesforce AppExchange– to harness the Marketplacer platform to significantly reduce the cost and time to launch their own marketplace.
Let’s walk through how the connector’s features work with your existing Commerce Cloud store.
- The SFCC Cartridge synchronizes catalogs between Marketplacer and Salesforce Commerce Cloud sharing a continuous data stream of product information – which includes products, orders and changes in shipping status. This allows for the immediate fulfilment of orders, and for the buyer, seller and marketplace owner to all act in real-time and unison, ensuring a seamless customer experience.
- As 3rd-party Sellers dispatch items, shipment details including tracking code and courier name are shared with SFCC. This allows for fulfilment information to be streamed for each item that will be delivered by your partner network.
- The SFCC Cartridge does not require you to re-platform, however when it comes to installation and setup, we recommend partnering with a Salesforce Commerce Cloud Certified Developer or 3rd party integrator familiar with installing and configuring Salesforce Commerce Cloud cartridges. This will ensure augmentations and modifications fit the specifics of your business technology ecosystems and processes, and not disrupt your existing user experience strategy.
- You will also need to make UI changes to your existing Salesforce Commerce Cloud theme to introduce the concept of a “seller” to category lists, search results, product details, shopping cart and checkout. Once installed, sellers can easily list on your site by importing products, inventory, and prices from Marketplacer to SFCC, with the details of the Marketplacer product displayed in the Product Detail, Listing, and Seller pages.
- Some of the more technical features allow users to:
- switch between full, and delta feeds – for catalog, inventory, pricebook and seller
- enable or disable your Marketplacer seller store policy in Product detail pages
- export orders containing Marketplacer products only, alongside first-party product orders
- retrieve order status updates from Marketplacer and modify the Marketplacer queries for each job.
And what will these changes look like for your customers? Your customers will still be able to browse and purchase your in-stock products. But they will have more choice, with an expanded and potentially limitless range of additional third-party products while continuing to interact with your distinctive brand and user interface.
Below image from technical guide.
How to get started
The Marketplacer Platform is backed by a proven methodology, finetuned to assist each customer as they define and build their own successful marketplace strategy. Regardless of where you are on this journey, we want to help you get it right. Contact us if you’d like to take advantage of a ‘meet the expert session’ where we’ll:
- share best practices for nailing a marketplace the first time
- how to get started with your marketplace strategy
- help you define your marketplace growth opportunity